Links 7/17/18

If any New York-area readers plan to attend the event below, we’d certainly welcome a report. Leave a comment and we’ll get in touch via mail.

We asked psychologists why so many rich people think the apocalypse is coming Salon

What Would You Pay to Live by the Water? The Premium Is Falling Bloomberg


May seeks early Commons recess to curb Conservative civil war FT. The House of Commons is carpeted. It’s hard to stick your head in the sand there.

What top Brexit lawyers think of the white paper wording Financial News. “‘Vague’ and ‘cleverly worded’ — that is how two of the country’s top Brexit lawyers described the government’s white paper.”

Prioritising Irish stability over banking is economically foolish FT

Brexit: DUP seeks legal guarantee over customs border BBC

Trump Knows That He Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit Unz Review

Four ‘spaceports’ to be built across UK Sky News. Oh.


White House Orders Direct Taliban Talks to Jump-Start Afghan Negotiations NYT. Nobody cares about the Global War on Terror anymore. Mission accomplished!

What’s behind Iraq’s Basra protests? Middle East Eye

Tunisia’s President to PM: Step Up on Economy or Step Aside Bloomberg

Reform in Saudi Arabia: will MbS squib it? The Interpreter

Lula the only hope for millions of Brazilians, says ex president Dilma Rousseff MercoPress

Venezuela to Launch Local Defense Committees as Maduro Makes Changes to Top Military Brass Venezuelanalysis


The Coming American-Russian Alliance Against China The American Conservative

China’s ageing population problem worsens as birth and marriage rates fall South China Morning Post

New Cold War

The Helsinki Summit story has eaten the world, so I’ll just have to go with it. I’ve broken the links into sections. About the Helsinki presser:

Transcript: Trump And Putin’s Joint Press Conference NPR. This seems to be the most problematic passage:

TRUMP: So let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven’t they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee?

I’ve been wondering that. I’ve been asking that for months and months and I’ve been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know where is the server and what is the server saying?

With that being said, all I can do is ask the question.

My people came to me, Dan Coates, came to me and some others they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia.

I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be. But I really do want to see the server but I have, I have confidence in both parties.

I really believe that this will probably go on for a while but I don’t think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC?

Where are those servers? They’re missing. Where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails? 33,000 emails gone, just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn’t be gone so easily.

I think it’s a disgrace that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s thirty three thousand e-mails.

I have great confidence in my intelligence people but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today and what he did is an incredible offer.

He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer. Ok? Thank you.

I find myself musing that “incredible” is a word of many meanings, though no doubt puffery is intended.

Trump refuses to blame Putin over election meddling FT. “Mr Putin encouraged Mr Mueller to send an extradition request….” One hasn’t already been sent? If only for form’s sake? Odd.

#NeverTrump Goes to War John Robb, Global Guerillas. “[Mueller’s] indictment put Trump on the on the horns of a dilemma. He could either support the national security establishment’s conclusion and diminish his electoral legitimacy or he could disparage the legitimacy of the US national security establishment while standing next to Putin. He chose the second course…. The #NeverTrump network will claim it is the primary protector of the United States against an illegitimate President. In online collaboration with the #resistance, disavowal of Trump will become a public litmus test.” If Robb is correct, Trump is in trouble. It doesn’t matter what the Democrats do before the midterms (and maybe not after) but Republicans like to get stuff done. The wee problem is that the Republican base — who the Republicans genuinely fear — either doesn’t care about the national security globalizers or sees them as enemies. That’s a hard circle to square.

Republicans to watch:

In rebuke to Trump, senators may vote to side with US intel community CNN. So that would clarify where the real power lies, wouldn’t it? Note that Cornyn isn’t on the list.

Trump is now repaying Putin for helping him win the presidency WaPo

* * *

About the Meuller investigation:

A Spirited, Substantive Debate on the Trump-Putin Summit, Russia, and U.S. Politics Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept. Transcripts here and here. Both parts are very good.

Trump’s Stupid ‘Where Is the DNC Server?’ Conspiracy Theory, Explained Vox. Here is a sample: “It is widely believed that CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC to respond to the hack, gave an identical image of some of the servers to the FBI, which experts I’ve spoken to say would be more useful than giving the FBI a physical server itself.” Notice how much work “identical” is doing?

The 2 ways Russia may have helped Trump steal the election aren’t what you think Philadelphia Inquirer

Mueller’s Latest Indictment Contradicts Evidence In The Public Domain Disobedient Media

Musings II … The “Intelligence Community,” “Russian Interference,” and Due Diligence Jack Matlock

‘Game on’: Former NSA and CIA boss says Russian hack of Democratic emails was ‘honorable state espionage’ as it’s confirmed campaign chair was duped by ‘phishing’ website Daily Mail. From 2016, still germane.

* * *

Related stories:

The Justice Department just charged a Russian national with trying to infiltrate the NRA Vox. Given that the Russian national communicated with her handler through Twitter DM (!), the alleged offenses began in 2015 under the Obama administration, and the organization infiltrated was the NRA, it’s hard to see this as anything other than (a) dogpiling on Helsinki and (b) midterms related, since the NRA may become an issue there.

Mueller Indictment Adds Urgency to Securing 2018 Midterm Elections WSJ. No mention, of course, of hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public, which would mean the DHS wouldn’t need to participate in the balloting process at all.

The Magic Of Novichok – Deadly Agent Found In Perfume Bottle Moon of Alabama

* * *

Unrelated incidents:

Resistance Win! This Artist Was Going To Draw Trump And Putin Kissing, But Was Worried That Seemed Homophobic, So He Had Them Kiss While Thinking About Pamela Anderson Clickhole

People are falling for a fake Mueller indictment citing the ‘international meme community’ Mashable

Trump Transition

If you work for Trump, quit now Ruth Marcus, WaPo. The 9.9% asserts its class power…

Can Truth Survive Trump? WaPo Fails to Ask How Well Truth Was Doing to Begin With Dean Baker, FAIR

Plutonium is missing, but the government says nothing Center for Public Integrity

Class Warfare

Exploited Amazon workers need a union. When will they get one? Guardian

Poultry processing workers face injuries in Wisconsin, nationwide LaCross Tribune

Theory and Evidence on Employer Collusion in the Franchise Sector Alan B. Krueger, Orley Ashenfelter, NBER

Why going cashless is discriminatory – and what’s being done to stop it Guardian

Bernie Sanders: Bold Politics Is Good Politics Jacobin

Single-dose testosterone administration increases men’s preference for status goods Nature

Vermont Law School revokes tenure for 75 percent of faculty VT Digger

Scholar Robert Meister on America: Saying “the past is evil” doesn’t mean the evil is past Salon

Dark Patterns: How Tech Companies Use Interface Design to Undermine Online Privacy Privacy News Online

I toured Lennar’s Amazon smart home — here’s what it’s like Inman (Clive). Clive: “My take: ‘Alexa, show me a dystopian vision of exurban sprawl where the surveillance state knows my every move, even at home; and while you’re at it, explain to me what’s going on with the landscaping in front of my garage preventing its presumable intended use by vehicles.'”

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Bill Smith

    Trump’s Stupid ‘Where Is the DNC Server?’ Conspiracy Theory, Explained

    Now that there is a a court case… Chain of Custody? How is that going to work?

    1. ambrit

      At the least, some charges of obstruction of justice. Expect lower level aparatchiks like Strzok and his paramour to go under the bus.

      1. Wukchumni

        When it’s all said and done, i’d like to utilize Strzok in a future scrabble tourney, and ideally on a triple word score.

        1. Jean

          “Where is the server…5X” is a brilliant way to plant a simplified idea in the most obtuse sports or popular culture addled mind.

          It takes a complex technical issue and reduces it to something that the average voter can understand–and remember in the next election.

        2. Mark Gisleson

          So long as there’s room for me to stretch your strzok into strzokked while connecting to a triple word score.

          1. Patrick

            having 2 Ks in your rack would be a long shot.
            more likely you can get “strzoking”
            (v. to testify in front of Congress, teasing the position(s) of authority taken by those asking the questions)

    2. Lord Koos

      Regarding the comment about the word “identical” doing some heavy lifting — when a drive is copied using imaging software, there is an exact identical “image” of the whole drive produced. I use this technique myself to back up my computer, so that if I have a crash I can restore my boot drive in a matter of minutes. All content on the “image” will be identical to the content of the original, down to every single byte of data. So unless some files were deleted from original drive before the image was created, the FBI should have a perfect matching copy of whatever was on the server’s drives. Trump talking about the need to have the original server hardware is simply ignorant.

      1. Grebo

        While it’s true that an image is identical to the contents of the drive at the time of imaging, it also precludes any investigation of what may have once been on the drive but has been overwritten.

        And was it the only drive in the server?

        Chain of custody–who imaged the server and how many hands did the image pass through before reaching the FBI?

        Having the original server at this late date is pretty pointless but Trump is right to highlight the flawed nature of the investigation.

        1. liam

          It also precludes any investigation into possible exploitation of the firmware which is installed on the various bits of hardware in the system. Yes folks, it matters. If your experts are telling you an image is just as good, you need to find new experts.

      2. Lorenzo

        notice how he repeatedly refers to the 33k emails. he’s clearly implying that something compromising might’ve been in there, and that he’d like them to be part of the investigation. Are they? I’m pretty sure the FBI doesn’t have them, and that everyone fails to mention the fact is what’s bugging Trump

      3. ewmayer

        I disagree with Lambert here – IMO the preceding “It is widely believed” is doing the heavy lifting here. Examples abound:

        It is widely believed that North Vietnam’s unprovoked attack in the Gulf of Tonkin justifies an intensification of the U.S. war effort;
        It is widely believed that Saddam Hussein has WMDs;
        It is widely believed that supporting jihadists in Syria will lead to regime change and transition to western-style democracy;
        It is widely believed – by no less than 17 intel agencies, all of which carefully vetted the secret evidence rather than just having their name slapped on the report to make it sound more defnitive and impressive – that Russia hacked the unbelieveably-poorly-secured DNC server and by releasing true information thereon about Dem-party collusion to hand the nomination to Hillary Clinton, tipped the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump and gravely damaged our democracy.

        And if the totally-nonpartisan CrowdStrike really did hand over a true disk image, the question remains: where are the missing e-mails?

        Comparing the FBI’s diligence in the ridiculous Jane-Sanders case to their “duh, we don;t need the server – she said there was nothing of interest on it, after she wiped it with a cloth, or something” is illustrative.

        1. Doug Hillman

          That central 100-word sentence captures the comical absurdity of the DNC-Surveillance-Security Complex claims of a foreign enemy thwarting democracy. The dis-Intel community is self-parody, but it’s powerful because it’s got dirt on everyone.

      4. stonecutter

        When you rebuild your crashed computer, the mirror is questionable (drivers, hardware, etc. – been there, done that)

  2. Kevin C Smith

    Is Trump developing a subungual melanoma in his right long finger? Subungual hematoma?
    Can someone get a hi-res version of this image from today’s NYT and have a closer look?

    If it is a subungual hematoma, maybe Melania bit his finger; or maybe she slammed her bedroom door on it?

    Could be “The Mark of the Beast”, if some ninny slammed the car door on Trump’s middle finger …

      1. Roger Smith

        I just love this “Trump is Putin’s puppet” nonsense. “He sold out the American people,” they shout. What exactly did he give up? Escalation to Thermonuclear War? What a rat! No, the people he “sold out” are the vested Military Industrial Complex and the Intelligence Community. All of this melodramatic boo-hooing by these crooks and cretins who should be in jail is absolutely pathetic.

        1. Olga

          I think we’ve entered a veritable McCarthy era hysteria, as re-enacted by the Twilight Zone. At least, there is no doubt now on who rules over us (not that we did not suspect, but nice to have it all out in the open and confirmed).

          1. Wukchumni

            There is nothing in the dark that isn’t there when the lights are on.

            Rod Serling

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            AOC type candidacies, Team Blue’s inability to poll where they need to be to make noise in Congress, and the Trump’s hold over all those “moderate suburban Republicans” represent a threat to the courtier class. The Bush family was in power for a long time, and both major parties are filled with their loyalists. If their flunkies can’t serve the powers that be, they will be replaced especially since Trump demonstrated anyone can manage to get themselves elected President. As its noted below, a just society would have Brennan in prison, but why is he not? The answer he serves enough of an interest or is pals with the right people. When scapegoats are needed, a change in the make up of official Washington can dramatically alter Brennan’s fortunes.

