Links 10/4/18

Finance, the media and a catastrophic breakdown in trust John Authers, FT

World economy at risk of another financial crash, says IMF Guardian. Last para: “Like many institutions the IMF has warned that rising levels of inequality have a negative impact on investment and productivity as wealthier groups hoard funds rather than re-invest them in productive parts of the economy. Without a rise in investment economies remain vulnerable to financial stress.”

General Electric has an overactive imagination FT. “The fact that Mr Welch, Mr Immelt and Mr Flannery have each left toxic legacies suggests that GE’s reputation for managerial excellence is exaggerated.”


Ireland backs Theresa May’s plan for all-UK customs union with EU FT. Let me know how that works out…

Theresa May: Don’t risk no Brexit by pursuing ‘perfect Brexit’ Politico

Brexit: the dancing of May EU Referendum

Berlin’s untenable foreign-policy strategic vacuum Global Handelsblatt

North Korea

South Korea reveals plan to break stalemate in U.S.-North Korea talks WaPo

War with North Korea Would Attack American Workers 38 North


Tensions rise on the South China Sea Politico

Is reform dead in China? Trump’s trade war may be breathing life back into the cause South China Morning Post

Private Businesses Built Modern China. Now the Government Is Pushing Back. NYT

China Must Solve Urban-Rural Divide to Solve Income Inequality Asia Sentinel

Husband Shopping in Beijing LRB

Ex-Malaysian PM Najib’s wife Rosmah pleads not guilty to 17 counts of money laundering and tax evasion Straits Times. The 1MDB case.

Russia Missile Deal Puts India in U.S. Sanctions Crosshairs WSJ


Trump Says Saudi King Wouldn’t Last Two Weeks Without U.S. Help Bloomberg

The U.S. Just Tore Up a Six-Decade-Old Treaty With Iran Defense One

U.S. Policy Toward Syria: Part I United States Institute for Peace

REVEALED: Canary Mission Blacklist Is Secretly Bankrolled By Major Jewish Federation Forward

The Innocence of Abu Zubaydah NYRB

Air Force drops pumpkin spice JDAM on Taliban position Duffelblog


Mitch McConnell Sets Friday Vote to Thwart Filibuster of Brett Kavanaugh Roll Call

Brett Kavanaugh and alcohol: Two dueling narratives WaPo. But:

Meaning perjury. What’s all the more remarkable is that Kavanaugh stonewalled, when narratives like “I was young and stupid, but I’ve changed” come so easily.

FBI has not contacted dozens of potential sources in Kavanaugh investigation NBC (Furzy Mouse).

The Senate, Not the FBI, Should Investigate Kavanaugh The American Conservative

The Man Behind the Brett Kavanaugh Strategy: Don McGahn WSJ

Conservative Women Are Angry About Kavanaugh—And They Think Other Voters Are, Too The Atlantic

Health Care

Opinion: Memorial Sloan Kettering, you’ve betrayed my trust STAT

Our Famously Free Press

A new look at local nonprofit news sites finds revenues of more than $325 million, 2,200 journalists Poynter

Seymour Hersh on the Future of American Journalism JSTOR Daily

CPJ Safety Advisory: Pegasus spyware used to target journalists, civil society Committee to Protect Journalists. One more reason not to have a smart phone.

Driverless police cars of future could act as mobile courtrooms The Times. What could go wrong?

O Caption, My Caption: The National Theatre rolls out accessible smartglasses Wareable. There’s that word, “smart.”

Iowa company donates AR-15s to be placed in Bismarck schools KXMB

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Committee to Save the World Order Foreign Affairs. These dudes are still yattering on about a “rules-based order” after Bush’s invasion of Iraq and 15 years of our Middle East shenanigans, including rebooting the slave markets in Libya with a bombing campaign.

U.S. military comes to grips with over-reliance on Chinese imports Reuters (EM). EM: “Reshoring – it’s not just an issue for the Deplorables anymore.”

God Admits There Was Probably A Better Way Of Giving Humans Taste Of Heavenly Bliss Than Opioids The Onion

Class Warfare

Steel is surging under Trump. Will workers benefit? WaPo. By Betteridge’s Law….

Unions are accusing IKEA of cracking down on Massachusetts workers in a series of ‘captive-audience’ meetings featuring fear-mongering PowerPoints Business Insider

The Origins of Prison Slavery Slate

1.6 million US workers rely on gig apps and websites for income The Next Web

Metro says it doesn’t know what to do about falling ridership. An internal report lays out exactly what to do. WaPo. “However, according to the analysis in this report, on a daily basis, the [Uber and Lyft] transport about half as many passengers as Metro, providing about 300,000 passenger trips in the region.” For a median driver wage of $9.73/hour. Looks to me like the squillionaires subsidizing Uber and Lyft are destroying public transporation. Perhaps that’s their goal, and spending the big bucks to do that is worth it to them.

Reflections on the 2nd International MMT Conference – Part 1 Bill Mitchell

‘Sokal Squared’: Is Huge Publishing Hoax ‘Hilarious and Delightful’ or an Ugly Example of Dishonesty and Bad Faith? Chronicle of Higher Education. More on “grievance studies.”

Antidote du jour (vanda):

Vanda writes: “My dog with some echinacea.”

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. dcblogger

    Obama appointed WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld after a horriffic crash. As someone dependent upon Metro, I have no confidence in him. He has raised fares and cut service and doing his best cut worker pensions. I think he is a disaster capitalsim freak who wants to bust the union. I don’t suppose there is any way to research if he has any link to Uber or Lyft, because I would not put it past him.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      In July 2017, Metro raised fares, reduced service and curtailed late-night hours to save money, reduce wear-and-tear on its tracks and implement the agency’s first preventive maintenance program following the year-long SafeTrack rebuilding effort.

      Train frequency was reduced to every eight minutes from six on most lines, and the agency’s span of service was cut by eight hours a week; Sunday service hours, for example, were changed from 7 a.m. to midnight, to 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Off-peak ridership suffered the most, with losses “two to three times larger than peak declines,”

      When I lived up there, I was young when people crashing on a couch wasn’t weird, but I see a few problems. How long do women want to wait on the metro line? Some of those stops are weird. I think about Sunday night sports. People went to sports bars on the weekend, even Sundays. When I was there, I had a pretty good handle on when to call for a cab or take the metro on the weekends. There was no Uber at the time, so I imagine the pricing seems better in comparison to cabs.

      I saw an article some years ago about the architect behind the DC Metro originally. He built it for a major increase in the size of the Federal work forces, but his estimate was woefully inadequate with Gore’s reorganizing of government. 9/11 pretty much crushed it. The architect also anticipated the height restriction would be lifted in DC much earlier than it was (it was lifted, right?)

      The only real solution is to begin the whole sale movement of entire executive departments. With phones, they don’t really need to be there.

      1. Duck1

        Implement the agencies first preventive maintenance program . . .
        A rather alarming way to run a railroad.

    2. Anon

      As a fellow DC resident, the domination of Uber/Lyft is due to the (sometimes) relatively low cost, combined with availability. Ever since the appointment, Metro has gone from running until 12:30am on weeknights and 3am on weekends to closing up shop at 11:30pm (which kills nightlife momentum) and 1am on weekends (which definitely kills nightlife momentum). Past those times, short of dealing with buses and walking at night, Uber/Lyft become the most feasible way to get around.

      As to why Metro ceded so much ground to the rideshare companies, I do not know. We’ll know the truth when/if private equity gets involved.

      1. zer0

        Because in America, anything public is deemed “socialism”, and this word has become somehow synonymous with “communism”. Also, the corruption in American transit authorities is well known and documented. Here’s a little taste, compliments of the CTA:

        Apparently, Americans dont get out much. Walk around any EU city, especially places like Prague, Vienna, Munich, etc. and you have not just the usual buses, but also trains, metro, and tram systems that have been in operation for decades.

    3. Elizabeth Burton

      Looks to me like the squillionaires subsidizing Uber and Lyft are destroying public transpor[t]ation

      Given their well-funded PR campaign against cab companies right out of the gate, is there really any question that’s the ultimate goal? I actually received a phone call from a man who only identified himself as “Steve” somebody after I dared post a defense of cab drivers that was more than a bit critical in the comment section of an article on Uber in San Francisco. He informed me I had no business discussing the subject unless I specifically addressed San Francisco. I have no doubt whatsoever who was paying his salary.

      And let us not forget the more than $1 million Uber spent here in Austin TX to kill a ballot referendum demanding they follow the same rules as the cabbies. A referendum that still went against them, after which more money went into the coffers of the state GOP and the legislature overturned the right of local municipalities to regulate ride-sharing apps.

      There is no word more abhorrent to neoliberals than “public.” In their overwhelming greed, it never occurs to them that when they have all the money, there won’t be anybody to buy their stuff.

  2. Steve H.

    > Reflections on the 2nd International MMT Conference – Part 1 Bill Mitchell

    “The corollary to this was a tendency I observed (heard) that MMT is sort of a grab-bag of ideas that we can pick and choose from to suit our own preferences.”

    Good awareness as MMT approaches a Stockman Moment, where a piece of the machine is removed to use as a billy club.

    MMT4: “MMT for me but not for thee!”

    1. el_tel

      I count myself as someone who supports MMT but who lacks the “snappy comebacks” to traditionalists I argue with in making the MMT point. Maybe MMT is sufficiently complex that we may never construct one of those snappy “3 minutes sped-up animations” that clever youtubers do….but I think we should try (harder).

      I find it ironic that the best short snappy explanations of MMT and Land Value Taxation that I’ve seen on the web came from Mosler (for MMT, and who devotes half of his 7 deadly frauds book implying – to me anyway – that his career in finance means he can support MMT from a “smaller govt” perspective), and from a guy affiliated with the Adam Smith Institute (for LVT) who basically says “if you’re properly following classical economics you should be supporting LVT – it has added benefits for you lefties with whom I don’t really agree”. So, ironically, it appears to be “right-of-centre” people who know how to “do a Lakoff” properly and reframe the debates. I think it’s time to distill principles down to digestible ideas/soundbites….even though it does run risks of people misusing/interpreting the content.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      MMT as a billy club.

      And the billy club itself (among many other things) is like that as well – we can pick and choose to suit our own preferences. It can be used or mis-used.

      1. Edward E

        Since I’m a jokes speculator, think it’s time for MJT (modern jokes theory) to dupe the public into always bailing out comedians/joke writers and sell it to the public using the socialism angle. Gullible joke professors with left leanings will latch on because doesn’t always getting paid for witticisms sound great right? Even if the audience is in a bad mood you get free ? hedging your jokes.

        Razorback football team were placed in a remedial English class. The professor questioned the class, “Wonder, do any of you know what comes after a sentence?”
        Most of the players squealed, “The appeal”

          1. RMO

            I found it pretty easy to get people to give MMT serious consideration: I just used the technique of pointing out that EVERYONE in power acts in accordance with it when it comes time to spend money on something important to THEM. Even the most strident austerity hawk, TINA, drown government in a bathtub types spend freely when the money goes to something they want and this shows up their position as the hollow sham it is. They don’t have a problem with spending, just with spending on things like health care, education or pretty much anything that improves the lot of the majority of the population.

            1. Edward E

              Rescue the well off comedians/writers using public money, then they move away to tax havens leaving the public with the debt. It’s sadly ironic that all the young people believing in MJT ignore the fact the founder of it was a jokes speculator the gov bailed and wants more of the same.

  3. Livius Drusus

    Re: World economy at risk of another financial crash, says IMF.

    Talk about not learning your lessons. There have been almost no real reforms since the last crash in 2008 so no one should be surprised when the next big crash comes. In fact, most people I talk to seem to think the next crash is coming very soon.

    Not to be a downer but I actually think we are in a worse position now than in 2008. Millions of people never recovered from the last crash and the political situation is a lot more volatile now with populist and nationalist movements gaining strength, the migration crisis in Europe and the fact that the American political scene is a total mess with a lot more anger and mistrust in institutions now than in 2008. I recall Obama’s election in 2008 being the last time I felt hopeful about America. I was disappointed pretty swiftly and now things are even worse with Trump and the Republicans in power and the Democrats still refusing to learn anything from their many electoral defeats.

