Links 12/19/18

Bill Clinton was impeached 20 years ago. What was going on in Washington, D.C., that day? Business Insider

Exercise could be as good as drugs at cutting high blood pressure The Telegraph

Human rights body calls on US school to ban electric shocks on children Guardian (Dr, Kevin)

The contest for the worst air pollutant The Conversation

Gilets Jaunes

In Paris, ‘Yellow Vest’ Protests Cut Sharply Into City’s Luxury Trade NYT

Is this the beginning of the end for traditional Christmas shopping? TreeHugger

How to avoid overspending: uncover the psychology behind why people buy The Conversation

NY State Residents Will Get $62.5 Million In Settlement For Terrible Broadband Motherboard. Okay, New York consumers will get a refund – but when will they see better broadband? Whenever I return to NY, I’m shocked at how these and other digital services lag compared to much of the rest of the world – even in economies perceived as far less advanced than that of the US.

Uber gets approval from Pennsylvania to resume self-driving testing Reuters

Universities watchdog threatens fines over grade inflation Guardian

FT Person of the Year: George Soros FT

Harvey Weinstein Criminal Case May Be Crumbling, Experts Say Hollywood Reporter


Are We Ready to Lose Afghanistan? American Conservative

Dutch general Patrick Cammaert faces ‘huge challenge’ in Hodeidah Al Jazeera

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Man sues feds after being detained for refusing to unlock his phone at airport Ars Technica

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants NYT. I’m shocked, shocked to see that Facebook provided such access for tech behemoths.

Turning Off Facebook Location Tracking Doesn’t Stop It From Tracking Your Location Gizmodo

Our Famously Free Press

Did The Washington Post pull its punches on Amazon and USPS? Columbia Journalism Review

This Isn’t News. This Is War Crimes Apologia. Caitlin Johnstone. Minces no words.

Class Warfare

The First Step Act Opens the Door to Digital Incarceration TruthOut

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Learned Her Most Important Lessons from Restaurants Bon Appetit

‘Being People-Funded Frees Me to Put People First’: Ocasio-Cortez Touts Highest Portion of 2018 Small-Dollar Donors Common Dreams

Want a Better Credit Score? Soon, Your Cellphone Bill Could Help WSJ

German watchdog BaFin frets about pension-fund squeeze Handelsblatt

Citi faces up to $180m loss on Asian hedge fund trade. FT. Oops.


Brexit: a taste of chaos

Brexit: ‘Horrified’ firms warn time is running out BBC


Khadi Workers on ‘Satyagraha’ Against Government Neglect The Wire

India again postpones levying retaliatory tariffs on US goods to Jan 31 Economic Times

India’s Shadow-Bank Risks Put China in the Shade Bloomberg

Health Care

Can We Just Have Medicare for All Already? Jacobin

The VA’s Private Care Program Gave Companies Billions and Vets Longer Waits ProPublica

Big Pharma Fights Proposal to Keep It From Looting Medicare Counterpunch

Republicans Killed Much Of Obamacare Without Repealing It FiveThirtyEight


Erdogan sees China as a partner for the future Asia Times

German security office warned German firms about Chinese hacking: report Reuters

Huawei Hullabaloo

Third Canadian detained in China as diplomatic feud escalates SCMP

Democrats in Disarray

Why We Cannot Nominate a Young Person in 2020 Benjamin Studebaker

Trump Transition

The Pentagon Failed Its Audit Amid a $21 Trillion Scandal (Yes, Trillion) TruthDig. Lee Camp.


Kushner earns praise for support of criminal justice reform AP

Trump launches unprecedented reelection machine Politico

Trump retreats on shutdown The Hill

Hacked European Cables Reveal a World of Anxiety About Trump, Russia and Iran NYT

Trump Foundation to shut down under agreement with New York attorney general Politico. Okay, Barbara Underwood, seems that you’ve notched a victory. Next up, the Clinton Foundation. Barbara? Barbara?

Antidote du Jour. Jerri-Lynn here: This antidote reminds me of the several winters I spent as a skibum in Whistler, BC. On the banks of the river near Squamish – a town part  way up the Sea and Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler – several thousand bald eagles roost each winter. Squamish Environment Society Eagles  

Eagles were there much more common than songbirds during the winter months. The DDT ban has allowed populations of bald eagles and ospreys – my favourite North American raptor – to recover. I shot many wonderful eagle images; alas, those are on film and I’ve yet to digitize them, so I cannot share any of my own eagle photos here.

I like this one, although I don’t know where it was taken:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thanks for resubmitting here. I’ll pop them in for tomorrow, just so readers who don’t look at comments will also see them.

    2. DWD

      That second link to Studebaker is a doozy for sure.

      I have to say that it is one of more ridiculous things I have read in quite a while.

      I am not a fan of the centrist/union hating/ worker hating corporate toadies in charge of the Democratic Party, but to say it would be preferable to have the hideously bad Trump instead of a centrist Dem is just plain stupid.

      I can live with the awful in preference to the mendacity and criminal behaviors of the Trump Administration on just about any level imaginable.

      I hate when the devils advocate begins to think they have found an acorn when it is actually a turd.

      1. UserFriendly

        So you preference is to bonce back between intentionally ineffective liberals and increasingly far right republicans?
        Make no mistake Obama is 100% responsible for Trump. He did just about everything bad Trump has done first but with better PR.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Obama’s first DOE Secretary, Steven Chu, is a Nobel laureate with a PhD in Physics, not an Animal Husbandry major/cheerleader* with a C- gpa. So, there is that.

