Links 8/20/18

When I woke up this week, the sun was blocked out by smoke Confluence

Smoke Brings Seattle its Worst Air Pollution in Decades Weather Underground

Core Concept: How does climate change influence extreme weather? Impact attribution research seeks answers PNAS

New Trump power plant plan would release hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 into the air WaPo

Bitcoin’s energy usage is huge – we can’t afford to ignore it Guardian

Big Questions on Global Economy Hang Over Jackson Hole Gathering Bloomberg

The strange case of the shrinking stock markets Handelsblatt

New accounting rule aims to solve problem highlighted by GE’s multi-billion-dollar insurance loss Francine McKenna, MarketWatch


Autumn surprises: possible scenarios for the next phase of Brexit Institute for Government With handy flow chart (PDF).

EU migrants will be given right to stay in event of no-deal Brexit amid fears of labour shortages, Cabinet papers reveal Telegraph

A New Leak Reveals The Government’s “No Deal” Brexit Papers Will Cover 84 Areas Of British Life Buzzfeed

Brexit: no change EU Referendum

Brexit could mean chaos for Irish trade, too The Economist

Brexit: Ford warns UK it will take ‘whatever action is needed’ after profits hit Independent

Behind the Anti-Semitism Crisis of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party NYRB


Economic war on Iran is war on Eurasia integration Pepe Escobar, Asia Times

Europe must ‘pay price’ to save nuclear deal: Iran FM Agence France Presse


Beijing orders banks to boost lending to exporters FT

More than tariffs: China sees trade war as a new US containment tactic South China Morning Post

Barging into your home, threatening your family, or making you disappear: Here’s what China does to people who speak out against them Business Insider

South Korea: the fear of China’s shadow FT

Moon deepens civilian control in South Korea The Interpreter

Constitutional Revision: A (Tiny) Step Forward for Japan’s Self-Defense Forces The Diplomat

New Cold War

Michael Hayden says he, too, would be honored if Trump revoked his security clearance CNN

Former National Intelligence chief turns on John Brennan claiming former CIA head is ‘subtle like a freight train’ over his Trump ‘rhetoric’ Daily Mail

US Information classification and clearances and Ditto Colonel Lang by Publius Tacitus Sic Semper Tyrannis. On the mechanics of security clearances, and “free speech.”

How Important Is the Protest Against Trump from the National-Security Establishment? The New Yorker. Bigfoot Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, has stepped in. So, very.

What if the dreaded ‘pee tape’ is real? The Spectator. Big if true.

* * *

Research the revenge: what we’re getting wrong about Russia Today Open Democracy

Trump Transition

Trump Tax Cut Unlocks Millions for a Republican Election Blitz NYT. That’s nice.

Military Faces a Sweeping Turnover Among Upper Commanders WSJ

American Breakdown David Bromwich, LRB

Democrats in Disarray

Democrats want Facebook to tell them who has seen disinformation CNN. Madness.

As the progressive push for big spending grows, so does the Democratic divide on the deficit NBC. With shout-out to Stephanie Kelton.

Zephyr Teachout Is the Right Choice as Attorney General for Democrats Editorial Board, NYT

Imperial Collapse Watch

Millennials are so over US domination of world affairs CNBC (UserFriendly).

We owe Sinead O’Connor an apology – she spoke the truth about church child abuse Irish Central

The Crash: Ten Year Anniversary

The Financial Crisis Cost Every American $70,000, Fed Study Says Bloomberg (original).

Ten Years After the Crash The New Yorker

Class Warfare

The Zero-Sum Economy Adair Turner, Project Syndicate

Platform companies have to learn to share FT

America’s prisoners are going on strike in at least 17 states Vox

There is a leftwing way to challenge big tech for our data. Here it is Evgeny Morozov, Guardian

How to completely delete Facebook from your life Mashable

Vitamin D, the Sunshine Supplement, Has Shadowy Money Behind It NYT

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote (DK):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. pretzelattack

    re pee tape article, the phrase “mueller, who does not leak” stood out to me. more assertions piled on assertions, and “ex kgb guys” and “fbi verifications”.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      It’s all over the place with nothing new except that somebody making an assertion with no proof spoke about it in Colorado (likely to make a tax deduction out of his holiday).

    2. begob

      Trying to get my head around this: “I knew from the phone number from the FBI that it was a legit KGB guy,’ he said.”

      1. Eureka Springs

        I’m detecting a pattern here.

        A. A former CIA guy.
        B. former MI6 officer, Christopher Steele
        C. Cody Shearer, not in fact a member of the Clinton campaign or working for the DNC, but a journalist who was also an old friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton
        D. the ‘ex KGB man’

        And no tape.

        The attempted coup continues.

        A jet setting NYC real estate, casino owning, TV star, bully, squillionaire. If there isn’t sex/pee/domineering dirt, that would be more surprising to me. If I were so easily distracted/disturbed by these matters.

    3. dcblogger

      I never followed the controversy closely, but Trump’s manner towards Putin is very much that of a blackmail victim.

      That late night comedians cannot stop talking about it suggests that this has at least some traction among the American people.

      That neither Bernie or any of the other Dem Presidential hopefuls mention it suggests that the voters don’t care.

      1. JTMcOhee

        Aha! Another unsupported assertion! Trump is a blackmail victim! And how do blackmail victims “behave,” what “behavior” marks them? Inquiring minds want to know! So “we” can be rid of this duly elected departure from the Narrative Flow Norm!

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        It’s profoundly disturbing when the first explanation for a peaceful american approach toward a historical adversary is “blackmail.”

        1. Hameloose Cannon

          Kremlin’s new 2016 National Security Strategy cried the threat of “[…] political, financial, economic and information instruments brought into struggle for influence in the international arena […] [with] attempts by individual states to use economic methods, tools of financial, trade, investment and technology policies to solve their geopolitical problems.” Given the implied side-long “looking at you, Washington, Brussels”, this reads to me like the disdain for something that one cannot have.

          So, during his Suomi holiday, Pres Trump meets this antagonism, not with counter-argument and compromise, but with an indulgent acquiescence validating Putin’s abandonment of restraint. There isn’t a surer way to invite further aggression against oneself that to pretend one deserved the previous violation. On the one occasion where Trump’s 24/7 bellicosity is appropriate, he exhibits the survival posture of a captive trying to postpone further torment by his captors. If not for coercion, which relies on the belief that threat of future harm is substantially true, what other explanation is there? Money? [He’s a billionaire.] Ideology? [He has none.] Ego? [Oh boy. Huge but fragile.]

          1. French75

            Heavy in unwarranted characterization.

            > indulgent acquiescence
            > pretend one deserved
            > survival posture
            > postpone further torment by his captors


            Let’s enumerate the suggestions that the Washington Post had for this summit:
            + Threaten sanctions over Internet Research Agency’s Facebook ads
            + Threaten sanctions over Skripal poisoning
            + Threaten sanctions over Syria
            + Threaten sanctions over Ukraine

            In sum: Trump is a traitorous coerced weakling because he didn’t make a bunch of threats. I don’t think I can say it better than Katniss:

            It’s profoundly disturbing when the first explanation for a peaceful american approach toward a historical adversary is “blackmail.”

            As should be clear from the new sanctions on Russia to be enacted within 10 days (link) (over and above the Congressional bill) there’s no trouble in doing so.

            However, Russia has been under US sanctions for almost 50 years. Sanctions were increased in 2014 (Ukraine) and again this May (Syria). Perhaps this approach is not as effective as the hawks at the Post think it is.

            To your point: I offer these alternative explanations
            + Trump just wanted a photo-op and authentic leipäjuusto
            + Trump feels that sanctions will inflame rather than cool tensions
            + Trump’s foreign policy consists of “Do the opposite of what the Washington Post says is a good idea”
            + Trump doesn’t like to open negotiations with a litany of threats

            And, just to be sure:

            not with counter-argument and compromise

            > compromise


      3. Roger Smith

        The first and biggest clue that it is corporate-state propaganda is that late night hosts won’t shut up about it.

        I’d like to echo what Katniss said above. Trump not acting like McCain towards Putin is the normal, base line experience, diplomacy, not evidence of blackmail.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Everyone is different, but I try to go to bed early and I’m for people doing the same.

          Maybe not hitting the sack at sunset (that’s like too ancient, only Luddites do that), but not late night.

      4. Pat

        Because late night comedians have such communication with the American people they get what they are interested in. The American people are numbers to these guys. They have no idea what really interests Sophie in Peoria or Jose in Socorro, or even Andrew in Portland. That traction could be with the usual subjects in the Beltway and CA.

        Media interest in any subject is driven by the people who own the media.

      5. NotTimothyGeithner

        Right…so Putin is blackmailing Trump into putting more weapons on the Russian border…exactly how does that work? Is the increased sanctions part of the blackmail?

        What are the tell tale signs of blackmail victims?

        1. a different chris

          It’s eleventy dimensional chess! Don’t try to understand, just keep pledging your children and your children’s children output to the MIC.

      6. polecat

        You know, if you keep on pushing that flacid liberal string, it’s no wonder when it gets all bunched-up ..

      7. WheresOurTeddy

        extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and claims made without evidence can be dismissed just as easily without evidence.

        I am not a Trump fan, did not vote for him, and do not approve of his plutocratic governance. But it has been almost 2 years.


        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Its still in the oven.

          No? uhh . . . its in the mail.

          No? well, uhh . . . the dog ate it. Yeah! That’s the ticket! The dog ate it and we had to get another one and we’re working on cooking it right now.

      8. Elizabeth Burton

        Seriously? We should believe a completely unsubstantiated with hard evidence allegation because all the late-night comedians keep talking about it?

        Any credibility that might have been applied went out the window with the assertion Bernie Sanders doesn’t mention Russiagate, given that’s one of the things many here find disturbing—that he appears to have embraced the entire narrative.

        Would I be out of line inquiring how much Correct the Record is paying these days? Since the Democrats happily support the GOP in refusing to let my Social Security keep up with the inflation they insist we all need to be terrified about, I could use a little extra cash.