    1. apberusdisvet

      “the next crash is coming very soon”

      Actually, it’s already started. Auto and housing sales greatly trending downward; discretionary income (for the 99%) falling. Oil to $100/barrel will provide the great awakening, but it will be too late.

    2. Carolinian

      After years of disaster capitalism it may be time for some disaster socialism or, as some would have it, for the left to step in and save capitalism from itself. Unfortunately that will require a disaster.

      Or maybe not, but the political will for reform rather than perpetual Dem/Repub food fights seems to be in short supply. Faction is all.

      1. Andrew Watts

        Why are socialists uniquely burdened with the responsibility of cleaning somebody else’s mess up? Let the ruling class clean up their own mess. It’s their country after all. They stole and/or bought it all using the helpful guise of legality.

        Contemplating the present trajectory of the country I’d say it’s pretty likely we’ll get a man on a white horse. That’s what follows Trump in the midst of a crisis, economic or otherwise, if history is any indication.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      I always thought the 2008 bailouts were possible for two reasons:

      -43 did the heavy lifting as a very unpopular President. Obama loved to claim he pushed the car out of the ravine, but 43 was the one who was blamed as Obama surrounded himself with supporters of the deregulation that caused the crisis. If only W had been giving out cough drops…
      -the election outcome was set in stone, not just the White House but everywhere. Maybe, it hurt Norm Coleman. There was no political consequence to voting “yes” given the low approval ratings of the Bush Administration.

      Donald Trump is the President. Its not the only reason for “OMG Russia,” but I feel its comforting to the Washington establishment because if Hillary Clinton, the most qualified candidate evah!, can lose to such a clown especially with Virginia in the “win” column everyone is in danger.

      Given the drearier nature of the economy (“hope” and “change” played well because the economy sucked before the crash), I just don’t see a functional majority to act if a bailout is necessary. They don’t trumpet their defense spending increases the way they use to. A bailout would be public.

    4. Llewelyn Moss

      Oh but Banks DID learn their lesson from the last financial crash. They learned that they can force the taxpayers to bail them out, because the alternative is unthinkable (so say the Banks ).

    5. Andrew Watts

      Optimism is for suckers. Particularly when you’re comparing the experience of the Great Depression to the current state of the world’s economy, Most ordinary Americans never fully recovered economically from the depression of 1920 either. It marked a high point for the agrarian American family which didn’t ever recover. By the time of the Crash of 1929 the rest of the world was already in a depression.

      1. Procopius

        Thanks for mentioning the Depression of 1920. The financial scammers/gold bugs claim it was over quickly, because the government didn’t interfere; my father, who lived through it, told me the farms (which were a much bigger political sector then) never recovered and 1929 just made things worse.

        1. Wukchumni

          In the book The Worst Hard Time, by Timothy Egan, there was somewhat of a land rush to plant wheat in the 1920’s, in an area that would later be known as the heart of the Dust Bowl*.

          Farmers there prospered until the dirty thirties came along…

          * My mom told me that on the outskirts of Calgary where she lived, dust storms from down under would rage over the province

  4. el_tel

    I’m afraid that although the Onion was first, it’s lost its edge these day – maybe the “truth is stranger than fiction” thing has hit it too hard. The Daily Mash (UK equivalent) still has me LOLing daily with observational humour in a way the Onion once did…

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      And here I thought, Iowa company donates AR-15s to be placed in Bismarck schools -KXMB, had to be an Onion piece.

      – maybe the “truth is stranger than fiction” thing has hit it too hard.


      1. el_tel

        The glory days of the Onion – when their 5-bladed razor prediction was hilariously insane but became reality! I see that kind of stuff more often on the Daily Mash these days….

      2. Unna

        Bismarck: Big time famous for that Blood and Iron speech of his. So maybe it’s just a name-branding thing. And even if you were so inclined, is an AR-15 really the weapon you’d want to use to take out a single gunperson in a school hall full of running screaming kids and panicked teachers? The next big thing: in addition to doing lockdown drills in the schools, maybe they should add quarterly live fire drills? Just wondering, that’s all.

    2. Wukchumni

      Once upon a time we laughed about horrible events (remember how many funny jokes came out of the Challenger blowing up?) as it was a coping mechanism, but comedy isn’t pretty now, as for one thing, we don’t tell each other jokes anymore, we only read them on the internet, which is not the same thing, as there is no risk of wrecking it by bad timing or forgetting a line.

      And when the subject of your scorn is incapable of being embarrassed, what’s the point?

      Do any opioid addicts or the leadership of our country currently, read the Onion?

        1. RMO

          Love the picture too! Still miss our dog but we recently house sat again for friends who have a big beautiful sweetheart of a German Shepherd and just got a little Terrier puppy. The puppy was an insane bundle of energy frequently jumping up on the Shepherd’s head when playing. I swear the Shepherd looked up at me several times and said “This little dog is freakin’ crazy, right?”

    1. polecat

      Enough with the canine/feline pics ..

      How about some sunning Scorpions in defensive posture, or a couple of strikingly striking Cobras, or a large rotund Black Widow (hi, fresno dan !).. lovingly caring for her brood, while consummating with her mate in a, er, loving embrace, or, if you’re of the vegan persuasion .. one of those gnarly tropical trees that produce toxic compounds to keep the neigboring pests at bay ..
      Now those are some Real antidotes !

  5. anonymous

    “Meaning perjury. What’s all the more remarkable is that Kavanaugh stonewalled, when narratives like “I was young and stupid, but I’ve changed” come so easily.”

    Are you suggesting that we should convict based on the word “surely”, not “did, and we witnessed it and were competent to assess it?”

    1. todde

      if you want to believe that ralphing refers to puking from eating spicy foods and ignore the 100 kegs or Bust reference you are welcome too.

      but don’t gaslight me.

    2. marym

      Women are competent to witness their own abuse.

      More than 40 other potentially competent witnesses

      according to multiple sources that include friends of both the nominee and his accusers

      have not been interviewed (Link).

      Some of his former classmates (including people who have tried to contact the FBI but haven’t been interviewed) have spoken to the press (Link).

      A conviction for perjury would require more testimony and other evidence than has currently been collected in an official capacity. We’re talking about denial of an appointment to a lifetime position of great power, for someone whose behavior and truthfulness, in the past and now, are questionable.

      1. Carey

        I think that our owning class, in a bipartisan™ message, will be ramming Mr. Kavanaugh through.

        “Deal with it, proles!”

        1. marym

          “Deal with it, proles!”

          Senator Orrin Hatch Tells Kavanaugh Protesters To ‘Grow Up’

          “Why aren’t you brave enough to talk to us and exchange with us?” an unidentified female demonstrator asked Hatch during the protest, as seen in a video clip. The Republican senator from Utah responded with a limp, dismissive wave at her.

          “Don’t you wave your hand at me, I wave my hand at you,” she said.

          “When you grow up, I’ll be glad to [speak to you],” Hatch responded from behind his security.

      2. Jackson Myers

        Per Sen Jeff Merkley, one of the witnesses, his old Yale Roomate, currently a prof at Princeton Seminary, heard the story from BK at the time, and was so disturbed, he told a friend in grad school.
        FBI didn’t contact him, or the other guy…

      3. Darthbobber

        Wasting time in argument. Our anonymous friend does not engage after these little postings. Just moves on to the next.

    3. Darthbobber

      Do you want me to believe that there’s a felony trial going on and that I’m a juror? Because I don’t quite see it that way.

    4. ArcadiaMommy

      The confirmation process is not a criminal proceeding. What exactly are you referring to with the word “conviction”?

      If BK is such a brilliant jurist surely he would be able to develop a more compelling narrative about all the wisdom he acquired from recognizing his bad behavior.

      But instead BK made up a bunch of lies about his distasteful (and possibly criminal) actions and slurs against women.

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Are you suggesting that we should convict based on the word “surely”, not “did, and we witnessed it and were competent to assess it?”

      I think it’s obvious that Kavanaugh committed perjury about his drinking habits, as evidenced by the many contemparaneous witnesses coming forward who oddly, or not, the FBI didn’t not interview. I think Kavanaugh should be impeached for that if he makes it onto the bench.

      Not to say that the Democrats haven’t screwed this up in every possible way imaginable, essentially through a lack of party discipline and principle.

      1. TheScream

        Benefit of the doubt: BK was so drunk through all those years that he has no memory of being drunk. Therefore he testified to the best of his recollection and is innocent of perjury. QED

        I am not sure why America is so upset about putting him on the Supreme Court. America put Donald Trump into the White House, the present crop of Senators and Representatives into Congress and generally displays poor decision making skills in all manner of things. BK seems a pretty natural fit to the American Way. The real question is: does America think BK fits the American Dream or the American Reality?

    6. The Rev Kev

      Are you suggesting that we should convict based on the word “surely”

      Of course not. And don’t call me Shirley!

  6. Wukchumni

    So, there’s just one copy of the Kavanaugh FBI report for Senators to peruse.

    If only Xerox could come up with some sort of technology that would allow replication of documents!

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Ireland backs Theresa May’s plan for all-UK customs union with EU FT. Let me know how that works out…

    I can’t access this article right now, but if they heading is correct, then the Irish media are not reporting it. In fact, the are saying the opposite –

    Brexit: Dublin expects Britain to make new backstop proposals

    Theresa May believed to be ready to make concessions on Border to break logjam

    The only reason I can think of that the Irish government could float the idea of accepting a UK proposal for an all UK Customs Union is that they know full well Brussels will reject it, while it makes it look like they are offering concessions to the UK. But more likely this is another example of the UK media misreading the signals.

    1. ChrisPacific

      Even if true, I’m not sure it means much. One of the points of evidence they offer is the DUP “we support the Tories but not May if she divides the UK” speech, which they speculate may have been triggered by signs that May is about to propose just that. However that’s only relevant if DUP are either overplaying their hand or bluffing, and I’m not sure that either is the case.

  8. Stephen Gardner

    Articles like “The Committee to Save the World Order” warm my heart because I know what they really mean. Domination of the world by US and Western European business interests is faltering and the EU and tame non-european nations don’t want the job of shoring it up. Bummer.

    More evidence of division in the our governing elites. I love it when they squabble among themselves.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When there is world domination, the rich and powerful benefit.

      And that world domination is gone, it’s the poor and mopes who will pay the price.

      So, for example, when Saddam ruled, a small circle had a great time. When he was gone, the people of Iraq had to live with the disaster.

      It will not be pretty when red armies of Russia and/or China roll into Berlin, Los Angeles and New York.

      The narrow path to salvation is we perform the hope-and-change ourselves, and resist China and Russia at the same time.

      1. Partyless poster

        Of all the things to worry about that seems pretty far fetched.
        Somehow I don’t think the rest of the world is worried about China and Russia
        The country with a military the size of the next 12 countries combined that takes orders from a small apartheid based middle eastern regime might be more of a concern.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          In either case, we still perform the hope-and-change ourselves.

          Lest others (anyone, China, Russia, the Grand Duchy of Fenwick, etc) impose on us.

      2. Stephen Gardner

        Wow! A blast from the past. I don’t think anyone really worries about China or Russia invading the US anymore–even the people who use that spectre to scare us into being complacent about excessive defense spending. Oh, and you may have missed the memo but there is nothing red about the Russians. They gave up Marxism a long time ago. I’m frankly amazed that people spout that red menace nonsense anymore. Is there anyone clueless enough to have totally missed the 80s and 90s so that they would believe antique propaganda tropes?

        Cut out the fear mongering about Red Russia, its embarrassing to even hear it.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Yes, that’s a typo, and you’re correct on that one.

          Otherwise, it’s a reminder to clean our house first, before anyone else does it for us.

        2. RMO

          There are well paid pundits and politicians in DC who haven’t figured out that the Soviet Union no longer exists. I’ve come across one who thought Czechoslovakia was part of the Soviet Union for cryin’ out loud (If I recall that one correctly they were trying some guilt-by-association after finding a – gasp! – Czech person worked for tRump and said it was further evidence of his collusion with Russia because it used to be one of the S.S.R.’s!)

          The funny (well, sad really) is that there are piles of documents released after the first cold war ended from both east and west indicating that the U.S.S.R. wasn’t anywhere near as aggressive in intent as we were told and the people in power here in the west knew it but found the fear very useful.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > It will not be pretty when red armies of Russia and/or China roll into Berlin, Los Angeles and New York.

