Links 10/14/18

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Not just nuts: The surprising stuff animals hoard for winter National Geographic

Dutch court rules that government must help stop climate change Nature

You Are Not Hallucinating – Hurricane Leslie Is Headed Toward Spain And Africa Forbes

SATURDAY UPDATES: FEMA sites, power updates, water/food distributions Panama City News-Herald. Getting the paper out!

Tyndall Air Force Base a ‘Complete Loss’ Amid Questions About Stealth Fighters NYT. Couldn’t they fly those F-22’s outta there? Heh heh heh….

Why Catastrophic Climate Change is Probably Inevitable Now umair haque, Eudaimonia and Co. (GF) Well worth a read.

Socialist Foreign Policy Must Center Climate Change In These Times

Goldman Sachs’ seedy underbelly exposed in shocking tapes New York Post (J-LS).

The World’s Most Dangerous Black Markets Yale Global (J-LS).

Our View: Indiscriminate handing out of golden visas cannot continue Cyprus Mail

Anger grows over Vanguard’s technical malfunctions FT. Vanguard?!


Brexit deal ‘DONE’ – Shock memo reveals UK exit to be ‘finalised TODAY’ Express (original from Sueddeutsche Zeitung, in German, with Google translation). “A memo has shown that senior EU negotiators requested to agree terms of the deal today, before Theresa May’s Cabinet have even seen them.” Yves writes:

At the risk of seeming wedded to my priors, the UK press seems to be reading far more into the Sueddeutsche Zeitung story than is there.

The EU created a schedule the UK had to meet for a deal to be presented to the EU27 for consideration. Recall that when May was slapped down in Salzburg, she was told if she didn’t present something that was close enough to a deal by the October EU meeting, it would not be scheduled for discussion in November.

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung story has the EU presenting the timetable to EU ambassadors last Friday. It has negotiations Saturday (and presumably Sunday) with a deal to be agreed Sunday and approved by the Cabinet Monday. That basically means the EU was making clear that May had to get her new scheme through the Cabinet for it to be considered at the summit, and as of Friday, the EU was going to meet on Saturday to (try to) achieve that.

The SZ article also clearly says the Irish backstop was still in play. That’s an obstacle that has been looming since December 2017. Maybe there has been a miraculous breakthrough, but this story has nothing in it to indicate that. It would have to come over this weekend.


DUP in position of power ahead of EU’s Brexit summit RTE

Meet Britain’s real Brexit broker FT. Olly Robbins.

Brexit: David Davis calls for cabinet rebellion over PM’s plan BBC

Theresa May’s government accused of lying about ’30 Labour MPs’ backing her Brexit deal Business Insider. The original story read “up to 30.” So zero is, technically, accurate.

Brexit is contributing to marriage breakdowns – UK psychotherapist The Journal (PD).

Will Gompertz on Banksy’s shredded Love is in the Bin ★★★★★ BBC. And that’s not all!

The power of negative thinking: why perceptions of immigration are resistant to facts LSE Blogs

The dramatic drop in suicide among elderly Britons The Economist


Saudi Arabia: a kingdom in the dock FT

href=””>Five things to watch for in deteriorating US-Saudi relations The Hill. I’ve gotta say, I don’t understand what’s driving the Kashoggi story (I mean, besides anonymous sources in the intelligence community). Kashoggi was rendered? We do that. Saudis whack their own citizens? We do that, too. I can’t game out the realpolitik, unless it’s Turkey vs. the Saudis, and Turkey has no oil. I don’t see an Israeli angle, either. Perhaps it’s as simple and stupid as Kashoggi being known, personally, to our political class, so they’re actually horrified and repelled at his (presumptive) fate. Then again, there’s always money–

Saudis Must Cough Up Billions To Settle Khashoggi Case Moon of Alabama

Trump Administration Urges Saudis To Stick To Killing Random Yemeni Civilians The Onion


How the new US-China Cold War will play out for India Times of India

India’s decision on buying oil from Iran, defence system from Russia not helpful: US Economic Times

We can’t order everyone to be veggie, admits India’s top court Telegraph [clears throat, dons pith helmet].

The coal-worker’s dilemma: Die slowly of unhealthy conditions or die quickly of starvation?

Trump Transition

Trump vs. International Law: Exploiting the Legal Gaps Left by the Obama Administration OpinioJuris

Obama’s Resistance to Investigating the Bush Administration Allowed Brett Kavanaugh to Skate Onto the Supreme Court The Intercept

Democrats in Disarray

Democrat Senators Traded 15 Trump Judge Confirmations to Go Campaign Newsweek. The next Kavanaugh among them, no doubt.

An open letter to the Democratic National Committee: Please resign, on behalf of the party and the country NY Daily News

Hillary says series of sex claims against Bill are NOT like the Kavanaugh confirmation because her husband faced ‘intense investigation’ Daily Mail. Oh.

How Pantsuit Nation founder Libby Chamberlain took on Trump FT. Out of Yale, via Brooklin, Maine.

Confessions of a Former Liberal: Part 2. (They’re Boring) Three Wise Women (WW). Part 1.

‘We’ve never seen anything like this’: GOP overwhelmed by Democratic cash Politico

Health Care

Costly Rehab for the Dying Is on the Rise at Nursing Homes, a Study Says NYT. New York State nursing homes (N = 647) and their long-stay decedent residents (N = 55,691). Anything for a buck.

Medicare premiums are going up next year. Here’s what you can expect to pay CNBC. Medicare should be free at point of delivery. “Medicare for all,” not ‘Medicare for the health insurance companies and Big Pharma.”

Medicare for all is a meaningless slogan Economist. No, it’s not; that’s why Kaiser’s policy brief describes HR676 and S1804 in some detail. To the extent there’s mystication, it’s due to liberal Democrat bait-and-switch operations and brand confusion, exactly as in 2009.

Medicare-for-all? Without action, there won’t be Medicare at all Carter Eskew, WaPo. Liberal deficit hysteria reinforcing “austerity for thee, but not for me.” I’m shocked.

Class Warfare

A Sears bankruptcy could cause one of the biggest pension defaults ever, but the government would protect 90,000 retirees Chicago Tribune

How Real Estate Segregated America Dissent

A White Woman, Teresa Klein, Called the Police on a Black Child She Falsely Said Groped Her NYT. Believe women!

Thanks for not raping us, all you ‘good men.’ But it’s not enough. WaPo. Haverford Township, median household income: $90,358 (U.S.: $61,858).

Why it’s totally unsurprising that Amazon’s recruitment AI was biased against women Business Insider

ICANN’s internet DNS security upgrade apparently goes off without a glitch Network World

Some plants nurture soil bacteria that keep them healthy The Economist and Underwear Measures Soil Microbial Activity AgPro

Antidote du jour (via):

This is a spiritual hawk, not a fiscal hawk.

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. a different chris

    Tyndall Air Force Base a ‘Complete Loss’ Amid Questions About Stealth Fighters

    Can we never hear again how our military is “the most unstoppable force on the planet”? Also if we have to put up with them being so darn godly, why won’t they ever see things like this as a sign from said Almighty?

    People like to say Mother Nature bats last, but in reality she isn’t even playing the same game.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I would guess that it took a superhuman effort on the part of those people on the base to get 33 out of those 55 F-22s out of there by stripping out all the parts out of those unflyable to get the remainer airborne. Those 33 F-22s went all the way to Ohio for protection and I bet that that “ride out element” have a few stories to tell. Of course a few questions do arise. Such as, was it really wise to station those F-22s in Florida which is a State prone to extreme weather such as hurricanes? If they had to be stationed there, wouldn’t it have been a good idea to put them in hardened shelters with blast doors? Maybe that base won’t get reconstructed again. They didn’t reconstruct Clark Air Force base in the Philippines when it got hit by Mount Pinatubo back in ’91. At any rate, losing so many F-22s must have been a disaster. I understand that only 195 of them were ever built with only 178 still in service so this is a noticeable percentage of them trashed. Remember too that this base was not only the home of the F-22s but is also the training base for them. Not any more.

      1. Wukchumni

        When I read of so many F-22’s being boneyard queens, what came to mind was late in WW2, German & Japanese airfields would be littered with them.

      2. rowlf

        How long does it take to boot up an F-22 and massage out the faults?

        A long way from “Kick the tyres, light the fires and last person off’s confused on what aisle to buy their underwear in.”

        “…ah Tower, this is Superdupercallsign 4 aborting. Ah… my aileron drivers didn’t load right and I’m getting a 3 hour Weapons Systems update.”

        “only about 49 percent of F-22s were mission ready at any given time ” ugh, ED-209 territory. Compare that to a 787 or an A350.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Kick the tires and light some fires daddy oh.

          -Harry Connick Jr ID4 aka Independence Day

      3. Jean

        Don’t worry, when interest on the national debt exceeds the cost of “defense”, the bankers will get their money first.

      4. Synoia

        At any rate, losing so many F-22s must have been a disaster.

        Not if they were to non-upgradeable model.

        Now the Pentagon can blame the hurricane, and not have to worry about explaining why all that money was spend on a set of barely flying prototypes.

        1. rowlf

          Common to any aircraft fleet maintenance operation, except it sounds like the military has more MBA infestation. It usually takes about six to ten years for an aircraft mechanic to become proficient and move beyond being a parts changer primate. It also helps to have 20 plus year experience (versus 1 year 20 times) folks around to edumacate the new folks.

      5. Procopius

        I was surprised to read that only 46% of F-22s are mission-ready at any given time. I think even the F-35s are more than 60%, but that’s only because the Air Force takes care not to fly them except when trying to make a sale. They’re going to be making a big deal with Congress because one of them was used to drop a bomb in Afghanistan. At least we haven’t heard that it hit a hospital or a wedding party, but it was probably pointless except to say that “the F-35 is being used in combat.”

    2. OIFVet

      Mother nature my rear end, this has the long hand of Putin and his super-secret weather-directing satellites written all over it. First he takes out our precious F-22s, then he will invade the Baltics and will have dinner in Riga the same evening. But have no fear, the patriots at Lockheed Martin are already working on developing the Gen 6 F-32, and will have it ready for serial production in only 30 years at the bargain price of only $10 trillion in development costs and a measly $2 billion per aircraft.

