Links 11/9/18

Neonicotinoid exposure impairs social behavior of bees, affecting colony health Amerian Association for the Advancement of Science. Only bees, I’m sure.

Drone caused bears distress in viral video, researchers say CBC

Lloyd Blankfein Was the Unidentified Goldman Executive Present at 2009 1MDB Meeting Bloomberg

UBS accused of causing billions in investor losses FT

Crypto Finance for the Masses: Not Without My Bank Finews

Manchester City Exposed: Chapter 4: A Global Empire Der Spiegel

In news that will shock absolutely no one, America’s cellphone networks throttle vids, strangle rival Skype The Register


EXCLUSIVE: UK spy agencies knew source of false Iraq war intelligence was tortured Middle East Eye

Failed dream of political Islam Le Monde Diplomatique


Brexiteers fear price rises, not return of Irish border Politico

The EU’s Brexit solution: trade between East and West Germany Handelsblatt

Game of Brexit: Winter is coming to the UK Financial News

What would it be like? LRB

Macron stirs anger with WW1 tribute to Nazi collaborator Petain Reuters

“War Is Done!” Lapharm’s Quarterly. World War I.


Notebandi, a disaster: Opposition The Hindu


Conflict between the US and China is not inevitable FT

For China’s Bad Banks, the Future’s Worse Bloomberg

The Jasic Workers’ Struggle in China Labor Notes

China’s brightest children are being recruited to develop AI ‘killer bots’ South China Morning Post

If Your Data Is Bad, Your Machine Learning Tools Are Useless HBR. From April, still germane. If everything is like CalPERS, all data is bad.

At Doomed Flight’s Helm, Pilots May Have Been Overwhelmed in Seconds NYT. Boeing’s operations manual describes a fix with a horrid UI/UX, on top of all the other problems.

New Cold War

In Bipartisan Pleas, Experts Urge Trump to Save Nuclear Treaty With Russia NYT

Washington playing with the devil: Diplomat warns US against limited nuclear war strategy TASS

The liberal international order Irrussianality

Trump Transition

Matthew Whitaker’s Appointment as Acting Attorney General: Three Lingering Questions Lawfare

Expert: Acosta video distributed by White House was doctored AP

2018 Post Mortem

Well After Election Day, Florida and Georgia Voters Still Wonder Who Won NYT

Midterm Election Roundup: How Climate and the Environment Fared Weather Underground

Red-State Voters Stand by Republicans Despite Trump’s Trade War Pain NYT. Oddly, or not, the Times fails to mention that the Administration bailed out the impacted farmers immediately. One might quarrel with details on the bailouts, but this is in great contrast to the bipartisan policy for bailing out deindustrialized America: Give them nothing. Only 40 years later are economists discovering that yes, their glowing averages concealed a lot of, well, pain, and perhaps some redistribution might have been in order. Too late now, of course. So there is no reason for the Times to be surprised.

Democrats in Disarray

The People, No Thomas Frank, The Baffler

Health Care

Healthcare Still Misses the Mark on Patient Safety MedPage Today

Question 1: Massachusetts’ nurse-patient ratio ballot measure is defeated MassLive

Class Warfare

If you want to run for office, be a professional on up:

Book of the Day: Walkaway by Cory Doctorow P2P Foundation

Why the FTC Should Focus on Labor Monopsony ProMarket

Federal judge blocks construction of Keystone XL pipeline USA Today

California: tens of thousands evacuated as wildfire explodes in size Guardian

New wind and solar generation costs fall below existing coal plants FT

A new way to make steel could cut 5% of CO2 emissions at a stroke MIT Technology Review. If the demo scales….

Rainforest destruction from gold mining hits all-time high in Peru

Altitude Likely Helped Andean People Survive Contact With Europeans Courthouse News (original).

Editing nature: Local roots of global governance Science

The Concrete Jungle NYRB. “Why should evolution move more quickly in cities than elsewhere?…. If the selection pressure is high enough, dramatic changes can take hold in only a hundred generations or so. For many insect and bird lineages, that’s just a century.”

Harvard researchers’ suggestion of an alien space probe is probably wrong CNN. Awww!

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Henry Moon Pie

    “There’s no indication that Blankfein was aware of the internal assessments of Low, or knew the identities of all the people present at the meeting.”

    “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore prudent as serpents and innocent as doves.”

    When you’re doing “God’s work,” your ability to play the pigeon is essential.

  2. integer

    Prominent Vox editor defends Antifa siege of Tucker Carlson, then deletes ALL tweets RT.

    Writing as if the only reason anyone could have for opposing the protesters’ actions was that they didn’t understand the intent behind them, Yglesias said scaring the Fox host’s wife into hiding was an OK thing to do – just bad tactics.

    The response from social media was swift and vicious, and Yglesias – who has over 414,000 followers – has now deleted all his tweets.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Would have been interesting if Tucker’s wife had been the sort of person to demonstrate her Second Amendment rights. Over their heads of course. Pretty gutless terrorizing an ordinary housewife in her own home though.

      1. Todde

        My uncle fought fascist. He used a 20mm cannon to do it.

        If youre in someone’s front yard with signs yelling and screaming, I’m going to say youre not fighting fascism.

        Do what you have to do. I dont tell people how to act.

        I’m just saying youre not Antifa, youre something else.

          1. In the Land of Farmers

            Sorry. No.

            Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy.

            Tired of anyone who has an agenda being called a fascist. Was the French Resistance movement fascist?

            If you do not like fascism I would say you should think about how voting fits fascism better than Antifa does.

            Is Authoritarian: You get to tell 49% of the population what laws to live by.
            Forcibly suppresses people through laws
            Promotes Nationalism (Do your duty for your country!)
            Regiments society and the economy.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy.


              According to that, there are the elements:

              1. radical
              2. authoritarian
              3 ultranationalistic
              4. dictatorial power
              5. forcible suppression of opposition
              6. strong regimentation of society and of the economy.

              Is North Korea one? Is it ultranationalistic?

              Was the USSR one? Again, the debatable one could be #3.

              1. In the Land of Farmers

                I did not say fascism cannot exist on the left. I said that Antifa is not fascist.

                I am against all forms of state power. And I am an Anarchist (Libertarian Socialist) that does not support the actions of Antifa.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Sorry, I mis-understood your reply of ‘Sorry no’ to ‘The fascists are also on the left.’

                2. witters

                  “I am against all forms of state power.”

                  Good luck. And make an exception for the highway code.

                    1. tegnost

                      I think it was a comment in favor of state regulation of automobiles on the public thoroughfare (I’m with you on that btw), not anarchism…maybe explain why witters comment maybe does not reflect your view of regulation and/or anarchism (oh and any time I see ism I think religion and with all the various belief systems out there, after all we do not all share the same god, you have to express the ideology, don’t expect all of us to know what it is…

              2. Jeff W

                North Korea, according to infernational studies professor B. R. Myers, is best understood as adhering to a Chosunized “1930s-style Japanese fascism.” North Korea, within its stylings as a “workers’ paradise,” carried over the ultranationalistic, racist elements of Japanese fascism from the occupation—it’s more like a cultural overlay—which makes its situation different from those where fascism is promoted, even if not explicitly by name, as a political program. It’s kind of a historical anomaly.

                While the Soviet Union—aside from the “ultranationalist” element—shares the other elements of that definition, fascism, at its core, always reinforced existing hierarchy (and class) and, in practice, supported private business interests. The Soviet Union, even if it practiced “state capitalism,” did not. So I’d say any characterization of fascism as something other than right-wing is ahistorical as best.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  What about Tsarist Russia (on the right)* or on the left, and more recently, East Germany (GDR)?

                  *this relates to the historical part – how far back can we detect fascism, according to the above definition? Was Sparta fascist?

                  1. Jeff W

                    “according to the above definition”

                    I think the above definition is insufficient. If you had a regime which had all those characteristics and seized the property of the ruling class and distributed wealth equally through the population (or espoused equality), that would not be fascism. I don’t think fascism boils down to authoritarianism + nationalism.

                    I wouldn’t say East Germany was fascist—it wasn’t friendly to the business interests. (North Korea isn’t fascist, either because it didn’t buttress the traditional hierarchy but because it follows this weird amalgam of Japanese fascist tropes with a theme of ultra-nationalism, it’s probably the closest thing there is to a leftwing Leninist “fascist” state.) Tsarist Russia was just an absolute monarchy. Sparta, in terms of its emphasis on strength and the six elements, was maybe proro-fascist but, since fascism was a 20th century philosophy, I think it’s not right to label societies before its genesis as “fascist.”

                    There’s been an attempt on the right over the past decade to rebrand fascism as a “left” phenomenon, basically tarring the left with the horrific events brought about by the Axis powers before and during World War 2. (Dinesh D’Souza’s incoherent Death if a Nation is the latest attempt.) But fascism, for all its muddled existence, is reactionary, an ideology of the right. That’s why I’m “resisting” that dictionary definition, with its list of elements. It doesn’t ground fascism accurately in its historical/reactionary context.

                    1. Procopius

                      Many on the Right also seize on the label Socialist, without learning about Prussian Socialism invented by the historian Spengler, very different from Marx-Leninism.

            2. Partyless Poster

              I think your forgetting an important element was in Mussolini’s
              definition where he said that it is the “marriage of state and corporate power”
              The fact that this part is ignored is very problematic because it allows groups like Antifa to focus exclusively on racial issues while ignoring the fact that democrats are just as eager to corporatize everything. The ACA being the perfect example, Dems had no qualms forcing poor people to pay corporations just for the privilege of existing.
              That is Fascism and it has nothing to do with the (real) left.

              1. In the Land of Farmers

                Yes,I agree. Antifa is just chaotic and is largely playing identity politics.They should be fighting against Democratic leaders and pundits just as much as Republican.

                We live in a corporate state which is controlled by different parties at different times. The only useful protest is against the corporate state.

                1. Plenue

                  “Yes,I agree. Antifa is just chaotic and is largely playing identity politics.”

                  Those that aren’t simply undercover cops.

            3. jashley

              Not voting :

              One tells 99% of the population what laws to live by
              Forcibly suppresses people through laws
              Promotes Nationalism (Do your duty for your country!)
              Regiments society and the economy.

              In other styles of gvt those on the street or front lawn of the Carlson’s would have been arrested and jailed and/or worse.

        1. ewmayer

          Nice – I suggest a double-x by way of analogy with doxxing: ‘Voxxing’. And will we see the emergence of an ‘Antivoxxer movement’? Hell, I’d settle for some folks organizing to give Vox douchebag-in-chief Matty Y a taste of his own in-your-face intimidation medicine.

    2. Carolinian

      I got Tucker Carlson’s book, called Ship of Fools, out of the library. He hits some of the usual rightwing talking points but is yet quite sharp in talking about how many on the left have done a one eighty from principles they held dear back in the mid 20th cent. Free speech advocacy was prominent among those and opposition to war was another. He is undoubtedly right that a time traveler from the sixties would be shocked to see leftists attacking open debate on campus or embracing LBJ’s position re our right to tell other countries how to run their affairs.