          And, Tom Price.

          OTOH, I do wonder if the Republicans have enough sleazeballs to staff a second Trump term.

          Not. Snicker.

          *There are some fine people that have majored in Animal Husbandry and cheerleaders, well, Meryl Streep was one.

          1. pretzelattack

            the democrats can always supply some sleazeballs if the republicans run out. hard to tell the difference anyway without the team uniforms.

          2. nippersdad

            One would think that Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate with a PhD in physics, would have had a sufficiently good handle on the physics of Global Warming that he could have prevented Obama’s creation of “Saudi America.” The one that he bragged about last week to a room full of bankers. Obama also got the Nobel Peace Prize, and it would appear that Chu’s was an equally suspect award.

            Tom Prices have not been unusual in any of the past few Administrations, unless you want to discount the Tim Geithners for waiting to get their payoffs until after they leave office.

            1. WobblyTelomeres

              DOE is in charge of the nukes. Do you really trust Rick Perry to handle THAT job? Hopefully, there are a bunch of sane civil servants who point him to the corner and give him some legos.

              1. nippersdad

                Hopefully you are right about having people ready and willing to throw Perry’s toys back into the playpen for him, but that really doesn’t change my point. Obama had a Nobel Laureate physicist at DOE who, apparently, failed to point out the irony that the insufficient and voluntary Paris Accords looked even sillier if he was intent upon getting anything that could burn, continent wide, out of the ground and selling it.

                Coal, oil, tar sands, fracked gas; it was all good. You mention Perry but fail to mention that our energy policy under Obama was written by Sarah Palin. I’m sorry to sound rude, but there hasn’t, effectively, been much difference.

                Maybe we would have been better off without a super credentialled group of people so self satisfied that their paychecks were the only things that mattered to them.

                1. WobblyTelomeres

                  Oh, FFS. Given a choice, I’d rather have a PhD in physics in charge of the nuclear arsenal than an idiot cowboy. Would I prefer someone who would work to eliminate nukes? You bet.

                  But, I wasn’t given a choice in the matter. A bit presumptive on my part, but your opinion probably wasn’t requested either. Yeah, I’d pick a far different cabinet than Trump (the Kochs and GS) did. I’d pick a different cabinet than Obama did. So would you. That’s not what we got.

                  1. nippersdad

                    Agreed. We didn’t get a choice. I’m just saying that it doesn’t take a PhD to tell you that nukes are dangerous and that burning everything in sight will make all of your Global Warming and Hawaiian ocean sanctuary PR initiatives look ludicrous. So much so that even an idiot cowboy prolly gets it, so one is left to ask why Obama didn’t.

                    Just because someone has a PhD and/or some random blob of metal from the Nobel committee doesn’t mean that they have the common sense of your average idiot cowboy.

                    Truman sold shoes before he ran for office and still managed to warn us about the MIC. That so many highly intelligent people have managed to get coopted by it is proof that intelligence is not conferred by a degree. If you are worried about Rick Perry at DOE, just get a load of this:


                    Believe me, he is the least of our problems right now. THIS is what we’ve got, and I blame those people who were just a little bit too smart for their Brooks Brothers britches.

            2. lyman alpha blob

              If you want to know why Stephen Chu was DOE Secretary to begin with, take a look at Obama’s top campaign donors. His appointment was payback.

            1. todde

              Tim was the 1st tell I picked u too.

              The guy wasn’t competent enough ( or just plain ol corrupt) to prepare his own tax return, let alone run the Treasury.

              1. WobblyTelomeres

                Actually, I need to retract this. I caught on to Obama when he used the phrase, “Clean Coal”, in a televised campaign speech. That was the last day for me.

            2. juliania

              Actually, tho I didn’t pick it at the time unfortunately, the first tell was when he refused to run on public money – was eager to be beholden to the big boys even during the campaign.

              “Rest assured that those who cease to understand the people of their own country and lose contact with them also lose the faith of their forefathers and become godless or indifferent.” [Shatov in “The Devils” by Dostoievski ]

            3. rps

              Go deeper. Geithner was a protege of…..wait for it- Bob Rubin. Summers and Froman are also Rubin proteges. As Treasury Secretary under Clinton, Rubin repeals Glass-Steagall Act (specifically to legalize the Citigroup megamerger) and the deregulation of the derivatives market. Rubin cruises through the golden revolving door and thus rewarded by Citigroup with $126 mil in compensation over eight years.

              Moving forward, November 23, 2008, Rubins’ messes at Citigroup by heavily investing in mortgage-backed CDOs and other nefarious risks, are made whole by then president-elect Obama as his first major act of his presidency. That’s right bailout Bob Rubin’s Citigroup messes is handed $306 billion taxpayer Cha-ching. (Yes Bob there is a Santa plus your insider-elves, just in case Santa is planning coal for your stocking. Just believe in Hope and Cha-ching). Having Rubin’s protege Geithner as the head of the NY Fed at the time intimately involved in the negotiations guaranteed his resuscitation. Hours after the deal is struck- Obama announces Geithner as his Sec. of Treasury.

          3. georgieboy

            Is that mention of Chu argument by authority, in another form? LBJ did have the best and the brightest.