      1. rowlf

        Roy Braybrook used to joke when writing in Air Enthusiast magazine in the 1970/80s that the defense industries would be able to design the ultimate fighter aircraft but due to cost the government could only afford to take delivery of one example.

        Are you sure the storm wasn’t the fault of the supergeniuses at HAARP losing control of the storm they created and tried to send to Venezuela? A bigger version of the ACME Tornado Kit?

    3. Procopius

      When I went through Air Force basic training at Samson Air Force Base in beautiful upstate New Your (Finger Lakes region) in 1955, they marched us to church every Sunday morning. I think they stopped doing that, but I still see frequent stories about religious zealot (fundamentalist) commanding officers. The fundies are all Calvinists who believe they are Of The Elect, so of course God isn’t going to punish them for anything. Since they are Elect they cannot do wrong.

  2. Jasonv

    Not a technical malfunction but vanguard required me to link a US phone number to get a code for each log on. Ive been traveling and don’t have one. I couldn’t get passed the “give us your number” page to log in and use their secure email. It was quite an annoyance.

      1. dcrane

        My conspiracy sense makes me view it as yet another corporation that wants to link up my personal data for sale.

    1. Kokuanani

      I’ve only had to use 2-factor authentication [they send a code to your phone] when I use a computer that’s “not recognized. Of course, if you’re traveling and using a computer at the hotel’s “business center,” that would apply. But using my home-bound Mac again and again, no problem & no “authentication” required.

  3. timbers

    Obama’s Resistance to Investigating the Bush Administration Allowed Brett Kavanaugh to Skate Onto the Supreme Court The Intercept

    Obama’s resistance to investigating Bush, allowed Obama to do many of the things Bush did and more, is probably why he didn’t investigate.

    Though in fairness I am told by my Democratic friends that Obama didn’t do the things he did, or if he did, it’s because Republicans made him do it because the controlled Congress by huge margins those first 2 years.

    1. Kokuanani

      Do those “friends” also tell you about all the things Obama wanted to do, but was prevented by the Big Bad Repubs?

      And wait a minute: are your friends suggesting Repubs controlled Congress the first two years of Obama’s term? Wrong, wrong, wrong on that one.

      1. Procopius

        Errrr,,, minor quibble. They controlled Congress in the sense that they were often able to prevent the Dems from using their majority to move bills and conduct business. Remember, the Democrats never held 60 seats. Sometimes they were able to muster 58 Democrats and had to count on two Independents, Bernie and F*cking Joe Lieberman, to vote with them. After Wossisname Brown got elected to replace Ted Kennedy they didn’t even have the 58 any more, and of course after 2011 they haven’t had a majority.

        1. Big Tap

          Joe Lieberman was a moderate and on military issues voted like a conservative. He even campaigned in person for McCain for president. Lieberman defeated a Democrat for senate in his reelection in 2006. The 60 vote filibuster proof senate was mainly a myth due to Lieberman. Nothing progressive had a chance to pass which was OK with Obama since he wasn’t progressive either.

  4. fresno dan

    A White Woman, Teresa Klein, Called the Police on a Black Child She Falsely Said Groped Her NYT. Believe women!
    Critics characterized the incident as the latest example of a hypersensitive white person calling the police to report black people for dubious reasons. Many detractors imputed racist motives to the woman, Teresa Klein.
    Onlookers crammed inside the bodega’s doorway to watch the screening, their phone cameras pointed toward Ms. Klein. Playing on a ceiling-mounted flat-screen television, the video showed the child turning to someone behind him and his backpack brushing Ms. Klein’s backside as she leaned over the counter.
    It has come to any inadvertent touching of your bottom is sexual assault, and any (mistaken) complaint about such touching is racism. The woman may not be racist, but just so self absorbed that she doesn’t realize that in tight spaces people accidentally touch.
    Good example of imputing motives and how totally predictable the story became….

    1. A Small Part of the Pantomime

      Watching the children burst into tears was heartbreaking and scary. Surely she’s been judged by backpacks people wear in public before? It seemed she wanted to punish the mother for defending her son and especially for not conforming to noodle armed hipster gentrifying norms…

          1. Carey

            Yeah, I might have to nick “noodle armed hipster”, even if I don’t know
            precisely what it signifies. ;)

  5. WobblyTelomeres

    Perhaps the USAF will recognize that Tyndall Air Force Base is a total loss and not rebuild. OTOH, perhaps the cleanup will cost more than rebuilding (as in remediating the soils, a big problem at other locations with their insistence on using perfluorooctane sulfonate).

    1. fresno dan

      October 14, 2018 at 7:55 am

      OH Wobby – it will be rebuilt twice as big and 30 times more expensive – otherwise, the Hurricanes win!

        1. Expat2uruguay

          I wonder what it would look like if we “waged war on climate change”? Wait wait I know, they would put protesters in jail of course!

    2. samhill

      Every debt is someone’s credit, taxpayers’ loss is MIC’s gain. Loss to IEDs, grinding sands of the desert, or Hurricane Michael all gri$t for the mill. They’ll rebuild it twice as big.

    3. Wyoming

      Not only will they rebuild it better with fancy bunkers and hardened housing units they will market it as a giant jobs program for the area to help it recover from the hurricane. Then there could also be an emergency appropriation for money to replace the destroyed aircraft (after all this is necessary since the russians and chinese are coming after us). The MIC will help us. And we could pay for this with some austerity in the Medicare funding (just temporarily of course). Never waste a crisis?

      1. Wukchumni

        We could always do what NZ did and get rid of their fighter jet component of their Air Force, that were really never being used that much…

        From 2001:

        MOST of the Royal New Zealand Air Force is to be scrapped, the government said yesterday, curtailing its traditional role with Australia of helping to guarantee security in the Pacific.

        In the biggest defence shake-up since the Second World War, the Labour Prime Minister, Helen Clark, promised to scrap all 34 of the RNZAF’s combat and trainer jet aircraft. The navy’s only frigate, Canterbury, will not be replaced.

        1. rd

          In this day and age, fighter jets are used mainly to project power, not provide defense. If you just want to defend your own territory, radar and missile systems are very efficient. It was ground-based shoulder fired weapons that took the Russian air support out of the game in Afghanistan in the 80s. More modern radar systems are needed against stealth aircraft, but they are being developed and sold by multiple countries. If a country can penetrate your air space using stealth aircraft and take out your radar and missile systems, they will also be able to take out your fighter jets as well.

          1. Procopius

            I should look this up, but I seem to remember reading that older radar systems, such as used by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, sees the F-22 quite easily. It’s the more modern radar systems, such as used by the U.S. and its allies, that can hardly see the F-22, and have some difficulty spotting the F-35, which is much less stealthy.

  6. fresno dan

    An estimated 530 million people around the world had their eyes on NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong as he took one “giant leap for mankind” on July 20, 1969.

    Armstrong cemented his role in history that day, becoming the first person to step foot on the moon. Today, walking on the lunar surface is an honor only 11 other men share.
    I can’t think of anything that seemed like such a big deal (NOT even Russia! Russia! Russia!) at the time that has been so, so relegated to meh

    11? can anybody even name 9?

    1. The Rev Kev

      How many can name the astronaut that went to the moon’s surface with Neil Armstrong? How about the astronaut that was circling the moon acting as their uber back to earth?

      1. Jeff

        I had no need to recall Neil Armstrong & Aldrin, with Collins circling the moon. I needed quant & wikipedia to recall Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. I don’t recall any of the 5 other lunar landing missions.

        1. fresno dan

          October 14, 2018 at 9:23 am

          I recalled “Buzz” was the second guy on the moon, but I thought his last name was Lightyear….
          No idea of who the designated driver was…

      2. FreeMarketApologist

        That “uber” driver: Michael Collins (I’m distantly related, and he shares my sister’s birthday: Halloween!)

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          my dad worked at the JSC during all that. (and I actually shook Gene Cernan’s hand on a school trip in 1st grade.)
          Dad was there from Apollo 10 to Skylab, in image analysis…and made a habit of digging through the trash, apparently.
          I’ve got boxes of actual NASA photos that somebody threw away…including closeups of both Neil and Buzz looking out the window of the LEM, before disembarking.
          …and it’s cool as hell to watch something like Apollo 13 with him(he says they pegged Gene Kranz). He even lives in the Clear Lake neighborhood that used to house astronauts, as shown in the film(“yup. that house is just down the street…”).
          all that was foundational to my development as a nerd.

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            he says they pegged Gene Kranz

            Never gonna be able to lose that image. And to think, whenever I took students to visit Mission Control there, I made sure to wear a canvas vest, too.

          2. Tvc15

            Small world. I grew up in Clear Lake in the eighties. Most of my friends parents worked at JSC or contractors…blue or red badge. One of my very good friends dad worked in mission control during Apollo 13 and was invited to consult on the film, even had dinner with the cast/crew. El Lago is the famous astronaut neighborhood.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              it’s an interesting area, with that parrothead camaraderie you find sometimes in seaside places…except for the Vietnamese vs the League of the South, back when…
              Tours of Nasa today are disneyfied and anodyne, compared to when my first grade class climbed inside the blast cone of that big Saturn V out on the lawn.
              but the catwalk through the big barn-like structure where astronauts are training was pretty cool(the metal in my legs kept setting off the detectors…making the stormtroopers skittish).
              But I sure couldn’t live there…too helter skelter, running about.
              and in winter, one cannot escape the smell of Pasadena/Deer Park/etc

    2. Wukchumni

      I guess it all depended on your age @ the time…

      I watched the first step on the moon on a tv set in Port Washington, NY (somewhere there’s photos of me watching the tv set that my and many other mom & dads took of their progeny as some odd sort of proof you saw it, in an early ersatz selfie) and about a month later my parents took me to the ticker tape parade in Manhattan, where briefly the most heroic trio known to mankind, were less than 100 feet away from me, and was Neil waving back at me, it certainly seemed like he did, but you know how a 7 year old boy’s imagination and innocence can get the best of him.

      I can remember all of the Apollo astronauts, but try me on Spacelab or Space Shuttle astronauts, and then it all goes downhill.

      1. sleepy

        Funny thinking about that. I was 18 at the time and thought it was all BS, not that I thought the moon landing was faked or anything like that, but that it was a worthless throwaway of money and effort when the US had many more pressing matters at the time. The cynicism of an 18 yr. old v. the optimism of a 7 yr old I guess.

