Links 11/14/18

Heatwaves can ‘wipe out’ male insect fertility Guardian

NASA Brings Mars Landing, First in Six Years, to Viewers Everywhere NASA (fury)

The world’s plastic problem is bigger than the ocean PhysOrg (Robert M)

Dated science and fish advisories may be hurting brains Environmental Health News (JTM)

Do gut bacteria make a second home in our brains? Science. Research from the med school at the University of Alabama.


Sliding Chinese yuan risks Trump trade war backlash Asia Times (Kevin W)


The Daily Fix: Has the Modi government become more nervous about its shoddy economic image? Scroll (J-LS)

Delay in Mega Asian Trade Deal Comes as Boon to Modi Govt in Run-Up to 2019 The Wire

Donald Trump praises Narendra Modi as friend, says India a tough trade negotiator Economic Times

The Million Trumps of India Los Angeles Review of Books

Italy’s Banks Leap Aboard a Burning Ship Bloomberg


U.K.’s May Faces Brexit Test as Officials Reach Draft Deal Wall Street Journal

EU, UK officials reach agreement over text on Irish border RTE


Bin Salman ‘tried to persuade Netanyahu to go to war in Gaza’: Sources Middle East Eye (Scott)

America’s Absence in Istanbul: A Sign of Decline, Not Surrender Consortiumnews

The Short War With Gaza Exposed Israel’s Weakness Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

New Images Of Alleged “Torture Kit” Used On Saudi Journalist NBC (furzy). Ugh.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

DeepMind’s move to transfer health unit to Google stirs data fears Financial Times (Kevin W)

Another Facebook vulnerability could have exposed information about users and their friends The Verge

The British Army is carrying out a massive test of military robots and drones MIT Technology Review

Trump Transition

Melania Trump calls for firing of senior US official Financial Times

CNN sues Trump administration over pulling Acosta press pass The Hill

Trump’s Tweets About Macron Show Aides Aren’t Reining Him In Bloomberg (furzy)

New hurdle arises in Pelosi’s march to speakership

It wasn’t just Trump: How the DFL harnessed a massive get-out-the-vote effort to win the ’burbs MinnPost (Steve H)

Here’s the real reason Martha McSally conceded the Arizona Senate race before all the votes were counted CNN (furzy)

Power play: Nike takes a big role in Oregon tax policy OregonLive. UserFriendly: “Never Change, Democrats.”

Democratic Socialists Rack Up Wins in States Governing (UserFriendly)

Georgia Election 2018: Federal judge rules on provisional ballots Atlanta Journal-Constitution (furzy)

Critics of VHA Aim to Privatize, Not Improve Health Care for Veterans Real News. JTM: “No, really?”

Lessons From Democrat And Republican Delusions On Obamacare Shadowproof

California Burning

California Fires: Easing the Danger Won’t Be Easy Bloomberg (furzy)

2 Electric Utilities Reported Problems Minutes Before Deadly Wildfires Began NPR (David L)

What We Do And Don’t Know About Santa Susana Nuclear Site After The Woolsey Fire Laist (Janice)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Tulsa Struggles to Make Amends for a Massacre It Ignored for Nearly a Century Governing. UserFriendly: “I just love that there was a real Black Wall Street.”


Doctors post blood-soaked photos after NRA tells them to pipe down over gun restrictions (Dr. Kevin)

Medical marijuana patients federally barred from buying firearms KMBC (Dr. Kevin)

Lion Air Crash Scenario Wasn’t Covered In Boeing 737 MAX Manual, Veteran Pilots NBC (furzy). This is getting traction.

The Narrowness of Mainstream Economics Is About to Unravel TruthOut (furzy)

What The Left Must Fight Against Current Affairs (UserFriendly)

Class Warfare

Amazon is getting more than $2 billion for NYC and Virginia expansions+ ars technica

Climbing Ladders Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. UserFriendly: “Weren’t we just hearing about super star firms that accounted for all of the wage gaps less than a year ago? Or is it just Germany vs the US?”

Once Seen as a Local Issue, Affordable Housing Is Becoming a State Focus Governing

Antidote du jour. Another one of crittermom’s cedar waxwings:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Steve H.

    > What We Do And Don’t Know About Santa Susana Nuclear Site After The Woolsey Fire

    “Dr. Jonathan Samet, the dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, says, “Yes, some materials would likely have been disseminated. The good news is that anything that might be in the smoke is going to be distributed across a very wide area.”

    That means it’ll be tough to tell if we’re going to see higher cancer rates since so many people will have been exposed.”

    What Lambert said:

    “Stressor: Because of causation issues, it’s not possible to pursue legal remedies for harms due to forest fire smoke. San Francisco can’t sue PG&E for putting X number of asthmatics into hospital wards, for example.”

    1. JTMcPhee

      I have no doubt that an inventive attorney can state a cause of action that sweeps in the stressors talked about, and I can perceive as a long-ago attorney a bunch of ways to establish causation for present and potential harms resulting from failure to “close” that radioactive and toxic site. One might review the inventiveness of the attorneys that represented the dead and injured and families of those who got fried in the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire, Yes, a much clearer link between the injured, the injuries suffered and the ignition source than the remoter connection between developing disease and death due to the “dilution is the solution to pollution” crapola put out by Dr. Samet, but there are corporations, like, whose business model is to locate, for attorneys on all sides of various horrible matters, the experts that will be happy to display or construct logical chains that would lead to a jury, as they get selected and informed, to find liability on the part of all involved in creation of the mess, and failure to protect by properly closing out the risks. There’s also the mega”case” of asbestos litigation against all the miners and manufacturers of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials which also were widely dispersed into “the environment” including what some experts call “the built environment.”

      Not that litigation is a terribly efficient (for some definition of the word) way to identify harms and apportion liability, but given the failures of the “political system” via corruption and regulatory capture, in some instances it has worked to provide monetary distributions from malefactors (for some definition) to injured parties. As if a monetary judgment, like the recently hacked-down Roundup ™ one, makes up for the harms caused. And even big punitive damage verdicts are routinely blunted by “remittitur” and appellate revisions, so mostly get “priced in” as a cost of doing business. But there are ways to use whatever the system still allows, Neil the legislature and courts destroy even those pathways. then, of course, there sometimes comes resort to “direct action,” not the favored remedy but the powers that be have occasionally driven even the most sheepish of us mopes to it.

      1. perpetualWAR

        Judges are paid by corporations too. We sometimes forget that corruption leaks into every part of our republic. But when the judiciary is really never covered by MSM, corruption has an easy time of it there.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Will we see a new anti-nuclear movement radiating from that Malibu?

      I read that burning solar panels also release toxic fumes into the air. That’s another concern for those living nearby.

      Will we see an anti-solar panel movement as well (at least near fire prone areas)?

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Re the Colorado Public Health guy, after Fukushima people couldn’t understand why TEPCO was taking the millions of tons of contaminated soil and distributing it all around Japan.

        Turns out the laws say that certain actions must be taken if background readings in one area exceed the national average background readings. Problem solved.

        Add to this Hilary’s quick actions after Fukushima to close U.S. monitoring stations and immediately increase the “safe” radiation limits in imported Japanese seafood.

        Never underestimate the perfidy of men when you dangle some manna in front of their noses.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Japanese seafood.

          That relates to this link, from above:

          The world’s plastic problem is bigger than the ocean PhysOrg (Robert M)

          That is, the ocean’s problem is bigger than just plastic.

    3. todde

      it’s not possible to pursue legal remedies for harms due to forest fire smoke.

      It is in every way possible to pursue legal remedies, because all you need to do to file a lawsuit is pay the filing fees.

      Winning is a different matter

      1. JTMcPhee

        Of course lawyers and pro se litigants are also supposed to follow the Rules of Civil Procedure, including Fed.R.Civ.Proc. Rule 11, and can’t just file any old crazy claim:

        Every pleading, written motion, and other paper shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney’s individual name, or, if the party is not represented by an attorney, shall be signed by the party. Each paper shall state the signer’s address and telephone number, if any. Except when otherwise specifically provided by rule or statute, pleadings need not be verified or accompanied by affidavit. An unsigned paper shall be stricken unless omission of the signature is corrected promptly after being called to the attention of attorney or party.
        (b) Representations to Court.
        By presenting to the court (whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating) a pleading, written motion, or other paper, an attorney or unrepresented party is certifying that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances,–
        (1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation;
        (2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions therein are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law;
        (3) the allegations and other factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, are likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and
        (4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on a lack of information or belief.
        (c) Sanctions.
        If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the court determines that subdivision (b) has been violated, the court may, subject to the conditions stated below, impose an appropriate sanction upon the attorneys, law firms, or parties that have violated subdivision (b) or are responsible for the violation.
        Enforceable by significant sanctions, one might add.

        So despite what the “tort reformers” and business interests tell us, it’s not just “anything goes.” Note, of course, the popularity of the Fifth Circuit federal courts with such interests, who are happy to play furisdiction games to move their cases to a very “conservative” forum.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Almost all state courts have essentially the same rules as the federal courts. Including Rule 11. Sanctions for filing ungrounded pleadings can be imposed.

            1. Darthbobber

              But from what I’ve seen, the frivolity has to be just incredibly egregious for this to happen. Perhaps because the bar has a clear financial interest in keeping the other bar pretty low?

              1. JTMcPhee

                I stopped lawyering in 2002 or so, ended up in nursing. For a while, Rule 11 was used very offensively and aggressively. But then, when I graduated from law school it was unethical and illegal even for lawyers to advertise. And lawyers could only operate in partnerships, where they were jointly and severally liable for the sins and defalcations of any partner. How the world has changed. Glad I went into nursing.

        1. Todde

          But you would still have to show up in court and then counter sue the plantiff?

          I assume lawyers would be sanctioned.

          But i would think this is certainly actionable

  2. Watt4Bob

    Why, when I read, The million Trumps of India, do I see young American men marching with torches and chanting “You will not replace us.”?

    1. ObjectiveFunction

      “Every month, one million Indian youths enter the workforce, yet only 10,000 of them get jobs”

      1. JTMcPhee

        Do the 990,000 that don’t get what gets counted as “jobs” then just go off in a corner and die? I imagine that there, like here, inventive and hungry people tend to create those kinds of invisible-to-“Economists” economies, as in how to get around Modi’s “Death to Cash” initiatives and so forth. Would it be racist to refer to these as “black markets?” Even CNBC has noticed — Who saved the nation?