            If Obama held a trivial number of bankers accountable, Hillary would easily be President now, but choosing not to, the entire courtier class became part of the problem. Trump demonstrated they are all so unpopular Trump can become President despite a lack of “television” era norms. LBJ was in power long before tv was beamed at us constantly.

            If Andy Cuomo were to be defeated, there will be a full on melt down as the old courtier class loses another member. Cuomo was entertaining being President, but he wasn’t alone. 2008 Democratic key note speaker Mark Warner wants to be President. His record doesn’t give him anything to run on, so he can’t really build much of a campaign. A public meltdown is his only option. And on and on it goes. Its too easy to look up past records. Hillary’s horrible foreign policy record and her associations with the clowns in her husband’s administration were too easy to notice which was one of the many reasons she isn’t President. I don’t think it was lost on dreamers entertaining higher office what happened to “cool” Senator Booker what happened when he voted against loosening restrictions on prescription drugs. He went from a guy in the safety of anonymity to a guy who has had his record exposed. His dream of replicating an Obama-like run was dashed.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I hope AOC and other candidates see this as larger than Trump or not-Trump.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                The AOC type candidates views are less relevant in regards to the driving force behind OMG Russia than the AOC candidates representing a clear rejection of the #resistance whicj celebrates the ilk of McCain and frum.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  It would be ‘clarifying’ to know where she and the AOC candidates stand on or view this.

                  Very clarifying.

            2. Carolinian

              a threat to the courtier class

              Yes. It’s not Trump or Putin that they really fear but that Trump might succeed in becoming popular. Populism–to the extent Trump, even if only rhetorically, represents populism–is the greatest threat.

              Plus there’s the comforting conformity of groupthink. Joe Lauria in Consortium News:

              As Samuel Johnson said as far back as 1745: “The greatest part of mankind have no other reason for their opinions than that they are in fashion …since vanity and credulity cooperate in its favour.”

              “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.” Until they did.


          3. apberusdisvet

            The demonization of Russia is the prime neocon playbook to insure all that MIC lobbying money goes to the proper pols and to their sycophants in the MSM; all rational thinking must be suppressed or ignored.

            I remember quite well the Cuban Missile Crisis. All Americans went apeshit over the thought of enemy nukes 90 miles off shore. Today, NATO has over 100 bases circling Russia all with missiles tipped with nuclear warheads. Ah! the hypocrisy.

            Calling Trump a traitor is also quite laughable, considering the $400 million the Clinton Foundation received from Russian oligarchs after the culmination of the URANIUM 1 deal. Hmm. Mueller was a part of that; wonder how much he got?

          4. Jean

            “There are exactly,… 57 Putin puppets in the Trump administration!”

            “Very good dear, now make sure and remember that number…”

        2. Expat

          My first comment didn’t make the cut, it seems, so let me abbreviate.
          How much has Trump cut the military budget or restricted the intelligence community?
          “Not at all” sounds about right. In fact, he has expanded both.
          If being concerned about a foreign power manipulating our presidential elections is melodramatic, sign me up for the Actor’s Studio.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Many foreign powers seek to manipulate our presidential elections.

            Some are more successful than others…for a long time.

          2. Roger Smith

            You have a good point about the tangible gains he’s helped (let’s not forget all those pleasant folks in Congress) to pass. The fact that this is more about PR and the promotion of ideas these interests want to keep out of the public’s mind is even more frightening.

            In regards to election meddling, Putin said it best:

            “…do you really believe that someone acting from the Russian territory could have influenced the United States and influenced the choice of millions of Americans? This is utterly ridiculous.”

            It is absurd to assume people are of such low faculty that some evidence, that still hasn’t been established by the way, swayed the whole countries vote away from such ‘a stellar, totally qualified, shoe-in candidate’ (TM) as Hillary Clinton, riding off the back of Mr. Income Gains for the Rich only, TPP touting, Bank loving Obama. These idiots on TV and all over twitter have absolutely no idea what they are talking about when they open their mouths about this nonsense. It is all propaganda.

        3. rd

          I see it a bit differently. Acknowledging that Russia disrupted the US election would denigrate his election victory that Trump knows is purely attributable to Trump. Anything that would potentially reduce Trump’s achievements must be squashed like a bug.

          As a result, geopolitics is largely a sidebar in Trump’s mind, especially if he is convinced that he, and he alone, is also preventing nuclear war at the same time. I think he views everything on a transactional one-on-one basis. History is just a sunk cost to him where every day is a new day just waiting for a deal to be made.

          I think this could be an effective approach, but not when it is wrapped in and guided by narcissism.

          1. marym

            Trump and his cronies have a history of business dealings with their Russian counterparts. His “pro-Russia” pronouncements early in the campaign may just have been an reflection of wanting to do more of this business without pesky interference like sanctions or anti-money laundering protocols; and without the threat of further conflict as represented by HRC&Co.

            It seems unlikely to me that he had some broader notion of international geopolitical strategy apart from personal gain.

            There was a quote circulating on twitter yesterday, when the recently arrested alleged spy asked him a question about Russian sanctions and he said he would want to lift them, and this was in 2015.

            1. Yves Smith

              If you are going to criticize Trump, you need to be factual. There is a lot Trump has done that is not to like, but we are not giving free passes to readers who engage in lazy and factually challenged smears.

              Trump’s dealings with Russian and Russians were remarkably limited given his status as an entertainer and American oligarch. “Having a history” is a slur not even remotely substantiated.

              Trump officiated at a beauty contest in Moscow, IIRC in 2013. Spent all of or two nights there.

              Trump had Paul Manfort running his campaign for four months, at least a month of which in which Manafort was being fired. Manafort had Yanukovich, the prime minister of Ukraine who was ousted in a coup six weeks before he would have been voted out of office anyhow. Through Yanukovich and probably directly, Manafort has Russian connections. Manafort had no meaningful relationship with Trump before he was hired and didn’t after he was fired.

              Trump had one Felix Sater, who is more accurately described as Brighton Beach/Jewish mafia than Russian mafia, involved in nebulous roles, presumalby to help Soho Millennium condos to Russians. First, these condos weren’t al that prices, so they weren’t a good route for Russian oligarchs to make investments outside Russian. Second, Sater was not just a convicted felon but also a snitch, so no actual crook would trust him. Third, even if super seedy Russians did buy Soho Millennium condos (and I have been watching, and I have yet to see anyone allege, much the less prove it), if the buyers paid through the banking system, there’s no money laundering and nothing wrong with what Trump did. The big high end buyers of NYC real estate are foreign, and no one has come close to establishing that Trump did anything out of the ordinary.

      2. ewmayer

        Ha, that’s where Putin wears the massive Super Bowl ring he stole from Patriots owner Bob Kraft! (The old John Oliver bit about that with ‘advice to Obama’ remains a classic.)

    1. EDS

      Subungual melanoma are usually straight lines running parallel to the natural ridges of the nail, they rarely run transverse. That looks like a hematoma.

  3. fresno dan

    Trump’s Stupid ‘Where Is the DNC Server?’ Conspiracy Theory, Explained Vox. Here is a sample: “It is widely believed that CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC to respond to the hack, gave an identical image of some of the servers to the FBI, which experts I’ve spoken to say would be more useful than giving the FBI a physical server itself.” Notice how much work “identical” is doing?
    Notice how much work “identical” is doing?

    wouldn’t “some” be doing much, much, MUCH more work? “… gave an identical image of some of the servers to the FBI, …”

    why not all the servers….I guess Clintonistas didn’t want the FBI to waste time on all those recipes….

    1. Pat

      Yeah that struck me as well. Is that some identical, some messed with. Or is it identical copies of the servers crowdstrike and the DNC hand picked. Sort of like the copy of the email account investigators got after Clinton’s yoga and wedding emails were deleted.

      Both words are important and both mean Vox is explaining that Trump is right and they have little or no respect for the intelligence of their readership.

      1. Carolinian

        I’m not a lawyer but I think Perry Mason would object if the prosecution presented an “identical” copy of the murder weapon as evidence.

        And thanks to Lambert for scanning the hysteria so we don’t have to. Some of us have mostly given up on the MSM.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Well, Andrew McCarthy IS a lawyer. Here is his take on the “propriety” of bringing counterintelligence matters into american courts.

          Now Mueller has taken the next logical wayward step: He has woven an indictment that can never be tried out of counterintelligence work against foreign governments that is not supposed to be the subject of criminal prosecution — i.e., the subject of public courtroom testing under due-process rules.

          This is not the way counterintelligence is supposed to work. And the Justice Department knows it. That is why Mueller’s indictment will now be the property of DOJ’s National Security Division, the home of other non-prosecutable foreign counterintelligence work that is never intended to see the light of day in a public courtroom.

          Having failed to bully Trump into canceling the meeting, the decision was made to sabotage it with an “indictment” that should never have been brought leading to questions that should never have been asked.

          I wish Trump had just responded by saying that he “believes” in the american justice system, and he looks forward to mueller’s presentation of the “evidence” during the “trial.” And that he will accept the “jury’s” decision and expects President Putin will do the same.

      2. DJG

        Pat: Please don’t delete the yoga e-mails. I want to see them published. Surely, they are at the level of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. We all await the day to be enlightened by Hillaryananda.

        What’s remarkable is that Hillary Clinton has never mentioned being a regular yoga practitioner, has she? She “tried” alternate nostril breathing. And that requires, ohhh, 10,000 e-mails?

    2. todde

      It is widely believed that CrowdStrike

      The identical image isn’t the problem. That is what SOP. The fact that Crowdstrike had it for months before giving the image is the issue.

    3. Whoa Molly!

      I think the The “identical copy” meme is silly.

      When FBI went after Trumps lawyer they grabbed every physical device in sight, without warning.

      So FBI apparently thinks physical devices are pretty important in “digital evidence” cases. At least in *some* cases.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      This idea of the dnc refusing the fbi acess to its server seems to get traction every time it’s mentioned. It must be quite frustrating for those trying to tamp it back down that nothing they say is particularly persuasive.
      And so we get “explanations” like this:

      I asked Rid if he thought it was suspicious that the DNC did not hand over the actual server to the FBI, and he said “no, not at all.”

      “There’s nothing suspicious about the DNC’s behavior,” he said. “There were political reasons and skepticism on the part of the DNC to let the FBI have full visibility into what they do for various reasons during an ongoing election campaign.”

      “Political reasons and skepticism…..” Ohhhh, NOW it all makes perfect, innocent sense.

      And just in case some are still unconvinced, the ever popular you-are-just-too-stupid-and-should-leave-these-important-things-to-experts trope makes the obligatory appearance:

      Rid said the President has “latched onto a very simplistic image” of how computer forensics works. “Because he runs with it, it appears many people just follow his lead,” he added.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        Normal protocol would be to just file a FOIA request for these government documents. But alas, they were on somebody’s private server, and how in the f^^^ are half of the emails generated while you are employed by said government, about personal shit.
        That is dereliction of duty right there, this BS just gives me tired head.
        Oh yeah, Putin did it , go USA, rah, rah, sisboombah.
        Bring on the bombs, let’s get this show on the road.

  4. bassmule

    From the Salon story:

    “Though we tend to think of the apocalypse as negative, the idea may counterintuitively be attractive to some,” he said. “In a world in which life feels uncertain and often unfair, in which people struggle to find a sense of personal purpose, the idea of an apocalyptic ending, though terrifying, can also feel meaningful.”

    Billionaires struggling to find a sense of personal purpose? I think not. I think they’d like to see all the messy, pollution-creating poor–regardless of race, creed, gender, or place of national origin–wiped out. This is their solution to global warming: Thin the herd from 7.6 billion to maybe 7 million. So much less stress on the environment that way.

    1. cnchal

      Billionaires don’t give a rats ass about the environment, and each one has an ecological footprint of a small city. What they do give a rats ass about is status, so wiping out billions of people to save the planet, means there is no one left to brag to or be their butt wiper.

        1. YankeeFrank

          According to that Henry VIII/Tudors drama with Jonathan Rhys-Myers the king also had a guy who held his jagoff rag. Don’t think it was a nobleman though.

