Links 7/21/18

Humans are altering seasonal climate cycles worldwide Nature

An ice shelf melts and the world’s sea levels gain an inch The Outline (DL).

Hot Times for Reindeer: All-Time Records Melt in Lapland Weather Underground

A Court Decision in California Threatens to Erode the Constitutional Right to a Lawyer The Intercept

Brexit

Barnier adopts conciliatory tone over Ireland FT. From FT comments: “No, this was not a conciliatory tone. This was a diplomatic way of telling the British government to get its act together and suggest something real. With Donald Trump’s visit and style still fresh in our minds, Barnier might indeed sound conciliatory. But he’s just sending a reminder to London that still hasn’t done its job.”

With the Tempest, Britain bids to lead the world in fighter jets The Economist

Macron fires security aide filmed beating protester Deutsche Welle

The Diagnose Of Italy’ Disease: Where We Think Charles Wyplosz Is Wrong Economonitor

Lula’s Would-Be Heir Kicks Off Presidential Race in Brazil Bloomberg

Syraqistan

Israel Declares Itself Apartheid State Moon of Alabama

New Mossad chief to apologise for use of UK passports in Dubai killing Independent. That’s nice.

‘Desperate to find a way out’: Iran edges towards precipice Guardian

Iran indicates talks with US on nuclear program unlikely AP

Iran has laid groundwork for extensive cyberattacks on U.S., say officials NBC. That’s the nice thing about cyber; with attribution (e.g., Stuxnet) so hard, the narrative is endlessly malleable.

Three Top FBI Cybersecurity Officials to Retire WSJ

States slow to prepare for hacking threats Politico

New Cold War

The Helsinki Summit: A Good Idea Turns Bad The National Interest

After Helsinki: Moving Forward in an Overwhelming Toxic Atmosphere Valdai Discussion Club

Russia’s ambassador to U.S. on Putin-Trump summit: ‘Why do the Western media think it’s bad?’ Los Angeles Times

* * *

Russia Reacts After Trump Invites Putin To White House WBUR

Russia, US holding closed-door consultations on New START, INF treaties – ambassador Tass

Exclusive: U.S. open to lifting sanctions off aluminum giant Rusal – Mnuchin Reuters

* * *

Michael Cohen’s tapes might be the kompromat we’ve been waiting for Los Angeles Times

A Theory of Trump Kompromat The New Yorker

Robert Mueller offers Tony Podesta immunity to testify against Paul Manafort: Report Washington Examiner

Justice Department to Release FISA Documents on Carter Page This Afternoon Law & Crime

The Real Link Between the White House and the Kremlin Village Voice

* * *

It’s Time For A Little Perspective on Russia Current Affairs

Russiagate is a Ruling Class Diversion Black Agenda Report

How to Start a Nuclear War Harpers

Henry Kissinger: ‘We are in a very, very grave period’ FT

Trump Transition

US to alert public to foreign operations targeting Americans CNET (YC). YC: “U.S. elites don’t like competition when it comes to manipulating the American public.”

Census Bureau nominee becomes lightning rod for debate over 2020 census Science

The Health 202: Veterans’ health funding is first sticking point in potential government shutdown fight WaPo. What, again?

Democrats in Disarray

The Democratic Party Apologizes to Black Voters The Atlantic

Congrats, comrades, on shaking Democrats up the right way E.J. Dionne, WaPo (UserFriendly).

Getting To Know The DSA NPR

Bulletin: The Tyranny of Structurelessness in American Politics Jacobin

Imperial Collapse Watch

Yes, We Should Call Them Imperialists The American Conservative

How we lost America to greed and envy Martin Wolf, FT

Class Warfare

Boots Riley on power, organizing and who really runs the country. (Hint: It’s not Trump) Los Angeles Times.

How Contemporary Antitrust Robs Workers of Power Law and Political Economy

A Global Guide to State-Sponsored Trolling Bloomberg

Young people are drinking themselves to death in record numbers Yahoo Lifestyle

National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study — Mental Health of Adult Offspring NEJM

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers Phys.org. Science is popping…

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.

237 comments

  1. emorej a hong kong

    Robert Mueller offers Tony Podesta immunity to testify against Paul Manafort: Report

    If Mueller had a time travel machine, would we see this?

    Robert Mueller offers Al Capone immunity to testify against his CPA

    Reply
      1. carycat

        Makes sense if you are trying to protect the elephant and immunize it against a insane future DOJ that may decide to actually do their stated job (not the one carrying water for the rich and powerful on the down low). As unlikely as that will be.

        Reply
    1. Expat

      Just keep saying “witch hunt” and it will all go away.
      The Justice Department has a long history of cutting deals with criminals in the interest of getting convictions against others. Sammy Gravano probably personally killed more people than Gotti, but he cut a deal that put Gotti away.
      There are no charges against Podesta. There could be possible charges if he is cutting a deal. But claiming that Podesta is worse than Manafort is simply partisan propaganda about witch hunts again
      The Republicans control the entire government. If they can’t do something, I suspect that is because there is nothing to be done.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is Podesta worse than Manafort?

        Are they about the same?

        With this, is Mueller saying Manafort is worse than Podesta?

        Or is he saying 1. Mannafort can lead to a bigger fish, or just Manafort can lead to a fish that is 2) worse, or 3) more desirable (or tasty, to Mueller)?

        Or is he saying he doesn’t want to know what fish Podesta can lead to?

        Why this particular strategy?

        Reply
      2. pretzelattack

        saying witch hunt didn’t make mccarthy go away, did it? gotti had people whacked. still no evidence that this is anything but a witch hunt, but that won’t stop mueller any more than it did mccarthy.

        Reply
      3. Katniss Everdeen

        mueller was appointed to “investigate” Trump / Russia “collusion,” not to collect persons of interest and single handedly decree who will be prosecuted (and will go broke defending himself) and who will be immune. mueller did not become judge and jury on any person or issue that can be tangentially connected to Donald Trump by virtue of the appointment, which was sketchy in the first place.

        Manafort is not Trump, Ukraine is not Russia, and failure to register as an agent of a foreign government is not “collusion.”

        rosentstein is supposed to keep him on the straight and narrow. He has been inert in his oversight since he’s neck deep in the whole sorry affair.

        The squealer ship has sailed. mueller has already accepted guilty pleas or indicted anyone who could “flip” on Trump. All that’s left is to keep flogging the Manafort dead horse in order to stay relevant in the hope that a November “blue wave” will provide him a humiliation-free exit ramp.

        The actual truth was texted by super agent strzok early on–“There is no there there.”

        Reply
      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        I don’t know if Podesta is “worse” than Manafort; Manafort is pretty bad. Tony is, however, the brother of John, the head of the Clinton campaign and long-time Democrat baron. So….

        Reply
        1. integer

          Hillary Clinton, the Podesta Group and the Saudi Regime: A Fatal Menage a Trois Alternet

          The lobby firm created by both Tony and John Podesta in 1988 receives $140,000 a month from the Saudi government, a government that beheads nonviolent dissidents, uses torture to extract forced confessions, doesn’t allow women to drive, and bombs schools, hospitals and residential neighborhoods in neighboring Yemen.

          The Podesta Group’s March 2016 filing, required under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, shows that Tony Podesta himself oversees the Saudi account. At the same time, Tony Podesta is also a top campaign contributor and bundler for Hillary Clinton. So while one brother runs the campaign, the other brother funds it with earnings that come, in part, from the Saudis.

          With Saudi and Russian ties, Clinton machine’s tentacles are far reaching, according to Panama Papers Salon

          A key gear in the Clinton machine that has sucked in hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying on behalf of the Saudi absolute monarchy has also worked for Russia’s biggest bank.

          The Podesta Group is one of the most influential Democratic Party-linked lobbyists in the U.S. And it is headed by a top Hillary Clinton fundraiser who has been referred to as the “Hillary moneyman.”

          Sberbank, the largest financial institution in Eastern Europe, hired the Podesta Group to help powder up its public image, The Observer reports.

          This is just one of the many findings in the so-called Panama Papers, a trove of 11.5 million documents that expose how political and economic elites from around the planet are stashing their money in secretive tax havens.

          Reply
      5. nippersdad

        Podesta’s operation was far, far larger than Manafort’s. If the issue was being an unregistered agent of foreign powers, Manafort and Papadopoulous shouldn’t even show up on the scale. At one point Manafort was an employee of Podesta’s.

        That is why this is called a witch hunt. Podesta was allowed to shut his operation down, even though it was closely associated with the Clinton Foundation. Why one and not the many, many others?

        The problem is with the appearance of collusion, when many of the people involved also had business relations with both the Russians and the Clintons. Airbrushing the relationships doesn’t make them go away.

        Reply
      6. drumlin woodchuckles

        Republicans don’t control the Intelligence Agencies. Certainly Trumpublicans don’t. Clapper the perjurer, Brennan the torturer and Mueller the entrapment engineer are not ” one of their kind, dear”.

        Still, let the investigations grind on and on. Let every prosecutable arm be fed down the Garbage Disposal of Justice.

        Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            I keep forgetting that. Of course, if the anthrax attacks came from Deep Bushites within the government, in order to scare the Overt and Visible parts of government into passing the Patriot Act; then Mueller didn’t “mishandle” the investigation. He would have ” dis-handled” it on purpose, perhaps under secret orders, to protect the Deep Bushite personnel who prepared and used that milspec lab-quality definitely-not-amateur anthrax in those false-flag Deep Bushite anthrax attacks.

            Reply
  2. The Rev Kev

    “With the Tempest, Britain bids to lead the world in fighter jets”

    Gee, does that mean if I build a full-scale mock up of an X-Wing fighter in my backyard, that the UK government will fund me $2.6 billion to go ahead and actually build one?

    Reply
      1. Craig H.

        Do not mock the F 35.

        The Navy, I can tell you, we’re ordering ships, with the Air Force i can tell you we’re ordering a lot of planes, in particular the F-35 fighter jet, which is like almost like an invisible fighter. I was asking the Air Force guys, I said, how good is this plane? They said, well, sir, you can’t see it. I said but in a fight. You know, in a fight, like I watch on the movies. The fight, they’re fighting. How good is this? They say, well, it wins every time because the enemy cannot see it. Even if it’s right next to them, it can’t see it.