        1. Anon

          No it wouldn’t be racist (I don’t think).

          Here’s one definition of a “black market”: “Examples include the drug trade, prostitution (where prohibited), illegal currency transactions and human trafficking.”

          The slave trade (from Africa, if not worldwide) may have been the origin of the term. Of course, the slave trade in the US was anything but “underground”.

          1. Procopius

            I think the term was started in World War I. “Black” associated with evil, and the government wanted to blacken the view of hoarders and markets that fulfilled needs that the Wilsonians frowned upon. Actually, the more I learn about it, the more I see that period as horrible. Tailgunner Joe was a pussycat compared with the “committees” that sprang up around the country, sponsoring the “Four Minute Men,” and encouraging the lynching of persons who showed insufficient enthusiasm. In “The 42d Parallel” John dos Passos records that before the U.S. entered the war it was widely believed that the big New York banks were backing entry into the war in order to protect the huge loans they had made to the Allies. After 1917 you would have been taking your life in your hands to say so.

      1. Watt4Bob

        What I was commenting on was the difference in the level misery experienced by young Indian men and young white Americans.

        But yes, you are right, American woman also have more to complain about than American men.

  3. voteforno6

    Re: Amazon HQ2

    Apparently Arlington County also offered to subsidize a helipad for Amazon. That should be fun, considering how restricted the airspace is around Crystal City.

    1. Craig H.

      Anybody complaining about Amazon helipads outs themselves as a Luddite. What do you call a drone freighter quadcopter facility? I bet the FAA calls it a helipad. Bezos isn’t going to be flying his personal hookers in there.

      The man takes muscle beefing drugs. His sex capabilities are most likely miniscule.

      1. voteforno6

        Eh, I don’t think that Mattis has the juice to change something like that on his own. There are a lot more players involved in this one.

    2. Louis Fyne

      If I was a billionaire, I’d avoid helicopters at all costs.

      statistically they’re death traps—relatively to commercial aviation or driving the same distance.

  4. ChrisAtRU


    Trump’s endorsement

    “In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats,” Trump tweeted. “If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!”

    .. is further, if not the only proof one needs to see that #Pelosi as House Speaker bolsters the president and the GOP.

    1. Dan

      Its a two-fer. Pelosi helps the president and the republicans rally their base as well as demoralizing the democrats hoping for any semblance of change….

      1. Tvc15


        And the egregious corruption is fully exposed when only CEO’s and politicians are rewarded for fireable offenses to the proles. Maybe we are looking at it wrong, she’s done a remarkable job leading the Washington Generals / Resistance.

    2. Skip Intro

      Fast forward to June, 2020:

      Trump: “In all fairness, Hillary Clinton deserves to be chosen candidate for President by the Democrats,” Trump tweeted. “If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!”

      Trump’s endorsement should be grounds for instant disqualification.

      1. flora

        re: Trump’s endorsement.

        Therefore, all the talk about House Dem investigations of Trump admin are nothing but smoke; activity and busy work to avoid doing the important work their voters want… like passing bills for Medicare-for-all, increasing minimum wage, breaking up monopolies, or investigating bank frauds and increasing regulation on the finance sector. (Still waiting for a Pecora style commission*…and waiting…)


      2. Procopius

        I suspect that occurred to Trump, to the extent that he thinks anything through. I was deeply critical of Pelosi after she “took impeachment off the table” in 2007, but now I see the wisdom of the policy.

    3. Doug Hillman

      Democracy theater has a rotating cast of actors casting prescribed votes and playing their designated roles as heroes or villains on cue for their sponsors. Trump and Pelosi are perfect dramatic foils for each other in the swamp’s mud-wrestling pit, two characters the audience loves to hate.

      1. TimR

        So how scripted is it? And how much is improv? Does it EVER get even a little bit genuine? Who’s at the top of the pyramid? Etc.

        1. Doug Hillman

          I think most is impromptu improv, necessary for an air of authenticity, but with few exceptions, they know what their their sponsors* want and serve with great zeal and creative talent. Preordained is probably a better term than prescribed, because the players generally write their own scripts to bamboozle their voters and much of the conflicting drama is performed with a wink and a nod. Obama set the bar for this and is about to be fabulously rewarded for his Oscar-worthy performance.

          * Said sponsors are not voters but those who pay campaign bribes.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Before the mid-term elections, there was this thought, mentioned here, that when the D’s reach the nadir of this cycle, defeated completely and totally by the Republicans, it is the best time to completely take over that party.

      What we have today will, instead, keep them going for a good long while, it seems to me.

  5. b

    “Bin Salman ‘tried to persuade Netanyahu to go to war in Gaza’: Sources Middle East Eye (Scott)”

    MEE and David Herst are Qatari paid entities.
    I seriously doubt the claims he makes in the piece based on “sources inside Saudi Arabia”.

    1. s.n.

      MEE and David Herst are Qatari paid entities.
      Source please? btw, he’s David Hearst, not David Herst. The charges of Qatari funding of MEE originated with the Saudis and their underlings, not exactly gold standards of veracity on this particular topic

    2. JTMcPhee

      I seriously doubt the claims and pronouncements and factoids emitted by ANYONE involved in the random or manufactured and demonstrably inherent violence and coruscating and shadowed “alliances” and “initiatives” in the Great Game, MENA Section.

      Lying liars and “dupes” abound, with manifold “agendas,” forking idiots who stir the pot for tiny perceived personal and group gains, misbegotten and evanescent “loyalties,” or just, like the Imperial CIA and other (c)overt players, just for the freaking fun of it, and/or because that is what they know how to do, and they do it so incomparably well (like plotting to get Castro’s beard to fall out.) And the relatively few people of good will who try to get the “story” straight, in context, without blinders and blunders, disappear into the noise of all the “signal.”

      Here’s a laugher of an article from the Hoover Institution, ca. 2004, noting a few “intelligence” failures and offering “expert guidance” on “reforming” that oh-so-mandatory-inevitable-and-necessary State Security apparatus that lied us into Iraq and ran so many government-overthrows and chaos-generating operations over generations now: (Is it the Herbert Hoover, or J. Edgar “Does this dress make me look fat, and before you answer, remember I have a complete, if mostly false, but ‘authoritative’ dossier on you?” Hoover, Institution?) The problem apparently is that unlike in the Market, rogue agencies are not disciplined and forced out by performance failures. Among other issues.

      So all well and good to state one’s views that MEE is not a reliable source. Since “credible reporting and intelligence,” in our modern human world, sick as it is in so many of its parts, tends pretty much to be what any particular observer claims it is, or even believes it to be, or is advantaged to claim it to be, on the way to ‘manufacturing consent’ for whatever stratagem or initiative s/he favors or will gain from. One random fun article by way of illlutration: Netanyahu: Israel is Sparing No Effort to Avoid a War in Gaza, Speaking of “saying the thing that is not so,” which I am told is the Cheyenne circumlocution for “lying,” since their language supposedly does not have a word with that direct meaning.

      And Policy, that so-serious buzz word that hides so much, is made by those closest to the throne(s), not the mopes who forever do the creation of real wealth to be looted, while participating willy-nilly in the Global Carbo-Consumption Dead End Game, and do the bleeding and dying.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Bin Salman ‘tried to persuade Netanyahu to go to war in Gaza’ say sources”

    In other news, Bin Salman teaches Netanyahu the meaning of the word “Chutzpah”. After all, it would be Israelis that would be getting killed in the ensuing conflict and Israel that would be subjected to Gazan missiles. Kinda reminds me of the time when John Kerry related how countries like Saudi Arabia wanted the US to invade Syria. American troops would do the dying but the Saudis offered to write out a cheque to cover it all as well as to make the sandwiches.
    In a bit of good news, Israeli defence chief Avigdor Lieberman quits over Gaza truce. No word if the doorknob hit him in the butt on the way out.

      1. Doug Hillman

        Yes, war does not really fit guards assaulting prisoners of a concentration camp.

        The link doesn’t note that, as usual, the conflict was instigated by Israel first breaching the ceasefire with a compromised commando assassination raid. The rockets were a response to that provocation. Israel, as usual, played victim and the right of “self-defense”. (snort)

      2. Jeotsu

        “War” is terrorism by the strong against the weak.

        “Terrorism” is war by the weak against the strong.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Re the link from Middle East Eye that reported bin Salman tried to persuade Netanyahu to go to war in Gaza to divert attention away from the Khashoggi assassination differs from reasons for the action offered by Moon of Alabama in his linked article here today. Middle East Eye also reported that Israel defense minister Abigdor Lieberman has resigned over the ceasefire in Gaza and that his faction, which holds five seats in the 120-seat Knesset, is leaving the governing coalition, thereby leaving Netanyahu’s hold on power rather tenuous.

      Lieberman’s resignation seems to support much of MOA’s view… Why would anyone resign over a ceasefire?

      1. JTMcPhee

        Liebermanlikudian Extraordinaire wants nothing less than Eretz Yisrael,, that infinitely elastic geographic concept, and multiple repeats of the “triumphs” of past Israel-ite armies and their subterfuges, as imagined and reported in the first 10 or 12 books of the Old Testament. He’s one who not only wants to “mow the lawn,”, in the occupied areas like Gaza, he wants to extirpate all the Philistines that the ancient Israel-ites did not manage to put to the sword. Resigning is reputed to be a move toward getting rid of Netanyahoo, who apparently is weakening and not bloodthirsty enough to get included in the pantheon of their heroes, alongside Nathan and Gideon and Joshua, handy wall chart from a nice Christian source available here, And maybe the people of Masada?

        Is the British-ism “bloody-minded” appropriate to this case?

        1. Doug Hillman

          Yes, Avigdor Lieberman will be sorely missed. His departure is a great loss for dedicated sponsors of anti-Semitism, Israel’s raison-d’etre and its foundational cornerstone. Avi’s record of war crimes is certainly impressive, but it was his vital role as Minister of Offense that will be hard to match.

          Few right-thinking Israelites have Lieberman’s courage to say things that need to be said: that disloyal Arab-Israelis should be beheaded (as ISIS ally practiced); that Arab Knesset members who met with Hamas should be executed; that Egypt should be bombed if it put troops in the Sinai; that Palestinian prisoners should be drowned in the Dead Sea; and that Israel should nuke Hamas (the Samson option). That last one might have been a little extreme, since fallout might also inconvenience Telaviv.

