Links 7/15/18

A British caver who helped in the Thai cave rescue said Elon Musk ‘can stick his submarine where it hurts’ Business Insider

Huge iceberg threatens Greenland village BBC

Reports: Woodchucks feast on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s SUV wiring Detroit Free Press

Want to Leave the World Less Cluttered? Stop Relying on Recycling and Do This Instead AlterNet

Different Speeds, Same Furies London Review of Books. Long read review of a biography of one of my favourite writers, Anthony Powell.

THE ULTIMATE CARBON-SAVING TIP? TRAVEL BY CARGO SHIP Wired. Alas, this isn’t possible anymore in most places– anti-terrorist provisions thwart being able to book passage.

Expert Views: What’s Next on the Agenda for Nutrition Advocates? Malnutrition Deeply. Plus ça change– I’m old enough to remember the anti-Nestle campaigns when I started university.

Undercooked: An Expensive Push to Save Lives and Protect the Planet Falls Short ProPublica

McDonald’s Pulls Salads From 3,000 Restaurants Amid Cyclospora Illnesses WSJ

New Cold War

Russia Indictment 2.0: What to Make of Mueller’s Hacking Indictment Lawfare

No Evidence In Mueller’s Indictment Of 12 Russians – Release Now May Sabotage Upcoming Summit Moon of Alabama

Trump on Russia indictment: Why didn’t Obama do something? The Hill

The Real F.B.I. Election Culprit NYT

Trump-Putin summit hits last-minute turbulence Asia Times

Why meeting with Putin may just give Trump a popularity boost The Conversation

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and the Triumph of Nothing Over Everyone New Yorker Masha Gessen

Trump Needs to Put Up or Shut Up on Russian Arms Race American Conservative. Scott Ritter.


Photographing America’s armed educators Columbia Journalism Review

Class Warfare


At Uber, New Questions Arise About Executive Behavior NYT


Ben Carson says he’s raising rents to put poor Americans to work. But in the District, the majority are either elderly, disabled or already at work. WaPo

Police State Watch

Homeland Security photography alert is ‘a seed of fear’ Columbia Journalism Review

Kill Me Now

How 20-Year-Old Kylie Jenner Built A $900 Million Fortune In Less Than 3 Years

Health Care

“Medicare-for-all” means something. Don’t let moderates water it down. Vox

New York Has World-Class Hospitals. Why Is It So Bad for People in Need of Transplants? NYT

Russia ready to invest $50bn in Iran’s energy industry FT

Rouhani says U.S. isolated on Iran sanctions, even among allies Reuters


China’s internet ecosystem model increasingly being copied globally SCMP

China in the Middle East: Behind Xi’s economic charm offensive Al Jazeera

The US may have just pulled even with China in the race to build supercomputing’s next big thing MIT Technology Review

Pakistan election: More than 100 die in bomb attacks on poll rallies BBC


‘Goa is drowning like Mumbai’: Monsoon flooding is the cost of runaway development, say residents

For Indian startups, a new surge of Asian investors mean rethinking everything Economic Times

India Approves New Net Neutrality Rules, Signs off on New Telecom Policy The Wire. See also India’s new net neutrality regime puts the US to shame MIT Technology Review.


Trump knows that the US can exercise more power in a UK weakened by Brexit Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

Brexit: a scorpion’s work

Did Trump Just Help Stop Brexit? New York magazine. Andrew Sullivan. Worth a read, despite some magical thinking.


Should Democrats Have Saved Their Filibuster for the New Court Fight? NYT

America’s Top Justices Are Less Like The Rest of The Country Than Ever Before Politico

Trump Transition

Trump hints at the Queen’s private views on Brexit Guardian

Trump’s Turnberry getaway: A little golf, a lot of promoting Politico

The Scots are giving the English a run for their money with Trump signs

Donald Trump Meets the Queen, and Other Strange Events in the U.K. New Yorker

Trump Takes Aim at Germany and NATO Der Spiegel

Antidote du Jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Steve H.

    > Want to Leave the World Less Cluttered? Stop Relying on Recycling and Do This Instead AlterNet

    The roots of environmental science are in sewage treatment. There are public health issues that plastics cover, in addition to its uses for non-sharding storage.

    Austerity at the point of use don’t have such a good reputation in this neighborhood. What would a billion dollars or so dropped into producing new cellulose catalysts produce? Will we ever know?

    1. SimonGirty

      Buy THIS container… buy THIS bag… from our linked merchants, NOW! Next day delivery, available. Weren’t these the same folks who switched from the coops and farmer markets, only to forget the Whole Foods® bag in their X5 or Q7? I’m about to go to Birmingham’s Aldi’s, trying to forget the mouldering mountains of (mostly plastic, steel & glass) waste, being scavanged for aluminum, curbside in NYC out of my mind. This will get far worse, until it’s legislated against. And just look at how that turned out in California? Yes, I’m wearing a polyester UPF 50 microfiber shirt for the workweek. Yes, I buy more shit online, claiming I can’t afford retail. Just make sure you get the right Logo on all this, as 2nd hand is so BernieBro!

        1. SimonGirty

          Thank YOU; though having just driven from Manhattan’s Upper West Side to B’Ham (forgive me, dear blogger in chief) without mahap, then having ~37 VERY near misses, as prayer meetin’ dun let-owt and everysomebody dun immediately set to reenacting “The Road Warrior” down to WallyWorld. My bemused wry Yankee grimace feels more like some ungodly misegenation of Frank Zappa and LaWanda Paige. I did some of my shopping with an official Aldi’s bag, alrighty. But, their founder, who owned much of BMW & Trader Joe’s, after der fuhrer’s demise, was more concerned with efficiency, return customers and really clever marketing, than wiping out aquatic life? Once Shell’s new fracked wet gas cracker joins the absolutely lethal Mariner liquids lines & China’s billions and billions in Marcellus graft… I’m waiting to see how many Resistance® and Revolution™ legislators join Energy In Depth.?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Also those Prius owners who, on weekends, drive hundreds of miles to get away from the urban jungle so they can ride their bikes in nature.

        Why can’t people just sit quietly in their rooms?

        1. roadrider

          Why can’t people just sit quietly in their rooms?

          Do you? What kind of life is that? Why are you condemning people who at least take responsibility for driving a vehicle that gets ~50 mpg for enjoying their life a little bit. Nothing turns people against being environmentally responsible than smug, condescending, holier-than-thou bullshit like this. There’s only so much individuals can do themselves when industry and their wholly-owned collaborators in government refuse to do much of anything about the problem.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I am keeping my Prius, until I have to buy a new battery.

              I wonder if I’m a self-hating Prius driver…

              1. Whoa Molly!

                We bought a new 2006 model about the time Mr Limbaugh was hooting about libs driving Prius… It was immediately covered in “accidental” parking lot dents. One the size of a grapefruit.

                We traded it for a used Camry ten years later. I have been parking in same places for a year and a half now. Not a single scratch.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            1, There are Prius owners.

            2. There are people who drive hundreds of miles to go biking.

            Now, they must be taken together, not separately.

            I do not condemn Prius owners. I drive one myself.

            They are used, here, to illustrate a point – that it is not enough to own one, a Prius, but the total mileage driven in a given year (or any period) is as important, to study the issue comparatively.

            Do I sit quietly in my room? I do, when I am not driving hundreds of miles, when such an option is available.

            And because we defend our freedoms, we must allow that

            1. Some people want to use plastic bags
            2. Some people want to ride hundreds of miles away from their weekday homes.

            Of course, I prefer sitting quietly in a room. And it doesn’t have to be smug to say that would be better. What would be condescending would be to say we ban weekend biking far away from one’s home.

            As for what people can do, as commented somewhere here today, the front end is as important, if not more, than the back end – The whole get rich scheme for any wannabee billionaire is to ‘get people to consume more.’

            That, right here, is a big problem…to get people to buy more books, more shoes, more toys, etc.

            1. Lord Koos

              If you want to help the environment, don’t buy a brand-new Prius, or a new car of any kind. You’d be doing better for the planet buying second-hand.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                That’s a good suggestion, though there are only so many used Priuses.

                And not just any used car – perhaps some are too old (from 70s or earlier?) and…to polluting?

            2. fresno dan

              July 15, 2018 at 2:59 pm

              My ex :( girlfriend was a shopoholic – but she only shopped at Goodwill and other thrift stores and the used record store, so she was a major re-cycler…..
              and once she overstuffed her place – YARD SALE!

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Dan, I’m mostly still trying to work through the clothes my late father left behind.

                Haven’t had the need to buy much the last few years.

          2. witters

            I think the sitting quietly was to read and think. I suppose someone might find doing that “smug, condescending, holier-than-thou bullshit,” though that would be one of the saddest things in the world.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Especially for those who are sexually active – if your only choice is synthetic condom (polyurethane), just go with Nancy’s “Just Say No.’

      It’s almost impossible to recycle a used one.

          1. Whoa Molly!

            JB Weld waterseal. Works on both plastics and latex.

            The real question is, do they go in the blue bin for recycling. Must call tomorrow and ask…

            1. cyclist

              I once saw an older book (maybe 1950’s?) about birth control which had a section on cleaning, drying, powdering and re-rolling used condoms. So we have become a very wasteful society….

              1. Whoa Molly!

                I seem to remember that advice. Possibly from the same book.
                It actually works… or so I’m told.

    3. Jean

      Can’t sewage treatment plants be altered to electrostatically attract plastic particles for incineration and or reuse?

  2. funemployed

    “Should the democrats have saved their filibuster?” I didn’t realize you could store filibusters in the powder vault.

    1. pretzelattack

      the powder vault is like dr. who’s tardis, it is much, much larger on the inside than it appears on the outside.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        There should be a handy stash on NC of these iconic touchstones to which the hosts and commentators so often return. I would include the 2014 study showing $$ drive legislators’ votes, the Albion’s seed review, the Black Socialists’ tweet, the 2016 Atlantic article on Waterbabies to New Dems, the 2018 Atlantic article on the 9.9%, and oh geez so many more…

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        I wonder how many devoted Democrats demanded Team Blue elites open the powder vaults in 2016 creating the need for the OMG Russia narrative. Fracking interests have been pushing the idea the Russians are the source of environmental protests going back to Obama’s first term, but it was really stupid. The elite Democrats cant really justify their behavior in recent years.