        2. fresno dan

          July 17, 2018 at 9:09 am

          The Groom of the Stool (formally styled: “Groom of the King’s Close* Stool”) was the most intimate of an English monarch’s courtiers, responsible for assisting the king in excretion and ablution.

          The physical intimacy of the role naturally led to him becoming a man in whom much confidence was placed ** by his royal master and with whom many royal secrets were shared as a matter of course. This secret information—while it would never have been revealed, to the discredit of his honour—in turn led to him becoming feared and respected and therefore powerful within the royal court in his own right. The office developed gradually over decades and centuries into one of administration of the royal finances, and under Henry VII, the Groom of the Stool became a powerful official involved in setting national fiscal policy, under the “chamber system” ***
          * makes one ponder the far away stools….
          ** “naturally” ?! oh yeah…powerful sh*t…
          *** maybe its just me, but I would have thought that it would have become known as the “chamber POT system” AKA mortgage backed securities….

          please, please forgive my attempts at chamber potty humor…it is an affliction …

          1. Carolinian

            It’s not exactly clear what the groom’s duties were and I think we’d rather not know.

            Traditionally royals led rather public intimate lives and queens would have their babies with courtiers standing outside the room, even perhaps with the door open. This was to prevent any hanky panky with switched babies. Childbirth and conception were matters of state not to mention the king doing a number two.

            1. LifelongLib

              Yes, nobles and foreign ambassadors routinely bribed the royals’ servants to obtain quite intimate information on the royals’ health, prospects for children, etc. Those things were literally matters of life and death.

      1. rd

        You have an issue with people flying in private jets to speak to people about having them reducing their carbon footprint to Stone Age levels?

    2. Wukchumni

      I know the Southern Sierra like the back of my hand, and it’s easy to get caught up in fantasies of bugging out when push>meets<shove and hiding away from polite society, and I think of the Anasazi people and how their structures went from wide open plazas @ Chaco Canyon, to defensive cliff dwellings largely obscured from view @ Mesa Verde, as their societies crumbled.

      They had bow & arrows, crude knives and rocks in their arsenals, and their transportation was entirely by foot, their communication almost entirely by word of mouth.

      And keep in mind that they built 4 story buildings with 400 rooms, and of the highest quality compared to other Indians of pre-Columbian USA, they were high tech, complex.

      Our civilization is so complex, few can understand how anything works.

      Open the hood on circa 1970 Ford Boss 302 Mustang-everything is within easy reach as far as maintenance goes, and then do the same with a 2012 Ford Boss 302 Mustang that for the most part appears similar to the 1970 vehicle on the outside, but the engine compartment practically screams, STAY AWAY!

      The complexity of the world's financial system now compared to 1929, would be akin to comparing the complexity of the US Civil War to that of WW2.

      It's such uncharted ground, that any sort of comparisons to previous collapsed cultures completely lack context. And they all happened largely in a vacuum, not tied in completely, as the world is now.

      1. YankeeFrank

        My favorite part of the Rushkoff meeting was when the uber rich guys suggested discipline (shock) collars for their security detail. Yes. A US Marine with an AR-15 is gonna let you put a shock collar on him. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when the security guys shoot rich guy and his family, take the helicopter and go save their own families. Oh, I just was. Awesome.

      2. jsn

        USSR in 89 is the best analogue. Complexity has ramped up an order of magnitude or two since then, but there are both plusses and minuses with that. It will all depend on how long the power is out.

    3. Summer

      When you really get to the meat of it, they think income redistribution (whatever the cause)and mass non-conformity is the apocalypse.
      They make all these contingency plans for a worst case scenario that becomes worst case because of how people treat other people as much as an event itself.

      1. Doug Hillman

        Yes, what’s coming is only the inevitability of truth and justice . . . which of course, to our overlords, IS the apocalypse, their end of days.

  5. s.n.

    money talks. time to sober up on how far any Democrat Party candidate can or will go?

    Ocasio-Cortez hedges criticisms of Israel– ‘I may not use the right words’

    Rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the congressperson-to-be for a district in the Bronx and Queens, famously tweeted “This is a massacre,” after Israel’s slaughter of 60 Gazans on May 14, and said Democrats must not be silent anymore about Israeli human rights violations, and opposed the embassy move. Since her surprise victory over a Democratic leader in the primary last month, she’s gotten a lot of pushback from the establishment.

    More came on Friday night on PBS Firing Line, and Ocasio-Cortez seemed to walk back her comments. She wrote that tweet as an “activist,” she said — she’s not an activist anymore, now she’s about to be a congressperson representing a broad district (with many Zionist Jews in it), and she promised to “learn and evolve.” Ocasio-Cortez vowed that she supports the two-state solution, she seemed flustered when asked why she used the term “occupation,” and she apologized for herself, saying that she’s not an expert on Middle East issues. “I may not use the right words.”

    1. YankeeFrank

      Pols say a lot of things. People go at Bernie the same way all the time and its tired. Sure he mouths support for the Russiagate “investigation” and other liberal shibboleths: he needs their votes. Many elite Dems mouth support for medicare for all now. Obama “backed” card-check and renegotiating NAFTA and he did neither. The question is what will pols actually DO when in office, not what they say to placate the media and public opinion.

    2. Big River Bandido

      Gives a very clear sense of how AIPAC and the Israel Lobby control American politics and just what politicians may say.

      1. Wukchumni

        Our politicans’ responses are almost robot-like in accordance to demands from the AIPACkage deal, lust not waver.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You have to get

      1. money out of politics.
      2. power out of politics.

      Because money corrupts.

      And power corrupts too.

      “My ring…my precious.”

      And everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

  6. fresno dan

    Musings II … The “Intelligence Community,” “Russian Interference,” and Due Diligence Jack Matlock

    “Clapper told the Senate in testimony May 8, 2017, that it was prepared by “two dozen or so analysts—hand-picked, seasoned experts from each of the contributing agencies.” If you can hand-pick the analysts, you can hand-pick the conclusions.

  7. Steve H.

    > The wee problem is that the Republican base — who the Republicans genuinely fear — either doesn’t care about the national security globalizers or sees them as enemies. That’s a hard circle to square.

    I remember the head of the USDA pleading funds because the rural areas were the recruiting grounds for the military. We’re now a generation past the Iraqi WMD scam. Median farm income was $1-1.6k. Opiods.

    The Republican base may be insular, but statistically they’re just as smart as everyone else. They have direct evidence, their neighborhoods and families, of the fruits of the Regimen. The boundaries of within-group v across-group competition are fluid right now.

    Tear down these walls? Isn’t that what intersectionality is, thinging people? If Trump is toppled, who holds the high ground? FFS, stop underestimating Pence. He didn’t even run. And it will be a Hell of a wall when the base is built on a foundation where Pence is the Cornerstone.

  8. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Just a couple of comments.

    With regard to Malcolm Gladwell, is he still pushing his simple Simon fascism, the sort of fish and chips wrapper that gets an airing on Fareed Zakaria’s shows and even BBC Radio 1. If yes, Clinton and Gladwell deserve each other. The other person to write the sort of rubbish Gladwell writes was Obama’s mother.

    With regard to servers, I worked at the trade association involved with Li(e)bor for over four years, 2008 – 12, and sat a few feet from the Li(e)bor team. I recall that Friday when UK and US regulators arrived unannounced soon after the opening of business and began interrogating colleagues. The interrogation lasted all day. It soon became clear that the UK regulators were there for decoration only. At the end of the day, the US regulators got some PCs disconnected and took them away in a black cab. They came for the on site and off site back up servers a week or so after. In the meantime, the servers were sealed off.

    1. vlade

      Gladwell has been repeatedly shown cherrypicking the facts to fit his narratives. Unfortunately, whenever I run into someone and tell them what a cheat he is, I have hard time to persuade them even when I can show the hard evidence.

      Tells you that a well told story that the audience can identify with beats truth anytime of the day. (and this holds no matter who sells the story).

  9. integer

    A couple of links from MintPress News:

    Putin Claims U.S. Intelligence Agents Funneled $400 Million to Clinton Campaign

    Browder made billions in Russia during the 90’s. In December, a Moscow court sentenced Browder in absentia to nine years in prison for tax fraud, while he was also found guilty of tax evasion in a separate 2013 case. Putin accused Browder’s associates of illegally earning over than $1.5 billion without paying Russian taxes, before sending $400 million to Clinton.

    Mainstream Media is Losing Its Mind Over the Trump-Putin Press Conference

    The media’s handlers were even worse than their assets. Former CIA director John Brennan tweeted: “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors,.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

    1. For Real?

      “He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer. Ok? Thank you”

      I thought Putin’s condition to the offer, that the Russians could get to interview US citizens about crimes commited in the USSR/Russia would have been the real panic button, of course it will never be allowed.

    2. Shane Mage

      Treason, a crime defined by the Constitution, consists only in making or supporting (“aid and comfort”) war against the USA. If Republicons and Democruds refuse to call Robert E. Lee a *traitor*, how can they possibly use that term in regard to the numbskull President Trumpe-l’Oeil?

    3. Shane Mage

      Wasn’t Browder’s granddad the type who ran for president in 1936 (on the “Communist Party USA” ticket) with only one point in his platform: Reelect Roosevelt?

      1. Carolinian

        Yes. His Commie connections were one reason why he wound up in Russia in the first place.

        He’s also now a British citizen which of course perfectly qualifies him to appear on MSNBC and opine about Trump or get the US Congress to pass a bill at his request. Money, the global language (for those who think we and the UK are “separated by a common language”).

        1. integer

          Russia wants to question Christopher Steele, Michael McFaul, top politicians for aiding Bill Browder RT

          Russia’s prosecutor general will demand interviews with American congressmen, security services staff, and other high-profile individuals as it seeks to involve the US in its investigation into convicted financier Bill Browder.

          Moscow accuses Browder of illegally taking $1.5 billion out of Russia and fabricating evidence that led to the passing of the sanctions-imposing Magnitsky Act. As part of the investigation, the prosecutor general wants to speak to ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, author of the notorious Trump dossier, and former ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul, who campaigned on behalf of Browder.

          Another person I expect Russia will be wanting to question is Ben Cardin. Supposedly Browder lavished funds on Ben Cardin, who then became the driving force behind passing the Magnitsky Act into US law.

  10. rkka

    Re the coming US-Russia alliance against China:

    The Russian gvt know that no president is bound by a predecessor, so they will get nothing from any such alliance, except the opportunity to take enormous military casualties from the People’s Liberation Army when the US Navy Sinopes/Copenhagens/Port Arthurs the People’s Liberation Army Navy ???

    And then once the PRC are regime changed, the US will rebuild China and focus all efforts to doing the same to Russia.

    So, no, it isn’t gonna happen.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “I toured Lennar’s Amazon smart home — here’s what it’s like”

    Oh man, Clive – are you ever right about that house. Who would ever want to live in something so dysfunctional. What struck me about this house was it consisted basically of a series of gimmicks and that was it, just gimmicks. It worked – mostly – if you followed its ideas but go slightly off the beaten track and it all fell down. That writer too seemed a little over-keen to establish her technological credentials. May she go home to a place exactly like the one that she visited.

    I take it that tonight’s antidote du jour are Hyacinth Macaws? They certainly are stunning.

  12. Wukchumni

    The Helsinki gig was a Russo-Germophobe pact, an all of the sudden reversal of heretofore strongly held doctrine.

    The last time that happened left the world a week before war.

    1. Shane Mage

      IIRC that reversal was not the least bit “sudden.” The Moscow Trials frameups during 1936-1938 had expressed intimate collaboration between the Gestapo and the OGPU (viz. the “Benes Letter”). And in the Spring of 1939 the leader of the Soviet Opposition unequivocally declared that, by replacing the Jew Litvinov with his broken lackey Molotov as Foreign Minister, Stalin was making clear his intention to conclude a formal pact with Hitler.

  13. YankeeFrank

    Regarding “OZYFest” with Hilldawg, Malcolm Gladwell, etc., gothamist had a piece on it that was funny, and the comments were hysterical. My fave comment:

    “This is my hell.”

    1. petal

      And 50% off! (must be selling like hot cakes…) I hope someone takes one for the team to go and give us a report.

      1. Wukchumni

        (must be selling like hot cakes…)

        If I was a restaurant owner, i’d hope all people ordered for breakfast, was hot cakes. The most profitable item on the menu, and almost impossible to run out, in terms of inventory.