        Independent 23 November 2017

        I would tell you who they are quoting except it probably is obvious and it pains my fingertips to type the name.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          I’d figured the explanation could have only come from the stable mind of a genus of geniuses, but i’ll not click on the link, so as to heighten the anticipation.

          Reply
        2. Synoia

          They say, well, it wins every time because the enemy cannot see it

          .

          Define “see,” Human Visually, radar, or infra-red parts of the spectrum.

          Or is is because the F35 is on the ground being “repaired?”

          Reply
    1. zxvehd

      It depends how expensive your X-Wing mock-up is.

      If you can inflate the costs so that they are over a billion, then you can take advantage of sunk cost fallacy to get another $20 billion in funding.

      Reply
  3. pretzelattack

    it’s good to have a refuge from the torrent of russiagate insanity. maybe with the summit over the tide of propaganda will roll back.

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      Wishful thinking. Not a tide. More of a death match. Borg vs. Mopery. Oddsmakers have it at 7-2 Borg, or 3-1 tie…

      As to refuge, as with human-induced climate change, there is no place to hide.

      Reply
            1. pretzelattack

              sort of, risen and mackey and a few others put out a much greater volume of articles these days than greenwald. there is sad news, though, the borg is apparently going to get its hands on assange, per the latest greenwald article.

              Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        You still see the same 10 or so signs all over the Central Valley by the many thousands: “Congress Created Dust Bowl”, “No Water = No Jobs”, “Stop The Politician Created Water Crisis”, “Dams Or Trains-Build Water Storage NOW”, etc.

        Seeing as most of the political red bastion in the CVBB gets their news from Fox, it’s a good fit, repetition.

        Reply
        1. JCC

          It makes you wonder about the source of all this after reading “A Global Guide to State-Sponsored Trolling”.

          I’m curious – a question for the gatekeepers here – How well are you all able to recognize trolling here? It’s pretty obvious to me that if places like Ecuador, the Philippines and others are obviously doing this, how much of this are our own masters doing in the U.S. and much knowledge are they supplying their sponsored states regarding how to do it properly?

          The Russia! Russia! Russia! commentary on other sites is pretty obvious, but how to recognize the subtle stuff is definitely an issue.

          Reply
          1. HotFlash

            Well, one mark of a troll, and I am speaking from flesh-and-blood experience more than online, is that they try to set members of a more-or-less cohesive community against one another. ‘Spot the Fibbie’ or ‘spot the troll’ is a standard ploy. Works very well, too — keep them at one another’s throats. I think that Jay Gould was a total idiot, you can get half the people to kill the other half without paying a cent. What a loser!

            Reply
        2. FluffytheObeseCat

          I particularly like the one demanding that the people of the state, at large, build them more dams. It’s what I’ve learned to expect from the bootstrappy super-Americans who control the CV.

          Their sense of entitlement is not matched anywhere outside of the DCCC. A commonality that would amuse…… if it weren’t for the fact that both, opposing sets of super-entitled jerks have so much power.

          Reply
          1. Mel

            Well, they see dams, they say “One of those. That’s what I want.” They’ll be sorry if they talk to some construction people and learn what a dam actually is. It’s not true that when they build a dam, they also build the water.

            Reply
        3. John Wright

          At one time it was proposed to build dams to capture the fresh Sacramento Delta water before it was “wasted” by mixing with salt water in San Francisco Bay.

          Two lakes were to be created in San Francisco Bay.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reber_Plan

          But during the recent drought, they worried about the opposite problem, sea water back filling into the delta water, making it unfit for human consumption.

          https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article18636900.html

          I’ve seen the Central Valley signs about how Nancy Pelosi (retired Senator Barbara Boxer was also listed as I remember) have caused the CV water shortage.

          The signs neglect to mention one important female that should be listed, Mother Nature.

          Reply
        4. Jean

          On a drive to L.A. we pulled over and altered one of those signs from

          “Is growing food a waste of water?”

          to “Is growing food for export to Asia a waste of tax-payer subsidized water?”

          The sign was taken down withing a couple of hours per a friend driving by later, but probably many thousands of motorists saw it.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Some prankster in the CVBB altered political signs a decade ago by taking a sharpie to the ‘L’, and said signs read:

            McCain/Pain 2008

            Reply
        5. Lord Koos

          These are the people that are pumping dry the aquifer underneath the the central valley, and they blame the politicians… meanwhile it takes something like 5 gallons of water to produce a single almond, a popular California crop.

          Reply
  4. The Rev Kev

    “Bulletin: The Tyranny of Structurelessness in American Politics”: ‘Want to find out if “progressives” are winning their fight against “establishment” Democrats? Good luck figuring out who’s who — you’ll have to take the candidates at their word.’

    Or, you can head on over to NC and look up Lambert’s latest charts.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      It’s a real problem. And I don’t know how to solve it. I use #MedicareForAll as a litmus test, and I try to be ruthless sorting out the fakes (like people who say “universal” but don’t say how, or people who say “access”). The last update I did a swing through ore conservative areas, and there is a variety of efforts to make a “path” to #MedicareForAll, in tangible steps. Since these efforts don’t look like they were written by consultants, they’re more likely to be in good faith. (I realize a lot of this is lambert being sensitive to language, but then, lambert is very sensitive to language.)

      Determining when a candidate means what they say is hard. That’s why there should just be a [family-blogging] platform, with a reasonably long time horizon, of programs that all party members accept, case closed. No more of this Blue Dog crap, and no more Blue Dogs. Then you know what you’re voting for (and for the weaklings, everybody’s holding hands at the cliff edge). And K Street can go jump in a lake or die in a fire.

      Reply
      1. katiebird

        Litmus test: We have a candidate in my congressional district, Brent Welder, And Medicare for All is his biggest issue. He posted that on Facebook a few weeks ago….

        And I asked him if he would endorse and sign onto HR 676? He answered in less than a minute, saying, Of Course. I could hardly believe it.

        Next thing I knew, Bernie was coming out here to do a rally for him.

        Yesterday ( the same day as Bernie’s rally) he elaborated ….
        Congressional candidates on the issues: The future of the Affordable Care Act and healthcare access

        “Lots of politicians say that healthcare is a right, but then fail to support a system that ensures that every woman, man, and child has healthcare coverage. A human right is a human right. That’s why I support single-payer, expanded Medicare for all. It’s the right thing to do — morally and economically.”

        He goes on from there.

        I cannot believe I can actually vote for someone as clear about his support. I just hope he makes it through the primary.

        Reply
        1. oh

          I think every woman, man and child has to have healthcare directly provided by the govt. without the insurance parasites. The govt. can easily conclude and enforce contracts directly with the hospitals and doctors’ practices and manage it better than the parasites. I fear this won’t happen until we can change Congress.

          Reply
      2. Big River Bandido

        Support for a $15/hour minimum wage would be another clear-cut issue. Although, that movement has been around so long that even $15 per hour is lowballing the figure. Gov. Legacy Cuomo made a big thing about how he raised the New York state minimum wage to $15. Conveniently, too, for his big business cronies, that wage hike won’t take effect until the value of $15 has significantly eroded.

        For liberal Democrats, it’s all about optics, and making people *think* you’re actually doing something for them.

        Reply
  5. Baby Gerald

    I just love how everyone is reviving, all on the same day practically, the word ‘Kompromat’.

    Search the term ‘kompromat’ on G**gle, and one finds it appearing suddenly in mutliple headlines over the last two days or so, and that it was first revived way back in January 2017, but only in a couple of stories so the term likely didn’t seem to catch on back then. What a disgusting play by our media whores that shows again just how synchronized from above this whole propaganda campaign is.

    Thanks again to NC for giving us all an island of sanity- an outpost for the rationally-minded.

    Reply
      1. Richard

        That was a great link and looks like a strong site.
        If Mockingbird isn’t a thing, then there is another thing to replace it. I’d say intelligence agencies have more influence on US media now than at any time in history.

        Reply
    1. Expat

      Kompromat can be found referring to Yeltsin and the president of Tashkent back in 2000 and 2003. It was a common term during the Cold War before Google and the internet existed. If it was revived, it was not part of some nefarious left-wing media scheme to damage the unblemished reputation of Donald Trump.

      Kompromat was revived in light of the Pee Pee Tapes and other allegations of meeting with Russians, Russian hacking, and collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Yes, it was effectively revived for this.

      Perhaps the reason it was not brought up much between 2000 and 2017 was that none of our prior presidents gave any indication that they were susceptible to kompromat.

      This reactionary attack on the media (“Media whores” and “campaign”) is the same attitude that got us into Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, etc. “Don’t you dare question the president!” “If the left wing media attacks the president, it’s fake news and treason!” “Don’t question. Don’t challenge. If you do, you are traitorous swamp creatures.”

      If this is a fake news witch hunt by the media, then it will die. If it is real, then Trump and his staff will pay. But I prefer having reporters investigate and make allegations instead of having the president shouting “Lock her up!” THAT is a disgusting propaganda campaign by a political whore.

      Reply
      1. Todde

        You support reporters investigating?

        Would you support a reporter using stolen information in their investigation? Maybe stolen by a hack of a plotical party’s computer system?

        Or do you believe the people who stole the information should be indicted and tried in a court of law?

        Reply
        1. Indrid Cold

          I believe the reporter who is holed up in an embassy in London, while “Liberals” scream for his blood.

          Reply
        2. barefoot charley

          If Daniel Ellsberg presented the Pentagon Papers to the Times and Post this morning, he’d be in government custody before this afternoon.

          I’d rather know what the cage-keepers don’t want us to know, on the off-chance that knowledge might one day become power.

          Note that most of the evidence whistle-blowers provide isn’t new information about corpo-governmental abuses, rather it’s proof of what’s already evident–and proof is still important to some of us.

          Reply
          1. sleepy

            An arrest warrant was issued for Daniel Ellsberg 13 days after publication of the pentagon papers in the New York Times.

            Reply
        3. JTMcPhee

          Which court of law are you talking about, Todde? FISA? Military tribunal? Any of the rest of the Star Chamber federal courts for which there is more than enough evidence that justice is a chimaera? And do you have any idea how reporting is supposed to work in the supposed Constitutional system supposedly envisioned by the Founding Fathers? I bet you think Ellsberg should have been strung up for letting the rest of us see the Pentagon Papers. Jeesh— some really pure patriotic fervor apparent in your brief comment. Or something.