        Well, Berlin aside, they won’t be rolling across the Atlantic or the Pacific.

        1. TheScream

          Gotta find the author and title (Azimov?) but I recall a short story about the US Army developing tanks that could travel on water. The Navy retaliated by building battleships that could sail through dirt and stone.

  9. Wukchumni

    “A wise man who stands firm is a statesman, a foolish man who stands firm is a catastrophe.”

    Adlai Stevenson

      1. a different chris

        Yeah pretty much:

        Adlai Ewing Stevenson II (/ˈædleɪ/; February 5, 1900 – July 14, 1965)

  10. Roger Smith

    What’s all the more remarkable is that Kavanaugh stonewalled, when narratives like “I was young and stupid, but I’ve changed” come so easily.

    Kavanaugh has been politically maneuvered so that he cannot make such obvious admissions. If had he would have been pounced on immediately with, “So you are saying there were times you could have sexually assaulted someone, but do not remember them?” or, “Was it young stupidity that caused your sexual assault of Ford?” These farcical terms on which the hearings were held made it impossible for Kavanaugh to tell the truth, even if he had wanted to.

    1. Edna M

      I agree with that. And as has been pointed out many times, I don’t think other people can judge if someone else blacked out unless they asked him the next day if he remembered doing such and such. However he could have at least looked a little remorseful about his underage and youthful drinking, saying something like, I would not want my daughters to drink the way I did, as it is bad for the health, etc. Maybe by being a bit more humble he would not have awakened the ire of certain of his classmates.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I don’t think other people can judge if someone else blacked out unless they asked him the next day if he remembered doing such and such

        That is what a social circle, in fact, does. His college room-mate:

        “What struck me and made me more interested in speaking out … is not only did I know that he wasn’t telling the truth,” Roche said. “I knew that he knew that he wasn’t telling the truth.”

        “I saw him both what I would consider blackout drunk, and also dealing with the repercussions of that in the morning,” Roche later added.

        Roche described Kavanaugh’s alcohol consumption during freshman year as “notably heavy” by saying “he was drunk frequently … at least once, maybe twice on the weekends,” and possibly during the weekdays as well. Roche, who admitted he “wasn’t an angel back then either,” also claimed he saw Kavanaugh vomit “on more than one occasion.”

        “I didn’t socialize with Brett, but being in the same room where he slept, I saw him when he arrived at home regularly,” Roche said. “And I saw him in the morning. And I can tell you that he would come home and he was incoherent, stumbling.”

        “He would sometimes be singing. He occasionally would wear this … old leather football helmet. He would throw up, and then, in the morning, would have a lot of trouble getting out of bed.”

        And there are plenty of Yalies who are saying “Oh, that guy!” and supporting Roche. I think it meets a preponderance of evidence standard, fine for a job interview.

        1. gepay

          While it is obvious that Kavanaugh was stumbling drunk at times – nowhere have I a read a witness saying that they saw him blacked out or doing things he didn’t remember the next day.
          Notice how the talk has changed from the weak case alleged by Christine Ford (except for liberal women) to whether he lied about his drinking.
          It is obvious to me that he is not a person who while on the Supreme Court will come up with solutions to the tricky and complex situations in the cases brought that will be thought of as “good law”.

          1. pretzelattack

            well the lying about his drinking is perjury, and it’s easier to prove and much more recent, so it’s not exactly evading the issue of his qualifications.

    2. todde

      Kavanaugh is playing this as a political contest, not a judicial one.

      and Republicans are eating it up.

      Or he is an idiot.

        1. todde


          But not a route I would take. But then, if I was so smart I wouldn’t work for a living, now would I?

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        Kavanaugh is playing it as a political contest. His partisan supporters know he is key to overturning Roe v. Wade, and instituting their other, more 19th century social preferences. I.e. replacing the public school system with subsidized church-based schooling, and eliminating state and federal welfare programs.

        The Democrat elite appears poised to let the right win this fight. The social policies that will develop under an ultra-right wing SCOTUS are something they can campaign against for decades…….all while benefitting from regressive rulings on property rights, employee rights, consumer protections, etc.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > The Democrat elite appears poised to let the right win this fight.

          If they had really wanted to win this fight, Feinstein wouldn’t have sat on the letter for months. I mean, look at the oppo the Dems put together for the Steele dossier, They couldn’t tee that up for Kavanaugh? Just unserious.

          You can also be sure that there’s another Kavanaugh, on policy if not on perjury, in the seven justices Schumer let pass so the Senate could go on vacation.

          1. Darthbobber

            They perceive no conflict in their messaging. On the one hand, his confirmation is portrayed as the inevitable end of civilization or even the possibility thereof, but on the other, opposition at levels consistent with that view might offend the norm fairy.

    3. ObjectiveFunction

      Exactly. It’s McCarthy ‘do you still beat grandma?’ questions with no viable answer.

      I still predict he will be railroaded onto the Court, but then it will all be forgotten after the next Trump tweet. But there will now be 2 Justices biding (Biden?) their time to exact vengeance.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Exactly for me as well.

        I would like to add that we have avoided a precedent where if you drink, you could black out, and thus, susceptible to be guilty of any allegation.

        Not too many people have not drunk too much, at least once in their life…except those exceptional ones.

        As for others’ “surely had blacked out.” we have to ask

        1. How did they know?
        1b. Is blacking out something with exact medical definition*? Do you need to do a test? Do you go by observation? And how is blacking out different from sleeping it off?
        2. Was he immobilized when he blacked out, thus not able to doing any ‘will imposing on others?”
        3. If any person blacks out, does he remember blacking out afterwards? Is he capable of perjury?

        *Urban Dictionary definition:

        Blackout is the term used to describe when a person is so drunk that they wake up the next morning with temporary amnesia, no recollection of what they did the night before. It can be used as a verb or as an adjective.

        Merriam Webster definition:

        1 a : a turning off of the stage lighting to separate scenes in a play or end a play or skit
        also : a skit that ends with a blackout
        b : a period of darkness enforced as a precaution against air raids
        c : a period of darkness (as in a city) caused by a failure of electrical power
        2 : a transient dulling or loss of vision, consciousness, or memory
        an alcoholic blackout
        3a : a wiping out : OBLITERATION
        b : a blotting out by censorship : SUPPRESSION
        a news blackout
        4 : a usually temporary loss of a radio signal
        5 : the prohibition or restriction of the telecasting of a sports event
        6 : a time during which a special commercial offer (as of tickets) is not valid —usually used attributively
        blackout dates

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Logic chopping is fun, but not necessary in this case. I think the Urban Dictionary definition is fine, and accords well with the layperson’s understanding (really, no medical definition needed). See Roche above.


          I would like to add that we have avoided a precedent where if you drink, you could black out, and thus, susceptible to be guilty of any allegation.

          If you drink to that level of excess, you deserve to be “susceptible to be guilty of any allegation.”* Nobody made you pick you the beer pong, after all. Of course, both “thus” and “susceptible” are doing a lot of work in that paragraph. If an accusation is made, and there’s no evidence — as appears to be the case with Ford — then, presumably, the allegation will fail. I don’t see a good reason to optimize the judicial selection process for blackout drunks by ruling the topic out of bounds for a confirmation hearing.

          NOTE * See Step 8: “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.” The road not taken in Kavanaugh’s case, sadly.

          1. Darthbobber

            Let me add some selective literalism to the logic chopping. His literal answer to Klobuchar’s question about whether he ever blacked out from drinking was “I don’t know. Have you?” This has been pretty universally seen (by me also) as obvious sarcasm. But maybe we should be taking it at face value?

    4. allan

      ” impossible for Kavanaugh to tell the truth”

      He could have told the truth about the Manny Miranda emails stolen from the Senate Dems.

      He could have told the truth about his involvement in the torture and rendition memos.

      He could have told the truth about wireless wiretapping (Stellar Wind +).

      He chose not to.

    5. JTMcPhee

      Yaas, let us pity the poor Kavanaugh, “set up” so “he could not tell the truth even if he wanted to.” Poor fella — seems one can’t trust even one’s besties, there in Imperial DC. And it looked like such a slam-dunk sure thing, when the offer was made to him…

      Let us forget about the actual operation of the Supremes, as a part of the “spoils system,” that Kav is already a functioning unit of, where from the standpoint of ordinary mopes the operative word is “spoil,” or maybe “despoil,” and all go focus on the alleged horny drunk’s “credibility” versus the “credibility” of women (and males too, let us recall) who have meekly entered the lists to challenge the petulant fella’s character. Anyone ask him his analysis of the legal correctness, vel non, of Citizens United and all the other novel excursions that elevate corporate “citizens” (sic, vary much sic) over natural persons? Leave the Roe questions aside, and how about “enhanced interrogation,” and arrogation of power by the unitary presidency and K Street (“unless quid pro quo is manifest, it’s not bribery”) and all that stuff about secret courts and the scope of the power of cops and the Panopticon.

      One wonders if the mechanisms of control, NSA and Fusion Centers and Operation Garden Plot and its family of off-the-shelf war plans, (here’s the “democracy” you live in, folks: to put down “civil disturbances” with US Imperial Troops, will fruit out before the rising gorges of the ordinary people get full enough to produce that “watering of the tree of Liberty” thing…

      1. Carolinian

        Garden Plot….it sounds so cozy and domestic. The Pentagon’s Office of Euphemisms must have burned the midnight oil over that one. It’s right up there with Operation Iraqi Freedom.

        Interesting from your link that the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 came about after presumed southern complaints during Reconstruction.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          The constitution gives the government the power to control, “Insurgents.” The Pentagon replaces Insurgents with “domestic civil disturbances.”. I suppose that includes jay-walking, or will soon.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > The Pentagon’s Office of Euphemisms

          Surely the Office of Euphemisms wouldn’t be called “the Office of Euphemisms”? (Amazing there isn’t a Monty Python sketch on this topic….)

      2. noonespecial

        Defense of property before the defense of the individual seems to fit the model described by JTMcPhee.

        Case in point, an update on a case related to the Standing Rock protests against the oil industry. Marcus Mitchell suffered injuries as a result of a bean bag pellet fired by a cop. From today’s Guardian: “More than 18 months later, [Marcus] Mitchell is being prosecuted in relation to the incident, even as the police officers involved appear to have faced no repercussions.”

      3. Roger Smith

        Nothing about my comment suggests he should be pitied. We should however realize that, objectively, outside of what we think or who he actually may be, he was set up, handicapped in his ability to respond. And as far as perjury goes, if we aren’t going to hold Clapper accountable for lying about mass population spying committed by a further unacknowledged government organization, I really see no grounds to punish Kavanaugh over pointless tabloid questions about his high school/college social life, meant to get him to commit perjury in the manner he did.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Is this an end that justifies any means possible?

          Does saving the planet justify a Green Dictator, possibly? (We have not time to lose…we have to act now…)

        2. marym

          “Look what you made me do” is never a good look, but particularly against the charge of abuse.

          Perjury isn’t ok because someone else perjured worse.

          Perjury isn’t ok to avoid embarrassment. Clinton was impeached for it.
          (Also: a quick internet search should help you locate Kavanaugh’s proposed questions to Clinton)

        3. a different chris

          “Not going to hold Clapper accountable…”

          ??? what are you talking about, exactly what job/promotion was Clapper interviewing for ???

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think the comparison comes into to play in the same what Obama (or Bush or Clinton, etc) did is still relevant today, even if they are not running or interviewing.

    6. Otis B Driftwood

      Another tiresome and threadbare defense of perjury, offered in defense of a man who, not only in this instance, but throughout his career and his previous testimony before congress has decided for himself what laws he should obey. What great stuff for a judge!

      He remains, as always, a liar, a partisan, and a man without the character or temperament to serve as a judge. Not only should he not be advanced to the SC, but his conduct in these hearings should be grounds for impeachment from the DC Court of Appeals.

      1. JohnnySacks

        Start with disbarment, then move onto impeachment from there. Disbarment should be low hanging fruit given the blatant perjury even without the Ford testimony.

        1. JTMcPhee

          You need to remember that disbarment of an attorney is something that is done by the courts of the state and in the case of federal courts, by the district court. And it is rarely done, I would guess exceedingly rarely in Maryland, where he is admitted, and in the DC Circuit where he is also admitted. Being a drunk and a jerk is not disqualifying. And he hasn’t stolen any clients’ money, one of the Big Sins for lawyers. And there are lots of ways to defer and divert a disbarment into various programs and processes that don’t cost the lawyer his or her “rice bowl” license to “practice upon the public.”