      2. YankeeFrank

        Yeah I saw that. They’d probably give ’em away but it would embarrass Hillary too much (as we know, she’s quite comfortable speaking to quarter-filled gymnasiums).

        I’d go and report but I’m not that selfless.

      3. Pat

        They’ve been offering “deals’ on various ticket apps for a couple of weeks, including multiple nudging notifications. Admittedly it is a rather large venue, but no it is not selling.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Hilarious way to start off tonight’s crazy links, Lambert. Great way to remind people what this kerfuffle is really all about – the woman that was cheated of her rightful destiny. Had to look up that Laurene Powell Jobs on a hunch and yeah, she is Steve Jobs widow. Looked up her Wikipedia entry and found that yeah too, that is one way for a MBA student to get ahead.

    3. ambrit

      Is that poster an example of Clintonite Realist Art? A ‘before and after’ tableau? Where’s the psychedelic background?
      They need a motto. Something like: “Tune in. Turn on. Vote Hillary.” Or: “Drink the Kool Aid and be Cool.”

      1. ambrit

        I made the mistake of mentioning to Phyllis when she hobbled out of the kitchen that she should come and look at this ‘Ozyfest’ poster of Hillary and her amanuensis.
        She came in and sat down at the dinner table, situated behind the computer niche where I lurked.
        “Oh no,” she chimed. “It’s bad enough that I have to deal with this nausea from the melanoma in my leg. But now you want me to look at pictures of (family blogging) Hillary Clinton too? Why you rotten (family blogging) *&$%#)&@!&%^$$%(**er! And the nerve of those people! Putting a ten year old picture of That Woman on the poster!”
        Now Phyls’ sister has called from the West Coast.
        I’m going to be living in interesting times indeed today.

    4. Otis B Driftwood

      Here’s my favorite comment:

      how much hillary suffers daily is literally the only thing keeping me sane, after she and her little cadre handed the presidency to the worst person in the world.

      And there are many, many more gems to be found.

      1. JTMcPhee

        TRUMP is the worst person in the whole world? That’s the best we intelligent informed aware woke people can do, to identify him as the worst person in the whole world, buying straight in to the Narrative that if the Fokkers have their way will install PENCE as the P{resident of the Empire? Trump’s, as they say, “flawed,” but when it comes to deep-seated evil, a danger to others in a grandiose way, people who are actually in favor of nuclear war and other horrors, TRUMP is the worst? Even GQ can come up with a better set than that:

        I made the personal mistake of looking into comments on one of today’s Grauniad pieces, and another one in the Independent, and then of course the Daily Mail, and then to really abuse myself, DailyKos. We as a species are completely off the rails — the casual toting up of views shows a nice spread display, but the axis that marks out the “TRAITOR!” Meme as central to the opinion is far and away ahead on the numbers. There are what I would consider rational voices, but a lot of them are “conceding” that “there’s smoke” and these evil two men, Trump and Putin, all by themselves, are about to bring down the pillars of the whole temple. And “you have to trust and believe the very special truthful honest competent agents of the the blessed Federal Agencies who cannot tell a lie.” Sweet effing Jeebus. How much of that is bots, one has to wonder, given how said federal agencies (which actually are ACTORS, are PRINCIPALS and PRINCIPALITIES not under the “agents of” relationship at all…

        Ah, who forking cares? I’m no fan of assigning collective guilt, but this seems to be a species-wide responsibility — the insanity seems to me to be part of a species death wish. And as the words of the song go, “and I don’t mind…”

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          “Species-wide” . . . ? Including the alpaca herders on the shores of Lake Titicaca? Including the jungle pigmies in the Congo rain forest? Including the Tibetans? Etc.? Etc.?

          A lot of people mistake western civilization for “species man”. “Species man” is bigger than western civilization.

    5. polecat

      Has the color Purple suddenly gone out of fashion ? .. I see none of it in that OZy fest announcement ..

        1. polecat

          Maybe so ambrit .. but contrary to myth, Harpies are real !
          .. and .. oh boy, what a harpfest this OZY confab will be.

        1. newcatty

          The skunks will be skunked when they see who has invaded their park. “What’s that! In the middle of the park! Stinking up to high heaven.”

  14. Wukchumni

    Goooood Mooooorning Fiatnam!

    Our best traders were out on the making delta, on shore patrol somewhere in the Hamptons. Their arsenal courtesy of Dow on either down days or otherwise-didn’t matter, for they were all as one, a tight bond that only those that have experienced whorefare can relate-a band of bothers.

    1. YankeeFrank


      It hasn’t ceased to amaze me how many “left” (read: liberal/neoliberal suckup) types continue to deeply imbibe from the endless font of babble pouring from the mouths of Iraq war criminals and certified spook liars and manipulators.

      Oh! Its an indictment! Michael Isikoff said I should believe every word so I will! Talk about useful idiots.

    2. Loneprotester

      Amen! To be honest, I felt queasy after watching the presser yesterday. But then Mad John came on, looking like Big Brother himself trying to incite 3 minutes of rage that can topple a president, and I thought, “ok, this lot is STILL worse.”

      There are dozens of living former spooks running around the countryside, but he alone is appointed by God to save us? Who will save us from him? They really ought to shut him up. Might have had a better chance.

      1. JohnnyGL

        When Michael Hayden got up during the freak out in the last couple weeks about separating families and denounced the policy, that was a sign something weird was going on.

  15. NotTimothyGeithner

    The #neverTrump Republicans are the most brilliant of Republican ploys. It didn’t occur to me until today, but Democratic elites lust after “moderate suburban Republicans” they will chase any opportunity presented. The Republicans laugh all the way to another November win in what was supposed to be a slam dunk election, knowing their voters despise Democrats above all else.

  16. Carl

    RE: The Amazon House article

    Clive, that house in the picture is obviously a model home. When it has outlived its usefulness and sold, they will trash the landscaping in front and pour a new driveway, so the new owners can use their fantastic new three car garage.

    1. Clive

      Yes, I sussed that but it always amuses me when the stagers of these model homes do blatantly obvious hoodwinking like putting a shrub border in front of the garage (did you spot, too, that the black railings also cut off the roadway from the garage driveway-in-the-making?) or fit pastel pale carpets and chiffon drapes in supposed kids bedrooms.

      Alexa: Hi Clive, welcome home. Would you like me to play you some music?

      Clive: Sure Alexa, how about The Tracts of my Tears

      1. Todd

        A better street view from google. Even though it’s gated someone put up a 360 view. A cul-de-sac of model homes. At least the picture is real and not taken from stock photo library.

        360 view

        1. Clive

          Oh my word. Thanks Todd ! That black railing goes all the way around ! It’s like a prison for McMansions (or wannabe McMansions, they’re a trifle on the small side to be true McMansions, perhaps they dream of being real, proper McMansions when they grow up) — maybe it’s to stop them from escaping?

          I think this high (or low) spot has to be that hideous pastiche of a Victorian-era gas light (there was one outside our apartment when we lived in Bath a long time ago). Someone obviously saw one in a movie or something. Then set about reconstructing one out of a length of aluminium tubing with a reject light fitting from Home Depot sat atop of it.

          1. newcatty

            Ha! Maybe they are MiniMcMansions. It could be an answer to the why do we have these huge houses still built?
            We heard you…see we listen! Our smart Minis (cute nickname) will be, of course, GREEN. Handsome black railing , surrounding your home, is a smart security fence. Our design team will be offering fabulous upgrades and accessories to enhance your smart lifestyle. One of the most exciting is the choice of a state of the art smart and beautiful landscape and entertainment center back yard. The outdoor smart kitchen is ensconced in the designer dream of your choice of theme. Tropical? Mediterranean? Many more! We are also pleased to offer a very special option that we know will thrill you! Your choice of a smart robotic pet! Your smart dog or cat will be an integral part of your security and lifestyle. Many models to customize for your choice. See you at a smart model showcase near you.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        What you don’t buy, you have no need to recycle or reuse.

        What you don’t consume, you dispose not.


      2. Elizabeth Burton

        A friend was unable to use the “See All Deals” button on her phone, and I advised my husband to avoid Prime Video until the whole Prime Day BS was over. He couldn’t get it to load at all.

        You’d think a company the size of Amazon would have made sure they had enough bandwidth for their big sale, wouldn’t you?

  17. DJG

    Panic, treason, Putin-on-Trump love, panic, treason, our friends in the CIA, FBI admiration, did I mention panic?

    On my FacetoBook page, I am proposing nuclear war to get back the national innocence. Afterwards, we can have unanimous installation of Hillary Clinton as president and a big brunch with lots of un-oaked chardonnay.

    1. Expat

      What is your point? That Trump’s behavior and the transgressions during his campaign are all perfectly acceptable because the alternative was Hillary? Hillary lost. Get over it. Trump is president. He and his people are being investigated for various crimes including treason. The result of this could be to send him and many of his people to jail. The result is not to install Hillary. There is no constitutional basis for doing so and no one has expressed any intent to do so.

      1. Big River Bandido

        Au contraire. The charges against Trump are nothing but the afterbirth of Hillary Clinton’s disaster campaign. If Clinton had won , we’d never heard a peep about “Russia! Russia! Russia!”

        1. Expat

          That is supposition and cannot be proved. There were allegations of Russian interference before the election. But that is still not the point for me. Why is Trump behaving the way he is when it is clear that there crimes committed (normal, friendly espionage is still a crime even if the perpetrators are foreign agents). There have been indictments and confessions. There will be more.

          Do Trump supporters think that the FBI and the DNC are a greater threat to America and our (former) allies in Europe than Russia? How can Trump ignore Russian hacking into the very foundation of our democracy with one breath and then berate Germany for being enslaved by Russia in the next? Does Trump own shares in Cheniere? Is that the only reason for telling Merkel to stop buying Russian gas? Or is it because Russia is a threat and an enemy of the United States?

          I disagree with your comment. In fact, I think that if Clinton had won, most of the Trump campaign and Trump himself would already be under arrest. That might be a difference of opinion for now, but Mueller (a Republican) is doing his job and has already indicted nearly twenty people. When Don Jr. does the perp walk, Cohen starts singing like a bird and Manafort starts naming names, it won’t put Hillary in the White House.

          By the way, just to keep matters factual, it’s a Republican White House, a Republican Congress and a Republican Supreme Court overlooking all this. The key players are ALL Republicans. So much for a Democratic Witch Hunt!

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            What in the world are you talking about?

            It was the CONTENT of the emails that represented a threat to “the very foundation of our democracy,” not the fact that they were released, however that came about.

            This whole Russian hacking hysteria was concocted as a way to obscure that basic fact. The current agita is the result of not having been able to confuse enough people before November 8, 2016.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The best defense is a good offense.

              And you have to research those ‘bimbos.’

              Where have I seen this before.

            2. Expat

              The Russian hacking is more than just the DNC emails at this point. I also never said anything about the content vs. the release.

              My point remains that Russian interference in our elections is a serious issue. Sure, we do it. They do it. Everyone does it. Does that mean it’s okay? Putin said it was okay because of what they found. Trump has not contradicted that view.

              The “hysteria” dates to well before the election and well before Trump was even expected to have a hope of winning. And what was the content that was so terrible?

              1. whine country

                What you fail to understand is that any “interference” by the Russian government falls within the purview of the intelligence community of our country. The mere fact that a special prosecutor is handling the matter is in your face dirty politics and nothing more. Ask yourself if our intelligence agencies are not at least theoretically capable and already tasked with the duty to protect us from foreign meddling like what is alleged. Then please explain to me why they have failed so miserably so as to require our criminal courts to assume jurisdiction and only under the supervision of a special prosecutor? According to whomever has taken over control, the only role for the intelligence community is to form ad hoc committees who provide unverified and incomplete suppositions so as to motivate domestic agencies to engage a special prosecutor. Even an Expat should be able to see that this is nothing more than dirty politics.

                1. Amfortas the Hippie

                  aye. my first thought, when this whole “russia hacked us” story first got legs(seems like a long time ago) was: “so much for the all knowing NSA and their panopticon”.
                  if one tends to believe Snowden, et alia…it follows that whatever “russian hacking” that happened was allowed to happen…which opens up a whole other can of worms.
                  I think another week outside of the rabbithole of modern “news” is in order.
                  I shall play in the shop* and binge watch Vikings when i can no longer stand or move.