        1. apberusdisvet

          But it’s tough when facts get in the way. Scientists still haven’t solved the problem that any life forms (or even technology, for that matter) entering or passing through the Van Allen Belt are immediately and irrevocably fried.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Why is it important to remember the names of the astronauts? The accomplishment was something that belonged to all humankind — and should have been more plainly shared with all. I still rankle at sticking a US flag on the moon. The team of scientists and engineers that sent humans into space was international. Our MIC may have driven the push into space but the inspiration that drove those who worked on and completed the attendant tasks transcended the petty concerns of the ongoing Cold War. Looking back to those times, with sadness, I can too clearly understand why such great efforts went into laying off and scattering the scientists and engineers who took us into the space age. The kind of reasoning that derives from “We put man on the moon why can’t we …” isn’t the sort of thinking that pleases those who rule us.

  7. Lorenzostdubois

    Your conclusion on the Khashoggi affair mirrors mine. The shallow golden retrievers of our media elites are shaken and in revolt. They will find something else shiny soon enough. The onion, insightful as always, has struck the right note with its link below your comment.

    1. UserFriendly

      Yeah, I read it as the 4th estate hates Trump so much that there is no length they won’t go to to damage him. That probably boiled over when we blew up the school bus and made SA acceptable collateral.

      1. Procopius

        I think it’s appropriate to say “we” blew up the school bus, since “we” provide “intelligence” and “targeting data” to the Saudis, and we have officers in their operations center when they launch these air strikes. I read, and it may be fake news, that our “intelligence” people determined that the bus was used (rented?) by a party of Houthi leaders earlier. We’ve long since forgotten that our Air Force attacked a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan with several sorties, not just the single Puff the Magic Dragon.

      1. Wukchumni

        I think the brain trust @ Apple ought to play off of this exciting new feature, where if you’re about to get assassinated and cut into bite size morsels, why it’ll let you know!

        It tapes a licking and keeps on ticking (…with apologies to John Cameron Swayze)

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The issue here is Operation Mockingbird was never properly replaced.

      What happened in the mom was the promotion of people with sources and access to interview subjects versus reporting. Usually, the msm will repeat the government line oblivious to their own role as propaganda, but right now, one of their own was attacked. The msm doesn’t see themselves as toadies as much as key gatekeepers responsible for democracy and such. They are also very shallow.

    3. Ignim Brites

      Once again, on the basis of supposedly solid (Turkish) intel there is a rush to conclusion. This looks like a Russian/Turkish operation to get the Saudis to back down in Idlib, Yemen, and Qatar by causing grief for the US in its relationship with SA. It would not be surprising if Khashoggi is being held, and quite well, by the Turks. But why would our famously perceptive anti Russian media line up with Moscow’s purposes? Well, the simplest explanation is they are being duped and their limited critical capacity is blunted by the gruesome details of the story. Plus, this provides them with a cudgel to beat Trump (and son). With the “Russia hacked the election” agitprop running out of steam, this is no small thing. But what about the deep (neocon) state that really is aghast at the diminishing US role in the MiddleEast? They have been outwitted. We will have the wait for their next move.

      1. Plenue

        It could be a foreign op. But it could also be that the Saudi’s did it, and are just really, really stupid.

        I’ve heard Ibn Khaldun came up with a four generation cycle of rapid dynastic rise and fall (and I think he was specifically looking at tribal dynasties on the Arabian Peninsula as well). Now might be a good time for mean to actually get around to reading him.

      1. crittermom

        I would agree that it’s probably a Red-shouldered hawk, tho’ they don’t inhabit my neck of the wood in the Rockies.
        Definitely not a Red-Tailed. They don’t have red chests, such as this bird.

        Raptors are so hard to ID, due to the fact their coloring often changes with the season.
        It can also vary depending on what part of the country they live in.

        Yes, the raptor ID game can be fun… but frustrating, as well!

          1. Duck1

            I believe I may have caught a glimpse of a pair of bald eagles yesterday near the lake in Camas, WA yesterday afternoon. Large hawkish looking birds with dark plumage and a white head, flying one after another. First for me, have seen a couple of golden eagles in California while hiking around.

            1. Lord Koos

              East of the mountains in WA we see bald eagles quite often, as well as vultures and various species of hawks.

              1. Oregoncharles

                Large numbers of raptors winter over in the Willamette Valley; baldies are nearly always visible down at Finley Wildlife Refuge during the winter. Marsh hawks/Northern Harriers are nearly always visible there in the summer, as well as kestrels, and I’ve seen bald eagles in the valley in the summer, too. The most common are redtails. Very distinctive when backlit against the sky. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Red-Shouldered Hawk.

                And a gracenote: a clerk at the Co-op is named Kestrel. Wonderful name.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  There was a large colony of raptors east of Panama City in Florida but unfortunately Hurricane Michael wiped out a large part of them and the rest abandoned those grounds and flew to Ohio.

              2. Richard

                Hey, we even see them west of the mountains from time to time :) Have seen bald eagles over green lake park in Seattle on many occasions over the years.

                1. KB

                  I know I am gloating….but here in Minnesota we see them nest in the suburbs…I have a pair that perches across the street from me on a water tower….I sit on my couch in the living room and watch them court each other each fall….When I grew up nearby never saw them, ever..What a testament to their recovery..As I watch many webcams..and blog about them I believe many of you would see them….most of us…if we can get our heads out of our cellphones when walking outside… least the millenials I see walking their dogs!…

  8. Alex

    Re The power of negative thinking: why perceptions of immigration are resistant to facts

    In the video repeat the trope I can’t stand of immigrants working in vital but low-paying jobs. Isn’t the market supposed to take care of this and either make them high-paying or automate them away?

    1. Jeff

      This stinks. Why publish an article in oct 2018 based on a publication from 2008? The graph shows ‘Europeans’ working ~700h per year per capita in 2008, while a full-time job is over 1000h. So what you see might probably be explained as much by unemployment as by taxes.
      What also goes unsaid is that Europeans need to work less, as the taxes being levied by their government pay for ‘freebies’ like healthcare and education.

  9. nycTerrierist

    Same here.
    He oozes smugness and misdirection.
    His words never match his actions.
    How do people not see this????

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      He was always this way, and Obama’s supporters, based on the DADT and other experiences, could have pressured him into being a decent President if they simply didn’t give their adulation away for free. Obama demonstrated he could be pushed when his followers would get antsy, and recognizing this makes the 2016 election and other defeats less about deplorables, Russia, or even the Clinton political team but makes it about not demanding a nominal leader actually lead.

      1. John Wright

        I have talked with people who still believe Obama wasn’t the force for good that he wanted to be because the Republicans blocked him.

        At least Trump is showing that he does stuff while being opposed by many in the security state (Trump’s a traitor for meeting with Putin) and while being opposed by the NYTimes and much of the media (Rachel! Rachel! Rachel!).

        Trump’s actions give the lie to the “Obama crippled by the Republicans” story.

        Obama was even nice to Joe Lieberman, who almost ran with McCain against him.

        But it all worked well for Obama as he rides his post-presidency to comfort and wealth.

        1. Big River Bandido

          a considerable tell

          Methinks Obama’s vote in favor of the FISA law was an even bigger tell.

          1. pretzelattack

            yeppers, and this was the first time i am aware of being told “that isn’t the real obama, just you wait”. still waiting…

      2. oh

        I doubt he could;ve been pushed because he had the $$$$ from his post term speeches well in focus. He betrayed so many people to get to the Presidency and he always “looked forward not back”.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Dutch court rules that government must help stop climate change”

    Now this is new. That ruling is not just about saying that the Dutch government was responsible for efforts to combat global warming. What that Court really said was that countries are responsible for their actions and the consequences of that action. This could be a new principal of international law.

    1. JTMcPhee

      If only other courts, like the US Supreme Court, would see and follow that one lonely little court ruling by one little lonely jurist as precedent. And then if only the real powers, the supranational corporations that cannot be terminated for some reason, would agree to be bound by such precedent…

      And then of course “judges don’t make law” (sneers at the delusion so many have about that, of course they make law — it’s the reason why Kavanaugh and the 15 Trump/Schumerized appointees and all the other “business-friendly big government friendly” judges crammed into the judiciary over the last 50 years are a Big Deal.) But it should be helpful if the cancerous looters that do own the legislators and agencies and executives that DO make law (the part of it that one can read in the statutes and compilations of regulations, at least) would allow laws to be enacted that wold ground such rulings. Though I guess the good jurist found support in language in various laws for her opinion…

      I’d tie this to the article by Umair Hague that avers that global climate catastrophe and the Big Extinction Event are already “in the pipeline,” thanks to what the author identifies as fascism. And observe, as the author did, that the Elites have enriched themselves and tickled their pleasure centers by setting up the conditions that are killing many now and will kill billions more in coming years. And are indifferent to the mass die-offs that are accelerating, just busily extracting the equivalent of “gold from the teeth of Holocaust victims” as things develop.

      The author notes that the decent folks in Brazil are about to “elect” the incoming likely President Fascist and his gang, who will, among other neoliberal “fascist” actions, be selling off and monetizing the Amazon rainforest (“the world’s lungs,” or one of them) as part of the apotheosis of what he categorizes as fascism. As one of his examples of what is “in the pipeline,” and how the many horror he notes got there.

      At what point do decent people get past qualms about “taking up arms against a sea of troubles,” recognize the cancer for what it is, and at least do what surgeons have done for millennia, excise the tumors, since their does not seem to be any medical cure for the disease short of that. The tumors are not about to do anything different, and maybe unlike the cancers that kill the individual human, they expect to just be able to live on, living large?

      But that would not be nice, and we don’t want anyone to do anything of the sort, even as we bleed out or drown or starve and watch our families succumb…

      1. Harold

        Yes, they do make law and always have. In our system of common law especially. For better or for worse.

    2. bruce wilder

      The government of a country likely to drown before the century is up is required by law to do something, presumably not interfering with the sale of North Sea gas.

      How exciting.