          1. Darthbobber

            According to some theories of how such matters should be discussed, as long as some other nation at all, no matter how obscure, can be found that has an arguably equally bigoted war criminal running the military, it is unfairly “subjecting Israel to a double standard”, and possibly hate speech, to mention any of this at all.

  7. Dan

    re: Doctors post blood-soaked photos after NRA tells them to pipe down over gun restrictions
    I don’t understand the tendency to fight the NRA. By most accounts, NRA members are only
    interested primarily in keeping their basic gun rights intact, and not the ability to form their own
    militia. Why not create an alternative gun advocacy organization that sucks away the members
    and the influence of the NRA, instead of directly challenging them?

        1. Skip Intro

          It is a standard NRA talking point, albeit changed from cars to doctors. Mostly a distraction from the fact that guns are made for killing people.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If NRA members were only interested primarily in keeping their basic gun rights intact, then people would be cool with that. But they are not. They want the lot. They want military-grade weapons, they want to wear their guns in supermarkets and carry assault rifles down the main streets – and the NRA backs them up. More to the point, the NRA and its most hard line supporters want to continue to externalize the costs onto society for their extra gun rights.
      All those doctors and surgeons that you saw in that article? You paid for them to deal with all that carnage. Who picks up the tab for the several hundred gun massacres each and every year? Who pays the police to deal with it all and those killed in the line of duty? Who pays the ambulance drivers and paramedics? Who pays the medical treatments and the funeral costs? That’s right – you do!
      As I said, the NRA and many of its hard core supporters are fine with the whole gun situation – so long as all the rest of the people get to pick up and pay the tab. As a disclaimer, I am not against guns and even have an interest in their history but can’t be bothered getting a license to own one. But as far as I am concerned, when Sandy Hook happened all legitimacy for the NRA went with it.

      1. Arizona Slim

        My father was a life member of the NRA. Want to know what he thought about open carry? I’ll give you his opinion in one word: “Stupid!”

        When it came to transporting his weaponry in public, Dad was of the mind that the less obvious the guns were, the better. This included our trips to the shooting range. We had to make sure that everything was covered up before we left our driveway.

        Dad saved his showing off for his targets. If they were full of shots in the 10 ring, he was more than willing to call attention to them. But only among his fellow shooters.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          that’s how it is here, in the Texas Hill Country(at least my corner of it). it’s regarded as uncouth and impolite to display one’s firearms, beyond the gun rack in the back window of the pickup.
          side arms are for the ranch, not the greasy spoon, or the feedstore.
          after all, what are they afraid of?
          Even the handful of ammosexuals comply with this taboo, and I’ve witnessed a couple of them get taken aside…akin to “your fly is open and yer d^ck is hanging out”.
          That said, it’s a common assumption that one is never beyond a hundred feet or so from a firearm on the square.
          background noise.

          The anomaly was the 2005 midsummer parade, at the height of the GWOT de-hinging….a former sheriff and his rowdy boys came heavily armed and hostile…yelling at the democratic float. current sheriff at the time, himself a RWNJ, told them to put them away. It was like pissing on the sidewalk.

            1. Wukchumni


              Contrast that to the L.A. County Sheriff-which in 2016, had 220 CCW permits issued, with only 50-60 to residents, the rest to law enforcement.

      2. Elizabeth Burton

        Given the NRA allegedly receives 75% of its funding from weapons manufacturers, what really needs to be done is revoke its non-profit status, if it still has one, and force it to register as the firearms lobby it actually is.

    2. Don Cafferty

      Dan, I think that possibly you are looking at this narrowly as a “fight [against] the NRA”. At least one other news story provides a broader context. Recently “… the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new figures showing gun deaths on the rise across the country.” It is an issue that goes beyond the NRA and in such matters the NRA redefines the issue as only being about rights and ownership; hence, the NRA is offended and instructs “the self important doctors” to stand aside. Moreover, “Doctors and medical officials have increasingly taken on gun violence as a public health issue. Last month, the American College of Physicians issued new guidelines for doctors to follow in helping protect patients from firearms dangers, and published several reports on gun violence in its flagship publication, the Annals of Internal Medicine.” Even non Americans such as myself understand that there is a serious problem of gun violence in the US. The NRA reacts in a manner to impede any discussion involving guns and everyone including non Americans are aware that the NRA buys whatever vote is required and that there are a lot of politicians on the “take”. The NRA is not a passively reactive organization as suggested by the description, “… NRA members are only interested primarily in keeping their basic gun rights intact …”. It is an aggressive organization who pursues those who it believes are in opposition and accordingly denies Americans any opportunity from having a discussion of how to deal with gun violence.

      1. Dan

        I don’t disagree with any of these points – but my premise is that the political power of the NRA is largely based on it being the only game in town. Specifically, any organization that promoted rights and reasonable limits (to not include weapons such as assault rifles, etc) and allowed/encouraged
        background checks, etc.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      In a piece about the latest shooting in California, Caitlin Johnstone quotes Noam Chomsky on controlling public “debate”:

      “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”

      The NRA is a group that everyone loves to hate, and I get the impression that it is not too uncomfortable being hated. Without the NRA, the “conversation” might open up to include other more “respected” groups with responsibility for “mass” death, the doctors themselves, for instance, as MK notes.

      As Johnstone observes:

      The propagandists who manipulate your society are constantly trying to narrow that spectrum of debate to the point where it’s just empty bickering which poses no real threat to real power.

      The goal is endless arguing. “Reputations” and careers have been and are being built and sustained on it. Resolution is not on the agenda.

      1. Steve H.

        > The goal is endless arguing.

        Jaron Lanier: “And so you tend to have this phenomenon where there will be, let’s say, a social justice movement of some kind; it’s initially successful, but then the same data is instead optimized to find whoever is irritated by that social justice movement. Those irritated people are introduced to each other and put into this amplifying cycle where they’re more and more agitated until they become horrible.”

        Remember That People Literally Get Paid To Upset You

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s too often the presentation of an event/act/incident/etc is all one-sided, with people jumping in immediately echoing the message.

        And it can be risky for gadflies.

      3. Annieb

        Thanks for this post, Katniss, and for the link to Caitlin Johnston, a brilliant columnist, who quotes Chomsky about “limiting the spectrum of acceptable opinion.” My own views straddle party lines, and I often encourage others to think outside the box. To look at things objectively, use critical thinking skills. But often the response is suspicion. Asking a Democrat to listen to or read a book by Tucker Carlson is a futile endeavor, even if I explain that he is not a typical closed minded conservative. Public discourse is very frustrating these days.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          There’s a fairly well-known writer and political commentator on social media who has acquired, willy-nilly, a fairly extensive batch of groupies who hang on his every word as gospel. He’s a very vocal “if you don’t vote for Democrats, you’re guilty of Republicans” proponent. When I disagreed in a comment recently, I was literally informed by one of the groupies that I “should listen to X,” apparently instead of bothering to learn the facts and make my own decision.

          Is that what we’ve become? A Nation of Groupies?

      4. TimR

        Good points, although apparently the NRA is critical of the medical industrial complex? According to someone above.

        Also, while Chomsky contributes much insight, is it possible that he’s a high level propagandist or misdirection himself? There are certain issues on which he himself “will not go there”, closing the debate. Search miles mathis chomsky for a pdf on this question.

      1. audrey jr

        My Christmas present last year from my youngest was an autographed photo of my favorite rock band’s guitarist, Tom Morello.
        His guitar has the words “Arm the homeless” scrawled across the front.
        Keep Ragin’ Against the Machine, NCer’s.

        1. Todde

          Arm the Homeless and f the nra.

          Rage against the machine, They were a little before their time it appears.

          Or should i say more relevant than ever?

    4. Lobsterman

      Yeah, no. The NRA is a white-supremacist org which exists to increase gun manufacturers’ profits.

  8. Haydar Khan

    Re: What the Left Must Fight Against

    A few quibbles with Robinson’s piece:

    1) Is diversity really strength? The sociologist Robert Putnam( of “Bowling Alone” fame) researched this question and drew the opposite conclusion.

    2) Bret Weinstein’s account of what happened to him at Evergreen is accurate and well documented. See the mob in action for yourself.

    I am not in agreement with Carlson on many issues but he does reveal problems that folks like Robinson choose to ignore.This myopia is dangerous.

    1. Redlife2017

      I just watched the video and even if one doesn’t agree with Mr Weinstein, it is pretty horrible how the students are acting. He is out to speak with them and they can only shout-down. He’s calm, so react with calm and dismantle his arguments! From a leftist perspective they should be engaging in dialectic with him, since he offered. It makes little sense to act like spoilt children. Even if he is racist. What does screaming every four-letter family blog word in the book at him do? Make them feel better?

      1. Off The Street

        Individuals lose their identities in various environments and melt into a mob, subjecting themselves and those around them to previously unknown behaviours. Twas ever thus, as better angels get shooed away.

        One goal of contemporary education, in the classic sense, should be to help people recognize how they may constrain themselves without feeling that their rights are being violated. The two concepts don’t overlap as much as they have led to believe. Show them how responsibilities to themselves, their families, their communities and to larger groups can act as a useful structure to support those better angels.

      2. WJ

        At the university where I teach, student groups of the identity-politics variety are routinely softly coopted and infiltrated by liberal empty-suit types in the university administration. One positive effect of this (from the admin point of view) is that such groups never develop the kind of real autonomy that would enable their members to think critically and/or dialectically enough to recognize that their real enemy is not a couple of right-wing professors, but the very university administration that also encourages these kind of puerile and self-defeating confrontations.

    2. jsn

      While Carlson does appear to whitewash some racism, the issue of a unifying culture is an important and under-discussed one. Immigrants, when they arrive in large numbers, import their culture with them. The cultures arriving as a rule don’t share the ambitions of the Civil Rights Amendments era.

      The normative American culture that culminated with the 68 Civil Rights legislation was never consolidated and mass immigration looks to me like one of the main tools the political right and liberals agreed on to combat the risk of that cultural apotheosis being consolidated which would have both limited white power and liberal dominance of labor.

      It seems to me that by treating the aging advocates of that earlier cultural progress as equals to the recidivist tendencies in that culture that resisted Civil Rights, the identitarians and self styled liberals of today alienate natural allies and maintain a degrading status quo. Robinson isn’t helping with this.

    3. Altandmain

      I agree.