          Reply
            1. JTMcPhee

              My bad. Sorry. In among the FUD, kayfabe, dis-and dysinformation, trolling, fervor, tribalism, partisanship, fake and “fake” news and, and with all the subtle Jesuitical casuists and debate-skilled and well schooled Bernaysians prowling the planet, Cynical Old Bastards like myself tend to have hair triggers. Not a friendly environment for irony — dangerous, even.

              And then there is the blooming dystopia of The Internet Matrix. “Welcome to the engrossing new world of virtual artificial artisanal reality! Pick your preferred universe from one of our 22 quintillion pre-formatted and pre-populated frames, or construct your own from our virtually infinite number of blank Creation-moment frames and seminal elements! Video, audio, tactile, taste, smell, proprioception, physical constants and laws, you name it, and our smart algos will accommodate your every bias, preference, belief, emotion and peccadillo!”

              Reply
        4. Shane Mage

          Thoughts are free. Die Gedanken Sind Frei. Information is the expression of formulated thought. Information therefore cannot be stolen because it is free, has no owner, “belongs” to the whole world. “Information theft” is a nonexistent offense, an invented crime, the invention of authoritarians and monopolists.

          Reply
      2. Off The Street

        none of our prior presidents gave any indication that they were susceptible to kompromat

        Alternative view: When you have a big, well-oiled machine, kompropat gets scrubbed. Exhibit A is BHO. His sanitized past is a whole kennel that didn’t bark.

        Reply
        1. Lobsterman

          Dude he did coke and admitted to it. Maybe his failures were just small and personal, like most of ours.

          Reply
          1. JTMcPhee

            I didn’t get to stand between the bankers and the pitchforks, or drone-bomb and torture “folks,” or betray the people he supposedly was a “community organizer” help protect from neoliberal and Machine politics looting, just a couple of his personal failings. He is one of the Bad Guys, and as demonstrated by all the stuff published here in NC and by his current vast increase in wealth and selective invisibility, will continue to be one. As will his equally predatory wife, and it looks like his kids are riding the same wave. But he is still into trying to manage the PR to make it all look just peachy.

            Reply
          2. Shane Mage

            Any defiance of prohibition laws is no failure. If true, it was one of the only admirable things from his shady past.

            Reply
        2. Oregoncharles

          Clinton and rape accusations? There’s been kompromat before, though I guess not in the hands of a rival power (not that I think they have any.)

          I still can’t get over the sheer villainy of essentially cheering for nuclear war. Saw a friend doing it the other day; still rehearsing what to say to her next time I get the chance. She certainly shouldn’t be doing that at the peace vigil.

          The level of lunacy around this is what really gets me.

          Reply
        3. Lord Koos

          There is no way of knowing how compromised many of our politicans might be. I just assume that the J Edgar Hoover technique of collecting dirt on public figures is still in play, and that these days it’s not only the FBI that is doing the collecting.

          Reply
      3. pretzelattack

        the reason it is being brought up now is the propaganda is being coordinated across various media outlets. the media helped us get into iraq, afghanistan, etc. by cooperating with the intelligence agencies, directed by the president. here,however, there is a conflict between the president and the intelligence agencies, and iraq supporting mueller, with his history of pursuing flimsy cases against wen ho lee and steven hatfill, the perjuror clapper and the torture loving brennan are assuring us, sans evidence, just as we were assured in iraq and libya and syria, that there is a case against russia.

        i prefer to wait for some evidence, personally. it isn’t a “left wing media”; it hasn’t been for a long time, if it ever was. if this is a coordinated propaganda campaign, such as in the buildup to the iraq war, then no, it isn’t going to go away on it’s own. i’m all for the media criticising trump on his numerous missteps and corruption; i’m not for the media drumming up a frenzy against russia without solid evidence.

        Reply
      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Kompromat was revived in light of the Pee Pee Tapes and other allegations of meeting with Russians, Russian hacking, and collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Yes, it was effectively revived for this.

        Er, those are not “left-wing media schemes.” They are liberal media schemes.

        * * *

        There is probably a German word of “euphonious words everybody suddenly starts using because it makes them sound authoritative in a current controvery” but I know know what it is.

        Reply
        1. Shane Mage

          What “kompromat” would compromise Trumpe-l’oeil nearly as much as the open fact of his long relationship with ROY COHN?

          Reply
      5. FluffytheObeseCat

        Expat, I find the inflammatory language used in comments here to be tiresome and damaging.

        Howevah. You must not be reading much in the US print media, at least not right now. “Reporters investigating and [then] making allegations” is not what is happening. What is happening? We are being inundated with op-eds, and putative news articles with the factual content of op-ed, decrying Trump as a traitor.

        The histrionics are completely comparable to (and as well substantiated) as the birther accusations against Obama 6-7 years ago. Trump is, like a harlot of yore, no better than he should be. Everyone can see this. But the current media push against him, and against any new detente, is frantic propaganda, not investigative journalism.

        Reply
      6. ewmayer

        Expat: “This reactionary attack on the media (“Media whores” and “campaign”) is the same attitude that got us into Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, etc.”

        ISTR those same media full-throatedly cheering those same imperialist adventures on – well except for Yemen, where they merely studiously avoid talking about the ongoing genocide effort. Mustn’t upset our democratic Saudi allies!

        Remember the brief but noisy “today Donald Trump became president” MSM-huzzahing when DT bombed those Syrian airfields after the latest bogus “chem weapons attack by Assad?”

        Are *those* the same champions-of-truth-and-democracy media you are referring to?

        Reply
    2. Jim Haygood

      AP story: “Cohen surreptitiously made the recording two months before the election, according to a person familiar with a federal investigation into Cohen. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing inquiry.”

      This is how Robert Mueller does business — seize confidential evidence, then leak it to friendly journos as kompromat. Now he’s subpoenaed the Manhattan madam Kristin Davis, says TMZ, in pursuit of former Trump aide Roger Stone.

      Dirty little secrets
      Dirty little lies
      We got our dirty little fingers
      In everybody’s pie
      Kompromat cuts you down to size
      We love dirty laundry

      — Don Henley

      Reply
      1. Off The Street

        Since you mentioned Don Henley, search for his dirty little secrets along with so many more in that entertainment cesspool. While quite a deviation from the typical NC fare, that website gives some insight into the darker side of the movies, television, singing and the like. Harvey Weinstein and his ilk were open secrets, as in that hashtag #WeAllKnew that mysteriously faded from view.

        Reply
        1. tokyodamage

          Didn’t expect to see that link here, but you’re not wrong!

          Imagine the LAPD giving you a free pass on a mountain of cocaine and an OD’ed child prostitute, but still feeling like *you’re* the victim . . . the victim of the worst crime of all: gossip!
          And then, in your self-righteous outrage at how unfair the world is *to you*, you sit down and write a PROTEST song about how gossip is bad.

          Reply
        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Perhaps the German spy character played by Peter Graves, in Stalag 17, was well known to the darker side entertainment industry types – he hit the wrongly-accused William Holden the hardest.

          He was also the most patriotic.

          It makes you wonder when someone is most ‘something*,’ if that someone is not the opposite.

          *Most liberal, conservative, progressive, socialist, etc.

          Reply
          1. newcatty

            Reminds me of one of the most insidious of all most lead ins:
            I’m one of the nicest people in the world, but…

            When someone starts a conversation with that, run!

            Reply
    3. Jim Haygood

      And the Twitter loudspeaker crackles to life:

      Donald J. Trump
      @realDonaldTrump

      Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!

      8:10 AM – Jul 21, 2018

      He’s notably silent on who leaked the tape … but he’s got to know.

      Reply
      1. Jim Haygood

        From the NYT’s article today:

        The [Cohen-Trump] recording … became tied up in a legal fight over what materials are protected by attorney-client privilege and thus off limits to prosecutors. It is not clear whether a federal judge has ruled on whether prosecutors can listen to the recording.

        Two possibilities: (1) Mueller has successfully turned Cohen against Trump, prompting Cohen’s lawyers to leak material damaging to Trump as part of their cooperation with Mueller; (2) prosecutors leaked the tape, on the condition that the NYT steno include the italicized sentence as a diversion.

        Never underestimate the perfidiousness of the press, the peoples’ enemy.

        Reply
        1. fresno dan

          Jim Haygood
          July 21, 2018 at 11:32 am

          https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/secretly-recorded-trump-cohen-tape-was-deemed-privileged-then-waved-by-white-house-report

          Vanity Fair’s Emily Jane Fox told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Friday that a source familiar with the situation told her the tape was protected by attorney-client privilege, “but the president’s attorneys waived the privilege.”
          ….
          It’s not clear how the New York Times came to know about the tape. But Maddow and CNN host Chris Cuomo separately floated the theory that Trump’s team leaked the tape in order to distract from other scandals the president is currently facing.
          ===================================================
          Say Trump said on the tape, “Pay the b*tch off as secretly as possible, like the 237 others”
          Who would be surprised? Who thinks Trump’s polls would decline by more than a point?
          Legally, I think it is just as plausible to argue he was trying to keep it from his wife (does she not know he has affairs or does she not care…re Hillary) as he was trying to keep it from the public so no campaign finance violation (and are those things important anyway). Can anybody seriously argue that after the Access Hollywood tape that paying a mistriss is more offensive?
          AND, say Trump ALSO said in the tape that he wanted Cohen to get his hot gay boyfriend, Vlad, a saddle. And he wanted Cohen to renew his (Trump’s) membership in the communist party.
          Would 90% of repubs care? SHOULD anyone care? Aren’t we all for diminishing the threat of nuclear war and all for gay marriage? I wouldn’t be angry that Trump was a communist – I would be angry that he was an insincere communist…..
          What is amazing to me is how ethereal and gossamer the PRINCIPALS of American political parties are. But of course the parties try very hard NOT to do what the people want….

          Reply
          1. fresno dan

            “Would 90% of repubs care?”
            I think that should be “would 10% or even 5% of repubs care?”

            Reply
  6. Expat

    Cause and Effect:
    Quantum mechanics is weird stuff.

    Einstein’s relativity set the celestial speed limit at light speed for anything already slower. At the speed of light, time “stops” for the particle. So photons are zero seconds old. For a photon, the universe has existed in one moment from its start until now. So, for a photon, there is no causality. Things simply are. Everything is. One moment from the big bang until right now. No cause, no effect.