          4. rob

            what i remember about chu is that as soon as he was there, obama promised the nuclear industry 86 billion dollars in funds to go forward with more nuclear plants.
            In the decade that followed duke energy has been charging customers for two plants in florida and south carolina that will likely never be built, despite already costing billions more that they were supposed to. Westinghouse has been forced into bankruptcy because the technology they thought they could provide, didn’t work. All while fukushima ;not godzilla;shows the folly of man.
            Then there was obama pushing the opening of the atlantic seaboard to off shore drilling,3 weeks before deep water horizon rig disaster. The disaster is the only thing that prevented the atlantic seaboard being put in harms way already.
            And since obama couldn’t do that beacuse of optics…. he was the cheerleader of the fracking boom… and oversaw a gov’t that did almost nothing in the way of safeguarding anyone from anything…..

            So trump and his legion of doom are vile, scum.. and morons…. but the obama crew can only say were not morons.
            And the difference remains to be seen.

          5. Lambert Strether

            > Obama’s first DOE Secretary, Steven Chu, is a Nobel laureate

            And Chu’s credentials ensured that Obama was a transformative President on climate change. Oh, wait ***cough*** fracking ***cough***

      2. nippersdad

        I see this argument a lot, but no one ever seems to care to explain what “criminality” Trump is guilty of that a Clintonite wouldn’t be. Other than being transparently unfit for the job, he really doesn’t seem to be doing anything differently because, as predicted, he is relying upon representatives of all the usual suspects to get things done.

        Whether Trump draws his personnel from the Heritage Foundation, the Federalist Society, Goldman Sachs and neoconservative think tanks or a Democrat does, there seems to be little actual difference in outcomes which would also imply that there is little difference in means. It is called a uniparty for a reason, and it would be nice to see your rationale explained.

        1. rps

          “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day, but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing [a people] to slavery.”
          Thomas Jefferson. Rights of British America, 1774 ME 1:193, Papers 1:125

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Right…so you do realize Jefferson was referring to the London Parliament paying its representatives in the colony removing the control the colonies held over the appointed governors who wielded power except for the lack of a paycheck? Its why spending bills must arise in the House of Representatives is a big deal.

            And as far as the cabinet and executive positions go, that’s Trump’s purview. Even the Attorney General. Congress use to maintain its own operation and ceded it to the executive, but Trump is irrelevant.

            Back when W was President, “West Wing liberals” use to make fun of the long tenures of his administration as signs of being lazy because they weren’t burning out from the hard work.

          2. Lambert Strether

            > a series of oppressions

            For example, Bush nuking the Fourth Amendment and torturing folks, Obama normalizing and legitimizing both, and then Trump using those expanded executive powers as business as usual?

            1. rob

              also as an example
              nixon declaring a war on drugs….. trampling the bill of rights… for reagan and bush41 to make full scale invasions against the people…. with clinton further carpet bombing the foutfh amendment, and paving the way, and creating the legal rationale for the war on terror.
              The war on drugs was the precursor, in the sense it was the excuse as to why not all people were “entitled” to be protected by the bill of rights, in clintons day, it was the fbi and “carnivore” and the cia had “eschelon”….. all while the gov’t was running hundreds of tons of cocaine into the US into clintons arkansas.Mena air force base, in the eighties/ninties. And they blew up the
              building in oklahoma (allowing the children in the daycare to stay, while warning all the ATF agents not to come in that morning). and allowed the bombing of the world trade tower in 93…. all getting ready for when they blew up the towers ,(all 3) in 2001…. thusly, our perpetual war on terror……..
              And this is just the “rear cars so far” in these “train of abuses

      3. Tomonthebeach

        Studebaker’s point is that if DNC runs a centrist – Trump will likely clobber them. Many of the Republicans I know want to dump Trump. They just do not see anything better on the other side of the aisle. So many pundits have warned that the DNC cannot win by running the Un-Trump. That warning seems to fall on deaf ears at DNC.

        Voters are fed up with neolib-capitalist politicians who cannot even spell MMT much less understand it. Democrat centrists bailed out Wall Street and crushed the middle class. The centrists gave us an unworkable warmed-over Hillarycare plan that only made healthcare more costly. The corruption of the Clintons’ influence peddling has been used as a license for Trumpian corruption.

        Anyone whose position looks like HRC will be viewed to be a doppelganger for Obama. You cannot reinvent your voting record or what you once tweeted to the public. The Democratic party is full of Schumers. Thus, I think Ben is correct about the 40-60 gap. In fact, if the ticket was Sanders/Warren, it might be like the second coming of FDR. It is not a stretch to see the new Bluebloods in Congress rallying behind such an S&W ticket.

        1. JBird4049

          It has gotten to where it’s choosing what poison you want to die from and not for what party, politician, or ideology is the better one. That is something too many partisans of whatever side does seem to understand as most people prefer none of the above.

          So when I read someone saying look at how terribly evil Trump or Clinton or Cthulhu is, I get an attack of ennui, if not despair, while thinking okay fine, why does voting for the slightly lesser evil make any sense? They’re still evil and are destroying everything and more importantly everyone I care about.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > Studebaker’s point is that if DNC runs a centrist – Trump will likely clobber them

          That’s one of his points. IMNSHO, this is the key argument:

          The Democratic Party needs a Roosevelt, and it needs a Roosevelt right away. There is no time–climate change is real, and it’s coming. The Republican Party is moving noticeably further right each decade. We cannot afford a placeholder president, someone to pass the time while the world burns. Beto O’Rourke would be an American Nero, he would fiddle while the world’s on fire, and then he would hand power over to an unfathomably repulsive Republican. I’d rather take a few more years of divided government under the orange-faced oaf with a chance to try again in 2024. If the left’s not ready for prime time, it’s better to delay the show than to put on a bad one.