                  *(wood sculpture from firewood last week! including a big middle finger, which seemed apropos)

              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Everyone (every nation) does it.

                But not everyone (every nation) is being investigated (now, or in the past).

                What was the content that was so terrible? That’s a good question. Perhaps others who have not been distracted will comment on it.

            3. Olga

              Not to mention all the other issues the country is not addressing, while the media are focused on, and stoking, hysterics about an imagined threat.
              Soon, we all will have to ‘duck and cover’ all over again. WMDs – weapons of mass diversion…

          2. ambrit

            You are assuming that there is any significant difference between the ‘Elites’ of these Partys.
            I am going with Gore Vidals’ trenchant description of the American Political Dyad: “There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party…..and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat.”

            1. Expat

              No, I am not assuming that. The original comment implies that there is. I am simply pointing out that pretending the Russians hacking our elections is simply “libtards being triggered” is dishonest and frankly alarming.
              If Hillary Clinton is caught shooting babies, she should be tried and go to jail. If Donald Trump and his campaign are caught colluding with foreign powers, they should go to jail. What is the problem?
              Our intelligence services have said there was Russian interference including hacking. I don’t give a rat’s ass which party they helped. Do you? Are you saying that Putin helping Trump win is irrelevant because Trump and Clinton are the same? Or that it is a great thing because Hillary is One of Them while Trump is an honest outsider?

              1. Pat

                And once again, I ask about Israel’s outside influence in our elections? Unless and until I see outrage about that I’ll just call it as I see it. Cover for Clinton’s incompetence and desire for more military actions on the part of the beltway.

                Think of it this way, as horrific as I find Wells Fargo business practices, I don’t believe the public response of our Political class including the various organizations tasked with enforcement as long as they don’t include arrest of top management, breakup and/or pulling their charter. Until that time it is all just to give cover to the rest of the banks who haven’t been quite so obvious about their thefts.

              2. ambrit

                This is a case where Trump is an outsider of the ‘Policy Elites.’ Whether honest or dishonest is not determinative. The very fact of outsiderdom is.
                On the ‘going to jail’ front, well, Hillary has already been implicated in killing myriads of people while in office as Secretary of State. So, using your baseline, she should have been in the dock long before this. That she has not been prosecuted displays an immunity that should, if we are fair about it, should be extended to the potential Colluder in Chief.
                As for “our intelligence services,” I hate to break it to you, but only three out of seventeen “services” signed off on the collusion charge. Some of the other “services” evinced doubt about the theory. “Sic Semper Tyrannis” has an archive of posts concerning this point.
                So, the entire Putin helping Trump meme comes across as one giant Big Lie propaganda exercise.
                The functional equivalent of an American Deep State has decided to try to nullify the results of the 2016 American Presidential Election. there is your treason. In other countries this would be called out for what it is: An attempted Coup.

                1. Expat

                  Since when did I say that government officials who kill should be tried? i never said that. If you want to argue or debate with me, I would ask that you stop making things up. If you read my comments and respond to what I said, we can converse. Otherwise, just go full ad hominem if that makes you feel better.

                  The DHS and the USIC (which represents 16 agencies) all signed off on the statement. What Trump has tried to claim is that the 17 agencies did not agree because each agency did not conduct a separate, independent investigation. So this “oh, yeah, well it’s a conspiracy because someone did not agree 100%” approach is pointless. It’s like arguing against climate change science because you heard of a dentist in Detroit who said it’s not true (“But he’s a doctor, even more than those so-called PhD’s”). so, I hate to break it to you, but you are wrong and apparently intentionally so because the information is available but you choose to avoid it in order to maintain your delusion.

                  There is no indication that this investigation will nullify the election. There is nothing in any report to suggest that the hacking made a meaningful difference. But since the very idea that Russians supported Trump is anathema to Trump and Trump supporters, it is called fake news and a witch hunt.

                  Meanwhile there are confessions, arrests, indictments and further charges developing. We know that Trump people met with Russians hoping for dirt on Hillary. Whether or not they got it is hardly the point.

                  But since this is Trump, the quintessential genius outsider, honest businessman and savior of the poor (sorry. I am laughing sooo hard now), any investigation into him is a lie. And consequently the entire US government is a massive conspiracy aimed at destroying Trump. Why?

                  Did you see the news conference? Did Trump’s answers strike you as those made by someone who is in control or innocent?

                  meanwhile, we will watch Trump campaign staff and White House staff do the pimp walk. We will see Cohen flip and send Trump into a mad frenzy of either pardoning everyone or declaring martial law.

                  But sure, it’s all a big lie. It’s fake news. It’s a witch hunt.

                  1. flora

                    I don’t know what happened. I do think the amount of hysterical noise coming from more than the usual suspects indicates the intelligence community and both parties are trying to stop certain questions from being asked. I’m not even sure what the questions would be, but this sure feels like gaslighting.

              3. Richard

                “Our” intelligence services (watch that 2nd person) need to show me some evidence. They lie 100% of the time, give or take one or two percent, so their word won’t do it.
                The CIA et al aren’t some kind of guarantors of democracy, standing outside the political parties and holding political figures and parties accountable. I don’t think I am straw manning you; that seems to be the position that your argument puts them in.

                1. Expat

                  So essentially, the FBI and Justice Department (along with the intelligence community) have decided to perpetuate the Cold War for reasons unknown. It can’t be to support the military industrial complex or their budgets since Trump has increased both massively and is asking our allies to double their spending.
                  Conflating the CIA and the FBI is cute but invalid. The CIA should not be trusted generally, but if you look back to the invasion of Iraq, it was the White House, not the CIA, who produced the fake intelligence. Perhaps the CIA should have gone public and protested, but that was probably highly illegal and possibly dangerous to your health.

                  Americans live is a profoundly militaristic country. It is guided by a strange, not to say sick, devotion to guns. Americans have always worshiped the CIA and other agencies even while being afraid of them or distrusting them. Spies have always been cool. American politicians of both parties have relied on the agencies and created dozens for their own uses.

                  Essentially, attacking the military industrial complex and the intelligence community is attacking America. America is the country Americans have designed. Is it what they want? Mostly.

                  Now, to go from there to saying that the CIA has concocted everything that is going on is a giant leap. And if they were so very powerful, how did Hillary lose?

                  1. Jim Haygood

                    … attacking the military industrial complex and the intelligence community is attacking America.

                    Okay, Hillary. Just put down the nail gun, back away slowly, and no one gets hurt.


                  2. gus

                    “So essentially, the FBI and Justice Department (along with the intelligence community) have decided to perpetuate the Cold War”



                    “Essentially, attacking the military industrial complex and the intelligence community is attacking America.”



              4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                “Are you saying Putin helping Trump win is irrelevant because Trump and Clinton are the same..”

                According to a Feb. 2018 USAToday article, Russians also tried to help Sanders and Stein.

                Indictment: Russia also helped Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein in election
                Feb 17, 2018 – Indictment: Russians also tried to help Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein presidential … More: Meet the 13 Russians charged in Mueller probe.

                Are they all relevant?

                Will we investigate Sanders and Stein?

                1. Expat

                  I don’t think that the FBI is doing so because there does not seem to be anything there. However, as the FBI and the Special Prosecutor dug into the Russian Hacking and campaign allegedly against Hillary, they dug up many bad things involving the Trump campaign including what appears to be treason (the courts will decide) as well as run of the mill criminality (Manafort, Flynn).

                  If Sanders worked with Russians, met with Russians or had business ties to Russia which seem to make him beholden to Putin, then YES, investigate him. And Stein. And anyone else.

                  For everyone who is about to keep kicking me for things I did not say: Anyone who colluded with Russia is guilty. Anyone who committed a crime is guilty. They are all terrible people who deserve ebola more than public office and that includes Trump, Clinton, Stein, and Sanders. See! I hate them all. Now stop making up straw men and pretending I am kissing Clinton’s ass or something.

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    Then, it would seem that Putin helping someone, Trump, Sanders or Stein is ‘irrelevant’ unless that is coupled with ‘that person having met with Russians,’ and maybe having had some ideas popular with Russians.

                  2. SoldierSvejk

                    Well, you do seem to imply that you believe whatever IC said on this matter. And we all know that they always only tell the truth.

                  3. danpaco

                    Expat, Thank you. The Russia sceptics are beginning to sound like the Russia Russia Russia crowd. At the very least, is it worth finding out if the president is compromised by a foreign power?

              1. ambrit

                Vidal grew up in Congress. He helped his Grandfather, the first Senator from Oklahoma, who was blind, in the Senate chambers from an early age. If anyone could know and comment on the “rancid underbelly of American politics,” it was Gore Vidal.

          3. todde

            If you believe that rulers should govern ‘by the consent of the people’ then the CIA, who acts covertly and therefore, without consent, is a clear, present and direct threat to the ‘very foundation of our democracy’.

            If it is clear the crimes have been committed, then go to court and get convictions.

            And if Russia is a threat to Western Democracy, then Germany shouldn’t be buying gas from them.

            The “establishment’ is overlooking this. The IC was once ran by JEB!’s dad.

            I’m all for the investigation, investigate away.

            But the IC is my enemy, was my enemy long before Trumo came along, and will be my enemy long after Trump is gone.

            1. Expat

              If Chewbacca is a wookie then you must acquit.

              Since when do we need consent from the people for every action taken by our government? That is libertarian fallback used to protest things they don’t like. The CIA is typically a puppet of the President and is authorized by Congress to do many things without prior approval. Additionally, many of the things they do are things most decent people don’t like, but most decent people don’t like killing so that would preclude them from running the government.

              Crimes HAVE been committed. Confessions have been made. Indictments have been handed down. This investigation is not particularly expensive when you consider the Clinton Blowjob Trials or what is at stake. So, Mueller will go to court and send Manafort, Flynn and others to jail. That is how our system works as opposed to saying “Lock her up” and cheering.

              If American policy to forbid any trade with our enemies, we are going to kill trade for ourselves and everyone else. Besides, I thought Trump said Russia is our friend. It seems that he was talking more about economics than politics. Trump wants Germany to unchain itself from Putin and chain itself to him. Given the choice, I frankly prefer Putin. How about Saudi Arabia, the origin of most of the 9-11 terrorists and all of their money? Trump is still buying oil from them and ASKING THEM TO SELL MORE!

              The Intelligence Community is now run by a man nominated by Trump. If you don’t like that, then tell Trump but don’t trot out your conspiracy theories based on the tenure of George Bush Sr. Why not blame Jefferson while you’re at it? he dabbled in espionage.

              Yes, the IC is evil. We know that. But you are saying that anarchy is better than trusting the FBI. I don’t buy that. And shouting “witch hunt” and “fake news” only makes the speaker look desperate and ignorant.

              Yes, investigate away, but we already know what Trump supporters will say after it is all over: “It’s fake. they photoshopped the evidence. Who cares anyway because better a traitorous Trump than a patriot Hillary!”
              LOL. Can’t win.

              1. ambrit

                Sadly, in your zeal, you are making excellent arguments for a full blown Second American Revolution.

                1. Expat

                  Why sadly? I agree with the need for a Second American Revolution.
                  Don’t mistake my arguments for support of Trump, Hillary, or any American political party or politician. Frankly, I don’t care that much since I don’t live there. What I care about is science and intellectual honesty.
                  If people want to support Trump, then let them. If they want to support Hillary, let them. But saying that Trump is God and innocent and a genius simply because you support him is not an argument and should not be part of politics.

                  To paraphrase Shakespeare, A plague on all of their houses!

                  1. ambrit

                    We have common ground on the “plague on both their houses” idea.
                    However, to counter my own implication for a moment, the idea that any revolution will turn out in some predetermined fashion is questionable at best. A coup can be argued to be controllable. Limited aims are best reached. An out and out Revolution, on the other hand will often spin out of anyones’ control. The results can be anything from a Peoples Paradise – Collectivist Version to a Peoples Paradise – Autocrats’ Delight.
                    Hence, we deal with the messy politics we have, fearing the unknowns of real change.
                    I’ll go out on a limb here and assert that Politics is not a Science. Indeed, the ability to juggle honest and dishonest aims and attitudes is part of the Art of Politics. In this regard, a character like Trump, and I’ll concede that he is a character, both consciously and unconsciously, is ‘resonating’ with the populace of America much better than an elitist like Clinton does.
                    At bottom, which candidate will do the most for me is the basic criterion for the individual voter. How that “best for me” is defined in the voters mind is the task of all the ‘opinion makers’ and subtle persuaders who vie for each individuals’ attention.( This takes an ultra cynical view of the ‘average’ voters mental processes, I’ll agree. But, I’ve learned over the years that one can never be too cynical when dealing with Homo sap.)