    In quantum mechanics, if we take Feynman’s sum over paths, for example, a particle can travel any possible path from A to B. So an electron in my finger as it types might travel a fraction of a centimeter to strike the key or it might travel trillions of miles in the same stroke of the key. In the latter case, the particle greatly surpasses the speed of light in part of its probability function. On average and with the greatest probability, it does not. And would not if measured by an observer.

    But we don’t know how the universe functions at a quantum level. So particles traveling faster, much faster, than light might effectively see things in forward and reverse, which is to say, unlike the relativistic photon which sees the life of the universe until now as one moment, a quantum particle sees the life of the universe from the beginning all the way until its end as one moment. Still no cause and effect.

    I am not a physicist, so please be kind to me when correcting this. It’s off the top of my head.

    Reply
    1. Off The Street

      For more about quantum computing, peruse the articles from Scott Aaronson, (one of the Scotts, along with ‘Scott Alexander’ at SlateStarCodex.com) with many more links in his blogroll.

      Reply
    2. Susan the other

      Me neither, but who can resist this stuff? So the mystery is, just how does quantum computing keep track of things? The consensus is that we superimpose our classical sense of time to nudge it along. And it works. Much like other quantum phenomena work, are in fact super-predictors of probability. Kwazy. And then add entropy to the mix. Even at the quantum level the dissipation of energy leaves a trail, a path for reconstruction. Which we clearly do not understand. Not sure how that differs from causation except, as you say, particles operate at the speed of light so it almost doesn’t matter. Our instruments are so crude that cause and effect seem to meld. But I think if we could record those tiny spaces of instantaneousness we would eventually perceive a pattern of something akin to memory that is neither magical nor divine. Looking at it from the opposite end – the vastness of the universe makes the speed of light look much slower. Limits our vision.

      Reply
      1. Mark P.

        Looking at it from the opposite end – the vastness of the universe makes the speed of light look much slower. Limits our vision.

        The Horizon Problem.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizon_problem

        Background – Astronomical distances and particle horizons

        When one looks out into the night sky, distances also correspond to time into the past. A galaxy measured at ten billion light years in distance appears to us as it was ten billion years ago, because the light has taken that long to travel to the observer. If one were to look at a galaxy ten billion light years away in one direction and another in the opposite direction, the total distance between them is twenty billion light years.

        This means that the light from the first has not yet reached the second, because the approximately 13.8 billion years that the universe has existed is not a long enough time to allow it to occur. In a more general sense, there are portions of the universe that are visible to us, but invisible to each other, outside each other’s respective particle horizons.

        Reply
      1. blennylips

        No time passes for a photon, so how could it age?

        Remember the twin paradox? One twin gallivants around the galaxy and upon returning home finds he is younger now (internal clock, mechanical clock – any way you want to measure time). In general, the, the deeper in a gravity hole or the faster one travels, everyone else will agree: your clocks run slow.

        We know that nothing material can get the the speed of light, though you can approach as near as you have energy for.

        A photon, being massless, must travel at precisely the speed of light – and so zero time elapses from emission to absorption.

        You can slow light down to ridiculously slow speeds: see https://www.zmescience.com/science/physics/how-to-slow-trap-light/. They got it down to 38mph in a Bose-Einstein condensate: horses can run faster!

        Reply
      2. Kurtismayfield

        I’ll add to this, if it was possible for a human being to travel the speed of light, would that human age? I think yes, just time flows slower for that person *relative* to someone who is stationary.

        Of course I write this as a primate living on the surface of a sphere circling a mid sized star with a tangential velocity of about 0.00159% the speed of light. My perspective of stationary is different than others.

        Reply
        1. knowbuddhau

          You are doing much more than “living on the surface,” my friend. What do you think this is, a billiard ball covered by a thin film of life? ;-}

          Why does no one ever identify as the whole shebang? We are the earth, you know. Acting all atomized all this time hasn’t exactly been working out so well.

          All divisions between organisms are arbitrary. Used to drive Sister nuts by running a finger along a cushion she sat on. Now imagine her consternation when I insist I am her.

          All our divisions between organisms are *ours.*

          Prove me wrong.

          Hear this “sphere” here! Here, this “sphere” hears itself.

          Also, fwiw, I stopped experiencing time recently. It really is all just one big moment. You have to have an internal something against which to compare other events to have a sense of time. I don’t feel other than now.

          Also also, if Comedy = Tragedy + Time, and you take away Time, you get
          Comedy = Tragedy. That’s why Clowns cry.

          It’s funny, in’it, that “bodhisattva” means, roughly, a being whose essence is Light.

          dp

          Reply
          1. Plenue

            Gibberish.

            ‘You’ are an emergent property of brain activity, activity that is specific and unique to the collection of cells that make up your body. Just as your sister is the result of a unique set of interactions inside her own skull.

            Really wish people would stop trying to shoehorn vague mysticism into physics to try and impose some sort of metaphysical significance.

            Reply
            1. witters

              “‘You’ are an emergent property of brain activity, activity that is specific and unique to the collection of cells that make up your body. Just as your sister is the result of a unique set of interactions inside her own skull.”

              “You” is a word,you – presumably – are not. If we really want to steer clear of gibberish we need to grasp the use/mention distinction.

              Reply
              1. Plenue

                “Calling someone’s comments gibberish at the least sounds harsh and patronizing.”

                Good, It should.

                Reply
            2. newcatty

              Plenue:

              Perhaps knowbuddhau pushed a button for you. Calling someone’s comments gibberish at the least sounds harsh and patronizing. It’s your opinion that knowbuddhau was trying to “shoehorn vague mysticism into physics to try and impose some sort of metaphysical significance”. Really. Who is imposing one’s belief structure on who?

              Reply
            3. Paul O

              What are quarks and leptons? How do they (in what sense do they) exist? I am not against emergence (strong emergence is hotly contested – if that was where you are coming from) but I don’t think it answers that much – it simplifies at the abstract level for sure.

              Emergent properties over time? What is time or do we accept the block universe? I think Rovelli is leaning towards time as an emergent emotion – in any case it was a good ‘read’.

              https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/301539/the-order-of-time/

              First time around physics was my thing. These days I am less assertive about it – less certain about applying it to the self.

              (I am not convinced that you can just assert that each emergent consciousness is detached – you may not have been trying to do that)

              Reply
      3. Jake Mudrosti

        A photon reveals its phase when interacting — so, in the lab frame we can “time” their “age” quite precisely. Making holograms, for example, exploits this.

        But are they zero seconds old in their own frame? Almost yes.

        An actual photon is almost, but not quite, entirely described by the massless representation. I’m pretty sure you linked in the past to a paper that showed how the non-photon contributions are measurable in actual photons in transit across intergalactic distances.

        The photon as a pure representation is massless, sure. But Into the actual mix are thrown the Z, particle-antiparticle pairs galore, and so on, all representations as well, all while it’s in transit. Schrodinger, again, from 1950 and just as true today: “I mean this: that the elementary particle is not an individual; it cannot be identified, it lacks ‘sameness.'”

        Reply
      4. lyman alpha blob

        Not a physicist, but Joao Magueijo is and he and others have proposed a variable speed of light.

        The theory is extremely controversial and far from accepted by the larger physics community. In my very limited understanding though, they still aren’t proposing that anything can travel faster than light regardless of what its speed may have been in the past or will be in the future. Not sure how that might affect the relative age of a photon, but as blennylips pointed out the speed of light has been drastically slowed down in a laboratory setting, and it gets slowed down in more normal settings every time it passes through your window or a glass of water.

        Reply
        1. Jake Mudrosti

          pointed out the speed of light has been drastically slowed down in a laboratory setting

          This is a perfect example to show that words matter.

          The speed at which any incident light propagates through a given medium is entirely NOT the same thing as the fundamental universal constant c — which itself is called “the speed of light” only with enough context to be clear, or to the right audience. Quick thought experiment: If the fundamental universal constant c were different in different media around us, we wouldn’t be here, because physics and chemistry would be crazier than a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

          Reply
    3. Jake Mudrosti

      In the sum over paths, there’s no ontic reality to such a description — only representations. To say it in a jokey way that hopefully makes its own sort of sense: it’s representations, all the way down. This is not a small detail — it’s the whole topic of quantum mechanics and modern QFT.

      This isn’t a jab at non-scientists, it’s just the nature of the subject. With our current insights into QFT, we can for example see how Einstein could unwittingly shift his use of the word “complete” within a single sentence to mean three fundamentally different things. For such reasons, I’ve long advocated that NC stop with the quantum mechanics links. Schrodinger’s writings made the same point in a different way: in an imagined undersea world full of sentient octopus blob creatures, he said, the concept of rigid rods pivoting at fixed joints might be impossible to grasp intuitively. It would demand overriding every bit of their cognitive function, learned experience, and culturally-transmitted framings, through painstaking effort. Now me: To say otherwise would be like saying that we all have the innate ability to perform world-class jazz. We don’t.

      Further, the current linked piece doesn’t mention anything about a fundamental time reversal asymmetry in QFT. It implies the opposite, in fact. Any NC reader who read some of my past comments would already be equipped to raise a finger in objection, and link to the 2012 article that shows it manifest in some of the BaBar Detector data. (Reversal of course not referring to passage of time). Likewise, in the past I pointed out that there are two main categories of definitions just for the word “causality.” Without pinning down the specific definition used, the currently linked piece derails.

      If ignoring published results is an example of science “popping” then its time to pin down the definition of that term, right?

      Reply
      1. knowbuddhau

        “It’s representations all the way down.” OMG I love it. You go, Jake!

        It must be remembered that the observer is not absolutely other than the observed. It’s not that we, as separate beings, are in the mix. We is the mixing.

        Reply
      2. makedoanmend

        Thanks Jake and thanks NC.

        I can handle biology, chemistry and Newtonian physics – but Quantum Theory makes my head exploded. In a good way.

        Jake, your explanations when I come across them have really helped this dim light bulb shine a wee bit brighter, if only for a millisecond – so thanks again.

        And thanks to the hard working people of NC who occasionally bring up these articles and for fostering a commetariat that can enlighten such an unenlightened person as myself on such interesting topics.