      Of course those sixties liberals grew up with a different set of experiences including the threat of being drafted, memories of McCarthy’s attacks on free speech and association, the widespread fear of the atomic bomb, a still vital labor movement which was the economic heart of the Democrats.

      Carlson’s not all bad, and antifa is giving him a nicely overstuffed target.

        1. cm

          Yesterday I was listening to a KBOO program (community radio, very progressive) where they were adulating Robert Mueller since he opposed Trump. The joke was about 2 weeks ago the topic was 9/11 (where Mueller dropped the ball, and let the Saudis off the hook), yet now Mueller is someone to be admired.

          1. pretzelattack

            the new story seems to be that we must trust our patriotic spy community, who would never lie to us.

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            I’m sure he’s enjoying the deification as long as he can. They’re gonna crucify the guy when he doesn’t give them what they want.

            1. Enquiring Mind

              Mobs are fickle and dangerous as shown throughout history. People depersonalize and act out in the anonymity of a crowd, made worse by masks and those who egg on the action. Some even repent, sometimes before abasing themselves and their communities further. There are more productive and responsible ways to behave.

        2. Duke of Prunes

          I was thinking the same thing – what a bizarro, upside-down world when “progressives” are demonstrating in favor of a cretin like Sessions. Obviously, they’re not “progressive” so what are they? I wonder what they even call themselves…

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Kind of like Bush – who was rehabilitated when Trump was elected.

              Mao also did that with a few of his former adversaries.

            2. Darthbobber

              Unril he goes home to Alabama and runs for his old seat again in 2020, with a curt thank you to Doug Jones for keeping the seat warm for him.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Here’s Vox’s case against sessions at the time he was nominated:


            Don’t bother. Same old, same old except that Spartacus booker broke with the tradition of “deference” to senate colleagues by signing up to “testify” against racist sessions during his confirmation.

            To quote just about every Law and Order episode ever made, “Were you lying then, or are you lying now?”

          2. Lord Koos

            I think lot of them are basically good people who have been mislead into following a paradigm that is becoming extinct.

            1. knowbuddhau

              Well said. Billions are spent on perfecting psyops and propaganda. We shouldn’t be surprised, or blame the victims, when it works.

              Question is, what happens to a society during narrative collapse? The world they thought they knew never existed, they’re lied to relentlessly about the present, and the future is a global horror show in the making.

              When it turns out that everyone’s been lying, who’s to *say what’s going on, and what to do about it?

              We are. IMNSHO, that’s why what we’re doing here: establishing and maintaining a coherent, robust reality field; is absolutely essential. So tip well!

              It’s a question as simple as fraught: do you see what I see?

              The fundamental loneliness goes
              When two can dream a dream

              — Nancy Wilson, Wave

          3. drumlin woodchuckles

            What do they even call themselves?

            Well, they call themselves by various names.

            and stuff like that there.

          4. knowbuddhau

            What’s in a name, and who needs one to act? And who says propaganda has to make sense? Ads don’t have to make sense, they just have to move the product. Same with prop.

            Lo, TPTB said, let there be demonstrations! And behold, the loyal media did cover the micro-protests of loyal followers, after having turned a blind eye to other, much larger protests, because uncalled for.

            When TPTB want our opinion, they give it to us loud and clear.

        3. Elizabeth Burton

          I nearly wept as I watched thousands of well-meaning people march in lockstep to media rabble-rousing. One person said that, recovering from a C-section, she left her newborn in capable hands to drag herself out to what was nothing but a media photo op. And then defended the fact the “protest” fizzled out as soon as the cameras disappeared as the leaders being afraid of retribution.

          It was textbook from beginning to end. Meantime, the Saudis are still butchering babies in Yemen while the US and its allies mumble something about a ceasefire so they can review the situation. And when I confronted one of the rabble-rousers asking where are the protests against that, he sneered and called my question both-sideism.

          Then I read the judge had pulled Keystone, and I felt a little better. I’m sure it’s not over, given how the same company killed the Colorado setback initiative, but it’s better than nothing.

      1. Oregoncharles

        As a time traveler from the 60’s, I can tell you you’re bang on. And we didn’t call ourselves ” liberals,” even though that meant something different then. There’ve been some very strange morphings in the last 50 years; college students calling for censorship is one of them. I wonder what’s wrong with them.

        And going after Carlson seems odd; there are much worse Fox personalities. Is it precisely because he sometimes gets it right? I really wonder who those people are; are ALL of them cops?

        1. LifelongLib

          Dunno. A lot of people across the political spectrum don’t believe in free speech at all. After all, it means having to hear things you think are stupid, wrong, and/or evil. Once you’re in a position to do so there’s a temptation to just make people you disagree with shut up.

    3. Roger Smith

      Hah! Yglesias jumps the shark (again). I love how he creates “victims” of Carlson. Was Matty out there on the front lawn? Because they were saying similar things about these “victims”. These fools have never listened to Carlson (who to me is the most truthful pundit on the horrible cable news circuit), they just don’t like him because he works for Fox. What it he still worked at CNN? Would they be on his lawn still.

      Rev Kev makes a good point. What if, after cracking the door from the outside, an arguably warranted shotgun blast came out from the inside? These people should count their blessings and keep to themselves. I recommend reading Listen, Liberal.

      1. Paul O

        For some reason Audible UK are not allowed to sell me ‘Listen, Liberal’. The 5 minute sample was exciting though.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          If it’s listed for sale, and there’s no message it’s unavailable, give them h***. The Audible UK version was the top listing via Duck Duck Go.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        I agree with some of Carlson’s positions and disagree with others. He’s not a “news” guy, he’s an opinion guy, and he makes no claim to the contrary, unlike many purported “news” outlets.

        I think the real problem these crackpots have with him is that he doesn’t rely on hysteria, conjecture and innuendo to make his case like so many in “the resistance” these days. He points out conflicts–like the inconsistency between “free speech” and censorship–which would torpedo this mindless, fury-fueled “activism” if they were considered rationally.

        What are they so pissed off about? According to msnbs they got their “blue wave.” What more do they want?

        Tangentially, I find myself wondering more and more these days how the coup in Ukraine got started. We, in this country, only became aware of it when it finally exploded in Maidan Square. But it’s hard to believe that it didn’t begin with incidents like this one at Carlson’s house, the restaurant confrontations, the relentless dividing of the population along meaningless but politically convenient ideological lines, severe economic stress that is repeatedly denied and remains unaddressed, and an omnipresent media that refuses to recognize its self-serving role in fanning these dangerous flames.

        Not to mention a populace that dared to seek leadership from outside the designated leadership pool.

        I recently reread Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here and, spoiler alert, it did.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Tucker is the target because he makes too many sensible and obvious arguments about Dem logical inconsistencies:

          No, the FBI is not the righteous friend of the people.
          No, “We’re against free speech!” and “Racist statements against white persons is OK!” are not winning positions.
          No, endless and empty RussiaGate shrieking is not a clever strategy.
          No, We’reNotTrump! is not a winning platform
          No, unlimited immigration is not good for workers. Ask Cesar Chavez.

          Labor (Dems) has always been against unlimited immigration, and Management (Repubs) has always been for it because it keeps wages low. Question for Dems: is your new goal to keep wages low?

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            It depends which Dems you are talking about.

            For old legacy New Deal Dems the answer is no. Their goal was not to keep wages low. That is why they opposed NAFTA/WTO Membership “for” America/ MFN for China/etc.

            For new Third Wave/ Hamilton Project/ DLC/ Clintonite Dems: the answer is yes. It has been and is and will be their goal to make wages low and then keep them low. And then make them lower. That way their 10 Per Center core constituency will always have a Reserve Army of the ill-paid Nannies and Yard Workers and Restaurant Workers and so forth. ( As well as ongoing proxy-revenge against the children and grandchildren of all those awful Union Democrats who voted for Nixon in 1972).

      3. FluffytheObeseCat

        I’ve watched Carlson’s sneering op-ed show from start to finish as recently as this September. If he is “the most truthful pundit on Fox, there are no “truthful” pundits on Fox (shocker!).

        His schtick: toss out some defensible criticism of the proud poseurs of the liberal “left”, and then pivot to praising the Fox right for “opposing” these straw Clintons. Alway take a little time to down punch on academia. Rinse and repeat a few time, then cut to commercials. Sneering contempt is the signal presentation mode throughout. Caricature of the opposing side is the whole point.

        Where would he, and Fox-ettes like him, be without the Antifa clowns? And where would the Antifa clowns be without him? They’d all need to get real jobs, posthaste, if their precious foils disappear.

        And why is his wife’s fear so much more valued, even here, than the fear of thousands of less protected women who’ve been tossed out of their homes without fanfare over the past ten years? At least when Carlson’s wife called the cops, and/or Fox security personnel….. someone answered. And if she had done the right thing by peppering those clowns with birdshot, she’d have the best counsel money can buy.

        1. marym

          “Anita” as they show up in larger rallies or individual actions appear to be at best rowdy nihilists looking for a fight, at worst provocateurs. Whether or not one is concerned that we confront actual fascism at this time, there’s nothing “antifa” has contributed to any struggle to oppose or prevent it.

          I don’t have a tv, so can’t judge Carlson directly. An internet search on Tucker Carlson/white nationalism, generates lots of references, with leftish, liberalish sites criticizing, and rightish sources commending or defending, but no one really denying the substance of what he espouses.

          Here’s a link to a sample liberal critique, with plenty of quotes and embedded links for anyone wants to judge the substance.

          I agree that whatever “antifa” is they and the Fox-ettes feed on each other.

          And of course, Yay for the Carlsons that the cops would likely help rather than murder them. Not that they’re “privileged” or anything….

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          I have watched a few Tucker Carlson episodes on the You Tube, and I have to agree in the very narrowest sense with this analysis of MISTER Tucker Carlson. He generally invites the baitable and mockable live-action-caricatures of the position he is opposing onto his show, so he can then bait them and mock them.

          He puts false words in their mouths and lies to his audience about what they think and what they said.

          The only thing missing from the Tucker Carlson show is Paul Begala. If he brought back Paul Begala, then it would be Crossfire all over again.

    4. Craig H.

      Gurdjieff said the tragedy of man is his body is occupied by a hundred different “I’s” and the stupidest one can sign a contract and all of them are responsible.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That sounds like ‘collective guilt.’

        I wonder if all the I’s in Gurdjieff’s body consent to that statement.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Perhaps Gurdjieff didn’t mean that all the I’s “are” responsible.
          Perhaps he meant that all the I’s are “held” responsible.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The follow up question, am I sounding like Acosta here, is what or who is doing the ‘holding?’

            The ‘I’s’ of Gurdjieff holding each other collectively guilty?

            All ‘I’s’ of other bodies?