                  2. ambrit

                    Second try at an response.
                    We are in agreement on the “plague on both their houses” policy.
                    Short form: Politics is an Art, not a Science. Trump has learned how to “deal with people” through his business activities. Clinton has not. She is an Elite, and comes across as such. Trump made basic “meat and potatoes” political noises during the campaign and gathered enough votes, and in the right places, to win.
                    As for the Russians, well, why not support someone they see as more amenable to their interests?

              2. todde

                Yes, investigate away, but we already know what Trump supporters will say after it is all over: “It’s fake. they photoshopped the evidence. Who cares anyway because better a traitorous Trump than a patriot Hillary!”

                Now you’re catching on.

                Again, if crimes have been committed, take people to trial and win a conviction.

                I don’t give a family blog about any of it.

                And when the Second American revolution comes, that you seem in favor of, I certain we will be warring against the FBI, the CIA and the NSA. Why should I support them now? They can make thier own case without my input, no?

              3. flora

                But you are saying that anarchy is better than trusting the FBI…

                I actually do know that the FBI has extraordinarily capable digital forensics teams. My respect for their ability could not be higher. (And my respect in this field is not easy to earn.) Which is why I remain flummoxed that the DNC, when alerted by the FBI they were being hacked, sent the FBI away empty handed.
                Now I do think that Clinton and the higher reaches of the DNC know how expert the FBI digital forensics teams are in these matters. If the DNC wanted to get at the unvarnished facts the FBI would have been the logical choice to examine the servers and routers and logs and examine them at the first discovery of an intrusion, particularly since national interest was involved.

                1. flora

                  adding: saying the DNC was hacked does not prove that Wikileaks information came from said hack instead of from an inside download, aka a ‘leak’. Both could happen, separately and by different entities with different aims.

          4. Fiery Hunt

            “Do Trump supporters think that the FBI and the DNC are a greater threat to America and our (former) allies in Europe than Russia?”

            In a word…YES.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                In one year, those supporters would be right about 730 times.

                How many of us can top that?

          5. drumlin woodchuckles

            Trump wants EUrope to not-buy cheap Russian conventional gas so that EUrope can buy expensive American frack-gas instead. The gas-complaint really is that simple.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        To John Brennan, the verdict, after his own investigating, is ‘nothing short of treasonous.’

        1. flora

          John Brennan. Obama’s CIA director. Trump fired him and replaced him with Pompeo .

          ‘Brennan now serves as a senior national security and intelligence analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, with his inaugural appearance being on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd on Sunday, February 4, 2018.’ -Wikipedia

          Not that Brennan has an ax to grind.

          1. flora

            adding: Brennan was CIA chief from March 2013 to January 2017, during the 2016 election cycle. So, just where the hell was he during the 2016 election, on vacation?

      3. voteforno6

        I don’t think they’re actually investigating treason…there is a strict definition of that crime. In fact, it’s the only crime that’s actually specified in the U.S. Constitution, for good reason.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It looks like that they are already beyond there…way beyond there and are actually in the twilight zone.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            ” They’ll get there. They’ll get there.” is the sort of specific prediction which will happen or not happen in the fullness of time. We shall see.

      4. stonecutter

        Treason? You (and your democrat associates) evidently do not grasp the meaning of that word. If your mind should be capable of grasping the meaning of the word, your enthusiasm for Democrates ( the party of rum, sedition, and Rebellion – not to mention slavery, empire and gross federal governance and employment) would lessen. Remember, Bernie failed at every private and communal enterprise he engaged in, and became a multi-millionaire in “public service”.

  18. Craig H.

    The macaws are gorgeous. Also they are freaking loud. There is a This American Life episode about a woman and her macaw which is great radio.

    Here it is.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I used to rent from a couple that had macaws in a cage outside my guesthouse. Damn things would go ballistic every morning. First light of day sent them into a squawking frenzy.

      My landlady would respond by stomping out of her house and aiming the garden house at ’em. That shut them up in a hurry.

  19. vlade

    “Better than physical”. No, it’s not, for a few reasons:
    – having access to physical server means you can always create an image (the advantage of having an image is that you can play with it w/o fear of evidence destruction, and run different tests in parallel)
    – getting the image, you cannot guarantee non-tampering. Having access to the physical server you cannot guarantee tampering either, but you may be able to detect some forms which may be not detectable from the image.

    – it also depends on how complete the image is – i.e. is is just disk image, or really a complete image, i.e. including all firmware and CMOS settings on all components that have it (which is not just the mother board, but anything that has upgradeable firmaware and some CMOS. Which nowadays means practically everything, like network cards, hard drives, video cards etc.). firmware attacks are a fairly good vector for highly professional attackers these days (i.e. if you want to hack something really important, not just your average John/Jane Doe’s laptop).

    – you’d also really look at other network infrastructure like routers etc. (god forbid you have internet-of-things stuff on the network, or DNC’s telly so that someone can watch Netflix). If you can take control of these, you may be able to spoof/listen on traffic, and then you don’t really need to hack the main computer, as you have a good chance to be able to get the usernames/passwords to get in. I assume that a state-level player could get a valid-looking cert for any site, so an SSL would be extremely vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack. In fact, if you can persuade the user to get a fishy Certificate Authority in their browser, you’re all the way there. A common way for corporates to intercept and inspect SSL traffic on their local networks.

    1. YankeeFrank

      Nailed it. So in every other case in history the DoJ comes in and takes the hardware. In this “most important investigation ever” they get delivered images from “some” hard drives. The whole thing stinks to high heaven.

    2. hunkerdown

      Hard drives don’t completely record over old data, a bit like whiteboards show a latent image of what was written previously. Forensic analysis can locate and recover such information. That’s why you have to wipe disks with a cloth BleachBit to overwrite disk areas repeatedly so as to obscure previously recorded data.

  20. The Rev Kev

    As regards to tonight’s main story of the Trump-Putin summit, all I can say is-


    Oh man, people’s heads are literally exploding. You have to sit back and laugh as it has descended onto madness. You have all the usual suspects screaming that this is high treason, that it is criminal, that it just can’t be allowed. They even arrested a Russian gun-nut to work the treason angle. Who cares if Russia is one of the countries that can turn America into a radioactive car park that glows in the dark. We are talking about the sanctity of the deep state here.
    They even dragged a very aged looking Arnold Schwarzenegger out and let him have his rant. The good thing is that it throws in sharp relief those that would prefer a confrontation with a nuclear Russia than to get together and sort out issues of mutual benefit. Trump did ask valid questions like about that server and Clinton’s emails.
    Truth be told, he could simply drive over to the NSA, hand them a memory stick and ask for a copy of those emails. After all, there is not an electron that goes in and out of America that the NSA doesn’t hoover up and store. Be interesting to see what flows on from here and the MSM around the world. I suppose that there will be calls next to arrest Trump when he arrives back in the US and send him to Fort Leavenworth – or even Guantanamo Bay. BWAHAHAHA!

    1. Whoa Molly!

      I read the news and listened to commentators yesterday. Two words went through my mind:

      Mass hysteria.

      I don’t know why seeing a storm of mass hysteria should shock me. The madness of crowds is not a new phenomenon. But for some reason I never thought I would see it in my lifetime.

      1. Ted

        Yes, but this “mass hysteria” shows all the signs of a designed PR operation, which I suspect it is. Why do people have such a hard time understanding that PR campaigns run the news cycle and that nothing in national politics is organic. Although, when the public becomes unleashed through campaigns of mass hysteria, the results become wildly unpredictable or even counter intuitive.

        I am feeling a bit like summer 2016, when the media and their audience of 10%ers went off the rails for the presidential. It dripped faux indigance then and it does now, which frankly is very bad news for team blue at the polls. I can assure every day such demagoguery goes on, the less I am likely to support anyone fro team D at the national level. Just like 2016.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          So, the solution to combatting one PR campaign is to embrace the one of longer standing that has turned our election process into a sporting event where the only important matter is which teams are on the field?

          Because that’s precisely what saying one will refuse to vote for any Democrat in November is, and it’s just as much a product of media mind control as the current hysteria over Trump/Putin. We have been programmed to such a degree that for most people it no longer matters who the actual players are, and whether they cheat or play fair. The only thing that does matter is what color jersey they have on.

          That’s how the status quo is maintained. That and focusing solely on ordering people they have to vote, no matter who the candidates are or what they stand for, because all that matters is which team gets the most trophies.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        two words went through my mind also. But in my case, the two words were:

        Mass PsyOps.

  21. Matthew G. Saroff

    That whole Vermont Law School thing?

    One of the Profs stripped of tenure and having his pay cut was Peter Teachout, Zephyr Teachout’s father.

    Should get interesting.

  22. fresno dan

    My own bete noire at HICAP is that we go through this exercise of having beneficiaries tell us their prescription drugs and than looking up on a computer (at – anyone can do it) what prescription drug plan (or medicare advantage plan) will cover that particular drug and what the total costs for the drug plan premiums and prescriptions will be.
    BUT how are you suppose to know what drugs will be prescribed in the future? I want a health plan that covers WHATEVER illness I have and whatever medicine I need.
    So much time and effort (and EXPENSE!!!) to prop up an ersatz market to pretend that capitalism provides efficient healthcare…

  23. ambrit

    The tenure article from Vermont is very troubling. Tenure is the cement that keeps whatever is left of academic integrity in place. That a teachers security can be discarded in favour of ‘financial stability’ for the university means that everything is now for sale. Teachers without tenure now have deep incentives to pander to the administrations they work for, and, indirectly, the donors and alumni that hold the schools’ purse strings.
    Intellectual integrity in official venues just took a shot to the head.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In other workplaces, what keeps integrity in place?

      It can’t be that you whistle blow, only to have one option left: escape to Russia.

      1. ambrit

        Given that integrity is a personal and private part of ones’ character, it should spontaneously rise from below. However, the institution can dissuade integrity through threats and punishments, such as removing tenure for positions that hold within them the necessary seeds of dissent and anti-official arguments.
        The ultimate enabler of integrity within anything is the credible threat of being able to destroy the institution in question. “They made a desert and called it Peace” can be an ambiguous statement. Just ask any anchorite.

      2. Kurtismayfield

        You can leave. Once you are tenure tracked at a university, you are planted for life

      1. HotFlash

        Ah, the IMF model! But why would they want to kill this particular law school?

        Professors interviewed by VTDigger are concerned that the 75 percent reduction in tenured faculty will damage the school’s reputation as one of the nation’s top-ranked environmental law schools.


        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          If any other law school has aspirations of gaining a top-ranked environmental law division, this would be a fine time for such a school to hire some of these professors . . . and grant them tenure.

          If all ( ALL) of the de-tenured professors can be rescued and tenured elsewhere, then let them all be rescued at once and let this Vermont school be “burned to the ground” as a lesson to any other school thinking of taking a big loan in return for de-tenuring all the professors.

    2. Ted

      As someone on the inside, the incentives have long been in place to undermine academic integrity with tenure. Primarily the grant funded derby that is a requirement for most tenurable academic posts in the US. Get the grant, get the dean’s notice.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        I was going to ask that question…to get tenure, do you have to compromise?

  24. Carolinian

    Greenwald on Democracy Now

    But what he has been consistent about for a long time—and this is something that Joe himself recently said, that I agree with completely—is that a lot of these international institutions that are supposed to be off limits from criticism, like free trade organizations, the World Trade Organization, NATO, the EU, have devastated the working-class populations of multiple countries. And if we want to understand why we have a Donald Trump and why we have a resurgent “alt-right” throughout Europe and why we have Brexit, we need to start asking questions about whether or not these institutions, that have been so sacred for so long, are actually ones that are serving the interest of our country. And until we figure out how to solve the root causes that have given rise to Trumpism and to fascist extremism in Europe and in the country I live in, Brazil, which is that these institutions are destroying the economic future of tens of millions and hundreds of millions of people in order to benefit the rich, we’re just going to have more Trumps, no matter how much we kick our feet and call him names. And that, I think is the issue that is most being ignored by all of this rhetoric.