  11. Angry Panda

    I’ve gotta say, I don’t understand what’s driving the Kashoggi story (I mean, besides anonymous sources in the intelligence community). Kashoggi was rendered? We do that. Saudis whack their own citizens? We do that, too. I can’t game out the realpolitik, unless it’s Turkey vs. the Saudis, and Turkey has no oil. I don’t see an Israeli angle, either. Perhaps it’s as simple and stupid as Kashoggi being known, personally, to our political class, so they’re actually horrified and repelled at his (presumptive) fate. Then again, there’s always money–

    Read the boy’s bio.

    a) He is a scion of an extremely wealthy and well-connected family. Grandfather – personal physician to the king; uncle – billionaire arms dealer somehow also involved in the Iran-Contra scandal; cousin – the very same Dodi Al Fayed who was in that car crash with Princess Di. Et cetera.

    b) After 2016, the moment he gets bounced from Saudi Arabia – for criticizing Trump, of all things – he gets a column in the Washington Post. Plus semi-regular interviews on the telly, certainly the BBC. That, to me, is a clear indication that somebody knows somebody.

    So yes, I do think this is a “you can’t do that to one of us” type of moment. I have to believe this isn’t the first “journalist” the Saudis have repressed in some fashion, but perhaps the first individual that anybody important might have known personally. And I also suspect this is how and why the story fizzles out, there just isn’t enough realpolitik driving it (and too much in favour of keeping on with the relationship, all the weapons deals, for one). Mind, this doesn’t mean some opportunistic concessions can’t be extracted from the Saudis here and there (assuming someone actually follows “The Art of the Deal” instead of just bragging about having it ghostwritten for them).

    1. Yves Smith

      I haven’t had time to weigh in, but his uncle, Adnan, was such a big swinging dick of arms dealers (who are the functional equivalent of drug dealers except they trade bigger ticket wares and get to go sometimes to very important meetings) that he was regularly named in the press as such. He was clearly in a super protected class of one.

      1. beth

        And there is a $20 million sports complex named after the uncle, Adnan Khashoggi, at American University and until 1989 he was on the Board.
        This from a 1989 UPI article:

        Khashoggi also was a central figure in the Iran arms-Contra aid scandal during the Reagan administration.

        Khashoggi, once reputed to have been among the world’s richest men, was named a trustee at American in 1983, attended just one meeting, and was reappointed in 1986.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “The dramatic drop in suicide among elderly Britons”

    Could it possibly be that those Britons in this age cohort who were prone to suicide did so years ago and are no longer present? After all, you can only do it once and if they did it some time ago, they cannot do it again.

    1. Skip Intro

      That doesn’t seem like a compelling theory, since the supply of elderly Britons is continuously replenished by the less elderly Britons. My alternative theory is that those in straits that suggest suicide are now hanging about to see results of their last glorious act of (self-) destruction: Brexit.

      If my theory is correct, then there will be a compensating uptick next summer, assuming that much of the catastrophic result is clear by then, and the long denouement of the crisis and the country is apparent enough to start losing audience. Of course the uptick may be masked by confounding factors of actual brexit-caused life-exits.

  13. JohnM

    yesterday’s antidote du jour of the ‘carefree’ deer: i don’t know about deer but with sheep that stiff-legged bouncing is panic behavior when they have lost their flock. it happens reasonably often when they fall asleep and the rest of the flock wonders off. some sheep are really deep sleepers. i can’t tell you how many times we have gone out into the pasture to see if a downed sheep is dead or just sleeping. they’re (nearly) always sleeping and often can be really hard to wake up.

    1. Jeotsu

      In camelids the behaviour is known as “pronking” and is a sign of a really excited/happy animal. Let a herd into a new paddock with long lush grass and you will see big mobs of them hooning around the paddock, many pronking. A more common behaviour in cria and yearlings, we’ve sen quite elderly animals get into it when they are happy and excited enough.

  14. Eclair

    The planet, like society, is a garden, which needs tending, watering, care. The linkages between these things — inequality destabilizing societies making global cooperation less possible — are not things we can fix overnight, by turning a nut or a bolt, or throwing money at them. They never were. They are things we needed to see long ago, to really reject together, and invest in, nurture, protect, defend, for decades — so that capitalism did not melt down into fascism, and take away all our power to fight for our worlds, precisely when we would need it most.
    But we did not do that. We were busy “solving problems”. Problems like…hey, how can I get my laundry done? Can I get my package delivered in one hour instead of one day? Wow — you mean I don’t have to walk down the street to get my pizza anymore? Amazing!! In this way, we solved all the wrong problems, if you like, but I would say that we solved mechanical problems instead of growing up as people. Things like climate change and inequality and fascism are not really “problems” — they are emergent processes, which join up, in great tendrils of ruin, each piling on the next, which result from decades of neglect, inaction, folly, blindness. We did not plant the seeds, or tend to our societies, economies, democracies, or planet carefully enough — and now we are harvesting bitter ruin instead.

    Umair Haque’s depressingly realistic take on the non-reaction to climate change repeats the conclusion I had come to not 30 minutes before reading this. I wrote a reply to a friend’s FB post, in which she references the latest climate report and asks how can our leaders not do something in the face of this overwhelming evidence. As often happens, I started writing and suddenly ended up with the realization that the elite are betting they, and their great grandchildren, will ride this out. Our descendants, as yet unborn, will starve, drown, die of pestilence or violence.

    Haque refers to this as a great planned extermination; the sending of the majority of the world’s population into an environmental gas chamber of fire, flood and drought. Somewhere, exclusive think tanks are even now spinning new webs of myth and religiosity (see yesterday’s post: Money, the Shape of the Law, MMT and Aesthetics), that will lead us peaceably into those hells, without the faintest show of resistance.

    Although, really, all they have to do is to continue convincing us that extinction is preferable to life without SUV’s, Amazon Prime, Alexa, and fresh strawberries in January in NYC.

    1. HotFlash

      life without SUV’s, Amazon Prime, Alexa, and fresh strawberries in January in NYC.

      Well, I have been not only reconciled but actively choose/chose life without all those things and many more, but d’ya think that’s gonna help me? I sure don’t — I’ll go down with the SUV owners, and so will my (step) grandkids.

      1. jrs

        It’s not even a real take, it might be what they have to convince us, but it’s not what goes through their minds. They have decided something more like extinction is preferable to life without U.S. military dominance over the globe and the system it supports. Planes aren’t really for travel no matter how carbon dumping global travel is and it is. But the real reason we have planes despite climate change are for conquest and war (and business but even that is probably secondary). U.S. military and *it’s* carbon use.

    2. Wyoming


      After I got done reading it I sat there and said to myself I wrote this very article (on another blog under a different name) in 2013. I don’t think he got the idea from me or anything like that as the conclusions he came to are obvious and anyone could come upon them. I was just ridiculed or summarily dismissed. I wonder if 5 years down the road will make any difference. Every day of the last 5 years has provided confirmation of what I wrote then and I am certain that the next 5 years will do the same.

    3. cnchal

      It’s a paradox. Those that recognize their own participation in the crapification of the planet and try to arrange their lives to minimize the damage by keeping their personal supply chains as short as possible free up resources to be cheaply burned by the ‘couldn’t care less’ gluttons.

      What is a rational person to do?

      1. Wyoming

        It may or may not be rational, but I think the standard response in today’s world is to pick a side and fight to the death? /s

        If the problem is not real world solvable then the rational response is to try and survive it.

    4. JTMcPhee

      No, no, we cannot talk about “resistance.” That would imply and even require doing something active to, you know, “resist.” Maybe like the people of Warsaw and Stalingrad did, in a prior exercise of fascist success… Can’t talk like that — not nice, and besides, you-know-who is listening to and recording and cataloging every word and thought…

      So we mopes can do like maybe it was Karl Rove offered instead, as we have done:

      People like you are still living in what we call the reality-based community. You believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you are studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors, and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

      This was put into interesting context in a Newsweek article noting that the quote had been expropriated by the musical group “The National:”

      We mopes have another problem, of course — the Elite have a game plan, know what they want and are ruthless in their pursuit. “We” have little to no idea of what “we” (whoever that is) want and need, or how to go about gaining whatever that is, and too many of us want what the Elite have, or some pale simulacrum thereof that supports their game plan.

    5. Olga

      He captures the problem in stating that “My friends, catastrophic climate change is not a problem for fascists — it is a solution.”
      I don’t disagree, but also do not think that it is that simple. Provided that anyone survives (a big if), population may be greatly reduced in numbers. But then, how do the elites benefit? Their wealth is based on exploiting as many people as possible, so with fewer folks, fortunes shrink. It could be a situation like the one identified by T. Piketty: the two WWs destroyed so much wealth that the level of inequality dropped for a time. (On the other hand, who would even care at that point?)

      1. hamstak

        It is not necessarily about their absolute wealth, but relative wealth. They are perhaps ok with a decline in wealth provided that the wealth of their lessers declines proportionately further.

        1. Wyoming


          If I have a million dollars and 10% of the population has a million as well. Then I am ok, but nothing special.

          If I have a million dollars and no one else has a million I am richer than God.

          Wealth is always relative and never absolute. I have neighbors worth in excess of 8 figures who bristle when you refer to them as rich….because they actually realize they are nothing special in this world and when push comes to shove (as it will) they don’t have all that much advantage really over the hoi polloi compared to those at the top.

          If I live and almost all the rest of you die then I win. Such an approach could be considered ‘evil’ of course, but it is as coldly rational as it is possible to be.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > If I live and almost all the rest of you die then I win.

            Well, no. I’m thinking of tribes whose languages are dying out because the tribe is too small to reproduce itself. There is a threshold. So “almost” is doing a lot of work, there.

          2. Richard

            Yes Wyoming, and as our winner, you’ll win these prizes!:! (If there can be interrobang, the question mark/exclamation point hybrid, then why not BangColon?)
            A lot of alone time! to reflect on your victory and get all ayn rand about it!
            But that’s not all! You’ll win the knowledge that society is for losers, and you are completely alone in this world! And that’s good! F$#% all that nonsense about social advance by “standing on” the achievements of others. F$%# filtering love, science, art or even your own self-reflection through the perceptions of the many, to improve our common situation! Just grab your bunker! Rich guys won!
            I do not mean to presume with my language, Wyoming. You may have simply been playing devils advocate, rather than actually taking him as a client. But the idea deserves lampooning, to say the least.

        2. Olga

          Agreed, but who’ll do their laundry – with far fewer people? Who’ll fetch their beer (or who’d make it to begin with?)? Who’ll shine the shoes? I still think they’ve not thought this through too well…

                1. JTMcPhee

                  Soon to be a choice, for the very special people taking full advantage of biohacking and CRSP-R and all the marvelous permissionless innovations that will let us humans make ourselves into GODS!

