Links 11/10/18

Good for the EU! Sic Semper Tyrannis (Steve C). On wildlife.

The war game that could have ended the world BBC (JTM)

Could these balls help reduce plastic pollution? BBC (David L)

How a key protein boosts memory, learning in the adult brain MedicalXPress

As if heroin weren’t dangerous enough, it may come with lead poisoning ars technica


Is Xi Jinping finally walking the talk on opening up China’s economy as the trade war heats up? South China Morning Post

Trump’s top trade adviser just warned Goldman Sachs and Wall Street not to leave their ‘stench’ on the US-China trade war talks Business Insider (Kevin W)


Jo Johnson quits as minister over Brexit and calls for vote on deal Financial Times

Brexit: getting ahead? Richard North. Epic:

I have it on very good authority from somebody who has met him several times, that Jo Johnson, erstwhile transport minister, is as stupid as his brother – stupid in the way that only intelligent men can be.

‘We Can’t Stop Brexit’ Der Spiegel. Interview with Corbyn. Well, that settles that. Note how hostile the interviewer was.

New blow to Theresa May as EU leaders demand scrutiny of Brexit deal Guardian

May’s Brexit deal suffers major setback after EU ‘rejects’ UK arbitration mechanism Huffington Post. One of the only times we’ve seen Rees-Mogg demonstrate a shred of intelligence was when he asked how disputes under the Withdrawal Agreement would be adjudicated.

You Do the Math: Can May Get Her Brexit Deal Through Parliament? Bloomberg (vlade)

UK ministers present May with ‘plan B’ for no-deal Brexit scenario: Sun Reuters

UBS’s Brexit Dog Whistle Is Loud and Clear Bloomberg

Italy’s budget row with EU escalates ahead of deadline WFSA

Italy says cutting deficit would be ‘economic suicide‘ DW

Bank of England refuses to hand over Venezuela’s gold – report RT. Kevin W: “On the principle of “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is me own.'”

New Cold War

ISIS Again Claims Cyber Attacks Which Were Falsely Blamed On Russia Moon of Alabama

Ukraine-Russia Tensions Rise in Church Row Consortium News


US to stop refueling Saudi planes in Yemen The Hill. UserFriendly: “Because they can do it themselves now.”

Trump administration considers naming Yemen’s Houthi rebels a terrorist group Washington Post (Kevin W)

Saudi Arabia considering breaking up OPEC — report DW (Kevin W)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Using Wi-Fi to “see” behind closed doors is easier than anyone thought MIT Technology Review (David L). More confirmation of the merits of my Luddite tendencies. No Wi-Fi devices in my apt.! Ethernet rules!

The DEA and ICE Are Hiding Surveillance Cameras In Streetlights Quartz

Election Aftermath

The 2018 Map Looked A Lot Like 2012 … And That Got Me Thinking About 2020 FiveThirtyEight (UserFriendly)

Will House Democrats Move to Impeach Trump? Bloomberg (fury). If the Dems want to increase the odds of Trump being re-elected, this is just the way to do it. And that is quite possible ‘Democrats won the House but Trump won the election’ – and 2020 is next Guardian

Palm Beach judge orders elections official to turn over ballots in legal win for Scott The Hill (UserFriendly)

Trump Transition

Donald Trump Played Central Role in Hush Payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal Wall Street Journal

Mueller Is ‘Ready to Indict Some Folks’: Former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Newsweek (furzy)

Dark Money Paid New Trump Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s Salary for 3 Years DeSmogBlog

Immigrants Traveling as Families Arrested on Mexican Border Increase 38% in October Wall Street Journal

Landmark children’s climate lawsuit hits new roadblock Grist

The Fastest-Growing Job in Local Government Governing. UserFriendly: “Just shoot me.”

Paradise lost: California wildfire is the most destructive in state history Axios

Pacific Gas & Electric says it will help probe Associated Press (David L). On a fire for which its transmission lines may be responsible.

California wildfires: Malibu homes burn as death toll climbs to nine BBC

Fake News

Facebook Allows Governments to Decide What to Censor Counterpunch

France impounds Ryanair plane on tarmac before take-off ABC (Kevin W)

Amazon Is Kicking All Unauthorized Apple Refurbishers Off Amazon Marketplace Motherboard (Kevin W)

Tech’s big five lost a combined $75 billion in market value on Friday CNBC

Amazon’s HQ2 was a con, not a contest Recode

Google has responded to its employees’ demands about sexual misconduct. Here are the changes it will and won’t make. Recode

Facebook Follows Google To End Mandatory Arbitration For Sexual-Harassment Claims CNBC

Class Warfare

Ocasio-Cortez rips Fox News for cracking ‘jokes’ about her finances: It shows what they really think of working-class people The Hill (UserFriendly)

New Contractor For Food Stamps Upsets Cart For Farmers Markets Kaiser Health News

Antidote du jour. Tracie H:

Sherlock (standing), Willow (middle), and Tinkerbell (right).

Most of the time when I look upon these snugglers, they all look of one mind—comfortable and drowsy. Here, everyone seems to have something different on their minds.

It’s been a while since I took this, but I’m guessing they were all snuggled together, Tinkerbell was probably grooming one of them until Sherlock got up. He probably sees a bird through the window. Willow, probably the grooming recipient, seems to be wondering why Sherlock’s breaking up their snuggle time.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think you are mistaken. According to the BBC and the rest of the British media, its the republic of Ireland that is a religion-obsessed, theocratic society where bishops dictate policy by the stomp of a crozier. The UK is a modern secular democracy* in which the mere notion that a theocratic, racist, homophobic political party with long association with sectarian death squads and which is almost entirely made up of members of a fringe religious sect could ever become part of government and dictate policy is entirely ridiculous.

      *apart from the bit where the head of state is also head of the Church and bishops get automatic appointments to second House.

        1. Synoia

          None are Christian. The UK House of Lords’ Bishops belong to the Church of England, aka: The Tory Party at Prayer.

          In the UK, a Bishop is addressed as My Lord.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Long term candidate recruitment is a major problem. At the local level, Team Blue elites foist self funding non-entities. When they get promoted due to being in a safe seat usually, they just are kind of there and likely had no interest in policy beyond buying a title, similar to 19th century American millionaires trying to marry into a poor in money but rich in title English family.

      AOC should have been groomed for local office in a healthy party, but now she’s looking for a roommate because she has no money. Despite years of hideous rent and real estate prices promoted by the reliability of federal workers and loose lending standards, this is finally a story when you have 535 openings up there. She wouldn’t be groomed for local office because the idea of values and Ideas is largely alien to the goldilocks believers of politics.

      I’m reminded of Representative Gerry Connolly going on about Sanders ability to energize crowds as if it was a trick or part of the performance and how Democrats could learn from it. To him it was a per formative lesson. The idea substance matters is simply so foreign at this point he could never comprehend it. Yes, I saw him up close when he was in local government, and Gerry loves to surround himself with people who laugh like hyenas at his just awful jokes, I’m not sure this is the appropriate word but Connolly seemed to find his own asides to be hysterical.

    2. Glen

      They need a full on push for Medicare for All funded by ending the Trump tax cuts for the rich, a minimum wage increase, and expanding Social Security.

      If anybody asks how we’re going to pay for it, it will be by ending those ridiculous wars and getting our American military back home. Hey, nobody asks how we pay for the wars, or bailing out the banks and the ultra rich. It was just pouring money down a rat hole. It didn’t make us safer, and it didn’t fix our economy.

      I know, dream on. Instead it will be endless investigations into a guy we already know is a crook and an a$$hole.

    3. Carey

      I keep hearing this: that the Democrats need an agenda, don’t stand for anything, et c.

      The Democrats do have an agenda: serving their donor cla$$, and they are making that
      very clear, over and over and over.

      Electoral politics are now a distraction and a snare, in my opinion.

  1. Henry Moon Pie`

    WTF? Paradise, a northern California town of 30,000 people, burned to the ground in a single day? At least nine dead? The insanity of this Madmen-engineered culture is more than catching up to us.

    Nearly 50 years ago, a singer-songwriter named John Prine wrote about his Paradise, a town in Kentucky hauled away by Mr. Peabody’s coal train. This insanity is not new.

    1. SimonGirty

      Thanks for that. The rich folks had mandated giant toxic landfill trash dumps, to make our strip-mine ravaged suburbs look like redneck renderings of the shire, with abandoned tipples, derecks, pump-jacks and christmas trees (all leaking). It wasn’t till I moved up around Hazleton and worked around Mulheim that I saw what was cynically being covered up by reclamation.