            Some percentages of ‘I’s’ of other bodies?

            Just one single ‘I’ from the various other bodies?

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              At this level of depth of inquiry, you would need to get a “weejee” board and maybe someone who really knows how to really use it. If you could open a channel to the Gurdjieff spirit, it might open a channel back to you and answer some of these questions.

  3. HotFlash

    Awww. A Peanuts cartoon from 1963 has Snoopy sitting in the rain. Panel 1: “Sometimes when little dogs sit in the rain looking pathetic, rich ladies come along and pic them up in the big cars and take them to their beautiful homes.” Panel 2 Panel 3 Panel 4: “But not very often.” Sorry can’t link, it’s on sites I don’t do, FB and Pinterest.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      The farmer across the way here has an old Italian breed called a Maremmano with a coat that would put any of my coats to shame. That dog seems happy as could be sitting in a downpour, doesn’t faze him a bit.

    2. Lee

      Our pit bull Staffordshire Terrier was rescued by my son as she ran terrified through the streets on a dark and stormy night. When he brought her home I declared, “We are not having one of that breed of dog in this house!” Now, years late,r she is snoozing on the bed keeping my feet warm. She loves people and toward them she is the most affectionate and friendly dog I’ve ever known. Other dogs, particularly little yappy ones, not so much. I suspect she mistakes them for rodents, a not completely unreasonable misperception.

    3. sleepy

      My Maine coon cat loves to go out and sit in the rain and play in mud puddles. It’s hard to get him inside. I’ve been told it’s the breed. Right now, it’s 20 degrees out and he’s lounging in the snow.

  4. HotFlash

    Lloyd Blankfein Was the Unidentified Goldman Executive Present at 2009 1MDB Meeting Bloomberg

    How very interesting!

    1. JTMcPhee

      And in the Impunity of Oligarchy Rule of Law Nation, that will translate into exactly WHAT?

      Under the heading of “more reasons to feel the futility,, possibly up to the point where the mopery gets organized and takes some kind of action other than hunching down and waiting to be lanced and flensed?

      Let us be sure to keep voting, though, and whiffle-balling around with suggestions on how to “field more candidates who represent our interests,” to go on to their electorally validated positions in the corrupt looting institutions of “our” government… “Our” in the sense that we are simply associated with and “under” it, not in the sense that “we” have any ownership interest in it…

      Got to go price some solar panels and stir the sphagnum in my composting toilet and separate my recycle stuff, and check the Airbnb rates for special digs in the really cool places I have not visited yet, and the best deals on seats from the airlines that will waft me there on a stream of carbon dioxide, water vapor and soot…

  5. PlutoniumKun

    Manchester City Exposed: Chapter 4: A Global Empire Der Spiegel

    If anything proves beyond doubt that European and World football is rotten beyond redemption, its the failure by UEFA to take action against the blatant breaching of ‘Fair Play’ rules by Manchester City. They are simply stockpiling as many players as they can in order to dominate football, it is impossible for clubs which have to break even financially over the long term to match them. If rumours are correct, they have even more dubious ways than outlined in the article to ‘top up’ players wages.

    The fans notice. City struggle to fill their stadium despite all their big stars and success. One day it will catch up on the football authorities, but all the signs are that its nowhere close yet.

    The only thing that might set back the UAE ‘project’ for Man City is Brexit…. now that would be interesting.

    1. johnnygl

      FFP rules were mostly about protecting the top aristocratic clubs from being threatened by new money upstarts. Aristocratic members’ clubs usually have their price of entry and clubs like PSG and Man City have been willing and able to pay that price of entry.

      I think FFP was more abotut maintaing and strengthening the pecking order and also short-circuiting half-baked, ambitious projects like Monaco, or Anzhi, or maybe even Zenit St. Petersburg awhile back. Valencia in Spain was another one that cost in over its head with a new stadium that got shelved for a lengthy stretch and recently got back on track.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    A new way to make steel could cut 5% of CO2 emissions at a stroke MIT Technology Review. If the demo scales….

    A problem for this is that there is already way too much steel processing capacity in the world – arguably, much of China’s economic policy is geared at keeping its giant capacity busy, and many countries subsidise their own capacity for domestic economic reasons. So a ‘new’ system would take decades to replace existing plants even if it proved economically viable.

    The best way to reduce CO2 emissions from the use of steel (apart of course from reducing its use) is to recycle as much as possible – most recycling plants use electric arc processes which at least have the potential for using renewable energy (or, as often is the case now, surplus night time electricity).

    1. Not From Here

      The import of the message, and indeed in many so called green media, is keep consuming, keep having babies, keep living human life with only a cosmetic changes. Those at the top are determined to party on.

      It’s going to take something I can’t foresee happening, dirt cheap carbon neutral energy, which then will have to be deployed on here to un-foretold(never before seen) scale to power green house gas capture/(permanent?) sequestration industry on an equally un-foretold scale,

      1. Another Scott

        Exactly. I remember an article a few months ago about how to tackle “the difficult sources of CO2.” They were referring to certain industrial process like steel and cement manufacturing, as well as air travel. It never occurred to them that one of the easiest ways to reduce CO2 is to cut some of these activities in half.

        In general, I’m a big proponent of trying to reduce the environmental impact of these industrial activities, which are hidden from many of us, especially those living near big coastal cities. This does sound promising, although I don’t know how much new steel (as opposed to recycled steel) we actually need.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Dead meat travelling by air.

          Those fresh sushi from overseas flown in every Wednesday….consuming energy and emitting CO2 from the world beyond.

          Then, you have those 1% humans who love to fly to exotic islands.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          The ‘lower hanging fruit’ for something like steel is almost invariably to reduce use. With steel, about 50% is used in construction, 30% in transport (ships, cars, etc).

          Just to show the waste, its estimated that 20% of homes in China are unoccupied – thats 50 million units. Thats a lot of steel and concrete used just for the purposes of keeping the Chinese economy moving. While many countries need more, not less infrastructure, a vast amount is built unnecessarily. And then just add in the amount of ships required for stupidly long supply chains, and using 2 tonnes of car used just for shopping, and its easy to see steel and other resource use can be significantly reduced without reducing living standards.

    2. Anthony Wikrent

      A global crash program of $100 trillion over 10 to 20 years to build new clean energy, transportation, industries, and replace or retrofit residential and commercial buildings for zero carbon footprints, would strain and more likely overwhelm present capacity. In just about every industry, not just steel.

      If our economies were designed to provide what we really need, instead of (mal)investment opportunities for neoliberal anti-worker entrepreneurs….

      1. KPC

        Not vaguely necessary or even desirable.

        One needs to use a sunk cost model.

        Then one needs to truly grok that we do not vaguely need nearly the quantity of near anything physical today. E.g., the wave of the future mining industry, for pity sake, is recycling including as we rip down some of this more recent postmodern junk. Try Miami? As I hear it, a good stiff off shore breeze is now enough to flood the place and overwhelm the poor souls who have to run the water systems. Ya hafta relocate the place. Dykes a la Holland ain’t going to cut. There used to be a fabulous exhibit in the basement of the Rijksmuseum relevant to this issue. Have not visited in awhile so I do not know if it is still there.

        Somehow, I suspect we have enough cars to last a generation or two… . Auto fabricating industry is already, thankfully, in consolidation.

        I would personally prefer far fewer cars in this metro area with more trains, busses, taxis and taxistas. Last I heard, our first lady was in Asia shopping hopefully with my government picking up the tab – for trains.

        Less stuff is truly a near infinitely better quality of life.

        The world’s population curves are also peaking…so less is needed… .

    3. KPC

      Thank you for this. I missed the ability to use off peak grid based electricity. Goes to the very heart of so many issues in such an elegant manner.

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Altitude Likely Helped Andean People Survive Contact With Europeans Courthouse News

    Sounds to me like they are trying too hard to find a biochemical explanation when there are simpler ones.

    The cardiovascular systems of people in the high altitudes might have adapted in a way that allowed more blood to flow to their lungs, the team concluded in a study published in the journal Science Advances.

    People at altitude tend to live at loser densities, and hygiene tends to be much better – the air is so dry everything becomes in effect ‘freeze dried’ as anyone who’s had a poo at 5,000 metres will confirm. Tibetan people happily handle animal dung (using it as fuel and insulation) without apparently suffering from any infections.

    So a combination of relatively low densities and low levels of interractions (reducing contact) and the dry air seems to me a much better explanation for why they survived European diseases so much better. Plus the fact that they didn’t have much that Europeans wanted to steal, so they had less direct contact.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Tibetans today inherit two genetic mutations that help them to live at such elevated places.

      One of them, the second one, apparently was from the Denisovans.

      Those two help with having lower percentages of oxygen in their blood.

      I wonder if Andean people have something similar.

    2. VietnamVet

      The article was misleading on why the Incas survived. It wasn’t the altitude. They were agrarian society that grew potatoes. The US Army will never conquer the farmers of the lowland Euphrates and Tigris River valleys even after 15 years and counting.

      The ending of “The Magnificent Seven” states it clearly:

      Gunslingers are “like the wind, blowing over the land and passing on.” As they leave the graves of their fallen comrades, Chris admits, “The Old Man was right. Only the farmers won. We lost. We’ll always lose.”

  8. zagonostra

    Ref: Thomas Frank: class-based self-delusion.

    Can “class-based self-delusion” explain Debbie Wasserman Schultz easy victory over Tim Canova? Here is a politician that was exposed as subverting the “sacred” vote of the people in 2016 and she easily is re-elected for an 8th term.

    Something is rotten in the state of Florida,and the root of the rot has less to do with any notion of class consciousness then the structure of a political system that is based on money, corruption and devices used to suppress the vote.

    Sad day for democracy.

    1. David Carl Grimes

      I listened to Canova’s interview with Jimmy Dore. I was not impressed. He seemed low energy. I got bored after a few minutes and switched to another video.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I heard that interview too. He needs to take some passion lessons from, say, Bernie Sanders. Because merely being an independent isn’t enough.

  9. DonCoyote

    “If everything is like CalPERS, all data is bad.”

    My first job in data, my boss would put a slightly more positive spin on it:

    “Data is good until you use it.”

  10. Skip Intro

    Matt Taibbi, heir-apparent to the Hunter S. Thomson legacy, has a fresh interview with Bernie Sanders up:

    Bernie Sanders Opens Up About New Democrats in Congress, Taking on Trumpism

    First impressions from Election Night? Most encouraging result, least encouraging?

    My impression is that, given the fact that Trump fired [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions today in order to remove media coverage from [Tuesday] night tells me we had a pretty good night. I think [Tuesday] night was a significant rejection of Trumpism. Not only did the Democrats regain control of the House, which was the most important development, Democrats won seven governors’ races. Democrats won 300 races at the state legislative and in the four states that Trump won in order to get his Electoral College majority — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — all four of those Senate Democratic candidates won. And three out of the four [Democratic] candidates for governor won. As someone who worked very hard for Andrew Gillum, that was a major disappointment. He ran a brilliant campaign, dealing with a lot of things, including racism. We’ll see what happens in Georgia, whether or not they’re going to count all the votes there. But if Abrams loses, that [will be] a painful loss.