        The collapse of Trump has been predicted every week by the next breaking news, and Democrats seem confident if they watch Maddow a little harder the blue wave will restore Obama to the White House. I think Democratic loyalists really hold onto the idea the Democrats have all kinds of ammunition* ready to go. It’s probably why they are giddy about the next Borat type Netflix show. Republicans being crazy will finally bring the “moderate suburban Republicans” into the camp. Oh look, Palin is an idiot. Now John McCain will be redeemed. Hillary will be President for life! We are going to brunch!

        *The Trump ET tape was supplied by a Bush clan member.

        1. DJG

          NotTimothyGeithner: Wow, you definitely had a high-protein brunch this morning!

          As I watch the variations in my FacetoBook feed, what I am seeing hasn’t even evolved to the level of Team Blue. I am seeing fan clubs. And when your fan club has power, things are bad. But when my fan club has power, well, isn’t genocide in Yemen kind-a groovy? Guantanamo, didn’t Obama turn that into a Club Med?

          The fan-club model is the only way I can explain things right now. And these fan clubs are completely amoral, yet the Democratic fan club also simply cannot wield power because the talking stick is taking years to make it around the circle. Hence the caterwauling about Russia and Guccifer 2.0. Panic is easy. Panic is contagious.

          At least the Republican fan club is outright greedy. There is some consistency.

          It is all baroque and magical thinking. I’m wondering if the Bill of Rights will keep the fan clubs under control for a few more years…

          1. fresno dan

            July 15, 2018 at 12:56 pm

            I think politics has devolved to where the participants don’t ever reach the level of analytical sophistication of the average sports fan


            Goat “What are you so happy about?”
            Rat “My POLITICAL team just won”
            Goat “Well, its not even your team”
            Rat “Duh, some rich guy owns it”

          2. Lobsterman

            There’s another model — the abuser parent and the enabler parent.

            It’s worth keeping as a background idea.

        2. johnnygl

          Re: your commentary on trump’s ‘collaspe’ being just around the corner for moderate dems.

          My favorite trope is the ‘look at what this really important person has to say to criticize trump’. As if the source bringing the same message matters SOOO much. When i see Romney trotted out or GW Bush as if these are respected, stately figures that will bring gravitas to the conversation, i’m always like….’i can’t stand person x, if they hate trump, too, well, then maybe trump’s actually awesome’.

          Then, i see what trump actually says and does and i regain my senses and remember how awful he is.

          1. Aumua

            This is something I just noticed today on FB. The usual anti-Trump memes that certain of my friends post suddenly have these names attached to them now. Mostly they are people I don’t know but presumably the names are important to somebody, and signify something. At least it’s not claiming to be from Einstein…

        3. neo-realist

          Michael Moore thought Fahrenheit 9/11 would knock Bush out of the white house, but ended up only getting the “choir” excited. Any pop culture happening that gets the democratic party off the hook of creating populist economic policies that grow their brand and alienating big donors is fair game.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The problem with Moore is he doesn’t propose any credible action on how to proceed. Jon Oliver, who seems to be less progressive lately, temporarily saved Net Neutrality he presented how to do it and offered a course of action and has done more for the country as an immigrant on HBO then a darling of the Democratic Party in the early 00’s.

            For all of “Fahrenheit 9/11″s fun, its not a call to action, and the Democrats were in the midst of nominating John Kerry who basically voted for every excess. “Reporting for Duty” was their Democratic elites answer. Kerry would have done a better job at the Iraq War. It would have been smarter and could have been discussed at brunch. George W. was supported by the ilk of Biden, Clinton, and Lieberman (Tim Kaine was a co-chair of Lieberman 2004; feel the bore). They could have made a better effort to stop Shrub. They were rewarded despite not being the opposition.

            Corey Booker in recent days has been a more progressive candidate because he desperately wants to be President. He use to just try wacky cameos such as playing the guitar on Parks and Rec, but when he was hammered relentlessly for voting against the prescription drug re importation act last year instead of relenting because he wasn’t the only Democrat and had a few sorry excuses, he saw his White House dreams vanish quickly. He’ll never be President, but punishment and the prospect of future rewards has led to him being more progressive including his tepid calls for Single Payer instead of a sorry “we’ll do ACA right this time.” Other Senators and electeds with profiles and ambitions have made similar decisions. If they want to be President, they need to be the left of Booker now. Paul Ryan and Trump don’t care if the people who didn’t vote for them “hate” them or “detest” them. Their power isn’t based on those votes.

            1. JBird

              …has done more for the country as an immigrant on HBO then a darling of the Democratic Party in the early 00’s.

              And that just makes me want to cry.

            2. Richard

              re Oliver – He’s pretty awful on Putin and russia, and has been so since 2016 by my accounting. Drank the koolaid pretty early. Also mocked and misrepresented Jill Stein that same year. I did appreciate the net neutrality segments, though.
              When political comics start to serve power (exhibit A – Bill Maher) it’s never pretty.

              1. Baby Gerald

                Oliver’s been terrible on Venezuela’s crisis, as well. Recently, most of what he says is tainted neoliberal anti-socialist rhetoric, but with a British accent so at least he sounds smart.

                1. alex morfesis

                  about john oliver…it would help to understand he has relatives in the nobility…perhaps not in the top 100 in line for the throne…but nobles none the less…Oliver aint Tennessee Earnie Ford…

    2. RepubAnon

      It’s a silly article, which could be summarized as “If Democrats promise never to filibuster a Republican nominee, they can preserve it for use by Republicans against Democratic nominees…”

      Once Republicans started filibustering judicial nominees on political grounds, it was only a matter of time before the filibuster was taken away as a tool of political warfare. For Republicans to blame Democrats for this is akin to the old Laurel and Hardy meme: “Now look what you made me do.”

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        If Democrats win Congress, people might expect progressive legislation. Team Blue put the narrative of “constitutional scholar” to good use under Obama, but the next generation of “acceptable” Democrats are at best third rate knock offs who won’t ever garner the celebrity following of HRC and Barack. The Democrats need a message to restore the filibuster in case this happens, so they can return to the rotating villain strategy. Oh, Mark Warner needs the heat taken off him this month. Sure, DiFi will betray everyone on issue. We’ll get Ben Nelson, Tester, and Cardin all to help out.

        Its overlooked, but who really makes decisions for the Democratic Party? Who gets the important jobs? Kids of donors, and people attached to politicians in line for senior positions which are usually very safe districts. When we approach their messaging/political operation? What is it really? Did you see the inbred Kennedy they tried to pimp a couple of months ago? The whole party is like that, and they select candidates and staff just like them. Don’t expect much out of the Democratic Party.

        1. Shane Mage

          Is the “Democratic Party” a political *party?* How can you call a memberless group a “party?” I would suggest that what we have is a “permanent faction” exemplary of what Madison & co. so dreaded.

          But not quite, because it is an *institution,* isn’t it, just as much a function of the ruling establishment as the presidency, courts, congress, etc.? “Ultra-Left” communists and libertarians have always opposed any radical confrontation by radicals in any of the institutions of the capitalist state and therefore oppose radical intervention in the institution called “Democratic Primary Elections.” But why do other lefters, quite ready to support no-chance candidates in all sorts of elections, denounce any form of support, however critical, for the social-democratic insurgent candidacy of Bernie Sanders in the institution called “Presidential Nominating Primary Election of the Democratic Party?”

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I believe it’s not always possible at all elections, but the so-called Democrats do not hesitate to run candidates of other parties, whenever necessary.

            I’m thinking of the recent news out of New York (perhaps the latest update is different).

  3. Wukchumni

    Photographing America’s armed educators Columbia Journalism Review
    I guess the question is, what happens when a teacher or student is accidentally killed on campus, on account of educators having hand cannons in the classroom?

    One frequently reads of some youngster that breathed his or her last, on account of guns @ home, why would it be any different in our schools.

      1. JBird

        It is a good photo op or quote maker, not a chance to actually do anything real. For them, whatever your position on guns, they just see it as a marketing opportunity.

    1. Aumua

      As far as I can tell, under a made up persona, he presented them with a made up program for arming school kids, and then recorded their responses. It’s pure genius.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Borat, Bruno, and Ali G were far more realistic than his Hans and Frans from Israel routine. These people really wanted to say this crazy stuff.

    2. Lord Koos

      A couple of these people (Sarah Palin was one) have been on the network “news” complaining how they got punked by Cohen. The whole bunch of them are such media whores that they only have their own egos to blame.

      I can only imagine what the rest of the world will think when they see the show.

      1. Aumua

        I did not see Sarah Palin on the show, maybe I missed her? Bernie Sanders just took the insanity right in stride and kept to his message, admirably. The kindergunner segment was absolutely devastating. I don’t see how he is going to be able to continue to remain undercover after this. People are going to be looking out now.

  4. Alex

    Speaking of recycling I definitely agree with the article’s message however what caught my eye was their claim that plastic bags can’t be recycled. Just checked the local rules (I’m in Israel now) and they say to throw plastic bags into bins for packaging/plastic. So who is correct?

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Another young techpreneur. I didn’t delve into processes but the point of the article is that many of them yield too little for too much expenditure of other kinds of energy.

        Alex, both in Chicago and where I now live in Orange County, NC, plastic bags are NOT allowed into recycling bins.

        A plastic bag in a bin renders all the genuinely recyclable stuff unusable cuz the contract states only the specified recyclables are acceptable, so since the recyclers are working for profit and not out of the goodness of their hearts, they will NOT handpick through a contaminated load.

        Where in Chicago the use of plastic bags by grocery stores was banned some years ago, here in NC stores still use them. I have an assortment of reusable bags in my car, both for stores and the farmer’s market. It is easy to do.

        I know in Orange County they do not recycle #1 plastic containers, which are the ubiquitous clear, thin clamshells which berries and single portion food items are packaged in. They do recycle #2,4,5–think thicker plastic like yoghurt containers, milk jugs, laundry soap, etc.

        1. fresno dan

          ChiGal in Carolina
          July 15, 2018 at 10:45 am

          I agree with you – here in Fresno CA its no grocery bags in the recycling. They used to have bins at the grocery stores for your grocery bags, but they don’t even have that anymore.
          They now have the much heavier plastic grocery bags and I reuse those. They say that can be reused 10 times, but I am at 50 or more times and they are still going strong.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      There is no ‘correct’ answer. Most plastic bags are made of polyethylene, which is recyclable if there are appropriate separation and processing facilities. This varies from locality to locality, country to country.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Something ate my longer reply to Alex, so I will just say that the “appropriate separation and processing” often doesn’t happen as advertised.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Perhaps someone will come up with a personal DIY recycling device for that one single product.