      I think that a restrictive Canadian style immigration system is the only way to do immigration right. Even Canada arguably is seeing a backlash these days, as is Australia.

      The second generation of immigrants, and I say this as one myself, must assimilate or it won’t work.

      These days, debating about immigration with Liberals is like debating with right wing types about socialism. They conservatives think that anything except letting the rich loot society is socialism. Same idea with the Liberals and mass immigration, only replace the word socialism with racism.

    4. marym

      Most parts of the country don’t even have a lot of immigrants.

      43% of legal immigrants live in 6 metro areas. 19% of the total population live in these areas.

      60% of illegal immigrants live in 20 metro areas. 36% of the total population live in these areas.

      Many urban areas where immigrants are concentrated have historically always been diverse. If there’s less assimilation by immigrants than in the past (is there?), how much is due to overall lack of mobility in our economy, rather than lack of immigrant enthusiasm for participating in the wider society? I also wonder exactly which “culture” is supposedly at risk. What are anti-immigrant culture-defenders defending? the 1950’s? no thanks. Willingness to work hard, caring for one’s family, practicing a conservative religion? Immigrants do that. And Tucker Carlson’s own rich white people culture is still going strong – surely no need for the proletariat to defend that on his behalf.

  9. Wukchumni

    Oh I come from the Santa Anas
    With a wind swept ferocity
    I’m going to the coast
    My intentions for all to see
    It burned all night & day running free
    The weather it was dry
    The fire so hot half lives they did fry
    Santa Susana, claims nothing here to see

    Oh! Santa Susana
    Oh! you’re small fry for me
    For I come from the Santa Anas
    With a wind swept ferocity

  10. allan

    While Cuomo and DeBlasio are taking turns servicing Bezos, the upstate economy continues to offgas jobs:

    New Era Cap closure takes elected officials by surprise [Buffalo News]

    The announced closure of New Era Cap’s Derby facility blindsided politicians in Buffalo, Washington and Albany. …

    Meantime, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said the company should have taken a far different approach.

    “Instead of closing down the Derby facility, New Era should immediately sit down with me, New York State and other elected officials to craft a package that would keep these jobs right here in Derby, where they belong,” said Schumer a New York Democrat. “We hope New Era will reevaluate and take us up on this offer straightaway.” …

    Immediately craft a package. Not words you hear coming out of Chuck’s mouth when it comes to single payer.
    And down the road:

    Thomson Reuters to close Rochester offices; tight-lipped on details [Rochester D&C]

    For those in the legal biz, this is what used to be known as Westlaw, and Lawyer’s Co-op before that. RIP.

    1. FreeMarketApologist

      And note that publication of the amount gifted to Amazon by Cuomo and DeBlasio was conveniently made after the election — had it been done before, New Yorkers might have been able to send a message that they’re not that interested in further enriching one of the wealthiest men in the world by having their own pockets picked.

      1. allan

        But wait … there’s more: Amazon’s NYC home in ‘opportunity zone’ for Trump tax break [AP]

        Much of the New York City neighborhood selected by Amazon for one of its new headquarters is in a federal “opportunity zone,” a designation created by President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul that offers developers potentially millions of dollars in capital gains tax breaks to invest in high-poverty, low-income areas.

        Critics question whether Long Island City, the fast-gentrifying Queens neighborhood across the East River from the skyscrapers of midtown Manhattan, needs such breaks. Median household income around Amazon’s planned campus is $130,000 a year, poverty is half the city average and new buildings were going up long before the tax overhaul. …

        Under the new tax law, officials in each state designated 8,700 such zones across the country. Nearly 35 million Americans live in such areas, communities that in most cases have higher poverty and unemployment rates than other U.S. communities or contain or are near pockets in desperate need of development. The state choices were only finalized after approval by Treasury Department officials in July. …

        So much winning … if you’re on the Forbes 400.

        1. The Rev Kev

          After 9/11, a lot of the money voted to rebuild New York was actually diverted to buildings in the wealthier untouched parts of New York City instead. All part of one long tradition.

  11. PlutoniumKun

    Climbing Ladders Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. UserFriendly: “Weren’t we just hearing about super star firms that accounted for all of the wage gaps less than a year ago? Or is it just Germany vs the US?”

    I always have a problem with these studies because they almost all have a very big inbuilt assumption – that the desire to climb career ladders is identical in all workers, and across gender, etc.

    In my experience this simply isn’t the case, especially with skilled or educated workers. In my own family, every single one of my siblings has at some stage of their careers either avoided, or actively turned down, promotions. These were all for some type of lifestyle reasons – wanting to stay in the ‘hands on’ part of the job (and not go into management), or not wishing to have the more restricted hours of a more senior position, or not willing to move location, etc.

    In my own work experience I’ve many times seen situations where senior job situations recieved poor application rates, as the people in the level below simply didn’t think the extra money was worth the particular stresses of that job.

    1. Arizona Slim

      You just described my mother. She could have become a school administrator, but she remained a classroom teacher. Oh, yes, she did become a department head, but that’s as far as she cared to go.

      1. WJ

        From this one fact I am able to infer that your blessed mother was a fine teacher. In every educational institution I have known, teachers who can teach, do teach; those who can’t teach, manage. It is irrational. But my friend in the Secret Service told me it’s the same there: Good agents never become unit heads, because becoming one means that you don’t get to be an agent, but only a bureaucrat. In how many of our current institutional sectors does this same pattern hold, alas?

        1. Phemfrog

          That was one pattern at the National Lab i worked at (nuclear weapons and other scientific research). Another, related problem was that they would promote the best scientists to be managers. They were often TERRIBLE managers. People with actual management skills (often lower down on the corporate ladder) were rarely chosen.

          1. HotFlash

            I was taught in biz mgmt that you *never* promote your best salesman to sales manager, you get a poor manager and lose your best salesman. Unfortunately, what happens all too often is that they hire an MBA from the outside who knows nothing about the business and your best salesman is mismanaged until s/he quits.

    2. BobW

      I turned down promotion offers, seeing that middle managers were a dime a dozen with short half lives, catching flak from above and below. Responsibility without authority, no thank you. Good bench techs could write their own tickets. That’s where I stayed.

    3. eg

      I just made such a decision for myself last Spring, and I’m delighted with the trade-off. Even better, I’m supremely disinterested in any kind of promotion ever again. What a feeling of liberation that is!

    4. The Rev Kev

      Read about one manager that did not want the stress of higher promotion and solved his problem rather neatly. He took care that his car was always a bit older than all the other managers had in the parking lot. When the other managers upgraded their cars to that year’s model, he would get the previous year’s model. It worked a treat and he never had to worry about the headaches of higher promotion.

  12. Wukchumni

    Was talking to my neighbor yesterday when the trash truck came ambling by, and the driver told us that his load caught on fire earlier in the morning, and i’m going to stereotype the possible perp, in that i’ll venture to say that it was a vacation rental touron that had a fire during red flag conditions, which is a big no-no on it’s own merit, and thought the ashes were cool and most were, but some weren’t, and put them into the dumpster shortly before pickup…

    Local fire departments were johnny on the spot fire, and doused the load, so no harm-no foul, but it wouldn’t take much to start something in a mid 3 figures fahrenheit fashion in the midst of so much dry kindling everywhere around these parts.

  13. Ed

    “‘Amazon isn’t bringing you 50,000 high paying jobs. They’re bringing 50,000 people with high paying jobs to where you currently live. This won’t help your community, it will replace your community.”

    The pols want the tax revenue, particularly the property tax revenue, and too bad about population replacement. Fixing local government would go a long way towards fixing this.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The pols want a “sign” especially actual signs to indicate they aren’t useless. Tax revenue isn’t that important.

      When Tim Kaine was governor, the House of Delegates and State Senate Democratic caucuses both had competing transportation reform plans which included tax increases. Kaine was looked to provide a compromise to present to the public and GOP, but being this was 2008, Kaine was auditioning for VP and came up with a plan which wouldn’t do much other than provide a generous allowance for signs that indicated Kaine was governor and was involved in minor projects.

      I’m surprised about DeBlasio, as he has seemed more intelligent in the past, but Cuomo is the type where he has no idea Amazon isn’t simply a convenience to people who pay attention to the world around them. My guess is this would be a feather in his cap when he goes to Iowa and New Hampshire as those people know about Amazon. “I want to do for New Hampshire and Iowa what I did for New York.” -Cuomo’s imaginary closing line.

      1. Pat

        Fox’s headline about every NY taxpayer being on tap to pay over $48,000 per job might not let that play so well. And US News pointing out that that is more than double the tax payer liability for Virginians.

        And yes, some part of me does think Cuomo would be toast if this had come out two weeks ago. The media may be trying to play this as a win here, but I have yet to overhear one good thing said about it in my travels through the city. But the complaints, hell noes, and wtf are they thinkings have been abundant.

        1. jrs

          48k per job, think of all the useful things people could do if paid that (granted not much pay in NY but still), that aren’t just enriching some billionaire.

    2. jrs

      if they are that high paying are they looking for some rare skills that only one a few thousand people have? Well that’s not so helpful for very many people … what we really need are just jobs that pay enough to live off (which may be significantly more than $15 an hour some places …). Well that and a Green New Deal.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “The British Army is carrying out a massive test of military robots and drones”

    Not hard to work out why. It all comes down to money as in the hard stuff. The UK has committed itself to buying 138 F-35B fighter jets which alone is a budget buster. They have also committed themselves to building two super-carriers – the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince of Wales ( – which will cost over £6.2 billion (US$10.4 billion) just to build alone. With all these massive budget-busters, they have had to cut back elsewhere and that has come from their regular forces. The British Army is down to about 60,000 troops for front-line service which was where they were back at the beginning of WW1. They have to cut back on ships, tanks, airmen, Royal Marines, warships, helicopters – you name it just to afford the big-ticket items. When you do all this, that is when you invest in robots and drones to close the gaps – hopefully.

  15. Bandit

    Tulsa Struggles to Make Amends for a Massacre It Ignored for Nearly a Century Governing

    I read an article last year (don’t remember the source) about the Tulsa Massacre and one thing that stuck in my mind was the jealousy about black entrepreneurs doing so well that the whites just couldn’t allow such a thing to happen, so they torched the area and murdered hundreds of blacks. I suspect it was not really a “spontaneous” act as was reported; very likely it was already in the works and just looking for a pretext which they probably invented. And what happened after was just as disgusting as the white town leaders tried to change the zoning so the blacks could not rebuild. If only the white businesses owners in Tulsa should should suffer such a well deserved fate.