        Exploration and Food for thought.

        Reply
      3. Susan the other

        I apologize in advance for this. But it’s late in the thread here and I don’t think there is much probability of you coming back to it. So here goes: This post was the closest definition of time I have ever stumbled over. It’s the description of the Gegenwart, the German word for “the present” – that against which we wait. Because the phase change of massless energy into a particle is the crux of it. At that instant the present is created which itself seems to expand forward into a future. But nobody can define “the future” so it is just a figure of speech. And the byproduct is entropy, just the tiniest spark is released in the phase change and all those tiny sparks “collect like raindrops in a pond” (Penrose) pushing the universe out… like some dark energy. Time has never had a proper definition.

        Reply
    1. Tom_Doak

      Maybe Bernie Sanders should remind Crowley of the requirement to make good on one’s promises to support the nominee.

      Reply
    2. none

      I don’t know what if anything AOC is doing about this, but an intense voter registration drive in her own district would probably do more good than campaigning in Kansas.

      You might have seen Lieberman’s editorial urging Crowley to run 3rd party. It’s a safe bet that Crowley will eventually “reluctantly” accept that advice, after relentless dark money attack ads against AOC have run for a while. And of course the Lieberman piece was prearranged with Crowley.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It seems that running as an independent or 3rd party is not too difficult for some Democrats.

        Could AOC have run as an independent or 3rd party in this case?

        Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Crowley will eventually “reluctantly” accept that advice

        Yes. Socialists a menace to humanity, and so forth. Especially 28-year-old ones.

        There are now 107 days until the election. 15.28 weeks is a long time in politics.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          The only way I would like to see this is if Crowley told some version of the truth and said:
          “I decided to remain on the ballot after the advice from Joe Lieberman. Joe is the guy who has made a success thwarting the will of the voters. Think about it, Democrats threw him off the ballot in Connecticut, he ran third party and won by courting the voters of the other party (creating a party he promptly dropped upon getting elected which was adopted by people who made it clear that Lieberman would never run on that party line again.) But Democrats happily caucused with him and gave him his pick of committees. Then he campaigned hard for McCain rather than Obama, and the Democrats did it again. This is a guy who knows how to screw the people who originally elected him, continued to screw them when they tried to throw him out AND then screwed the party that supported him sub rosa and suffered not at all. Obviously he knows where of he speaks when he tells you to run third party, there will be no consequences!”

          It won’t ever happen, they will hug and embrace on the campaign trail. But it might behoove the WFP to help redeem themselves to run some ad reminding the voters of Lieberman’s greatest hits.

          Reply
      3. Shane Mage

        Don’t believe a word of it. The unutterably stupid NY election law makes it impossible for Crowley to get off the ballot altogether,, and there ain’t enough repugnicons there to make the slightest difference even should every last one of them vote WFP. Enough? If Crowley DID campaign on the WFP it would hurt Cuomo (should he succeed in buying their nomination) because whatever votes he attracted would be likely to go to Cynthia Nixon at the top of that line! Not gonna happen.

        Reply
  7. timbers

    Good one. When I scan the news headlines, I feel like I’m watching a Harry Potter movie after the Ministry of Magic and The Daily Prophet are take over by Voldemort’s allies and headlines demonize the good actors. I think Lambert posted snippet on Hillary staking out a right ward position to Obama when he said he would talk to unfriendly states, and she replied she would NOT. Bravo Hillary, such courage you have.

    What a pro war visionary Hillary was, because here we are with the MSN and establishment politicians being “with her” and her belligerent and pro-every-war positions. And it’s icing on the cake that she gets to pretend that SHE is the victim in all this. The MSN and establishment public figures are having mental breakdowns in public because someone from the wrong side of the tracks spoke to and met cordially with THE ENEMY and showed how easy peace is, it we want it.

    War is peace, That is basically what we are being told by the elites.

    Reply
  8. Jim Haygood

    “The End is Near,” cries Fortune in a blockbuster litany of pending woes:

    At some point, economic activity reaches a temporal peak, then begins to contract until eventually it bottoms out and starts growing once more. A familiar sign that we’re in the waning stage of the growing season, ironically, is that the economy overheats—think of it as an Indian summer.

    The current growth run is the second longest in the 164 years for which the National Bureau of Economic Research has done the analysis; the average expansion has run a mere 39 months. The only one that outlasted this one lived to be 120 months old (1991–2001).

    “It’s kind of like we’re in 1928 at the moment,” says economist Robert Shiller. “There’s still all this optimism and a sense that it would be unpatriotic to disturb it.”

    http://fortune.com/longform/economic-expansion-end-is-near/

    One thing history shows is that boom times don’t end with histrionic hand-wringing like this jeremiad from the ink-stained wretches of the business press.

    What’s remarkable about Fortune’s plaint is that it contains no explicit forecast of higher stock prices — only a couple of blurbs from Ray Dalio and Jeremy Grantham about the possibility of one last romp. Never has a bull market ended without the press peddling eye-popping extrapolations of far higher equity prices, such as the notorious Dow 36,000 kerfuffle of 1999.

    Yesterday the S&P 500 closed 2.5% below its Jan 26th record high of 2,873. During coming months, it could take another run at this high and fail to exceed it, adding another nail to Bubble III’s coffin. But if the market blows through 2,873 like a knife through butter, then the big round number of 3,000 will suddenly be on everyone’s lips, as T-shirt and party hat vendors begin printing up the celebratory apparel.

    You don’t need no PhD Econ to see this coming. Fade the MSM.

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      Another fun comment from Comrade Haygood, adding spice to the blahdeblah game of casino roulette. Love the memetrope that “the market” is an entity with agency and life. Leads to such clarity of thinking, but does admit of arch prose… and poetry, too! A liberal education can actually be an asset… Not sure which class of assets it fits in.

      Note: this comment does not constitute nor should it be construed as financial counseling, advice, or opinion on any security or investment.

      Reply
      1. Shane Mage

        “The Market” is indeed a collective entity. Like every market it is composed of its participants, those actively buying or selling or considering doing those activities in the foreseeable future. “The” “Market” has as its meaningful participants a relatively small number (but still numbering in millions) of wealthy individuals and their corporations.

        Reply
  9. Carolinian

    Presumably the Village Voice piece is one of those Swamp bulletins that Lambert throws in just to provoke. It’s practically content free.

    Main takeaway: the Village Voice still exists. Who knew?

    Reply
    1. Baby Gerald

      Agreed. What a terrible, substance-free article.

      I love this line about Putin: ‘There have been persistent if unproven rumors over his nearly twenty years in power that his net worth has ballooned to enormity…’

      If we look across the last two decades, let’s check on the actual net worth of folks like Pelosi, Obama, Clinton, McCain, etc. Let’s see how that net worth held up for the last twenty years. How many of these people are worth less than they were back then? If we’re using ‘persistent and unproven rumors’ to castigate a foreign leader, how about we use actual statistics to impugn our own leadership?

      The Village Voice should stick to what it’s good at– pretending to care about all the old businesses in NYC that are dying off and pretending they aren’t one of them.

      Reply
    2. Chris

      What an amazing article. “In the last two years…” corruption in our government has come out in the open. Only in the last two years! Who knew.

      Reply
  10. Richard

    Okay, can someone tell me why The Old Illegal Bomber thinks we’re in a very x2 grave period (FT paywall).
    I suppose I could make a good guess: he won’t find McCarthyism and our groupthink pandemic to be grave at all. Surprise me Henry!

    Reply
    1. Bugs Bunny

      The quote is strangely without context in the text. Seems Luce wanted it to apply to Trump and looked for a way to fit it in but it just doesn’t work. The top comments are extremely interesting.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Here’s one:

        Like all “liberals”, Mr Luce is so obsessed with Donald Trump that he cannot see beyond his orange hair. Kissinger shows him the way by telling him that Trump may be marking the end of an era and it’s pretenses. But of course he does not explore that because he needs Kissinger to tell him that Trump represents all what is evil in the world and cannot be reduced to a symbol of a word we have lost. What a waste!

        I noticed that, too. Kissinger says it’s the end of an era — like, say, July 1914? — and Luce doesn’t follow up.

        And:

        “I do not think Putin is a character like Hitler,” Kissinger replies. “He comes out of Dostoyevsky.”

        Readers?

        And:

        I am very wary of people like Kissinger. Many of his actions were deeply dishonourable and bordered on the outright evil.

        “The ends justify the means” was the guiding principle behind his version of realpolitik. But this statement is false. The ends come after the means and arise out of them, so the ends must be the consequence of the means. And in many cases the ends can be fatally corrupted by the means used to achieve them. The Iraq war, the Contras, arms to Iraq, the appalling interventions in South America. The world is still recovering from these expedient and selfish errors of judgement today. Britain, of course, is no innocent either.

        Kissinger is the ultimate flawed genius. Worth listening to, but with great scepticism and care.

        I don’t think that the bombing of Cambodia “bordered on” evil; it was evil, and for any Americans who visit there, it’s a wonder they don’t murder us in our beds. That said, “Worth listening to, but with great scepticism and care.”

        Reply
        1. RMO

          I wouldn’t call Kissinger himself “evil” though his actions certainly have been. He’s profoundly amoral and unethical and those characteristics have led to him doing horrifically evil things. He’s worth listening to for a very good reason though: think about how little compunction he has had when carrying out policies which result in terror and death for thousands of people as long as he thought it would benefit him and those he serves and was a calculated risk Now think of some of the things he has lately advised against despite the DC braintrust being rabidly enthusiastic about them such as the ramping up of a new cold war against Russia. If these things are too crazy for Kissinger to support contemplate just how reckless and potentially catastrophic they probably are.

          Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      Yes, along with other Great Ideas in Geoengineering that also violate the Precautionary Principle. Have to be anodized aluminum — aluminum dust would oxidize pretty quick and have little reflectivity, also the “bouncing” of sunlight would hardly be uniformly “out into higher parts of the atmosphere, off random, free-floating particles of anything reflective.

      Our “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body” is thinking about it, sort of: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/04/21/us-senate-considering-albedo-modification-geoengineering-proposal/

      Others are, too, and there’s a lot of “not so sure any of these are good ideas” in the thinking: A primer from Wiki, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_radiation_management , and some other thoughts: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2016/01/jeff_goodell_and_raymond_t_pierrehumbert_take_questions_about_geoengineering.html

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I’d include in the list of Great Ideas violating the Precautionary Principle the idea to induce more volcanic eruptions (or just one super-volcano eruption).