                  That’s worked out so well in the past…

          1. polecat

            The Eloi are too carefree with all of the I-shite distractions .. so maybe the Moarlocks will just have to pull their own weight !

      2. Lord Koos

        I think the elite have figured out that there are way more people on the planet than they really need to support them. Current policies in the US, (environmental, economic, etc) seem to be aimed at culling the population and/or putting them into profitable prisons.

        1. LifelongLib

          I guess from that perspective anyone not participating in the “world” economy (however indirectly) is superfluous. How many millions or billions is that?

      3. Synoia

        The answer is the same as that delt to the nobles at the time of the Black Death.

        They had no useful skills, and vanished.

        People with useful skills survived and prospered.

    6. Richard

      I am having a very emotional response to Haque’s article, and your post, and everything around us now. And who would not?
      Possibly not the best time to write.
      When I used to get home from work, and turn on TV, most of the faces I’d see would be trying to sell me things, convince me about bad ideas against my best interest, make me feel little and worship them. And I’d call them out about that, alone to myself. Eventually I stopped watching, and I see far fewer of these faces. Would I see murderers now? Yes, I absolutely would.
      I teach 2nd grade. How does this happen now? How does it work, I mean? What do I say tomorrow, and last week, and every other day for the rest of our lives? I can’t really write about this sensibly. I keep bursting into tears. N
      I want revenge for this. For once, I do want people to lose their lives. In a court of law, with everyone watching. I can’t get that image out of my head.
      “We’ll always need to educate children,” I used to say to myself. It’s such a predictable job!
      Melissa is my friend and teammate. I’m in my mid-fifties, she’s a little over 30. She’s such a lovely teacher. When you walk into her room, it’s like entering some classical greek symposium, I joke with her. All the little scholars with their white robes, the feast of love and flow of reason.
      All of that is built on a foundation of hopefulness. All of it is on that. Disintegrating like a block of salt. And washing away in a tide of guilt.
      I’ve calmed myself down now, by writing this. I say that as if it’s a good thing, but that certainty is disintegrating as well.

      1. juliania

        Thank you, Richard. I am thanking you because you teach second grade. I am thanking you for all the children out there whose fathers, if they still have them, scramble to keep roof overhead, to deal with illness, to cope with an uncaring government, to survive the inclement elements, to stay calm and positive in all this for the children’s sake.

        You teach second grade. These are the faces you see. Not just in Melissa’s classroom; in your classroom.

        Thank you for facing those faces. Thank you for teaching second grade.

        1. newcatty

          Richard and Juliania,

          Hope is the thing with feathers

          Hope is the thing with feathers
          That perches in the soul,
          And sings the time without words
          And never stops at all,
          And sweetest in the gale is heard;
          And sore must be the storm
          That could abash the little bird
          That kept so many warm.
          Emily Dickenson

          This is for dedicated teachers, loving mothers and fathers, caretakers of those in need, keepers of the forests and ancient language of honoring earth and her inhabitants. Every child whose heart and mind you touch with kindness and discovery is keeping the little bird singing.

          1. Richard

            I really appreciate your responses Juliania and Newcatty. I could only say something like I said this morning at this site. Truly, not advertising. Elsewhere it might have seemed to others as histrionic, or virtue signaling, or ignored or seen only as a symptom of some individual problem. It would have even begun to feel that way to me a little. But here, I knew I could scream, and not have it misinterpreted. How important is something like that?
            This is apart from all the top-notch investigative work, blogs, and curating of course :) Three cheers for NC….

    7. Jeremy Grimm

      While I agree with the initial headline assertion that catastrophic climate change is probably inevitable now — I disagree with Haque’s assertion that Capitalism is imploding into Fascism. Our present CO2 levels are well out of the range of CO2 levels consistent with remaining within a relatively stable climate regime, and there are no indications that anything meaningful will be done to slow the rate that we add CO2 to the atmosphere. The poles are melting, the seas are rising, and the largest source of the energy sustaining our billions is starting to run down.

      But I disagree with the assertion that Capitalism is imploding into fascism. Neoliberalism is a form of fascism in the technical meaning of the term fascism, and I have trouble viewing Neoliberalism as a form of Capitalism. I disagree most of all with Haque’s claim that ‘we’ chose fascism through the election of Trump. [I don’t know enough about the politics abroad to judge such things as what lead to the election outcome in Brazil.] In the 2016 election we had a clear choice between an openly fascist candidate and a less openly fascist candidate and ‘we’ didn’t chose either one. Does Haque believe we live in a democracy? I just don’t see that people turned away “from democracy, and towards authoritarianism, in a great, thunderous wave”. I’m very skeptical of the notion that those who rule us are “quite overjoyed to have found the most spectacular and efficient and lethal engine of genocide and devastation”. I believe the “the chosen, predatory few” believe they can enjoy their predations before the coming deluge. I think they just don’t care about what comes after that.

      1. knowbuddhau

        That’s right, we didn’t choose either one, thank you. The process by which that decision was rendered makes impossible such grandiose claims.

        It’s a rigged game to start with. Major party presidential candidates don’t represent what the people want, they represent what the Owners/Donors want.

        And even at that, Hillary blatantly stole the primary from the vastly more popular candidate. The GOP primary was an interstate train wreck. After too much Goofus & Gallant, viewers flocked in droves to the f-bomb thrower. In the general, ask Greg Palast about the GOP’s Crosscheck voter purge.

        It’s a dog’s breakfast from which the only valid conclusion is, this is no way to run a country!

        Also yes we”re well beyond turning back climate change. It was known, back in the 70s, that we had to change. But they faked the narrative. And are still faking it.

        High-energy society is going to fall back to earth. Best way to deal with runaway juggernauts? Sidestep. It’s just the end of the world as we know it, not the end of all ends. We’ve made it through other bottlenecks.

    8. Aumua

      I found the Umair Haque article lacking on several fronts, and I’m kind of surprised that the curators thought it a ‘must read’. As far as climate change, it’s pretty skim on facts and fat on the doomsaying. Don’t get me wrong, we face a monumental threat to our existence and the worst case scenarios are in the realm of possibilities. We have to work together to survive this, or our species will perish. I’m not particularly optimistic about our chances, but no one knows the future. Prophets of doom don’t impress me, especially those who are throwing a bunch of big scary inevitabilites at me to convey some kind of rather muddled political message about fascism? He implicates capitalism, yeah ok. But the word fascism is mentioned something like 27 times in that article. Oh woe is us, woe to the U.S., the first fall to fascism with the election of the Donald Trump. He’s an idiot, but also a fascist mastermind of some kind, pushing an agenda 21 depopulation program of ‘the elite’… speculate much? Geez. I used to eat this kind of vast population control conspiracy stuff up, but these days I’m not so sure. We could just be terminally short sighted as a species, for example.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I think it’s important to note when such views are stated by a relatively mainstream figure, as Umair Haque is. (I’ve encountered him in the Harvard Business Review, for example.) I also think it’s important to give consideration to the idea that the 0.01% do in fact know what’s coming — Musk’s Mars concept is at least a hedge, and Bezos thinks the same — and are perfectly happy with the way the world is heading for the rest of us. I don’t think that’s a “vast population control conspiracy,” but simple class interest, along the lines of who gets the lifeboats in the Titanic.

        1. Aumua

          That’s a fair assessment that is probably more accurate than saying ‘a conspiracy’. Certainly ‘they’ know as much as we do, if not more. But then how do you know that they are perfectly happy with way the things are going? Maybe like the rest of us, they just don’t know what to do about it. Maybe they’re stuck in an outdated mode of thinking that prevents them from seeing another way. Are they even all on the same page? I’m guilty too of using the term ‘global elite’ when it’s convenient, but can you really say that they act with one purpose and one mind? The status quo system has a lot of inertia, that’s for sure.

          I realize I am playing devil’s advocate a bit here. I mean they who are dis-proportionally involved in creating this dilemma should in all fairness be using the lion’s share of their resources to work on solving it. Because it’s really not their resources, it is our resources. We’re all on this ball of mud together, see?

          1. Geo

            We’re all on this ball of mud together, see?

            That’s the main difference between you and them. It’s a wonderful quality you have that you don’t see the world through the lens of “us vs. them” but tenge fact hat they do it’s a big part of why they are billionaires who want to use their resources to escape to Mars instead of making this world a better place.

            They may not be part of a global conspiracy but they will surely “Go Galt” before lifting a finger (or spending a penny) on us lesser mortals.

            I would love if all of them left for Mars to live out their libertarian utopia and leave us to fix our planet with the resources they have hoarded away, but until that fantasy comes true we need to realize our efforts of rational/reasonable discourse is doing nothing but wasting time while they squander valuable resources (money, earth, lives) on toys for the rich and have no concern for the suffering of the masses. It is “us vs. them” and by “us” I mean you, me, and the billions of us who don’t have a rocket ship to Mars. That’s not a conspiracy or doomsaying, it’s just the situation.

        2. Olga

          Oh, my… Lambert, wouldn’t it be just marvelous if all of the members of the elite (forces) just blasted off into space… Mars or whatever. Then the rest of us could get down to saving the Earth (and probably creating a new elite in the process – we are humans, after all)? But we could breathe a bit easier – for a moment. And at least the most greedy and entitled layer would be removed.

        3. Edward E

          I tried but couldn’t into Umair Haque at all. I’m optimistic about our chances. Have you ever read Francis Menton?
          Debates the actual data, like whether the Earth is warming or cooling is based on the time period you are comparing. Or how many dreaded tipping point predictions have been made, come and passed.

          How Do You Tell If The Earth’s Climate System “Is Warming”? — Manhattan Contrarian

          Manhattan Contrarian Quiz — Climate Tipping Points Edition

        4. FluffytheObeseCat

          It’s important to give consideration to the possibility that the wealthiest 0.01% “know what’s coming”…… and to then dismiss that idea, based on copious evidence in the historic record.

          History is littered with extinct elites who neither knew nor cared about the future. Our present day elites are as likely to be trapped in ‘successful’ behavior patterns that turn out to be counter-successful over the long term as any similar bunch from the past. They don’t know more about the future than the educated classes that stand direct below them on the social ladder. They also most likely don’t know less than us either.