  11. Watt4Bob

    IMO, the Thomas Frank article states our problem as concisely as is possible.

    The only thing missing is a more direct mention of the Republican’s ‘Southern Strategy’.

    The right-wing, in the form of the republican party has been herding the people’s anger for fifty years, and in retrospect, our current situation is the entirely understandable result.

    That article should be a permanent link on every ‘progressive’ site, in fact, a mandatory read.

    Thank you Thomas Frank, and NC.

      1. Watt4Bob

        Yes, of course, good point.

        There are probably about a half dozen easily digestible articles that cover the time line of how we got here, and that should be required reading.

        It would be nice if there was a spot to aggregate those documents for that purpose.

        1. Roger Smith

          I was just wondering if Frank had ever touched on these events. From the like Eureka gave, that memo led to lots of big money, corrupt influences we have today.

          1. Watt4Bob


            Thanks for that link.

            While I love Frank’s concise delivery, I’m also a fan of the deep dig.

            Check out the history of the Non Partisan League for another enjoyable read.

            We figured it out about a hundred years ago, then forgot it all about 1968.

    1. DonCoyote


      Great summary from Frank, love his last paragraph:

      What does it tell us when liberals, faced with epic political corruption, spectacular bank misbehavior, and towering inequality, take that opportunity to declare war on populism? It tells us that they’ve lost any sense of their own movement as an expression of the vast majority. It tells us they have no idea why they believe they should be entrusted with power in the first place. And it reminds us that their particular brand of class-based self-delusion is a luxury that the rest of us can ill afford.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Apart from his insights, Frank is a really beautiful writer, I’m quite jealous of his ability to express so many ideas so elegantly.

        In a sane world, all the major newspapers and magazines would be fighting to have him lead up their comment and analyses pages.

        1. barefoot charley

          Yep. Instead we understand why he’s MSM blacklisted. I’m glad he’s still so cheerful, wish I could do that.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        It tells us that the liberals know which side their bread is buttered on, and that they know who butters their bread.

        ” Whose bread I eat, his song I sing.” And so it is with the liberals.

    2. djrichard

      Anybody watch the TV series “Black Sails”? A great series – the writing is fantastic. It’s the fight of the pirates against the commissioned officers (naval and government). But more broadly it’s a “resistance” against corporatized England, in a way not all that different than the “resistance” by the American colonies, except with a big difference – the pirate resistance is more “democratic”. [Which literally makes for great circular firing plot point at one point in the series.]

      Seems to me what we’re going through is no different. Trump’s party (separate from the GOP) is essentially a pirate brand – the pirate party. And as a pirate brand, it’s gloriously messy. And as pirates, well it only makes sense that they’d be considered deplorable, lol.

      On the other side, those who hold commissions in the government / corporate system. And those who are “wanna bes”: apparently suburban women. Except with a fun plot twist – this civilization presents itself as “the resistance”. Full credit to the “authors” who wrote that by the way.

      After all, who’s side are you going to be on? Our side, the side of courtly civilization? Or the side of pirates? Don’t forget, those pirates have no scruples. Some of them are so emboldened now that they’re committing acts of terrorism. OK as a suburban woman, even if you’re not destined for the commissioned food chain, surely you don’t want acts of terrorism on your door step do you? It’s time to man the barricades!

      But wait. Is there an opportunity for a more noble pirate? Somebody who would normally aspire to our class, but who can harness the deplorables to his will? And ultimately somebody who we ourselves could imagine being ravished by? After all, we only need to be seduced.

      1. John k

        I like it.
        But the line that seduces us should be seductive, no?
        What could be more seductive than m4a, 15/hr, and no more wars? Oh wait, I know, jail bankers that break the law!
        So the seductive pirate is Bernie… who knew? Well, he does look a little wild… and sounds a little revolutionary… a takeover of the dems would certainly have to be hostile…
        what about Liz? Sorry, not seductive.

        1. djrichard

          You’re getting at the seduction of us plebs/deplorables. I can be easily seduced by all the items on the list you mentioned.

          But how does the noble pirate seduce those in power? It can be a hostile takeover. But look at Trump; he’s doing that and it didn’t end at the election. “Oh that Trump, he’s such a horrible man.” It’s a never ending war campaign until one side or the other is vanquished. That said, Trump may still win this war.

          But you’re right, I was thinking of Bernie. After I wrote it though, I was thinking how much that described Obama. He seduced everyone didn’t he. But he didn’t really need to seduce those in power – they knew that he was one of them and that the game was for him to seduce the plebs / deplorables.

          It will be the other way around for Bernie. If I had to guess, Bernie will need to take a “coming home” type of angle with them. “Look, you’ve had your fun and games, but it’s time to get on board with where I’m taking us. Otherwise you risk being left behind. And you don’t want to be left behind do you?”. Maybe that’s more a reconciliation than a seduction. Those in power would much rather prefer a seduction I think, lol.

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Fn awesome show!!!

        Except why cant we all be pirates and the British Navy be those making over 500K?

    3. Brian (another one they call)

      When have we seen a politician that starts out by trying to appeal to what we all care about? (I admit that Bernie is closest to it)
      Politicans only get elected by differentiating their position to anyone else. They have to let you know what is bitchin about them first and foremost. Isn’t it about divisiveness generally? Give me money because I am different, give me money because I will stop those horrible them.
      The election is over and no one will do what they said they would, because it would be divisive. Or difficult. Or take away from the 24/7/365 money grubbing.
      our system is FUBAR. Doesn’t the sudden clamor to protect and serve Mueller and Sessions prove how nonsensical it all is? I am afraid our collective memories are all fading. Or worse, being abandoned.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        The election is over and no one will do what they said they would, because it would be divisive

        Nah, they’re just going to bury us in all those investigations they’ve been foaming at the mouth to initiate for the last two years, and will thereby be too busy to do anything to address the problems of the serfs. I saw that coming the minute they started talking about “subpoenas.”

  12. The Rev Kev

    “War Is Done!”

    There is a cemetery in Belgium called St Symphorien Military Cemetery. Within that cemetery are several hundred soldiers of both sides in WW1 but there are two of them of note. One is John Parr and the other is George Ellison. They are the first and the last British soldiers to be killed in World War One and they are buried only about 15 feet apart-

  13. cm


    YONCALLA, Ore. — The small town of Yoncalla made history Tuesday night, electing an 18-year-old as their new mayor.

    Ben Simons received 41 percent of the vote on election night, beating out two other candidates and becoming the town’s youngest mayor in its history.

    He graduated as the valedictorian at Yoncalla High School back in June. Simons is currently a student at Umpqua Community College studying general studies.

    Simons is also a Yoncalla city councilor and volunteer firefighter for the North Douglas County Fire Department.

  14. perpetualWAR

    “China is in competition with the United States and other nations in the race to develop deadly AI applications – from nuclear submarines with self-learning chips to microscopic robots that can crawl into human blood vessels.”

    Is this real??? Microscopic robots that can crawl into human blood vessels??? The human race needs to end.

    1. DonCoyote

      Such things have been a staple of SF for at least 30 years (I remember plaque-scrubber bots in Bruce Sterling’s Schismatrix, and that was published in 1986) . The World’s Smallest (untethered) Robot. That’s from 12 years ago, but still pretty far away from what it would take–power sources in something that small are tricky.

      Anytime China or Russia are invoked it is (probably) just someone flapping for the Military-Industrial Complex to keep military budgets large and unaccountable.

    2. Lee

      The human race needs to end.

      A recent PBS program included an interview with the lead researcher whose team sequenced the Neanderthal genome. He was speculating as to some of the differences between anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals. The latter, he imagined, might stand at the Gibraltar shoreline, see in the distance the African coast across a vast expanse of water and it would not occur to them to undertake such a perilous journey. Our species, on the other hand, would not be able to resist the impulse to do so. “Humans are mad”, he concluded with a sardonic laugh.

      It is worth noting that despite their so called limitations, that the Neanderthals persisted as a distinct human subspecies considerably longer than have we so far. And although they no longer exist as distinct subspecies, through interbreeding with our more recent African ancestors, their genes keep marching on in most of us.

        1. Lee

          The more I learn about them, the more I like them. As for my own species…..meh.

          Some major differences between them and us appear to be that they had lower reproductive rates and they favored smaller group formation than do we. As it turns out these traits that conferred an advantage over Neanderthals and so many other species may turn out to be our undoing.

          1. knowbuddhau

            Same here.

            For some definition of “advantage,” right? lol

            “Survival of the fittest” = best matched, most functionally symmetric over the longest time. Nothing at all to do with strength per se.

            “Success” = those genes most represented win. Not us individual organisms, mind you. They’re just using us as transport.

            “Advantage” = conducive to “success.”

            What’s any of that got to do with living a life worth living?

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      The human race needs to end? Really?

      Including all the Tibetan humans who are not developing these deadly AI apps?
      Including all the Quechua and Aymara humans who are not developing these deadly AI apps?
      Including all the Ituri Forest Pigmies who are not developing these deadly AI apps?


  15. The Rev Kev

    “Expert: Acosta video distributed by White House was doctored”

    Seems that when you have been caught with your pants down, the best way to get out of it is to argue about the weave count on those trousers. The original video is clear and having all these “experts” try to muddy the picture is just gross. Acosta would not let go of the mike and when the intern attempted to take it, he pushed down on her arm to stop her. He knew what he was doing so should man up and take the consequences for his deliberate actions. Maybe he should be reminded that the job of a reporter is to report news – not create it.

    1. JTMcPhee

      And in the new US of Kayfabe, we are tsk-tsk’d for being impolite now. One reason that decent people get their clocks cleaned by the folks who actually know how to grab power and use it. But let us yield the floor and the mic to Donald Trump, who tees off on Acosta and CNN (which organization I dislike largely because it is so ineffectual and so often dishonest, “unlike the Administration” /s), and argue about the quantum of energy applied to that female arm, and gee, Trump calling Acosta a “horrible person”?

      The job of the reporter is also to get the Electeds and folks they are supposedly bracing and investigating to say what is really in their hearts and minds, and why, all of a sudden, are all us progressives telling each other that “the job of a reporter is to report news — not create it”? Think back on major scoops of the past — Watergate, Iran-Contra, stuff like that, as opposed to the runup to the invasion of Iraq. What would one say the “reporter’s job” is in those several circumstances? Bearing in mind where the reporters’ paychecks come from, and the sort of undisputed agreement that “reporters” these days just polish the turds that are dumped from the orifices of the Narrative Generators. And that with limited exceptions over many generations, think back to William Randolph Hearst and the Chicago Tribune I grew up reading, where “reporting” was just putting out the oligarchy’s messages. I’m sure Rupert Murdoch is concerned about honesty and effectiveness and depth in the work product of the “reporters” he pays.