        In the meantime, I use them as trash bags, or to carry things that are wet but needed to be separated from things that need to stay dry.

        1. JTMcPhee

          And they are great for picking up dog crap. I wish my “neighbors” who walk their dogs over to my yard to dump their loads would “get” that. Before I go the next step, pop the poop in a paper sack, squirt lighter fluid on it, and set it afire on their front stoop before ringing the bell and running away (just kidding, I haven’t done or even thought about that since I was maybe 12…)

          1. perpetualWAR

            Just wondering….didnt you just have a fit about urban pets simply because of plastic use of dog waste? But now you advocate for its use???

          2. ambrit

            Imagine doing that with a ton of manure on the steps of Congress!
            “Terrorists Denounce “S—-y Congress!”
            “Yikes! What did I get on my hand made Italian leather loafers?”

      3. Chris

        In Australia, ‘soft plastic’, including plastic bags, can be recycled via a separate stream (take back to the supermarket, not kerbside bins). It ends up as faux timber (eg fencing and park benches).

      4. Richard

        Our recyclers here in seattle say they can be recycled if you stuff them all into each other and make a big “plastic bag ball”. So like, in groups of 50.
        They are pretty horrible, most facilities can’t handle them. This is one we need to stop at the source.

      5. Oregoncharles

        In my area, the stores are taking plastic bags for “recycling.” What they do with them then I do not know, but was told by the local disposal company that plastic film is actually the highest category, IF not contaminated.

        A couple of the local thrift stores take used bags for customers to use, if they’re clean; they don’t hand them out, just make them available in a large box. Pretty small potatoes, that, if a good example.

        What’s really needed is a system that uses the thermoplastics, which are the majority, to glue together an appropriate mass – whether waste paper, sawdust, or sand, to use in construction, paving, etc. There are systems like this – one is called Trex, and knockoffs. Somebody (in India?) is making pavers with it.

        There’s discussion about this around me as I type. Recycling is still an extremely primitive system. We fobbed it all off on the Chinese, at great energy expense, and now are paying the price. Sort of like our other industrial policies.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Recycling is still an extremely primitive system. We fobbed it all off on the Chinese, at great energy expense, and now are paying the price. Sort of like our other industrial policies.

          One wonders whether, besides whatever internal motivations they might have, shutting down out-of-country trash imports falls into the same category as slow-walking containers of vital $2.00 parts on the docks….

    2. Wukchumni

      Google “recycling china” on news, and you’ll be hit with a barrage of stories of American cities that don’t know what to do with the lion’s share of the recyclables they take in, now that China doesn’t want them anymore.

      We’re talking plastic everything, all glass and tin cans, etc.

      The only thing of desire is aluminum cans.

    3. octopii

      My local trash operator says not to put plastic wrap/wrappers or similar unstructured plastic in the recycling bin. It clogs the separation machines. If it crinkles we can recycle it.

  5. Gregorio

    Rodents have been eating engine wiring long before it was soy based. The best way to avoid it is to leave the hood open if you are storing a vehicle somewhere where rodents are likely to be a problem.

    1. Phacops

      Or, get a barn cat.

      After an engine fire caused by a rodent nest under the engine cowling a stray tom, about 3 years old, wandered on to our property. He immediately nailed a squirrel plaguing our bird feeder and has left mice and voles on our doorstep. We feed him, see to his vaccinations and preventative care, and right now he is napping as we watch Sunday Morning. He likes to be outdoors at night and has a little hut (with a warmer for the winter) that he can stay in.

      I haven’t caught a mouse in the garage since he arrived.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        you can also learn to tolerate rat snakes. They eat squirrels and mice and rats and other snakes(and the few chicken eggs they eat(usually in the high summer around here) can be considered a “nature tax”) Texas Rat Snakes even give off a musk that rattlesnakes are afraid of.(so if a rat snake lives under your house, it’s doubtful that there are any rattlesnakes under there.)

        1. DJG

          Amfortas: I am reminded of the Roman and Greek house snakes, which were welcome and common in antiquity. And rumor has it, are still welcome.

          I’m not sure if they are rat snakes, though.

      2. anonymous

        “A 2013 study by Scott R. Loss and others of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service suggested that free-ranging domestic cats (mostly unowned) are the top human-caused threat to wildlife in the United States, killing an estimated 1.3 to 4 billion birds and 6.3 to 22.3 billion mammals annually”

        Sadly, bird populations are in steep decline.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          aye. feral cats can be a scourge. I regularly thin them, since “fixing” them is costly, and requires catching them.
          We have periodic incursions of city-folk venturing down our dead end dirt road in the middle of nowhere to drop off their unwanted cats(and dogs, too).
          I keep an inside/outside cat, fixed and lazy…and allow the presence of a wild male and female that my cat seems to be friendly with.
          Mom’s next door is sometimes overrun…necessitating twice yearly thinning of the herd(i have advocated to no avail that she stop feeding all those strays)
          the local bird and squirrel population(to say nothing of snakes) seems unaffected by her herd of feral kitties…maybe if the birds started wearing catfood necklaces or something they might have issues. as it stands, her herd defines lazy.
          they are more of a threat to the lettuce beds than anything.

          1. jonboinAR

            Does your mother know that you shoot her kitties? Here where I live in rural Arkansas the main “crop” of “farmers” is chickens. These are grown in long, low barns called “chicken houses”. The chicken growers keep house cats around to control mice. I don’t know how well this works. In my experience there can be lots of cats AND mice around. One result, however, is that there are feral cats everywhere. I can’t imagine this can be good for the wild bird population, but have no data.

          2. newcatty

            Looking at using cats to control a mice or rat problem is a matter of personal perspective. We have indoor cats. Kept indoors because we feel about them with deep affection and want them to be companions in our lives. Outdoor cats often, even when “fixed” get into scrapes with other animals. I told my friend, who was adopted by a stray cat, and insisted that the cat had to be given his “freedom” to be outdoors as he was used to, that his vet must consider him to be one of his favorite clients. Lost track of how many times cat had to be stitched up and medicated with antibiotics over the years…Also, said cat has been protected by his guardian angel as to not being a snack for coyotes.Maybe, said cat is just as wiley and super smart as his human thinks he is. Said cat often leaves his dead birds, lizards and small rabbits on his home’s doorstep.

            Then there’s the story of an acquaintance in my former city who had a variety of animals as pets(think the chickens were for food(eggs) and the desert tortoise for bragging rights. They moved to a part of town known for pack rats. Hmmm…Well, lo and behold, a perfect solution to their nuisance. What synchronicity! Right when they moved into new house in the foothills, the local humane society had so many kittens and cats they gave them away! Our pet lovers went and graciously adopted a young female. What a deal, too! The cat was already spayed, all shots provided for and vet checked for any illness. New owner happily told me how cat was earning her keep. I walked away with some excuse to keep my mouth shut.

    2. crittermom

      A solution that has worked for me regarding critters eating car wiring is to use a solar light.
      The critters don’t like light, preferring dark spaces.

      When living rurally I used a $10 solar spotlight which I stuck in the ground & charged during the daylight, putting it under my car at night to illuminate the area under the engine, keeping them away. No need to even raise the hood.

      Cheap fix that works!

      1. Wukchumni

        Most people that park their car @ the trailheads in Mineral King where the Marmot Cong lie in wait, tend to do the car burrito in that the jalopies are all wrapped up in a large tarp like so many ersatz xmas presents, but all you really need to do is keep the hood raised while you are out on a dayhike or backpack trip.

        It’s a lot easier than having to lay out a 24 x 20 foot trap on the ground and then drive over it, and secure it by running cord through the grommets. It takes about 15 minutes to accomplish and then about 10 minutes to take it all apart when you’re ready to leave.

  6. FreeMarketApologist

    Re Kylie Jenner:

    Some telling quotes:

    Steered by their mother, Kris, each scion had a moneymaking scheme, from mobile gaming (Kim) to modeling (Kendall) and even socks (Rob), but the teenage Jenner felt adrift.


    This is where Mom comes in again. As with all the Kardashian-Jenners’ ventures, Kris Jenner tends to drive the big moves.

    The fact that mom extracts a 10% commission from her kids’ ventures is the ka-ching of this story. There’s not much originality here: Kylie isn’t inventing new things (product dev. is outsourced) and the family is willing to exploit each other and social media to rake it in.

    At least Estee Lauder and Helena Rubenstein had actual laboratories to research their snake oil.

    1. a different chris

      It also skims the “how is she a near-billionaire” question:

      >has sold more than $630 million worth of makeup since, including an estimated $330 million in 2017.

      >Forbes values her company, which has since added other cosmetics like eye shadow and concealer, at nearly $800 million.

      So what did she have to spend to deliver $960 million worth of makeup? And, not her fault, how is a company worth more than the sum total of every dime of revenue? Revenue, not profits. Was this always true or did I miss something? What was GM worth in, say, 1965?

      I’m going to go borrow one billion dollars to buy bread, and then sell it for one billion dollars, and thus will be a billionaire. Right?

      1. J Sterling

        Skynet ate my comment. A company is valued on imagined future revenue, not revenue to date, just as a new house is valued on imagined future rent, not rent to date.

    2. Lobsterman

      There’s also no institution-building. Jenner’s “company” barely exists, and the idea that she “owns” anything, other than her personal brand, is laughable.

      I mean, good for her for making money off social media to set herself up for life. That’s a good place to be. But as soon as she resigns, the company disappears. That’s not a $900 milion empire.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My guess is, somewhere in there, people are encouraged to consume more, so there can be a new billionaire (or a nine-hundred-millionaire) in this world.

      “If you can get people to consume more, you will be very, very rich.”

      When we don’t do anything on the front end, we can only do much on the back end (recycle, ban, reuse, etc) on a Sisyphean task.

    4. Pat

      The think the thing that says it all is that mom’s apparent first reaction to Her daughter becoming an internet porn sensation for a sex tape with an abusive rapper was to negotiate a deal with Playboy and set the family up to be reality stars. Marketing is all.
      Mind you she is now saying that it was a trial that brought her family together perhaps because there is now a book that claims Kris leaked the tape herself.

      Few things have made me despair about America more than the fact these useless parasites have been so successful.

      1. Enquiring Mind

        If Robert Kardashian had not been on the OJ Simpson legal team, would anyone have ever heard about all those K people? Think of a butterfly flapping its wings in Brentwood and the ensuing chaos.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think of one’s attention as as form of ‘qi.,’ or ‘chi’ (the old spelling)…some kind of vital force within.