          So do not put much hope, however righteous it feels to voice it, in seeing him disbarred, any more than it is likely he will be “impeached,” in the process described here: A majority of the House has to vote articles of impeachment, and then there’s a trial in the Senate. Just like for the President. and even less likely. And the “trial in the Senate” that’s going on at the moment would be a dress rehearsal for any impeachment trial.

          These people hang together for a lot of really good (to their benefit, at least) reasons…

        2. TheScream

          Ha! 535 corrupt, alcoholic lawyers bringing proceedings against a Supreme Court Justice because he a drunken liar!

      2. cm


        his conduct in these hearings should be grounds for impeachment from the DC Court of Appeals.

        Agreed. I watched his live testimony and was shocked how he responded to the female Senator.

        I immediately thought what his reaction would be if someone pulled that exact same stunt in his court.

        Assuming he doesn’t make it to the Supreme Court, he still needs to be removed from his current positition, since it is clear he does not respect the Legislative branch.

      3. perpetualWAR

        Apparently you haven’t spent much time in our courts. It is no longer an honorable system, but just as corrupt as the other branches of government.

        Kavanaugh should be exempt from higher office simply by holding a jurist role now.

    7. todde

      on a he said/she said case when you have 7 members of the jury on your side (majority repub Senate), you don’t go up there and perjure yourself.

      As for your questions they would simply be answered with “Absolutely not, I am simply giving a truthful account of my youth. Which, however they may be politically characterized by hurtful people with an agenda, fall full short of sexual assault’.

      I assume Kav knows this,and deliberately chose a different route.

    8. Brindle

      I’m usually not a fan of Adam Serwer but he nails it here. There is a cruelty by Trump and his supporters directed towards “the other”: Trump attendees at the Mississippi rally were chanting “lock her up” in reference to Christine Blasey Ford.

      :”Trump’s only true skill is the con; his only fundamental belief is that the United States is the birthright of straight, white, Christian men, and his only real, authentic pleasure is in cruelty. It is that cruelty, and the delight it brings them, that binds his most ardent supporters to him, in shared scorn for those they hate and fear: immigrants, black voters, feminists, and treasonous white men who empathize with any of those who would steal their birthright. The president’s ability to execute that cruelty through word and deed makes them euphoric. It makes them feel good, it makes them feel proud, it makes them feel happy, it makes them feel united. And as long as he makes them feel that way, they will let him get away with anything, no matter what it costs them.”

      1. a different chris

        This is why we lose:

        “his only fundamental belief is that the United States is the birthright of straight, white, Christian men”

        No. No no no no NO! His only fundamental belief is in Donald Trump. Convince at least some of the “white, Christian men” of the truth that he will sell them out in an instant, they are just a tool, and maybe you will get somewhere. Otherwise stop being surprised and get used to losing.

        Crap he’s kicked family members to the side way quicker than he took to discard (black, female) Omarosa. It isn’t race. It isn’t gender. It’s his ability to pick up said ools just left laying there on the ground and cudgeling anybody who gets in his way with them.

        1. marym

          He’s already sold them out if what they want is good jobs, healthcare, infrastructure, safe workplaces, clean air and water…Yet they’re still enthusiastic, so can it be something else???

          1. todde

            A tax cut
            Embassy in Jerusalem
            Muslim ban
            2 Supreme Court Justices
            Zero tolerance policy on the border

            1. Fiery Hunt

              Yes… he’s a hand grenade into the elites of both parties.
              And he’s still got both parties flailing …so that’s enough for lots of Americans to be enthusiastic about his administration.

              Racism and sexism and…just call ’em “deplorable” like Her Majesty did.
              And watch as lots of Americans flip the bird and say “I don’t care!”.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I think it takes more to explain why people’s support Trump.

                On confronting the NY Times and WaPO alone, it’s a positive for him.

                For his opponents to simply react viscerally would be to fall for a damaging trap.

                1. Elizabeth Burton

                  Go watch the first episode of Sarah Silverman’s show on Netflix. An entire family of Deep South “deplorables” not only explain why they voted for Trump but why they, at the point, had begun to understand they’d bought snake oil.

                  1. Fiery Hunt

                    Sure, I’m sure Silverman found some naive, uneducated Deep South voters but that doesn’t mean we can make some sweeping generalizations about voters believing Trump.

                    Deep South voters didn’t put Trump in the White House.

                    Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan voters did.

                    And they had voted for Obama. Trump supporters are not monolithic and the Democrats (and the anti-Trumpers) STILL don’t get it.

                    1. Todde

                      Republicans have been angry for a.long time.

                      Its not surprising they’d vote for a guy who is openly belligerent.

                      Anyway, 25 years of love America but hate 55% of the people in it eventually will lead to here.

                      And mock it if want but he’s got them 2 sc judges (gun rights, evangelicals, biz), a tax cut for every business, an embassy in Jerusalem and thats big benefits for biz and evangelicals and 2nd Amendment ttpes.

                      So, people probably need to start figuring out how to deal with this besides platitudes and shit shows.

            2. marym

              So the birthright of straight, white, christianist, wealthy men, then. That seems accurate, if the non-wealthy among his supporters just consider themselves, as the saying goes, temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

              1. a different chris

                Yeah I would be OK with that.

                BTW, my typo amuses me:

                “It’s his ability to pick up said ools just left laying there on the ground and cudgeling anybody who gets in his way with them.”

                I meant “tools”, but “fools” would also work well!

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Liberals hate conservatives.

                  Conservatives hate liberals.

                  Liberals hate progressives.

                  We see the hating all the time.

                  1. L.M. Dorsey

                    “Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, had always been the systematic organization of hatreds.” Henry Adams derived that earthy insight from a favorite author, Blaise Pascal. In his copy of the Pensées, now at the Massachusetts Historical Society, Adams marked this passage: “Tous les hommes se haissent naturellement l’un l’autre.” Pascal goes on in the same fragment to describe zeal for the common good as a pretense.

                    I first heard this doctrine from a less lofty oracle. Early in the 1968 presidential campaign, an aide to John Mitchell told me “the whole secret of politics—knowing who hates who.” The young Kevin Phillips was widely credited with Nixon’s “southern strategy” in that year; but he had many strategies, for different parts of the country….

                    Garry Wills. The Politics of Grievance

          2. Plenue

            This question could be raised for why any US president, of either party, had voters going back at least 40 years.

      2. Llewelyn Moss

        The Trumptards as a collective seem to be incredibly ignorant, possibly from a steady diet of faux news. Or worse maybe they are just plain stupid and incapable of drawing logical conclusions. Everything Trump has done so far has been to enrich the morbidly rich and corporations mostly at the expense of taxpayers and the working class. Yet they still treat him like the second coming of Jeezus at these rallies.

        Here’s a sample of really stupid answers to easy questions from a rally this week. Also worth noting that Rally security will not let the press leave the press pen inside the venue to interview attendees. Gee I wonder why.

        1. Brindle

          The triumvirate of FOX News, Hannity radio and Limbaugh is a coordinated and extremely successful propaganda onslaught. Libs and Progressives underestimate the power that these three wield in conservative and radical right politics.

          1. Wukchumni

            I tend to play as if i’m one of them in the CVBB, and all it takes is saying something like:

            “Gee, those ANTIFA people are ruining the country”

            And then they spill their guts to me, and it’s all talking points from the heart of darkness, i.e. Hannity et al.

            Not an original thought ever passes their lips…

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            2005 (Virginia has off year elections), 2006, and 2008 taught me one thing, winning is possible without caring what Republicans do or say.

            Worrying about FoxNews and the GOP rapid reaction messaging system (they send out talking points to all kinds of people) has been done. At this point, Democratic elites know what Fox and Hannity are. The problem people don’t recognize is the Democratic Party has thrown its resources into becoming a party of “white flight Republican women” who are open to voting for a party that is basically the GOP but not as into pretending to like country music. Oh sure, winning a Republican vote counts as two votes in the win/loss column, but the return on investment hasn’t panned out in numerous elections. Its easier to get a Republican to vote for a Democrat in a district where it won’t change the outcome. HRC did really well in Northern Virginia. She really made those safe Democratic district safer.

            The real problem is Democratic voters and sympathizers have underestimated how right shifted the Democratic elites have become and how much the elites covet “white flight Republicans” while worrying about what a Republican will say next. This is a party of Ronald Reagan, the actor?!?!?

            The whole birth certificate issue had nothing to do with Obama’s place of birth. They just can’t say what they want to say public anymore.

            1. Brindle

              Not “worrying” about FOX News etc. —it’s just the reality.

              The Dems make a big mistake on pinning their hopes on Suburban GOP soccer moms voting D. They are Republicans and with a few exceptions they will vote Republican this November.

              As Lambert has noted, Dems continue to avoid a well-funded, year round effort to register and motivate new voters.

        2. Plenue

          Post-2016, I’ve been struck by how just how much the Clinton diehards and establishment Democrats resemble the ‘Trumptards’ in ignorance, stupidity, and delusion.

          1. RMO

            That was the big surprise for me in 2016 (“the very clarifying election” as it’s been called). Many pundits, politicians and people on what I would have considered to be “my side” of the political spectrum who I considered relatively sane have been revealed to be just as crazy as the truthers, WMD’ers, Palin fans etc.

            1. polecat

              It’s like people have gone through some kind of weird quantum phase-change .. like that old Star Trek episode, where, on the Enterprise, the rational and measured Kirk becomes juxtaposed with the pyschotic, and impulsive frail Anti-Kirk .. except instead of a captain of a starship .. it’s members and boosters of the duopoly.

              Frightenly Fascinating !

          2. Llewelyn Moss

            Agreed. Any working class person supporting either of these Neoliberal parties needs his/her head examined. But these Trump worshipers seem especially fevered. I voted for Jill Stein, so don’t blame me. Hahahha.

      3. Plenue

        Sorry, but much of this seems like a meme that has little solid evidence behind it. Trump is horrible, but I don’t see much evidence that he’s particularly uniquely horrible. Yeah, he wants to build a wall. So did Clinton (maybe just a fence in some places), and the barrier largely exists already as a result of bipartisan action. Obama (and Clinton) effectively restarted the African slave trade by destroying Libya, and Obama got the ball rolling on the Yemeni genocide. Do those not count as belligerent cruelty?

        1. marym

          This is a valid point as far as cruelty as an outcome, and one that anti-Trump Obama/Clinton supporters need to confront. The Trump phenomena being discussed here is, imo, cruelty as an objective, and its celebration as such.

          1. Plenue

            But where’s the evidence he has cruelty as an objective, or at least anymore than the average conservative? Immigrant kids in cages? But that was already happening; one of the pictures that was touted as being because of Trump was actually taken during the Obama years.

    9. Lee

      Wasn’t someone on death row recently reprieved because he has developed dementia and cannot now recall his crime?

      Judge K could make a similar case. The brain cells responsible for making him do bad things have long since been killed off by blackout drinking, taking with them the recollection and the impulses to do such things.

      His self-administered chemical lobotomy was a success. He’s cured and ready to go forward, judicially and non-consensually butt-phking the downtrodden in favor of the powerful and privileged.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        His whole public persona to date was blandness. Without that, he brings attention back to the GOP, and even the Democrats who have tolerated these people for so long.

        The GOP is fairly crass as it is. They use to have a whole array of Paul Ryan look alikes ready to go, but I think the race to the bottom means the Republicans who are left will be too heinous. Kavanaugh’s outburst made the opening of SNL, but when McConnell and Hatch look down the bench, do they see people with shorter fuses or people who might not be upset about allegations of sexual assault (I imagine Kavanaugh would be upset regardless of their veracity) but might be upset because a woman or a Democrat might ask them questions.

        If a guy from Yale with all the right resume marks is causing so many problems, how soon before elements in the GOP start demanding consideration for a more bible driven education? McConnell after all is the majority leader of a party that should be in the minority, so from a planning side, he doesn’t get a spot at the table by simply showing up and relying on nostalgia like Pelosi. Once, you do that, it undermines the 41/Romney wing of the party. Liberty Law is too new, but 43 loved to hire from Regent.