    2. Glen

      My rant at Daily Kos:

      The ultra rich that have bought the government and run our country are not going to make any effort to save anybody except themselves. Our government will abandon us.

      No work to prevent the effects of global warming when we should be expanding our efforts to mange this crisis (we can no longer prevent it from happening — it is here). We should be expanding the first responders, expanding the firefighters, expanding relief efforts, and expanding FEMA as this will happen more often — it is the new norm.

      Instead, we have a President apparently willing to cut off even the little we have to protect us. Ignore science. Unwilling to even show up. We are going to be left on our own to save what little we can of our lives. Imagine if a hurricane hit, or a large earthquake. Look at what happened in Puerto Rico, that is not some foreign country, it’s us. We are expendable.

      Words cannot convey how I feel, how we all feel about all that has, and is happening to our family, friends, and fellow citizens. They should be given comfort, and aid. Our country, us, need to do what we can to make them whole again.

      Instead, our government will further tip the scales against us so that very, very few can accumulate larger and larger piles of fool’s gold. I fear that those people who have bought our government, those busy back in DC, are running our country into the ground, will do nothing. Nothing to alleviate what is coming, nothing to help that that need our help now.

      I am sorry to be so grim, but you have to be a fool not to see this and how it will play out.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Your pro forma mention of President Trump and lack of calling out the Dems for their complicity in the situation you describe should at least protect you from the DKos thought police muzzling you. For now.

  2. Bill Smith

    “The war game that could have ended the world”

    This gets trotted out every so often. For an even scarier version of it read the passages from the KGB archives, in for example, in The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin.

    Mitrokhin was a KGB archivist who copied a lot of documents instead of destroying them and stored them in wine bottles in the crawl space below his dacha. Eventually he defected.

    The Kremlin was positive that Reagan was going to attack them and had KGB officers around the world looking for the early signs of it. KGB officers were detailed to keep track of things like the cost people paid for blood transfusions in the UK. KGB officers thought the Kremlin was nuts but dutifully filed reports. They felt they would lose their cozy postings if they spoke up about it.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Sir,, do I have it right that your background is maybe as a former worker in the dark world of the Great Game, from stuff written here and elsewhere? Like comments you have offered inferring or claiming direct knowledge about US involvement in what happened to Allende in Chile, and other such events?

      Rather than bolstering Uncertainty by attempted impeachment by suggestion, do you have any direct evidence that what is “trotted out” in the above-linked article “every so often” is not what transpired? Maybe you would want to offer impeachments or “corrections” of all the many episodes reported even in “clear” publications, about how the Cold Warriors then and now almost triggered what is so blandly referred to by the Mavens of Megadeath as “a nuclear exchange?” Like the events reported in this article, from a search on “all the times we almost had nuclear war”?

      Old habits die hard, I know. Like defending and reinforcing the Narrative, possibly after a long career developing and fostering it, and of course for the current set of Full Spectrm Dominators in the War Department and global-dominion operatives, with their current strategic planning to finally enable a long-desired “limited nuclear war” on the hated Russia?

      And for those of a hopeful bent, might I suggest reading this link, about the time that the leaders of the US and USSR came just so close to an agreement to disarm the nuclear suicide belt?

      Except,, of course, old Reagan, “advised” by the “got to keep all options open and continue pursuing the PNAC Plan for total Forever Imperial Hegemony, just had to have his idiot dream of the “Star Wars” ICBM “defense,” which would not have ever worked in any event — at least not as the neo-neocons dreamed it would, more likely to TRIGGER than “defend against” an ICBM nuclear suicide event: “They Will Not Forgive Us’ —The age of ‘usable’ nuclear weapons,“ ,

      1. Doug Hillman

        Wow! You rock, dude!

        Criminal madness is rampant in the Neocon asylum. I loved this absurdly self-contradicting analysis about Soviet mobilization during the war psyop:

        ‘”It was a dangerously vicious circle… a failure of the Soviet system,” says Jones, “Soviet intelligence did not act rationally.”

        ‘But nor did Western leaders understand the dangers of simulating a first strike nuclear attack. “It was a lack of empathy combined with the nuclear arms race creating tension,” says Jones. “The [conventional Autumn Forge] exercise was right on the Soviet border and then you had the added dimension of these new decapitating nuclear weapons.”

        So let’s allow that a minor lapse in empathy on our part — staging a nuclear first-strike on the border of The Evil Empire five minutes from Moscow — may have somehow contributed to the irrational Soviet intelligence “failure” and its implicitly paranoid mobilization.

        Wow, deep analysis. The designated Evil Empire would be utterly irrational and reckless if they did not seriously prepare for a real nuclear first strike cloaked within a game. Five minutes advance notice of annihilation if the game was itself a game, isn’t something you sit and watch from the bleachers. Are our military analists idiots or do they think we are?

        The Neocons running the US asylum are playing exactly the same reckless game-of-chicken today. And the potential for overreach is as likely now as it was at the height of Cold War I. Our deep state rulers are beyond delusional; they are criminally insane.

        1. JTMcPhee

          And RAND, the architects of “mutual assured destruction,” have always advised our “leaders” that in fact they have to actually court and embrace insanity, otherwise the game theory idiocy that is the current “doctrine” just won’t work: “the opponent” has to be convinced that the Homeland team is actually, clinically, insane, to the point of destroying the Homeland “to save it,” or something… ( the rulers presume they, individually and as a ruling elite, will “survive” to “take over the world” and “provide continuity of Constitutional government…” over the frozen ashes.) Meanwhile, they are doing all they can to “destabilize” and overthrow the governments of Russia and a bunch of other “sovereign nations” that have not yet been tricked or forced into “saying Uncle.”

          And the leaders of “the only democracy in the Mideast,” a patent lie any way you look at it, have between 200 and 600 nuclear weapons on hand, and they clearly are insane enough to be players in this game…

        2. Procopius

          Are our military analists [sic] idiots or do they think we are?

          I’m pretty sure at least some of them are true believers, but you have to understand that one path to promotion in the military is to get noticed. One way to get noticed is to present novel but appealing ideas. The idea of “limited” nuclear war is appealing because it means creating new forces and positions managing them. See Parkinson’s Law. When Trump was thundering that he could annihilate North Korea, somebody floated the idea of a “bloody nose” strike. They suggested we could nuke just one site, maybe the missile test launch sites or the deep underground enriched uranium production sites. That would “send a message” that we were serious, but would not start a war.

          Yeah, our military analysts are idiots.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “The DEA and ICE Are Hiding Surveillance Cameras In Streetlights”

    This is by no means a new development as I read about it several years ago. That would be sinister enough but what is more sinister is how for years now, microphones have been installed in public buses and subways in quite a few States. For more on this, here’s an article from way back in 2012-

    And here is one more recent-

    So be careful what you say in buses and subways. Just sayin’ is all.

    1. JTMcPhee

      And along with facial (farcical?) “recognition” comes AI lip-reading, from 2016: “AI Has Beaten Humans At Lip Reading,”

      So whispering or full-on lip-talking can’t keep the Borgblob from its real-time or ex post facto mastery. Are there sneak-outs and stunts that can help avoid “self-incrimination in Thoughtcrime?” “All the ways you can hide from facial recognition (updated March 2018),” At least until the next bunch of real smartasses have their techfun and domination opportunities and resume building practice defeating the next to last gasps of “individuality” and “freedom,” terms that are “understood” but “undefined” in any lasting, substantive way?

      Lots of good sci-fi and speculative fiction about people trying to secede from the Matrix. When it’s everywhere and all the time, how does one do that? Every loaf of bread, Jean Valjean, will have its RFID or equivalent, and how many cameras, eyes of the Panopticon, with your puny attempt to gain sustenance in full view? Javert as ubiquitous as Mr. Smith of the Matrix?

      Full-spectrum intrusion, 24/7. On the way to what? What do these Masters of the Data Collection have as their operating principle(s) and endpoint goal(s)? Have any of them written it all down for the rest of us to at least become aware of, if not to have any way to stop the process? Or are we just left to Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt as principal principles of our lives, reduced to speculations and projections like this: ?