          And, please, let’s be honest. This comment section is composed of aggrieved westerners from the educated professional and creative classes. Overwhelmingly so. Neither our angst nor his (Haque) is worth the electrons devoted to it here, or at

          Global warming is driven by human activity, specifically industrial emission of greenhouse gasses, including carbon dioxide, methane, and the NOX gasses. We can reduce and eventually eliminate these emissions. It is not cheap or easy to do so, but it is technologically feasible. By the time we act, we will have seriously impacted our environment – at a global level. However, we will act eventually. We are unlikely to go the way of the dinosaurs (absent another large bolide). Moaning on internet comments pages, or in Medium op-eds however, does less than nothing to effect a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. It’s just tired-assed mental masturbation is all.

          You all would have done better for the world this afternoon if instead of moaning here, you’d gone out and bought a reusable water bottle, and a reusable steel straw. Ideally at a second hand shoppe.

          1. The Rev Kev

            ‘This comment section is composed of aggrieved westerners from the educated professional and creative classes.’

            Not moi!

          2. Lord Koos

            Perhaps we are going the way of the dinosaurs, perhaps not. But whether or not there is a complete extinction of humanity or some survive it is certain that millions upon millions of us will die prematurely due to climate change and its accompanying floods, heat waves, mass migrations, resource shortages, extreme weather events, etc. Whatever actions we take will make little difference unless perhaps they are taken immediately, which is obviously not happening. And I see nothing wrong with discussing this…

          3. polecat

            Or go one better and plant some carrots, or other kind of food source .. People can do much to help themselves while living lighter on this rock, but it does requires some planning, some exertion, some drudgery and boredom .. things that most people shy away from .. In doing so, one also should show consideration for other fauna as well as one’s self. I’ve found it rather humbling, but also gratifying, knowing that I’m contributing, however tiny, to my and mine’s welfare, as well as other denizens of the only home there is. Now, this is on a tiny scale — but consider if just, say, 10, or even 15% of the U.S. population got involved in such a manner, what a real positive difference that could make. Those are the kinds of percentages that influence change — a change in habit, a way of seeing the world not as human centric — but one where we are a part of nature.
            Things may get dire for us hominids, there will most likely be survivors that will have no choice but to evolve to live within the constraints of this world, rather then to stomp all over it. All the better.

      2. Geo

        As far as climate change, it’s pretty skim on facts and fat on the doomsaying.

        There’s plenty of reporting out there on the facts and very few people care about (or even understand) the facts. The point of the article is not about convincing anyone climate change is happening, it is literally about the situation we’re in and dispelling any idealistic notions of it being remedied.

        We all want and hope for solutions to happen, we may even do our part, but if you think anything any one of us does (or all of us) will counter the eradication of the Amazon rainforest or the delay of another 5-10 years by our government to make drastic changes then you may want to reconsider your reading of this piece and views on doomsayers.

        The point isn’t to just be negative, it’s to scare people into action. The efforts to “inform” and have “debate” on the issue merely kicks the can down the road. Do the “elites” have a literal plan for all of this? Doubtful. Will they retain power and wealth while the rest of us are caught up in mass migrations and warfare? Yes. Will they do anything to fix the problems before it is entirely too late? Not if we keep merely trying to convince them with “facts” they have no concern for and most likely already know.

        As for the fascist aspect: you can debate whether neoliberalism is capitalist or fascist, the chicken or the egg, but it does not change the reality that the nihilistic mentality of fascism is taking over: “¡Viva la Muerte!” (Long live death).

      3. Amfortas the hippie

        reckon skepticism is good.
        “Limits to Growth” was laying around the house when I was 13 or so(80’s), so I read it during Reagan….and noticed the big cars, and the waste as status symbol easily.
        Contemplating that disconnect 20 years later, I realised that not taking LTG seriously was a choice…made by somebody….and that choice, to go balls to the wall, and burn baby burn and “greed is good” and all the rest that followed on from that choice, and indeed made that choice possible…could be ascribed as easily to stupidity as to evil.

        we’re not privy(generally) to the conversations that have really mattered. I’ve been a Doomer for going on 40 years, now…I accept the reality of things like climate change, peak oil and peak topsoil, and that there’s a group of unelected, unaccountable kings and queens that run everything(and who’s defining quality is that they pretend real hard not to exist0…but I must admit that I have no idea what’s in their heart of hearts(benefit of the doubt that they have hearts, I guess)>
        are the super elite aware of all this?
        aware in the sense that many of us are?
        I don’t know.
        Perhaps they are blinded by their own bullshit…smoking their stash, as it were…and truly believe that global neoliberal imperialism is the best way forward.
        I’ve known people on the periphery of that world, a local/regional elite, with their fingers in everything, meeting in a back room with the Lions Club out front as cover. not a business stays open in their area without their sufferance. I worked for them, cooked for them, played music at their pool parties…and if a regional elite is representative of the upper levels of elite-dom, then we might be a little off in describing them as evil monsters bent of culling the herd.
        They’re pretty damned myopic and doctrinaire…and subject to the same peer-group pressures and ritualised mummery as we are.
        Evil Mastermindhood requires intent, no?
        In spite of all the pretensions of god-hood our elite wear, they’re still just idiot firemonkeys, screwing in the mud, and frightened when the sun sets…just like the rest of us.
        So maybe the real problem is that no one’s really in charge…which is a scary thought, indeed.
        incipit tragoedia

      4. CanCyn

        I don’t think the elite really know what they’re doing beyond getting wealthy and feathering their own nests. They live in a bubble and believe the poor all over the world just haven’t tried hard enough. There is no grand conspiracy IMO. Just a lot short sighted, wealthy a**holes who really don’t understand that they’re a big part of the problem. Freidman and the rest didn’t set out to screw the world, I am not saying that they thought they were doing good in a social way or defending them in any way, they just focused and fought for an economic way of looking at the world that took hold and made some really bad assumptions about trickle down and all boats floating, etc. and for the most part don’t realize that it just isn’t working out. Again, not to excuse them or forgive them …maybe the only way for me to not go completely apesh*t and start the guillotines myself is to believe that they really just don’t understand how bad it is for so many people or to repeat myself that us deplorables are just not trying or hustling hard enough. If I really believed that most of them were actively conceiving of ways to keep the rest of us down, well, let’s just say there wouldn’t be much point in carrying on. They only care about their own status quo and support policies and government that support it to. The rest of us aren’t even on their radar.

        1. Lord Koos

          When I see voter suppression, election-rigging, willful anti-environmentalism, and mass surveillance, I assume that some people, somewhere, are actively trying to keep the rest of us down. It may be a confluence of shared interests rather than a conspiracy, but it’s not very comforting either way you look at it.

          1. CanCyn

            Indeed. There is no doubt there are some actively bad people but is possible to see even their behaviour as the actions of people trying to hang on to what they’ve got and get more not trying to screw the rest of us. I couldn’t agree more though, either way it is very disheartening.
            Sorry to be such a downer during fundraising. This site, Yves et al and the many sites it has led me to, woke me up. It can wake up others too.

    9. Eclair

      The environmental report issued by the Trump administration (to justify the lifting of emission standards on automobiles and trucks), states that we are locked into a 7 degree Fahrenheit increase in global temperature by 2100. The report further states that it is not technically or economically feasible to do anything about it. So, lets produce more pollution spewing cars and make as much money as we can before the ordure hits the fan.

      Someone wrote recently that we are already in the midst of the social and environmental impacts of climate change. It’s not something that will happen next year or next decade. We have climate refugees at our gates. The poor people of New Orleans, Houston, North Carolina, Mexico Beach, Puerto Rico are never going to be made whole. Those who flee from wildfires in California, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, will never be the same. Including the animals and birds and insects.

      But, the State builds prisons and immigrant detention centers to hold the unruly poor and dispossessed. Corporations turn them into profit centers. They monetize suffering and loss.

      As the lands flood, as the wheat fields dry due to lack of rain, as mountains burn, as more and more people are impoverished and homeless and rudderless, the State must increase control. Not to provide a better life; education and health care and housing, but to contain and imprison. One can call this ‘fascism.’ Or one can term the impulse that leads to turning to punitive measures rather than the provision of social goods by simpler, older names; greed, megalomania, sadism.

      The question, which some commenters have touched upon, albeit gingerly, is what do the ‘good’ people do about it? We seem about to agree that conditions are going to become hellish. Do we just ‘go along,’ let ourselves be led into the gas chambers, watch our children and grandchildren die? Or, do we develop a plan. Or a series of alternative plans. No one is coming to save us; we may not, as a species, even be worthy of saving. But, as long as there are those among us who can play the fiddle and the drum, who can dance around the fire, who can sing a lullaby, who can plant seeds in the spring and harvest in the autumn, who can rub the back of the mother in childbirth, and hold the hand of the dying grandfather, who can cook a meal from simple ingredients and make it stretch to feed the strangers at the table, maybe we are worth saving. But we have to have a plan.

    10. Laughingsong

      I was reminded of a scene in Titanic while absorbing the thought that our elites are thinking they’ll survive global warming just fine:

      “Rose DeWitt Bukater: Oh, mother, shut up! Don’t you understand? The water’s freezing and there aren’t enough boats. Not enough by half. Half the people on this ship are going to die.

      Caledon Hockley: Not the better half……
      Rose DeWitt Bukater: You unimaginable bastard!”

    11. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well, the question has been asked before: if the Global OverClass wanted to kill 7 billion people and make it look like an accident, how would they do it?

      “MIHOP the global warming” is certainly one way.

  15. Ignacio

    On brexit deal or not deal.

    The only news I read today is that David Davies is asking his tory partners for rebellion against any putative agreement May could forge before wednesday. Looks promising indeed

  16. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Obama’s Resistance to Investigating the Bush Administration Allowed Brett Kavanaugh to Skate Onto the Supreme Court The Intercept

    So, I’m wondering if it’s too much tin foil to suggest that the whole Blasy-Ford affair was ginned up, stoked and exploited by both sides to achieve the predictable result–a frenzy of identity partisanship that completely drowned out the more serious, documentable issues with kavanaugh, relitigation of which both dems and repubs were desperate to avoid.

    feinstein was a prominent, if not ranking, member of the intelligence committee during the torture times, and her knowledge of and acquiescence to those crimes have been whitewashed over the years. Her central connection to the exposure of Blasy-Ford’s allegations remains unexplained.