        Reply
    2. nippersdad

      No scientist here, but wouldn’t fine aluminum particles be extremely explosive? Especially were they concentrated in the upper atmosphere, wouldn’t they be subject to electrical charges both from the lower atmosphere and from the solar winds?

      That just sounds like a good way to blow up what is left of the ozone layer.

      Reply
    3. Yves Smith

      Want to give everyone Alzheimers?

      Small scale studies show that reducing the aluminum load of people who have Alzheimers improves the cognitive function of more than half the participants, and didn’t make anyone worse. Recall that just about nothing helps Alzheimers patients.

      Reply
      1. Zachary Smith

        Such a result would suggest it’s time to do some large-scale studies.

        I no longer have aluminum-based baking powder in my pantry, and avoid commercially prepared stuff like donuts like a plague. Unless I’m offered cakes and things while a guest.

        An abstract I read (couldn’t access the entire paper) suggested medical preparations were a huge source. I need to learn more about that.

        I no longer worry about my few remaining aluminum pots and pans because they never see acidic foods.

        Reply
        1. newcatty

          IIRC, there was a time when being advised to avoid aluminum from being ingested or in tactile contact with your body was “tin foil hat” conspiracy theory. Now, small scale studies point to deleterious effects in people. Gosh, I am glad that I long ago stopped using aluminum ingredient based deodorant, and aluminum based baking powder in my homemade cookies and quick breads. Also, got rid of aluminum cookware, and toxic non stick ones. Now , with my aluminum foil beret firmly in place on my noggin, are there chemtrails already being, or have been, sprayed to no good ends for us humans and other life on the planet? Oh, those are just contrails…

          Reply
  11. rjs

    the EIA is now forecasting a 10 year low for natural gas supplies going into winter..

    https://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/weekly/

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) forecasts working natural gas inventories on October 31 will be 3,470 billion cubic feet (Bcf), 365 Bcf (10%) lower than the five-year average and 346 Bcf (9%) lower than last year’s level. This forecast inventory level would be the lowest end-of-October storage level since 2008, when inventories ended the month at 3,412 Bcf. The natural gas storage refill season is traditionally April 1—October 31, when natural gas is typically put into underground storage facilities to prepare for increased winter demand for space heating..

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Does that mean that the US will have to order in another couple of tanker loads of gas from the Russians like they did last winter to meet the shortfall? What if they say nyet? And will they as a consequence stop sending tanker loads of gas to Europe and keep it in the US market instead?

      Reply
      1. rjs

        the US price for gas is $2.75 per mmBTU, and the European price for LNG is $7.25 per…what would you do?

        Reply
      2. rjs

        by the way, our supplies of distillates (ie, heat oil) are now at a 14 year low for mid-July, as we’ve been exporting that fuel at a record pace too…

        Reply
  12. Alex morfesis

    Joe hill would probably disagree…or more precisely…the fan has always hit the (family blog family blog family blog)…you can find peace when you eat your carats…corporations have replaced principalities and the steep date is a fragment of its own infatuation…the weak insist on corporal powers…those powers delineated as mental, economic or physical…and often a combination of all three…hate is the universal language but thankfully history shows us the weak minded misleadership class have always broken ranks and never held together for longer than a few decades, but usually not even five years…throughout history the gouls that be have never been able to hold ranks for more than five years on average, despite the fairy tails fed to children in the nursery rhymes commonly titled as hi$-$tory books…take a walk and smile when you see a dandelion…the worlds attempt to help us live a healthy life…it is not a weed…it is food and medicine… There is not just hope… There are answers all around us…

    Reply
  13. Bugs Bunny

    “Macron fires security aide filmed beating protester” – this is exploding right in our boy president’s face. He’s been running a Brown Shirt security team to violently rein in resistance to the dismantling of the French welfare state ordered by his backers.

    If you read French, there is good coverage in Le Monde. It won’t bring down Macron but it will weaken and delay his project and there will be some resignations, starting with the Interior Minister.

    Would be interested in David’s views.

    Reply
    1. flora

      This is very interesting to me. I called Trump’s election and Brexit a backlash against neoliberal economics in the US and UK. Is France experiencing a backlash to Marcon/neoliberalist policies also? Or is this something more specific to France and less about neoliberalism? Or have I misinterpreted these events? (I can’t read French and would welcome information from France.)
      Thanks.

      Reply
      1. Bugs Bunny

        Macron’s election was a backlash of sorts since he had never held elected office and positioned himself as a radical centrist. It was a confluence of corruption on the traditional right, divisions on the left and a French public not ready for Marine Le Pen that swept him into power. His état de grâce is over.

        Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “The Real Link Between the White House and the Kremlin”: ‘And yet over the past two years, we’ve watched an unprecedented culture of corruption take over the highest levels of the executive branch of our government.’

    If only they could get rid of Trump, then all that culture of corruption would simply just disappear with him.

    Reply
    1. flora

      And where were today’s experts then? In charge of agencies tasked? And did nothing… then? So many excuses, so many backsides to cover. It seems there was some sort of collusion… among the agencies.

      Brennan’s bleating has the interesting side effect of directing attention away from who was watching the front door as the Russians walked in to cause what one MSNBC analyst described as a mix of Pearl Harbor and Kristallnacht. During the 2016 election, Brennan was head of the CIA. His evil twin, James Clapper, who also coughs up Trump attacks for nickels these days, was director of national intelligence. James Comey headed the FBI, following Robert Mueller into the job. Yet the noise from that crowd has become so loud as to drown out any questions about where they were when they had the duty to stop the Russians in the first place.

      The excuse that “everybody believed Hillary would win” is in itself an example of collusion: things that now rise to treason, if not acts of war, didn’t matter then because Clinton’s victory would sweep them all under the rug. Only after Clinton lost did it become necessary to create a crisis that might yet be inflated (it wasn’t just the Russians, as originally thought, it was Trump working with them) to justify impeachment. Absent that need, Brennan would have disappeared alongside other former CIA directors into academia or the lucrative consulting industry. Instead he’s a public figure with a big mouth because he has to be. That mouth has to cover his ass.

      http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/john-brennan-melting-down-and-covering-up/

      Maybe “russiagate” is nothing more than a ginned up political tool to be used when necessary for domestic politics. see: Bengazi. Birth certificate. etc.

      Reply
  15. Alex

    Thanks for the link to lesbian family study. Indeed it looks like the children are mostly okay.
    Still, I do not entirely agree with their conclusions. They found a difference in Internalising behaviour (comprised as far as I understand of components anxious, depressed, withdrawn, somatic symptoms, though problems, attention problems): 13.7 vs 10.3, and the difference becomes not statistically significant only after they apply the Bonferroni correction, which is supposed to correct for the fact that if you measure lots of things (24 in this case) you’ll always see a few cases of spurious correlation. But here it’s interesting that all except one of the above indicators are worse in the sample compared to the general population, so I’m not sure that it was right to apply the correction the way they did.

    Reply
  16. Richard

    Was looking at that BLCKDGRD thing that Lambert linked recently and found this great tweet linked within it.

    I hope this works this time; only my second try ever to make a link!

    Dang, didn’t work.

    Reply
    1. marym

      Before you copy your link into the NC link box, remove the http//: that’s already formatted in the box, and insert your whole link with the http//: or https//: that’s in the copied link.

      Reply
    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Note that you can test your link before hitting “Post Comment” by going to the “simulation” text – below the comment box – that pre-displays what your comment will look like once you post it. This “simulation” text is a relatively new feature that is extremely useful. One of it’s features is that you can left click on your link in the “simulation” text (just as you might do over a link in the link section) and choose “open link in a new tab” (from the pop-up menu) and it will either succeed or fail just as it will when you actually post your comment thus giving you an opportunity to correct your link before posting the comment..

      Link Template (for anyone curious): <a href=”LINK_TEXT(meaning URL)”>LINK_TITLE</a>

      It looks ooo-gly, but is actually quite simple once you get used to it.

      Reply
      1. cm

        Excellent tip!!! Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if everyone verified the links before they hit the submit button?

        Reply
    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      The link was

      <a href="http://https://mobile.twitter.com/behindyourback/status/1018918310455468035" rel="nofollow">this</a>

      and should be:

      <a href="https://mobile.twitter.com/behindyourback/status/1018918310455468035" rel="nofollow">this</a>

      That is because the little HTML editor for the comment box is “helping” you by prepending an “http://” to your URL; since it comes, at least on my machine, with that “http://” pre-selected, you can just paste your complete URL into the selection.

      Some browsers, IIRC Safari, which I don’t use, “help” users by concealing the frightening “http://” in the browser bar. And so there is an extra layer of “help” on top of that, making matters even worse.

      Reply
      1. Richard

        Thanks Lambert! I think I get it now. Just get rid of the http biz they provide for me, then paste my link.

        Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      For the same murder the Israelis also used New Zealand passport as well. The way they work this is that when Israeli dual passport holders travel to Israel, the Mossad borrows their foreign passports so that they can duplicate them. The New Zealanders were seriously unimpressed with being dragged into Mossad murders and when they hauled the Israeli ambassador over the coals about this, the Israeli brazened it out and more or less said that they can do whatever they want and nobody can stop them. Chutzpah indeed.

      Reply
    2. JTMcPhee

      The fine art of the “strategic nopology,” not quite in the same league as the CEO of Japan Airlines apologizing to the families of those killed in the 1985 crash of Flight 123, a 747, due to improper repairs by Boeing and inept subsequent maintenance by JAL: http://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/08/12/17/relatives-remember-victims-of-worlds-deadliest-single-aircraft-accident At least, one of the corporate officials in a supervisory role in the maintenance and inspection part had the (Isei) decency to commit seppuku as a result of the event: https://www.nytimes.com/1985/09/22/world/jal-official-dies-apparently-a-suicide.html. Too bad Bezos and Blankfein and Cheney and Wolfowitz and Kissinger and the rest do not have such cultural restraints…

      A nice primer on how to go about framing and communicating the nopology: https://www.perfectapology.com/business-apology.html

      And in the event that the injured parties still go to litigation (if not blocked by your corporate efforts, in lobbying legislation or changes in procedural rules to block such feeble attempts to oppose your corporate power and impunity), make sure your attorneys have mastered the art of bringing off a “courtroom apology:” http://www.thejuryexpert.com/2015/02/mea-culpa-in-the-courtroom-apology-as-a-trial-strategy/. That is, if just stonewalling and burying the plaintiffs in paper and flat-out lying and withholding all those damning internal memos and studies is not the chosen strategy…

      Reply
      1. Lorenzo

        well that was impressive. I do hope that such a deft handling and understanding of these mechanisms does not have its source in personal experience- as a perpetrator of it or as a victim.

        thanks for the links!