    Glenn cuts to the chase which is why some of us regret his switch to website proprietor (if he is still the proprietor) from regular columnist. There is a worldwide threat of fascism but it comes from big media and corporations and their upper middle class hangers on far more from the often bumbling “populists” like Trump. When the CTRL-LEFT goes on about fascism it’s clearly a case of projection. Who could believe the so-called left would once be cheering on the CIA? But it’s clearly because they see the great unwashed as the bigger threat.

    As for the Democracy Now debate, Greenwald demolishes Cirincione in detail. The guy is scary smart.

    1. tegnost

      agreed, very much worth reading, both for content and debate style where he built his argument on the opposing points

    2. RandyM

      Glenn Greenwald brilliantly puts it all in perspective. That’s what intelligent people do. It’s beyond the capabilities of our political class though.

  25. Wukchumni

    Around the turn of the century, a friend passed away and was planted @ Forest Lawn about 44 feet from the 10 freeway in Covina, and the pastor could hardly get a word in with all the road noise drowning out the benediction of the poor bastard…

    It struck a nerve and when my dad passed away a few years later, I asked my mom and siblings if they were cool with a more proper sendoff, and the place I had in mind was on the High Sierra Trail, about 13 miles walk from Crescent Meadow in a spot known as Hanging Gardens, with a commanding view of the Great Western Divide, a wholly cathedral of granite.

    Here, have a look, it’s the 6th photo down in the link:

    A friend’s son just called yesterday, sadly relating the news that his father had departed this mortal coil, and in his will, he requested to be scattered in the same locale…

    1. ambrit

      I’m considering being interred in a nature preserve facing East.
      Phyllis is quite emphatic: no funeral, no embalming, no fancy anything. “I’ll be gone. Funerals are for the living. Any dead person who cares about their own funeral would be a really neurotic shade.”
      I really wonder what future Zeta Reticulan archaeologists will make of our grave goods.

      1. Whoa Molly!

        For my sendoff, I would like a rollicking good party. Lots of music, stories and laughter.

        Oh, and send the carcass to a medical school. I will be finished with it, and figure it would be good if someone else could get some use out of the damn thing.

        1. Arizona Slim

          After my father died, I was in charge of making his memorial arrangements. Since my Dad was a man of a very few words, I wasn’t surprised to learn that he had expressed no wishes about what he wanted done.

          So, it was time for me to, well, do what I wanted to do.

          The first order of business was a wake. In a brewpub. It’s one of my favorite places in that town, and, as I found out via Dad’s Rotary Club buddies, he loved going there.

          Next, there was the nod to tradition. A memorial service at Mom and Dad’s church. Since Dad wasn’t one to waste time, I made sure that said service was short, sweet, and to the point. No eulogies, reminiscences from the congregation, or anything like that.

          Then came the part that I’m most proud of. I had his body cremated and I requested that the ashes be put in a biodegradable urn. Mom wanted them buried in the woods, and that’s what I did. Since we are of Celtic descent, I built a cairn over the grave.

          1. ambrit

            I hope you left him some grave goods to carry him in the next life, plus to give those Zeta Reticulan xeno-archaeologists something to puzzle over.

            1. Arizona Slim

              I found a seashell in the woods. Don’t ask me how it got there, because the nearest beach was more than 100 miles away, but I thought it looked good on Dad’s cairn.

      2. Wukchumni

        Five years after we scattered him there (most of the family was along) my wife was a few miles away @ Bearpaw Meadow on Memorial Day in a bit of a raging storm, hanging out in the ranger station with friends, keeping dry. And then they heard what she described as a 5 minute rather continual avalanche coming from the opposite side near Hamilton Dome, which is about as perfect of an avalanche chute as you could order up.

        About a month later we’re back there and go visit the place-which always has a breezy light wind, and looking across, the avalanche ripped through at least 100 trees directly opposite of where he was scattered, like so many discarded toothpicks.

        He had a great seat for the action…

        1. HotFlash

          Creamation for me, check. Would rather just molder, but that’s not legal in most places. My request is to be mulched into a (ideally, my) vegetable garden. That’s not legal in most places either, but very hard to detect. I consider it only fitting payback for all the nice food I have enjoyed.

      3. Wukchumni

        The inferno’ists who reduce the living to a dozen or so pounds of what used to be them, are so eager for you to purchase the ‘right’ urn, with a wide variety of price points.

        How would it look carrying them out in a sturdy plastic bag, from the mortuary?

        How gauche!

        1. HotFlash

          Nah, standard issue cremains container here is a metal screw-top can that looks like a tobacco tin (it would be the MacDonald one, with the lassie on it).

          1. Wukchumni

            No way they were going to let us leave without at least the $95 plain jane edition, for they had to earn a living somehow.

  26. Ford Prefect

    Re: Russians and NRA

    I am quite convinced that the Russians getting involved with the NRA is purely innocent. My best guess is that Putin wants to establish Second Amendment rights in Russia where every household could have multiple guns to use in resisting the government. He is just trying to figure out how to do that effectively and learning how to create an NRA-style organization in Russia. There is no possibility that Putin would be trying to use the NRA to divide Americans – that would be very un-Russian.

    1. djrichard

      As I like to say on the Yahoo comments section, I miss when we were more united, like when we invaded Iraq. I still have my “united we stand” bumper sticker.

  27. Arthur Dent

    Re: Taliban

    I thought the whole objective of GWOT was to prevent attacks on the US (and now Europe as well). As far as I can tell, the Taliban are very different from ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and even Iran. Even today, they don’t seem to have instituted any terrorist attacks outside Afghanistan in support of their cause.

    They seem to simply want to run their own turf following 10 century religious principles (kind of like Indiana). I am quite sure they wouldn’t want to be invaded again and would agree to prevent terrorist groups from basing themselves there. They would likely then just hunker down inside their valleys and do their thing. It might be possible to negotiate with them to cut down on opium production and provide them with a free market agreement for other products as an incentive.

    I don’t approve of their religious principles and how they enforce them, but it is not my country. If the locals have been unwilling to support the Afghan government and the US, then that is their choice. Once again, the US appears to have backed secular governments that are simply focused on graft and corruption and are baffled by why that is not winning the love of the people.

    So why not negotiate with the Taliban? If they can prevent extra-territorial terror and control opium production, the our goals would have been met. Its not like the US has been successful there over the past few years. I think we had our shot at changing the country in 2002-3 but then got distracted by invading Iraq while installing an awful, corrupt government in Afghanistan. So the opportunity went down the drain due to massive strategic blunders.

      1. newcatty

        “Invading countries to change them”. This is not a strategy to provide “opportunities” for good strategies for meeting our virtuous goals… the main goal, so far, is to continue with the racket.

      2. Arthur Dent

        Euphemism for invading Iraq based on false pretenses and without a plan other than relying the locals to strew rose petals at the feet of our soldiers.

  28. JohnnyGL

    Dropping this for the craziness, but especially the last couple of minutes of questioning where Wolf Blitzer practically demands Rand Paul should pledge allegiance to the Intel Community. The weird false dilemma of how everyone must pick sides between intel world or be a Putin lover is really creepy.

    Honestly, there’d be less of a freakout if Trump had walked into an Evangelical Church and quoted Sartre, saying “God is dead, I can prove it to you!”.

    1. 3.14e-9

      Thanks for the link, Johnny. I saw Rand Paul on PBS Newshour last night and just now was looking for a link to post. Video and transcript here:


      Woodruff: … And yet the entire intelligence community in this country has concluded the Russians did interfere. The president today was siding with the Russians. How do you read that?

      Paul: I’m not so sure I would describe it as siding with the Russians. I would say that President Trump has healthy dose of skepticism towards our intelligence community. And I — I share some of that.

      I mean, James Clapper came before the Senate and lied. He said they weren’t collecting our information. That’s the biggest bold-faced lie that we have had in decades, and nobody did anything about it. James Clapper lied to the U.S. Senate about collecting our data.

      1. Carolinian

        Of course “the entire intelligence community” did no such thing….only the cherry picked subset.

        A pity The News Hour can’t do better than a tired shill like Woodruff. But then they have always had a shadowy relationship with TPTB. Even before being owned by Liberty Media there were questions about all those corporate sponsorships announced at the top of the show. The show is now produced by WETA.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Side with intel world or be a PUtin lover.

      That’s like, if you’re not with our, you’re against us.

      Similarly, in that world, if you are not to be enslaved, you have to enslave.

  29. TroyMcClure

    re: Vermont Professors Lose Tenure

    Money quote:

    In an examination of Vermont Law School’s financial feasibility from July 2016, representatives from Berry Dunn McNeil & Parker LLC, a public accounting and management consulting firm, said financial statements could not be audited because “management has elected to omit substantially all of the disclosures required by U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.”
    Sad to say the professors really come off as credulous dupes here. They actually take the admins at their word when they claim financial hardship. Maybe they are like so many credentialed class types I know…too good for the kind of union those grade school teachers have (the kind that actually has teeth.)

  30. Quentin

    So perplexing. Why would anyone spend money and time to listen to Hillary Rodham Clinton telling you how wonderful she is without admitting that in spite of all her awesomeness she lost the election to a ‘lesser entity’ named Donald Trump. I guess Steve Job’s multibillionaire widow holds the key to the puzzle because as a businesswoman she must be right up there with the top players: Laurene and Hillary reflect and reinforce each other’s self-image. Why do Clinton’s publicity team keep publishing such smug bling images of here: is it because there are no other? The poor people who live around Central Park have to put of with this commercial PR bullshit the whole summer long. They might not recognize fun when they see it.

      1. Quentin

        I shiver when I feel obliged to admit that I think you’re right. Her pigheaded sense of entitlement is appalling even for a Seven Sisters Goldwater Girl.

        1. JohnnyGL

          Don’t fear it…..EMBRACE it….if she dares, she’ll be trounced by just about ANY other candidate.

          But she’s not in it to win….it’s just for the fundraising, as always.

          Just think about the joy you’ll experience of being able to vote against her one more time!!!

      2. Carey

        It’s sure looking that way, isn’t it? And I thought ’16 was bad!
        The PTB will “allow” only one answer: Herself, coming to save™ us.

        Oh dear

      3. John k

        I assume donors terrified by Bernie are looking to find somebody that keep him from power, and he’s nowhere unless he wins the dem nomination. From their perspective she accomplished job 1, losing to the right wing buffoon not a problem for them, don’t forget the tax cut.
        She retains huge following in the dem base even as she has become less pop overall.
        So donors will pick her unless some other dependable like Biden or kamela take off in the dem polls, which are the ctitical barometer.
        Granted the elders that love her are dying off while the younguns are growing in numbers, but problem is to get the young both registered and in the poll booths. AOC has picked up on Bernie’s strategies and quite possible improved them, but lots of states out there. Wasn’t good enough last time… he’s stronger now, but will have massive oppo in 2020.

    1. Jean

      “Cozy Fest” with wealth.
      Ideal for the woman that has achieved yoga nirvana and has everything but a decent gardener and a satisfying career.

  31. Synoia

    Four ‘spaceports’ to be built across UK

    Really? Lets discuss “spaceports”. The US has two major ones, California and Florida. The French have one in French Guyana.

    Spaceports launch in two directions – one east, with the spin of the earth, the other north or south, or polar orbits. Launching in the direction of the spin of the earth takes advantage of the earth’s rotation, to give the rocket a free boost from the highest surface velocity of the earth, near the equator.

    The UK is not close to the equator, consequently the “spaceports” in the UK would be directed at polar orbits. Polar orbits are predominantly used for imaging the earth, weather, crops, global warming or surveillance, because the orbit takes a satellite over the whole surface of the earth.

    A question for the “authorities” in the UK. Who are the intended customers for these 4 new spaceports, and what are their intentions?

    I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with “s.”

    1. vlade

      This is a baseless Remainer project Fear! The UK govt is too lame with only four spaceports, a proper benefit for hard-brexit should be a flying pony to every family!

      1. newcatty

        Rumors say they will be dragons to protect the realm. Each family, with children, will proudly prepare oldest to go to dragon riding school at age of puberty. Gifted children who telepathically connect with their dragon will be give the honor of joining the realms’ dragon force. Dragonports will be hidden in the isles. Glory! England will rule the skies.