      9. ewmayer

        Our unfortunate DNC-propaganda-spew-addled fellow NCer dcblogger must’ve averted his eyes from the recent Links entry What Dirt Does Russia Have on Barack Obama? from The American Conservative, likely on “it says ‘conservative’ so I’m forbidden from reading it” grounds.

        (Disclosure: I never read TAC before the past year, but have found lots of excellent-even-from-a-left-perspective stuff from them posted around here recently. Monopartisan tribalist scribes, they are definitely not).

      10. witters

        “Trump’s manner towards Putin is very much that of a blackmail victim.”

        Even David Bromwich – who must know that claims to infallibly read body language are beyond ridiculous – says this.

        You know what I think they might miss out – Putin is an impressive man – have a look at his interviews – and as an impressive man he impresses. Even Trump! So be very careful – if you watch and listen to Putin you too might be a blackmail victim!

    4. Stephen V.

      Seems to me that the esteemed Mr. Mueller could use some Depends:

      “In the only conversation I’ve had with Robert Mueller, I stressed to him the importance of cutting out the leaks,” Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., told “Fox News Sunday” after news of impending indictments in Mueller’s probe was leaked last October. “It’s kind of ironic that the people charged with investigating the law and the violations of the law would violate the law.”

      Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on May 17, 2017, but the genesis for his appointment sprung from a leak about a conversation between then-FBI Director James Comey and President Trump about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador during the transition.

    5. Loneprotester

      I know this crowd will tell me if I am going off the rails or possibly am onto something.

      This week I became convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the whole Russia thing is an elaborate psyop being played on the American people by 4 main parties: the intelligence est., the mainstream media, the leaders of the Democratic Party, and the leaders of the mainstream Trump-hating Republican Party. What if the “deep state” was actually working on behalf of BOTH parties against Trump? What if the Steele Dossier is partly true and was publicized to neutralize the kompromat it contained by exposing it to sunlight in a weakened, “unverifiable” way? What if the Mueller investigation is part of an elaborate game that keeps Trump permanently wrong-footed? What if we are facing a four-way Mexican standoff, and in reality none of these distracting little subplots actually matter at all?

      I keep coming back to the fact that everyone was SOOO sure HRC would be elected. How is it possible that EVERYONE was so sure of this fact that no one had any contingency plan? The only possible explanation is that the parties had agreed to essentially turn the White House over to her. Yet somehow Trump won anyway. I’d love to understand how that happened. Did the Israelis and Saudis have a hand? Who knows.

      But President Trump was never meant to happen and, if it happened, it was meant to only last a short time. But he refuses to resign. Being shameless can be a plus. Who knew?

      Now I suspect what is happening is that Trump could expose the bipartisan scheming but it would end his presidency, as the rump Republicans would side with the Dems and impeach him. That is why so much of his energy is going towards replacing the old guard with his own supporters.

      Not only was he never meant to hold or retain office, he was never meant to succeed so well at carrying out his campaign promises and, in the process, winning over so many new supporters. It is undermining the strategy of both political party establishments and they are desperate to shut him down. That is why the manic reporting never ever stops. It is all very depressing but in a fascinating way.

      Now, I’d love to hear other people critique my theory. What am I missing? Where am I going wrong?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        With HRC, there are a few issues at play.

        -the myth of the great orator of the age. Obama’s victory depended on his initial cult, actual Clinton political incompetence versus the myth, and the anti-Iraq/Clinton sentiment that naturally exists.
        -the state of Team Blue. No one had a starting base like Obama. Lets compare him to Sanders. Obama was younger, more photogenic, and came from a larger state with a larger media market. He also started earlier in his campaign. I’m sure this mattered. Obama didn’t have to deal with ACA and perceptions of broken promises in 2008.
        -Part of the reason an unaccomplished Senator such as HRC was even viable was the Democratic Party is a disaster. Yes, there is plenty of arrogance, but even a guy like Mark Warner knows Hilary would destroy him in a popularity contest. Biden knew he had to get Liz Warren to bless him as most of her complaints about deregulation can be laid at Biden’s feet.
        -Versailles and all politics is local. If you have a good job in the right part of say the DC Metro area, you might think the economy is great. The help is cheap after all! Why change course?
        -The 2002 Emerging Democratic Majority. One of the reasons 43 was so eager to do immigration reform was to prevent Hispanic voters from becoming the new black voter. A key to 43’s “close enough to steal” election was his inroads with young non-Cuban Hispanic voters in Florida in 2000. With the GOP becoming white and the country becoming less white, Republican WASP types knew they had to shake up the party to win the loyalty of new voters who might drift to the Democrats despite being linked to socially conservative institutions like the Catholic Church. Since the GOP had done nothing but embrace white power, the prospect of Hispanic voters saving a declining GOP looked like an impossibility.
        -This is really important. Obama was a lousy President with a poor economic performance for the country at large. He should have lost in 2012. The Versailles crowd loves Mittens. If Mittens couldn’t beat Obama, it looked like the Democratic Party was locked into the White House without a major realignment. Kerry (until HRC) was a disasterous candidate who ran a mess of a campaign, and he was 10,000 votes away from being President against 43 who was a “war” President and would clearly cheat to win. Given what was left on the board for Kerry, he should have won.

        It boils down to who had the size and support structure to overcome Hillary in the primaries, and in 2008, her campaign clearly did not know how delegate allocation worked spending time running up vote tallies or ignoring caucuses all together. Can you imagine Tim Kaine trying to run? He auditioned hard to be Obama’s running mate, so he fancies himself as President. He would be laughed at, more so than he is now.

        1. JTMcPhee

          It’s a big expensive operation to run all these election things. I’m sure Zuck and Musk and Gates and the folks who operate the Borg can figure out how to wean the mopes off the sad and dried-up nipple of seeming legitimacy-via-ballots…

      2. False Solace

        > he was never meant to succeed so well at carrying out his campaign promises and, in the process, winning over so many new supporters

        What new supporters? Trump has consolidated the same old, same old Republican support base.

        What campaign promises has he kept? The one where we’d have health care that would be better and cheaper and cover everyone? The one where workers would get an actual tax cut instead of an empty promise concealing a huge giveaway for the rich? The one where we’d get out of Afghanistan and not bomb Syria? The one where we’d have cheaper prescription drugs? He promised a Wall, I don’t see one of those either (not that I support one). Trump is renegotiating NAFTA but where are the protections for labor? He’s gutted environmental and worker protections to save rich people money, but how exactly does that help you and me? We haven’t seen wages go up in 40 years. The economy is doing OK compared to the last 8 years of misery but we haven’t even caught up to where we were before Bush’s Wall Street fiasco.

        Trump is just another empty suit with a big mouth. Get back to me when workers see actual wage increases or single payer. Or when he throws Wells Fargo execs in jail.

        1. Pat

          See here’s the thing, most people who voted for him either think he is under siege by the very swamp he was and is trying to drain and that he is holding his own OR knew they were rolling the dice with the unknown and could get more of the same. Congress’ ratings are very indicative of how much people trust the other parties in all this. Personally I would say that Trump’s ratings are a factor of things not obviously getting worse for most workers AND the flat footed attempts to get the people interested in porn stars and Russia!Russia!Russia! In truth the point when I expect Trump’s ratings to crash are when everyone has to start doing their taxes next year. A whole lot of people who thought they got something, even if not much, from the tax cut are going to find out they didn’t and they now owe the government thanks to the screwing around with the withholding tables. The timing on that is going to be deadly for him.

          But what no one is going to get until all those hopefuls put start really running and trying to win over those states outside the Beltway and the Media hubs is that party has many people who aren’t considered just more of the same including the Democrats. Running against Donald is still NOT going to be a winner for Biden, Harris, Booker Cuomo, Gillibrand, Warren, etc. Unless a candidate excites the electorate, it is all going to come down to who can manage to make the most people in all those fly over states leave home long enough to vote.
          From what I can see too many Democrats have yet to understand that Clinton was incompetent and ‘programming for the margins’ or ‘playing to the centrist Republican leaning independents’ is a losing strategy.

          1. False Solace

            > But what no one is going to get until all those hopefuls put start really running and trying to win over those states outside the Beltway and the Media hubs is that party has many people who aren’t considered just more of the same including the Democrats.

            I agree with this. To me it looks like Trump wins reelection in a cakewalk unless one of three things happens:

            1) Economy tanks or gas prices spike
            2) Trump leads us into another unnecessary war
            3) Trump’s health suddenly fails

            Right now Bernie is the only person who can beat him, but it would be a close race. No other Democrat has a chance.

        2. Loneprotester

          The main promises (besides the wall, not accomplished but not dead either) were:

          Revive the economy (especially manufacturing)–DONE
          Slow immigration (legal and illegal)–IN PROGRESS
          Pull out of or renegotiate bad trade deals–IN PROGRESS

          It’s not a half bad list for two years, with almost no cooperation from Congress and a never ending Greek chorus from the oppo/media party.

          If you don’t know anyone who has softened towards the guy you aren’t talking to anyone.

          1. False Solace

            Revive the economy? Show me money in actual workers’ wallets. Until we have that, cheering about the economy is the same vacuous drivel we got from Barack “Green Shoots” Obama.

            “Slowing” immigration? Doesn’t that have more to do with all the factories that were built in Mexico by US manufacturers? Why head to the US when the jobs are south of the border? Where is the meaningful enforcement against employers and concrete action on visa abuse?

            Renegotiating trade deals I already discussed in my previous comment. Without worker and environmental protections those deals are worthless. Just a couple months ago we heard Trump muttering about reviving the TPP! “Trump orders top administration officials Thursday to look at rejoining the TPP.” source

            Admittedly I don’t talk to many people about politics. In my immediate circle no one’s opinion on Trump has changed. Most of the conversations end with: “… But at least he’s not Hillary.” Anyway, I already stated my criteria for reevaluating Trump. Get back to me when workers see actual wage increases or single payer. Or when he throws Wells Fargo execs in jail.