          When you ‘pay’ (to buy something?) attention, you exhaust some of your ‘qi.’

          Celebrities, in that sense, can only exist on your depleting your own qi…sucking away your attention, which you ‘pay’ (to buy what, I don’t know).

          So, we can ask this question: Why do we, the mopes, continue to make them,why do we continue to create, in the first place?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            In fact, when you turn your eyes away from a celebrity, he/she is one no more.

            That’s how powerful you are – you can make one go away, vanish (render one a nobody) by doing something that simple.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                The Norman Vincent Peale joke is brilliant. I just now got it after all these years.

                1. Wukchumni

                  “Well, speaking as a Christian, I would like to say that I find the Apostle Paul appealing and the Apostle Peale appalling.”

                  Adlai Stevenson

                  Opening sentence of remarks to a Baptist convention in Texas during 1952 Presidential campaign. In his introduction the host had said that Stevenson had been asked to speak “just as a courtesy, because Dr. Norman Vincent Peale has already instructed us to vote for your opponent.”

        2. johnnygl

          I feel like there’s a kind of zero-sum space for vacuous celebs to fill. If not for the kardashians…maybe paris hilton would still be relevant?

          Someone’s gotta capture that niche market, until the next celeb(s) take up that media space from them.

            1. ambrit

              “Vacuous celebrities” don’t have the wherewithal to go about blowing up entire countries.
              Now, if you are suggesting that the POTUS is a “niche market,” well, that idea goes way back.

          1. Chris

            “…maybe paris hilton would still be relevant?”

            …for some meaning of ‘relevant’.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Wasn’t her problem the loss of her co-star? There are multiple Kardassians. When one becomes boring, they can switch out. There is Kendall, Chloe, Garak, and Kim. Even now Gul Dukat is consolidating power.

    5. Summer

      There’s a connection between the future of celebrity and mainstream entertainers and the complaint of the interns in DC who are seeking pay.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Maybe we need a combination of Norman Rockwell and George Grosz?

            Back in the day, we had Ralph Steadman, but I don’t think Steadman’s style is sufficient to capture the decay.

            1. ambrit

              “Fear and Loathing in Hollywood” or “Self Promotion Babylon.”
              Perhaps someone could ‘channel’ the spirit of Hieronymus Bosch and do a Triptych. “The Garden of Franchised Delights.”
              Any combination of Rockwell and Grosz would be a quintessential “Outsider” artist.

  7. David May

    Re: Photographing America’s Armed Educators

    I find the framing used in this quote very interesting:

    “Do I like being in a situation where we have to even consider being guardians of our kids, that the world has come to this? Absolutely not,” Jeff Harvey, superintendent of Texas’ Fayetteville Independent School District, told me during an interview. “It’s a disgrace that humanity is at this level. But I also know that I am going to treat these kids like they are my own. And that means we are going to protect them like they are our own.”

    “It’s a disgrace that humanity is at this level”? No. It’s a disgrace that America is at this level. This is not an issue in the civilized world where people put their children’s safety before the profits of weapons manufacturers.

    1. Wukchumni

      When no real effective laws in regard to hand cannons were enacted after the deaths of 20 kids barely out of toddlerhood @ Sandy Hook, we lost our humanity right then and there.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You have to protect children…from all dangers…bullying, smoking (tobacco, marijuana), drinking, predatory teachers, etc.

      Here and elsewhere…for the latter, particularly when they are menaced by weapons (drones, bombs, etc) supplied by our weapons manufacturers.

      1. JTMcPhee

        “Protect the children” up to and including teenagers, mostly from other children up to and including teenagers, is that statistically accurate when it comes to all these notorious mass shootings and planned mayhem in the school setting?

        The “profile,” which ought to give some hints as to what to do to avoid such behavior:

        The numbers:

        And of course “protect the children” only applies to Our Tribe — I see where Our Imperial Geniuses have just conducted an “air strike” that killed 54 people, at least 28 of which were “civilians standing too close to jihadists,” near Abu Kamal in Syria, a sovereign nation but for a little fiddling by Our Forces and Allies and such:

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          What is less gory is not necessarily less damaging (or more confined), short term or long term.

          Protection seems to more and more necessary…guards would be more re-assuring at a rock concert or a rave party.

          And they have guards at the White House….are the mopes any less important, not deserving protection?

          1. JTMcPhee

            Yes,, having armed guards standing around every school in the country is just a great idea. It will be really reassuring, since parents and kids can be assured that the vetting process that still lets any number of pedophiles and other abusers, both male and female, into positions of authority as teachers and school employees, will weed out all the perverted and authoritarian types so that none might use their imposing “I got a gun” status to have one over on the kids. Some of which children, let us remember, thanks to the culture and their home lives and their innate natures, will despite all the “comforting” efforts of us older folks, become the Eric Harrises and Dylan Klebolds of the future.

            And of course “stationing guards” will train up generations of mopes who are inured to being constantly under watch, nominally to “protect” them but c’mon, we already live in a “security state” where you have to remove your belt and shoes and do not dare resist when a cop tells you to step out of the car or GET DOWN ON THE GROUND!!!

            “They have guards at the White House.” Which is equivalent just how, to schools all over the country? White House and Congress and Supreme Court guards are there to protect powerful people from the potential unhappiness of the people they rule.

            Shootings take place in offices, and at golf courses, and movie theaters, and of course in our national gathering rooms called “Walmart.” Don’t the mopes who frequent those places deserve as much nominal protection as the denizens of that den of imperial iniquity?

            And I do believe those rock concerts usually do have guards, just like around here there are off-duty cops, and in the case of St. Pete, FL even on-duty extra-pay, drawing money to be ready to draw their guns while bulling people around in lines and as they traffic jam the streets around venues.

            So let’s just arm everyone, man, woman, child (there are nice little .32 cal 6 and 7 shot semi-auto pistols that will fit easily in a kid’s pocket or backpack, like this 6.9 ouncer, open carry (with the implicit assumption that “an armed society is a polite society”) and make sure they have an hour or two of youtube instruction, or for another ka-ching! a mandated course in “guarding” from other gun-men, in how to load and point their pieces, in the belief that there will be “good guys – and of course gals, – with guns” right on hand whenever some kid or other mope runs amok and starts shooting people. In other cultures, where the notion of “amok” was birthed, the “amoker” is often or usually killed by other people in the street, so hell, there’s precedent for the approach, and we seem to be having more and more amokers here in the US of A as the neoliberal infestation runs its course and anomie builds. A fun excursion down the Wiki Wormhole into the phenomenon of Amok, and its relative “beramok:”

            There were cops and guards and people with guns in Las Vegas, I recall, and other mass-shooting venues. And at that FL school shooting where the cops declined to throw life on the line for the little children. And I recall a number of incidents where the guards at the WH did not keep bad people or unhappy citizens from demonstrating their dissatisfaction:

            Short- or long-term, so far at least, we are all dead anyway…

              1. ambrit

                Is that what ‘they’ mean by ‘Inside the Beltway’ versus ‘Flyopen Country?’

              2. Whoa Molly!

                Re: Armed society is a polite society

                Every time I hear that my first thought is, “Like Mogadishu?”

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Since the Stone Age, societies have been mostly armed (with stones, in the beginning).

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              In any age, people could walk up to the president and shake hands.

              But that would be like going back to 1850, which Hillary has warned we could be in danger of.

              Can you afford not to listen to her?

              1. The Rev Kev

                Teddy Roosevelt shook hands with ordinary people in front of the White House and that was only about a century ago.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  And that could be very demanding. From Wikipedia on president Harrison:

                  On March 26, 1841, Harrison became ill with a cold—according to the prevailing medical misconception of that time, his illness was believed to be caused by the bad weather at his inauguration, but the illness did not arise until more than three weeks afterwards.[110] Harrison tried to rest in the White House, but could not find a quiet room because of the steady crowd of office seekers. His extremely busy social schedule also made rest time scarce.[96]

                  Shaking all those hands in the cold.

            2. JTMcPhee

              I hope folks did not get the idea that I was recommending any of this, especially the quote from Robert Heinlen about a “polite society.” That nice libertarian BS.

              And there are lots of places where people carry weapons, where violence is part of the culture. Places like the more rustic areas of Notagainistan and neighboring parts of of “Pakistan.” What do they call them, the Northwest Territories? But there, in tribal Pashto land, there’s a culture of pride and vengeance keeps the violence within the ethical bounds of what people there accept and have lived with for what, centuries, long enough to kick multiple empires out of the neighborhood. Even kids there know how to use guns, in a very effective way — squad tactics, maneuver and fire, ambush, sniping, IED placement, infiltration, the whole 9 yards.

              So let’s do like those folks Sasha trolled, and we too can go back to the violent days of yore, the Wild West where cowboys and bad boys ambushed and back-shot each other, range wars, water wars, all that jazz…/s

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Polite society or high society.

                Members of the latter usually* were not armed when they met.

                *private duels were arranged separately, and quietly without disturbing others too much.

                1. JTMcPhee

                  Not armed? Sword canes, knobkerries, dirks and daggers of all sorts, and every kind of quaint pistol once the gunmakers advanced to significant production. Ladies had hat pins that were little epees. Remember the Montagus and the Capulets? Every swagger boy carried a sword and dagger at least.