    The behavior of idiot newcomers and naked presidential wannabes harris and booker was easy enough to predict, given their desperate need for resume padding as the 2020 primaries bear down on them.

    Just sayin’, starting a screaming and yelling hysteria over something that could never be proven and that allowed the players to stay in their already established, comfortable corners with the outcome never really in doubt, may have been seen as preferable to probing issues that could bring down more than just kavanaugh.

    A lot of people have a lot invested in precious moments of comity like bush giving candy to michelle obama at the funeral of that wondrous american, john mccain.

    1. m

      Thinking same, if true really awful exploiting Ford for votes and donations. I just find it funny that after citizens united Collins called out funding for her future opponent as bribery. I hoped for obstruction, but ends up these two parties really have too much in common.

  17. noonespecial

    Khashoggi affair – “Then again, there’s always money–”

    As a refresher, it may be worthwhile to read this piece from The American Conservative: U.S. Saudi Lobby in Overdrive Ahead of Prince MbS ‘Roadshow’ ( The article is more than just about the prince’s visit. The author names some of the players in the US who have contracts with the House of Saud.

    And while MSM dedicates space to one journalist, I don’t see much attention to this: 17 killed in Saudi-led airstrike in Yemen’s Hodeidah ( “The airstrike hit the buses in Masbarah area at the top of Jabal Ras hill near a Houthi-manned security checkpoint south of the port city…Most of the victims are women and children.”

    1. John Merryman

      Maybe they realize he is too much of a lose cannon, even by US standards and this is the straw breaking the camel’s back…
      So maybe a palace coup and a more cautious member of the Saud family anointed.

      1. JTMcPhee

        RE the Saud “family” of looters, and what might happen to that cutely acronumed MbS: “Intratribal loyalties,” and “inter-“ too, are pure oxymoron in most of the world. See, e.g., “interservice rivalries” in the US Empire, the US political parties, pick your own faves. The neoliberal and neocons have managed to make it all about “interests” and “gain,” even more than my reading and experience tells me it has largely been for most of “history.” Like “Europe,” and the Ottoman Empire, and so many other hypostatized nominal monads.

        Here’s a nice link from yesterday on the current corrupt ruler of the “State of Israel,” that elastic thingie: “Netanyahu Is Destroying Both Israel and the Palestinians,”

        And so as not to play favorites, here is a long-read article on Yasser Arafat, “In a Ruined Country,” showing how he played the mopes and played footsie with with not only ‘world leaders’ who gave him billions, but “Israel-ite businessmen” who also enriched him personally and sort of engaged in a bilaterally profitable both-sides treason:

        “For the want of a nail, a horseshoe was lost… For the want of a survivable and resilient organizing principle against which to measure all the infinity of transactions in the human political economy, the habitability of a planet was lost…”

    2. marieann

      Surprisingly enough I heard a report of this airsrtike in Yemen on the CBC news this morning…..and my little brain wondered why I’m just hearing about this war now when it has been ongoing for so long

  18. Edward E

    Not just nuts: The surprising stuff animals hoard for winter— yesterday evening and today you can observe Razorback hogs hoarding Arkiechokes from War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. In fact the stadium may be sold, it’s such a curse, but grows the best arkiechokes you ever seen! 17 point 4th q lead vanished in a minute choke choke choke ?

    1. Wukchumni

      Then: Sears* is where America shops.

      Now: Sears is where America stops.

      * Full disclosure, we were loyal K-Mart shoppers, and in mens clothing, underneath the flashing blue light, underwear is half off for the next 15 minutes!

    2. Wukchumni

      Our telephone poles get so jammed up with woodpecker acorns that sometimes it looks as if there isn’t much actual wood showing, just the rounded ends of acorns methodically placed there by the bird brains.

      If they switched out the Razorback team with the Bills and vice versa, would anybody notice any difference?, oh the gridirony.

        1. Wukchumni

          Am patiently awaiting another come from behind loss as most Bills finishes tend to be, but if they were any good or at least mediocre, they wouldn’t be worth making fun of.

      1. Edward E

        If you feed woodpeckers watch them because they can spend all day hiding peanuts and stuff and they’ll never go back to them unless you quit. So it’s a good idea to take a break now and then.
        Well Wuk, some are saying that someone is going to buy the Bills and move the team to Alaska. Then they’ll be renamed the Arctic Chokes.

        1. Lord Koos

          Did you ever hear about the hit man named Artie? He was for hire cheap, until he got caught… the headline read “Artie Chokes Two For A Dollar”.

          Hope this doesn’t get me banned…

  19. Wukchumni

    I have to be purposefully vague, but apparently an ex 1st Lady was shacked up in the higher climes here within the past fortnight, and required a retinue of 16 secret service agents in tow.

    They really are our royalty…

    1. Duck1

      But how many black SUV with tinted windows, armored up and blast proofed, loaded with weapons?
      The sound of gunfire, off in the distance, I’m getting used to it now . . .

      1. Wukchumni

        The cortege passed by in what appears to be complete anonymity, perhaps the g-men were attired in hiking duds, in order to look like everybody else?

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Thanks for not raping us, all you ‘good men.’ But it’s not enough.”

    She doesn’t see it. She is an intelligent, trained historian but she doesn’t see it. If you demand that anybody who supports you must be ideologically pure in both thought and actions, then that just eventually leaves you swinging in the wind. Imagine if such a major event like the American Revolution had trouble because Thomas Paine was complaining that Thomas Jefferson was not ideologically pure because he had slaves and thus should not take part?
    As a trained historian she must know the concept of ‘fellow traveler’ or even a ‘sympathizer’ but that is not good enough for her. As for her solution of training boys “to walk humbly and care deeply”, tell me that that does not have blowback written all over it. When she can take up common cause with girls that work on sales or women that fight hard to support and raise their children at home, then I will believe that she may be on the right track.

    1. John Wright

      One can wonder how this self identified grandmother handled the upbringing of her possibly male descendants.

      Certainly 50 years of marriage was insufficient to properly train her husband.

      She closes with

      “Pay attention people: If we do not raise boys to walk humbly and care deeply, if we do not demand that men do more than just listen, we will all drown in the flood. And there is no patriarchal Noah to save us.”

      If this higher income, well-educated woman has been unsuccessful in this pursuit (of properly training her husband over 50 years), exhorting other women to do a similar task makes her not a very convincing messenger for a new movement.

    2. Todde

      I know a dozen single moms that would chew her up and spit her out.

      That article was not a good look for the womans movement.

      1. cocomaan

        That’s the state of things. That man just sounds like he’s trying to run out the clock on Till Death Do Us Part.

        Especially when you’re in the top ten percent of earners, which she would be as a retired private professor at a SLAC like Grinnell.

        Meanwhile, men and women the world over fall in love with one another and treat each other well every day.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Treat each other well? Obviously not “well” enough. And sure sounds like the author does not like patriarchal ascendancy, but would be just fine with X-chrom rule. Carly Fiorino, or Dianne Feinstein maybe? Betsy DeVos? Haley? HRC? “Wanted: Honest Incorruptible Politicians of Good Will: Apply Inside.”

          I went to a party in Seattle in the early ‘90s, guest of a lesbian acquaintance. The L couple throwing the bash had a couple of kids, one male, who was destined at the first sign of body hair to be sent out of the nest. On the fireplace mantle in that nice Craftsman bungalow was a turkey baster, mounted on a walnut stand, with a brass plaque that read “DADDY.” Who knows what that means, in the wider world. Also, bumper sticker seen, also in Seattle, on fancifully decorated VW Beetle: “ALL MEN ARE PIGS, BUT SOME MAKE GOOD PETS!”

          And I see that “scientists” have bred mice that can reproduce by parthogenesis. Finally, some real progress, of a certain sort.

          What’s the question, again? “Can we… can we… can we all just get along?”

          1. Carey

            I am not at all sure that the “we hate all men” movement is organic.

            Men sometimes do bad things, and so do women.

            1. JTMcPhee

              I didn’t say it was organic. Just present. And some adherents are quite extreme. All well within the clear range of human behaviors.

              1. Geo

                In their defense, there has been a very vocal, violent, and oppressive “I hate women” movement for millennia now. Are us men too delicate to handle a little pushback?

              2. Yves Smith

                At the risk of making overgeneralizations….

                1. There is a ton of hostility towards women. Women get the shit beaten out of them by men on a regular basis, particularly women who have the bad fortune to get involved with a jealous man. A lot of men don’t like women who step out of line, as in violate what they see as their assigned roles. For instance, men interrupt women at a vastly higher rate than women interrupt men.

                A lot of #1 has to do with men wanting/needing sex and women being in a position to withhold it. A second part is male social status being tied up, once you get to be 30 or so, in being married or having a solid partnership. It becomes harder to socialize as a straight single man around that age if you aren’t married.

                For instance, in San Francisco, which ought to be a great place to be a single straight guy, dating-wise, given how many gay men are in the population, I hear from men in their 30s that a lot of techie guys are very bitter that women wont’t date them because those men don’t meet their standards in some unnamed way (looks? physical shape? height?). Some of these men want/need to get laid. Some of these men want companionship. Some of them feel like second class citizens because they can’t get a woman interested in them. Similarly, I know a very nice seeming guy in the gym who is freakily strong, nice looking face, but also pretty fat. He talks regularly about his inability to get a woman interested in him due to his weight (I don’t engage him, I overhear his lament to other men).

                That is a long-winded way of saying a lot of men feel they have lost out due to the fact that women being able to earn a living means those women are fussier about who they date and many men who probably would have been very datable in the old normal (decent chaps, OK incomes, not great looking but certainly not ugly) are marginal now.

                2. Women resent their subservient status relative to men. A lot of pent up resentment is coming through via #MeToo. Most men expect “their” women to take care of them, as in cook, clean, take care of their emotional needs, take care of their children. A man may help out on household duties, but it is his option as to how much he assists. And let us not forget that women are still paid less than men for comparable work. Bloomberg just published a study on MD pay and even when adjusted by speciality, women make 80% of what men make.

                1. WobblyTelomeres

                  Please note that I am not arguing/debating any of your points.

                  And at the risk of making an undergeneralization (!), the author of the piece in question, Victoria Bissell Brown, is an abuser. If the roles were reversed, we would all be urging her to get up and leave straight away. Her husband of 50 years, who she admits is one of the good guys, should not have to be a stand in for all men of all time, which is the punching bag she’s made him into.