          2. jrs

            the economy is horrible, it’s all gig work and low wage jobs (and that’s the people considered “employed”).

            1. bruce wilder

              Not all. Not nearly all.

              And, that’s a big part of the problem.

              Here in Los Angeles, as in many places, we have a big, growing, highly visible homeless population.

              I heard a discussion with an expert on the radio — an analytical type. Interviewer asked a softball question about the role of the economy clearly expecting something about unemployment or low wages in reply.

              The expert said that the problem was that so much of the employment growth in LA was in jobs paying over $200,000 a year, and that was driving a lot of housing construction that was radically reducing the number of affordable units available. I about fell off my chair.

              If you are in the 9.9% in the right place, the economy looks great to you. You don’t care about growth in median wages — you are not anywhere near the median and your own prospects are probably improved when the median suffers — Uber comes so much quicker and you can get anything delivered.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        Well . . . loneprotester . . . so far it looks like nobody says they think your theory is wrong in any major way.

  2. kimyo

    that nyt vitamin d article implies that 1) levels between 20 and 30 nmol are ‘fine’, 2) promotes the ‘toxicity’ canard (the only example i could find was an incident in massachusetts, 20 or so accidentally exposed to a massive dose thru milk, all of whom lived) and 3) fails to mention that anyone living north of d.c. CANNOT possibly get ANY vitamin d via sunlight between the months of october thru march.

    i just happened to read this earlier tonight – far far better than the nyt hit job – From Seafood to Sunshine: A New Understanding of Vitamin D Safety

    also this recent study seems to fully debunk the notion that large single doses of d3 are toxic: Oral Vitamin D Rapidly Attenuates Inflammation from Sunburn: An Interventional Study

    Compared with placebo, participants receiving vitamin D3 (200,000 international units) demonstrated reduced expression of proinflammatory mediators tumor necrosis factor-α (P = 0.04) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (P = 0.02) in skin biopsy specimens 48 hours after experimental sunburn.

    No measured vitamin D3 metabolite increased into a toxic range in any of the treatment groups throughout the study period. Furthermore, there were no instances of clinically significant hypercalcemia occurring in any of the treatment groups throughout the study period

    1. Bugs Bunny

      My French GP gives me 100,000 units every 3 months, including in summer. We get it in an ampoule that you break open and mix with water, not pills you take once a day. It’s also very routine for Vitamin D to be included in the yearly serology exam that almost every GP here asks you to have. If you’ve been to France you’ve probably seen “laboratoires d’analyse” all over the place – it’s because French doctors very frequently rely on lab confirmation of diagnoses and labs are for the most part separate from clinics. Anyone north of the Mediterranean is Vitamin D deficient.

      1. divadab

        “Anyone north of the Mediterranean is Vitamin D deficient”

        Rubbish. I live at the 50th parallel in the PNW and even tested mid-February after a sunless and rainy January my Vit D levels are fine. All you need is to be evolved for northern latitudes (i.e. white skin) and get regular outdoor exercise with exposed skin.

        If your skin is pigmented so you are unable to synthesise enough Vit D despite healthy outdoor exercise you are living too far north for your phenotype. Ditto pale people who burn in intense sun – Arizona is not for you, sucker!

        1. kimyo

          my Vit D levels are fine

          if you don’t mind sharing, please let us know your results. ‘fine’ can mean different things to different people.

          If your skin is pigmented…you are living too far north for your phenotype

          so all african americans should leave the pnw and move south? surely supplementation seems like a simpler solution.

          1. In the land of farmers

            Yes, they probably should. I think the ease of travel and relocation due to technology has changed health outcomes for a large population of people.

            Taking vitamin D is not the same as getting it from the sun. You need enough 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin to turn UVB from the sun into the same D3 we get from food. (This is also why sun exposure reduces cholesterol). So by taking vitamin D and avoiding the sun many people may be giving themselves high cholesterol. Complicated, yes?

            And as I have said in another comment, sun exposure also lowers folate. And it might not just st be the sun that effects darker skin people, but the ambient temperature as well. It is also know to effect enzyme function in humans.

            There is a Daoist saying; a rabbit does not live in a swamp.

            And to both of you, sharing you anecdotal experience is useless unless you are sharing it to show how genetic diversity changes vitamin needs.

            1. Yves Smith

              The idea that high cholesterol is bad for you is a myth. The current thinking re heart disease is the thing to worry about is triglycerides.

              The cholesterol level in women that correlates with the lowest all factor death rate is 270.

              Lower cholesterol levels are associated with higher risk of stroke and susceptibility to infection.

              1. In the Land of farmers

                Yes, high cholesterol is not universally bad, and in many people higher levels may be good/normal. There is even proof now that high cholesterol after a heart attack increases survival.

                However, in some cases, too much cholesterol is bad, as in the cases of hyperlipidimia causing pancreatitis and even mood disorders. Low cholesterol may also be bad, since it may reduce mylenation on nerve cells.

                To ignore cholesterol levels is ignorant, since theyvare an important metabolic marker. So if they change remarkably one should ask why n context.

                Looking at any test in isolation is making all of us paranoid for some perfect number. I have seen people wanting to get their test numbers “right in the middle” of the range, like it is some magic place of wellness.

              2. In the Land of farmers

                Adding, if you can show me the studies that show that cholesterol levels above 270 for women at any age reduces all causes of death I would appreciate it. I have seen that stat floating around and it is always uncited.

        2. Harold

          Eating grass-fed beef provides a higher level of vitamins including vitamin D than oily fish, according to its proponents. Another strike against corn-fed, fast-food hamburgers. Also, obese people require vitamin D in greater amounts.

        3. Lord Koos

          You may be an outlier. I also live in the PNW and I take a daily 5000 IU dose of D. I find it does make a difference in how I feel during the winter months.

        1. Harold

          Beriberi is caused by a B vitamin deficiency. Symptoms mimic mental retardation. A big problem is US South because of grits. B vitamins now added to grits and other refined grain by law

      1. kimyo

        If only there was some natural, free source of vitamin D that you could just get by walking around outside

        between october and march, if you take your walk in the nude, without sunscreen, between noon and 3pm, and you’re south of virginia, then you’ll be just fine. for the rest of us:

        Time for more vitamin D

        Except during the summer months, the skin makes little if any vitamin D from the sun at latitudes above 37 degrees north (see link for map including san francisco, denver, st. louis, essentially 60% of the u.s.)

        the wiki on vitamin d states:

        Adequate amounts of vitamin D can be produced with moderate sun exposure to the face, arms and legs, averaging 5–30 minutes twice per week.

        this myth should die.

        1. clarky90

          I have stopped using soap, or body wash (detergent) on my skin. I shower or hot bath or sauna most days. I smell fine. I feel clean.

          AND, finally, I don’t sunburn!!!

          For my entire life, the tops of my ears would be sun-burnt and scabbed all summer- in spite of hats.

          Since I stopped washing my skin with soaps and detergents, my ears never sunburn. It has been three years now.

          I believe that the skin’s natural oils protect us from sunburn, and store the Vitamin D manufactured by our skin until it can be absorbed into the body.

          “Sebaceous glands secrete the oily, waxy substance called sebum (Latin: fat, tallow) that is made of triglycerides, wax esters, squalene, and metabolites of fat-producing cells. Sebum waterproofs and lubricates the skin and hair of mammals.”

          Our pets smell fine, even though we rarely soap them down.

          For at least 30 years, there has been a concerted effort to paint “our” Sun as a Death Star that is trying to irradiate and kill us. God Help Me if I showed up at Play Centre, with my young son, without his wide brimmed sun hat.

          I watch wealthy tourists “sunbathe” in the shadow of trees in our resort towns. They will put their coats over their heads, and hurry through the sunshine to reach another “safe space”, shadow.

          Thirty years ago, NZ had the second highest rate of melanoma (skin cancer) in the World. After 30 years of constant campaigning to “fear and avoid” the sun. To cover up. To regularly slather the body with “sun screen”……..

          NZ still has the second highest rate of Melanoma in the world. Hmmmmm?

          The sun and it’s shine are one of the great joys of my life.

    2. Sick Cannuck

      One fact almost never reported is that vitamin D regulates the expression of the TH1 component of the innate immune system, several hundred proteins that target microorganisms living inside of cells. Some of these target cell wall-deficient bacteria which can produce proteins that block or destroy the nuclear vitamin D receptor, resulting in long term intracellular infections that are possibly a factor in chronic inflammatory or autoimmune disease.

      Some anti-hypertensive drugs can bind to, and activate the receptor (due to a shared evolutionary history, If I recall correctly, the angiotensin receptor is a copy of the NVDR that evolved new functionality), and are hypothesized to be the cause of some of the beneficial side effects of that class of drugs (like valsartan delaying the average onset of Alzheimer’s).

      For any Naked Capitalism readers who want to read more, I’d recommend microbe minded or

      1. MaxFinger

        Valsarten RECALL due to being contaminated.

        Some anti-hypertensive drugs can bind to, and activate the receptor (due to a shared evolutionary history, If I recall correctly, the angiotensin receptor is a copy of the NVDR that evolved new functionality), and are hypothesized to be the cause of some of the beneficial side effects of that class of drugs (like valsartan delaying the average onset of Alzheimer’s).

        Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Valsartan / Amlodipine / HCTZ Tablets

        Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited is voluntarily recalling 14 lots of Valsartan/Amlodipine/HCTZ tablets to the consumer level due to the detection of trace amounts of an unexpected impurity found in an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufactured by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals. The impurity detected in the API is N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a substance that occurs naturally in certain foods, drinking water, air pollution, and industrial processes, and has been classified as a probable human carcinogen as per International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification.

        To date, Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall.

        Valsartan is used to control high blood pressure and for the treatment of heart failure. In combination with amlodipine plus hydrochlorothiazide, it is used to control high blood pressure.