                  Not talking about just the Wild American West or Andrew Jackson’s hill country or Alexander Hamilton’s New York. High Society has carried arms (and armor) since when clubs and stone shivs were all the rage. Quality weapons to protect oneself against the rabble or avenge some high social slight have always been expensive and the province of the special ruling classes. There’s a great collection at the Art Institute in Chicago, used to be a private collection of the Harding Museum, which the guy who married Harding’s daughter became trustee of said collection, then started selling it off and keeping the proceeds — defended, when finally sued by the State of Illinois for violations of the since demolished Charitable Trusts Act, by the then “dean of the Chicago bar,” a senior and name partner from one of the since gobbled Big White Shoe Law Firms. Courts did intervene, so the Art Institute got what was left over of the collection. Corruption everywhere. And looks a bit like we are headed back to a “state of nature,” a la Leviathan…

    3. Amfortas the Hippie

      My wife is a teacher, in this small Texas hill country place.
      so i get an inside view of all this.
      they put new locks on all the doors a few years ago, and have regular “active shooter drills”(echoes of the cold war under the desk operant conditioning). The teachers are starting to keep water and snacks specifically for a potential siege…as well as rocks and such in the window sills and book shelves to have the kids throw at a would be attacker.
      My wife has asked for one of the beaten up aluminum bats that got left in my truck from our move 3 years ago(I’ve kept them for personal irony’s sake: i remember rednecks with bats in beat up trucks chasing my long haired a$$, back in the day).
      Over the last few years, there’s been 3 incidents of crazy people(estranged and unmedicated parents, all) attempting to sneak onto school grounds…all were caught immediately….
      but it is still rather easy for anyone to wander into the school. Here, at least, we’re small enough that everyone knows everybody…and that’s a big deal, it turns out. when I have to actually go into the school for some reason, no matter the time of day, the halls are never empty. someone will always ask me how I am, and it is these folks who are the alarm bells, for better or worse.
      and, missing in most of the public argument about all this is any consideration of causation…like economics and deleterious homelife and the whole culture of manly men waving guns(and bats) around.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It used to be that anyone could just walk up to the waiting area of an airport terminal…back in the 50’s, 60’s and even ’70’s.

        Now, you have armed guards and detectors everywhere.

        More than that, you are expected to be searched and maybe patted down.

        Children, fecund girls, virile men, seniors.

        That’s what the world is today.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          aye, and plug in the Daily Yonder article, re: cultural exchange between little towns in Massachusetts, and Kentucky.
          While I think it’s a wonderful idea, and would probably host an “exchange student” from the big city, it points to the divisions…almost all based on our mediated islands and the total disconnect from one another, fomented cynically by both parties, and the corporate wurlitzer of divide and befuddle…as well as, it turns out, inherent in the way we do “social media”(sadly ironic).

          1. Lobsterman

            Just make sure the exchange student is lily white, just like the Daily Yonder’s readership and all of its participants.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            During Mao’s Cultural Revolution, reactionaries were sent to the countryside, ‘to learn from the peasants.’

            Was there also (already?) a gap between big city dwellers and their own ‘Deplorables?’

            1. ambrit

              That gap has always been there in one form or another. Tax collectors despoiling rural villages for the urban Temple priests back in the days of Gilgamesh of Uruk are an example of that sort of divide.

        2. JBird

          Remember the War on (Some) Drugs? Let’s take it from there.

          In 2000 a single simple metal detector and one guard with the total time from taxi to plane as less than fifteen minutes in NYC. LaGuardia I believe.

          Then 9/11

          The murder rate, as well as crime in general, has been decreasing for over twenty years. The terrorism of 9/11 could have been prevented with lockable cockpit doors or better informed passengers.

          Aside from the increasing police violence, the only real violence comes from gang conflicts, and the mentally or emotionally messed up. You know, the disposable people, who themselves feel hopeless and fearful because no one seems to speak for them. Not the police, and mostly not the government at any level. So suicides, drug use, and personal acts of vengeance often with guns.

          All the “security” measures, the police in schools, the lock-downs, the zero tolerance policies, the gun units, frisk and search, the TSA airport nightmare, even the screaming over the gunz have done nothing, just nothing to make us safer. The courthouses, police stations, city/county offices that I have gone to, (But not the DMVs or the welfare offices, which is interesting.) has been forted up. It has created a school-to-prison-pipe-line, increased the fear, anger, time, effort, and expense to deal with the government, go to school, or just go anywhere, but not made us any safer. It has also been a nice jobs program done neoliberal style.

          The causes for the increasing mass shootings, and the still extant murders, and the increasing suicides, as well as the possibility of terrorism and all the “security” measures have done is to support the increase in mass shootings, slow the decrease in the murder rate, and increase the suicide rate. Even the supposed efforts to protect school just increases the fear, the anguish, and the desire, Heck, the need to something to Keep The Children Safe! is doing nothing but making them less safe.

          Fifty, even forty years ago some schools had shooting classes, and students could carry their rifles to school. Twenty years ago you could just about walk onto your plane in minutes with very minimal hassle. Twenty years ago there was virtually no security at the court house, the government offices. Heck, there were no such things as school police especially in grade school, or high school. Now it’s accepted. The Fourth Amendment is virtually dead and the police, and the whole security state, have ever broader authority and immunity. Endless chatter about the gunz, or Russia, or whatever. Oh, and endless wars, everywhere to keep us all safe.

          Along with the increasing poverty, corruption, incompetence, and cruelty.

          Do you feel safer? More importantly, are you safer?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I just came back from the local market, and there was a guard there (he was friendly..chatted with my 87 yr. old mother).

      2. Lambert Strether

        > Reguular “active shooter drills”(echoes of the cold war under the desk operant conditioning). The teachers are starting to keep water and snacks specifically for a potential siege…as well as rocks and such in the window sills and book shelves to have the kids throw at a would be attacker.

        Today’s version of Civics 101?

      3. newcatty

        I had an interesting experience in an elementary school when teaching a third grade class. I was new to the school and was teaching this class as a substitute. It was a lovely spring morning and the windows coverings were open to the lovely desert landscape and hill’s view. I was leading the kids in a lively discussion of their reading assignment. It was a nice and relaxed vibe in the classroom. All of a sudden the principal announced a code to the entire school over the sound system in a soft and, yet, urgent voice. No one had clued me in to code’s meaning. I just was thinking I wanted to ask pod mate teacher what was happening, when breathlessly came into our room and whisked me into the shared pod office. She said, I can’t take long to tell you, my kids are alone in my room. She could see into her classroom through window in door from office. She whispered in my ear: We are in lockdown. Go close all window coverings. First lock your door! Turn out all lights and have kids sit on floor next to their desks. Only speak to them in hushed vice. They need to be quiet! I thought what is going on! Did as told… Kids were nervous, but did the same. We sat there for about an hour in the eire semi-darkness. I quietly told a story as they sat there in fear or some shock. Finally an announcement. Code whatever. Pod mate teacher , in a few minutes, came in and said its over. Everything is OK. What was it? Someone saw a mountain lion outside by the school grounds. Breathed again. This was before Colorado school “mass shooting “.
        Wonder what its like at this school now. If a mountain lion sighted near grounds warranted a lock down, what is like now for security? If anyone had handed me any type of gun, I would have refused to take it. It’s indeed a disgrace for humanity to be at this level. Here or when children are hurt or killed in senseless and evil wars, “conflicts” or “occupations”.

  8. QuarterBack

    Re the WIRED article on calls for facial recognition ethics, I believe it is long overdue that we begin to seriously study and debate the benefits versus dangers of these increasingly powerful technologies. Color me cynical but, I would caveat (to paraphrase Homer) ”Beware of megacorps bearing regulations”. We should be mindful that an alternative plausible motive could be that MS is finding itself behind in its development capabilities for these technologies, and is just using its lobbyists to slow down the competition. If this is true, they are probably ramping up investment significantly into R&D in this area, while at the same time calling for the marketplace to “slow down”. Once they reacch a point where they believe that they have sufficiently caught up, you may see these same lobbyists sending out the “all clear” signal, congratulating everyone on the achievement, then calling for “full steam ahead”.

      1. perpetualWAR

        Housing prices have gone up due to supply/demand. 19 million Americans lost their home during the downturn. Those 19 million former homeowners became renters. Their former homes were purchased by banker buddies (Blackrock) who jacked up rent.

        So, the rent crisis and housing unaffordability grew out of the housing crisis. No one strung up the bankers, what did anyone expect?

        1. CalypsoFacto

          I’ve lived on the west coast (Seattle and now Portland) since 2005, so I’ve seen both housing bubbles and their impact on the local populations up close. I feel like the foreclosures bought by bankers doesn’t tell the whole story of supply and demand, not just in the ‘hot’ markets I’ve witnessed but even uncool places like Tulsa Oklahoma. No offense Tulsa I think you’re cool in spirit but I don’t see masses of hip kids vacationing and moving there as in Portland. Yet now we know that not a single county in the states has market rent range affordable for a person making minimum wage. Air BnB and to a lesser extent VRBO may be part of it, and in other big cities and major college towns there is probably an element of Chinese capital flight that contributes.

          What I think may also be contributing are the sheer number of individuals and small investor groups, like Ben Carson or Sean Hannity or even one of the instructors at my gym, who are buying fixers, running them through the generic ugly cheap HGTV renovation cycle, and turning them into rental income streams. Housing Bubble I wasn’t that long ago, so I don’t hear about flipping so much. It seems like getting in on the landlord game is a LOT of people’s fallback… investment… even major income or career?

          Meanwhile I’d like to buy but am unwilling to pay inflated prices so I’ve been sitting out now for a few years, wondering where this will end up. What if AirBnB is regulated, or limits are placed on number of units an individual or LLC can own in a given market? Is anyone even thinking about LLC regulation in regards to the housing crises? All I ever hear is ‘moar density’ which, ok sure, but Seattle now has tens of thousands of new units online and zero reduction in the homeless problems or running rent/housing costs. Portland is screeching for ‘moar groaf!’ and somehow a regional city known for its boom/bust cycles and patchy employment and tax incomes due to the same, has hit housing costs in the range of 1900+ for a 2 bdr apartment in one of those areas targeted for redevelopment. Is it any wonder the vast majority of Portland’s foodie culture is run out of carts and trailers? How else is a historically low income/thin margin + extremely critical to Portland’s hipster lifestyle tourism economy going to manage? Easy up, easy down.

          1. neo-realist

            Seattle resident here – I do scratch my head at how the portland area sustains such high rents and even high home costs in the suburban areas (many Lake Oswego homes going for 500K to a Million plus) in spite of the area’s lack of corporate largess and lack of high earning corporate professional jobs, unlike Seattle? Trustfunders? A hideout for entertainers?

            1. CalypsoFacto

              well, aside from my theory that a significant amount of the lower- and mid-range housing stock is being held by small-to-medium-landlords (SMLs) as income stream via short and long term rentals, and this has allowed the remaining mid- to higher quality stock to be bid up into bubble territory by the usual class of villains (itinerant remote tech worker salaries, california refugees looking for a deal, chinese capital flight), ran a really good series on this a while back with their own theory (poor zoning, in a nutshell).

              1. Oregoncharles

                I think I can confirm your theory about small-to-midsize landlords; it’s the only way to get a decent income from a smallish investment, if you aren’t one of the big boys.

                If people are living on the income, they’re under a lot of pressure to keep the rents as high as they can – though driving out tenants is also expensive.