        Kavanaugh might be served by your suggestion, but I don’t see it as in the GOP’s interests. They need him through. They are two names deep into their list already. Lindsey Graham is their front man for this, and he’s a huge tool. They have limited options.

    10. Lambert Strether Post author

      > These farcical terms on which the hearings were held made it impossible for Kavanaugh to tell the truth, even if he had wanted to.


      1) Telling the truth may be incompatible with Kavanaugh gaining a seat on the court. That’s not the same as making telling the truth “impossible.” Hamlet, Act III, Scene 3:

      O, my offence is rank it smells to heaven…
      But, O, what form of prayer
      Can serve my turn? ‘Forgive me my foul murder’?
      That cannot be; since I am still possess’d
      Of those effects
      for which I did the murder,
      My crown, mine own ambition and my queen
      May one be pardon’d and retain the offence?
      In the corrupted currents of this world
      Offence’s gilded hand may shove by justice,
      And oft ’tis seen the wicked prize itself
      Buys out the law: but ’tis not so above;
      There is no shuffling, there the action lies
      In his true nature; and we ourselves compell’d,
      Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
      To give in evidence.

      Exactly as with Claudius, it’s not “impossible” for Kavanaugh to tell the truth; all he has to do is sacrifice his ambition. Forgive my lack of sympathy.

      2. “The candidate might have done anything during a blackout, and would therefore be presumed guilty” ignores the necessity that any bad acts by the candidate be supported by evidence. In the Ford case, they were not Hence, Kavanaugh could admit to blackouts, and still be innocent of Ford’s charges, even under a preponderance of evidence standard.

  11. PlutoniumKun

    Husband Shopping in Beijing LRB

    Fascinating article, and accurate I think judging from what my female Chinese friends talk about.

    Many of today’s successful Chinese startups were founded by women in their thirties, and I’ve seen companies with all-female staff. Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, who has access to the data of the billion or so Chinese consumers on the Taobao and Alipay platforms, says that ‘women are the economy, today and in the future.’ One recent report suggests that 79 per cent of technology firms in China have at least one female executive; in the US the figure is 54 per cent and in the UK 53 per cent. According to Bloomberg, ‘women launch more than half of all new internet companies in China.’ It’s hard to imagine that men could conspire to stop the rise of women in the Chinese economy. The younger the age group, the less the gender distinction seems to matter. When it comes to millennials, you see hardly any signs at all of male dominance. Male pop idols are styled as ‘little fresh meat’ (the unisex look), partly to appeal to the ‘female gaze’, but maybe unconsciously they want to look feminine – girls are better and cooler in school after all. Under the one-child policy, many mothers who wanted a girl but had a boy would dress the baby boy like a girl to make themselves feel better. Young men demand the right to wear make-up without being shamed. It’s not that they’re seeking an artsy androgynous ideal, nor are they gay men who want to look dramatically feminine: many are heterosexual men who want to enjoy the flawless look and glowing skin associated with femininity; sometimes they like to cross-dress too. The change of aesthetics is a clear sign of a disembedding from patriarchal society. It seems that no one is looking for a macho father figure to tell them what to do.

    and with regard to some western reporting on China…

    A large part of Fincher’s book tells the stories of five young Chinese feminists – Li Tingting, Wei Tingting, Zheng Churan, Wu Rongrong and Wang Man, the ‘Feminist Five’ – who were arrested in 2015 for ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble’ after planning a demonstration against sexual harassment on public transport. They were released on bail a month later after the domestic outcry and a show of interest from Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power. In Fincher’s view, this ‘popular, broad-based movement poses the greatest threat to China’s authoritarian regime today’. If only … The reality is that with ever-tightening censorship, feminists are among the few who are still allowed to voice non-official opinions online. But this doesn’t mean that those in authority have any sympathy for their cause: they are tolerated because their influence is limited and they pose no threat to the regime. Political dissidents, human rights activists, liberal media influencers on Weibo were all shut down a long time ago. The absence of other kinds of critical discourse has amplified the feminists’ voices and led to a certain degree of ‘survivor bias’. For the authorities, it is organised protest (whatever its form) that provokes alarm, not feminism in particular.

    It may seem trivial to mention it, but China really is a fundamentally a very different culture. So much English language commentry gets China very badly wrong, simply from failing to appreciate this. The Guardian being probably the worst offender.

    1. The Beeman

      I wouldn’t want my son to grow up in this culture

      “China really is a fundamentally a very different culture”

      is an understatement

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That has been what has attracted Europeans since the Roman times.

        Some times, China was proud of being different.

        Other times, China was ashamed of that, with reformers and revolutionaries demanding her to be more like Russia, or other western nations.

        Maybe one day, a balance can be achieved.

        (And making English one of the official languages is not it…maybe making Chinese the official language of many nations is it)

        1. JTMcPhee

          Maybe there will be break points in the proceedings where the arresting cop or frustrated bailiff in a ‘roid rage just shoots the defendant full of holes. To import some verisimilitude into the show.

          So we won’t have to be frustrated that the poor LEO won’t get to ‘make an arrest.” Because LEOs in this Great Nation are uniformly such agents of justice and fairness, and protectors of our liberties property…

      1. pretzelattack

        after a stirring “look forward not backward” speech by the prosecutor calling for a not guilty verdict.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Catch the all new NCIS: I-95.

        “If we prosecute or even look like we are investigating, confidence in their business model could be undermined. At that point, LuthCorp could go the way of General Electric. Without the bold leadership of Hillary Luthor-Immelt Branson III no one will be able to run the company.”

        What do you think? (camera cuts to Mark Harmon eating pudding at a senior citizen home; camera cuts back) Will that guy ever retire? Not while America has enemies!”

      3. Amateur socialist

        “No bankers were inconvenienced during the filming of this episode” – some wag on Twitter

        1. Wukchumni

          My favorite fake Reality TV show is Pawn Stars.

          One of their experts lives in OC, and occasionally when somebody walks into the pawn shop in LV with something really interesting in early Americana, they ask the ‘customer’ if they can have an expert come in and appraise it, and faster than you can say Jack Robinson, he’s there to give an expert analysis despite being far far away, and he knows his stuff, because the item the prole is trying to sell, is his.

          What they did with Pawn Stars, was take Antique Roadshow from PBS, but with a twist, in that no deal is ever consummated on AR, they just tell the people what approx their item is worth, whereas on Pawn Stars, the proles end up ‘selling’ their prized collection of jewel encrusted swizzle sticks, or whatever else has been planted on them, to make for good tv.

    1. Wukchumni

      I don’t get it, why would anybody want to watch high profile crooks get off, with merely a civil fine and no jail time?

  12. noonespecial

    Re: Treaty With Iran Defense One

    Whatever the motives for the administration’s decision to release itself from 1955 treaty, I can’t help but wonder where are the voices from the Constitution-loving Rs in the Senate? In 1956, the Senate ratified the treaty with Iran, thus becoming “part of the body of U.S. federal law.” (

    Am I wrong to think that a president would need some sort of permission slip from the legislative chamber to change the law? In place of hearings and eventual congressional action, will the party in charge just nod approvingly at the stable genius?

    Last year, the National Review ran a piece entitled “Taming the Imperial Presidency” which I take as torch-bearing for the originalists-are-always-correct narrative. However, I am inclined to think that no such article will appear soon at the NR, or others like it. Part of the lede line for an article defending the decision to withdraw from the treaty might as well be, “In these times of rising threats to the GCC union from Iran compels the US…”

    1. Dr. Roberts

      There’s nothing in the constitution about authority to break treaties. GW Bush unilaterally withdrew the US from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty without any congressional approval and there was no legal challenge, so there is some kind of precedent.

  13. johnnygl

    I was listening to NPR on the way into work and heard a segment about republican base enthusiasm getting a boost from the kav fight.

    My take (decidedly not NPR’s) is that voters are responding to strength and a willingness to fight for what they believe in. Trump and Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley believe in rich, entitled frat boys and they are willing to fight for them.

    Dems, of course will crumble, because that’s what they are groomed to do. All they’ve done is call for slowing the process, don’t rush, let’s investigate. Only Sanders has shown any willingness to throw any kind of punch by calling for a perjury investigation.

    I am going to call my senators this morning and say, “kav is unfit to be a federal judge, not on the supreme court, not on the circuit court, not anywhere near any position of authority. If confirmed he should be impeached immediately. There’s credible accusations of sexual assault, of lying under oath about stolen docs, about torture, warrantless wire-tapping, misconduct while on ken’s starr’s team. Get rid of this guy BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!!! If Chuck Schumer won’t get rid of him, then you MUST get a new majority leader ASAP!!!”

    If dems showed a little spine instead of just saying, ‘well, we have questions and concerns, but go ahead senators, make your own decision.’ If dems vote for this guy because they are worried about re-election, then they’re not worth havong in the party. Immediate impeachment should be a new litmus test.

    I’m fine if heitkamp, maccaskill and a couple of others goes down because those are Schumer votes for minority leader and Schumer has to go. We can unify after we get a minorty leader that supports the sanders 2016 campaign agenda.

    Okay, rant over…time to make my phone calls and get to work. I hope someone enjoyed this.

    1. todde

      A democrat victory is when they don’t roll around on the floor and p!ss all over themselves…

        1. Mark Gisleson

          Literally fought over that for decades. Democrat party is a Republican insult dating back to the 1950s. But for the last couple of years I’ve decided the pugs were right, it’s not a democratic party, it’s the Democrat party (and DemocRAT is not an unfair spelling).

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              The Kossacks would get up in arms over it periodically, and they would flame attack anyone who might have typed “Democrat” party instead of “Democratic” as proof of Republican trolls and ignore any other critique especially the ones made from the left. I know its crazy.

              The Republicans seem to do it on purpose, but its representative of their whole id which is to annoy the kind of “liberal” who waited in baited breath for BlackWaterDog’s most recent photo blog or people who are shocked by Lindsey Graham’s most recent behavior despite having “followed” politics for years.

              1. Elizabeth Burton

                The Kossacks would get up in arms

                They still do. They use it to deflect the discussion by claiming one’s opinion would be more respected if one didn’t use “Democrat Party.”

                I just tell them I’ll call it the Democratic Party when it becomes one and move on.

                1. todde

                  I never been on the Daily Kos website. I used to hit up firedoglake back in the day but one day it went poof!

        2. todde

          actually it is a noun used as an adjective in the possessive form.

          But thanks for your misplaced grammatical concern.

        3. todde

          The upcoming Senate battle has caused a media frenzy that Washington insiders believe will ultimately led to a Democrat defeat.

          Look at all those nouns, used as adjectives….

        4. Brooklin Bridge

          Depends what you mean. If you mean “having the qualities of democracy”, use democratic. If, on the other hand, you are referring to a moribund political party made up of pure bred hypocrites that are, by a pathological evolution of political double speak that refers to sewer rats as Democrats (a breath taking insult to sewer rats), then using the noun democrat, as a modifier of something sufficiently destructive and debased and debauched and disgusting and demented that it has those traits is both direct and meaningful.

      1. pretzelattack

        these days, it’s when they roll around on the floor but don’t piss on themselves. moving that overton window!

    2. voteforno6

      So, Republicans are getting angry over this…that’s been pretty much their default operating mode over the last 25 years or so.

        1. todde

          the problem for Repub establishment is that when you rile up your base by running against government every single time eventually someone like Trump comes along and craps all over your candidates in the primaries and wins your nomination.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Actually, per my comment/rant above, I think saying this is about ’emotion’ is misguided, much like (as Lambert constantly points out) the Democrats only feel comfortable complaining about ‘process’ (we should slow down, investigate, etc).

        Republican base is happy to see their leadership is willing to stick to their guns and fight for what they want, in spite of the criticism they’re receiving, espcially from the media.

        I think there’s a lesson here for Team Dem that they will absolutely NOT want to learn, which is to go fight for your team and deliver what your base wants.

        If Dems were to take power and impeach Kav, throw him off the court, then pack it with much better justices and jam them through with 51 votes because it’s the right thing to do, who cares about process, then it would help drive a level of excitement that the party leadership is actively resisting right now.