        I sign up for the latest recalls, however this was reported in Europe the 1st week in July..
        FDA has quite of few recalls. Never much coverage of this ongoing problem.

    3. Mark Gisleson

      Somewhat parallel comment. I quit all vitamins last fall. All winter long my ‘bones’ cracked and popped at an alarming rate. By spring even the long-standing cracks and pops were gone.

      A doctor explained to me that it’s very easy to build up calcium deposits in your joints when taking supplements. The snaps, crackles and pops I associated with aging were simply these deposits breaking up once I stopped adding to them daily.

      Not anti-vitamin, but I am wishing I’d used a little more restraint when I was taking them. Now getting pretty much everything I need from root vegetables and animal protein and doing fine. And I no longer have any cognitive dissonance from saying no to corporate processed food while saying yes to corporations that make supplements.

    4. marieann

      I told my doctor I wanted a Vitamin D test he said it was a waste of time as I’d just be “low” I was and that was was me taking supplements for a couple of months I upped the dose and the next test was in the low normal range. In my province we have to pay for the test $35.

      Another vitamin level that needs checked regularly is B12 deficiencies are common after age 50

    5. In The Land of Farmers

      Oh my lord, again with a study that ignores the role of genetics!?

      Why do you think Africans have dark skin? Why do you think the Inuit have darker skin as well? The Africans get too much vitamin D from the sun and the Inuit get too much from fish.

      There is a mean level of vitamin D that humans need but this will vary greatly due to genetics and environment.

      You would all be wise to understand that any study on human populations is an average across the population they study and ignore what it means to you personally. And understand there will be people who want to make money from these vitamin studies that will tell you that they are universally good.

      And it’s fun how many people will say “go out and get sun” to increase vitamin D without knowing that sun exposure also reduces folate in humans. This could be why the Inuit have darker skin as well, to reduce folate loss since they eat few leafy greens.

      It’s nature AND nurture. It environmental AND genetic.

      1. Harold

        A quick look at Google brings up that dark skinned African children get rickets from deficiencies in calcium, which is needed to process vitamin D.

        1. In The Land of Farmers

          You have that backwards. At most there might be co deficiencies but there is always a D deficiency in rickets.

      2. Oregoncharles

        I’ve seen that argument about Inuit getting their Vit. D from fish oil, but I wonder: are they really darker skinned? I’ve met a Yupik, not technically Inuit but from Arctic Alaska; she had black hair and brown eyes, but her skin was about the same shade as mine, I think with freckles. I’m North European.

  3. JIm A.

    Re: The pee tape. At this point, I don’t think it would make any difference if it was released. I mean we have established that he had sex with porn stars and then paid them off. I don’t think that a tape of him watching girls pee would make any difference whatsoever. Those that hate him already hate him, and those that love him will forgive him.

    1. Lee

      And those of us who are at most mildly amused but are otherwise unconcerned about such practices will go on much as before.

    2. RUKidding

      I agree. It won’t make one bit of difference.

      I really don’t care anymore bc it’s clear that Republicans will accept anything that this man does without even a sliver of concern. So why should I care? I didn’t and will never vote for him. But his sexual peccadillos are not worth discussing at this point, unless there’s absolute proof that he messed around with underage kids. Republican voters could clearly care less about that, as well, but I would be concerned and speak out against that.

      Whatever he did with consenting adults? pffft.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        The best use of Trump’s behavior, of his “sexual peccadillos”, for me is the ability to (1) smile broadly and (2) remind Republicans that they have fully ceded whatever moral high ground they thought they had.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Moral high ground – I think that is useful for surviving a 1,000-year moral flood.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The ninth circle of hell is for traitors with Judas Iscariot, Brutus, and Cassius being tortured in Satan’s mouth. Once you go there, nothing else matters.

        1. Allegorio

          The Emperor Hadrian is also there, being ground between the teeth of the devil, according to the Talmud, because he built a Temple of Jupiter on the Temple Mount. Jehovah – Jupiter, whatever already.

    3. Harold

      The great sex reformer Havelock Ellis, crusader for acceptance of homosexuals, is said to have had a pee fetish. He could become aroused only by watching women urinate and found happiness in marriage late in life after coming to terms with this fact.

      Hint to the identity politics crowd : Ellis would probably have advised toleration for this kink.

      Not that we should tolerate Trump’s low-life connections, shady dealings, or incompetence.

      In the latest edition of the London Review of Books David Bromwich warns that the Democrats:

      remain in denial about the charm of Trump, the force of his personality for a certain crowd. He has an effective voice, and by many accounts can show a flattering attentiveness to other people’s need of attention; his manner, when things are going well, is self-depreciating in a likeable way. Consider a characteristic move: he recently tore away the first page of a speech and let it float to the ground; a written speech is so boring, he said. A stunt, but the crowd loved it. He can slip a head-on challenge as well as the most seasoned of clowns; in a tight spot, he has the ingenuity of a weasel. The moral and political nastiness that Trump calls up with such ease is laced with high spirits.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        It’s not the peeing that’s supposed to outrage us. It’s that he allegedly paid them to pee on a bed previously occupied by Barry and Michelle.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Was it directly at those two persons, or a broader category?

          When one travels, one doesn’t know who (or what) had slept in the same hotel bed (Moscow or anywhere) before.

    4. dcrane

      Trump’s position recalls this famous quote from ex-Louisiana governor Edwin W. Edwards in 1983:

      “The only way I can lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.”

  4. RainyJane

    Not to be picky, isn’t today August 20th?
    Links say it 8/21/18 & the month goes so fast…

  5. nechaev

    for a differing opinion on Labour’s “anti-Semitism crisis” see Norman Finkelstein’s piece [part 1], published yesterday:


    In other words, the irrefutable proof that Corbyn’s pursuers don’t believe a word they’re saying is that by labeling him an anti-Semite they hope and expect to isolate him. However, as the accusation is manifestly a red herring, it’s also possible that the current hysteria will pass most people by entirely, not because they are unconcerned by anti-Semitism but because it hardly occurs to them as an issue at all. If the controversy has an effect it will be restricted to exacerbating divisions in the Labour leadership and perhaps also adding to a more general perception that the stories promoted by mainstream media are fake news.

    1. Carolinian

      That’s a good article. He points out that the row over anti-Semitism is in inverse proportion to the evidence of same among the British public. It’s all a fabrication. He also notes that the British Jewish community has been far more supportive over time of the Tories than of Labour, the opposite of here.

      1. integer

        While I have no doubt Finkelstein is correct regarding the historical trend of British Jewry’s support for the Tories, it’s worth noting that Tony Blair enjoyed a high level of support from the disproportionately influential zionist faction of the Jewish religion.

        From 2003:

        British MP Charges Jewish Cabal’ Is Guiding Tony Blair Haaretz

        Veteran leftist British Labor MP Tam Dalyell has charged that Prime Minister Tony Blair was “being unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers,” the Telegraph newspaper reported yesterday…

        The Telegraph quoted an interview with Vanity Fair, in which the Labor MP named “Lord Levy, Tony Blair’s personal envoy on the Middle East, Peter Mandelson, whose father was Jewish, and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, who has Jewish ancestry, as three of the leading figures who had influenced Mr Blair’s policies on the Middle East.”

        Dalyell told the Telegraph Saturday that he was “fully aware that one is treading on cut glass on this issue and no one wants to be accused of anti-Semitism but, if it is a question of launching an assault on Syria or Iran… then one has to be candid. I am not going to be labeled anti-Semitic. My children worked on a kibbutz. But the time has come for candor.”

        The Prime Minister, Mr Dalyell claimed, was also indirectly influenced by Jewish people in the Bush administration, including Richard Perle, a Pentagon adviser, Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, and Ari Fleischer, the President’s press secretary.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Nice article. What it doesn’t mention is that a key reason why Britain was never infected with the disease of anti-Semitism in the same way of much of central Europe, is that since the time of Elizabeth I the role of the ‘other’ in Britain was taken by Catholics, both upper class English catholics (often seen as the enemy within), and lower class catholics of Irish or Scottish extraction. Even to the extent that an openly anti-Catholic events are considered local or de facto holidays (12th July and 5th November). You often see this these days in the guise of atheist rationality. Nobody seems to ask why people like Richard Dawkins are obsessed with attacking catholicism without a word about the religion of his own Head of State.

      1. Carolinian

        Interesting point. Of course the Elizabethan paranoia about the Catholic church as political enemy did have some basis. And when it came to Ireland it made a good excuse to “blame the victims.”

        Hard to believe now but in the US prejudice against Catholics–perhaps inherited from mother England–was strong enough to make the JFK run controversial among those worried that the Pope would thereby be controlling America.

        1. pretzelattack

          strong enough to beat al smith, too. i remember the anti catholic propaganda in 1960. there was probably still some anti irish sentiment, too.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Wasn’t Shylock a Jew? Lots of pro-Nazi, anti-Jewish sentiment among the British ruling elites, going way back. The
        Rothschilds are aristocracy, of a sort, but not particularly well loved, for a lot of reasons. And then there was this guy:

        Brits have plenty of disdain and hate to go around. Maybe something to do with Empire, and oppression of the working class, and “enclosing” of the farming peasantry?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The anti-antisemitism that swept the continent in more recent post age of enlightenment/reason times. The Jews were expelled in the 13th century from England, so I don’t know their relative population by the 17th century. There was a sizable, assimilated Jewish population in the ante-bellum South that had immigrated through England well before the Pogroms in Eastern Europe that brought so many Jews who are more familiar to the American cultural sense. I’m not sure where they were before that (Portugal?). Disraeli’s parents were from modern Italy.

          Hannah Arendt argued a point that the Jews weren’t targeted by the Nazi regime because they were Jews as much as they were small enough not to fight back, distant enough to avoid building a coalition, but large and public enough to make a point to the larger population in a way homosexuals wouldn’t be.

          I bet Jews were more of a public oddity in the UK than other European countries, and the Catholics were too numerous as time progressed even with nominal anti-antisemitism in the aristocracy.