                1. CalypsoFacto

                  I didn’t think of people living on the income contributing to the rent rises remaining sticky, but it definitely makes sense when said and reflects what I see here in Portland. Housing costs are extremely out of step with prevailing wages, full stop.

                  I mentioned the ‘lifestyle destination tourism’ of Portland’s cool-person appeal earlier because I think that, like Nashville’s ‘bach party’ economy, Portland’s ‘natural’ economy is actually sort of weak and if being a landlord is one of the only ways to secure a regular income, it’s important to keep people in the units – short term or long term. So those who can’t afford to survive on their meagre food cart wages after doubling or tripling up on roommates move out, and their units are rented on the weekends only so visitors can take ig posts eating at those same food carts, and the landlord still gets paid. Probably whole swathes of ‘cool Portland’ housing is empty more than half the time for that very reason.

                  Meanwhile more and more cheap sh!t ‘luxury’ towers go up. Too bad we’ll have to wait until the local economy craters before the rents on those will come down low enough to make an appreciable dent in the housing and homeless crises.

          2. Kurtismayfield

            I bet you the problem is local town boards in the suburbs. Here in New England, the suburbs keep a tight lock on new construction. It is either high end or senior housing, because new families = more students = more costs. Some of them may be so powerful that they will choke their school system of students before they will let more affordable housing stock be built.

  9. pretzelattack

    i haven’t read lawfare before, but some of the statements in that article made my head spin.

    But, to be clear, Mueller was not trying to make a press statement. We know that not merely because that’s not the way Mueller operates but also because Rosenstein said specifically at his press conference that he had briefed the president on the matter before Trump left town.

    that’s not the way mueller operates???

    Put less delicately: Rosenstein has informed the president, and the world, before Trump talks to Putin one-on-one that his own Justice Department is prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, in public, using admissible evidence, that the president of the Russian Federation has been lying to Trump about Russian non-involvement in the 2016 election hacking.

    no, rosenstein has asserted to the president that the justice department is prepared to prove this. indicting a bunch of russians over which the u.s. does not have jurisdiction likely means they will never have to prove anything. which brings us back to seeing the indictment as a press release.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      One of the authors of the blog is a pal of Comey’s; he’s the guy through whom Comey leaked around the time he was fired.

      1. integer

        Benjamin Wittes, to whom you’re referring, is one of the founders of Lawfare blog, and its editor-in-chief. Lawfare blog is funded by Brookings Institute, where BW is a senior fellow. BW’s wife, Tamara Wittes, is also a senior fellow at Brookings, and works in its Center for Middle East Policy, which IIRC, used to be known as the Haim Saban Center for Middle East Policy. TW was a guest speaker at the most recent AIPAC conference.

    1. John k

      Would love to see her backside.
      Very encouraging, earlier vote only gave him a plurality.
      Progressives are winning some of the battles against the two party of neolib warmongers.

  10. Lorenzo

    I would’ve thought there would have been a link and/or discussion on the violent rioting that’s taken place in Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland by now, but I’ve checked and found none.

    ‘On Tuesday, police said dissident republicans were responsible for automatic gunfire directed at officers.’

    ‘DUP leader and former first minister Arlene Foster said: “Really disturbing scenes last night in Londonderry. Someone will be killed if this continues.” ‘

    ‘Six people were arrested, at least one for attempted murder.

    Seventy-five petrol bombs and two improvised explosive devices were thrown at officers during the sixth consecutive night of violence. ‘

    Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion said “sinister elements” were spurring on and controlling the violence. “This has gone beyond recreational rioting, this is disgraceful and those involved in it and indeed those behind the scenes stirring up this type of activity, need to catch themselves on.”

    just at the start of the video that heads the article it can be seen a man hurling, at point-blank range, a petrol bomb at the windscreen of a van passing by. I hope I’m being irrational by using this event in my projection of what’s coming March 2019. As far as I know we have at least some Irish and English in the comentariat? What do you make of this?

  11. flora

    Russian indictment kayfab:

    The DNC did not call the FBI to investigate, they hired a private security business – Crowd Strike. Much of the “evidence” in the case comes from CrowdStrike, not the FBI.

    The evidence is likely never to be seen. The reasons are laid out in this Consortium News article.

    Other apparent sources for information in the indictment are intelligence agencies, which normally create hurdles in a criminal prosecution.

    “In this indictment there is detail after detail whose only source could be intelligence, yet you don’t use intelligence in documents like this because if these defendants decide to challenge this in court, it opens the U.S. to having to expose sources and methods,” Johnson said.

    If the U.S. invoked the states secret privilege so that classified evidence could not be revealed in court a conviction before a civilian jury would be jeopardized.

    Such a trial is extremely unlikely however. That makes the indictment essentially a political and not a legal document because it is almost inconceivable that the U.S. government will have to present any evidence in court to back up its charges. This is simply because of the extreme unlikelihood that arrests of Russians living in Russia will ever be made.

    In this way it is similar to the indictment earlier this year of the Internet Research Agency of St. Petersburg, Russia, a private click bait company that was alleged to have interfered in the 2016 election by buying social media ads and staging political rallies for both Clinton and Trump. It seemed that no evidence would ever have to back up the indictment because there would never be arrests in the case.
    But Special Counsel Robert Mueller was stunned when lawyers for the internet company showed up in Washington demanding discovery in the case. That caused Mueller to scramble and demand a delay in the first hearing, which was rejected by a federal judge. Mueller is now battling to keep so-called sensitive material out of court.

    What would happen if peopled named in this indictment show up this time demanding discovery?

      1. Carolinian

        No I’ve had this discussion with my brother–who actually watches Maddow–and he says my wistful hopes for a Maddow head explosion will never come to pass because for her it’s all about “made you look” and they can always come up with some other stuff the next day. Trump and Putin = evil is a priori. Details are negotiable.

      2. Amfortas the Hippie

        how could we know,lol?
        that’s become her whole schtick.
        to Flora’s query(what would happen), some pretense would be quickly found to remove any such Discovery from public scrutiny.
        I am more than weary of the whole Russia! thing…so many assumptions remain unexamined…and when they are examined, such examination is considered proof of russian collusion or bot-hood and dismissed.
        it’s in many ways worse than the original McCarthyism, inasmuch as the truth will never out, and the various mudsplattered official lenses, while ostensibly both being after Truth, do more to obfuscate than anything.
        it’s a hermetically sealed world, with two big interconnected bubbles…neither with any connection to the world outside.
        it’s made all my former democratic/progressive online haunts unpleasant and worthless…”good democrats” are now expected to defend the fbi, the cia, the wto and nato. It’s disgusting and discouraging.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Do they have to show up?

      What if they just hired lawyers to represent them and demanded a trial in absentia? Does a defendant actually have to be present?

      1. ChrisPacific

        That’s what one of the private companies in the earlier indictment is doing (see the Moon of Alabama link). Try Googling it (the company name is Concord – that and Mueller should get you started). It’s all quite amusing. Here is a relatively up to date summary:

        I’m not entirely clear on what would prevent one of the latest 12 from pulling the same trick, even though the article seems to suggest they won’t.

      1. fresno dan

        July 15, 2018 at 11:52 am

        Thanks for the link – I enjoyed it.
        There seems to be this idea that if we only had the indicted Russians show up for a trial, the trail would expose the truth to everyone.
        But I do not share the idea that our judiciary is so objective that it is the final arbitrator of truth or that a trail is some mechanism that is superior to other mechanisms for getting at the truth. I have read too many accounts of police misconduct where there is OVERWHELMING evidence of police criminality, but no convictions. Trials are often no more than bias confirmation exercises.
        The problem wasn’t McCarthy – it was all the people who believed McCarthy….

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Putin could make one of them a diplomat who then can show up enjoying diplomatic immunity (assuming that would cover past actions).

    3. Montanamaven

      Mark F. McCarty breaks down the fallacies in these latest indictments. I found this quote worth repeating

      It gets better: the founder and CEO of Crowdstrike, Shawn Henry, was once Robert Mueller’s deputy for counterintelligence at the FBI. You couldn’t make this stuff up!

      And this:

      A high proportion of the most incriminating DNC emails released by Assange were written AFTER Crowdstrike claimed to be providing protection to their system. So either Crowdstrike’s efforts to protect the DNC were a total screw-up — in which case why should we trust their judgment on cyberissues?- or the emails were LEAKED, NOT HACKED. Which is precisely what Craig Murray and Kim Dotcom have been claiming.

      markfmccarty/mueller new indictments- do they take us for idiots
      He refers readers to Adam Carter’s more detailed takedown of these indictments at

      1. Bill Smith

        In Donna Brazile book she relates how the DNC – after being told by Cloudstrike that they where being hacked – decided not to do anything about it until after the primaries ended as they thought the disruption that would occur would in taking down the network to scrub it would not be worth it.

      2. Lambert Strether

        And Dmitri Alperovitch, Crowdstrike co-founder and CTO, is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council (here; here; here).

        Yes, if I wanted to privatize some evidence for the later use of the FBI in a national security investigations, these are totes the guys I’d use…

    4. Procopius

      One has. Concord Management has sent their lawyers who are demanding to appear before the arraigning judge. Of course major media will never report on this, but I gather National Observer has and I found a few fragments through google. It seems the DoJ arranged for an arraignment, I think on 8 July. A few days beforehand, lawyers for Concord Management notified the clerk that they would be appearing, so he could schedule a time for them. The DoJ prosecutors were flabbergasted. They never expected anyone to show up. Now they’re begging the judge to grant them some very long delays in disclosure. They say that disclosing the material they intended to present at trial would allow the defendant to learn about “standard investigative techniques,” which are not classified but nevertheless should be treated as state secrets. I wish someone like Axios or The Intercept would put a little effort into reporting on this. Material in the second indictment looks like being far more sensitive.

  12. Wukchumni

    Crowds exhibit a docile respect for force, And are but slightly impressed by kindness, Which for them is scarcely other than a form of weakness. Their sympathies have never been bestowed upon easy going masters, but the tyrants who vigorously oppressed them. It is to these latter that they always erect the loftiest statues. It is true that they willingly trample on the despot whom they have stripped of his power, but it is because having lost his power he resumes his place among the feeble who are to be despised because they are not to be feared. The type of hero dear to a crowd will always have the semblance of a Caesar, His insignia attract them, His authority overawes them, and his sword instills them with fear.

    From “The Crowd” (1896) by Gustav Le Bon

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    A British caver who helped in the Thai cave rescue said Elon Musk ‘can stick his submarine where it hurts’ Business Insider

    Is it important that caver was British?