          As I keep saying, “gridlock is our friend.”

    3. Off The Street

      Here is a personal musing about the rage article that incorporates the notion of one’s own Overton Window. How do those windows and perceptions and responses change over time, perhaps through some cognitive process, through external stimuli or through other (sub-)conscious process? I wonder how a sense of morality, however defined, may influence the degree of response and eventual resolution of such rage.

      One concern of mine is that manipulated rage will lead to some alphabetical problems.
      D, pick your D, Depression, Defensiveness, Demise, Demagoguery, Duh, et cetera

    4. Amfortas the hippie

      from the atlantic: “Without the release of catharsis, our anger has built within us, exerting an unwanted pressure that can have a dark consequence: the desire not merely to be heard, but to hurt those we believe have wronged us.”

      one of the worst things my parents gave me was that sublimation/supression of anger…it was taboo to get mad. so anger/frustration would build up in the dark, then erupt all over the watchful peace of the kitchen/common area.
      with my own kids, I’ve endeavored to install layers of pressure relief valves

      I see the same dynamic in the broader society, until recently.
      “from screw the kids, we’re going to vegas!” to the lament for the lost golden age of norms that Lambert keeps mentioning, I’m reminded of my ww2 veteran great uncle, who sold the house, took the pension(!) and hit the road…when he would stay in our yard for a few days, I got the lectures about hard work and success, larded with all the conformism and orthodoxy one expects from that cohort.
      can’t complain about low wages to this guy…”it’s yer own damned fault”.
      this dismissal of grievances, fingers-in-ears denial of dysfunction and insistence on just worldism, leaves no place to put one’s anger at the nebulous and chaotic paths through precariousness that are becoming more and more commonplace.
      our politics doesn’t have the language for it…and space is not set aside for it.
      “ignore, but hire more cops” won’t help.
      but i’m certain it will be the go-to strategy, for at least a while.
      eventually, a greattruckload of tasty crumbs will be dumped into the middle of the economy, and some threat will be found to focus the mind.
      I can definitely see how a cold war 2 would look enticing from the vineyard or the hamptons.

      and the bon apetit interview with AOC is wonderful.
      I was in the food sector for 25+ years…if someone could figure out how to organise that community, the way factory floors were organised 100 years ago, that would be cool.
      I’ve tried, over the years, but was not up to the task.

    5. Pookah Harvey

      Studebaker says that there are no Democrats other than Bernie that the Millennials can support. I am a Bernie supporter but have to admit I find Richard Ojeda an interesting alternative. He lost his congressional race in a very pro-Trump district in W. Virginia but saw the biggest swing to Democrats in the country and has thrown his hat in the ring for the Democratic presidential primary. And he is angry. This was one of his Congressional ads.
      Hopefully he will get at least some minimal MSM coverage as he is colorful.

      1. katenka

        Thanks for this; I hadn’t heard of him before. Yeah, he does sound maybe interesting, and I definitely love his fire!

        1. Ann T

          I don’t think the democratic party will nominate another white man for national office. The far far left is too rabid on white men.

          1. katenka

            I don’t know — I’m not super convinced the Dems are all that interested in what the far far left wants! And I guess I’m pretty far left myself these days, and I have no problem with white men. I went to the Ojeda website out of curiosity, and it is pretty obviously still very much a work in progress, but the one “mission” it states is demanding that everyone who is elected to federal public office or appointed to the cabinet donate all their wealth over a million dollars to a charity, accept a relatively modest pension post retirement, and have a hard cap on how much money they can make beyond that pension for ever and ever and ever for the rest of their lives. Soooo…he’s coming out swinging! Hitting them in the pocketbook personally (at least in intent), and pretty clearly focusing on wanting the elites to have even the vaguest hint of HOW IT FEELS for the rest of us. And I look at this, or things like Craig Murray advocating for nationalizing land in Scotland (for a couple recent examples that floated across my screen), and so forth and think: you know, our soi disant betters thought they were so clever when they bait-and-switched us with Obama and when they crushed us in Occupy, when in fact those were their opportunities to get off ridiculously cheap. Now we’re heading into an age of wildfires.

          2. Stephen Gardner

            Far left? Democratic Party? Really? Where in the world did you get that idea? If the rabid centrists of the Democratic Party nominate a non-white it will be to confound the left by calling them racist for not jumping on a blue dog band wagon. That accusation of being left is just so hilarious.

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Check him out in Fahrenheit 11/9. Skip the Dem talkin points and stay for the updates on Flint.

        Ojeda appears during the WV teachers strikes. He reminds me of what i had hoped to see in the military regarding a BADASS POPULIST SERGEANT FIRST CLASS.

    6. jrs

      from the article:

      “It is now clear that Trump does not govern very effectively and is not very good at getting legislation through congress”

      whatever, he gets enough done. It’s hard to argue that Trump doesn’t change things and not in a good way.

      “The Democratic Party needs a Roosevelt, and it needs a Roosevelt right away. There is no time–climate change is real, and it’s coming”

      But put up with another 4 years of trump. You know try not to contradict yourself in the SAME PARAGRAPH at least. If it is true there is no time for a Beto and I don’t disagree, there is ALSO no time for 4 more years of Trump either.