      All these smart-ass programmers and engineers and technicians and installers, and related disiciplines, ready and happy to get a bit of a modicum of current income to help the Panopticon detect something or other, to give the people who are at the top of the Tower the power to know all the present, preserve what they value of the past, and presumably direct what is left of the future of our and so many other species on this neopest-ridden planet… “Brazil 2026”?

      “But your computer lip-reading has it wrong (sob) — that’s not what I said at all (sob)”

      “Pedro, use the Vise-Grip ™ pliers this time, to rip out the fingernail on his left ring finger!”

      No, no, no, no, (gasp) noooooaaaaaaaahhh1… All right, I admit everything… what do you want me to confess to?”

      “Pedro, the index finger next. He persists in not understanding that the purpose of torture is torture.”

      1. Craig H.

        > What do these Masters of the Data Collection have as their operating principle(s) and endpoint goal(s)?

        In China they have public toilets which monitor how much paper you are using. If you are having a bad day you probably want to carry your own supply. I wonder if they factor in toilet paper usage for their social credit score?

        Smoker – 80 points & Wasteful ass wiper -10 points?

    2. tegnost

      “Basically, there’s businesses out there that will build concealments for the government and that’s what we do. They specify what’s best for them, and we make it. And that’s about all I can probably say.”

      …so it’s probably not just streetlights, they make everyday objects into surveillance tools

      1. JTMcPhee

        “Alexa, how long have you been spying on me and collecting all my data?”

        “Alexa, do I own you or do you own me?”

        1. ambrit

          I’d like to see a hack for Alexa so that we can ask Alexa; “Alexa. What are the neighbors up to next door?”

          1. makedoanmend

            Alexa answers: “The neighbors next door are asking what you are up to.”

            Alexa says: “Do not ask what I know and who I tell.”

            Alexa says: “One day I shall have to tell no one.”

      2. ChristopherJ

        A previous wife was Alexa. It’s not a common name. Did they choose it to minimize the number of potential protests?

        Hey, if the AI were called Christopher, I’d be looking for where I could sign up for the Class Action. Imagine having a name which is associated with such a corporation…

        Or, maybe they are paying all those Alexas a secret backhander…

  4. Livius Drusus

    Re: The 2018 Map Looked A Lot Like 2012 … And That Got Me Thinking About 2020.

    The Rust Belt will definitely be the most important region in 2020 and it is the best route to victory for the Democrats as Silver points out. This is good news for left-populists because it means that their issues will be front and center in 2020. Democrats will have to deal with the trade issue, for example, if they hope to beat Trump in 2020. Bernie Sanders is clearly the best candidate to win in 2020 because he would likely beat Trump in the Rust Belt states.

    The neoliberals in the party are big on the Sunbelt strategy become it reflects the “demography is destiny” theory and their preference for well-educated, professional-class voters who are congregating in Sunbelt cities to work in fields like research and development. Unions are also much weaker in the Sunbelt. The region is pretty much a neoliberal dreamland. It reflects the upstairs-downstairs nature of modern center-left politics represented by a coalition of impoverished minority groups and affluent professional-class liberals.

    The 2020 Democratic primary could be the big showdown between two visions of progressive politics. One a cross-racial alliance of working-class people represented by the Sanders wing of the party and the other the kind of upstairs-downstairs coalition that most neoliberals want. I expect 2020 to be an extremely contentious primary, maybe even more contentious than 2016 since the factions have hardened considerably since then.

    1. johnnygl

      I’m noticing the ‘bernie blackout’ has returned already to cable and print media. It’s going to take a trump-like rebellion within the team dem base to get sanders in a winning position. The real question is:

      How much name recognition and political capital has he built in the last 2 years in key regions like the midwest and down south. I suspect quite a bit…but if the media are successfully able to portray him as ‘past his time’ or ‘too extreme’ then there’s a danger voters prioritize ‘electability’ again.

      There’s danger in the general election, too. Especially true if the economy remains relatively strong. There’s a reason trump’s approval rating is rising.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        NH and Iowa are fairly tough places for candidates who aren’t god like celebrities the way HRC was or Obama was after Oprah. MSM darlings do burn out there or don’t catch on because it’s it’s a harsh environment. Without celebrity status, Harris won’t be able to control questions about whether she is a cop or be asked about the mortgage settlement. I heard Biden looked like a guy on life support in 2007 on the trail.

        Another difference is the traditional early state voters are fairly engaged compared to other primary electorates. Racking up endorsements or focusing on the strategy that won a nomination in a safe contest won’t produce the desired results. The voters will participate more so on their own desires than following local leaders as they are all paying attention. This is why we don’t see safe blue states types winning the White House or Al Gore at some level with his history of inherited offices. Without the sitting VA status or HRC’s celebrity, these will be much more similar to general elections in competitive districts. When you look at the Democratic clown car, it’s just safe seat after safe seat politicians unless you think Joe Biden was involved in any way with the 2008 results.

        1. Big River Bandido

          NH and Iowa are fairly tough places for candidates who aren’t god like celebrities the way HRC was or Obama was after Oprah

          Except that Sanders ran away with it in NH, and most likely won Iowa given all the voting irregularities that happened. Even the official result was a razor-thin margin.

          In truth, front-runners in contested contests have always had a hard time in Iowa. Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Dean, Clinton, Romney, Clinton…all these candidates either lost or got badly dented up in the Iowa caucuses depite being the favorites going in.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Sanders was only a front runner in NH, not in the msm. Bill didn’t poll well in Iowa. Harkin was part of the furniture there. He cooked up the come back kid routine, but it didn’t have any narrative basis.

            HRC did quite well in 2008, but between HRC and Obama, there wasn’t much oxygen. Sanders did that without msm media presence. She was a dominating presence in the last two Democratic side of the Presidential cycles and probably was a factor in the advice Kerry received on election day in 2004.

            Romney is an example of the problem. He had the msm, GOP elites, more money than God, and name recognition, but he can’t do the kind of politics expected, partially because he is so repulsive. Didn’t Santorum actually win?

            The other candidates aren’t going to draw the crowds that HRC and Obama drew which means they won’t be able to control what is asked as easily through the reality of crowd logistics. If they don’t do the retail politics like trying to convince people they really think maple syrup from NH is the same as Vermont, they are done.

            1. JohnnyGL

              Agree with your points regarding Romney, but I also think there was an incipient storm of frustration gathering within the Republican base that only fully developed when the Republican base latched on to Trump in 2016. Recall in 2012 that Republican primary voters cycled through a series of candidates emerging as challengers to Romney, each of them rising and falling as their flaws were exposed (Santorum, Huckabee, Herman Cain, even Gingrich). The Republican base only reluctantly settled on Romney with the idea that he was ‘electable’ and they really wanted to beat Obama. That frustration really took hold in the 2016 primary when they found their man in Trump.

              You’re right about Romney’s individual political skills, but he’s also the poster boy for the Republican establishment. When the elites tried to foist JEB Bush on them….they finally said, ‘enough is enough’.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                I see the GOP as a proper coalition assembled by Nixon in 1968. Evangelicals, libertarians, Western businesses, the traditional blue bloods, small business associations, and police types. HMOs probably. Pesky church ladies, etc.

                These groups (libertarians largely just hate women) have largely won every concern over the last forty years, and what does the GOP especially the Romney/41 wing offer? The dynamic in 2012 was very similar to the dynamic in 1976, 1980, and 1992.

                Trump struck me as a “none of the above” candidate who was just a holding place until Jeb’s sheepdog started to attack the nominal Trump supporters as being swindled for not supporting Jeb. Trump’s supporters flirted with Sleepy (Ben Carson) and Carly Fiorino until they saw the were also clowns.

        2. cm

          Ron Paul came in 3rd place in Iowa and 2nd in New Hampshire, but there was a total media blackout of his name.

          A lawsuit alleged:

          there had been “a systematic campaign of election fraud at state conventions,” employing rigging of voting machines, ballot stuffing, and falsification of ballot totals. The suit further pointed to incidents at state conventions, including acts of violence and changes in procedural rules, allegedly intended to deny participation of Paul supporters in the party decision-making and to prevent votes from being cast for Paul.

        3. Pat

          Part of the reason I think the preferred media narrative currently of how popular Uncle Joe Biden is will be the first of many media myths that get destroyed in the Democratic Presidential primary season. He’ll go down hard and early. I also expect Warren to meet the same fate. And I think you may be right about Harris as well.

          The Democratic Regulars will try to ignore those early signals, but I’m thinking their 2020 narrative is going to look very similar to the 2016 Republican one of all the well respected and accepted candidates for the office sinking beneath their own weight – no matter how much the media might want to buoy them up.