    It’s good to know he/she was not Thai, that the Thais were still not as good?

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I agree with HotFlash — On reading the headline I immediately concluded that Thais are much more polite than that.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            To me, it would not subtract anything to say, ‘A caver who helped in…’

            The nationality is not important (it could be another nation other than the polite Thai, for example, an American, an Australian, a Japanese, etc).

            In fact, removing it enhances the universality of the outrage.

        2. rowlf

          Thais can say that but you don’t want to be around when they get mad enough to.

          I wonder how many in Thailand are convinced Musk will come back as a pig bung for the next thousand rebirths?

          1. inode_buddha

            Nah. He’ll come back as a submarine and promptly get shoved up where it hurts. Probably the urethra.

            1. newcatty

              Coming soon to new Netflix “original programming “: a new series called Sub Shift. A thrilling narrative of a sub crew cross trained to be a mash unit while out to duty on the seas. The crew’s brains are meshed with the Sub’s computer AI. First episode is the surgeon on crew having to deal with a mysterious outbreak of resistant urinary track infections.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s important because it demonstrates the Thai government sought out advice from everywhere. So Musk can’t say, the Thai wanted to have national heroes instead of the greatest inventor. He launched a car into space for reasons! I saw the Musk episode of “HD Simpsons.” It was a gross infomercial for Musk.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It makes that seem like only the British are indignant enough, not about whom the government sought, as it is the speaking out afterwards that we are talking about here.

        Others either approve or can’t speak up.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Elon Musk has since called the rescuer a pedophile. This is simply amazing.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The whole world, I imagine, is shockingly amazed at this news, not just those in Britain.

  14. PlutoniumKun

    Brexit: a scorpion’s work

    This is the best concise description of the role of the DUP I’ve read:

    There are those who say that, for the DUP to stand its ground would bring down the Conservatives and thus, also, deprive the DUP of its influence. But we are not looking at rational behaviour here. The DUP is the scorpion to Mrs May’s frog. It will sting her to death midstream, and drown itself – because “that’s what it does”.

    The DUP is a quasi religious movement (its membership are overwhelmingly Free Presbyterians), not a true political party. The fact that the UK media has never pointed this out to its population is yet another example of how useless it is and how ignorant it is of the Irish part of the UK. They will not vote rationally on Brexit, which means that the only possible way out of the Irish border situation for London – the Irish Sea option – will not be taken unless May dumps the DUP, and that seems highly unlikely.

    1. DJG

      PlutoniumKun: So you are talking fundamentalist Presbyterians, of the kind who still have it in their code of beliefs that the pope is the antichrist. They aren’t amenable to agreements with London, and they are terrified of being absorbed into Eire, where they would be a small minority foaming at their redeemed mouths.

      I stayed twice at a B&B in an economically devastated town in western Pennsylvania. The only “industry” left was a small college run by one of these Presbyterian splinter groups–not the mainstream U.S. Presbyterians who, stereotypically, ran all of the banks. The isolation was palpable, fundi religion amid economic wreckage, the college in the upper town and the ethnically founded Catholic and Orthodox churches clustered in the lower town.

      We had to pray over breakfast. Being, ironically, of Swedish descent, though, the couple owned a house that was an excellent example of U.S. “prairie” vernacular architecture from about 1910. Fundies with good design sense: Very American.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, they are a fundamentalist ‘splinter’ from Presbyterians, with links in the US. Although it always amuses me that many English people openly mock US Christian Conservatives, unaware that their own government is in hoc to a wing of those exact same people.

      2. Oregoncharles

        Having grown up as a mainstream Presbyterian, till I fell away, once I learned about Calvinism – in college, not at church – I wondered where the Calvinists had gone. In this country, they’re called “dominionists” – they sincerely believe that they know what God wants, for everybody. As Calvin did. In Ireland, apparently they’re the DUP.

        OTOH, the United Presbyterians are among the most liberal mainstream churches, big believers in education – founded a lot of colleges in the West, notably Lewis and Clark in Portland.

  15. Henry Moon Pie

    Interesting interview with poet Drew Dellinger on An excerpt:

    I think we need a little boredom. We need a little fallow time, a little downtime if you will, to let the imagination to begin to weave its magic. It’s just impossible when we’re constantly, “Okay, I’ve got email. Okay, I’ve got to be on this call. Okay, I’ve got to check my phone”. It’s a real issue. Internet addiction is a major issue that we’re going to have to deal with moving forward.

    We’re not getting the same quality or depth of work if we just live in this world of, “Well, here’s my latest hot take. Here’s the tweet that I dashed off. I took a little time and I made a whole blog post that I spent this morning writing” … but where’s the 10 year research project? Where’s the book that took someone 15 years to write? Where’s the collection of essays that is a summation of 30, 40 years of a scholar’s experience, or a person’s background and experience?

    Someone said recently, it’s incentivised, this kind of hot-take, dash-off-a-tweet, put-up-a-blog-post, world we’re living in. You get incentivised because you get the little dopamine rush when people retweet your tweet, or like your Facebook post, but you’re not getting that same incentive when you’re alone spending 12 years researching a book project. We’re losing some of the depth, and some of the quality that comes from intense and prolonged engagement with our creativity and our imagination.

    Next time somebody is on my case for smoking a little weed and spending time watching the flying thingies interact with flowers, I’ll just tell them I’m doing a little “fallow time.”

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The Scots are giving the English a run for their money with Trump signs

    Did the Scots and the English not know about Obama and his various foreign adventures when he last visited there?

    Were there as many signs then?

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Huge iceberg threatens Greenland village”

    Yeah, it is an 11,000,000 ton iceberg but the danger is temporary. Just pull the people out until the iceberg is considered safe and really, this is no different from evacuating people during an advancing firefront. What is a big worry is the increase of icebergs in numbers and places not seen before due to climate change. I do not know if you can one day expect to see such monster icebergs off the coast of Connecticut or off the Orkneys but you do wonder.
    A larger problem is the effect that they have on shipping and just last year the shipping routes had to be diverted further south and at a slower speed to avoid them. That meant delays and higher costs but it was either that or risk being added to the database of ship collisions with icebergs-

  18. tokyodamage

    RE: the Politico article on the supreme court:

    If an 8th grader can predict exactly how they’ll vote on any given issue, just based on their party affiliation, then i have to axe: how is a SCOTUS full of prestigious Federal judges better than a SCOTUS full of 8th graders given instructions to vote the party line?

    What do our Supremes’ decades of experience and genius brains actually add, in terms of value?

    (i mean, besides the ‘value’ of giving very abstract and incomprehensible-therefore-wise-sounding rationalizations for voting along party lines?)

    1. Jean

      “Look like America”?

      The High Court needs more Protestants.
      Jews and Catholics seem to run it now.

  19. Susan the other

    Interesting Der Spiegel on Trump and US foreign policy. Germany is an old fashioned conservative country – austerity is like a permanent discipline. They have no expansionist plans these days except as globalists. Trump is a glib arms merchant who deals energy on the side. It’s oil and water. It has never been easy tho’. Adenauer, that bitter old man, liked J.F. Dulles because they were both deeply conservative. Whereas Churchill hated Dulles and always called him “Dull Duller Dulles.” But Adenauer was flexible enough to offer DeGaulle an alliance for the future of Europe which eventually turned into the EU. Which is now being strangled by a bizarre combination of neoliberalism and austerity imposed mostly by us. Maybe that’s why Germany seems so politically passive-aggressive, they are just waiting until the rest of the EU can’t take it any more. Regardless, Trump seems to be doing the bidding of our WW2 allies 75 years ago. Why is he schmoozing Russia? To get in on the Nord Stream 2 deal?

  20. Koldmilk

    A few comments on “The US may have just pulled even with China in the race to build supercomputing’s next big thing”

    The “pulled even with China” quickly skips over the fact that China has been in the lead for a while now. But that’s not the big story, the big story was that China did this by making their own chip. And that was shocking to US super computer experts who thought China was a decade away.

    The exascale goal is in some aspects today’s moon race because the synthetic benchmark used to measure performance (HPL), and thus the arbiter of who is fastest, is representative of very few production codes and not a good predictor for how well these systems perform. The alternative synthetic benchmark HPCG which is more representative of the algorithms used in most simulations runs at about 5% to 10% of the HPL result. So the final two paragraphs of the article are key: “Both China and America are also funding work on software for exascale machines.” […] “… what really matters is how well it’s harnessed to solve some of the world’s toughest problems.”

    In a nutshell: getting millions of compute units to work together to solve a single problem is hard. Most problems do not “scale”, ie, they do not take less time when the super computer is larger. To achieve that, involves tacking larger problems, giving the larger computer more work to do: Big Science benefits (also Big Oil, Big Finance, etc.).

    The one type of problem that scales well is multiple parallel independent processing of large data sets: for example reading every email or social media post or transcribing every voice call, ie surveillance. Let us not forget that the driver of previous generations’ advance in super computers was simulating nuclear explosions, this generation seems to be driven by surveillance.

    1. fresno dan

      July 15, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      “And that was shocking to US super computer experts who thought China was a decade away.”
      Yet their inability to foresee the North’s rapid strides over the past several months now ranks among America’s most significant intelligence failures, current and former officials said in recent interviews.
      Wow….American experts underestimate Asians…..
      Its almost kinda like our experts really ain’t too expert

  21. Jim Haygood

    Dirty old lizard reaches her sell-by date:

    LONGTIME CALIFORNIA SENATOR Dianne Feinstein lost the California Democratic Party’s endorsement in a stunning vote Saturday night at the party’s executive board meeting in Oakland. Though the vote was expected to be close, state Senator Kevin de León rather easily crossed the 60 percent threshold necessary for endorsement.

    De León secured 65 percent of the vote among the 333 executive board members present. Feinstein garnered 7 percent, and “no endorsement” took 28 percent. De León only took 54 percent of the vote at the state party convention in February. Virtually every undecided vote going into the executive board needed to flip to get this big a number.

    “The nation’s most accomplished Democratic Party is leading the call for a new generation of leadership who will fight to advance a bold agenda,” de León said in a statement. “We have presented Californians with the first real alternative to the worn-out Washington playbook in a quarter-century.”

    It’s a sad day for our heroes in the intelligence community, let me tell you. :-(

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What is this ‘endorsement’ thing?

      Can’t voters decide for themselves?