          1. Lord Koos

            Not Portugal so much — beginning in the16th century many Jews came to the new world from Spain as a result of the inquisition. The oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere is in Kingston Jamaica, dating from the time it was a Spanish colony.

          2. Lord Koos

            Not Portugal so much as Spain — Jews fleeing the inquisition began coming to the new world in the 16th century. The oldest Jewish community in the western hemisphere is in Kingston Jamaica, which was also the site of the first synagogue in the western hemisphere, before the Brits took Jamaica from Spain.

              1. Unna

                I promise I’ll try to make up some German word to definitively address this issue. Just as soon as the smoke clears and my brain returns to it’s normal misdirected functioning state.

                Problem is, internet German doesn’t come natural to me since my last time there predated the invention of the Web by Al Gore, or whoever. Maybe I should spend some time lurking. Or maybe some current Echt Deutsch German speaker could proffer a suggestion.

        2. Carolinian

          Finkelstein bases that assertion on a recent poll of all Britons, not just aristocrats. I’m not sure historical references are relevant to the Corbyn situation.

      3. Louis Fyne

        –What it doesn’t mention is that a key reason why Britain was never infected with the disease of anti-Semitism in the same way of much of central Europe, is that since the time of Elizabeth I the role of the ‘other’ in Britain was taken by Catholics–

        yes. That and all the British Jews were evicted from Britain in the Middle Ages.

  6. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: How Important Is the Protest Against Trump from the National-Security Establishment? The New Yorker.

    As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one response Trump should have for mcraven and now hayden–“I’m sure we can accommodate you without delay. We’re not in the business of forcing people to have valuable security clearances they don’t want.”

    These juvenile histrionics are known as “cutting off your nose to spite your face,” and are every bit as ineffective and embarrassing as they were when many of us pulled them way back in the day.

    I suspect most americans understand that the real reason for all the sturm und drang is in the article’s parenthetical:

    (Many retired military and intelligence figures parlay their security clearances into valuable consulting gigs.)

    Of course, since we now know that money is “speech,” maybe brennan has a left-handed point……

    1. Carolinian

      Pat Lang in the above link points out that traditionally all books and public statements by ex CIA are supposed to be vetted by the agency and can also be blocked by that agency’s boss who is the president. Presumably the stated role of the CIA–to advise and serve the president–is so established to prevent this secret government organization from setting itself up in opposition to the elected leader. At base Russiagate is a power struggle between the unelected–the press and people like Brennan and the political party that lost–versus the elected. The only way they can justify this highly undemocratic situation is by pretending it’s all about the legitimacy of elections themselves. Elections already took a pummeling in 2000. If they keep battering at that wall it may come down.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Essentially the “intelligence community” is declaring that it is a governmental power unto itself, answerable to no one. If that isn’t a coup, I don’t know what is.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Inside Imperial Baseball… It’s not like there’s any congruence, or ever has been, between stated mission (now, or way back in Dullesville) and actual activities and operations.

            Maybe I should let the Agency squeak for itself, on its “vision, mission, ethos, and challenges,” and weigh the words against the reality (as much as they have not been able to keep the rest of us from seeing):

            CIA Vision, Mission, Ethos & Challenges


            CIA’s information, insights, and actions consistently provide tactical and strategic advantage for the United States.


            Preempt threats and further US national security objectives by collecting intelligence that matters, producing objective all-source analysis, conducting effective covert action as directed by the President, and safeguarding the secrets that help keep our Nation safe.


            The officers of the CIA are guided by a professional ethos that is the sum of our abiding principles, core values, and highest aspirations. This ethos holds us on course as we exercise the extraordinary influence and authorities with which we have been entrusted to protect the Nation and advance its interests. CIA’s ethos has many dimensions, including:

            Service. We put Nation first, Agency before unit, and mission before self. We take pride in being diverse, inclusive, agile, responsive, and consequential.

            Integrity. We uphold the highest standards of lawful conduct. We are truthful and forthright, and we provide information and analysis without institutional or political bias. We maintain the Nation’s trust through accountability and oversight.

            Excellence. We bring the best of our diverse backgrounds and expertise to everything we do. We are self-aware, reflecting on our performance and learning from it. We strive to give all officers the tools, experiences, and leadership they need to excel.

            Courage. We accomplish difficult, high-stakes, often dangerous tasks. In executing mission, we carefully manage risk but we do not shy away from it. We value sacrifice and honor our fallen.

            Teamwork. We stand by and behind one another. Collaboration, both internal and external, underpins our best outcomes. Diversity and inclusion are mission imperatives.

            Stewardship. We preserve our ability to obtain secrets by protecting sources and methods from the moment we enter on duty until our last breath.

            Key Challenges

            Close intelligence gaps with enhanced collection and analysis on the countries, non-state actors, and issues most critical to the President and senior national security team.

            Fulfill our global mission to give customers decision advantage as they confront an unprecedented volume and diversity of worldwide developments that affect US interests.

            Leverage technological advances for better performance in all mission areas—collection, analysis, covert action, and counterintelligence—while protecting against technological threats to the security of our information, operations, and officers.

            Improve the ways we attract, develop, and retain talent to maximize each CIA officer’s potential to contribute to achieving mission.

            Better manage Agency resources during a period of fiscal austerity.

            Boolsheet, written by self-serving credentialed types. Not much match-up between promise, or even aspirational statements, and performance. I was going to highlight some of this as particularly telling, but hey, it would have been a blanket highlight…

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              Fulfill our global mission to give customers […]


              I thought these guys were trained not to let that sort of fact slip out.

              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                In agency-speak I believe the word “customer(s)” was always openly used and specifically referred to the end-reader/ end-user of the intelligence-analysis product. It didn’t mean “any old rich offerer-of-money”.

                1. JTMcPhee

                  There’s a difference between “end reader/end user” and any old offeror of money, or in the case of all the Tech Giant plug-ins, and of course *Israel,* where the mostly money flows the other way?

                  Lots of evidence about how all the different parts of the thing called collectively the “CIA,” and the FBI and NSA things and the rest of the Blob, actually have been and are presently operating. And it’s not in accordance with “what is commonly understood.”

                  The myths, and the reality— all about power, isn’t it? And its corollary, money? And being able to sneak around and get away with all kinds of stuff, that’s “plausibly diniable” and everybody winks and nudges at, to indicate they are “in the know…”

                  How much opium would a field operative shuck, if a field operative would chuck opium?

        1. Whoa Molly!

          > A power unto themselves.

          Ding! Ding! Ding!

          Nailed it.

          In my wildest dreams I never thought I could vote for a man like Trump. Brennan and co. have managed to convince me otherwise.

      2. knowbuddhau

        Also from Lang:

        The desired degree of secrecy about such information is known as its sensitivity. Sensitivity is based upon a calculation of the damage to national security that the release of the information would cause. The United States has three levels of classification: Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret.

        If NatSec is an intangible asset, and not even office blocks of accounts can calculate them (, then how’s that supposed to work where it goes to ground?

        Is there an NSA app for that? /s

    2. Loneprotester

      Hear, hear.

      Not to put too fine a point on it, there is so much hard left money floating around looking for anyone willing to publicly attack the president, that I no longer pay any attention to ANY of these people. Yes, the guy who brought in the head of Bin Laden is a hero. No, I don’t think he has landed a punch on POTUS. I think he sold his future in his Security Clearance to the highest bidder. I don’t blame him either. He is now in charge of the UT system. He makes 7-figures. His donor base is no longer conservative. Neither is his flagship campus. He will never need to sell his Sec. clearance to anyone. His resume is platinum plated. Indeed, now he will probably be on the call list at MSNBC and CNN. Perhaps he wants to break into show biz. Or run for office.

      1. pretzelattack

        he was supposed to bring in bin laden, not his head–at least according to accounts pre execution. they were going to interrogate him about all the valuable intel he had, etc. and only shot him because he forced them to. and then of course they had to dump the corpse overboard out of respect for muslim traditions, which somebody confused with cosa nostra traditions.

        1. integer

          And shortly afterwards most (all?) of the SEAL Team 6 members who purportedly conducted the raid on OBL’s compound died when a helicopter they were on board was allegedly shot down by the Taliban. The deceased were then cremated before being returned to their families. Of course things like this are much too sensitive for any reliable account of what really happened to exist in the public record, so it is left to the “conspiracy theorists” to try to piece together the events that may have transpired.

      2. jonhoops

        “So much Hard Left Money”? … LOL. Not to mention the hordes of “Cultural Marxists” everywhere.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Actually, it would be helpful if loneprotester could quantify the amount of hard-left money there is floating around, and could tell us whose money ( money-by money, name-by-name) it all is. And if he could tell us how we can know that this money is hard-left, that would be helpful too. As well as a description of all the firm-left and soft-left money floating around as well.

          And if the same information could then be developed about all the hard-right, firm-right and soft-right money floating around, we could then compare these amounts of money to the amounts of money floating around from the various “lefts”.

    3. Bridget

      Under the heading of “I wish I’d said that”:

      “Brennan needed that clearance as a hedge against sounding like just another old man shouting at Trump in stream-of-consciousness rants on Twitter. The media needed him to have it so he appeared credible enough for the front pages. Implied access to the real classified story is the only thing that separated Brennan from every other Russiagate conspiracymonger cluttering up social media.”

      1. Loneprotester

        In my head I have this image of angry, red-faced Brennan clicking refresh every few minutes on his “top secret” home computer, with just the light from a single old desk lamp illuminating him. He mutters “c’mon, c’mon” like a gambler waiting for his horse to cross the finish line. He’s bet everything on that horse, but the trainer sold him a bill of goods on some old nag. Who coulda known?

  7. linda amick

    Vitamin D3. While researching studies on Glioma brain cancer (my BIL died of it in Feb.2018) I ran across a study that showed Vitamin D3 effects on men with elevated PSA prostate levels and early prostate cancer. In all cases the D3 over placebo lowered PSA levels and in a majority of cases stabiliized early cancer.