    1. Anon

      That jealousy/contempt is ingrained in US culture since the beginning (17th Century). It played out against the native americans, then black slaves, then Irish immigrants, then the Chinese (West Coast railroad laborers), Japanese-American citizens, and contemporary free Americans of color, and now Trumpistas and the rest of America.

      Land of the Free and home of the Brave? Hardly.

    2. JBird4049

      “Spontaneous” riots, lynchings, and other assorted violence was used very often to eliminate troublesome blacks and allied whites not only in government but also in business. If you believed in the equality under the rule of law, good government for all, or was too successful or just did not kiss enthusiastically the posteriors of white elites things happened to you, perhaps to your family too, and just maybe your friends. Sometimes complaining of an unjustifiable lynching of family or friends got you lynched also.

      Most don’t really understand just how lawless not only were parts of the South but also other parts of United States as well. Then again much of our history has been discarded like week old fish because it didn’t fit the fictive narration.

    1. Darthbobber

      Funny thing about this is that if you read closely, the two women (Bustos and Lee) whose failures to move up in leadership leave Pelosi as the one woman are losing out to male Pelosi allies. So the whole “supporting women” thing continues to apply most selectively.

  16. Polar Donkey

    Wait, the resistance told me Trump is the devil. Now Pelosi is willing to take republican votes and Trump support to become Speaker. Where is Neera Tanden’s twitter posse? I just checked. All I see is Cecile Richards saying Trump is right about Pelosi. This seems to make clearer Pelosi’s wierd victory speech, where she basically said nothing will change. Vote dem for the status quo!

  17. zagonostra

    I have noticed that the word “populist” being consistently used by the establishment media to refer to the Salvini’s government in Italy and in other instances. I see it being used by Rueter’s, WaPo,NYT etc…there seems to be this for them need to distinguish in the mind of the reader between a rationally “popularly-elected” government (and one that they approve of) and one that hearkens back to the last century’s obsession, now mostly forgotten, on the irrational, unpredictable ones characterized by outbreaks of mob violence, i.e., Frued’s “Group psychology and the analysis of the Ego,” or “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” by Charles MacKay – to name but two.

    The use of “populist” is becoming code for brushing aside calls for M4All and other programs that benefit large swaths of the population as opposed to special interest.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      Populism should be the goal of democracy, not seen as a threat to it. What are elections meant to be but a measure of populist sentiment? It’s perjorative use belies contempt for democracy.

      a member or adherent of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people.

    2. Daryl

      > The use of “populist” is becoming code for brushing aside calls for M4All and other programs that benefit large swaths of the population as opposed to special interest.

      I’ve made this post here before, but as far as I can tell the media’s qualification of “populist” is: 1) someone who acknowledges economic problems are real and 2) proposes simple solutions for those problems. It’s their way of attempting to lump together and dismiss everything from fascism to proposals that would not have been considered radical at all, in the US, from the 30s to the 70s.

      1. a different chris

        #2 is a clue to the reason for this two-step — when presented in “hey it won’t be that easy so you clearly just don’t know anything” manner.

        To me, it is funny that they get away with #2 (pun not intended but I like it) at all. You Are Never. Under Any Obligation To Provide A Solution. Don’t let the powers-that-be insist that you must. You need to realize that you are their customer. I don’t have to tell you how to do your job, I just have to tell you that it ain’t getting done properly.

        In general, the whole “well, if you know so much, then tell me how to fix it” dismissal by those in power seems to be a real go to in patriarchal societies, doesn’t it? From the family unit on up. In corporate-speak it usually comes out as “don’t bring me a problem if you don’t have a solution” even though the overstuffed suits are supposedly paid because of their ability to solve problems unsolvable by us normals.

        Note: we all have done it at one time or other, with a frustrated outcry of “well what do you want me to do” to somebody either equal (spouse) or subordinate to us. But at least we aren’t trying to make it policy.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “What The Left Must Fight Against. Tucker Carlson’s new book is dangerous because it puts accurate economic observations alongside outright white nationalism…”

    Of course there is the viewpoint about simply reading what the guy has to say and agree with stuff you like and politely disagree with things that you do not. No need to claim that an author has to be ideologically pure to be worthy of reading. Not very hard if you practice it. If I had to pick a title for Tucker Carlson I would call him a fellow traveler and leave it at that. I have seen a few of his clips and he seems to epitomize more the average American than the usual hair-does and talking heads that they normally employ. For example, he does not strike me as the sort of guy that would have mocked Ocasio-Cortez because she won’t be initially able to afford a place in Washington DC. Just my take.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Great piece, thanks for sharing!

        The utilitarian, power-based left has found itself without any philosophical basis for resisting the larger, far-larger mechanisms of power in the world. Thus they now find themselves on the side of a Democratic Party that shows nothing but contempt for ordinary working people.

        I draw the conclusion that, in terms of what the world needs now, not only is the “left” worthless, but even “Marxism” as a name for the sequence of communist revolutions that run from the Paris Commune to the Cultural Revolution has come to an end. And we need to let go of it.

        We need to let go of it especially when all that it seems to be able to tell us to do is to get onboard with the anti-Trump movement, which will lead to no more than helping the Democrats (and many Republicans, too) get things back on track for globalist finance capital.

  19. Roger Smith

    But Carlson is not going to be joining the Sanders 2020 campaign. His book has a dark side: a deep suspicion of cultural progressivism, inclusion, and diversity. Carlson believes that liberal immigration policies have been imposed because they serve elite interests (Democrats get votes and Republicans get cheap labor for Big Business). As a result, the fabric of the country is fraying.

    And? Is he wrong? Me thinks not. Yet again, Nathan Robinson enters (as an ‘intellectual, true leftist’ “I MUST ATTACK” mode, when I feel like he should be entering “consider the following” mode, just as Carlson or anyone else should. Why is Robinson even assuming “cultural progressiveness and diversity” should be the goals here? Societies and cultures thrive on unity, homogeneity, sharing common understanding and feelings with one another. That doesn’t mean phenotypes have to be the same, but that is why artificially making phenotypes and other broadly superficial differences the mainstay of the movement is problematic. You do not grow society by injecting it with unconquerable differences, which is what the lack of immigrant populations assimilation and the uber focus on Identity Politics is doing. You cannot just sit around saying, “look how great it is that we have no definition of what we are! It’s all nebulous!” Yes, it is hard to rally behind some sense of civic value when the government is this far gone, but nevertheless, the idea that the US is defined by immigrant cultures is false, it is defined by the civic values that all sorts of other people unite under, regardless of their private, personal beliefs, at least in theory (and I don’t care of the quality of the framers as people, that is a strawman). You are supposed to set certain things aside for a new broader culture.

    What Robinson wants to characterize as racism or bigotry, and maybe what Carlson even poorly defines is this lack of immigrant assimilation to a defined cultural fabric and overall cultural homogeneity. It is as much our fault internally as it is anyone coming in, but isn’t something we should be ignoring as “right wing paranoia”. Democrats are absolutely hinging their powerplay on influx of foreign ‘citizens’ (I know the prevailing creedo is that voter fraud doesn’t happen, but when you see multiple videos of CA legislators–for instance–admitting their family members have the falsified documentation that would allow them to vote, I can’t believe that without documented study–and access to votes is something people shriek about). They have nothing to offer the existing, sound-minded populace, and if they succeed in shifting the demographics enough, it will work for a time, until seasons pass and the now native populations realize they aren’t helping them either. The Democrats and political elite don’t have to live with the real life consequences of their machinations behind the nice walls their mansions have. They will still have gardeners and house staff, the access to money etc… At the same time the GOP will continue its bland politics of hinging failing on immigrants as scapegoats per usual as they also do not want to serve the populace.

    Neither party is leading its wishes with a sense of duty for society. However at the current moment, only one party is hedging its selfish bets on the decimation of United States society. The reality is that, after enough decay, you will have people mistakenly seeing actual immigrants and the lack of phenotypes as the problem. They can’t look to politics for solutions, where people are actively trying to harm and ignore them, so what are the options? You can only uproot and stress a system so much before it starts to react and break. Yet, instead of pulling back, the Democrats double down and play more Idenittiy cards with chants of racism etc… (unironically, as the call for WW3 over Russiagate Xenophobia). Meanwhile Robinson wants to attack someone else he should be finding common ground and working with to persuade and learn from, all because he is a ‘real leftist’.

      1. Alex

        What we can say is that there is no proof that widespread voter fraud exists which is a big difference from a definite proof that it does not exist. The studies that purportedly prove it (that I have perused) either rely on convictions/charges or on self-reported data. In both cases it’s pretty obvious that you can make positive claims (x non-citizens were convicted) but not negative ones (voter fraud does not exist).

        1. Brian (another one they call)

          The voting “machine” is voter fraud. It is made to be hacked and the votes changed. We hear the same stories from voters year after year; “it changed my vote”. This has been going on for as long as there has been a voting machine.
          What is not clear about this to any citizen of our late lamented republic?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            When in doubt, assume the worst – from time to time, that can be useful when dealing with humans like ourselves.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          People have commented on getting votes from nursing homes, or from dead voters.

          Are there any studies on, say, the former?

          1. marym


            Survey reports from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in ProPublica’s Nursing Home Inspect database show that over the past few years, dozens of nursing homes have been cited for violating residents’ voting rights.

            The rights of long-term care residents are laid out in the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, which protects the rights of long-term care residents as citizens of the United States.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The comments I remember were similar to stories of getting seniors to sign away their properties, or in this case, to vote for something or someone unknowingly…something about nursing homes being goldmines of votes.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  That comment is not about seniors being used unknowingly (the stories I remember from here).

                  1. marym

                    My link documents nursing home patients losing their right to vote. The possibility of making it even harder for them without documenting the scope of the supposed fraud supposedly being prevented would be answered by my previous comment.

                    Adding: This supposed abuse of nursing home patients would be forgery, or elder abuse, or some other election crime, not the in-person voter fraud supposedly perpetrated by illegal immigrants.

                    Also adding: This supposed abuse of nursing home patients wouldn’t be remedied by photo ID laws, database purges, restricting polling locations, and other voter suppression tactics implemented by people supposedly so concerned about supposed voter fraud by illegal immigrants.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      Nursing home patients losing voting rights is one issue, and an important one.