        Reply
        1. JTMcPhee

          Just as observer and victim. Though my wife knows that I know the value of the strategic apology in maintenance of complex interrelationships and resolution of conflicts…

          “A cynic is a disappointed romantic…”

          Reply
    3. Alex

      A few years ago Russians (actually Chechens) assassinated one of Kadyrov’s enemies in Qatar but they weren’t as lucky as these guys. They were caught and it was a huge embarrassment for Russia, even though in the end they managed to get their men back

      Reply
  17. Carolinian

    Andrew Cockburn’s Harper’s article is a must read. The silly carping about Trump’s supposed obsequiousness toward Putin ignores the main point which is that these two people, with the fate of the planet in their hands, need to have a personal relationship. Cockburn gives yet more evidence that our survival of the first Cold War may have been sheer luck and that the desire by some to bring back US/Russia confrontation is even greater insanity.

    In the words of Lee Butler, who commanded all US nuclear forces at the end of the Cold War, the system the military designed was “structured to drive the president invariably toward a decision to launch under attack” if he or she believes there is “incontrovertible proof that warheads actually are on the way.” Ensuring that all missiles and bombers would be en route before any enemy missiles actually landed meant that most of the targets in the strategic nuclear war plan would be destroyed—thereby justifying the purchase and deployment of the massive force required to execute such a strike.

    To those mid 20th century Strangeloves the main point was that their war toys not be destroyed before using, as that might hurt them in the military service rivalry pecking order. The absurdity satirized in Kubrick’s film was all too real.

    Reply
    1. cnchal

      Well, I have heard Trump solemnly say nukes are the number one problem facing humanity. I imagine it was a shock to him to learn how to launch them. Sometimes he just cuts through the bullshit and out comes a truth.

      I agree it’s a must read, as grim and uncomfortable as it is.

      Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “A Global Guide to State-Sponsored Trolling”

    Curiously, there is no mention of western trolling in this article such as when Google hides your information under several hundred pages of results. Or Twitter suspends your account for posting the truth because it does not jibe with current belief. Or how YouTube will unsubscribe people that you follow but will make you a subscriber to CNN or MSNBC without your knowledge.
    And if you post a clip that shows something that a US State Department person would not ‘like’ on YouTube or Facebook, such as ballot-box-stuffing by the Kurds, you may have you account suspended or even shut down. This article makes out trolling is only done in the rest of the world. Strange that for a Bloomberg story.

    Reply
  19. Andrew Watts

    REPORT OF THE PORTLAND, OR MEET-UP ON JULY 18TH

    First off, there was informal talk about having another meet-up for people in Salem. I don’t know if there’s any interest in this having only mentioned it to Oregoncharles, but if you’re interested in seeing that happen speak up here. One of the ideas suggested was a picnic at a reader’s home in their massive backyard in West Salem or Walery’s. This kind of Yves-less meetup format was inspired by Arizona Slim so props to her.

    The majority of the Salem contingent arrived early and we were allowed in the restaurant area at around 4:45 PM. We began to move tables together as more people showed up on one side of the room alongside the wall became a giant conference table. During this time it became apparent that the most popular commentator that everybody wanted to meet was Oregoncharles.

    It started to get late around 5:30 PM and people were starting to wonder if Yves was ever gonna show up. It turns out that her hotel room at the airport was given away and we weren’t informed about this until around 5:40 PM. When Yves showed up she explained all this and apologized for being late. After that we began introductions and it was during this time I realized how many lurkers there is in the comments section. During my introduction I got some laughs when I ended it with “…and if I’ve ever offended you by one of my comments I just wanted to say I’m sorry NOW!”. The funniest and crowd-pleasing introduction was by somebody who claimed they became aware of Naked Capitalism thanks to ProporNot. The crowd skewed older and professional but there were a few other working class stiffs and there was even a few other millennials there.

    One of the poignant points that Yves made to everyone before people began circulating was how things have changed. Everybody’s tempers are now on a shorter fuse. Undoubtedly this is due to recent events and the increasingly stressful environment we are living in. I was surprised to find out that Yves had spent some time growing up in an area of rural Oregon close to where I had lived and still have connections. Another instance where I discovered previously unknown connections occurred when one of the people who came to talk to me mentioned that his company was financing my employer’s expansion. I was momentarily taken aback by this knowledge as I wasn’t aware that the board had any financing.

    It started to get late and I said goodbye to Yves at 8:30 PM who was still tirelessly holding court. I asked her what she thought the next crisis was going to look like while mentioning parallels to the previous financial crisis involving the yen and dollar carry trade and she said she’d probably write a post about what she thought. The short version is she doesn’t think there will necessarily be a financial crisis and an economic one instead.

    Kells has a fairly diverse clientele for a downtown bar with everything ranging from hipsters and Timbers fans to older regulars. The restaurant area was louder then the bar which amusingly caused quite a few bar patrons to see what the commotion was about. Overall it was a lot of fun and I’m not the kind of person that enjoys these kind of gatherings. It was great meeting fellow commenters and lurkers alike. If you have an opportunity to attend one of these meet-ups I encourage fellow introverts to attend.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      Actually, I wasn’t the first organizer of an Yves-less meetup. I’m the second. The Numero Uno Award goes to Katy, who organized this meetup:

      https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/01/announcement-minneapolis-minnesota-meetup-saturday-january-20-1030.html

      The Twin Cities people had their second meetup a few days before I hosted the first one in Tucson on April 6. Link:

      https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/03/announcing-minneapolis-meetup-march-31.html

      Reply
    2. fresno dan

      Andrew Watts
      July 21, 2018 at 10:43 am

      Thanks for that – I always wondered about the details of these things.

      Reply
      1. Andrew Watts

        No problem. I think you would’ve appreciated the fact that I wore a t-shirt of my spirit animal to the meetup. Cookie Monster is my spirit animal.

        Reply
    3. Eudora Welty

      I attended both meetups, Portland and Seattle. It felt so comfortable, so tribe-like, to be in the company of people unlikely to escalate. Different vibes: Portland was larger crowd, much more mingling. Seattle was smaller (but fit the space) and we talked a lot in a group with Yves. As an introvert, I often am tired after a night like this (not to mention, 2 nights like this!), but I felt refreshed and hopeful. I am so thankful to Yves and Lambert for doing these events. It was like Christmas in July. By the way, in Portland, we shut the Kells down at 10pm, so big props to Yves for staying late to give us the time with her we were all craving.

      Reply
      1. Andrew Watts

        It was relatively easy to skip over controversial topics all things considered, We avoided certain topics like MMT among the people I mingled with. The group discussion format probably would’ve worked well in the Portland meetup too. Hopefully, Yves makes it out to the Pacific Northwest again.

        Reply
    4. JCC

      I attended the L.A. Meetup last year. Lucky for me it was a Saturday, so I made it a point to drive the three hours down to L.A. in order to get a chance to meet Yves.

      I couldn’t stay as long as I wanted to stay. Part of the reason was due to the fact that it had to take place in a hotel lobby due to sched conflicts, I assume, which wasn’t the greatest setting for me. The space allotted was small in a very large room. Seating was a problem and my hearing isn’t what it used to be.

      I found out later, unfortunately, that there was some bad fallout from that meeting but it was still well worth the drive. I hope another and happier one happens soon, and in a nicer environment.

      Reply
    5. Jeremy Grimm

      “The short version is she [Yves] doesn’t think there will necessarily be a financial crisis and an economic one instead.”
      Please clarify this for me. Am I correct to read this as:
      “The short version is she doesn’t think there will necessarily be a financial crisis. However she does believe there will/may be an economic crisis instead.”

      If I read your statement correctly — would you please elaborate a just a little more on this?

      Reply
  20. Wukchumni

    I’m at my mom’s assisted living place and just had breakfast with a 96 year old, with a steel trap for a memory.

    He told us he tried to enlist in the navy the day after Pearl Harbor in Philadelphia where he was from, and the lines were so long that he couldn’t actually enlist until Dec 17th!

    He became a Seabee on account of his last name, for if you were S-Z for a last name (his last name started with W) when you enlisted in Philly, that’s what you became.

    We got talking about military ‘heroes’ in the current context (if you enlisted-you’re a hero, that’s all there is to it) and he told me in 28 months of island hopping all over the Pacific, he never ever saw the enemy, as the Seabees built airstrips, infrastructure, etc., after the various islands had been taken.

    He told me he knew exactly 1 hero, a Marine named Damato, that was a friend of his, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously…

    Corporal Anthony Peter Damato (March 22, 1922–February 20, 1944) was a United States Marine who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his valor and sacrifice of life during World War II. On the night of February 19–20, 1944 on Engebi Island in the Marshall Islands, Corporal Damato sacrificed his life to save the lives of his fellow Marines

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_P._Damato

    Reply
    1. George Lane

      There will be a livestream at 7pm EST today with some participants from the previous online vigils in support of Assange, supposedly to plan a type of non-violent direct action.

      https://twitter.com/Unity4J

      Classconscious.org has also put out a call for protests outside of US embassies/consulates and inside the US at political buildings should Assange be arrested and extradited: https://classconscious.org/2018/07/20/call-out-for-international-emergency-actions-if-assange-is-forced-from-embassy/

      Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        Hopefully Assange supporters in the UK can move their activities from merely online and into the street. A few thousand people surrounding the Ecuadorian embassy starting right about now would make it a lot harder to take him into custody.

        Reply
  21. Zachary Smith

    ‘Desperate to find a way out’: Iran edges towards precipice

    With the link being to the UK Guardian, I wasn’t expecting much, and in that I wasn’t disappointed. The author has been using the ‘Iran about to collapse’ theme since at least 2012. He doesn’t mention how the “electricity cuts” were on account of the grid being overloaded from extreme demand during a heat wave. Another example:

    A piece of tech – an interactive pen – that Mohammad bought last year for 5m rials is now priced at 25m rials (£440), a five-fold increase.