        1. ChrisPacific

          The dragons will also telepathically scan anyone crossing the UK or Irish borders, and implant a suggestion in their head to turn back if they are in breach of any customs or immigration laws.* Therefore the UK will be free to pursue regulatory divergence without needing to impose hard border controls anywhere.

          * They will accomplish this with 100% accuracy even if the relevant laws haven’t been agreed yet, because they are magic.

    1. voteforno6

      I have a hard time taking anything she said seriously, after the way she made herself part of the story. It seems kind of shameful for a supposed journalist to be so willing to talk to the FBI, but not to her own readers on a particular subject.

      1. Eureka Springs

        After many years of reading her, I trust Marcy, aka EW, her integrity, very much. I’m not sure it’s fair to say she threw herself into the story. She is relying on information which she cannot share and I can trust that only so much. As in I do not agree with her conclusions on Trump /Russia as I understand her conclusions to be yet. If that early source ended up scaring her enough to compel her to invite the FBI to enter her own home while she wasn’t even there and search her computer, something is terribly wrong. She’s a very smart cookie who may have been played.

        In fact it’s people like Marcy insisting otherwise which has kept me from demanding a lot of unhinged Dems I know get a grip. So, like Lambert et al, I’m stuck with – what’s your evidence?

        I still think sharing links to Publius Tacitus at Turcopolier is best on these matters.

  32. Summer

    Re:Plutonium is missing, but the government says nothing…

    In the event of continued insanity, where are the global world order apparatchiks that will secure the USAs WMDs? Who draws the short straws in that scenario?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s OK to bring your own.

        I also recommend we should all carry a handkerchief always.

  33. Westcoastdeplorable

    RE: Your ad about the Hitlery meetup…I’d much rather see Hitlery dead than alive. She a traitor who has intentionally divided our country, leaked our secrets, and stole a primary election. Thank you very much.

  34. Wukchumni

    “You’re off to Great Places!
    Today is your day!
    Your mountain is waiting,
    So… get on your way!”

    Dr. Seuss

    Swam the Middle Fork of the Kaweah the other day with a couple of friends, and earlier in the summer the water is flowing too quick and you have to wait for an optimum time to attempt it, and we ended up swimming about 2/3rds of the 3 miles, and having to get out on rougher patches and 5 foot waterfalls and other misc hazards, which meant negotiating through dense boulder fields passing by hundreds having the girth of a full sized SUV’s, weaving our way down the path of least resistance downstream. A fair amount of the time boulders the size of bowling balls are a foot or 2 underneath the top of the river in shallow sections, so you’re always maneuvering, looking for the best way.

    I’d never done this before and those along on the swim were old pros, and my instructions before we put in from the aquatrix in charge, was to ask for 10 minutes of rest any time I felt as if I needed a break, and this journey requires constant vigil, your guard is almost never let up, lest when you’re taking one of those breaks on a slightly shady slab or granite, basking in the grandeur of a place few get to glimpse so close up. The river itself was mostly clean once we got clear of easy to reach areas, my whole takings for the 7 hour day being a Stella Artois bottle cap. People just don’t litter in the National Park all that much.

    I had a dry bag with lunch and water, in a daypack, and it made for a perfect flotation device in the 70 degree water, under 100 degree skies overhead, with the remnants of Mexican monsoons causing clouds to the east over Moro Rock to appear as if an H bomb took out the Tablelands, they only kept getting more billowy as we traipsed west, weariness creeping over me and we still had a fair way to go, with essentially no easy egress point, committed.

    By the time we’d reached our put out point, I was well and truly spent, knackered. It worked every muscle and my eyes ached from having to be cognizant for 400 minutes. In fact when I got home to eat dinner, it even hurt to chew.

    1. newcatty

      I found my mountain…It’s a great place. Here’s my diary account for the other day.

      Fed two of my best friends, my cats. Brushed older furry cat. She thinks its a massage until she says I’m done. Drank a glass of fresh squeezed lemon in a glass of filtered water chased by two cups of organic coffee. Read NC and other blogs. Took a break and ate breakfast. Tidied up the kitchen a bit. Thought about doing some laundry. Put off for “later”. Helped bag organic blueberries from big bag into smaller bags( more efficient for access from refrigerator). Back to reading NC and doing some commenting. Watered indoor plants. Read a natural foods magazine article on the miracle of kale! Watched a travel show about historic and beautiful Ontario. First Nation portion well done. Enjoyed that. Read a couple chapters of current book. Cleaned litter box. Helped make dinner and drank wine. By the time I finished dinner and helped clear the table, I was ready to listen to the sudden thunder storm and watch the lightening show as night fell on our mountain place. I was almost spent.

  35. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


    China’s ageing population problem worsens as birth and marriage rates fall South China Morning Post

    1. Do they include babies born in, say, America and other countries?

    2. Is the ageing population problem worsened by wealthy young men and women moving abroad

    3. the need to send young people to man all the posts along One Belt, One Road?

  36. Kurtismayfield

    Green Bay Packers 2017 financial report

    Greem Bay is the only football team that gives us a public look at football team’s finances, because they are a public corporation.

    The Packers said revenue for the fiscal year, which ended March 31, was $454.9 million, $13.5 million more than last year. Expenses were $420.9 million, a $44.8 million increase.

    Profits aren’t that great, but Green Bay is a public team that puts a few restrictions on their profits (like selling a stadium sponsorship).

    National revenue of $255.9 million was up 4.9 percent. National revenue includes TV deals, road-game revenue sharing and other income, such as from NFL media operations.

    That is a lot of media money, which all of the teams get.

    I have no idea how anyone can give these teams money for stadiums when they have this much cash sloshing around.

  37. Cat Afficionado

    I am a little confused by the relatively-new reference to “the 9.9%” that I see more and more on here. I think I remember it being an article in The Atlantic where the author made the case that people in the 90-99.9% income bracket are the “real” problem, or simply enablers of the 0.1% or something, with what seemed like incredibly dubious logic. It went something along the lines of, “the bottom 90% has seen their wealth and real incomes fall for decades, while the 9.9% has held steady or only seen a tiny decline, all while the 0.1% has taken more and more of the pie. Clearly, the 9.9% is complicit because they have not been screwed hard enough like everyone else.

    That the corporate media coined the 9.9% term (as far as I know) implies to me that it is merely another thinly veiled piece of propaganda by the 0.1% to refocus the ire of the 90% at a more easily accessible group. Replace “9.9%” with “Kulaks” and you might get some deja-vu. Many or most of the members of this 9.9% group did not get there through rent seeking (people below the 98% line, anyway) and only maintain their position there through consistently exercising good judgment and making reasonably good decisions. There is also a failure to account for the fact that the 9.9% is based on national income stats, while many of the people in the 9.9% live in high priced coastal metro areas where the cost of living is 3-6x that of many other places.

    Anyway, I don’t imagine that NC is actually in agreement with the notion put forth by The Atlantic, so I’m definitely curious about what is implied with references to the 9.9% by the authors here.

    1. Slartibartfast

      I’ve noticed that as well. More proof (as if more proof was needed) that “they” have completely lost control of the narrative. I suppose “they” see how well blaming everyone but theyselves is working out for Hillary and her crew of obsequious toadies and decided to follow suit.

      1. CalypsoFacto

        the 9.9% are easily identifiable human shields for the 0.01% and are being set up to take the brunt of any mass civil unrest as a result of inequality. I hear a lot of people on the west coast complain about tech worker salaries driving up the cost of housing (source of most normal people wealth, so indirectly blaming this very visible segment of the 9.9% at fault) and nowhere near as much about how we could progressively tax out the worst of the inequality starting at the top end and the wealthiest would STILL be the richest, but not by such a large margin.

        My standard reply when someone starts frothing about a 190k software developer salary in Seattle is to ask them what’s worse, a dev with 3 kids and a stay at home wife and a 700k mortgage and 190k salary, or someone with 970 million dollars? Why is 150k ‘hateable’ but 150M is untouchable? it works on an individual basis but nobody has a flashing sign above their head announcing how much wealth they have. However software bros in nice sneakers with a high-status security key fob walking in packs in certain parts of town are very visible and a six figure salary is unattainable for normal people who don’t work in tech.

        1. Cat Afficionado

          If you want to cheat the IRS and get away with it, just make sure you have enough zeros before the decimal point.

          The “blowing up the cost of living” point is, as I am sure most readers here know, complicated. Sure, high paying jobs contribute. So do ham-fisted housing policies that discourage construction of low-income units (such as poorly implemented rent control measures), uncontrolled inflow of hot foreign capital, corrupt city governments enforcing the will of uber-wealthy NIMBYs, etc.

          At least in certain west-coast locales, tech workers are deliberately painted as Kulaks. There’s no easy way to get near a billionaire to hassle them, and they are only 0.1% of the population anyway. But those 9.9%’ers…it’s real easy to toss bricks through their windows! The 0.1% wants to make sure that people who are legitimately angry have an accessible group to vent their frustrations upon!

          1. CalypsoFacto

            You might be interested in my comment here from a few days ago about tech workers and the cost of living in Seattle/Portland…

            In regards to your original question Anyway, I don’t imagine that NC is actually in agreement with the notion put forth by The Atlantic, so I’m definitely curious about what is implied with references to the 9.9% by the authors here.

            I think maybe west coasters immediately assume tech workers as the 9.9% but I think in other locales the most visible members of 9.9% as a class take different forms. In the DC area it’s probably lobbyists and a certain type of consultant. In NYC it might be a certain type of real estate developer or local politician. They share class markers of certain types of housing or schooling for their progeny or usage of gardeners and nannies instead of doing their own yardwork and childcare. So there’s maybe a geographic element among the NC commentariat in terms of casual usage… we mean different things when we say it. I know I have different feelings on throwing a brick through the window of a lobbyist vs a surgeon.

            I work in tech but grew up working class and skipped college, so I’m a weird class outlier and sort of immune to the status symbol purchases. I see far more tech workers like me in that respect than other class professionals, probably because as a field there is still sort of a path to work your way up without an expensive education. So I also have a bit of concern for the cavalier classification of the entire 9.9% as collaborators with the bosses.

  38. Oregoncharles

    “We asked psychologists why so many rich people think the apocalypse is coming ”
    Haven’t been to Salon for a long time, since I realized they were censoring the comments on a partisan basis and wouldn’t respond to me about it. This article raised a good question but wandered off into psychobabble.

    I think the reason is very simple: a bad conscience. They know better than anyone else how thoroughly they’re ripping off everyone else, and they know there are a lot more of us than of them. Apparently they also know the climate is on the edge of collapse (Alaska would be one of the MOST affected areas), but continue their orgy of greed nonetheless.

    So logically, they have to expect it to all go down. And they have a lot to lose. Most of us can’t afford bunkers, but a few months’ worth of staples might be a good idea, along with a source of water you can drink. As Mormons have been doing for a long time, for their own reasons. Our world is visibly fragile.

    1. ewmayer

      “I think the reason is very simple: a bad conscience.” — That was exactly my first thought, as well. I suppose I should take it as a kind of small comfort that some of them still *have* a conscience which can gnaw at them, but ya think maybe there might be better ways of salving one’s oligarchic-guilt-ridden conscience than survivalist prattle and “we’re going off-world!”

  39. Michael K

    Hillary lives in Central Park now? My word! How far she has fallen!

    And who would be so heartless as to sell tickets to that sad spectacle (even at a 50% discount)? She is NOT an animal! (apologies to John Hurt)

  40. Oregoncharles

    “Plutonium is missing, but the government says nothing Center for Public Integrity”
    Plutonium has always been missing, in alarmingly large quantities. Apparently a lot of it was stuck in the pipes at the processing plant, which was none too efficient.

    The record-keeping on plutonium amounts is largely fictional. That’s one reason nuclear power plants, which produce it, are “a bomb’s way of making more bombs.”

  41. Oregoncharles

    “I toured Lennar’s Amazon smart home — here’s what it’s like”

    There is no clear picture of the garage, but it does appear that there are shrubs blocking the doors. I suspect it’s full of servers, not shown.

  42. The Rev Kev

    “The Magic Of Novichok – Deadly Agent Found In Perfume Bottle”

    You have to wonder. The guy that got poisoned this time around from the Novichok that was found in a bottle in his home. Could the guy have ever done work as a bottle-washer at Porton Downs?

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