      And those 333 people – are they not some sort of ‘super-delegates?’

      Was the room smoke-filled?

      Just throw the whole thing out.

      1. ambrit

        The 333 figure is one half of the dreaded 666. This group convincingly qualifies as “the lesser evil.”
        Someone of note from the past century mentioned once that he didn’t care who the people voted for as long as he got to select the candidates.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Stalin said once that he did not care who people voted for as long as he was the one to count the votes.

      2. jrs

        It will be in the general election, but meanwhile De Leon got less than 1/3 of the votes of Feinstein in the primary, so the Dem party is endorsing against the popular primary vote at this point.

        Yea Feinstein is bad, and the Dem endorsement makes De Leon more competitive I guess, but she stands a decent chance of winning nontheless given the results of the primary vote.

    2. Arizona Slim

      The nation’s most accomplished Democratic Party? Really? What has it accomplished?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Hillary was the most qualified candidate to be President.

        -She was at least 35.
        -A natural born citizen.
        -maintained the correct residency requirements.

        Sure, its a tie among many people, but it is accurate. In much, the same way the California Democratic Party is among the most 34 accomplished state Democratic Parties in a 34 tie way for first place. There is no Democratic Party in at least 16 states.

      2. fresno dan

        Arizona Slim
        July 15, 2018 at 1:47 pm

        “…most accomplished Democratic Party?”

        I thought there was just one Democratic Party. They didn’t say specifically the California democratic party or of state democratic parties. Of course, its ALSO the least accomplished Democratic Party – at EITHER the state or Federal level, or at dates in time. . Also, prettiest/ugliest, poorest/richest, and so on.
        It was the worst of democratic parties, it was the best of democratic parties….

  22. Zachary Smith

    From the “Russia Indictment 2.0” link:

    *** … and when congressional Republicans scream at FBI agents … ***

    Mind you, this hero the Rethugs were screaming at was *** … a career FBI agent … *** People harassing all-American Heroes like Peter Strzok can be nothing other than pond scum. This is like denying that a person donning an American Military Uniform doesn’t automatically become a person to venerate.

    The “Trump on Russia indictment” link was more of the same. A chintzy little hack for the Heritage Foundation declares *** The deep state is a conspiracy theory that claims high-level officials run a shadow government working against Trump.*** Move along, folks. Until Trump can be coerced into instantly doing whatever Holy Israel demands of him, the methods used cannot be examined.

      1. fresno dan

        July 15, 2018 at 3:14 pm

        I’m thinking his expertise at body language is due to all the times he forgot to inject the Novocaine and the arms and legs of his victims…uh, dental patients, with their months clamped open, were flailing about trying to convey the agony….

    1. ArcadiaMommy

      For the KinderGuardians:

      Puppy pistol (woof woof)
      Gunny rabbit
      Uzicorn (for girls)
      Best Firearm Forever (BFF for toddlers)

      Aim at the head, shoulders, not the toes!

      I posted above too (sorry) but this just cannot be missed. As crazy as I thought this group was, it’s even worse than I thought.

    2. fresno dan

      July 15, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      “may he rest in peace”

      and the interviewee is agreeing all the way….
      I think it has been said before – but in modern America, you can’t out parody reality

  23. Watt4Bob

    As someone employed in IT, and with responsibilities including security, and who has spent a lot of time keeping up with cyber-security technology as it relates to elections systems, I have to say the following excerpt from an NPR news story struck me as incredibly silly;

    “A person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump” communicated with the GRU officers posing as Guccifer 2.0, the indictment says. So did a “candidate for the U.S. Congress.” So did journalists.

    And the indictment suggests that on July 27, 2016, when Trump said, “Russia, if you’re listening,” it should find Clinton’s deleted emails, the Russians were listening.

    On that day, according to the court papers, the GRU officers “attempted after hours to spear-phish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office.” They also pinged 76 emails associated with the Clinton campaign.

    While I applaud any effort brought to bear against the Trump, and his extended crime family, I’m appalled that the ‘official’ story they expect us to swallow is that the first time the Clinton campaigns servers were hacked was on the day Trump invited the Russians to get to the bottom of the missing emails.

    If there is one clear take-away to savor from all the investigations of hackable election systems, employed by the right-wing to steal elections, and private email servers employed to allow politicians to escape public scrutiny, it’s that all concerned seem oblivious to even the most basic requirements concerning security.

    Election hackers have routinely assumed they were they only people aware of the techniques being used, and so built flimsy back-doors that were so insecure that they could never be sure if they were last players to manipulate the vote.

    Imagine Karl Rove’s team logging out of the Ohio tabulation system as the Russians, or Chinese are logging in.

    Or the Clinton campaign’s B-squad IT team’s email server that was probably hacked immediately upon deployment by bots, and there after by anyone who cared to do so.

    In our governments commitment to total surveillance, and defeating every effort to allow the public access to secure communications, they’ve assured that even their own systems are vulnerable.

    They tell us this fairy tale, knowing full well that there are many thousands of us who understand that it’s all lies and BS, but relying on the fact that, truth be damned, half of us don’t care so long as the lies and BS are about the ‘other side’.

    This development destroys any expectation that the Mueller investigative team will ever deliver anything of worth to us, the 90%, it should be obvious now that they have no intent to stop Trump’s criminal behavior, but only protect their own ‘interests’ by keeping both him, and us distracted.

  24. Synoia

    Woodchucks feast on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s SUV wiring Detroit

    If you must cut welfare making the poor eat all the garbage, the woodchucks have to eat something.

  25. Bill Smith

    (Problems posting this… hopefully only shows once…)

    Well, in these 3 articles written in about a decade ago talk about the 2008 presidential campaign – campaign computers where hacked.

    I wonder what happened in the primaries? Perhaps the Clinton campaign computers where hacked then too?

    The amazing thing is that in the next 8 years Obama didn’t seem to do anything about the idea that computers used in a presidential campaign could be hacked by foreign governments.

    If you look you can find some stories about the same thing happening in 2012 presidential campaign.

    Here are two about that:

    There are more stories about it happening in 2008 & 2012 if you hunt around from them.

    1. fresno dan

      Bill Smith
      July 15, 2018 at 2:33 pm

      The amazing thing is that in the next 8 years Obama didn’t seem to do anything about the idea that computers used in a presidential campaign could be hacked by foreign governments.
      I’m thinking that’s because Obama won….

      There are more stories about it happening in 2008 & 2012 if you hunt around from them.
      Lots of stories about “it” happening in 2016, but for that presidential election, for some unfathomable, inexplicable reason, there seems to be a special prosecutor….its almost like there was some kind of screw up and the wrong person won…

  26. voteforno6

    Re: Russian “Hacking”

    There are a couple of things that are bugging me about this. First, even if we are to accept all the claims of the RussiaGate Truthers, there’s still something about those emails – they’re legitimate. So, if we are to believe that the release of those emails threw the election to Trump, then what revelations in those emails influenced the election? That the DNC rigged the primaries? That the Clintons are corrupt? That doesn’t exactly put the Democrats in a positive light. It’s interesting, but not surprising, that this hasn’t been commented on more in the reporting on this story.

    The second thing is a bit more subtle, I think. From an article in Consortium News:

    It is always necessary at this point to note that the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA and even the Department of Justice were operating, as former FBI Director James Comey later put it, in an environment “where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump.” Most of them expected to be able to stay in their key positions and were confident they would receive plaudits — not indictments — for the liberties that they, the most senior U.S. law enforcement officials, took with the law.

    So, what exactly does that say about how these officials expected the Justice Department to be administered by a Clinton administration? This is a government of (wo)men, not laws, and hardly less corrupt than what we’ve seen under Trump. Once again, this doesn’t paint Clinton or the Democrats in a flattering light.

    1. voteforno6

      Also, it seems to me that there are no good guys in this story – just guys with varying degrees of badness.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > those emails – they’re legitimate

      Apparently the introduction of even the smallest amount of truth into the system is enough to throw it into wild gyrations. It was entertaining at first, but now it’s getting a little scary.

      1. fresno dan

        Lambert Strether
        July 15, 2018 at 6:19 pm

        And Dmitri Alperovitch, Crowdstrike co-founder and CTO, is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council (here; here; here).

        Yes, if I wanted to privatize some evidence for the later use of the FBI in a national security investigations, these are totes the guys I’d use…

        some mental defectives, delusional from too many internet rays, their tin foil wrapped too tight, and worn too long, might ponder in their fevered imaginations that there is a…..dare I say it……DEEP STATE….that operates in cahoots with organizations with acronyms that are top secret, and never spoken in the light of day, to assure that ONLY the “anointed” can lead the priesthood.

        BUT NOT ME!!! Yup, no evidence WHATSOEVER that they were in cahoots. EVERYTHING that has happened to Trump is pure coincidence….just completely dispassionate Feds going about objectively. No manipulation of the system is possible….laws, not men….

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          But, but, but Hillary’s emails may have been stolen by a foreign power…which is one of the reasons they are supposed to be on a private server which would make Hillary responsible for having an unsecured server…hmmm…then of course why wasn’t the breach of security noticed by our 17 intelligent agencies and Hillary reprimanded for being…

    3. fresno dan

      July 15, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      “So, what exactly does that say about how these officials expected the Justice Department to be administered by a Clinton administration? This is a government of (wo)men, not laws, and hardly less corrupt than what we’ve seen under Trump. ”
      when I worked at the FDA I used to say “you won’t find what you won’t look for.”
      Comey’s corollary, “you can, if you want to hard enough, find something there.”

  27. bob mcmanus

    Re: Perry Anderson on Proust and Powell. Thank you for the link.

    I no longer read fiction, novelists are simply observant and poetic, I rarely find anything to be learned from them. People are too various and singular to generate knowledge.

    Ahh, but critics. Generating wisdom from particularities is their job. I don’t envy anyone for money, fame, love, travel or experience, power…but I envy Perry Anderson for his ability to read, in quantity with quality.

  28. Wukchumni

    Did something interesting today with a couple of friends…

    We swam about 3 miles on the Middle Fork of the Kaweah in Sequoia NP. Probably about 1/3rd of it required portages often through boulder fields ranging in girth from a VW Bug to a full sized RV.

    As a consequence, i’ve seldom been as weary as today, after 7 hours on the river. In fact it hurts to type, so i’ll just leave it at that.

  29. witters

    Anthony Powell 3, Marcel Proust, 1.

    Yep. Looks about right.

    Now, back to dance the music of time.

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