    From an empirical perspective by someone old who has gardened for approximately 45 years there is no question that in the past 10 years or so there must be some sort of geoengineering experimentation ongoing due to the skies being filled with hazy, filmy materials that reduce sunlight as crops such as tomatoes have greatly reduced fruit year over year. Generally vegetable crops can produce volumes of leaves but less fruit.

    For me intake of Vitamin D3 seems a necessity. I believe my lyin’ eyes over the NYT article.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Barging into your home, threatening your family, or making you disappear”

    Just playing the part of the Devil’s Advocate here but a question did come to mind. I have no doubt that what the authoress wrote is true but with one disqualifyer. Think of the United States, as an example, that now has 335 million people living in it. We have all seen the erosion of rights and liberties through such things as the Patriot Act and the clamping down of censorship on people on both the left and the right with this population level. Now what would life be like for its citizens if the United States too had a population of 1.4 billion people? Would the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights be able to scale up to so large a population?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If the US too had a population of 1.4 billion people

      A. it gets worse
      B. It gets better.
      C. no effect

      A question of Size.

      Under A, we could argue not about the US, but that China would be better off split into 4 or 5 nations, each around 335 million people.

      B. If our Constitution and Bill of Rights scare up, then China needs to match that example.

      C. Let’s move on. Size is not an issue.

      1. No such thing as rights, just privilege

        Barging into your home, threatening your family, or making you disappear: Here’s what China ?USA/UK/etc. does to people who speak out against them.

        Julian Assange, anyone? Bill Binney, etc.

        As to size, look at many small ex-soviet republics, many smaller nations in South American, Africa, Eastern Europe. Big, small, in-between, all do much the same.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I had a professor who did work on the size of legislatures, and the Courts, the Presidency, 435 Congressman, 100 Senators, state governments, and major cities such as New York represented a structure that really was too big to manage short of a strong man President. Then of course, there are the various mandates that detail funding arrangements that don’t get reworked with every Congress. Social Security.

      Obama’s style might have worked in a more streamlined environment, but holding the interests together takes too long before everything starts to scatter. The country’s population might be less relevant than the governing body.

      Countries with more than 535 legislators tend to have less government clutter than the U.S. Take New Hampshire with its large legislature. I may be a state representative (I kid. I was born there; everyone seems to be one), and New Hampshire has a horrid government despite its small population.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      As America becomes the ex-hegemon and China becomes the new-hegemon; ChiCom methods of social control will be exported all over the One Ball One Chain CoChina Prosperity Sphere. So how the ChiCom Money-Lords enforce social control is relevant to all the future beneficiaries of their new and improved hegemony which will displace the old and discredited American hegemony.

  9. Charger01

    What a bunch of baloney, they have a minor smoke problem that will be solved by the Pacific in the next few days. Eastern WA, Idaho, Montana have been suffering with really bad smoke, starting in earnest last week. We’re I’m “hazardous” conditions right now, above 300 micrograms per cubic meter of air for PM 2.5, and a bit of PM 10 as well.

    1. Dpfaef

      Exactly what I thought when I read the headline, What about Eastern Washington, Idaho? Damn coastal elites. :)

    2. diptherio

      Yeah, judging by that picture, it’s considerably worse here in Western MT than in Seattle (not that it looks great there, either). Sadly, this is the new normal in the PNW, we have accquired a new season: fire season – when the air is filled with smoke and your favorite wilderness trails are closed, but the sunsets are amazing.

      Edit: that tweet from Hurricane Ridge actually looks worse than what we’ve got right now. Moral of the story: things are rough all over.

    3. PNW_Warriorwoman

      Please know that any single link does not capture what those of us on the Western side of the Cascade Mountains think and feel about the smoke issues in the PNW this summer. Many, many of us have relatives and friends in Wenatchee and Spokane and Walla Walla and Colfax. We have contacts and friends in British Columbia, even Prince George. We’re hearing and understanding and living the impacts. We care very much about the smoke you’re experiencing and it’s self-evident what you’re going thru far exceeds what western Washington people are experiencing. In fact you can also wag your finger at Peninsula coastal communities for suffering nothing of it at all, while you’re at it. So please know we are watching and calling with check-ins and holding the space about your and our air quality every day. We all got skin in this game.


        Speaking from about as far out on the Peninsula as one can get…we also have plenty of smoke. Of course I recognize gradations of misery.

        Old Commie

      2. Lord Koos

        We’ve been trapped indoors for most of the past week here in central WA due to unhealthy levels of smoke. I don’t think it’s worse air quality than Seattle but the west side clears out more regularly. It’s been pretty awful the last 5-6 years and we will probably try to move away at some point, but where to go? Climate refugees R us.

        1. polecat

          One positive thing I’ve noticed with all the smoke, is that the wasps, which predate on my honeybees (notably bad this time of the year !), have lost some of their acute sensory abilities …. making it easier to step on them when they land on the ground as they approach a likely ‘meal’ … killed a dozen in 2 minutes, as they aren’t very picky when it comes to easy pickings (their nest mates ! ‘;

          Other than that, the smoke really sucks …. into my lungs !

    4. perpetualWAR

      Perhaps we can have our own E. Washington NC Meetup?

      I moved to E. Washington when the financial industry thieves stole my home through unlawful foreclosure.


      And yes, Spokane again gets shafted by the coastal elites. They get more state money and they get more headlines!!!

      1. knowbuddhau

        Sorry to hear, Eastsiders. We’re not all in Seattle over here, you know. I’m on North Whidbey (I can see into Canada from here, Vancouver Island by day and the lights of Victoria and Vancouver at night) and the smoke is rolling by like fog. I finally get a 3-day weekend, and I’m cooped up inside.

        Last night, at the end of my 12th hour playing janitor, I turned out the lights of a local iron works office, turned around, and there was a baleful red sunsplash on the floor I’d just mopped. The sun was exactly opposite the doorway, so it was nice and long and wide. Had to walk through it to get out.

        Not even Carroll’s Red Queen could keep up with this.

        Nevertheless, however pointlessly, I’ve been playing with a Jungian word lately: *enantiodromia, a turning into the opposite. He was talking about psyches, but ISTM it’s a general principle, too. Chaotic systems just do that, you know. Seemingly outta nowhere.

        So, as the man who put the Caddy in Caddyshack said, we got that going for us.

      2. judytwoshoes

        New poster here..I’d like to be in on an E. Wash NC Meetup. It would be nice to meet some others with similar views. This is a lonely place/world for those of us whose eyes are open.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Democrats want Facebook to tell them who has seen disinformation”

    Now this is just nuts. Has anybody thought this all the way through? I can just see the voter shaming and getting other Facebook users to pile onto any of these people. If this does not sound likely, consider this. Does anybody remember at the beginning of the year when CNN tracked down some little old lady in Florida that was a Trump supporter and was supposedly used by Russian trolls? A CNN senior investigative correspondent actually harassed her outside her own home. No. Make that interrogated her. It was disgusting. Here is that story-

    Is there any doubt that during a high stakes election that the democrats and the ever-helpful media would not do the same to anybody suspected of having seen Russian feeds? How about if they watched RT too for news. If you used Facebook during an election you would have to be very careful what you watched.

    1. ambrit

      Besides the ‘usual’ RCubed meme, this also highlights that age old tactic of authoritarian regimes everywhere: Anonymous Informers.
      Such is a sign of a late stage regime. The resort to Informers denotes a loss of effectiveness and desire to carry out the public good, the loss of positive standards and values. Now that everyone is against everyone, by design, the decay will accelerate. The end game is chaos.

  11. a different chris

    From the Bromwich article:

    Democrats have reason to style themselves as a party of order, which also must mean obedience to laws, since they are depending on the courts and the intelligence community to save the country from Trump – depending on them, indeed, with a simple fervour that approaches the condition of prayer.

    Yeah, because they abandoned most of the country to focus on “liberal enclaves”. They didn’t fight gerrymandering, heck they may well have encouraged it. Their presidential candidate didn’t even bother to really run in all 50 states. Nancy Pelosi just flies over most of the country, afraid to set down the plane. Super delegates abound with their fingers on the scales. They can’t win a sufficient number of usefully distributed *actual* votes thus, “courts and intelligence community”. Which are of course, deliberately anti-(small d) democratic institutions.

    And to top it off, they kept turning the burner up higher on the “Imperial Presidency”. Democrats in name only, for sure.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Was FDR the first Imperial president, in the line that led to the Bush League and Nobama and (almost) Hillary The Great?

        1. Epistrophy

          Abraham Lincoln comes to mind too. He launched an invasion of his own country.

          But preceeding Lincoln we also have James Polk, who launched an invasion of Mexico using the same actors as Lincoln (Grant, Lee, et al).

      1. Mark Pontin

        If it wasn’t FDR, it was certainly Truman. The reality of the Bomb did it, with the immediate response a nuclear attack — should one ever occur — would require.

        FDR feels right as the tipping point, though. He was the one who called the Manhattan Project into existence and Truman only learned the full extent of what he’d inherited after Roosevelt died.

        “I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.”
        – Harry Truman, recalling being briefed on the day after he became president in 1945

  12. a different chris

    Another observation from the Bromwich story:

    Further back, from arrangements made twenty years ago and more, it stands to reason that Trump is deeply in debt to Russian oligarchs. He was in real estate, he always needed loans, he had become a pariah on Wall Street; and if you need big money in real estate and can’t get it at home and want to have it laundered, whom do you go to? Whether all this can be linked to the 2016 election is another story.

    Well, yeah a little tough to link as a “Putin-Trump bromance” because Putin considers those particular oligarchs his sworn enemies and vice versa. So how is that supposed to really work?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If Trump’s wife were a young Chinese woman, the charge might likely be shifted to Trump-China collusion, if he had had also business deals with some Chinese.