        If they did even better and jammed through Bernie’s Medicare for All bill, with no hearings, 51 votes, no cost analysis and scornfully rebuked anyone who whined about ‘slowing things down’ and “let’s have hearings and ask questions that don’t matter” calling them morally disgusting for delaying helping out Americans and getting them the care they need, RIGHT NOW, before they DIE!!! That kind of leadership is what people will stand up and say, ‘Wow, these guys really mean it. I’m inspired to be on their side’.

        1. JohnnyGL

          A rather revealing article here….Repubs have to win to inspire the base….Dems have to lose to keep Red-state Rs.

          1) This is the party that Team Dem has built, one which HAS to cave or it loses seats. It’s amazing that they’ve managed to construct an institution like this.
          2) “Republican voters overwhelmingly believe Kavanaugh has been treated unfairly and deserves to be confirmed”

          That’s because this is what we’ve been hearing, repeated ad nauseum, by the on-message Repubs
          3) The Dem message has been “investigations” and “slow process down”. They’ve actually, well, WON on that front. That’s all they’ve asked for. They have specifically NOT made the case that Kavanaugh’s a sleazy scumbag who can’t be trusted to hand out parking tickets in an ethical manner. The media has sort of made that case for them, a bit, with some of these stories that have come out. But there is NO leadership on Team Dem that’s pulling it all together and saying, “impeach” “dis-bar” “throw him off the bench”.

          As I mentioned earlier, it’s Bernie who’s gone the farthest in this direction, maybe a couple others, but it’s not far enough and most of the rest of the party, especially the leadership explicitly WILL NOT fight Kav.

          It’s not worth holding onto 1/2 a dozen or so seats in the Senate if those votes aren’t on our team whenever anything important comes up for a vote. We’re going to have to demolish this wing of the party before we can build a better Democratic Party that’s worth voting for. It’s no big deal if those seats go red, because they’re basically already on their side, just with a D, instead of an R.

          If you needed a clarifying example of why we can’t win if we ‘unify’ with blue-dog, centrist dems, it’s right here to see. Pelosi and Schumer won’t fight on Kav. just like they wouldn’t on Gorsuch.

          The most important goal for the left, in my view, for 2018 and 2020, is to build a core base in Congress, House (some small progress) and Senate (a much harder task) that will throw out Pelosi and Schumer. Republicans can’t be fought without leaders willing to fight them.

          This lesson should now be clear as day to anyone who wants to see it.

          1. oh

            Although the DimRats will find an excuse to do what their despicable party leaders want and let down the 99%, your web site link seems to be a RePig sycophant site. Who knows whether the polls were designed to get the answers they brag about?

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              “Dimrats” and “Repigs” aren’t really helpful, besides not being original or interesting in any way as invective. And RCP is on the right, but provides a broad range of links. If you think the poll is bad, show why.

          2. Todde

            The Democrats leadership actions are based on having a.majority so that they can lead the different committees

            Thats were their gravy train lies and thats thier priority.

    3. tegnost

      yes I enjoyed it. I wonder, having myself abandoned the big city for rural skagit/island/san juan county area where life is much better although still in a precarious 30 days from oblivion kind of way (in spite of conventional wisdom that one needs to move to the economic hotspots to survive, myself and others like me are doing ok only because we are no longer in the rat race of the big city. I work in seattle on mondays lately and it’s not enticing in any way.) What I wonder is how will forcing people to move out of the metro areas to become voters in non metro areas impact the coming election. It should be an interesting midterm election.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


      At least since the 70’s (see the film ‘Network’ for example), it has been a visible source of political energy.

      “I am mad as hell, and I am not going to take this anymore.”

      Fortunately, or unfortunately, anger is an emotion we humans have evolved over millions of years.

      1. gepay

        Anger is a sign that you are being agressed or unfairly punished. It is needed for self protection. It is an excellent source of energy to get you moving. That said, it is a tiger by the tail kind of situation. It needs to be moderated by the more rational part one’s self. Righteous anger is the worst for excessess as it is rarely examined.

    5. RUKidding

      Righteous rant, and I agree with you.

      HOWEVER: let me just say, imo, that Dems are showing plenty of spine – heaps, gobs & stacks of spine. There’s stiffening spines on Every. Single. Dem. Especially one Nancy Pelosi.

      By that I mean: Dems have NO INCLINATION to really fight against the Kavanaugh pick, just as they had NO INCLINATION to really push, fight, shove, punch and otherwise at least attempt to force Merrick Garland onto the Supremes.

      Nay verily. They’re quite quite happy with exactly what’s happening. Their wealthy patrons have whispered into their ears to let the rich white frat _______ get on the Supremes bc Kav’ll do their bidding.

      Same as it ever was.

      Don’t forget that Pelosi has already proclaimed to all and sundry, again, that “impeachment is off the table.”

      Don’t get fooled again. The Dems are NOT YOUR friend. Their friends are the very wealthy and the very powerful.

      Us rubes are on our own. Good luck to us all.

      Kav’s in like Flynn. Bank on it.

    6. Llewelyn Moss

      My cynical view is that Dems actually DO WANT Kavanaugh on SCOTUS. But they are using this Faux Battle to try to draw women to vote Dem in November.

      Afterall, Kavanaugh is a Neoliberal hand picked by the Koch Bros. Dems are of course a Neoliberal party who pretend to be on the side of working class. It appears the Repubs will get all the Repub votes they need. But I believe the Dems would come up with a few votes for Kavanaugh if it was needed in the end.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Given that even if Kavanaugh fails, the next nominee will also be picked from the Federalist Society list, there will be no difference in policy outcomes no matter what happens. What years of Democrats “fighting for” has brought us.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        One could take this view further and predict that the D and R Senators will confer with eachother in secret to swap votes around so as to make sure that Kavanaugh wins even if Murkowsky and Collins and Flake all vote ” no ” .

  14. Wukchumni

    Territory wise, Devin Nunes should be my Congressman, but thanks to redistricting i’m held captive by Kevin McCarthy, which is tantamount to bad choice theater, but this is the CVBB-the Red Bastion of the state, which does as it’s told politically, by those wielding the puppet strings.

    Devin has been nowhere to be seen, as happens when you’re terrified of the truth stalking you, but he’s come up with a slick 38 page onslaught on the Fresno Bee, who isn’t running against him, but makes a nice proxy for his opponent, i’d guess.

    Constituents in Congressman Devin Nunes’ district may find a curious campaign mailer on their doorsteps or in their mailboxes this week.

    That mailer isn’t attacking his opponent in the November election or promoting the eight-term congressman’s accomplishments, though.

    The glossy 38-page, full-color magazine titled “The Fresno Bees: The dirty little secrets of the Valley’s propaganda machine” contains criticisms of the McClatchy-owned newspaper’s coverage of Nunes.

    The first sign the mailer isn’t your normal political advertisement: Its cover depicts a cartoonish sinking ship full of Kool-Aid-swilling bees — the sea littered with “Resist,” “Socialism,” and “Antifascist” signs.

  15. a different chris

    This is comical:

    Conservative Women Are Angry About Kavanaugh—And They Think Other Voters Are, Too

    …and I feel sorry for the poor author who had to endure talking to what seems to be the worst stereotypes of “hysterical” “emotional” et al women come to life. Especially since said author is also female.

    This is funny:

    her daughters passionately support Ford.

    It doesn’t say how many daughters she has, but this means she is at a minimum outnumbered 2:1. If they are both old enough to vote….

    And this is, well embarrassing:

    “I believe, with every fiber of my being, that he is telling the truth,” Howard says. “Not just because I’m conservative, and not just because I’m Republican. I believe that he is telling the truth.”

    Um, thanks.

    Anyway, the most important point (sorry Hillary!) is that these people are never, ever going to vote for a Democrat – got that, Manchin? – so there is no point in paying any attention to them. You can’t fight emotion with reason. And yet, the Democrats will try. Sigh.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > You can’t fight emotion with reason. And yet, the Democrats will try

      They will? I don’t see a lot of reason on either side; and for both sides, I think reason is hardly the point.

  16. Wukchumni

    “We will push those crooks, those mercenaries, back into the swamp.”

    Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf

  17. El Gordo

    Re: the FT piece on May’s “plan” for an all-UK customs union with the EU, love this quote by an “Irish official” —

    “If [the UK is] accepting a customs union, what are they leaving? That’s the big question. If effectively they accept the customs union, they’re not leaving anything really.”

  18. Craig H.

    > Seymour Hersh on the Future of American Journalism

    The interview with Seymour the Great is not bad.

    “I want to do this, and it’s going to cost you a lot of money, and I may not get it, and if I do get it, you’re going to have law firms yelling at you, and you’re going to lose subscribers, and you’re going to publish something that a lot of people won’t like.”

    That is one way of describing it. On the other hand what he does is give us what leaking insiders with an agenda feed to him and he writes what of the mix of truth and utter baloney they provide he thinks is true. He would not have a job at all if we had a transparent government.

    Isn’t he the guy who said we were invading Iran in 2006?

    Not exactly; it was hedged.

    The Iran Plans

    (By the way some of us do not watch either CNN or Fox so his blanket statement is erroneous.)

    1. pretzelattack

      he’s the guy that exposed my lai iirc. the leaking insiders being the soldiers on the ground. and there has been a push to attack iran for a long time, now, by a very influential bloc within the u.s. government. they still may get their way.

    2. c_heale

      He’s broken many really important stories and I think he should be thanked for it. And I think Hersh’s point about the middle ground is generally true. People are more polarized nowadays. Has there ever been any kind of transparent government in human history?

    3. Plenue

      Let me guess, you still think bin Laden was killed a daring, 100% American raid and his body dumped in the ocean, or that Assad gassed his own people for, uh, reasons.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > his body dumped in the ocean

        I may have missed it, but I don’t seem to recall any photos, videos, or contemporaneous eyewitness accounts. Odd, if true. Can somebody correct my memory?

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Finance, the media and a catastrophic breakdown in trust”

    Really hard to take this article. The author admits straight out lying to his readers and is then offended that they rake him over the coals about it. He actually complains that “information is suspect just because it comes from us” right at the beginning of the article but what else does he expect? He is part of a media that no longer reports news but tries to create it – or censor it (or edits it as he puts it).
    We all can think of examples. Pushing for wars in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, etc. Trying to push one political candidate over the line in the 2016 US election. Refusing to even talk about the collateral damage of globalization. The furious attacks on any reporter that does not follow their government’s line such as Assange, Pilger, Beeley, Bartlett, etc. Examples galore.
    And when he says : “Bank bailouts were, I still think, necessary to protect depositors.” that is just lunatic. They could have just insured small depositors but instead they forced a solution where billionaires were made whole on the losses from their risky financial bets. There were all sorts of proven solutions that could have been done but instead they decided to save the billionaires and foamed the runway with smaller depositors. And people like him were they running interference for this to happen instead of reporting what should have happened. Bah! Humbug!

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Tensions rise on the South China Sea”

    What comes around, goes around. I can see it now. In 2020 there will be stories like this-

    “The United States accused the Chinese of ignoring its sovereignty Tuesday after a Chinese warship sailed near Diego Garcia claimed by the UK/US in the disputed Indian Ocean. A Chinese spokesman stated as the indigenous population had been forcibly removed without compensation, that the UK and the US had no legal claim on the islands. Therefore the Chinese Navy were legally entitled to conduct a freedom of navigation operation by these islands. It was further reported that an American destroyer came within yards of the Chinese Navy ship, compelling it to switch direction in what Chinese officials called an ‘unsafe and unprofessional’ clash.” The Chinese official stated that more freedom on navigation operations were being planned.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There is nothing water (in the Dao De Jing sense) from Beijing these days.

      Perhaps those in Zhongnanhai think they can win militarily, because any practitioner of the Art of War knows that one should not provoke a war if one can not be sure of victory, but will instead be patient, in order to buy time to better prepare for it.

    2. JacobiteInTraining

      You are not being ambitious enough:

      “The Provisional US(reformed) Navy, operating the remnants of its Pacific Fleet in the Puget Sound region, sailed another of its destroyers past the Chinese hospital ship ‘LotusFlower’ as it dispensed aid to the starving masses of Seattle who have been in dire straits ever since the 9.0 earthquake and Tsunami of 2024 hit the area”

      “The Chinese Friendship Forces, which were able to arrive and initiate ‘regime change’ operations against the capitalist running dogs of the FEMA Dictariat (that had initially tried to recover the situation but soon devolved into firing live rounds into crowds, and calling in both air and drone strikes against the People Liberation Front of Bezos) was easily able to sink the destroyer, as it had never fully recovered any of its supporting ships after the Hawaii debacle of 2023”

      “In other news, the Liberation Front of the People of Gates has renewed its offensive against the Freehold of Portland, and forces loyal both to the Provisional US (based out of Texas) and the Nevada Confederation have been blocked in the passes at the Rockies for weeks, and in the Cascades around the Columbia River.”