                      Their being used to vote unknowingly is a different issue, and as important.

        3. marym

          The politicians, pundits, and media that claim voter fraud is a problem have vast resources available to study and document the issue. If they’re going to propose laws that make it difficult for eligible voters to register, vote, and have their votes counted, their supporters, as concerned citizens, ought to demand more of them in the way of justification.

    1. rod

      Yes, it is hard to rally behind some sense of civic value when the government is this far gone, but nevertheless, the idea that the US is defined by immigrant cultures is false, it is defined by the civic values that all sorts of other people unite under, regardless of their private, personal beliefs, at least in theory (and I don’t care of the quality of the framers as people, that is a strawman). You are supposed to set certain things aside for a new broader culture.

      while i’m still thinking through this–this thought has a lot of resonance for me–maybe because of the Veteran’s Day that just passed…

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Tucker Carlson is a “dangerous” voice that must be discredited precisely because he straddles the so-called left-right divide in a “one from column A, one from column B” way that threatens the territories the increasingly desperate two major political parties have staked out, and puts the lie to the lip service worship of “bipartisanship.” Adding insult to injury, he does it from a perch at Fox News.

      Is it possible that americans can believe both that “healthcare” should be a universal, human right in this country AND that unrestrained, “unauthorized” immigration is destroying the economic well-being of those formerly known as america’s middle class on behalf of corporations?

      I would say yes.

      While I don’t claim that this example represents Carlson’s actual positions on specific issues, I will say that his willingness to consider and even promote ideas from those who could be considered his ideological opposite is a “dangerous” precedent to set. Replacing name-calling and hysterical vitriol with critical thinking and an open mind might create a “wave” that’s neither blue nor red, but just plain overwhelming.

    3. Carolinian

      In his book Carlson points out that opposition to immigration was once a standard left position including 60s labor hero Cesar Chavez who even dispatched some of his supporters to the southern border to turn back illegals.

      Of course the labor movement doesn’t have nearly as much power inside the modern left although some continue to pay it lip service. But perhaps the main takeaway is that there are two sides to this question, and seeing the Chavez side doesn’t necessarily make you a fascist.

      As Katniss points out above, narrowing the range of debate is what current political movements are all about–left and right.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And black security guard shot automatically becomes an identity politics issue (not that it can’t be, just not always so, especially automatically, right from the start), and not something bigger that concerns all of us.

        The amazing part is many of us are so conditioned to jump right into that fight…upon seeing that face card.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        With immigration to the U.S., the issue is the workers who have overstayed their visa who understandably stick around or try to reenter for one reason or another. The border issue is a scam to deflect from who brings the “illegals” in.

        Better control over business will reduce problems.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Corporations are one important area to look at.

          A lot of businesses, including small ones, have raced to the bottom over the last few decades, and if you don’t do what others are doing in any particular industry, you’re out of business. You just can’t compete.

      3. jrs

        of course the labor movement itself (especially the only labor movement that really matters – the radical labor movement) much earlier than that were also built by immigrants so …. it has two sides if one is looking at the labor movement.

      4. Katniss Everdeen

        ……seeing the Chavez side doesn’t necessarily make you a fascist.

        Nor does it make you a racist, xenophobe, jingoist, white nationalist, isolationist, misogynist, baby jailer, anti-humanist or hater.

        What it does make you is a laborist, probably the filthiest slur of all for grasping “capitalists.”

    4. Hana M

      An interesting and well-stated point about shared culture, Roger.

      Carlson also very clearly makes the point that unrestricted immigration, and in particular, illegal immigration, can harm American workers–something the left used to realize very clearly.

      Bernie Sanders made some similar, though rather more nuanced points, and was raked over the coals for it. For an excellent review of immigration law and its economic consequences see Daniel Costa here:

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The caravan has arrived in Tijuana.

        When East Germans climbed the Berlin Wall, they were voting, with their feet, against their own country.

        When people climb the US border wall, are they voting against their own countries, as well as Mexico (for those not from there), or are they voting for America (“We want to come.”)?

        Visually, that can also be seen as defying Trump, or the US sovereignty. Let’s say it’s the former, we ask why there are no sympathizers on the US side climbing to get over to Mexico, or travelling over the border and trying to climb back in. That would be a great gesture of solidarity.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Lion Air Crash Scenario Wasn’t Covered In Boeing 737 MAX Manual”

    In 1969 during the Apollo 11 Moon landing, Neil Armstrong noticed that the ship’s computer was sending the lander into a boulder-strewn field which would have wrecked their ship. Taking manual control, he used all his piloting experience to push past the deadly hazards and with just a few seconds of fuel left, managed to bring the lander into a small area for a safe landing.
    Thank god that they did not have modern software designers be responsible for that ship’s computer back then.

    1. marku52

      Here is a great technical article about the firmware “undocumented feature” that likely killed 181 people.

      “How should they know that pulling on the Yoke didn’t stop the trim? It was described nowhere; neither in the aircraft’s manual, the AFM, nor in the Pilot’s manual, the FCOM. This has created strong reactions from airlines with the 737 MAX on the flight line and their Pilots. They have learned the NG and the MAX flies the same. They fly them interchangeably during the week.

      They do fly the same as long as no fault appears. Then there are differences, and the Pilots should have been informed about the differences.”

      1. RMO

        This could develop into a real (familyblog)show for Boeing. The design apparently uses a single vane to sense angle of attack and operate the trim to prevent a stall and the single pint of failure nature plus the way it apparently doesn’t use any other data sources (gyros for pitch, air sources for airspeed, vertical speed, pressure altitude, radar altitude) as a cross-check is bad enough. Combine that with NOT TRAINING THE PILOTS about the change takes it to a whole other level. It would appear that the company deliberately tired to avoid talking about the system in order to avoid telling customers they would have to give the pilots additional training. Being able to avoid the extra cost of training would have been a big selling point to airlines already using the previous 737. This brings things into the same realm as the DC-10 cargo door debacle. If you’re not familiar with that, the subcontractor on the door told MD that there were problems with the design, MD didn’t really do anything, a DC-10 had the door blow out but it was lightly loaded so the floor structure held leaving the hydraulic lines to the tail intact and it landed safely, much mucking about occurred trying to avoid an airworthiness directive, eventually one was issued with a fix, a heavily loaded DC-10 in France had the door blow out, the floor gave way severing the hydraulic lines and it crashed with great loss of life, it turned out that this particular DC-10 was still being built at MD when the door fix was mandated and the build documentation had inspectors stamps on it saying the improved design was implemented – it actually wasn’t and the aircraft had the original flawed design.

  21. Mirjonray

    Here’s an interesting Detroit Free Press article, “Data Could Be What Ford Sells Next As It Looks for New Revenue”.

    This story will surprise no one but it does provide some juicy tidbits, like, how Ford bought out electric scooter company Spin. “The value of the company may be less in the hardware than the tracking that goes along with use of the scooters — When do people travel? What are key travel routes? What days of week see the most use?”

    An auto analyst gives away the whole business model.

    “Automakers will lose money on electric cars for years to come. None of them knows exactly how they’re going to make money on autonomous cars,” said John McElroy, a veteran industry observer and host of “But they could make a fortune monetizing data. They won’t need engineers, factories or dealers to do it. It’s almost pure profit.”

  22. John Wright

    Re: The narrowness of mainstream economics is about to unravel

    Now my degree is in electrical engineering so its not that I have much experience with academic economics.

    But this article may truly illustrate narrowness in economic thinking by the author himself.

    Economics may have preached a false doctrine that “the pursuit of economic growth, as measured by economists, is good”, while neglecting that proper accounting for economic growth would allow for its harmful side effects, as in climate change.

    If, year after year, world wide economic growth puts the world further behind the climate change eight- ball, the profession of economics should begin to reassess its value in guiding policy for the earth’s residents, human and otherwise..

    Maybe it is that “the utility of the profession of economics is starting to unravel”.

        1. John Wright

          I don’t know about the Kate Raworth approach:

          One Guardian article on her website has

          “The biggest sources of planetary boundary stress today are the excessive consumption levels of the world’s wealthiest people, and the production patterns of the companies producing the goods and services they buy. Just 11% of the global population generate approximately 50% of global carbon emissions, and the richest 10% of people in the world hold 57% of global income.”

          “It’s wealth, not poverty, that’s putting this planet under pressure”.

          But name any poor country, I suspect the people want to be lifted well out of poverty, not just out of poverty.

          Then one has to convice the wealthy to consume less.

          If by some miracle, enough people in the world decided to do with less of (name a resource), human population growth would probably counter this shortfall in demand quickly.

          Economists simply put a “don’t worry, be happy” face on future resource limitations.

  23. Huey

    Iirc you can have a mental illness and still get a gun in some states right? Heaven knows you can if you’re only a raving alcoholic. If only in the latter case, that they have plan to bar guns from marijuana users, while not unwelcome because, less guns, is hilarious because I can’t think of a more benign seeming group of users than medical marijuana patients hahaha. And yet they ban it from them. Wow.

    It reminds me of a good Consortium News series I read about how thr demonization of cannabis was really an excuse to again crack down on the poor and minorities and those gosh-darned peace-loving hippies.

  24. Huey

    This is unrelated but, I’ve been found by some Financial Advisor type who wants to ‘educate’ me about investing with his firm. Any tips/funny things I could say? I always said I’d just tell these guys no but he ended up getting my phone number and now he wants a meeting. Should I change my phone?

    1. Wukchumni

      When I get a cold call such as that, I always let em’ ramble on for a few minutes, and then very calmly say:

      “I wish you had called just a few hours earlier, I invested all my money already with some other nice person that phoned me.”

    2. Louis Fyne

      Don’t waste your time.

      For every minute you give the FA, you both move into “sunk costs-land” and therefore the FA will try even harder to complete a sale cuz she’s invested 5 minutes of her time. Unless you flat out say no.

      If you want to be polite, just say you’re broke or have a $1,500 Vanguard account.

    3. Wukchumni


      A good one that I sometimes utilize my wife on when pesky calls get through the gauntlet to her, in that i’ll explain that she’s been deported to North Korea, and make it sound realistic by offering up a 1950’s era phone # for her, such as PYOyang-547, and maybe question what they know about her, and when they last had contact, that sort of thing.

      Turn the tables on em’

    4. todde

      tell him you’ve been thinking about investing in Hobo beans and guillotines.