      “Let me run the country and you run CNN… You are a rude terrible person… the way you treat other poeple is horrible… just sit down, please… when you report fake news which CNN does a lot, you are an enemy of the people…” uncomfortable to watch, but for those just getting their views from the argument over “contact” and all, here is the video:

      What is with this turning Acosta into some kind of prideful woman-disrespecting boogeyman, and this event into a rah-rah for the oh so polite and honest president and the lying liars working on first strike nuclear strategies, endless MIC-enriching wars, devastation of the working class and further filthy-enrichment of the kleptocrats who rule us, and all the rest of the “policy” for which Trump is a consummate front man? Eye on the ball? Not so much, from my perspective.

      1. RWood

        Yeah, “the volcanic perversity of the spectacle” — thank you, Thomas.
        and thank you, JT,
        and thank you, Lambert, for the Corey Robin plug.
        In my preter-adolescent 70s, I might go back to some SciFi.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Too bad Acosta was not quick-minded enough to reply ” Takes one to know one, Mister President”.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          November 9, 2018 at 10:33 am
          And in the new US of Kayfabe, we are tsk-tsk’d for being impolite now.


          Since at least 2016, Trump has been criticized for being impolite.

          It’s not just ‘now’ we are tsk-tsk’d people for being that.

          If Trump is said to be ‘one (takes one to know one)’ for a while, he can not be said to have started tsk-tsk-ing now.

          I believe he is guilty of one of the two charges, but not both.

      3. Elizabeth Burton

        Acosta asked his question, and it was answered. He then used the opportunity to both hammer on it and attempt to segue to an entirely different question. And none of those questions had any real purpose other than to bait Trump into saying something racist. Which Trump refused to do.

        The fact is Trump has been playing the media for years, and they either fall for it every time or collude to make it look that way. At this point, there’s no way to know just how much of this melodrama is spontaneous and what’s planned. There was a rumor on social media yesterday that the whole farce was set up in advance by Trump to see what would happen.

        I saw nothing in the original video to justify calling what Acosta did as confronting power. It looked to me like he was more interested in getting what happened to happen—another excuse to screech about Trump’s “war on the media.” And it worked, especially after the allegedly “doctored” video was released. I watched that “pink image” and saw no major difference between them.

        And what never gets mentioned is the expression on the intern’s face. That young woman is clearly shocked and even frightened. So, the degree to which he shoved on her arm is irrelevant because she must have thought she was in danger of some level of assault.

        Professional journalists of Acosta’s alleged level don’t lose their stuff and start ranting at the people they’re trying to get an answer from. Not if the answer is their real goal. Trump refused to use the words Acosta wanted him to use, so Acosta just kept trying.

        As for “turning Acosta into some kind of prideful woman-disrespecting boogeyman,” anyone who’s studied Donald Trump with even a modicum of common sense would know that’s exactly how he would respond, and who is he to disappoint after Acosta worked so hard?

        As I said elsewhere, that whole performance just made it clear even Ivy Leaguers are ready to swallow snake oil when their over-educated brains can’t reason beyond the ends of their up-tilted patrician noses.

    2. Oregoncharles

      That isn’t what I saw – he just held on to the mike. Her arm was over his; he lifted his arm a little. Normal response to someone getting grabby.

      Granted, he was hogging the time a bit. But it’s the other reporters who would have a beef with that. Trump didn’t like the line of questioning – which was rather hostile.

    1. Brian (another one they call)

      A dog sitting in the rain is not (to me) an indication of a problem. Sitting in the middle of the street, yes. But there is no traffic and the photog is clearly doing the same thing. Perhaps it is the photog’s dog? Rain isn’t a problem for the dog, its a bath. Why would we worry about an animal that clearly knows what it is doing and will take any steps as it feels necessary? We aren’t talking Confuse-a-Cat here.
      Antropomorphism may be making us think of the way things must be, rather than how they are. Woof.

    2. perpetualWAR

      I know. It is an anti-antidote.
      But, since someone took a picture, we have to have hope that that same photographer took him in, wiped him off, gave him a meal….and found his person.

  16. Isotope_C14

    Drone caused bears distress in viral video, researchers say CBC

    So delightful that while we cause the sixth mass extinction event on this planet, that we can terrorize the species remaining in the most remote locations with drones.

    1. gepay

      Smithsonian paleontologist Doug Erwin – Erwin is one of the world’s experts on the End-Permian mass extinction, an unthinkable volcanic nightmare that nearly ended life on earth 252 million years ago.
      “So you can ask, ‘Okay, well, how many geographically widespread, abundant, durably skeletonized marine taxa have gone extinct thus far?’ And the answer is, pretty close to zero,” Erwin pointed out. ..the best-assessed groups of modern animals—like stony corals, amphibians, birds and mammals—somewhere between 0 and 1 percent of species have gone extinct in recent human history. By comparison, the hellscape of End-Permian mass extinction claimed upwards of 90 percent of all species on earth…

      it is true that the number of individuals of many species have been greatly diminished due mainly to habitat decline – others like the Polar Bear were greatly diminished due to hunting and trapping (The Hudson Bay Company was responsible for a formidable number of polar bear deaths – since the regulation of polar bear hunting – their numbers have stopped declining – bearing in mind it is incredibly hard to count polar bears – the American buffalo suffered a similar decline in numbers but have not gone extinct – PLease show me links for any evidence of extinction event caused by warming since 1940 – there has been an incredible increase in the number of individual animals that we eat – excepting fish and shellfish – overfishing is a real man made disaster that needs to be dealt with.

        1. gepay

          Did you even read?
          #1 “Clearly the extinction of the golden toad was not related to deforestation or climate change. So what caused it? The chytrid fungus, which causes a skin infection fatal to amphibians. (Interestingly, laboratory studies suggest that the infection can be cured by exposure to high temperatures.)

          And the Monte Verde harlequin frog, which the IPCC also lists as extinct, isn’t. Small colonies still survive in the wild. (Note also that the golden toad will remain extinct only for so long as nobody finds one. Fifty years without a sighting is required before a species is officially listed as extinct.)”
          #2 “We would need someone to go to a remote area of Aldabra with no history of snail collection and find a snail colony alive and well.
          And on August 23, 2014, someone visited a remote part of Malabar island on the north side of Aldabra, and did exactly that.
          Rhachistia aldabrae wasn’t extinct at all. It was just hiding.”

          #3 “From these results we can conclude that abnormally high temperatures were not responsible for the extinction of the white lemuroid possum. Or at least they wouldn’t have been if the possum had indeed been extinct. But it stayed extinct only until 2009, when three live lemuroid possums were spotted in their natural habitat.”
          Thank You for confining my opinion.

      1. knowbuddhau

        I can do that from one site, with one search. And so can you. Instead of throwing down the gauntlet, how ’bout doing your own homework next time?

        “Human impacts are the biggest risk factor in the possible extinction of a quarter of all land-based mammals, according to a University of Queensland study.”

        “Humans are exterminating animal and plant species so quickly that nature’s built-in defence mechanism, evolution, cannot keep up. An Aarhus-led research team calculated that if current conservation efforts are not improved, so many mammal species will become extinct during the next five decades that nature will need 3 to 5 million years to recover.

        “Species extinction and the degradation of ecosystems are proceeding rapidly and the pace is accelerating. The world is losing species at a rate that is 100 to 1000 times faster than the natural extinction rate.”

        It’s just that our very (modern, industrialized, hi-tech) way of being in the world is completely out of synch with the rest of nature, and we’re fouling the nest to the point of mass fratricide for everyone else, that’s all.

    2. crittermom

      I’m a wildlife photographer myself & absolutely believe that drone was causing the bear stress, unlike the videographer who was filming with the drone.

      Evidently, he never thought of how he feels when a bee or even a fly is buzzing around him.
      It’s annoying & stressful.
      Multiply that for a mother bear with a young cub, & the fact she knows it’s not a bee or fly, but something she’s totally unfamiliar with.

      A couple of years ago back near my former home, a black bear had decided to hole up for the winter in the crawlspace of someone’s cabin.
      When the owners came to visit (‘weekenders’) & discovered the bear, they called the DOW (Div of Wildlife), who placed a radio playing in the crawlspace.
      The bear was gone the next morning.

      They do not like constant noise, so that drone most likely caused stress in more than one way.

      BTW, the music put on the radio was country. (Possibly the only station available in that remote area)

      1. HotFlash

        Standard treatment here in Ontario for raccoons in the attic is to stick a radio in the attic, tuned to talk radio.

  17. Roger Smith

    Expert: Acosta video distributed by White House was doctored AP

    If you watch the first 20 seconds of the video, this same independent review admits the normal speed video looks fine (headline to me implies the video in general is faulty), which shows the infraction (however minor and non-threatening it may be–which I think the real argument could be here). Regardless of the speed of the slow motion video, Acosta pushed this intern’s hand away to protect his microphone. I am not sure why both sides are playing this incident so much. It didn’t need an ‘enhanced’ video, the main video was fine, and it didn’t need an explanation. Acosta is out. Can we talk about how the information about WMDs in Iraq was doctored please AP?

  18. allan

    Election results strengthen partisan gerrymandering case, says group that sued over maps
    [Wisconsin State Journal]

    Tuesday’s election, in which Democrats won every statewide race but failed to gain any ground in the state Legislature, illustrates again the degree to which legislative maps are rigged against Democratic voters, according to a group suing over the fairness of those maps.

    For the fourth state election in a row, despite votes that are close to evenly divided between statewide Republican and Democratic candidates, Republican majorities in the state Assembly and Senate have held fast or grown.

    “Our case hasn’t gotten weaker, it’s gotten stronger,” said Sachin Chheda, executive director of the Fair Elections Project, which in 2015 organized and launched a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s election map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

    In Tuesday’s election, races for governor and attorney general were tight and came down to a pocket of absentee ballots counted late in Milwaukee County. The U.S. Senate race was not close, with Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin winning by a 10-point margin.

    In the meantime, the Republican majority in the state Senate grew from 18-15 to 19-14 while the Assembly remained 64-35 in favor of Republicans. …

    Something to keep in mind when discussing Dem failures to make inroads in rural areas.
    There are some district maps which are so bad that perhaps no amount of campaigning
    on concrete material benefits is going to be able to overcome the baked-in disadvantage.

    1. Todde

      The democrats dont run a candidate in our rural areas.

      Regardless, gerrymanding has to go. Maybe theyll come back

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Computers weren’t invented in 2010. The Republicans, a group heavily supported by computer engineer types, were very involved in online organizing and using computers to draw maps. The Democrats won in 2006 despite this.

      I would point to the old Virginia 5th District where Tom Periello won in 2008. Yes, the former mayor of Charlottesville and a local farmer both made 4 attempts to build a structure that could flip the district, but it can be won. It takes time. They know its gerrymandered with population centers cut in or cut out of the district, but they knew it would require a process to build and could be won with that kind of focus. Periello didn’t win on the coattails of Obama. He and Obama won based on efforts being made since the Kerry defeat.