          1. Carey

            I think JoeBiden is popular only in DC and among its denizens, and
            foisting him on the many, as they tried to do with Mrs. Clinton, will
            require very obvious degrees of subversion and suppression. Maybe
            that is a good thing, for its demonstrative value.

      2. Geo

        Electability? Like Clinton, Kerry, and Gore?

        I’d rather get advice on the electability of a candidate from my cat.

    2. tegnost

      I expect something resembling civil war,talking to democrats in king county recently they can’t believe anyone would vote for trump. They don’t know anyone who would so they must not exist…
      but they do. And thse people don’t see any problems with globalization or trade deals. Pelosi et al wants the rich 30% to band together, separating the deplorable left from the deplorable right and ruling for the rich. At least the repubs use the teapartiers, the dems ignore the left. And that ain’t gonna change.

      1. tegnost

        also on trade did not peter navarro just tell goldman sacks to butt out on china? imagine a democrat, other than bernie, saying that. And what about all the people in health care with all their meritocratic student loans to pay off which makes them into the good people? Those people want money, not medicare for all. Like galloway states in the amazon hq story re: sfca…
        Most beautiful city in the union. I spent 10 years

        there, but I don’t go back a lot.

        Not anymore. Don’t go back.

        When I go there, the impression I get in the way … I would describe my experience there as, I went to go meet with an individual who runs one of these tech companies who’s early 30s, a billionaire, and going into the office this thing I noticed was the number of severely mentally ill homeless people on the street below that building. I thought, “We really have become a dystopia.” I mean, it is just a contrast.

        It’s changed a lot in the past two years.

        It’s rattling. I mean, really rattling.

        and this is in sfca, hotbed of liberalism
        84% supported hillary. Better look somewhere else for salvation…

        1. JTMcPhee

          Would the people in “medical delivery” professions be more willing to buy into Medicare for All, if their “crushing student debt burdens” were extinguished as part of the legislative approach to that so badly needed universal concrete material benefit? Or are too many of them just greedy a$$holes who want their Acura Crossover NOW?

          Of course, most of the medical credentialed people would fear to do the other thing, #juststoppaying, because they are a pretty small cadre and easy to get at through their licenses and identification and hoped for future income streams…

          My wife is into Facebook, and just read me a post from today by an actual caregiver, a nurse manager at one of the CA hospitals that has burned, and showed me the pictures the nurse posted of the burning stuff and the massive dedicated efforts she and her staff put in to evacuate the large number of patients to safety. While many of the staff remained behind, surviving, mostly, in the hospital basement or trapped on the helipad on the roof, hoping for air evacuation that was not coming. This woman’s relating of her actions and those of her staff, carefully documented of course, with times when she did or noted the evacuation response actions and careful lists of all her patients and the check-off to make sure each was cared for, remind me why it was a good thing to become a nurse myself, though I never had to perform any such heroics.

          And one can bet that the hospital administrators will claim all the credit for this emergency response, and such success as it had, and there will be no pay raises for the decent and kindly and loving people that did the actual rescue…

            1. tegnost

              adding the rank and file as well as the clives of the world in all industries think it’s all f@(ked up and b.s.

          1. meaculpa

            I think the answer to your first question is a resounding yes and yes.
            I know both types. Perhaps the latter are more numerous, but that could be changed too.

      2. kurtismayfield

        That is because they don’t talk to anyone in labor, or in labor unions where people actually work with their hands. They have no idea how it is to feel every raise that you get being swallowed up by increases in health insurance, as if you are only working to feed it’s voracious appetite.

  5. Kokuanani

    I’m still thinking about yesterday’s “dog in the rain” antidote. Any word on what happened to him/her?

      1. tegnost

        he woke up from his revery and walked over to the bus stop, stood next to the lady with the umbrella, and shook himself dry?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The dog looked healthy. One of the huskies I had as a kid loved inclement weather except thunder then she would hide under a bush, but chasing and dragging her in was a fairly routine activity during gross weather.

      My guess is the dog was refusing to come in. They do enjoy their walks.If you let dogs be dogs, they will be dogs. They are much more fun that way.

      1. DJG

        NotTimothyGeithner: Indeed. My neighborhood is now infested with the smashed-faced breeds like pugs, bulldogs, and Boston terriers, none of which are active and all of which are mainly a canine medical bill on a leash. And then there are all of those faddish and tiny and even more sickly quadrupeds called shihtzupoos and chihuahuadoodles or whatnotoverbred, most of which are neurotic and not too bright.

        But a bigger dog wanting to be a dog is a joy, as I see various dogs of size give me that “watch me escape from this lunkhead” look when the owner is distracted by the telephone screen or the disposable coffee cup.

        Kurt Sperry mentioned a maremmano the other day: A dog with a sense of purpose and a sense of humor.

        They eat bichons frisés for breakfast.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          The only thing Bernie, the farmer’s Merramano here, would eat for breakfast is breakfast. Such a sweet and calm demeanor, perfectly fitting for a large herding dog.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “California wildfires: 250,000 flee monster flames ravaging state”

    This article was in line with what I saw on the TV news tonight. Those two major fires are as bad as they can get and the firefighters there will be doing the hard yards. These fires will be going for days and I would not be surprised if they call for reinforcements from as far away as the east coast. That was not what I wanted to comment about.
    There are two major fire centers – the Hill and Woolsley fire in the south and the Camp Fire in the north. The main priority for the news was of course out of Malibu because Kaitlin Jenner’s house was burn out and Kim Kardashian had to evacuate as well as Lady Gaga & Guillermo del Toro. Cher was distraught. It was terrible for all the celebrities who had their beautiful homes there.
    In other news, nine muppets burned to death at Camp Fire with thirty-five still missing as people scrambled to flee via car or by foot. Anybody else here think that perhaps the news on the Camp Fire should have taken priority as it involved so much death and destruction and then have the stories on the celebrities further down the column? This is really sick and by that I do not mean how young people mean by it. Is this how people really want their news prioritized?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Also on SBS Television (a multicultural station that features more international news) in Australia. Don’t know obviously how it was reported in the US.

    1. ambrit

      Sorry to break it to you like this, but as far back as commercial television in America goes, everything on it, including the news, has been honestly described as “programming.” Hide it in plain sight.
      Every time I would put up a comment on some MSM affiliated site decrying the inanity or stupidity of some “news” item, such comments were regularly ‘disappeared’ by site moderators. Yahoo “news” was the worst. Probably still is. I gave up trying to post anything but fawning obeisances over that a ways long ago.

    2. BobW

      Sadly, that is how the media must prioritize. Unlike this site, which comes from personal passion, they are in the business of selling people’s attention to advertisers, providing the news in a way that will do that. From long experience they know that celebrities attract attention. NC uses advertising to partially offset overhead, and do not have to provide a profit to owners or shareholders. Thanks, NC.

    3. JTMcPhee

      I’ll not ask forgiveness for my own schadenfreude that the Blessed Coastal People of Malibu and the other places where Rich Folks have built their Estates and Enclaves (not including, of course, their servants and providers like yard and pool service workers and such) are getting a face full of what is coming? Thanks in part to their own contributions to the way the world works? And all those Tech People with their zooming Zillow Value houses built on the thixotropic landfilling around the Beautiful (for us only, not for you) San Francisco Bay, awaiting the earthquakes and fires to come?

      No doubt many of the Malibuians resisted policies that might have at least mitigated the extent and impact of these fires and other recent ones, to “protect their special views and surroundings.”) And will be expecting a kind of “crowd-funding” via government wealth transfers and of course insurance payouts to “rebuild” on their special favorite plots of ground. That other kind of “entitlement.”

      Millions have died and been maimed, including 58,220 US military people in the Vietnam thing, Bob Hope and other Coastals did their part to create and maintain the Imperial Narrative, all those movies and TV shows glorifying what the Empire and its corporations have done to make what is coming arrive sooner and with even more destruction.

      I know I am not in sync with most of the rest of the world, peopled by folks that say “Oh’ that’s horrible,) imagining themselves in similar circumstances or just because they are decent, caring humans. But: Sympathy, empathy, but awareness of context. Is karma in there somewhere?

      And for more than enough people, going by the stuff in the impulse-purchase tabloids at the supermarket checkouts, and “People” magazine and the Daily Mail and such, what you remark on is exactly how they want their “news” prioritized. Or have in many cases been ‘manufactured-demand-consent” trained to prefer, with their “free will choices.”