      The rest is pure speculation, predicting the future when such a future simply can not be predicted.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > The rest is pure speculation, predicting the future when such a future simply can not be predicted.

        Hmm. Isn’t decision-making under uncertainty something that needs to be done, and done well?

  1. Ignacio

    Exercise could be as good as drugs at cutting high blood pressure The Telegraph

    The correct link is:

    I pretty much agree with the conclusion: physycians and clinicians should inform their patients about the benefits of exercise as an alternative to pills.

    I would add that exercise will help not only to reduce blood pressure but in other health parameters (such as sugar in blood, cholesterol in veins, etc.) so it is way muuuuuuuch better than having pills. Of course, exercise has its risks, particularly for those that are obsessive.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Plenty of things are at least as good as the standard drugs for cardiovascular problems – exercise of course, also diet, specifically eating lots and lots of fibre and vegetables and berries. Saunas also have proven benefits (although maybe not a great idea for those with existing high blood pressure – consult your doctor).*

      I think most doctors are well aware of these issues, but it takes a lot of time and effort to help people change their lifestyle in a positive way (and some people of course are highly resistant to this) – its simply simpler to dish out drugs.

      *disclaimer: I’m not a doctor

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Wonder if a sauna has the same effect as a diuretic (HCT, hydrochlorothiazide) on blood pressure?

        1. PlutoniumKun

          So far as I’m aware, its not the dehydrating effect, its the direct impact of heat stress, so its probably a different impact on the body. I read one study on Finnish sauna that indicated that there may be mechanical benefits too – it was like stretching exercise for the vascular system. I think there is more than one thing going on. I can’t find the link now, but the Joe Rogan podcast had a discussion on it with a medical researcher – search for ‘joe rogan benefits of sauna’ would find it in youtube I think.

      2. Stadist

        Yes, Sauna is good for blood pressure and this is exactly because spending time there stresses the circulatory system in a manner similar to exercising, mentioned in following link:
        The matter has been studied, I just won’t be doing extensive search about this now. Source: I’m from Finland and going to Sauna is like the only really finnish thing we have. This thing is naturally commonly discussed in local media.

        Above harvard article also mentions about the stress reduction and most importantly you don’t take your phone to sauna so you will be away from the constant information flood.
        I would recommend Sauna for everyone, but those with heart conditions should really consult their doctors first.

      3. Irrational

        Yeah, but if you eat healthily, do sports etc an still have high blood pressure that just leaves the pills!

    2. Bugs Bunny

      I can concur based on my own anecdotal evidence. I visited a cardiologist in June of last year, who put me on 2 hypertension drugs. I was astonished that at my relatively young age, I had eaten, drank and desk jockeyed myself into high blood pressure.

      Long story short, I immediately started a regular exercise routine (cycling, running, machines at the gym…) and cut way back on alcohol and bad food. My blood pressure went back to normal/slightly low for my age within 2 months.

      Stress though, that’s hard to get rid of. Meditation and counseling help.

      1. Ignacio

        I think tou took a good decission. As PK says above, we are usually reluctant to change our lifestyle but that is, precisely, what a good doctor should prescribe. A good occasion to think twice about our lifestyle is when our doctor says “..well, you have hypertension and risks for this and that…”

        Regarding stress, I have my own strategy, there must be many.

        1. ambrit

          “Sorry,” repeat, is also a good strategy for interpersonal relationship issues.
          The hard part is believing it yourself.

      2. a different chris

        who put me on 2 hypertension drugs…exercise routine…My blood pressure went back to normal/slightly low

        Can you clarify this sequence (don’t feel you have to, I’m not paying you and you don’t know me! :))?? Are you still on the drugs?

        The reason I ask is that
        1) Doctors never take you off “forever” drugs. You have to fight them, or just quit on your own say-so. You have a zillion dollar pharmaceutical industry in their other ear. working against you.
        2) You said it “went back to normal”, and imply that it was the exercise not the drugs. To even bring that argument to the Medical Industrial Complex you had to have been on the drugs “for a while”* and seen no effect. Is that true, and how long?
        3) What did they (again, you don’t have to answer this) consider “high”?

        Blood Pressure is starting to look like a racket. And I had blood pressure so high I suffered severe eye damage from it (which I inexplicably recovered from). So I’m not saying it is meaningless , far from that. I in fact take BP pills (a lot less than one time were prescribed, which drove me so low I collapsed) My problems are

        That was 15 years ago. I’m 140/80 now. I think that’s as fine as fine can be, there are 8 million other things that are now more likely to kill me. I also think the bp pills have nothing to do with it, but I’m at a level (and cost) where I take them anyway. But the “140” still scares them.

        1) “Normal” just keeps getting lower and lower
        2) Unlike say body temperature, it changes. Radically throughout the day. They see you at the wrong time (mad at your spouse) and you’re on pills for the rest of your life.
        3) Unlike most drugs (aspirin, Tylenol) we understand about when we are children, these drugs both “don’t work right away, you have to wait” and again can never be gotten off of. How does that even make any physical sense? I take x milligrams today, it doesn’t work, but 3 weeks from now the same x milligrams is central to my internal functioning? WTF?
        4) Finally, I think that the Medical Profession is again ignoring, because nobody really understands it, genetics. People who don’t have cardio problems may well have genetics that also include low blood pressure. Giving me a microphone doesn’t make me Michael Buble is what I mean.