      It has been knocked, but “The Emerging Democratic Majority” did show a path to victory despite gerrymandering. There are paths to victory, and the reason a person like Lambert harps on the dismantling of ACORN is an understanding that victory will require more than a flash in the pan candidacy or recent outrage. Elbridge Gerry died in 1814. Gerrymandered protected incumbents have been felled before computers, and 2006 proved it could be done in the age of computers mapping individual streets.

      Resources need to be spent better. A last minute ad campaign doesn’t work. HRC’s wall to wall ads on MSDNC might have bought her favorable coverage, but it didn’t reach people who might not vote or pay attention to registration deadlines.

      I should point add one of the problems with an HRC candidacy besides the Clintons own lack of support for field organizing is as a divisive candidate she wouldn’t create the support necessary to bring in people who would be willing to stand in a hot parking lot annoying people about registering and canvassing.

  19. Stormcrow

    Good article today in wsws on the Thousand Oaks shooting.


    A recent study found “that military veterans kill themselves at 1.5 times the rate of their civilian counterparts. … Although more veterans with PTSD take their own lives than kill others, military service is a risk factor for both homicide and suicide.”

    The military recruits young men and women, often “economic conscripts,” to do its dirty work in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and elsewhere, forcing them to commit horrendous crimes and undergo brutal, psyche-destroying experiences. When the Pentagon has done with them, it releases them to their families and into the general public. In too many cases, these veterans are walking time-bombs.

    1. JTMcPhee

      And no surprise that these episodes happen, and are likely to become more frequent. Anomie and
      running amok” are related pretty closely, and too bad that the people killed by an amoker are so seldom the ones that generate the social conditions and “political economy” that starts the cascade of emotions leading to such episodes.

      Running amok, sometimes referred to as simply amok or gone amok,[1] also spelled amuk, from the Southeast Asian Austronesian languages (especially Malaysian[2] and Indonesian[3]), is “an episode of sudden mass assault against people or objects usually by a single individual following a period of brooding that has traditionally been regarded as occurring especially in Malay culture but is now increasingly viewed as psychopathological behavior”.[4] The syndrome of “Amok” is found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR).[5]….

      In 1849, amok was officially classified as a psychiatric condition based on numerous reports and case studies that showed the majority of individuals who committed amok were, in some sense, mentally ill.[9] The modern DSM-IV method of classification of mental disorders contains two official types of amok disorder; beramok and amok. Beramok is considered to be the more common of the two and is associated with the depression and sadness resulting from a loss and the subsequent brooding process. Loss includes, but is not limited to, the death of a spouse or loved one, divorce, loss of a job, money, power, etc. Beramok is associated with mental issues of severe depression or other mood disorders. Amok, the rarer form, is believed to stem from rage, insult, or a vendetta against a person, society, or object for a wide variety of reasons. Amok has been more closely associated with psychosis, personality disorders, bipolar disorder, and delusions.[9]

      1. Eclair

        “….. the people killed by an amoker are so seldom the ones that generate the social conditions and “political economy” that starts the cascade of emotions leading to such episodes.”

        Gosh, yes, JT. My spouse and I were discussing, well, bemoaning, this latest incident this morning. I mentioned that nothing would happen to stop these mass shootings, because our rulers see these acts as a way to thin out the population and to keep our fear level at astronomical highs. We are turning on each other, and the rich and well-protected have only to sit back and laugh as we kill each other off.

        Until a lone shooter invades the Stock Exchange floor, or the Beverly Hills Country Club, or the sanctity of the Harvard Club. And, then it will be retaliation, big time.

        Or until masses of people unite in coordinated non-violent but disruptive actions demanding: decent well-paying jobs for all, Medicare for all, free education for all (including apprenticeship programs), mandated paid vacation and child-care leave, dollars for people care not warfare, and (fill in your favorite ‘ask’ right here).

          1. LarryB

            Or better yet, quit sending them off on useless and endless missions to foreign hell-holes (which are hellish mainly because we made them so).

            1. JTMcPhee

              Yes, that is the remedy for veterans. Other mopes need different medicine. Jobs, unions, communities, a sense of purpose and meaning, building resilience, stuff like that.

        1. Antifa

          But that would require us to give up the American Empire, and turn our attention to simply running our nation as one more among 200 others.

          We are far too great, and extraordinarily exceptional, to ever live within our means, or our borders.

          It just wouldn’t be America . . .

        2. Aumua

          Hey how about ending the imperialist/corporate war ventures… not gonna happen any time soon I know.

        3. newcatty

          Putting on my aluminum foil beret…ah, sitting square on my round head. Eclair, yes it continues to be divide and conquer through creating and abetting fear at the most visceral level. How vulnerable are a people when their children are sitting ducks to be killed in places once sacred to childhood. Including defining childhood as young adulthood (college aged). Children have been killed in public schools, dance clubs, concerts, homes and in the streets. Children are being killed from greed and corruption of Big Pharma every time a child dies from an OD. Children die from neglect or abuse that is covered up or only talked about in whispers. Is it just coincidence that most of the shooters are young men who somehow have become assassins? Of course, one can see the trauma of war affecting a veteran’s psyche. Is there more to their running amok?

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Positively chilling article. A must read for all those shrieking about the need for “gun control” as a remedy for these repeated tragedies.

      Apologies for the length of this excerpt, but the descriptors throughout were just too good to pick just one:

      But it is possible to enumerate certain of the conditions that have created the atmosphere in which these ghastly events occur with “terrifying frequency”:

      –A quarter century or more of increasingly unrestrained imperialist violence, exercised in many cases against largely defenseless peoples. America’s rulers talk and act like killers, and not only in regard to Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans and Mexican and Central American migrants. The poor and working class in America, when they resist, will also feel the full force of state savagery.

      –Vast and malignant social inequality, which creates at one pole of society a Mount Olympus of oligarch-gods with almost unlimited economic and political power, and, at the other, a mass of people who count for nothing and who are made to feel on a daily basis that they count for nothing.

      –The filthy, corrupt, widely despised political system, to which none of the tens of millions suffering or in need can look for any assistance or relief, or regard with hope. The recent election campaign brought home the reality that both major political parties are the dedicated and declared enemies of the working class and oppressed. It cannot be an accident that the November 6 election has now been bookended, so to speak, by the massacre of 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh by a fascist anti-Semite less than two weeks before Election Day and the mass killing in Thousand Oaks, carried out by a former Marine, two days after it.

      –The general brutalization and debasement of American society, including popular culture and the media. Nowhere on earth is life cheaper than in American films, television and popular music. Over the period of the “war on terror,” a good many film and television writers and directors have turned their attention to glorifying homicidal killers, in or out of uniform, torture and other barbarisms.

      The sickness of American society is reaching a terminal state. Only social revolution can cure the disease.

      1. Wukchumni

        “America is just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.”

        Hunter S. Thompson

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If I may add, also our soft power hegemony.

          Many kids in, say, China, know about American movie stars, than the other way around.

          Likely they know more about American commentators, TV personalities, reporters than we about theirs. Name the Chinese Hunter Thompson – a question for SAT test takers.

          Or maybe name 10 best Russian basketball players

          Perhaps this is blasphemy, but our most significant weapon is our consumerism. And if Americans have their Hawaii, Hainan is China’s answer for their 10%.

          “How many miles do I have now?”

          1. JTMcPhee

            Interested in how the disease of “Americanism” gets spread? Goes way back, to the Dulles boys and other hegedemonic creatures. Documented here, “The CIA and the Cultural Cold War,” and all the many discoveries and disclosures about “Operation Mockingbird” and related behaviors by the Borg. Which of course does not cover the Bernaysing of the planet, too, by the apparently inevitable Blob referred to as “corporations,” and the globalization and neoliberalization they have crammed down on us (too willing, too often, because we all are subject to the powers of our limbic systems to one degree or another) mopes.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I wonder who or what group/organization/etc is behind the ‘we just need a wonder-weapon cure*’ to our current problems from over-consumption?

              *like the electric car, stratospheric aerosol injection, better steel making methods, meat ban, etc.

        2. knowbuddhau

          I saw HST live at Meany Hall on UW’s Seattle campus back in the 80s. I was into his schtick back then. Fooling other people into paying you stupid money to have a drug-fuelled non-stop road trip sounded cool.

          After a while, angry denunciation of everything in site, with guns blazing!, got old. Anger is a helluva drug.

          And that quote is just stylized bs. There’s way more to us than that.

          And fwiw, Taibi ain’t no HST. Why do people even say that? WTF is gonzo about MT?

      2. JBird4049

        A must read for all those shrieking about the need for “gun control” as a remedy for these repeated tragedies.

        Well, you have just failed your virtue signaling exam; you are not one of the Elect, but are now deem a deplorable. Please empty your desk and leave now.

        1. jrs

          I think people want gun control in part because it might actually be doable, so it might just be pragmatism in a hopes of stopping the carnage. The rest to many people probably seems pie in the sky when you die, or a snowballs chance in global warming, in terms of likelihood. So PC or not PC, and who really cares at the end of the day, it might just be a pragmatic turn. Whether it’s pragmatic may be debatable (gun lobby etc. etc.), but then neither is the revolution many wish for.

          1. JBird4049

            I understand the desire for using an appearantly straightforward solution to a problem like mass shootings. God yes as it is so, so, so tempting.

            However, I also have a problem with ignoring all the ultimate causes of our problems by screaming for pseudo solutions that merely are flags showing one’s virtuous membership in their chosen tribe. It is a gigantic problem that only strengthens the ruling elites while wasting much energy and destroying much goodwill. Our world does not have the luxury to spend time and energy for our society’s emotional masturbation.

            1. Wukchumni

              What if we all carried concealed poison gas in lieu of hand cannons…

              Would society be ok with that?

              Just as deadly and like guns, oftentimes the person possessing the weaponry ends up rigor mortis.

              1. JBird4049

                Torture is lauded as a useful preventative of terrorism as is the terroristic use of missiles and bombs on those merely suspected of being terrorists; fact that this merely increases violent actions by the survivors, which is used to further military Keynesianism in a reinforcing cycle is usually ignored isn’t?

                Some fools bomb a market and other fools bombs a wedding because reasons. The fact that the Western Powers have spent over a century colonizing, manipulating and usually destroying the governments and economies of every single country in what was Persia, now Iran, and the provinces of the former Ottoman Empire is ignored. The same destroyers do not ignore the resulting pathologies now growing but use them to very happily justify the use of perpetual wars in the same way a bad gardener uses endless amounts of weed and bug killers because it requires little thought or effort. It also means perpetual employment and profit for those in the Military Industrial Congressional Complex.