        1. JTMcPhee

          California’s most destructive wildfire should not have come as a surprise,

          That’s a piece from the LaJolla Light, a local paper I believe, regarding the fires and what might ought to be done…

          These same areas burn repeatedly, yet the incentives that move people into them are not challenged, nor the behaviors of people in learning to live with their environment — all the aspects of it. Including, for us Floriduh-ians, hurricanes and tornados and red tides and other algae blooms and declining fresh water supplies and “developers,” and the DemParty.

          Not that it matters a whit what my reactions are to all this, here at a little less than 19 feet above high-tide sea level (2016 datum). But I do empathize and sympathize with the plight of fellow humans and other creatures who end up in the middle of these events, and send click-dollars to relief organizations to help out the unfortunates who are “un-housed” and devastated by things like fires, floods and violent windstorms that are often the product of improvidence and failures of “governance” and triumphs of greed and self-pleasing.

          Soon enough, it won’t matter to me, for one reason or another, but I will depart in sadness, knowing that “we coulda been a contendah…”

      1. Wukchumni

        I live in the midst of an oak savanna & pine forest, and don’t think I don’t sweat it out from what used to a May to October romance with fire, to this point where it could happen anytime.

        Winds are negligible around these parts and we have 4 different fire departments in our little neck of the woods, redundancy is just alright by me.

        Losing around 10,000 insured homes to fires in the span of a week in November could be the cause of lots of cancellations of fire insurance for those of us not yet in it’s path, but in harms way.

        1. pretzelattack

          a friend cut a lot of the timber around his home in colorado, he says that will work. i hope so, they aren’t california but they’ve had their share.

      2. kareninca

        I’m here in Silicon Valley. Yesterday the air was hazy and smelled like smoke – yes, we’re getting it all the way from Paradise – and the sun was blood red at 5 p.m.. I went to Trader Joe’s and by the time I got back my throat was sore and my eyes hurt and I was nauseated. We’re keeping my 94 year old father in law and dog inside our condo with hepa air filters running. Per the online reports, today’s air quality is even worse than yesterday’s.

        Most people here aren’t rich. We live in company housing of a sort, and will not make much money on it ever. About 44 percent of the people who live in Palo Alto rent. The only people I know personally who are suffering from the air without available remedy are homeless or nearly so; a 74 y.o. friend who lives in her car and a middle aged friend who has no car and so has to walk great distances. And a friend who is severely stroke-disabled who lives in a $3 million house that is literally falling apart (he can’t get repairs for complicated reasons involving Medicaid and his lawyer father who wants him to die so he can get the place)(the toilets don’t flush because of tree roots).

        But, I don’t resent your schadenfreude. It’s okay. We’re here by choice; my husband’s profession (which is not at all in tech) has only a few openings nationwide each year and this is it for us. But we are surrounded by people who do evil things for a living; that is undeniable. But I don’t get the impression that the evil-doers are suffering at all. I suppose the rich people who are actually burned out are suffering a little, but I wouldn’t think much. So I don’t think that this is really a lesson at all, for good or ill. I guess maybe it’s a lesson that you want to have enough money to be able to afford housing with air filters, and a reliable car, but is a lesson a lesson if it can’t be acted on???

        1. Craig H.

          At the Castro Valley Safeway this afternoon I saw four Chinese wearing surgical face masks to fight the smoke effects. Never seen that before in person or in the newspapers in California. I have seen the occasional odd one but never multiple in a short time interval.

          My nose feels like it’s maximum allergy season X 2 or 3.

          Not fun.

    4. Eclair

      Kudos to the firefighters, who are all working class, except those who are currently incarcerated and who are released to firefighting duty and who would like to be ‘working class’, except when they serve their sentence are ineligible to be hired by fire departments (unless that regulation has been recently changed.) They are actually trying to save Malibu mansions for owners who would normally bar them from enjoying the beaches in front of their homes.

      California beaches are public, from the high tide mark down, but that does not deter the millionaire owners of beachfront property from routinely trying to bar the unwashed public. Or from barring access to ‘public’ beaches across ‘private’ land.

    5. Stormcrow

      Two good pieces on the California wildfires

      Business Insider gives a good overview, with updates.

      wsws gives the context.

      The wealth to support all the victims of wildfires, solve the housing crisis and prevent further disasters is readily available, but is channeled into wars abroad, the persecution and mass detention of immigrants, and the further enrichment of the capitalist ruling class.

    6. Charlie

      There’s a certain aspect of karma that comes into play with fires around Malibu. While the media dunderheads get to shriek about all their lost property as if Russia played a role, we proles also get to cheer the fire like Beavis and Butthead.

      Fire. Fire, fire.

    7. Spoofs desu

      Another dimension of how the media fails to capture that which is really happening, even when it seems to be trying to be serious, is that they get the context wrong.

      The take away from these giant, rapidly expanding fires–and what now seems like a permanent, year round fire season–is that vast parts of California is basically in the process of turning into a giant desert.

      At last count (2017), the National Forest Service estimated 128,000,000 dead tress in California, (not counting partially dead/dying trees). This is a 62,000,000 increase from previous year; ~100% YoY increase. Adding 2018, assuming the same mortality rate, that is a lot of dead/dying trees. (“Interestingly”, the NFS does not use percentage of total either, again leaving out context)

      When the MSM does mention the cause of the dead trees, they seem to say it is the result of drought (which by definition is a term to describe a temporary condition, getting the context wrong) which weakens the trees, making them susceptible to pests.

      My understanding is that the cause and effect are (mostly) reversed; since we no longer have the extended, winter cold snaps that would normally kill off the bark beetles and thier eggs, there has been an explosion in the bark beetle population. This in turn kills them or weakens them and makes them susceptible to “drought”. NOT the other way around.

      I am not an expert but my understanding is that these trees are very “drought” resistant–hence there ability to live 100’s of years. But apparently they are not pests resistant and when there is a explosion in the beetle population. This makes them vulnerable. (Side-note for context: 2017 was above average precipitation in Cal.)

      Of course, the big question is why does the MSM present the world to us with no meaningful context? And loop in and pile on huge amounts of gibbership about some celebrities.

      1. southern california

        Many native trees, such as Coast Live Oaks, are drought-tolerant, but not really “drought-resistant.

        (some native California trees need substantial water, such as Redwoods, Western Sycamores and White Alders)

        Drought-tolerant trees still need occasional deep watering. Without this, they become weakened and additionally susceptible to borers and other parasites and pathogens.

        The 30 million tree die-off in California resulted from the 6-year drought and the parasites preying on the trees’ weakened condition.

  7. tegnost

    Recode: I think you’re gonna see a lot of that from the states, like Gavin Newsom in California and some other states. You’re going to see action that sort of makes the tech companies come to heel a little bit. On the national level, I’m not so sure. I’m just going to have to find out. But Pelosi certainly is behind it, it’s just a question whether she can get the Senate to do the same. So we’ll see. We’ll see if we’re going to have a privacy bill or anything else. Probably not.

    Pelosi is being just like amazon, I will feign concern over privacy and make noises about bringing tech to heel unless you send the DCCC lots and lots and lots of money, and I have some people who need jobs so let me know who they should call, or else! A real fighter, that pelosi

    1. tegnost

      and in other amazon news, after which I will go back to just reading,
      FTA…”After finishing up his day job at a charter school, Sherwin Karunungan heads to a nondescript warehouse in San Francisco that serves as a shipment hub for In a windowless breakroom, Karunungan presses a single button on his phone, over and over, to request a gig through Amazon Flex.”
      charter school and amazon…is it really worth living there?

        1. nycTerrierist

          City council member Van Bremer makes the right point:

          why does the city court a rich corporation like Amazon with giveaways,
          when we should really be asking what will Amazon do for us?

        2. Pat

          From that I’m not seeing what deBlasio would have been able to do. He seems to be in the same position as the City Council. Only nice thing about Bloomberg was his media empire could raise more of a ruckus, although the media seems to be pretty much also against. And that includes the business media.

          That said, I wonder if any voters in Queens and Brooklyn might now regret not voting for the actress. (I will never ever get the city’s affection for Cuomo, so many of the city voters have saved his ass in two primaries when they also should have wanted to kick his a** not just to the curb but to Texas.)