        1. oh

          I agree with your comments. There’s too much money in them pills for the docs not to keep prescribing them. Oh! the pressure from the pharma cos and the fear of not prescribing the pills and getting sued.
          They see you once in a while and how is it a trend?
          Best things to do to reduce your blood pressure:
          1. Drop your weight
          2. Exercise daily
          3. Cut out the salt in your diet
          4. Eat hi fiber, less fatty foods
          5 Do breathing exercises
          7. Avoid all drugs and alcohol

    3. neo-realist

      Sometimes genetics gets in the way even if you do the right things–diet, exercise, maintain a healthy weight–and you can’t get other things out of the way that negatively impact upon you (economic and work stress, past life baggage) and you can’t sustain the normal blood pressure, so you’ve got no choice but the pharmaceuticals. Fortunately, they don’t get in the way of a normal life.

      I’m certainly not knocking a healthier life style, but just saying, it doesn’t always work.

        1. TimR

          Ahem, cough cough, isnt there just a tad bit of SELF INTEREST involved in those bp numbers?? Revise them down, and profits go up by several kabillion…

      1. rps

        Remember Jim Fixx? He was the guy who wrote The Complete Book of Running and became the guru of running in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Fixx changed to a ‘healthy’ lifestyle at 35. At 52, he dropped dead from a heart attack after his daily run. His dad died in his forties from a heart-attack- the genetics lottery ticket factors in whether you want to play or not.

        to quote Dr. Wayne Dyer, “we all have a return ticket.”

    4. KPC

      May I add physiotherapy? There are some practicioners out there who use techniques I generally associate with Asia. When properly trained and implemented, this therapy can be astoundingly helpful including with surgery, cancer and more.

      While I am a doctor but not medical, to my untrained eye and those better trained, the downside risks are likely negligible.

      Dr. Lorenzo on me after 40 plus years behind a desk and, cringe, computers and telephones and airplanes and more.

      I worship the ground that man walks on together with Dra. Celia… . She is, well, traditional and is into a little tea like bamboo tea? I had never heard of such a thing but it does help for what ails me. And limed water?

      As for exercise, try the real kind of yoga. Dannie, that fabulous lady and recent teacher of me, is an arial dancer. Her boss is educated at UCIMed and does the most amazing things with, I cringe, getting me to do his version of “yoga”.

      As for BigPharmi, they are a big time problem.

    5. Jonathan Holland Becnel


      Ive gotten addicted to the #GYMRAT lifestyle.

      Cardio, youth, and not eating are a helluva drug.

  2. allan

    Re: NY State Residents Will Get $62.5 Million In Settlement For Terrible Broadband Motherboard.

    What a joke. The Charter takeover of Time-Warner Cable paid far more than that to a single executive.
    From the NYT in 2015:

    Whatever cable customers and regulators may think of Charter Communications’ plans to acquire Time Warner Cable for $56 billion, one small group of men has reason to celebrate.

    Through a mix of golden parachutes, advisory fees and investment returns, a handful of cable executives, traders and bankers stand to reap enormous profits when and if the transaction closes. …

    Robert D. Marcus, the chief executive of Time Warner Cable, is in line for a corporate exit package that is likely to exceed $100 million. Because he could well be terminated without cause after the deal closes — another way to say he would be leaving the company after selling it to a competitor — Mr. Marcus would be entitled to the salary, bonus and stock that he would otherwise have received over the coming years.

    In that event, according to a securities filing, Mr. Marcus would receive roughly $4.5 million in salary, $23 million in bonuses and stock worth $74 million, for a grand total of about $102 million.

    The sum is particularly notable when Mr. Marcus’s brief tenure is taken into account: He has been chief executive for less than a year and a half. …

    Like globalization, the years of ZIRP that made massive takeovers like this possible,
    along with the enormous wealth transfers that went along with them,
    have been an experiment that likely will be impossible to undo.

  3. Not From Here

    Third Canadian …. SCMP article link

    “With three Canadians being detained multinationals will now have to start to consider or discuss internally if their duty of care to their staff means that they need to be more careful with staff being posted to China,”

    I’m not so sure China’s Communist Party sees this as a negative. One of the reason US corporate investors were so popular with local Chinese governments was their willingness to localize for lower costs to the extent that they would more rapidly give away the corporate jewels to the Chinese. Every American JV I met was heavily penetrated at the top by CCP members. The best management training schools in China are run by the CCP youth league.

    The difference between Khrushchev’s “Capitalist will sell us the rope to hang them” and Deng”s White Cat/Black Cat” is the timing, Capitalisms development in1950’s loyality to long term returns/retirement pension plans was replaced by the Al Dunlap school of 1980’s and onward financialization/short term bonus scheme and as Bill Black noted, Accounting Fraud.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      About that American JV comment, I think Trump is the first American president to focus the national attention on that, regarding overt and covert technology transfer.

      Perhaps it will not be as easy going forward, given that, and so the JV angle is not as important for Beijing, as they contemplate detaining more Canadians or Americans.

      1. Not From Here

        The solution isn’t going to be found in just picking a fight with China, they know presidents come and go. It’s going to take fixing the financialization and short term focus in current capitalism. That’s certainly not Trump’s mission.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “This Isn’t News. This Is War Crimes Apologia.”