                However, I still have to take off my belt, my shoes and my wallet as well as being unable to carry pocket knives, pocket lighters, or a bottle of juice because one part of the security state says it cannot protect us from terrorists without it while another part keeps creating more terrorists.

                The American homicide rate using any means has been declining or in some years remaining stable for thirty years. Interestingly, the incidents of mass shootings has been increasing for like twenty years right along with the increasing collapse of the economy, the increasing wealth disparity, the increasing poverty and despair, the declining life expectancy, and the increasing deaths of despair. If one is going to focus on guns while ignoring our collapsing American society that is unwise.

                Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador all have very strict gun laws and lower rates of gun ownership than the United States but much higher levels of gun homicides. Much like Oakland, New Orleans, Baltimore, Chicago, Washington, D.C. or Detroit. All of these countries and American cities are corrupt, extremely unequal, have brutal police forces, and not only are effectively outlawed, most murders are committed using those illegal guns.

                Everyone of those countries and most, if not all, of those cities, and increasingly America are all victims of colonialism, globalization, and neoliberalism and have become sick. Rather than focusing on the tools of expression, maybe the reason that those tools are being used should be.

                Maybe instead of expanding the security state evermore we should stop creating the despair creating the increasing numbers of killers?

      3. precariat

        Life is cheap in America, period. A strange willingness exists to bathe Americans in entertainment that glorifies cruel violence and psychopaths, they are usually the ‘winners’ or are portrayed as more powerful than the ordinary, decent citizen. Yet, reported and portrayed at a sanitized remove in the news is realworld cruelty, psychopathology, predation and murder. We are being trained to disconnect emotionally from real destruction in our lives and to connect to to entertainment for meaning. Thus, the reality that our social fabric, values and safety have degraded is not confronted. New frameworks for our society are being used to control and divide us — and yes, increase a tolerance for inhumanity. Some of the destruction is overt (ie., Thousand Oaks), some of it is covert (ie., technology affords new ways to prey upon people physically, socially and economically).

        1. JTMcPhee

          But don’t dare point out the potentially pernicious effects of all the “role-playing” games, now in Virtual Reality too so it gets more difficult to transition from meatspace to VRspace and back out. Role-playing that involves eviscerating and “blowing away” any number of other presumably sentient creatures, human and otherwise, maybe showing that sentience does not and maybe cannot equal decency and kindness and sharing and all that squishy stuff that if you practice it, just shows you are weak and vulnerable. Anyone know if Mr. Rogers is a virtual presence in the VR violence world? Think how satisfying it would be to blast him into shreds of flesh and pink mist, eh wot? “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,” or maybe not.

          And I see that “scientists” are proposing firing a “super laser” off into interstellar space, in the expectation that ‘we” might be able to “communicate” with “them.” If “they” are smart enough to have survived their own Scientific Industrial Revolution, what assurance is there (see lots of SciFi speculations, informed by observing life as we know it) that those critters will not be just like the Evil Aliens that actually are just like us, in the “Independence Day” franchise version of the universe? Jeff Goldblum ain’t smart enough by far to fend them off.

          “You’ll take my (virtual or actual cold steel) guns from me when you pry them from my cold, dead hands…”

    3. How is it legal

      Thanks so much for that link. Along with what you’ve already quoted from the piece, regarding the travesty of the Permanent, PTSD Traumatized, Soldier Class the US has sickeningly, and unnecessarily created. I thought this part was so well written, and necessary to be repeated over and over again:

      …. But it is possible to enumerate certain of the conditions that have created the atmosphere in which these ghastly events occur with “terrifying frequency”:

      ● A quarter century or more of increasingly unrestrained imperialist violence, exercised in many cases against largely defenseless peoples. America’s rulers talk and act like killers, and not only in regard to Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans and Mexican and Central American migrants. The poor and working class in America, when they resist, will also feel the full force of state savagery.

      ● Vast and malignant social inequality, which creates at one pole of society a Mount Olympus of oligarch-gods with almost unlimited economic and political power, and, at the other, a mass of people who count for nothing and who are made to feel on a daily basis that they count for nothing.

      ● The filthy, corrupt, widely despised political system, to which none of the tens of millions suffering or in need can look for any assistance or relief, or regard with hope. The recent election campaign brought home the reality that both major political parties are the dedicated and declared enemies of the working class and oppressed. It cannot be an accident that the November 6 election has now been bookended, so to speak, by the massacre of 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh by a fascist anti-Semite less than two weeks before Election Day and the mass killing in Thousand Oaks, carried out by a former Marine, two days after it.

      ● The general brutalization and debasement of American society, including popular culture and the media. Nowhere on earth is life cheaper than in American films, television and popular music. Over the period of the “war on terror,” a good many film and television writers and directors have turned their attention to glorifying homicidal killers, in or out of uniform, torture and other barbarisms.

      The sickness of American society is reaching a terminal state. Only social revolution can cure the disease.

      1. How is it legal

        (oops, I guess as I was writing my comment, Katniss already posted the excerpt above, nonetheless, it bears repeating.)

  20. Wukchumni

    A friend runs sightseeing tours in Sequoia NP, and if you want to see black bears now, just take a drive on the Generals Highway @ around 3-4k, and you’ll see some noshing on acorns

    His e-mail from yesterday:

    I’m up to 78 bear sightings this year. I was stuck in the mid forty’s for ever until the last three weeks and started having 3,4 and a 7 bear day pretty consistently. Same old spot just above hospital rock, Acorn-n it up! Last year I ended the year at 48, the year before that only 10.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        How real could ACORN have been to begin with, if a faked video and the cancellation of Federal Grants could kill it?

        And how much did any of the people who were in it ever even really care . . . that they haven’t even tried to re-engineer and rebuild an ACORN 2.0? With its own membership-funding streams immune to federal cutoff? And immune to caring about what a hostile audience thinks about them based on Fake Video?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          One, rebuilding an organization requires a sustained effort.

          Two, this is the important issue. Elite Democrats don’t want to do much more than hold the White House. Minority Leader Pelosi enjoyed all the perks of office with none of responsibility while Obama was President, but she and Reid would still get invited to all the cool kids parties. They could easily blame Republicans for being stubborn. Money from stupid but well meaning donors gets spent on what the donors can see or think they can see such as HRC ads running during commercial breaks on MSNBC during 2016. Ads can be seen, but a person badgering people to register during a hot summer in a parking lot aren’t noticed by major donors. Registration wins elections. Random star studded campaigns to vote in the last month are feel good exercises. Those star studded campaigns are great ways for consultants to collect hideous sums.

  21. Olga

    A reminder about the college-for-profit mess
    “Where Fail State makes its greatest impact is in the testimony it provides from students who were scammed. They attest to being harassed with phone calls, emotionally manipulated, deceived about costs, and persuaded that their post-secondary educations would land them implausibly high-paying jobs. A two-year investigation by the Senate health, education, labor and pensions committee, producing what Shebanow calls one of the most “damning” reports on a single industry in congressional history, found evidence of aggressive and insidious practices like the “pain funnel”, a script from which recruiters would read that was designed to prod at emotionally or financially susceptible prospective students.”
    So it’s not like the lawmakers are unaware… they just don’t do anything to correct the problem.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Lawmakers, between sessions dialing and dining and junketing for campaign contribution/bribe dollars and attention to hair style and wardrobe, “ask hard questions” as they pursue development of “legislative facts,” in that pretext of “rule of law,” on the way to “manufacturing consent” via the “legitimizing” of (mostly looting, any more) government and private actions.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      There’s an ad for an online school that runs again and again during sports telecasts that employs “The Times, They Are A-Changin’.” Youngish people are pictured working and studying while some unidentified singer sings “you’d better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone.” The implication is clear: in these hyper-competitive times, you’d better get your degree or you’ll starve.

      The Madmen have managed to turn Dylan’s song upside down. The original was directed at the elites, especially southern Senators who used the filibuster and committee chairmanships to thwart any civil rights advances. “Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall. For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled.” Now it’s the poor Millennials worried about surviving in this dog-eat-dog world without the latest required credential who need to get with it.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I wonder how much the multi-millionaire Bob Dylan gets paid for every time that online school runs his royaltied-song in a TV ad?

  22. Matthew G. Saroff

    Macron’s statements about bigot and traitor Petain are not a gaffe, they are a deliberate political strategy.

    As I have noted, “This is not an accident, this is a Sistah Soulja moment.

    Marine Le Pen is once more politically ascendant, and because of this Macron, weasel that he is, is appealing to bigotry to shore up his political fortunes, much like Clinton did with Sistah Soulja, and Welfare Reform, and extreme sentencing.

    He is showing the electorate that he can be trusted to keep black and brown people down.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      In Le Monde yesterday, Manu got (lukewarm) backing for his view that the “great general” Pétain (a right-wing nationalist maniac who also ordered the executions of 550 French Army mutineers in 1917 – to ahem, décourager les autres) can be distinguished from the collaborationist Pétain from none other than Serge Klarsfeld, the French Nazi hunter and lawyer who is widely seen as the voice of French Jews who were sent to the death camps.

      This rabbit is disgusted.

      1. Late Introvert

        I recently viewed The Sorrow and The Pity and I can recommend it for anyone interested in France during the war years. Much like the Civil War here in the states, I doubt that war has ended in Europe either.

  23. Big River Bandido

    The defeat of Question 1 in Massachusetts (in contrast with the success of Question 3) tells all one needs to know about self-righteous neoliberals.

    Mind you, I’d have voted YES on 3, and transgender rights are important. But when “one of the bluest states” (please, kill me now) takes such a strong stand against unions and working people, and when the state with the highest-developed medical complex per capita can’t see the wisdom in giving some relief and succor to the people who do the most to actually deliver health care, it’s clear that “liberalism” is bankrupt.

    There are, perhaps, 20,000 to 30,000 transgendered people in MA. There are 140,000 nurses.

    1. Eureka Springs

      It didn’t just lose, it lost 30/70 percent. Even with 25 million spent against and 10 million for it’s a stunning margin of defeat.

    2. Jason Boxman

      The fews signs I saw in Somerville for Question 1 were against it.

      It’s telling that the NakedCapitalism Meetup here over a year ago had only about 25 of us. Yves mentioned that it was a very small group and most other places she gets a really big turnout.

      The Boston metro area certainly puts the neo- in neoliberalism.

      1. Judith

        There is a mailing list (no doubt incomplete) from that Boston meetup. A few weeks ago someone sent email to the list, asking if people would like to get together. About five people responded and were interested. Perhaps the person who sent the email can follow up…

    3. Bugs Bunny

      Mass is neoliberal central and while ostensibly “blue” seems progressive when the question is identity politics hot buttons. Looking back at the past 50 years, what strikes me is that it’s elected almost twice as many GOP as Democratic governors, its senators talk a good game but only deliver neoliberal GOP-lite programs, and it’s been a very unfriendly place to live for people of color.