      “Are HoBo beans listed on the commodity exchange and what companies manufacturing guillotines would he suggest buying stock in?

      Is there a guillotine index fund?”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I have been watching some French shows, and apparently, the French still used the guillotine into the 20th century (at least into the years covered by those shows).

          Perhaps it’s still in use today (will have to look up Wikipedia on that later…death penalty abolished in 1981…just checked).

          1. todde

            I don’t know many French people who favor capital punishment.

            but then, I know very few French people…

          2. Lee

            I’ve been watching the European TV series Maigret , set in the 1950s. As a homicide detective, Maigret now and then sends perps to the guillotine. He also now and then let’s those whom he deems to be particularly deserving get away with murder particularly when he considers the victim to have needed killing. He is a practitioner of what the existentialists call “situational ethics.” This series is fine old fashioned film making relying upon only story, acting, setting and great camera work for compelling effect.

              1. Lee

                With Bruno Cremer on the Mhz streaming website. It’s a great deal. Lots of Nordic Noir and other interesting stuff from all over Europe.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Haven’t seen that one. Thanks.

                  I get my movies free from the library, the Luddite way I guess. I keep promising myself one day, I will progress.

      1. newcatty

        Or maybe pitch forks…A twofer for potential sales and profit. I would guess, anyone a gardener or farmer want to chime in, please do. Pitching hay, mucking out stalls, turning over compost, still a useful tool. The other use one hopes…Well, we need a brave, erudite, suave, constitutional law expert to “stand in the way”.

    5. Lee

      If you waste as much of his time as he is willing to spend on you, he’ll probably move on to the next lucky soul. Maybe you’ll get a free lunch out of him.

      Meanwhile, give him no potentially sensitive information about yourself or your finances, and check him and his company out to the extent that you can. Are there any pending lawsuits or criminal proceedings? Is the entity incorporated, if so, in which state and for who long, are there any complaints? He obviously believes you have cash to invest. How did he come to believe this and very importantly, how did he get your name and number? If referred by someone you know, who is this person?

      Watch yourself out there.

      1. Huey

        Thank you much for the solid advice.

        His company is one of the big brokers where I am, their ads are everywhere and they’re hard to dodge. He’s married to one of my senior (in experience) coworkers, and he was being introduced to all the new guys today, suddenly. I literally left the bathroom and found him outside my office :(.

        1. Lee

          He is using his spouse as what is called in the biz as a “center of influence”. For good or ill this is a common practice. I’d say keep it friendly but if you’re interested in such services shop a bit. If he doesn’t charge you a a fee for his services he is working on commission and there will be costs, such as an annual fee that is a percentage of the amount invested. If he earns a commission he is not working for you but somebody else. Consider instead a no load mutual fund as you might find at Vanguard. Their fees are lower.

      1. Hana M

        Haha! That was an excellent book. And while you are at it, ask him for his firm and his individual FINRA IARD numbers to review on Broker Check and have him send you a full, up to date Form ADV. My guess is you’ll never hear from him again.

    6. JacobiteInTraining

      Tell him/her you want to invest in commodities. Metals, perhaps.

      If he/she goes into the spiel about gold/silver not being good investments, trying to steer you to whatever he/she is vending today rephrase the question. Say ‘no, lead is the metal I am interested in investing in’.

      In the relatively long pause I feel would be likely while he/she mulls that over be sure to elaborate: ‘you know, lead…7.62×39 FMJ, or maybe some 5.56 NATO. Minimum of 10,000 rounds.’

      At that point, don’t let him/her get a word in edgewise and instead start ranting about how the Templars and Crown are trying to confiscate your mountain compound, and that you need the ‘lead’ for defensive purposes.

      No, on second thought….just get a good beer and don’t answer… ;)

      1. Huey

        Thank you so much hahaha. This one is amazing, if only I could pull it off. I may give it a shot, if only for a quick laugh.

    7. Darthbobber

      Just tell them that financial advice from someone whose finances are such that they are cold-calling for a living holds no attraction for you.

      1. eg

        I occasionally default to the “sorry, I have a brother in the business” dodge — works for just about any pitch

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I would sometimes break into their pitch and give them my best John McClouglin impression:

          ” No, thank you. Byyyye Byyyye!”

  25. JerryDenim

    Boeing and the new 737 Max / Lion Air crash:

    Airbus has similar problems with both the A320 and A330 and perhaps other Airbus models I am unfamiliar with. They are all built to operate in a similar fashion as to minimize training costs for transitioning pilots. The A320 has been in service since 1988 (30 years!) and Airbus was recently forced to issue an airworthiness directive by the FAA for incidents similar to circumstances surrounding the Lion Air crash. The bulletin and new emergency procedures came out at the tail end of 2014.

    The bad scenario involved the engagement of a faulty or abnormal Alpha Protection modes (stall protection modes, i.e. Prot, Max, Floor) caused by erroneous data. Basically bad data from malfunctioning instruments would cause the flight computers to register Vls (slowest safe maneuverable speed) to be far too high or fast. The airplane would be flying just fine, but the airplane would mistakenly believe it was too slow and in imminent danger of entering a stall, so it would enter a mode where the airplane would do weird and dangerous things, the worst of which would be uncommanded nose down pitch and full thrust, which cannot be overridden with normal control inputs, (yikes!) to “recover” the aircraft to a flying/non-stalled state. This scenario of course was all supposed to be impossible according to the engineers due to redundancy, system logic, yada, yada, yada, but yet it was documented happening on numerous occasions and finally it was acknowledged and an official procedure was issued to help pilots correct the malfunction almost 30 years after the aircraft entered service, on the world’s most popular or widely used commercial aircraft no less.

    I’ve weighed in here before with my distrust of automated systems, but I wanted to avoid diving in to something as technical and arcane as the automated stall recovery modes of particular aircraft, but this Lion Air crash has breached the topic unfortunately. Distracted drivers kill, drunk drivers kill, bad drivers kill, but so does automation. Don’t let techno-utopian, glibertarians in search of massive profits convince you otherwise.

  26. Annieb

    Amazon bait and switch: one of the ways to resist is to not buy it. The ole boycott remedy. I am pesimistic that Americans would be able to resist convenience for the sake of the greater good. But in any case, I am trying to resist. I won’t be using any more, don’t go to Whole Foods, don’t buy from Zappos.

    I really like the convenience (click, click!) and the selection available from these stores but, as such, they are all very seductive and I don’t want to support Amazon any longer. I am buying more locally and from large stores that earn my loyalty. It’s more time consuming but this effect has a hidden benefit in that I stop to think about whether or not I really want to go out to a store to buy that particular item. I have been doing some downsizing for the past year and so this fits right into my plan.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Buying or consuming is a tremendous power.

      The traditional wisdom is any great power must be exercised cautiously. So, we should consume judiciously.

      And to withhold from buying can lead to powerful effects. Let’s remind ourselves of that gift, in case we have forgotten.

      1. Annieb

        Yes, not buying from corporations who abuse the public trust is indeed powerful, and these days it’s a fairly easy way to resist. Any individual can do it and feel empowered.

    2. newcatty

      Annieb, like your not supporting Amazonian. We have the same game plan…don’t support it with your consumer $. We are also on board with downsizing. We live in, for many people would be considered a small house. Ahhh, it truly is quality over quantity of space. There is freedom and peace of mind in letting go of consuming stuff and adding more stuff! Most of my clothes are old and comfortable. Our cats have scratched our furniture just in their daily use. Even though they have nice scratching pad, lol. Oh my! As long as we can use the sofa too…cats are here to stay. So is the old furniture.

  27. How is it legal

    Re New hurdle arises in Pelosi’s march to speakership

    At least eight incumbent Democrats, and three incoming freshman, are on record saying they’ll oppose Pelosi in the Speaker vote on the floor. It remains unclear how many more they’d need to block Pelosi’s promotion, since a number of midterm races around the country are still too close to call. But if the insurgents were joined by Gottheimer and the nine other Democrats vowing to oppose any nominee who doesn’t back their rules changes, the combination would almost certainly prove enough to block Pelosi’s ascension.

    One thing we can be certain of, despite being both an (early on) Justice Democrat™, and a Vice Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus™, Silicon Valley’s duplicitous Ro Khanna (CA D17) was not one of those eight incumbent Democrats. From Nancy Pelosi starts working on her math problem in Speaker vote

    Pelosi could pick up more supporters by courting detractors with plum committee posts, choice office space, special assignments and the promise of House rule changes. Or, if she chooses to rule with a more iron fist, she could threaten to deny subcommittee gavels to lawmakers who defy her.

    “To attack her is to reject so much of the agenda that President Obama passed,” said freshman Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), a fellow Bay Area-lawmaker who supports Pelosi for Speaker but has called for generational change in leadership.

    “She’s a symbol. If you believe in the [Affordable Care Act], if you believe in Dodd-Frank, if you believe in the stimulus bill … how can you not respect Pelosi’s leadership?”

    Words can’t express. No shock here, just contempt. I hope I’m not alive when he runs for president; or Vice, under the horrid, duplicitous Gavin Newsom, who also has his eyes on that prize.

    1. perpetualWAR

      Yep. They get in and they begin to become owned. I worry a little about Ocasio falling into the same trap. Let’s just pray that she has no skeletons in her closet or they will find them and blackmail.

      1. Doug Hillman

        Indeed, as Orwell foresaw so clearly, political blackmail is the primary purpose of our totalitarian surveillance state, sold as necessary for security.

        I’m sure Trump was an easy mark for the Neocon’s perpetual war machine. He’s certainly toeing the line.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A good, supportive coach to say to the athlete, AOC in this case,

        1. Forget what you have done. You start from scratch.
        2. Training, hours and hours of it, away from the public, decides the outcome.

      3. How is it legal

        They get in and they begin to become owned.

        Well, at least in Ro Khanna’s case (and certainly in, soon to be CA Governor, Newsom’s case), I seriously doubt Khanna got in (in 2014), and then got owned. It seems like something far more duplicitous and ‘distasteful.’

        A bit of backdrop:

        October 31, 2014 [to his 2018 Re-Election] Blackstone’s top lobbyist finally found a Democrat he likes (Blackstone was both: one of the largest contributors to the fight against Proposition 10 Rent control in California to the tune of more than $5.6 million; and was noted as Khanna’s 3rd Top Contributor for the 2017-2018 election season.)