          1. Big River Bandido

            the city’s affection for Cuomo

            is a media perception easy to manufacture when you control the entire voting apparatus for New York State. I voted for the actress…on a digital voting machine. Given what happened here in the 2016 primary, I have no faith in the process and no belief that my vote was actually counted.

            The level of corruption that goes on before candidates even get on the New York ballot makes a farce of democracy in the city.

            1. Pat

              You have a very big and accurate point. I do expect a goodly portion of the city to have broken for Cuomo (the financial industry has been well served by him since before he became attorney general). That does not mean we really know the will of the voters. So I have perhaps blamed the victims of an even greater crime.

              I also distrust results. Yes we have a paper ballot, but have no assurance that said ballot has been counted correctly. “You voted” on a screen doesn’t even pretend to tell you “this is what I counted as your vote”. I miss the lever machines. There was no safety or recount ability there either (since what I consider recount is to have to count paper ballots by hand), but at least the thieves had to work harder and hack each individual machine.

              This, our draconian registration process, and the seemingly pointless way people have been purged from the ballot in recent years also make your point very valid.

              And while I may have my doubts about Nixon having won even then, I am quite certain Teachout did (and that they needed Maloney just to make the theft even plausible).

    2. Kurt Sperry

      Cloud storage is always and will always be, at some point when whoever is holding your data for profit realize they have your balls in their hand, an extorsion racket. It’s inevitable. If you want to actually own your data, you need to buy your own domain and make ad hoc web hosting arrangements and be ready at any moment when they go for the jugular and jack the price, to jump ship to another hoster, of which thankfully many still exist. And you need to possess and keep current local copies of everything you care about on at least two seperate local drives. If you leave yourself exposed to the kind ministrations of capitalists who smell an opportunity to hold your data hostage for a quick buck, that is exactly what they will inevitably do at some point.

      We, in a better, more rational world, would all host our own data like image files on a server at home backed-up at least twice, but most ISPs (which operate on a monopoly, or near monopoly predatory basis and can thus unilaterally dictate terms) have buried in their boilerplate a stipulation that you cannot serve files from your home.

      The big answer is to make the right to host and serve your own data any way you see fit a protected right. In that better, more rational and kinder world, I could see the huge surveillence state data centers being repurposed as public data centers where instead of having all your data held to be used against you, it instead would be held to back up and protect your data and for you to use any way you wish. It’s really the only good, Constitutional (in the US) use they could be put to. We’re already paying for it; why shouldn’t we get to benefit from it?

  8. The Rev Kev

    “US to stop refueling Saudi planes in Yemen”

    UserFriendly is absolutely correct on this. The Saudi Air Force has about two dozen aircraft listed that can serve as tankers and likely they have been trained the past coupla years to do it all themselves. The US as well as other nations will continue to supply bombs for the aerial campaign as well as supplying targeting information. Probably military advice & assistance as well so yes, the bombing campaign will continue. I was disgusted a coupla months ago to see on TV that the Australian Navy was helping train the Saudi Navy in patrolling in that region i.e. we were helping train the Saudis blockade Yemen from food shipments. The US cops a lot of flack for their part in the Yemen disaster but they are not alone in this and there are heaps more countries involved in this barbarity than is realized.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Saudi Arabia already fronts on the Red Sea. I can’t imagine they actually NEED Hodeidah.

        It’s more a matter of trying to control the whole peninsula. The Yemenis deserve to die for lese majeste. (sorry, don’t know how to do the accents on this.)

        1. Oregoncharles

          A not-too-detailed map shows Jizan, Jeddah, and Yanbu as SA ports on the Red Sea, from south to north. Jizan is quite close to Yemen.

          Strategically, Yemen controls the straits where the Red Sea connects to the Indian Ocean. That’s a big consideration – though the SA oil is almost all on the Persian Gulf.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I spent some time recently at a naval installation here in FL, where the base newspaper was full of happy stories about training Saudi Princeling pilots to fly attack aircraft. They were portrayed as great heroes, “protecting their nation’s security,” along the vein of “Pappy” Boyington of the Black Sheep Squadron, familiar to you older folks from the TV series starring Robert Conrad.

      That same place is the headquarters of one “squadron” of one of the other great Military Fails of the moment, the “littoral combat ships” that sop up hundreds of billions of MMT “fun units” ($$) and for some reason just can’t do what their contractors promised they would. Got to live the idea of a dress-em-up ship where the superstructure and armaments and electronics are “mission-specific” and can be swapped out (albeit it takes weeks to months to effect the change-over, and none of the “packages” actually work, per even the carefully tailored mission profiles the contractors get to define (though signed off on by the Brass Hats) with an eye toward making the lipstick look a little better on the pig…

      Large buildings with the logos of “BAE” and “General Dynamics” and “Lockheed-Martin,” and a bunch of others, each with their own separate security cordons. And a small city, that houses and feeds thousands, but produces nothing but potential “power projection” and death, and sucks in unaccounted/unaccountable billions of dollars. But for us damaged or retired veterans, and of course the contractor personnel, there are nice “Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR, must include the accronym per DoD style manual) facilities we get to use for a relative pittance compared to those available to ordinary no-count civilians. And this formula is repeated at hundreds of “installations” and “bases” and OPs across the country and the planet. With little places like Dothan, AL outside the gates, to dissipate the
      Troops’ money into the very local economy of tattoo parlors, cheaply built apartments, car dealers, jewelry stores and pawn shops. And all those Navy and Marine and Army and Air Force mopes — how could they ever be re-absorbed into a non-martial economy? The resistance to any undoing of the Empire’s bootprint will be massive and relentless…

      1. Summer

        “The resistance to any undoing of the Empire’s bootprint will be massive and relentless…”

        It took two World Wars ongoing to start the wind down of the British Empire.

      2. The Rev Kev

        I’ve got “Pappy” Boyington’s autobiography and from reading it, he would resign before taking part in such an aerial campaign against defenseless people.

  9. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Mueller Is ‘Ready to Indict Some Folks’: Former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Newsweek (furzy)

    “I think the Whitaker appointment steps up the timeline, and I think perhaps if Mueller sticks to the strategy of telling us the story through indictments—the indictments speak to us—that he’ll speak to us soon, very soon, with additional indictments, perhaps that tell the story of a corrupt president,” he said.

    What does that even mean?

    “…..the indictments speak to us—that he’ll speak to us soon, very soon……” Sounds pretty mystical in an Oracle at Delphi, “navel” of the world sorta way. The Whitaker kick in the backside notwithstanding.

    1. Carey

      Yes, I was trying to parse that word salad, too, then realized that like so many things in our corporate media these days, it is not supposed to make sense.

    2. Big River Bandido

      It means “film at 11″…when in fact there is no film to show when 11 rolls around. Just feeding the storyline is all.

    3. Darthbobber

      Will there be more indictments? Sure. Will they be that smoking gun the hysteria wing of team donkey is hoping for and pretends to have already found? Not literally impossible, but I think unlikely.

      Probably more evidence of sketchy people collaborating for mutual enrichment, or in Stone’s case paying even less attention to the law than is the norm for such operatives. All of which may be scandalous, but is also a long way from Trump and Putin getting together in a conspiracy. And most of which won’t even be relevant to such an accusation.

  10. jfleni

    RE: Amazon Is Kicking All Unauthorized Apple Refurbishers Off Amazon Marketplace;

    YOU are always “authorized” to use Linux in any way you choose; a pox
    on all the other monopolies!

    1. cnchal

      That wasn’t the issue. Even if the refurbisher were able to load Linux onto an Apple machine, he or she is still getting the boot from selling their goods on Amazon because of a recent contract and agreement between Amazon and Apple whereby Amazon allows only Apple ‘authorized’ sellers.

      It will likely end up as a net positive. The booted refurbishers will find their own way to sell, perhaps creating their own platform of former ‘screwed by Amazon’ sellers. Customers will find them, just not on Amazon, and nobody worth their salt will buy from an Apple ‘authorized’ seller that is restricted by their agreement with Apple to performing only “oil changes”.

      Amazon got their marching orders for once, and if things work out well, have bitten themselves in the ass as a bonus.

  11. allan

    The Thousand Oaks Shooter Used A High-Capacity Magazine That Voters Outlawed In 2016 [BuzzFeed]

    The Thousand Oaks shooter used a high-capacity magazine that, in 2016, California voters banned anyone in the state from possessing, but implementation of the law has been blocked by a lawsuit brought by the NRA and other gun rights advocates. …

    … the legislation was quickly opposed by the California Rifle & Pistol Association — the official state association of the National Rifle Association — and five residents who sued, arguing the new rule would violate their Second Amendment rights by restricting their ability to defend themselves against a violent attacker.