      “…Chinese and Russian forces have attempted to calm the situation by gassing and napalming both sides, with no immediate effect,however several hundred thousand more troops are expected within the month to expand their humanitarian cordon around the area and spokepeople encourage patience…”

      “Meanwhile, in California, nothing has been heard after the assassination attempt by radicals against Her Royal Highness Nancy Pelosi (First of Her Name) and zombies continue to rule the streets”

      “For those with available company scrip, the Amazon Confederacy continues to offer gruel delivered to your door by drone, and is slashing prices by 20% this week in honor of the Holidays!”

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China Must Solve Urban-Rural Divide to Solve Income Inequality Asia Sentinel

    Also the Han-Chinese-non-Han Chinese divide.

    Many minorities have lived in isolated, mountainous regions in China. So, we also have: Coastal-non-coastal divide.

    They are all connected to income inequality in China.

    1. Lord Koos

      Minorities in China are extremely minor, I think that China is something like 99% Han Chinese. Compared to US minorities which are something like 10% African-American, 10% Asian, etc.

      1. Lord Koos

        I correct myself — minorities in China are around 8% of the population, but that 8% is split among 55 different groups.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s possible they used to be more than 8%.

          In that case, it could be a sad story…to go from more than 8% to just 8%.

          For example, the Thais used to live north of the Yangtze, all the way to Shangdong province. And the Yueh tribes (related to the Viet, in Vietnamese) were found from Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong, and all the way to Hanoi, and further south.

          1. bronco

            LO we can’t even really co exist here in the US between our minorities and majority groupings.

            Why does china need our input on what to do with their minority groups?

            This is part of our problem here in the US , we are always volunteering answers to questions no one ever asked .

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I think the discussion started with China’s rural-urban divide.

              And we can link and discuss that, even though we have our own rural-ubran divide.

              Unless we shouldn’t link any article about China’s rural-urban divide???

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They are in Tibet, Yunnan, Guangxi, Guizhou, QInghai, Inner Mongolia, Manchuruia* and Xinjiang…basically the more remote regions in China.

        The numbers may be small, but they cover large territories.

        *Many Koreans in Manchuria.

  22. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: U.S. military comes to grips with over-reliance on Chinese imports Reuters (EM).

    “People used to think you could outsource the manufacturing base without any repercussions (on national security). But now we know that’s not the case,” said one U.S. official familiar with the report, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    “Used to?” Only on “national security?” And who are these “people?”

    I find myself unable to think of a comment that is sufficiently derogatory in characterizing this bullshit, CYA,
    we-think-you’re-so-stupid-you’ll-believe-any-crap-we-come-up-with-anonymously-as-long-as-it’s-from-an-official-“report” statement.

    I’m disappointed in myself that, when faced with such a naked demand for ridicule and derision, I find myself at a loss for words.

    1. Carolinian

      As some of us used to joke, “military intelligence” is the first example given in the dictionary under “oxymoron.” But Duffel Blog is quite funny so obviously there are some very bright people in our military. Unfortunately none of them appear to be running it these days

      Which is to say whether or not “war is a racket” it is definitely a racket with out current Pentagon that buys weapons that don’t work and outsources manufacturing to countries designated as adversaries for budgetary reasons only.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Don’t forget the Pentagram Playboys “losing” what, $7 trillion in unaccountable MMT dollars. Not to mention doing a bang-up job of year-over-year increases in the production of opium in Notagain?istan. And now our Warlords and neocon dorks have tripled and quadrupled down on the vast idiotic conceit that the US Empire can still be the playground bully, twisting arms and punching noogies on every seemingly smaller and weaker kid or rubbing snow in their faces until they cry “Uncle!”

        But of course that vastly oversimplifies the whole schmear — all the interlocked corporate interests ini petroleum and war toys, and the “maintenance of trade routes,” and looting of extractables, and developing and maintaining sources of slave labor, and let us not forget the “nationalinterests” of the FIRE set and the fun of playing with yuuuge amounts of “dark money,” and the desire to have a place to displace all the potentially aggressive and disaffected parts of the US populace to, all this and MORE!

        Anyone ever come across an authoritative (and of course authoritarian) statement of what the “national interests of the US” are acknowledged to be? Not little swirls around the giant boiling pot of sh!te that is that supposed implicit and inherent thing that “the national interest” is presumed (comfortably and so very dishonestly) to be? “Well,” says the soon to be ex-girlfriend, “if you don’t know what it is, you are just ignorant, and I am surely not going to tell you.”

        Does this dress uniform make me look fat?

        And yes, that thing that all of us glibly call “war,” eliding right over the complicated nature of the thing that seems to most typify most of humanity, because to define it honestly would maybe shame us all into better behaviors, or more likely would not, is indeed “nothing but a racket.”

    2. Glen

      There was concern and studies done about this in the 80’s when the manufacturing of microchips was moved off shore, and by the 90’s, it was a done deal.

      But remember that the goal of the military-industrial complex has no compelling reason to keep you or the country “safe”, and every reason to suck the Federal teat dry and make a very small number of people very rich. This is not a new phenomenon, just look at Smedley Butler, and “War Is a Racket”.

      This is not to denigrate those who volunteer and serve. None of them profit, and all deserve much better treatment (the number of homeless vets is increasing, and at least 22 vets commit suicide a day) from the country they served.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Didn’t Henry Clay claim Canada could be conquered with 1000 Kentucky riflemen? Its just Catholics and Indians.

      U.S. foreign policy is and always has been predicated on the idea of the little foreign people who are usually sneaky but not sneaky enough to not be caught. My guess is besides “efficiency experts” a decision was made based on the idea of simply hiring the good ones who would be so happy to live in the good ole U.S. of A. If the Chinese tried to one up us, we would simply show them our Tomahawk missiles.

      Stupid is everywhere.

  23. Wukchumni

    “We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation.”

    Teddy Roosevelt

    Interesting article about TR IV:

  24. Wukchumni

    Driverless police cars of future could act as mobile courtrooms The Times.
    I was looking at time in the slammer if the verdict went against me, and I didn’t think once or hesitate twice @ the stop light, and defenestrated through the passenger window onto the sidewalk and freedom or so I thought, until another vehicle picked me up for jaywalking.

    1. Edward E

      They actually put a mobile courtroom out here when the Rainbow Family come to the wilderness area. They get rowdy, “Why didn’t you settle this case out of court?” That’s just what we were doing when the mobile courtroom showed up!’

  25. anonymous

    So now an ex-boyfriend provides a credible eyewitness (and sworn) statement that indicates that Dr Ford committed perjury. What a brave man to come forward when he didn’t have to. H must be believed!

    This is easy.

  26. JohnnyGL

    Actually, per my comment/rant above, I think saying this is about ’emotion’ is misguided, much like (as Lambert constantly points out) the Democrats only feel comfortable complaining about ‘process’ (we should slow down, investigate, etc).

    Republican base is happy to see their leadership is willing to stick to their guns and fight for what they want, in spite of the criticism they’re receiving, espcially from the media.

    I think there’s a lesson here for Team Dem that they will absolutely NOT want to learn, which is to go fight for your team and deliver what your base wants.

    If Dems were to take power and impeach Kav, throw him off the court, then pack it with much better justices and jam them through with 51 votes because it’s the right thing to do, who cares about process, then it would help drive a level of excitement that the party leadership is actively resisting right now.

    If they did even better and jammed through Bernie’s Medicare for All bill, with no hearings, 51 votes, no cost analysis and scornfully rebuked anyone who whined about ‘slowing things down’ and “let’s have hearings and ask questions that don’t matter” calling them morally disgusting for delaying helping out Americans and getting them the care they need, RIGHT NOW, before they DIE!!! That kind of leadership is what people will stand up and say, ‘Wow, these guys really mean it. I’m inspired to be on their side’.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It is human nature, and we see it quite often, that after a total loss, the defeated experience catharsis and are able to start anew.

      For example, a baseball team, after barely missing out on playoffs for a few years, loses 100 games in one season, for the first in 100 years. That prompts a complete overhaul, ridding off delusions and false hopes.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Duquette never did enough tinkering with the roster and sat pat too often waiting for the splash. He would go after too many guys on the downward slope, get into bidding battles he wasn’t willing to win but would draw out so alternatives already signed. I don’t think Duquette would have taken a flyer on Ortiz as a complement to Manny. Did he spend a bunch of time helping David Wells drive up his price for his inevitable return to the Yankees? I think he was too focused on making big splashes instead of roster management. Theo Epstein turned the injured Nomar into two former gold glove infielders. The Red Sox fielding was a disaster through that trade. Neither would be considered a splash, and on the same day, Epstein traded a minor leaguer who needed a fresh start for an expiring contract in Dave Roberts. In all fairness, Schilling isn’t available every year, but then again, the Red Sox were a .500 club for three months while winning every game Schilling and Pedro pitched in 2004. Yeesh, that was basically still the Duquette team.

        I don’t know much about the Expos, but maybe, those guys were in the pipeline? Pedro’s height wouldn’t have made him stand out much, so its pretty easy to see how he could be fifth starter (was he starting?).

        With the Orioles, it was all Machado all the time. He’s a great player, but instead of working with the roster and trying to find the missing pieces, I feel the Orioles looked for splashes expecting the Yankees to give them the farm as if the Steinbrenner family had not been swindled by Bernie Madoff or the Dodgers.

    1. Andrew Watts

      The Chinese are able to do this at the point of manufacture because American capitalists and the US “intelligence” bureaucrats are fully retarded. Nobody ever thought to examine hardware being made and arriving from overseas? I wouldn’t even trust hardware that is manufactured domestically unless it is made in a facility under direct control and to very precise specifications.

      …and they want to share all their super-duper top secret intelligence on the cloud? China thanks you greatly comrades! Somebody wake me up when our top secret intelligence budget isn’t a super efficient way to burn money on profiteers and opportunists and our spooks aren’t fully retarded.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We don’t need to hate the Chinese, but just basic prudence should suggest that we cut down concentrated overall trade with any one nation.

        What Trump has started, what he is doing now, is part of a historical swinging-the-other-way of the pendulum.

        1. Andrew Watts

          I thought I made it clear who I blame and it isn’t the Chinese intelligence services. The Chinese are doing exactly what the NSA would do if they have the brains to do so. They probably have been similarly victimized and their official statement seems to say as much.

          I don’t believe that the Trump administration is swinging the pendulum the other way either. Using tariffs exclusively against China, or even the EU, is a haphazard way of shifting production that will nevertheless remain overseas. China obviously won’t benefit from this affair, but neither will the American working class.

          1. ewmayer

            Re. the pendulum – OTOH the Trump-ordered review described in Reuters’ “U.S. military comes to grips with over-reliance on Chinese imports” was clearly long overdue. Funny how none of his neolibcon predecessors thought to do such a thing, innit? But of course those are the same bought and paid for offshoring promoters who unironically spew stuff like

            “People used to think you could outsource the manufacturing base without any repercussions (on national security). But now we know that’s not the case,” said one U.S. official familiar with the report, speaking on condition of anonymity.

            Upton Sinclair’s “It’s hard to get a man to understand…” line applies in spades here.

            1. Andrew Watts

              I’m not sure that the Trump-ordered review can be entirely credited. When the final fate of US intelligence’s network of informants in China unfolded they probably ordered a full investigation and started to realize how compromised their network communications and hardware was. They couldn’t blame Edward Snowden for it at some point.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Sorry, I don’t mean to imply you’re blaming the Chinese; it was more a general statement, connected to various comments I’ve made today and the replies from others.

            As for the pendulum swinging, it’s not the Trump administration swinging it, but rather, it (the administration) is part of the general mood of the country, looking back at what has happened in the last few decades.

            1. Andrew Watts

              As for the pendulum swinging, it’s not the Trump administration swinging it, but rather, it (the administration) is part of the general mood of the country, looking back at what has happened in the last few decades.