      Or a Russian-Chinese woman. Then, it could be Trump-Russia-Chinese collusion.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Speaking of collusion, a word that has just taken on a whole new freight of import ( and not so much meaning as feeling), let’s remember the scope of collusion betwixt and between the very special Few who own us mopes and rule us:

      Interlocks and Interactions Among the Power Elite
      The Corporate Community, Think Tanks, Policy-Discussion Groups, and Government

      And who demand that we displace our very reasonable anger onto individuals who are non-players in their game.

    3. ewmayer

      Much like the spook-complex folks’ use of “assessment”, the phrase “it stands to reason” is the sort of weasel-wording used in place of a shred of evidence by those pushing a BS narrative. Ignore the fact that after his years-ago megabankruptcy Trump’s business model shifted notably toward a safer branding-based one. Ignore that from roughly 2002 to 2008 those paragons of safe lending the banks were handing out mortgages to anyone who could fog a mirror. Ignore that Big Finance keeps lending oddles of $ to serial defaulters like Argentina. Nope, the mere fact that DJT was able to get financing post-bankruptcy is strong evidence of being in hock to the deplorable Rooskies.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      If the Republicans and any sympathetic spinmills they may have want to get back at the Democrat-DeepState Complex over this Russia-thing, they might try reviving an interest in old historical collusions between the Clintons and China. ChinaChinaChina! It could be fun.

  13. Matthew G. Saroff

    The $70K “Cost” of the bailout is a useful illustration, but an illusion.

    I agree that the money was misspent, but an MMT analysis would suggest that there is no direct cost.

    The indirect costs though, probably dwarf the $70K/US resident.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      You failed to read the article.

      America never made up the growth it lost in the 2008 global financial crisis and the recession it triggered. A decade later, U.S. households are still counting the cost.

      Gross domestic product remains well below what its 2007 trend would have implied and it’s unlikely the economy will ever make up that lost ground, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco published Monday. The hit will cost the average American $70,000 in lifetime income, they estimate.

      Nothing to do with the bailouts. And when I think of the income hit I took, that figure seems just about right. And to me, that’s a lot of money.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Constitutional Revision: A (Tiny) Step Forward for Japan’s Self-Defense Forces”

    Yeah, that would be only a tiny step forward. Like changing the words “with certain unalienable Rights” to “with certain alienable Rights”. No biggee. Look, I understand where the author is coming from. He is an Air Force wonk that wants Japan to be able to deploy its military worldwide in conjunction with the US. Maybe do some of the heavy lifting against China. But maybe he should ask Japan’s neighbours how they feel about a remilitarized Japan once more on the scene. Japan has never really seriously apologized for its conduct in the war as shown by their post-war treatment of the comfort women to this day. I think that a lot of countries are worried about what happens if again Japan becomes a militarized country through pride and nationalism. That has never gone away and you can see that spirit in people like Abe. Certainly the Japanese are not making any friends in Korea – North or South. Other country’s mileage may vary.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I strongly agree that the revision is anything but small. I visited the Orient for several months in the mid 1980s and made a few shorter stays in South Korea early this Century. One thing that stands out from my impressions from these visits was the long long standing enmity of Korea toward Japan. In Korea I visited numerous Buddhist temples and invariably a plaque described the many times the Japanese had looted and burned the temple down and how many times it was rebuilt. I saw the statue of Admiral Yi. The recent Korean film “the Admiral”, dramatizing his famous victory over the Japanese showed the Japanese as a force of villains bent on destroying Korea as a nation. [I remember looking at the US 8th Army Headquarters which resided in Yongsan at the time of my visits and noted the strange irony of making of the buildings of the old Japanese Headquarters for the occupation of Korea part of the headquarters for the US Army.] The only part of China I saw in my travels was British Hong Kong but I recall reading the plaque making tribute to the defenders of Fort Stanley. I’ve watched numerous recent Chinese films and many of them portray the brutality of the Japanese occupation forces.

      I can’t imagine any good coming from Japan’s rearmament.

      I’ve often wondered why the US hasn’t formed stronger more generous ties with Korea. The Koreans seem a much better choice for an ally in the Orient than Japan. Japan was a conquered nation forced to the brink before it surrendered, or some might say, was allowed to surrender. Any South Koreans that gathered within the Pusan Perimeter in 1950 remember the US forces very differently than the way Japanese seem to remember the end of the war and the US occupation. [I am judging from the Japanese cinema portraying that time. The anime “Grave of Fireflies” comes to mind combined with the Japanese sense of being victimized after their defeat.] I must admit that I believe the ongoing US occupation of Korea long ago wore away most of the residual good will from the post war era. Even so I felt less enmity from Koreans in my later visits than I had from the Japanese in my month stay there during the mid 1980s.

      1. Olga

        Ties with Korea are very strong – reinforced by thousands of US military personnel (btw, greatly resented by many Koreans, who tend to be a bit feistier than most of the Japanese). Generous – not, but then US does not do “generous” with any nation. It is all about domination. The use of the word “ally” is not quite appropriate. When you are the hegemon, you do not have allies – only subordinates. So the statement/question – I’ve often wondered why the US hasn’t formed stronger more generous ties with Korea – does not even begin to address the current situation.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I disagree with you on some points. Our ties with Korea are strained, not strengthened by the thousands of US military personnel there. The Koreans do indeed resent the US military presence for much the same reason occupation armies are resented everywhere. No the US does not do “generous” but it might prove a useful change of strategy. I agree that the Koreans are “a bit feistier than most of the Japanese”. I believe they are also more open and plain spoken. I am very suspicious of what hides behind the reserve of the Japanese mask. I heard some very telling things said about the US at an English speakers practice in Roppongi in the mid 1980s. When I asked what goods the US might sell to Japan — these were the Reagan years when trade imbalances with Japan were a common worry — one Japanese businessman offered that the US made nothing the Japanese might want. But if we needed to sell something to balance trade Hawaii would be much appreciated.

          As for “ally” I think the term fits because I see the US role as a world hegemon waning. The Empire is in decay. What better way to protect an outpost than to ally with a friendly country that shares common cause. They have a long history of dealings with Japan, but a similarly long though somewhat less fraught history of dealings with China. “Eat Chinese mustard and cry.” I believe they might also build relationships with other countries in the Orient far more readily than the Japanese. Besides Korea is a country of young people. Japan is a country of the old.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Anecdote from trip to Japan in 1979: Ex-wife was invited there via various connections to the Elli Lilly Foundation, that supported and still supports (as in sends lots of money to) a reconstruction project set up starting in 1948 by a principal aide to MacArthur — a farming program featuring imported Jersey cattle, and a training school in hospitality services in Kiyosato. I was brought along to carry the bags and take pictures.

      Our driver and guide was a captain in the WW II Japanese navy. Spoke pretty fluent English. I got into a discussion with him about the provenance and conduct and outcome of that war. He was totally unrepentant, and had “strong views” on the failures of the High Command to capitalize on advantages and press forward on ways to defeat the US Empire. Also absolutely behind the efforts of the rump military to turn Japan back into a vast imperial presence, especially military presence, in their zone of the world. He hated and would have done anything, I think, to “change the (US-imposed) Constitution” to turn the martial forces loose again.

      I bet there is a social-psychological term for the persistence of principal and maybe unprincipled drivers in cultures over time, however awful they might be. Clintonism and Obamitis maybe a couple of them? Blairism and Thatcherism in the UK? Likudianism in that other place?

  15. Katniss Everdeen

    We’re gonna need a new Links category–What Goes Around, Comes Around

    According to the New York Times, Bennett arrived at the hotel with a family member. Argento asked the family member to leave. When they were alone, she allegedly kissed the 17-year-old, removed his pants and performed oral sex, and then had sex with him, the newspaper reported.

    Argento became a prominent voice in the #MeToo movement after telling the New Yorker that Weinstein raped her in 1997 when she was 21. Weinstein faces multiple charges of sexual assault and rape, but none of the charges involve Argento’s claim.

    Batter up, #MeToo.

    1. Andrew Watts

      Why is it the loudest moralizers are usually the biggest hypocrites?

      #MeToo becomes #YouToo.

    2. Oregoncharles

      If the story is true, it’s doubly kinky because she was actively playing a mother role with him, in their personal life as well as in a movie.

      If she sent away a 3rd person, there would be a witness.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Putin is ex-KGB.

    How Important Is the Protest Against Trump from the National-Security Establishment? The New Yorker. Bigfoot Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, has stepped in. So, very.

    Is it a case of ‘we can do better’ American Exceptionalism at work here?

    “We need an intelligent intelligence guy to judo with the bad guy.”

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      <blockquotePutin is ex-KGB.

      Reminds me of a passage from a Daniel Silva novel where a character says “X was a former KGB agent” in an effort to paint X as evil. The Russian he’s talking to replies that in Russia everybody was former KGB, because in Russia under the Soviet Union the only decent job was working for the government.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Former National Intelligence chief turns on John Brennan claiming former CIA head is ‘subtle like a freight train’ over his Trump ‘rhetoric’ Daily Mail

    If Trump was treasonous for the Helsinki speech, those who are not, should resign from the government in protest, specifically for that.

    So far, I am not aware of any Republican appointees doing that (but that is asking too much), nor any non-political, career public workers like generals, admirals, others in say, the State Department, over that specific speech.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Millennials are so over US domination of world affairs CNBC (UserFriendly).

    Domination in so many ways…including culturally.

    Many young people around the world know the English word ‘millennial.’ But not too many non-Russians, for example, know the Russian word for that (you the reader may, but you would be very exceptional).

    1. Olga

      Not only that. The comment made me realize just how entrenched the US narrative is in some people’s minds. Does it occur to anyone that other societies – including Russian, of course – may have a completely different way of dividing generations? Simply because their histories were and are different…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Take for example, the age of adulthood.

        From Wikipedia, we learn it’s

        1. 16 in Scotland
        2. 21 in the US
        3. 18 in many other countries (this being the most popular).

        But, it seems, tyranny is everywhere, for more precocious or gifted (or harder working) kids are denied, everywhere, to be adults, even if, at 12, for example, they are wiser and more responsible than many who are 50.