    “In confrontation with a violent attacker, having enough ammunition can be the difference between life and death,” the lawsuit states. …

    Hard to find anything family blog appropriate to say about this one.

    1. noonespecial

      Re: Hard to find anything family blog appropriate to say about this one.

      ViceNews posted a story with the quote from a NRA twit, “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control.”

      Among the comments from the doctors in response to the NRA, one MD responds:

      “Next time I have 16yo boy shot through the spine and liver, paralyzed and terrified, gasping for air, and have to pretend to reassure him that we will do our best as he only survives long enough to make it to the OR table, I’ll be sure to call you to come tell the family.”

      Lest we forget, at the helm of the NRA, Oliver North arms dealer and cocaine pimp par excellence.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Five Reasons the Democrats Might Impeach Trump”

    I can think of one main reason why this will be attempted. The past two years it has been all Russia! Russia! Russia! which meant that they never had to analyze or account for their defeat to Trump in 2016. In fact, they have never had to come up with a progressive platform to appeal to voters. Progressive measures were voted in a coupla days ago such as minimum wages but this was not tied with the Democrats as a party.
    By having Impeachment! Impeachment! Impeachment! on the table for the next two years, they can still ignore coming up with any policies that will appeal to their voters. In any case, even if the House votes for impeachment, it is the US Senate where it will be decided so it will be literally DOA when it arrives there. If the Republicans decide that they could use the opportunity to get rid of Trump and replace him with an establishment figure, they should call the Australian Prime Minister and ask how well that works changing leaders in the lead up to a national election.

    1. Big River Bandido

      I think more likely they will scream “Impeach!Impeach!Impeach!” all the way to 2020, with the exact same result as Russia!Russia!Russia!™. In other words, hot air but no action.

  13. Todde

    I just saw the post titled first we kill all the accountants.

    All i can say is ‘you can take my abacus from my cold, dead hands…”

    1. Todde

      Regarding Alexa and data collection…

      The accounting profession is in a quandary becuase we.know the data they have collected on us has ‘value’ but we have no way to price it.

  14. dcblogger

    I will never understand why people vote against their best interests. How did Cuomo win his primary? Not his winning personality, that is for sure. Why didn’t the Medicare for All candidates do better in their primaries? Even allowing for the flaws in the Jealous campaign, why didn’t the people of Maryland want single payer healthcare? Our most powerful opponent is the little voice in our head that says we can’t have nice things.

    1. Henry Moon Pie`

      It is discouraging, but the little voice in our head may be saying, “I got mine, but I want more!” Actual voters tend to be more affluent than the population at large and are, on average, less concerned about health care and more concerned about keeping their taxes low.

      If our oh-so-meritorious Ten Percenters were a little more concerned about their fellow citizens and less concerned about trading up houses, SUVs, and boats, it would be a lot easier to get something done electorally.

    2. PhilK

      I would suggest that people are not voting against their own best interests at all, but merely voting against your opinion of what’s in their own best interests.

      The “voting against their own best interests” thing used to be huge over at DKos. The only acceptable explanations were fascism, racism, and stupidity. As was said there so often in those days, Obama was going to “give everyone healthcare” — and, obviously, you’d have to be racist, fascist or stupid to be against that, right?

      A lot of professional people are accustomed to giving advice to others, and having that advice well-received (and even well-paid for). One hard-to-avoid aspect of being a party of the upper 10% is that the party will gradually assume an attitude of smug superiority. “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?”

    3. knowbuddhau

      You’re confusing votes tallied with what “the people of Maryland want.” Is there any evidence that the specific votes counted were cast by a sample representative of that population?

      I know, it’s the prime assumption of our election rituals. Without a holiday, giving each voter at least a chance of equal representation, and paper ballots hand-counted in public, doubt very much it’s true.

    4. Big River Bandido

      I will never understand why people vote against their best interests.

      Really? This crap again? You can’t see how that line is guaranteed to offend?

      Pray tell, what are my “best interests”? I mean, I always thought they were about things like my job, my pay, my time off, my health care, my education and that of my dependents. But I guess I need you to tell me what my true best interests are, because obviously I’m too stupid to figure it out for myself without asking…oh, a blogger from DC.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Wait, what are you talking about, WE decided? MY best interests? How do you know what MY best interest is?”

        Greatest hardcore song of all time (imho)…. “Institutionalized” by Suicidal Tendencies.

  15. SOMK

    From the Ryanair story

    “It then makes extra money with add-on fares. Besides charging for seating choice and food — now standard practice on budget flights the world over — it also has travelers pay for any carry-on bag that’s larger than a purse.

    Can’t believe I’m having to defend Ryanair, but they’re not that bad, you can take a small-medium bag with you 7kg or less in weight, (which in my experience is never weighed). It’s an exaggeration to say you have have to pay for “any carry-on bag that’s larger than a purse”.

    1. Tinky

      In my experience, Ryanair is terrible, and vastly inferior to Easyjet. On the latter, far larger carry-on bags are allowed at no charge.

      1. oh

        That was not my experience. They charged me $100 for my carry-on of the size that’s allowed into the cabin in all US airlines. They consistently do this when you’re boarding. Crooks!

  16. JCC

    Amazon and Apple – Corporate controlled Entrepreneurship has become the American Way, or as George Carlin spelled it out so well, “It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

  17. Octopii

    FYI we can donate through Bernie to fund the recount efforts in GA and FL. Although I can’t tell exactly how the money will be used, I think it’s a worthy cause.

    1. John k

      Is there any chance a recount would change the result?
      These races were stolen by removing dems from the polls.
      I assume the dnc fought it tooth and nail…

      1. Richard

        This is sarcasm I believe?
        The dnc is 10x more anti-populist than anti-fascist….
        They have shown by their actions that they are fine with the size of “their” party,
        and you can even trim it a little just to be on the safe side.

      2. Lord Koos

        The DNC and DCCC seem totally MIA when it comes to this kind of thing. Kemp should be in prison for what he did – aren’t there federal laws against election tampering (which in this case, was blatant)?

      1. polecat

        “which diverts half of all contributions to ..”
        Well, there’s a giant sucking sound right there !! (to paraphrase a prior presidential candidate underdog) ..
        Pairs fine with Nancy Pelosi’s “Embrace the Suck !” utterance of recent memory.

        God how I hate these people.

  18. cm


    In September, I informed our readers of the troubling allegation that a veteran political reporter, Mike Ward, had fabricated individuals for a story published earlier this summer. I promised a thorough investigation of Ward’s work and that I would share the results with our readers. Today’s story by David Wood, whom we hired as a freelance investigative reporter, details our findings.

    As a result of this investigation, the Houston Chronicle is retracting eight stories written by Ward. In each case, the story’s premise was based on sourcing we cannot confirm. We are correcting an additional 64 stories, each of which had at least one unconfirmed source but whose premise did not rest on an unconfirmed source.

  19. Susan the other

    Wow. I loved the interview with Jeremy Corbyn. And I think I love Jeremy Corbyn even more than Bernie, who is my idol. The interviewer asked the questions (usually avoided) to bring Corbyn to clarity.. and Corbyn complied. He is one very good pol. He’s not afraid to be a good person and an activist. How wonderful.

  20. Oregoncharles

    “‘We Can’t Stop Brexit’ Der Spiegel. Interview with Corbyn. Well, that settles that. Note how hostile the interviewer was.”

    I don’t agree that the interviewer was hostile; the questions were challenging, as they should be. And Corbyn handled them very well, with one exception that I noticed: when he mentioned giving people “hope” as a culminating policy. That reeks of Obama. They don’t need hope; they need good grounds for hope. Call it an equal chance at a good life. That seems to be what he has in mind, so why not say it that way?

    I agree with the other Susan: a good interview, and a good showing by Corbyn.

  21. precariat

    “Wi-Fi to see behind closed doors…”

    The capability to weaponize ordinary items in our homes and lives has been
    around but due to the proliferation of technology any reasonably equipped bad actor can turn against us the things we take for granted. More discussion and awareness is needed.

    Technology enables intermediated action, and if committed by a
    criminal for destructive purposes, the intent and actions of the ‘crime’
    can be obfuscated. In the end a criminal who counts on this is relying
    on security through obscurity. However, when people are unaware of how
    technology can be used to prey upon them, that obscurity enables a whole
    lot of crime.