              Perhaps, but I think it’s a reactionary response to China’s rise as a power capable of threatening American dominance. The general mood of the country has merely been exploited for electoral gain by opportunistic politicians. Obama even claimed he was going to do something about NAFTA.

      2. ewmayer

        “Fully retarded” is right – some of the quotes from the ‘victims’ here are just idiot-level stupid. For instance bit which makes wild claims re. the alleged ludicrous improbability of such OEM-implants (bolds mine):

        One country in particular has an advantage executing this kind of attack: China, which by some estimates makes 75 percent of the world’s mobile phones and 90 percent of its PCs. Still, to actually accomplish a seeding attack would mean developing a deep understanding of a product’s design, manipulating components at the factory, and ensuring that the doctored devices made it through the global logistics chain to the desired location—a feat akin to throwing a stick in the Yangtze River upstream from Shanghai and ensuring that it washes ashore in Seattle. “Having a well-done, nation-state-level hardware implant surface would be like witnessing a unicorn jumping over a rainbow,” says Joe Grand, a hardware hacker and the founder of Grand Idea Studio Inc. “Hardware is just so far off the radar, it’s almost treated like black magic.”

        Let’s deconstruct some of that silliness: “…would mean developing a deep understanding of a product’s design, manipulating components at the factory, and ensuring that the doctored devices made it through the global logistics chain to the desired location” – in other words, precisely the kinds of things those offshore manufacturing contractors are paid to do, yes? And WTF does that bit “made it through the global logistics chain to the desired location” even mean? You mean “were shipped by the manufacturer to the outfit which contracted them for the gear? That is somehow spook and improbable? And then to top off the inanity, we have the Blowhard-in-chief at the pompously named Grand Idea Studio Inc. nattering on about what “black magic” hardware manufacturing is – well yes, it would seem that way to you folks who have been busily offshoring those capabilities for decades, wouldn’t it?

      3. oh

        I read a book on how the Chinese use their citizens in their spy network. In one instance a Chinese-American businesswoman in LA became a girlfriend (bed mate) of a married FBI agent and she successfully copied all the secret documents that he carried in his suitcase. In another instance, the FBI planted a wireless chip in the copier in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco which transmitted scanned documents of all documents copied. This kind of espionage goes on by both parties and they’re both stupid enough to have dropped their guard!

    2. Duke of Prunes

      At least there might be something to #ChinaChinaChina – read the article, it’s pretty damning (although like most things – it is anonymously sourced, and all the of the principals deny, deny, deny, but then, their behavior was a bit different – “we never had a security problem, but we did just happen to drop the vendor for other reasons”). Not that I’m in a hurry to start a war with them either.

      1. JTMcPhee

        It’s like John “Joliet Jake Blues” Belushi down in the sewer telling Carrie Fisher that it was not his fault that he stood her up at the altar — as she looks over the sights of a locked and loaded M-16 at him sniveling in the slop:

        And like Jake, the jerks in the Pentagram Supply Chain Lootery ain’t ever gonna change…

  27. John Beech

    Why is it sexual allegations by Julie Swetnick (Judge Kavanaugh’s 3rd accuser) no longer being brought up? Instead, we’re on this kick about his drinking in high school and college – seriously? Is there any evidence of this ‘bad behavior’ as an adult? Anyway, could this be because Swetnick’s been shown to be a serial liar, and thus, completely unbelievable? What, a woman can make a sexual allegation against a man and turn out to be a liar? No! How can this be?

    And if that’s the case (that Swetnick is a liar), then considering the principal witness (Blasey Ford) cannot with ‘any’ degree of certainty speak to time, date, or location regarding the so called assault – and – those others whom she claims were present have all denied it, then what makes her testimony compelling? Seriously, is it the mere fact she delivered it with an earnest manner? Does anyone believe only actors can play a role with a straight face? If that’s the case you’ve never met my daughter!

    And here’s the thing . . . now it’s come out Blasey Ford outright lied about a phobia against flying. The facts are in recent years she’s flown to the east coast (this very summer). Moreover, in the recent she’s flown to South Pacific islands (and those are ass numbing flights). Plus, she’s flown to Costa Rica! Are these the actions of one afraid to fly? And it’s such a bald face lie, too.

    Furthermore, with respect to why the second front door was installed in her home; it turns out her claim about it being due to a fear of being trapped may be bogus as well because the door was actually for a permitted addition to her home. One, which she subsequently rented out to a businessperson . . . so duh, of course it has its own entrance! So we have Blasey Ford in yet another lie!

    This would be sad if it weren’t for Senator Blumenthal (a serial liar himself because he falsely claimed service in Vietnam when he actually engaged in running the Toys For Tots in Washington, DC as a Marine during the Vietnam war when he served, but I digress . . . so it was Blumenthal who put out the jury instruction; Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus or Latin for “false in one thing, false in everything” and because Blasey Ford has been shown to have committed perjury regarding fear of flying and the installation of a 2nd front door, then I don’t believe her at all. Period. End stop.

    In closing, if folks opposed to Kavanaugh would just man up and state they’re against him because he’s a conservative who may vote to overturn Roe, then I’m fine with that. Really I am because reasonable people can disagree. But to actually place Blasey Ford on a pedestal – as if she’s a paragon of virtue when she’s been shown to have – at best – played fast and loose with the truth, and at worst, to just be another liar like Julie Swetnick . . .. well that’s just political BS.

    My 2¢

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > we’re on this kick about his drinking in high school and college – seriously? Is there any evidence of this ‘bad behavior’ as an adult?

      Irrelevant if his testimony on drinking in high school and college was perjury (as I believe it was).

      I agree that Ford’s door thing looks a little sketchy. But as so often happens, it’s not the crime (the assault allegations) but the cover-up (the perjury).

  28. beth

    Opinion: Memorial Sloan Kettering, you’ve betrayed my trust

    Sloan Kettering is not the only hospital to give kickbacks to hospitals. When I was in the hospital in June, I was given pin pricks every four hours for two days, i.e. 12 times to check for diabetes. All came back negative. Did I need that? NO.

    I was also given a cholesterol pill that I didn’t need since my tests came back negative, but that did not matter, since I was given a RX to fill as soon as I left the hospital. It was totally unnecessary.

    I’ll bet this is the future for all of us. Speak up if you have an idea as to how I could have stopped this? I was told that I didn’t have a choice.

  29. John Beech

    Squigllionars destroying public transport (Uber and Lyft presumably).

    Funny that. The other day I was chatting with a fellow who has overstayed his visa after arriving from Venezuela. He’s found work and is happy enough but says depending on the buses is a nightmare. He wondered, why is Orlando (where we live) involved with the buses in the first place? I didn’t have an answer but his point was, back home he owned four buses (imported Bluebird school buses painted in fanciful colors – he had photos on his phone). The gist of it anybody that wants to run a bus can do it, and decides where he wants to run them, and when. Routes that pay get more buses and those that don’t get fewer buses, and no matter what, getting around via bus is fast and easy. Best part? No government interference, e.g. it’s the free market at work. I couldn’t refute or counter what he said because it made perfect sense to me. So would someone please explain to me why we can’t allow anyone to run a bus? I mean presuming it’s inspected and has insurance, where’s the beef? Why is government running the transport system? Or is it you’ve never seen the giant buses with just one or two riders and wondered if the reason nobody rides buses is because there’s no demand? Just wondering.

    1. ewmayer

      “Routes that pay get more buses and those that don’t get fewer buses, and no matter what, getting around via bus is fast and easy. Best part? No government interference, e.g. it’s the free market at work.”

      Your “fast and easy” claim is belied by the preceding “Routes that pay get more buses and those that don’t get fewer buses” – IOW catching a bus is only “fast and easy” if one lives along the profitable routes. And one can easily extend the “don’t pay” angle to e.g. “routes in less desirable areas”, say ones populated by people of the wrong color. It’s a classic libertarian recipe for underserving the poor and minorities. This illustrates the crucial difference between the notion of “a public good” and neoliberal “let the markets decide”. A public good means the state or city decides that providing a particular service – whether that be clean drinking water, sanitary sewers, public libraries, electrification, internet access, universal health care, what-have-you – is of such fundamental importance to the general welfare that it must be done even if it ‘loses money’. Classic example was rural electrification in the US in the early part of the 20th century – that sort of thing would never occur under your neoliberal model. Let’s adapt your opening line to some other important areas, shall we?

      “Patients that pay get the medical care they need”
      “Areas that pay top dollar for water and sewerage get those services”
      “Neighborhoods that pay lots of property taxes get schools and libraries”

      1. oh

        Agreed. A public good should never be asked to make a profit and by that definition is off bounds to the private sector. The public good should service everyone (especially transportation routes).

    2. Elizabeth Burton

      Many, if not most, of he Venezuelans living in the US are the ones who hate the Bolivarian Revolution, and are waiting for their richer compatriots to work with the US to overthrow Maduro and let the neoliberals back in to turn the country into Brazil. Which latter country can’t pay the multi-million-dollar electric bill it owes Venezuela because sanctions.

      So, I would expect just about any of them to spout exactly that kind of neoliberal viewpoint.

  30. Jim

    MMT: Description and Prescription– 25 years of ongoing epistemological confusion on this issue.

    Bill Mitchell in his part 1 and part 2 reflections on the 2nd International Monetary Conference indicates the following:

    “ To begin, I noted a comment overnight that seemed to reflect a puzzlement about what I mean when I say that it is meaningless to talk about MMT’s prescriptions because MMT is a lens rather than a value system.”

    “First, that does not mean the MMT is merely descriptive.”

    Bravo Bill, that gets you off on the right foot—but you then quickly slip back into epistemological incoherence when you state:

    “…when I say the MMT is a lens for understanding the monetary system and the capacities of the currency-issuing government within it and explaining the impacts of changes in behavior and policy, I am excluding using that understanding to develop policy interventions.

    “The point is that the policies I advocate reflect my value system rather than my understanding of MMT.

    “…MMT becomes a tool for me to work out what would be the impact of applying my value system in the policy sphere.”

    Bill are you saying that your value system had no impact on you helping to create the lens of MMT?

    Isn’t it really the case that the mental process you used to create the MMT lens also included your value system or structure of belief?

    You seem to be implying that the value system embedded in your brain is somehow separate from the brute sense impressions also embedded in your brain that supposedly led you to be able to describe the intrinsic workings of the fiat monetary system.

    Isn’t it more accurate to say that both your sense impressions and your system of belief where inevitably involved in creating the lens of MMT as well as your particular policy prescriptions.

    And doesn’t this fact also point to the realization that there can be no purely descriptive reading of any situation?

    Maybe David Hume was right all along to call attention to the empirical unavailability of the pure “is” statement?

  31. JTMcPhee

    I got a kick out of that Global Handelsblatt article. So good to know that there are in fact constants in this world, beyond the persistence of the Cold War via the inept and inapt institutions that brought it to us, and at least brought all of us about 17 times to the brink of nuclear war. So the author, deep in the counsels and manipulations of the European-attached-to-the-rest-of-the-world Great game, offering “sage” advice to all Good Chermans, time to figure out how to go about domination once again! As if the machinations of said Chermans (on behalf of their Banksters, etc.) are not doing enough damage to, and effectively subduing and colonizing, all those other little nations in their neighborhood. (Not that there are not a lot of people in Germany who are of good will, and working to make the world a safer and better place, of course.) And hey, how about the Krupp works selling U-boats to other ambitious (Israel, e.g.) or inept (Greece, and others) nations? To stir the pots and make a nice profit, even net of the bribes given to “get the contracts?’

    Und so weiter — Deutschland Uber Alles? Of course, that’s only one tiny part of what is wrong with everything, and why it’s not likely to get any better…

  32. Anon

    RE: CalPERS

    Priya Mathur was voted off the CalPers Board, as reported by the LATimes. (3:15 pm PDT)

    1. ewmayer

      Thanks for this – great news. Thanks to Yves and NC for their unmatched coverage of the corruption at CalPers; we can only hope that Ms. Mathur’s ouster is the first of many, since clearly a grand housecleaning is direly needed there.

  33. skippy

    Interesting that a cop seeking to secure his unions pensions is elected pres… almost a laugh-in moment kraut potted indoor plant moment.

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