  19. Pat

    Speaking of electrical usage, Amazon’s is up for discussion in a few places today.

    I first encountered this Bloomberg link via Yahoo:

    Then this:
    And searching for the Bloomberg link on DDG found this from January:

    1. Louis Fyne

      giving data centers subsidies is absolutely insane. even at the biggest data centers, all the new jobs created can comfortably fit into a McDonald’s.

      And giving Amazon electricity discounts is triply insane—thereby nullifying any need for Amazon to reuse waste heat/become more efficient.

      But hey, keep the virtue signalling at the Washington Post going. Jeff Bezos needs all the good karma he can get.

      1. polecat

        No, I have to disagree .. Ebola would be a more apt diagnosis … the virulence of bezos et. al.
        I’m hoping RAGE will eventually kill it.
        Release the chimpanzees !

  20. Jason Boxman

    I first read about MMT at NC nearly a decade ago now. I spent those early months attempting to coherently understand it. It flips the entire world upside down. Now I see deficit shaming for what it is, an abdication of responsibility for the general welfare on the part of Congress. It’s shameful.

    It’s heartening to see it mentioned in establishment media.

    1. Fec

      Me, too. For awhile, a tried explaining MMT over beers at various gatherings. You could actually see people wince at my approach.

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    When I woke up this week, the sun was blocked out by smoke Confluence

    It’s not quite volcanic winter, and it is only short term, but Nature does have various ways to balance.

    1. polecat

      Well, one never knows when .. and to what extent .. a Cascade Mount will ‘come to life’.
      If a vocano went off in the smokey PNW, would there be anyone to see it ?

      1. Oregoncharles

        A while back, there was a report that the 3 Sisters – the peaks due east of us – were swelling, an indication of magma movement. Haven’t heard anything lately.

        Of course there are also Long Valley in Cali. and Yellowstone, both supervolcanos with active magma chambers. There seems to be disagreement about Yellowstone’s schedule.

  22. Olga

    Research the revenge: what we’re getting wrong about Russia Today Open Democracy

    Not so much an opposing view, as it is a screed of a rather mediocre nature. It should hardly have been published, much less read. All the complexity of running a TV station and the many people behind the effort have been reduced to one blithe assertion: “It is powered by revenge for a personal offence, nothing else.”
    Really, Mr. Gatov?
    Contrary to the author, I do not know anyone at RT, but I do watch it, as it seems much more accurate about world events than any US station. (It is not unbiased – but which news outlet is?) I also once read Margarita Simonyan’s explanation of her disappointment with the west – it did not come, as the author asserts, right after her stay at 15 in the US. Rather, it seems a much more recent phenomenon – no doubt, sparked by the relentless western Russo-phobia and the consequences of the chaos wrought in the 1990s. Admiration of the west was so prevalent in the Central and Eastern Europe and Russia – the west was idolized. But in light of the more recent events, including the endless wars and destruction of other societies, the admiration is wearing thin. It should not be a surprise that some have become increasingly disappointed – particularly, given the gap between west’s actions and rhetoric. There is little personal about – the issues are much larger and span the entire world. I’d say that it is, in fact, Mr. Gatov who injects ‘personal’ into the narrative.

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      My favorite part was the assertion that all those talented journalists are only working for RT because they couldn’t get jobs in the US industry. I hope some of them sue him for libel.

      1. Big Tap

        I used to watch RT before it was removed by my service and I liked it mostly. I knew it was Russian financed. They actually covered what was happening in America unlike the propagandistic American corporate network news. On American TV good luck if you can find economic stories at all that don’t involve corporate earnings or the DOW. How individuals are surviving in this economy they could care less about. Human interest, political horse race, and ‘Rah Rah America’ stories dominate the news instead of say foreign news. Just as well since most of the foreign news is government spin anyway. The Pharmaceutical industry is never critically discussed since they finance the newscasts. American news is meant to either frighten you or make you feel good but not to inform you.

      2. pretzelattack

        being a talented and honest journalist is probably a hindrance in getting a job at fox or msnbc or cnn.

  23. HotFlash

    Re: Zephyr Teachout Is the Right Choice as Attorney General for Democrats Editorial Board, NYT (emphasis mine). OMG, has Hell frozen over?

  24. Oregoncharles

    I didn’t read the articles on the smoke, because all I have to do is look out the window. I went outside when I got up; the light was a bizarre yellow color. We also seem to have some clouds – it’s hard to tell; it’s now a darker yellow color.

    And again, the smoke front was very visible yesterday evening.

    Apparently the fires have now spread to southern Oregon; I don’t know why there aren’t big ones near here, but I suspect we’re just lucky. It’s predicted to be very hot here the next couple of days; keeping my fingers crossed…

  25. Oregoncharles

    “New Trump power plant plan would release hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 into the air”

    Do Trump and his cohorts have a plan to BENEFIT from global cooking? Has he perchance bought up a lot of Canadian and Russian tundra?

    Which makes another point: both are oil states and both stand to benefit, long term, from global warming. There used to be sub-tropical forests above the Arctic Circle, and could be again. On what doesn’t flood, that is.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      They’ll get lots of subtropical diseases to go with those subtropical forests. They’ll also get a lot of the Climate Refugees who haven’t died in the Jackpot. The Refugees will be hungry, angry and thirsty. They will expect to be shared with.

      And if the hurricane belt moves North along with the subtropical forests, everyone up there will learn to cope with hurricanes too. And probably bigger better ones than the ones which are experienced nowadays.

      As to the Trumpies? I suspect they are merely stupid insensitive louts on the subject of global warming and haven’t really thought through this carbon skyloading endgame at all.

  26. Oregoncharles

    “Brexit could mean chaos for Irish trade, too”
    Well, duh. We’ve talked about that. And it isn’t just the border; according to this, most truck traffic between Ireland and the mainland EU goes via Britain, for obvious geographic reasons.

    A technical solution would be sealed trucks that are exempt from inspection, probably based on a deal between the two countries, which have other, similar deals – free movement, for one. Not sure how that would fly with everyone else, though.

  27. Oregoncharles

    “Vitamin D, the Sunshine Supplement, Has Shadowy Money Behind It”
    Apparently I still have some NYT articles coming.
    Is this a scandal, or is it a disagreement between two large groups of doctors? In this case, it seems to be between the specialists, endocrinologists, and the larger community of doctors. Since it’s within their specialty, it might make sense to believe the specialists.

    My doctor told me it was wise to take Vit. D during the winter, because we don’t get enough sun then to meet the need, even if you work outdoors (heavily clothed, after all). In this case, the precautionary principle suggests that we should make sure. If I were dark skinned, that would be more urgent. The caveat is to avoid toxic levels; it may be controversial what those are, but one pill a day won’t get anywhere near them.

    Vitamin D is the best explanation I’ve seen for the wide range of human skin tones, which correlates closely with latitude. Probably the best example is Native Americans; those at the equator are much darker than those either north or south, even though their ancestors presumably came via the far north. That presumably happened within about 12,000 years.

  28. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “The strange case of the shrinking stock markets” —
    Tesla epitomizes many things wrong with our current version of “capitalism” but I think the idea the Tesla epitomizes a trend toward more private ownership of is strange.

    “… stock markets have in recent years been shrinking (again, by listings, …).” The link explains this as due to mergers, fewer IPOs, and more buyouts by private equity. That makes some sense, but Musk twittered about going private because “he finds the costs of complying with all those modern regulations too onerous.” is indeed presumptuous. I suspect Elon Musk might have plenty of other much better reasons to try taking his company private. And the “Apple trend” seems a strange warrant for claiming “… fewer, and generally older, companies get ever larger, more valuable and more profitable, while young and small firms get less profitable and drop off the exchanges.” Is Apple really more valuable and profitable for the moment because the stock market thinks it is? Maybe young and small firms appear less profitable because they are less adept at accounting magic and levitating their stocks with borrowed funds. And since when are profits almost irrelevant to “investors”? I wouldn’t call anyone to whom profits are almost irrelevant an investor — and profits when — end of this quarter?

    Suppose that all of the stock market went private. Is there some law of nature preventing new laws to compel fuller reporting by private firms? “If managers tell the markets too little about their patents, their firms will be undervalued; if they tell too much, rivals will know their secrets.” This is a strange argument confusing patents with trade secrets.

    The only statement in this link that makes any sense to me comes in the penultimate sentence: “Securities regulators and bean counters need to get up to date.” The regulators might also try exercising a little regulation and the bean counters might get back to counting and reporting real beans.

    1. anon

      So heart breaking, people trying to kill themselves because they literally can’t afford to live in any safe and dignified manner anymore. I’m positive this sort of thing is way under-reported, particularly the failed attempts such as this one.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      What happens when the desperate women decide to don suicide-belts and blow themselves up in various Tory-meetings?

  29. ewmayer

    o “Michael Hayden says he, too, would be honored if Trump revoked his security clearance | CNN” — That sounds like an offer Trump absolutely should not refuse. And why stop there? High time for the practice of automatic post-public-service retention of security clearances to go by the wayside. When us mopes leave an employer, we are forced to turn in our keys and badges and quite frequently even to sign ridiculous non-compete clauses with odious prior restraints and such.

    o “The Financial Crisis Cost Every American $70,000, Fed Study Says | Bloomberg” — No, not every American. Some Americans did exceedingly well.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Is Trump smart enough to figure out how to take up this offer and revoke the clearance at a time and place designed to do maximum damage to Hayden and spur maximum outrage from all of Hayden’s friends and supporters . . . who can then be de-clearanced in due course?

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Wouldn’t it be interesting if the digi-coin industrial complex ( both bitcoin and all its imitators)
      decided to invest in vast renewable energy electro-farms in sunlit desert areas to locate their bitmines right next to the electro-farms?

      That way the coin-miners could take themselves off the grid and out of the public cross-hairs for electro-hogging, and could still pursue their dreams of many coins from much current.

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