    I’m sorry. I find it hard to get past that foto at the beginning of this article because of something in the news. At the moment there is a scandal in Oz about a politician who was sprung for using public money to meet a young girl that he met on a “Sugar daddy” site while overseas. Caitlin Johnstone would know who I am talking about. This may be unkind but when you look at that foto, if you had no idea who the two people were that are in it, it could be mistaken for something from such a site.

    1. Geo

      The photo of GWB and Michelle Obama? How does that photo relate to what you’re referencing?

      Everyone knows who those two people are. Doubtful anyone would mistake it for a “sugar daddy” photo since Michelle isn’t exactly a young naive damsel being taken advantage of.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I did say that if you did not know who these people are. Just put the term “sugar daddy” into Google Images and you will see what I mean.

      2. todde

        since Michelle isn’t exactly a young naive damsel being taken advantage of.

        You are correct Sir!! When Michelle hugs a war criminal, she knows exactly what she is doing.

  5. zagonostra

    This digitally mediated world of news and events is getting very bizarre. There seems to be two divergent realities. One is that created by corporate media as it sets out the narrative of what people focus on, and then the other that counter it, such as that presented in today’s Caitlin Johnstone and Lee Camp links, or, the works of, Chris Hedges, Michael Hudson, Richard Wolf, Bill Black, Lewis Lapham, and posted on sites like the Corbet Report, etc…

    No point in trying to seek the “truth,” at least no now, just viewing the whirl and hoping my kid’s future is better than the trajectory that this world seems to be on, one with exponential increase in available information and less and less wisdom and opportunity to just contemplate the miracle of being alive…at the end of the day, to paraphrase a Dylan song, “been a long time coming, be a long time gone.”

    1. JBird4049

      Or just driving/busing/walking/talking amongst the Deplorables in San Francisco in Real Life. Reading about the fabulous economy and the evils of Trump and comapany and then walking by one of the local homeless encampments is quite the mind screw. California Dreaming indeed..

      This divergence is growing isn’t it? Which is why the madness is growing as the Powers That Be and their minions in the media keep flinging more wordy bovine excrement into the fan to conceal this.

      1. Wukchumni

        Tells comes in odd ways, in the USSR it was a constant diet of classical music on the radio, as an indication something was amiss…

        …somebody mentioned the playing of Cold War movies as of late, as if to get us ready?

  6. c_heale

    Re: No deal Brexit. I was told by a friend of mine yesterday, that the (international) company he’s working for (sorry can’t name it), has just scrapped its Brexit plans (a lot of work!). This are plans made after sending a lot of work outside the UK earlier this year. I think this is related to the increasing likelihood of no deal.

    Personally, I think this is the point where events start to take over May’s brinkmanship. To me it looks very much like a no deal is going to happen, regardless of what May, the UK Parliament or the EU wants.

    It’s very sad. Probably the worst U.K. Prime Minister ever. Now my family and friends are going to suffer.

    1. bassmule

      I think David Cameron rates consideration for the “Worst PM” prize.

      “Right, just to recap. In 2013, Cameron made his fateful in/out referendum pledge if the Tories won the 2015 election. Essentially that was done to appease the hardliners in his party who were worried that the United Kingdom Independence Party led by Nigel Farage would bite into the Conservative voter base and hand victory to Labour. To fight off that challenge, the Tories demanded that Cameron give them the prospect of a European Union referendum which would allow them to persuade their own anti-EU supporters that only a vote for the Tories would give them a definitive say over Britain’s future in the bloc.

      Cameron did so in the belief that the electorate would vote to remain. Obviously that didn’t go according to plan. ‘I think he still feels the humiliation of calling and losing the referendum,’ said Theakston. ‘And he fears going down in history as the person who accidentally took us out of the EU and maybe triggered knock-on consequences for the future of the UK itself — and doing it for reasons of party management and taking a gamble and it all came off badly’.”

      What happened to Brexit architect David Cameron?

      1. Albacore

        Not only that – in the 2015 election Cameron celebrated a parliamentary majority under their ‘first past the post’ electoral system but UKIP with 17% of the vote only gained one MP. In a referendum with a single binary question those votes all counted. A massive miscalculation by Cameron part hubris part product of an unproportional voting system.

      2. Tom Bradford

        Well, worst Prime Minister or not May has easily out-manoeuvred Corbyn/ Labour. In January Labour are going to have to vote between a catastrophic no-deal exit or a merely disastrous May-negotiated deal, and so will be equally tarred with the resulting outcome. In fact if Labour rejects May’s deal resulting in a no-deal they’ll even become primarily responsible for the catastrophe.
        Labour should be/have been screaming from the roof-tops for a revocation of Art.50 with a return to the drawing-board and time to work through the options, washing their hands of what is currently a Tory-owned shambles. Only this would entitled them to refuse to vote on the ‘deal’ on the grounds that neither is acceptable while there is a third option.

        But no. They play Parliamentary games around what the band should be playing as the iceberg looms.

  7. Livius Drusus

    Re: Why We Cannot Nominate a Young Person in 2020

    As a middle-aged person I have to strongly disagree with this article. Yes, I get that people aged 40-60 cut their political teeth during the heyday of neoliberalism but that doesn’t mean that they are incapable of seeing that Americans are getting a raw deal and changing course.

    In fact, at least from what I have read middle-aged Americans are the ones suffering the most from “deaths of despair” so we are not just a bunch of comfortable neoliberal yuppies. Sure politicians like Corey Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand might fit that description but you cannot say that about an entire generation of people.