  21. Carey

    Good to see WaPo continuing to do their best to set women against men, because we all know that women are good, and men are bad. Simples.

    Divide and rule

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Hillary says series of sex claims against Bill are NOT like the Kavanaugh confirmation because her husband faced ‘intense ‘investigation'”

    Cough-cough-Lollita Express-cough.

    1. ewmayer

      If she had meant “are much worse” by her “are NOT”, I would agree – Bill was, shall we say, well past his teens, and those were no mere he-said/she-said allegations in several of his case(s). And sure, one can argue that he was subjected to a partisan witch-hunt as a result of the Lewinsky affair, but does anyone think that one of us mere mopes, given the same evidence and intesity-of-investigation, would have escaped sans legal sanction?

  23. Wukchumni

    A company owned by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s in-laws won more than $7 million in no-bid and other federal contracts at U.S. military installations and other government properties in California based on a dubious claim of Native American identity by McCarthy’s brother-in-law, a Times investigation has found.

    The prime contracts, awarded through a federal program designed to help disadvantaged minorities, were mostly for construction projects at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in McCarthy’s Bakersfield-based district, and the Naval Air Station Lemoore in nearby Kings County.

    Vortex Construction, whose principal owner is William Wages, the brother of McCarthy’s wife, Judy, received a total of $7.6 million in no-bid and other prime federal contracts since 2000, The Times found.

    The Bakersfield company is co-owned by McCarthy’s mother-in-law and employs his father-in-law and sister-in-law, Wages said. McCarthy’s wife was a partner in Vortex in the early 1990s.
    Frankly, my Congressman isn’t smart enough to have pulled this off. He’s a dullard’s dullard.

    1. JCC

      McCarthy is bad news. I wasted some time writing him prior to the FCC decision on Network Neutrality and he replied back stating that he was all for the end of it and stated, more or less, that monopolies foster innovation, I kid you not.

      His signs are all over the area surrounding NavAir China Lake. He’ll win, too bad.

  24. Olga

    Two links for tomorrow:
    On the new version of the European Stability Mechanism – “The board of governors hopes such reforms would bolster the rescue fund such that it could even handle a situation such as that developing in Italy, where the government is pursuing a heedless fiscal policy that has for the first time pushed a large European country to the brink of bankruptcy.” Ok, so we know it’s starting point…

    And by a former State Dept. official:
    On who really is in charge of the special relationship… one point is that the psych-ops against Russia are also, in fact, against the US:
    “But for far too long, largely for reasons of historical inertia and elite corruption, we’ve allowed that government to exercise undue influence on our global policies in a manner not conducive to our own national interests. Now that government, employing every foul deception that earned it the moniker Perfidious Albion, seeks to embroil us in a quarrel with the only country on the planet that can destroy us if things get out of control.”

    The author also sheds light on the roots of British Russophobia, which is deep, indeed, and has little to do with USSR:
    “But in the case of Britain, the history of hostility to Russia under tsar or commissar alike has much deeper and longer roots, going back at least to the Crimean War in the 1850s. The reasons for the longstanding British vendetta against Russia are not entirely clear and seem to have disparate roots: the desire to ensure that no one power is dominant on the European mainland (directed first against France, then Russia, then Germany, then the USSR and again Russia); maintaining supremacy on the seas by denying Russia warm-waters ports, above all the Dardanelles; and making sure territories of a dissolving Ottoman empire would be taken under the wing of London, not Saint Petersburg. As described by Andrew Lambert, professor of naval history at King’s College London, the Crimean War still echoes today”

    1. JTMcPhee

      “Only country on the planet that can destroy us:” Not a very smart State Department guy, I guess.

      How many nukes do the Chinese have? How about the Israel-ites, who happily shoot up US intel ships, spy on us both in military and foreign-policy and commercial espionage, and have something between 200 and 600 nukes, quite a number of which are on pretty silent U-boats that the US paid the Krupp works to build for said Israel-ites? An of course who knows, Perfidious Albion, what the Porton Downs folks have up their conjurers’s sleeves?

  25. EoH

    Commentary on Brexit from Alex Rawlings, voted the UK’s top language student in 2012 (the count then was 15, including the Romance languages, Russian, Dutch, Hungarian, and Hebrew). He is an Anglo-Greek and is now a 27-year old language teacher and app developer. He spoke to the Guardian about his decision to leave England for Barcelona:

    “One of the things I was always most proud of in the UK was that this is a place where anyone can belong, which is an amazing achievement. That is now being threatened by the populist rhetoric of politicians and the laziness of the media in not challenging it….

    I have huge faith in the people of the UK to sort this out eventually. It will take a generation… and in the long term, it will be good for the country to realise [the unacknowledged harm done by its empire and] its own insignificance.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      “I felt a great disturbance in the Net, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”

  26. Tomonthebeach

    I can’t game out the realpolitik, unless it’s Turkey vs. the Saudis…

    It is more likely, the Turks cosying up to Putin (who has oil and wants to be a player in the Middle East – likely because the US is there annoying everybody). The family Saud, having close family ties with the family Bush, the other family Bush, and now the Kushner-Trump Klan [sic], is a de facto US ally. The USA is trying to cut Russia’s oil customers off in the EU with multiple meddling claims. If Turkey messes up US oil supplies from Arabia, the US will not have enough oil for itself – ergo, as a backup plan, the recent US bellicose interest in invading oil-rich Venezuela.

  27. Jean

    Hurricane Leslie headed for Spain and North Africa…

    Excellent! Both areas are in the middle of a vicious drought. The rain will refill the reservoirs and water crops.

  28. Jean

    “In 2010 almost half a million African Americans were at risk of foreclosure, and by 2014 more than 240,000 had lost their homes.”
    31,000 homes foreclosed upon by OneWest Bank, owned by Steven Mnuchin.
    Guess which attorney general not only failed to prosecute his bank, but received a nice political donation from him? Yup, Kamala Harris.

  29. Oregoncharles

    ” Couldn’t they fly those F-22’s outta there? Heh heh heh….”
    Unbecoming glee, Lambert.

    Aren’t they the ones that can’t be flown in bad weather?

    1. Eclair

      I’m gonna be crude here, but you’re a 21 year old woman intern in the office of the POTUS (the most powerful position in the world) and the Man himself (married Man) lets it be known that he would’t be averse to you … ummm … using a portion of his anatomy as a lollypop …. . Gimme a break! If that’s not an abuse of power, then I’m a furry lemur.

    2. Pat

      One must always remember that the Clintons are exceptional, as there are always exceptions when their choices would be considered illegal, unethical, corrupt, and/or unacceptable for us average humans.

  30. Oregoncharles

    Art has been an asset class for a long time. For example:

    As I’ve mentioned before, my father was an investment manager for a wealthy family in the Midwest. They also had an art collection, managed by the wife. It included a Monet, which meant she had done better with a single purchase than his entire expensive investment office, a fact my father was well aware of. That was back in the 70’s.

    And come to think, my father did quite well, on a somewhat smaller scale, with a purchase of several cases of Rothschild wine. Bought new, It became more valuable than he cared to drink, so he sold it at a very nice gain, in the same period. I had a taste, when he was still serving it; good stuff. So art was not the only “asset class,” even then.

  31. Oregoncharles

    Compare and Contrast:

    “Brexit is contributing to marriage breakdowns – UK psychotherapist The Journal”

    with “The dramatic drop in suicide among elderly Britons The Economist”

    Sociologists consider both indicators of societal stress.

  32. Olga

    This is truly sick

    “Blake Fischer shared photos of his guided hunting trip in Namibia in an email sent to over 100 recipients, prompting a number of former gaming commissioners to respond in disgust and with calls for his resignation. Fischer and his wife killed at least 14 animals on the trip, including giraffe, leopard, impala, antelope, warthog and an oryx, according to the images shared in the email which was obtained by the Idaho Statesman through a public records request to the governor’s office

    Anyone in Idaho?

    1. nycTerrierist

      Agreed. How is this miscreant tolerated in civil society???

      He should be shunned, or better yet, confined in an institution for kreeps.
      sick sick sick

  33. Big River Bandido

    Re: An open letter to the Democratic National Committee: Please resign

    While on the one hand, I agree that the committee members (with the sole exception of Nomiki Konst) are worthless, I can’t take this article seriously — nor any article that lays the blame at the feet of perceived “institutional” leaders like Pelosi, Schumer, etc.

    Those committee members and institutional leaders don’t call the shots. Not even Pelosi and Schumer are in the drivers’ seat — they are all merely tools for the shadowy interests who control our politics. The idea that simply replacing those people will solve problems is merely rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    The problem is not that the Democrat Party has bad leaders (though it does). The problem is that the Democrat Party is controlled by corrupt interests who govern the party and the nation for their own selfish interests. Period. The only way to clean house is to get rid of them all — starting from the very bottom and gradually working up.

  34. Kokuanani

    I don’t know if “Medicare for All” is a “meaningless slogan” like the Economist says, but I got my t-shirt with that on it [from the Bernie site] and every time I wear it [suburban DC area], I get lots of comments.

    Just sayin’

  35. dcrane

    The BBC has just published a lengthy article examining secondhand reports from Syria and implying that Assad has used chemical weapons many times since 2013.

    Could this be laying the groundwork for a new propaganda push this month?

    There’s a lot in the study and it’s worth a read, but in the end one passage stands out:

    The BBC team were not allowed access to film on the ground in Syria and could not visit the scenes of reported incidents, and therefore were not able to categorically verify the evidence.

    1. Daryl

      The victory is imputed to chemical weapons, but even if they were used as often as the BBC claims, it’s not really clear why this would have given him a substantially higher chance of victory. As usual the western media attempts to understand things in terms of better weapons.

  36. Pat

    A couple of shifts I see from the cheap seats.
    Climate change is now mainstream enough to be part of insurance commercials. They may not call it that but when they talk about the increasing frequency of 100 year events, it has happened. Too little too late, but happening.

    The edifying behavior of feckless Democratic opposition is not being entirely missed. In my safe neoliberal loving, resistance embracing community I have both overheard in my travels, and had conversations with people bemoaning their uselessness. This has included a call for the end of the two party system and more than one referring to our senator Schumer in not family blog terms, and not by me. This is a marked increase in the last month.

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