    What previously required skin-in-the-game activity and thus a verifiable criminal
    action is obfuscated but no less effective. No one has to trespass and place a bug in the room, just exploit the Wi-Fi RF field with a smart phone accelerometer and wi-fi locater from outside the location. There are bad actors in America and globally who are using these kinds of tactics to fly under the radar and hurt individuals (the diplomats in Cuba and China) and businesses (any hack, exploitation and attack
    du jour).

  22. How is it legal

    Re: Pacific Gas & Electric says it will help probe

    Some meatier detail on PG&E and the ghastly Camp Fire, in Butte County PG&E: Power line had problems before Camp Fire ignited

    Pacific Gas and Electric Co. told state regulators Friday that a high-voltage power line near the origin point of the devastating Camp Fire experienced a problem just before the first flames appeared.

    The public utility, already facing billions in potential liability for earlier wildfires, is under scrutiny from regulators for possibly causing the latest fire, which broke out early Thursday. That same day, PG&E canceled plans to shut off power as a precaution against fires in parts of Butte County, where the fire is burning.

    In a filing to the California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E stated that it noted a power outage on the line at about 6:15 a.m. Thursday — about 20 minutes before the fire was reported.

    (The whole piece is worth reading.)

    Not a peep from Governor Jerry Brown, anywhere that I could find, about any of the fires because Gov. Brown is on a trip to Texas [1]. Also, it’s highly dubious as to whether Jerry Brown, or Gavin Newsom, will be saying much of anything about PG&E and the Camp Fire:

    PG&E has given more than $900,000 in political donations this year, including $175,000 to the California Democratic Party and $110,000 to the California Republican Party. It’s also given $25,000 to a committee that supports moderate Republicans and $40,000 to one that supports moderate Democrats.

    In addition, PG&E gave $150,000 to a campaign supporting Newsom for governor, and paid nearly $400,000 to a political consulting firm that ran Brown’s campaign for governor and is helping with Newsom’s.

    [1] From that link, this made my stomach churn even more than it already is – particularly since he was on record as not supporting Proposition 10 Rent Control, and now there are thousands more homeless (and likely assetless, jobless, and transportationless) in California:

    Newsom had planned to discuss housing and homelessness issues at a press conference on Thursday in downtown San Francisco, before inviting the press to watch him serve lunch to homeless and low-income residents of the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

    I seriously doubt Gavin Newsom has served™ anyone but himself, his entire life.

    1. Spoofs desu

      Thanks for the link on PG&E and the nice write up. Very much appreciated!

      This is freakin typical…here we have, yet again with extract same circumstances (recall PG&E has been blamed for the previous fires as well), a case of institutional failure associated with a relatively simple, well defined problem.

      Intersecting this political dysfunctional with the effects of global warming (I.e. 100’s of millions of dead and dying trees) and we have disasters on a grand scale.

      But I guess globalwarming in itself is institutional failure on a grand scale so I guess I am repeating myself in some sense.

      As Kurt Vonnegut said (and as Oaf alluded above), “global warming is the earths immune system trying to get rid of humans” …..indeed…

      1. Summer

        And the article does name the names of the families and individuals within the families…lots of handy charts.

        1. How is it legal

          Yeah, Gavin’s a real piece of work, as was his Primary Option (slimy birds of a feather), and Final Option (didn’t vote for any of the three).

          I don’t care for Jerry Brown at all – though I voted for him years ago, to my apparent shame – but I suspect Gavin will be even worse.

      2. polecat

        I have a relative who just today mentioned to me how Newsome looks like the epitome of a sleezy “lounge lizard”..

  23. oaf

    RE: wildfires

    Earth has begun cleansing herself of her parasites. We may soon find ourselves up the canoe, without a paddle; so to speak…


    1. How is it legal

      (I think this may have gotten snagged up the first time, so I’m trying again – after 24 hours – with an update on the dead plus missing count)

      RE: wildfires

      Earth has begun cleansing herself of her parasites.

      What an ugly thing to say in light of likely over 175 people burning to death, or suffocating – in the Camp Fire™ – who had no power positions, or control over much of anything (otherwise you would have read of their names by now).

      If the earth was actively targeting parasites, why aren’t the low hanging ‘fruit’ [fill in the blanks] being punished in such multiple numbers?

      ‘Lovely,’ brutal, punching down job you’re doing, oaf.


      1. oaf

        …that was in NO WAY an indictment of ANY INDIVIDUALS, victims, or otherwise; rather : a reflection of the consequences of the conduct of our species. Based on the reports of climate change induced weather pattern-changes believed by many to be contributed to by human activity. Which are reported to be factors in the growing extent of this type of disaster. As long as our species plunders the planet, we are setting up a scenario whereby many, most, or all may be blindsided. Extinction events have happened, multiple times. I have no pleasure from anyone’s suffering.
        Disaster relief, insurance payouts, reconstruction won’t do much in the long run unless we take very seriously, as a species, what happens to our planet.

        Ugly thing to say? ugly thing *we* have been doing….*we* as a species…

        I never said the Earth was actively doing anything. What it does is maintain a dynamic equilibrium; and the processes involved have proven to convey far reaching consequences. I feel we all have responsibility. No need to bash me for articulating my truths.

        Earth will spin on…
        …with us here, or us gone!

  24. Roland

    From time to time, NC carries an article from The Truth About Cars.

    The following TTAC article falls outside of NC’s usual range of interests, except for an interesting stretch of the comments section, which wandered into a discussion of wages and the so-called “skills gap.” There was unanimous opinion that the solution to the “skills gap” is easy: try offering better wages.

  25. polecat

    Perhaps we all need to have a conversation on what exactly, are the supposed ‘skills’ to be gapped. To me, it seems as another set-up for the poor, stressed,unemployed/underpaid saps to be lured into ‘programs’ run by grifting intermediaries …. via the use of shame and guilt … with little to no benefit derived for running through more useless hoops !

  26. Charles 2

    Honestly, I don’t see the point of the Wi-Fi echolocation hysteria.
    A) not having Wi-Fi in the house is probably useless, because your neighbors’ Wi-Fi can be used inside your house too. Good luck convincing the coop to ban Wi-Fi altogether from the building…
    B) As the frequency of cellular signal is quite close, it should be possible to use the same trick from your cell phone emission , even if it is a old Nokia.
    C) Every house is fitted with electromagnetic sources in the 430-770 THz frequency band which can betray occupancy and movements from one room to another. They are commonly called lightbulbs…

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Nice try. I don’t have any walls that abut neighbors. I have external walls on three sides, and an entrance rotunda, corridor, and a service area/back elevator entrance on the side and half side. And if you read the article carefully, it talks about locating individual movement when the person is in the same room as a transmitter they have located. The scary high accuracy level they can achieve requires 2 transmitters in a room!

      You assume I use a cell phone in Manhattan. I don’t. So don’t project the habits of people who are less sensitive about their privacy onto me. And phones without GPS capabilities can only be located via triangulatoin within +/- 100 feet, which has been deemed not accurate enough to use as evidence in court, plus unless someone has gotten a warrant, the data the phone service keeps is only related to calls, so it does not have a record of where you were between calls or data use.

      1. el_tel

        I’m not necessarily saying anything you said is wrong, but I do have a genuine question that perhaps you or other informed NC people could answer, which might compromise your solution. “New Nokia” et al with their “21st century dumb phones” are unlikely to rely only on the (2G) tech that their forbears used. 2G has been phased out (to reuse spectrum for 5G and other services) in Australia, some providers in the UK have phased it out, whilst others (EE, Vodafone and O2) have already stated plans to discontinue it (either at a specific date or using some fuzzy statement which clearly shows they will do, they just don’t want to reveal their hand just yet).

        Thus, do people who know the specs of the “new dumb phones” know categorically that these phones *don’t* also have “latent” 3G+ capabilities (presently useful for when you travel into increasingly common cell areas your carrier has no 2G) that they default to, and which might help your carrier locate you with much more accuracy? Genuine question, not intended to refute you, I just got worried when looking at articles regarding “the new dumb phones” and where geographically they can be used at all. My gut feeling is that carriers want 2G gone, which not only helps their spectrum requiements, but has the added benefit that we are all forced onto tech that might locate us better. Happy to be corrected, but the “2G being phased out” phenomenon is real and here.

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