    Exactly why an unemployed graphics designer would need an expensive imported trinket isn’t explained.

    My own impression is that Saeed Kamali Dehghan makes a good living in the UK doing the bidding of the local neocons.

    Reply
      1. Zachary Smith

        Wrong? I doubt it, but I saw the piece as intentionally misleading. US propaganda appears to be blaming everything – even heat waves – on the dreadful Iranian government. An Iranian General is on record complaining about Israel tinkering with the local weather patterns! Probably he is delusional, but even a tiny bit of “thumb-on-the-scale” might make a bad situation worse. After all, Israel does have access to unlimited US taxpayer money.

        Fact is, climate change is accelerating, and Iran seems to be one of those early affected. Iran’s population has quadrupled since 1955, and that nation also hosts millions of refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq. Overpopulated + climate change = bad situation. Getting worse, too. Iran has begun to discourage women from going to Universities – stay home and have babies would be my deduction as for motives. Iran has always been hot and dry, and I’d wager they’ve ditched traditional architecture in favor of cheap clap-trap modern buildings cooled by air-conditioning. Again, it’s a guess, but probably not too far off.

        http://fugadeideas.org/paccs/pubs/cooling_syst_iran.html

        There are lots of reasons for US sanctions, and IMO denying Iran the ability to easily purchase food and medical supplies on the world market aren’t the least of them.

        That aforementioned General’s paranoia has roots in what is currently happening in Venezuela and Syria and Yemen, and what he has already seen happen in Iraq and Libya. But back to the climate: I believe there are better sources about Iran’s than its casual mention by a neocon hack-boy. Just an opinion….

        https://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/a-witness-to-irans-intensifying-struggle-with-climate-change

        https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/03/iran-drought-water-shortage-climate-change-security-dams.html

        Reply
  22. oliverks

    The Italy article was very interesting, but I am not sure why it would work better than just issuing bonds. My reasoning is that the government is really selling off future tax revenue for cash now, but isn’t that just a bond by a different name?

    However, it may be an interesting regulatory loophole.

    Am I missing something here?

    Reply
  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Young people are drinking themselves to death in record numbers Yahoo Lifestyle

    I’m reminded of Russia in the 1990’s

    Reply
    1. JBird

      Is it the collapsing government, or the collapsing economy, or the collapsing hope, or the collapsing lives? Or some combination thereof?

      :-)

      Less snarkily, that is a good observation. At the time I was shocked at how quickly it became really bad for Russia.

      Reply
    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’m astonished to see the amount of drinking that goes on at our university. Normal and accepted. (I… have heard that when I went to university there was a good deal of substance abuse as well, but it wasn’t alcohol, which IMNHSO is really destructive.)

      Reply
      1. JBird

        People will always find ways to destroy themselves even if it is unintentional, and even while their lives are great. It’s f@@@ing God awful, and a cliche, but it’s true.

        Here is where I have problems. Everyone I know who has died from drug abuse, or at least have had their lives damaged, have ultimately done so from the approved legal drugs. After seeing family and friends with their good friend Mr. Oxygen Bottle, or have their bodies wrecked drinking the socially approved drugs while fairly benign drugs like the Demon Weed Marijuana is the super evil stuff that requires extreme punishment makes one confused… as too why some mind altering substances are bad while others are good. What makes one life eater worse than the other? Why do some users get help and others prison?

        Reply
        1. Zachary Smith

          …Mr. Oxygen Bottle…

          Most all the people I know with this device used ultra-expensive and totally legal tobacco to destroy themselves. Most recent was a neighbor who lasted about six months after his initial lung cancer diagnosis. An uncle was the only one I know of who drank himself to death.

          Reply
      1. JBird

        There’s always the Golden Gate Bridge with over over 1,600 plus. The authorities stopped keeping, or at least having it available, an official count a few years back. It’s a shame that such a beautiful place has so death.

        Reply
  24. ChrisAtRU

    Pretty amazing to see the #RussiaRussiaRussia hounds salivating over the latest purported offering of #Kompromat. I don’t know which is more admirable: the #NeverTrump faction’s devotion to the notion that there is some #SilverKompromatBullet that will fell Trump once and for all; or Trump’s ability to repel any and all attempts to dislodge him by smear.

    #AccessHollywood didn’t to it
    #PeePeeTape didn’t do it
    #Stormy didn’t do it

    But this time will be different for sure!!

    /SARC

    Reply
    1. Daryl

      > Trump’s ability to repel any and all attempts to dislodge him by smear.

      He’s certainly giving us quite an education. For politicans in these times, apologizing or admitting wrongdoing is not only not necessary but seems to be a serious mistake.

      Reply
  25. Wukchumni

    He’s making a list
    Of those that recorded him
    And checking it twice
    Will send out a threatening tweet
    Against his ex-lawyer’s advice
    Sancho Donza is feeling the heat

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I notice the title, “Sorry To Bother You.” Is this connected to Boot’s Riley’s film? I have heard good things about it — though granted Riley is promoting it effectively on the Twitter — and I also have Riley filed away in the Good Guys folder for things he said and did during Occupy Oakland.

      Reply
      1. voteforno6

        The Coup released an album titled “Sorry to Bother You” back in 2012. According to the liner notes, it’s the soundtrack to a “forthcoming movie.” From what I understand, though, they’ll be releasing more of an official soundtrack this year (I hope so – there were some pretty good new songs in the film).

        I first heard of the Coup when there was a bit of controversy over the original cover for their album “Party Music.” It’s a good thing they changed it – talk about bad timing. It is a really good album, though. Here’s one of my favorite songs on it:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuJFpzu1SPw

        So, I’ve been a fan since then. They’re probably my favorite communist hip hop group.

        Reply
  26. Pat

    Well the yahoo front page has a big notice about Sarah Palin’s reaction to Bristol joining reality show “Teen Mom” (I realize she was a teen when she first gave birth, but she has not been a teen mom for a long time – just saying).

    Nothing about Assange, and only two small mentions of Trump. But they do seem fascinated with the shooting of Bush’s former doctor. Oh, and Megan Markle aka Mrs. Prince Harry, although that one may be because I do tend to click on the what she was wearing links.

    Even I’m amazed at how vacuous it is today.

    Reply
    1. flora

      From Greenwald today:

      Ecuador Will Imminently Withdraw Asylum for Julian Assange and Hand Him Over to the UK. What Comes Next?

      Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno traveled to London on Friday for the ostensible purpose of speaking at the 2018 Global Disabilities Summit (Moreno has been confined to a wheelchair since being shot in a 1998 robbery attempt). The concealed, actual purpose of the President’s trip is to meet with British officials to finalize an agreement under which Ecuador will withdraw its asylum protection of Julian Assange, in place since 2012, eject him from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and then hand over the WikiLeaks founder to British authorities.

      https://theintercept.com/2018/07/21/ecuador-will-imminently-withdraw-asylum-for-julian-assange-and-hand-him-over-to-the-uk-what-comes-next/

      Reply
  27. Zachary Smith

    …the yahoo front page…

    I had to smile at the mention of one of my own vices. Yahoo is mostly filled with frothy fluff, yet I sometimes use it to wake myself up in the morning. For some reason the site doesn’t irritate me as much as the likes of Google News. Not all of it is trivia, though.

    “My Pharmacist Humiliated Me When He Refused to Fill My Hormone Prescription”

    “Dollar General cashier calls police on black woman trying to use store coupons”

    I’ve had pretty good luck with pharmacists, but these days there are more and more stories about them setting themselves up as little tin gods.

    Reply
  28. rps

    Germany admits current export trade practices had favored German industries; that is until Trump. Spiegel – Trump is running roughshod over a [trade] system that seemed almost custom-built for the German economic model, which lives on exports. With insight into Germany’s economic interests and fears of fair trade damaging der vaterland. As well as Trump’s noose tightening campaign against the German and Russian Nord Stream gas pipeline partnership. Germany gets it. Trump isn’t the typical US Presidential knee bending apologetic politician they’ve grown accustomed to. Rather, he’s a shrewd businessman working for american workers and businesses.

    Reply
    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Rather, he’s a shrewd businessman working for american workers and businesses.

      I disagree. I think he is a narcissist of somewhat modest intellect, spoiled beyond reason by wealth, and quite intolerant of criticism. Why he, or his son, junior, is narcissistic escapes me as I have not seen a single redeeming attribute displayed by either. Such is the nature of the psychopath, I suppose [narcissism being a form of psychopathy according to the DSM].

      Of course, I never understood why people watch professional wrestling either (other than my late aunt who freely admitted her lust).

      Reply
    2. Yves Smith

      Hurting Germany with tariffs is not likely to help the US. This is a lose/lose proposition.

      Getting jobs back in the US would take a much more surgical approach, require the US to engage in industrial policy (something to which both parties are officially allergic but we in fact have one, look at how government spending, taxes, and guarantees favor the military, tech, Big Pharma, finance, and higher ed) and would take way too long to produce results for Trump’s attention span.

      Reply
    1. fresno dan

      The document is full of interesting asides. For example, “historical Russian interference in US elections”
      OK….so what makes this last one special….other than Trump being elected???

      Reply
  29. freedomny

    I know this will be on the post tomorrow. But I am so beyond what is going to happen to Julian A.

    Forget that he is Truthful. It’s the massive disconnect that is going on in the world between the ruling power/powers and the fact that the MAJORITY of the world would NOT condemn JA. And they are getting increasingly disgusted with the way they are being treated.

    My one past solace: I’ve always held the theory that most CEO’s, politicians, and others in power…aren’t really so smart.

    But now I’m thinking….WOW…THEY REALLY ARE STUPID!!! Yeah – let’s make Julian A a social “martyr”. … And let’s see how well THAT goes over.

    I haven’t been in a church/holy place in years. But at this point I do think this is a struggle between good and evil. So I guess the good news is…..Evil is stupid.

    And that is great news.

    Reply
  30. Big River Bandido

    Re: Russell Berman for the Atlantic on the Democrat Party “apologizing to black voters”.

    How does a “political reporter” write 1200 words for an article — and not a single one about policy?

    Reply

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