        May 12, 2017 Ro Khanna, once bankrolled by Silicon Valley elites, now joins anti-establishment group

        February 28, 2014 Ro Khanna: Silicon Valley’s own(ed) man (Disclosures: 1. the author, Yasha Levine, appears to have softened up a bit on Ro Khanna, since Khanna’s attached his name to Bernie Sanders, unlike Yasha, I live in Khanna’s District 17, and I see the unrelenting – unaddressed in any meaningful manner by Khanna – misery of those trapped there ; 2. I didn’t vote for anyone in that discussed ‘political race’ I haven’t done the lessor evil thing since 2008.)

        1. Duck1

          Good phrase, misery of those trapped there.
          Up in Portland metro the untermenschen are deployed in ragged dome tents along freeway right of ways and more hidden venues.
          Deplorable government and the citizens who support it.

          1. How is it legal

            Deplorable government and the citizens who support it.

            Yep, and it’s gut wrenching, the utter contempt for millions of human beings.

    2. Elizabeth Burton

      “She’s a symbol. If you believe in the [Affordable Care Act], if you believe in Dodd-Frank, if you believe in the stimulus bill … how can you not respect Pelosi’s leadership?”

      That, if you think about it, could actually be sarcasm said with a straight and earnest face. After all, what freshman wants to be caught on the bad side of the possible Speaker, who like her fellow Clintonites is well known for the depth and quality of her grudges? So, consider the things he listed—all of them token efforts by the neoliberal Obama administration. In fact, that entire quote is very well constructed to damn with what is actually faint praise, yet will play well with those who are still convinced Obama was the modern era’s best prezzie evah. Many of whom, one suspects, can be found in his district.

      It just sounds to me like Khanna is tap-dancing for all he’s worth, and isn’t to be written off until he takes his bow.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      One could satirize this Ro Khanna . . .

      “She’s a symbol. If you believe in NAFTA, if you believe in WTO Membership “for” America, if you believe in Most Favored Nation status for China . . . . how can you not respect Pelosi’s leadership?”

  28. allan

    Washing machines, dishwashers are more expensive after Trump tariffs [Marketwatch]

    … Prices for major appliances have jumped 8.1% in the past 12 months, with all of the increase coming since April, according to a government index that tracks consumer prices. …

    The good news is that the higher prices will benefit American steelworkers. Or not:

    Trump’s steel tariffs create big profits but few new jobs [Reuters]

    … While Trump has played up the narrative of downtrodden steel workers losing jobs to unscrupulous foreign competitors, most of the benefit from his 25 percent tariffs are flowing to the already strong bottom lines of Nucor and other modernized and globally competitive U.S. steel firms, according to interviews with industry executives, experts and a Reuters review of company earnings.

    Even if tariffs prompt such firms to expand, they are not likely to add large numbers of factory jobs because they have stayed competitive by slashing the amount of labor required to make steel. …

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Something no tariffs can stop (immediately) – Losartan recall due to a dangerous component chemical made in China.

      My mother and my brother both take that, and upon learning the recall (issued by the FDA yesterday) while watching the local TV news in the doctor’s office , I checked with their pharmacist. I was told I confused it with something started with a ‘V’ and an ‘L.’

      I went home and looked it, it was Losartan (a batch distributed after 10-8-2018), and the component chemical was made in Zhejiang, China for Sandoz.

    2. a different chris

      Again, the point was not to make economic sense but to display power. The people who came to him got tariffs. Now if you want better tariffs, you need to come to him. Or explain it to the Democrats and they….ok, couldn’t finish that with a straight face.

      Anyway, Trump doesn’t like work, so why do you think he would be up all night trying to figure this out. Tariffs are demonstrably back on the table, after years of neoliberal crapola. So now what?

      PS: does this have some sort of tenuous connection with the Chomsky discussion? You are focusing on the argument everybody wants you to have (Tariffs! Thumbs up or down?) and if the down thumbs win you get blamed for every job lost. If the up thumbs win then you have no voice at all. Nice positioning, there. I bet Hillary could paste herself into a corner in 30 pages or so.

      1. jrs

        “Anyway, Trump doesn’t like work, so why do you think he would be up all night trying to figure this out. Tariffs are demonstrably back on the table, after years of neoliberal crapola. So now what?”

        you could assume competent advisers which is something a competent boss can do, delegate to those who know more than they do, of course Trump isn’t even that.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          Narcissists don’t delegate to more skilled minions. To them, that would make themselves look incompetent. Won’t happen. If you work for a narcissist, half your time is spent coming up with ways to make what needs to be done look like their idea, and then you’re likely to have them switch direction at the last minute if they start to feel like they aren’t totally in control of everything.

    3. marym

      About those [possibly non-existent] jobs:

      (From Trump’s 11/07/2018 press conference which turned into the Acosta microphone show)

      Q But do you think that you demonized immigrants in this election —

      THE PRESIDENT: Not at all. No, not at all.

      Q — to try to keep —

      THE PRESIDENT: I want them — I want them to come into the country, but they have to come in legally. You know, they have to come in, Jim, through a process. I want it to be a process.[1]

      And I want people to come in. And we need the people.

      Q Right. But your campaign had — your campaign —

      THE PRESIDENT: Wait. Wait. Wait. You know why we need the people, don’t you? Because we have hundreds of companies moving in. We need the people.

  29. zer0

    On Nike: “Power play: Nike takes a big role in Oregon tax policy”

    Nike should focus more of their pathetic efforts in perhaps paying their poor impoverished Vietnamese workers more than $0.23 cents a day instead of “worrying about the children “. Im sick of the doublespeak of these corporations. They pay no taxes, move everything overseas (except a few thousand corporate jobs) and then talk about helping the American public? Puleeze. They are a drain on society and the environment on so many angles its hard to keep track.

  30. Oregoncharles

    Pursuing a previous discussion: “Neanderthals Weren’t the Violent Brutes We Thought, New Research Finds”;

    Differences between Neanderthals and modern humans continue to shrink. The real difference appears to be that they looked rather different. Of course, we now consider that a paltry difference – plenty of modern humans look different. And to repeat, evidently our Paleolithic ancestors considered them human, since they mated with them and raised the babies. So they were, at most, a subspecies.

    The chief significance is that it makes our species much older than usually indicated – Neanderthals diverged about half a million years ago, so the species is at least that old. This also increases the mystery of their die-out while modern humans survived. It happend about as the Ice Age was ending, so it’s possible Neanderthals were over-adapted to Ice Age conditions; but that’s mere speculation. Maybe they were just bred under.

    1. Synapsid


      Let’s see, we now have Neanderthal DNA in us, our DNA in one Neanderthal that I’ve read of in the literature, Denisovan DNA in us except for peoples south of the Sahara, one Neanderthal / Denisovan cross, DNA from an archaic species not yet identified in some Sub-Saharan people… There’s one specimen of Neanderthal that I think is likely to show us what a hybrid with our stock could have looked like: Amud, from Israel. He’d have been around 5 foot 10 inches tall and that’s three or four inches taller than male Neanderthals were, far as I know. He also had a build-up of bone at the front of the lower jaw where we have a chin, though his didn’t have the chin structure we rejoice in.

      The best approach to figuring out what a species is that I’ve come across was Bakker’s years ago: They’re a separate species if in the wild they tend to keep their genes to themselves. That has the ring of good sense to me. (Bakker is a palaeontologist known for his work on dinosaurs. He’s the one with the beard down to his belt buckle, hair ditto though no belt buckle, and a hat that appears to have been run over by his pickup truck. He’s a fine scientist. He once accounted for his marriages by saying “I do it for the Cuisinarts”.)

      That said, as you point out, Pleistocene hominids seem to have been a randy bunch, or at least open-minded. I’ve also harbored the suspicion that they were all peacefully inclined except us and that’s why we’re the only one left.

  31. bdy

    Once Seen as a Local Issue, Affordable Housing Is Becoming a State Focus

    I guess rent control is an MSM 3rd rail. Not a peep.

    1. Duck1

      Which will move first, affordable housing (price collapse) or rising wages (strictly verboten inflation) or just throw more on the street. No need for concentration camps, the destitute will self organize under the overpasses.

  32. rd

    US House NY-22 between Brindisi-D and Tenney-R (Inc) is one of the tightest elections in the entire country. It had the most ads run of any House district. However, there is almost no noise about it because the election process itself is reasonably well-designed with back-up systems in place and it was competently run. When a memory stick reported zero results from a polling station, they were able to figure out that didn’t make sense and accessed the machine’s paper tape back-up and still had all the paper ballots for a hand count if needed.

    There are about 10 times as many absentee ballots as the current vote differential in the race, so they have to be opened and counted. But that has a defined process with defined dates so there are no burblings about ballots appearing out of thin air. “The ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 5 to be considered valid and received at a county board of elections by Nov. 13. Military and overseas ballots will be counted if they are received by Nov. 19 and have the appropriate postmark.” The election officials and the press have been very clear about these deadlines so it is not coming as a surprise to anyone.

    Absentee ballots are beginning to be opened today and military and overseas ballots will be counted as they come in as long as they get in by November 19. The state deadline to certify results is December 14, in case there are challenges or they need to do a hand recount.

  33. ewmayer

    o “Do gut bacteria make a second home in our brains? Science” — Who knew that the phrase “shit for brains” might actually be more than a mere metaphor? Or that “go with your gut!” might actually mean the same thing as “use your head!”?

  34. mikef

    Hey Lambert – more right-wing propaganda on global warning ( ‘the science is settled’ ), this time from NASA and Martin Armstrong – they couldn’t be more wrong, could they Mr. L:

    this will test Mr. L’s understanding of the second law of thermodynamics:

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      I’m not sure what your point is, but the 2nd law presumes an isolated system. The NASA report presumes, rightfully so, that the Earth is not an isolated system.

    2. ewmayer

      Regarding your hero, Wikipedia says:

      “Martin Arthur Armstrong (born November 1, 1949) is a self-taught[1] economic forecaster who uses his own computer model based on pi. In 1999 Armstrong was convicted of fraudulently cheating investors out of $700 million and hiding $15 million in assets from regulators.[1]”

      So his economic forecasts are based on mystical numerology and he’s a crook. But I’m sure his scientific insights are reliable! \sarc

    3. Futility

      “Let’s now look at the markets from the perspective of the Second Law of Thermodynamics!”

      What utter BS! This guy knows nothing about physics but has the temerity to lecture others on climate change.

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