      1. gepay

        I lived in a white slum in the Dorchester part of Boston in the 70’s. It was as racist as any white slum in Baltimore that I lived in – didn’t live in any white slums further south. I do have to say it was aggravated by the really stupid use of busing to try to equalize the unequal schooling caused by neighborhood segregation.

  24. noonespecial

    – Butterball has joined the voice assistant wave, letting you summon up turkey tips from your Amazon Echo –

    “Amazon Echo or other Alexa-enabled device…[will employ] the new skill, which has been in the works for about a year, comes preloaded with answers to Butterball’s most frequently fielded questions….The Butterball skill also uses the voices of actual Turkey Talk-Line experts.”

    Not sure if this is a great leap forward, or just more ad service for Bezostan at I sympathize with the harried person featured in the article that looks for help vis-a-vis a device. Time management in a kitchen is a skill that requires practice and small missteps can result in less-than tasty victuals. However small the target audience is for this new voice-activated skill, I wonder about its eventual adaptation and if the IoT narrative is just a winner take all bet to catalogue as much about our private spaces as possible.

  25. Chris W

    Frank’s piece provides an accurate description of the coastal elite intelligentsia’s mindset but it misses (perhaps willfully, I can never tell with Frank) the mark on the nature of right-wing-populism. The only normative value that this group seeks to promote is the weakening and eventual dissolution of the Wall Street-Potomac axis via a long crisis of faith. That’s it. Stoking racism, pushing tax cuts, deregulating already-shitty markets, these are all highly effective means to that end. Everything else is collateral.

    Stoking racism, among other things (many of which are genuinely awful), puts liberals in a wonderful double bind: on the one hand it forces them to adopt the 19th century pseudo-scientific view that race is intrinsic, immutable, and measurable. On the other, it obligates them to “do something” about it. The former mindset makes them just as guilty of the normative “sin” of racism as any right-wing troll (see Harvard or Elizabeth Warren), while the latter exposes them as completely impotent (and perhaps even a bit sadistic given that the only carrot they have left is a negative: “vote for us or else”).

    Similarly, tax cuts are a great tactic for eroding faith because they force liberal centrists to defend positions that are both absurd and cruel. The position I’m referring to is a Naked Capitalism classic: we must balance the budget via a grand bargain. Why, Mr. Centrist? Because No One will buy our debt if we continue to go down this road? That’s odd. Seems like we’ve been running a deficit forever and no one actually cares. Might your position instead be based on the fact you want to shoehorn your preferred austerity measure so as to indebt some particular group to a lifetime of servitude? Again, the centrist falls on his own sword in this debate. Their response is nothing but cheesy scare tactics and everyone knows it (I look forward to Donald Trump putting Richard Milhous Nixon’s face on the trillion dollar coin if and when the new Congress thinks they can use budget threats as leverage against him).

    Of the three tactics, deregulation has worked by far the best in destroying people’s faith in society’s trusted experts. Just a little deregulation in any market reveals the same thing: the participants of this market are pigs and their paid-for defenders in the universities and media have nothing more to say for themselves. To the outside world, it’s just more proof that these people should have never been entrusted with this power to begin with. New York may be a modern mecca of liberal values with its universities, welfare programs, and robust media market, but the only reason it is all possible is because its government provides a legal safe harbor for those who profit off scamming people. Somehow, despite centuries of economists promising wonderful societal returns on investment, the only long run beneficiaries seem to be Manhattan and Long Island real estate holders.

    Ostensibly liberal defenders of the faith like Frank eventually need to grapple with the fact that their religion no longer gains converts on the merits. They’ve resorted to either buying their adherents (i.e., Bernie’s vote for me and get free college so you can maintain your childhood even longer) or scaring them with the specter of the bogeyman (Hillary’s vote for me or else Trump!). They would do well to recognize that the populist-nationalist movement is a collective of groups whose only shared interest is ridding North America of the feeble and inbred Targaryen regime (New York = Dragonstone, an itty bitty piece of old Europe/Valyria on the fringe of an entirely new and alien continent) so that they can move on and set up their own system. What we on the coasts are witnessing is the birth of a nation/nations. Like all births it is either beautiful or gruesome depending on how you choose to look at it.

    1. tegnost

      so I have this right…stoking racism, cutting taxes, and deregulation are being used eleventy dimensionally by the right wing populists to force a split between wall st. and the potomac using the members of the fortune 500 and k street? Clever…

    2. precariat

      From my point of view this is exactly what the reactionary right wants to be perceived as. Far from creating a new nation, they are tools for the powerful to sow disfunction, discord and competition based on irrelevancies — so that what matters to all us, economic security, opportunity, fairness, safety are not the issues contested.

      Thomas Frank has it right: the left has ceded rhetorical and prinicipled ground to the right wing populists. Why? The right wing populists are supported by those in power for the reasons cited above. The left receives no support because their agenda is seen as dangerous to the oligarchs, corporations and the new aristocracy. Put simply the job of left leaning populists meets headwinds that the right does not. This is an explanation, however, it its not an excuse.

      1. precariat

        What is scary is institutionally destructive divisiveness and threats of violence is preferable by the powers that be than reduced inequality, opportunity, fairness, the promise of what America stood for in last half of the 20th century.

      2. Darthbobber

        This is how a peculiar subset wants to be perceived. Largely spectators who want to pretend that there is a larger cunning plan being brought about through their imagined agency. As opposed to just watching and facilitating in a minor way a wholesale takeover of direct rule by the oligarchs.

        And the “reasoning”, and I use the term loosely, is extra special. Deregulation to prove that the deregulated can’t be trusted. As if a cursory survey of American history hadn’t already established that and we needed to redo the Jungle in the new millennium as a refresher course. Taking him literally, deregulation would simply redemonstrate the need for the regulations. But he seems to see the Hobbesian state of nature as a positive good.

        And one hardly knows what to make of the Game of Thrones reference. I’ll be a literalist about it for the sake of argument. The demise of the mad king (temporarily) got rid of the “inbred Targareyn dynasty, ” but achieved an even worse situation, in which various strong men, strong women, conmen, conwomen, religious fanatics, of varying levels of psychopathy and cynicism stack the bodies of the hoi polloi up like cordwood in a senseless jousting for power and privilege, and in which the potential return of the vanished dynasty actually looks like one of the better options. It really takes a special sort of character to look at that (or the Water Margin or the Romance of the Three Kingdoms which is set in the jolly Warring States period), and say “Yes, that is precisely the situation I aim to achieve.” A certain air of necrophilia hangs over the entire (largely imagined) movement.

    3. Darthbobber

      So you’ve actually taken the logic to the point that you think the breaking of eggs is in and of itself sufficient to guarantee a tasty omelette.

      btw, no need to deregulate something to prove what you allegedly want to prove. They proved that before, hence the regulations in the first place.

      As to the equation of treating higher education as a common good commonly funded as bribery intended to offer the prolongation of childhood, that says much more about your perspective than it does about the issue itself.

  26. PlutoniumKun

    Re: Brexit

    There aren’t many laughs in Brexit (unless you read John Crace), but Marina Hyde is on form today:

    At this moment in our national journey, the government makes much more sense when you realise it can only be a massive hidden-camera simulation designed solely to amuse the occupants of a distant planet. Clustered round a visual port somewhere in Andromeda galaxy, interconnected strings of aliens cry with laughter every week at top-rating series Big Brexit, in which the hapless denizens of a Truman-like shitshow fail to realise they are being taken for a ride by their competition-winner overlords. Every UK resident stars.

  27. georgieboy

    On the link to the MI-6 role in the falsification of “intelligence” for Bush’s 2003 war on Iraq:

    No irony department: Judith Miller, scumbag former NY-Times pro-war pro-Israeli journalist, is now writing op-ed pieces for… the Wall Street Journal. As NC helps another little shoe drop about her big lies, today she gets to write Jeff Sessions’ swansong for the Journal.


    Through a close analysis of redacted official documents, Middle East Eye has established that an MI6 officer was aware that CIA officers had placed Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi inside a sealed coffin at a US-run prison in Afghanistan. The officer had then watched as the coffin was loaded onto a truck and driven to an aircraft that was waiting to fly to Egypt.

    In an incident report sent to MI6 headquarters in London, the officer and his colleagues reported that “we were tempted to speak out” at the treatment of Libi, but did not. “The event reinforced the uneasy feeling of operating in a legal wilderness,” they said.

    Despite being aware that Libi had been flown to Egypt inside a coffin, and despite that country’s well-documented record of human rights abuses, both MI6 and MI5 decided to pass questions to be put to him, and continued to receive reports about what he was saying.

    Under torture, Libi told his Egyptian interrogators that there were links between al-Qaeda and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons programme.

  28. Wukchumni

    Picked an interesting week to be in L.A. as the Santa Annas are raging and fire of both the handgun type & inferno varieties are laying waste~

    Watching an aerial tanker dropping retardant, from the vantage point of a helicopter above, on Mailbu-adjacent…

    …there’s a interesting beauty to it’s pink plume

  29. Jessica

    China’s brightest children are being recruited to develop AI ‘killer bots’ South China Morning Post
    is straight out of one of Cixin Liu’s books (which I highly recommend for anyone into sci-fi, especially if you’d like some insight into Chinese culture on top of it).

  30. ewmayer

    Re. the latest major CA wildfire which blew up in the space of hours yesterday morning, NE winds are blowing the smoke towards us in the north SF bay area, heavy smoky haze where I live in Marin all day yesterday and today. The even worse news is that the same warm, dry conditions that have been providing us with red-flag warnings whenever we get windy days are forecast to persist for at least the next 7-10 days, nary a hint of the much-needed start of the Winter rains as yet.

    1. newcatty

      Stay safe and may the Gods and Godesses have mercy on us. We have family in CA. Often wonder if they are ever going to need to come to a safe haven with us in N AZ.

      1. ewmayer

        Thanks, newcatty, but please send your thoughts, prayers, donations etc to the real fire victims – we’re just dealing with terrible air quality where I am. But yeah, the new climate normal in CA is pretty nuts.

        1. wilroncanada

          One town north of Sacramento, (Paradise?) nearly completely destroyed…latest news We’re getting up here in the Great Slightly Damp North of BC. Our rainfall is wa…ay down too. Blocking high pressure systems are almost the norm now, creating in the future monsoon-type rains for days followed by weeks at a time of no rain.
          The same is happening along the Atlantic Coast of both the US and Canada.

  31. drumlin woodchuckles

    California cannot stop global warming all by itself, let alone reverse it.

    But are there ways that California could get revenge on the causers and engineers of global warming?

  32. The Rev Kev

    “UBS accused of causing billions in investor losses”

    All this is a full decade after the crisis 0f 2007-2008 and I am wondering about the timing. Then I began to wonder if there was no timing but this was just an old-fashioned shakedown of a foreign bank that would make few enemies in the US. It’s not like they can do the same much to their own banks. Kinda reminds me of what MBS did in Saudi Arabia to their billionaires when he wanted some of the hard stuff.

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