Links 9/4/18

Readers, we have now entered one of our two yearly comments holidays, beginning today and continuing through and including Sunday, September 9.

Reduced Arctic Sea Ice May Be Suppressing July Tornadoes Weather Underground

Centuries-Old Plant Collection Now Online — A Treasure Trove For Researchers NPR (DL).

Fire Devastates Brazil’s Oldest Science Museum National Geographic and The Absurd Loss of the National Museum Lifts the Veil on Brazil’s National Project RioOnWatch

Trying To Make Sense Of The Troubles At JetSmarter Forbes. Entertaining! File under The Bezzle.

The baroness, the ICO fiasco, and enter Steve Wozniak FT Alphaville. Also entertaining. First sentence: “Earlier this year, we brought you news that Scottish lingerie entrepreneur-turned Conservative peer Michelle Mone and her businessman boyfriend Doug Barrowman were launching an initial coin offering (ICO).”

NASA explores product endorsements and rocket naming rights Engadget (KW). Next up, David Foster Wallace’s “subsidized time,” like the Year of Elon Musk’s Tiny Cave Submarine. And so forth.

The Collapse Of Venezuela’s Imaginary Oil Currency


Brexit is estimated to have wiped 2% off the UK’s GDP even before the exit date CNBC

Leavers and Remainers are uniting to kill a Chequers Brexit FT

Informal trade is ubiquitous in Africa, but too often ignored The Economist


Facebook blocked in Tripoli and other cities as fighting rages: residents Reuters

Leak From Censored Israel Lobby Film Exposes Anti-Palestinian Operatives TRNN

How Iran Could Counter U.S. Sanctions Bloomberg

Drug-resistant superbug spreading in hospitals: study Agence France Presse


Chinese Bonds Feel the Chill as Deadly Swine Fever Spreads Bloomberg

Smaller Chinese manufacturers hit hard by trade war in August, new data shows South China Morning Post

Sino-US trade war prompts rethink on supply chains FT

Interview: Leta Hong Fincher The Diplomat

The “Call”… Alibaba and the 8 Analysts Wolf Street (EM). EM: “[A]s a public service, we deploy my patented Dick Fuld Banker-Speak Translator (BST), to fully analyze the implications of the analyst Q&A on the Alibaba investor call.” Hilarity ensues.

Asia’s Shifting Alliances Counterpunch

Asia’s order beyond the great powers The Interpreter

New Cold War

Moscow can handle US sanctions. How far will Washington go? Asia Times (KW).

Human Rights Reasoning and Double Standards in the Rules-Based Order Irrussianality (CL).

Rich Russians: From Oligarchs to Bourgeoisie, by Elisabeth Schimpfössl FT

Putin loses everything he has Pravda

At Asia’s heart, Lake Baikal stirs Russians to protect nature Christian Science Monitor

Trump Transition

Norwegian Police Launch Investigation Into Disappearance of WikiLeaks Associate HuffPo. Hmm…..

Trump levels a new blast at Sessions for not shielding indicted GOP lawmakers, including Hunter Los Angeles

GOP leaders scramble to avoid pre-Election Day shutdown Politico

How the FISA Court Really Works Lawfare. Not like any “court” I’ve ever heard of.

READ: Former President Barack Obama’s eulogy for Sen. John McCain CNN. Full text of Obama’s eulogy. “… [W]hen all was said and done, we were on the same team. We never doubted we were on the same team.” Exactly!

My Fellow Prisoners n+1. One more for McCain Holy Week.

George A. Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ Turns 40! Bloody Disgusting

Democrats in Disarray

What Democrats Still Don’t Understand About Winning Back the White Working Class Alternet

8 questions for the midterm elections: A blue wave or not? WaPo. Wall-to-wall identity politics and horserace handicapping, nothing on policy.

New Yorker Festival Pulls Steve Bannon as Headliner Following High-Profile Dropouts NYT

Religious competition was to blame for Europe’s witch hunts The Economist. And they didn’t even have social media!

The Crash Ten Years After

The Financial Crisis Ten Years Afterwards Yale School of Management Program on Financial Stability

Class Warfare

A Labor Day tribute to restaurant workers, cooking and serving food they can’t afford to eat Salon

data for politics #18: Unions are Good as Hell Data for Progress

Writing the Unions’ ‘Fight-or-Die Survival Chapter’ Sarah Jaffe, NYT

Which Side Are They On? The Baffler

The economy may be booming, but nearly half of Americans can’t make ends meet Los Angeles Times

The battle between two elites: the haves and have-yachts Simon Kuper, FT. Clever Brit thinks Hillary Clinton is on the left.

Beyond Strange Bedfellows Political Research

Genetic analysis of social-class mobility in five longitudinal studies PNAS (KS).

Editorial: The Mistaken Universalism R.L. Stephens, DSA Weekly

The Impact of Chief Diversity Officers on Diverse Faculty Hiring NBER. You can guess, I’m sure…

French kids are heading back to school today without their most beloved possessions Quartz. Ditto.

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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