    I find a lot of the generational warfare stuff from young leftists to be really tiresome and ridiculous. Not every Millennial is an empathetic socialist and I could even argue that when it comes to personality traits young people have more “neoliberal” traits than Boomers and Gen Xers.

    For a discussion on how neoliberalism has shaped the personalities of the young see:

    I understand that young people get a lot of guff in the media with unflattering portrayals and the like and I think that is wrong too but that doesn’t justify these comments dismissing an entire generation because you dislike some of the politicians from that generation. It is no better than the grumpy older Fox News watchers who complain about supposedly spoiled young people. At the end of the day elections are about electing people who will work in your favor. I don’t care if they are 37 or 57 or 77.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Fully agree with your comment. Went looking for statistics for the US population and found one page at which seemed to show that there are about 80 million men and women in the age group of 40 to 60. And this article is saying that there is not a single progressive person that could stand for office from this age cohort? That is the sort of thinking that gave America the choice of Clinton or Trump back in 2016 because there was no other possible candidates to be found out of the other 225 million.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Based on the principle of (debt) forgiveness, one option is to forgive all those politicians, so, they can have a fresh start, and hopefully, they don’t incur more (perhaps different kinds of) debt.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Things change.

            People were not allowed to have weed, for example. Now, it’s ok (in some places).

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Yes, I get that people aged 40-60 cut their political teeth during the heyday of neoliberalism but that doesn’t mean that they are incapable of seeing that Americans are getting a raw deal and changing course.

      Do people change? Its one thing to be a do gooder who makes honest mistakes and sees a new way forward. If they seem like they believe people are getting a raw and they change course, its one thing, but we are at the point where we have to recognize the Democratic politicians in this age range represent a group who call citizens customers. They aren’t going to convert on the way to Damascus (for those of us who don’t care for Saul, they might find have a conversion).

      Unfortunately, the GOP…I’m sorry…the age range of Democratic politicians who came up behind the ascendency of the DLC and Bill Clinton, represent a more outwardly friendly GOP. Its important to remember they didn’t merely come of age during the heyday of neoliberalism. They were picked and groomed by candidate committees which tilted to the right.

      . As a result, the overwhelming majority of Democratic politicians in their 40s and 50s are centrists who came of age politically in the 90s and 00s. These are people who got into Democratic Party politics because they grew up admiring the Clintons. They were advanced in the party because the Clinton generation promoted them. -From the article.

      It might be more polite to say, “no one with a political record between the ages of 40 and 60 should be considered because its probably gross.”

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        I’m Genx(be fifty next year), and I find that I’ve gotten more socialist and Lefty, as well as more small-c conservative(localism, front porch republic) as I get older, and the kids get nearer the edge of the nest.
        the usual stereotypes and generalisations are not really helpful….that said, when I look inside myself, I find a resentment of the Boomers that’s hard to shake.
        Neither party fits me all that much….and I think that can be said for mst of my generation, more or less.
        of course,the demographics of the place I live skew towards the old and the young…25-55 are gone elsewhere…so it’s hard to gel the usual generalisations with my observed reality.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Are you really different or simply wiser?

          Am I as a supporter of Medicare for All really different from a younger me that was okay with a public option? The answer is no. I learned about misdirected effort. I had other reasons for a public option. At the time, things were better, so I thought a smaller effort could be afforded with extra effort being diverted to other activities. Like your “buy local” focus, I know more about supply chains. I use to believe in the importance of strong unions, and now I suspect the larger unions need to be broken up and regionalized. Big doesn’t equal stronger.

          I use to sort of buy into the reasoning of “running to the center”. It makes sense. I think the problem is the Democratic elites who came up after Bill (and are represented by Obama in their purest form) see better PR as the solution. Results aren’t relevant to the ilk who were recruited in the Democratic Party.

          I think the crisis point was Watergate when the Demcocratic elites changed up their candidate recruitment process to avoid connections to older institutions as faith in government was hitting all time lows. Vietnam is part of the crisis as people who should have been joining the Democratic Party were being beaten in Chicago or killed in the jungle. The Terry MacAuliffes ascended in this time seizing the party with the generational death of the post-World War II generation who entered politics in the late 50’s and 60’s at all levels. The GOP was always trash. In 1968, they picked up Southern Dems and plenty of oil men, but they were trash before that too. I don’t blame boomers, but I do see boomer elites and now their underlings as unfit for any office.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            “Are you really different or simply wiser?”
            maybe asking that question of myself is what makes me different in the first place,lol.” I know that I don’t know”, and all.
            becoming too crippled/painful to “work” 12 years ago prolly has a big effect on my perspectives, too…I have time to read and think that i could only dream of before.
            ….and a caveat to my local demographics: historically, young folks would run off at 20(college or work) and not return till their own kids were grown, pensions, et c in hand.
            Now I’m noticing more and more cutting such foreign adventurism short, and coming back “early”(with no savings or pensions or assets). But what jobs there are are either shitty, or held by boomers and older(80 year olds regularly work the counter and own/manage bidness).
            lots of long distance commuting with this bunch, but that is hardly sustainable, given wages, let alone the inevitable rise in gas price.
            there’s a meet the elephant moment fast approaching, out here.
            I got my ears and eyes open and my vibe antennae are grown long and ready.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Do people change?

        Voters seem to be changing all the time.

        It could be we are getting new voters replacing old voters.

        It could also be the same voters voting different parties at different times. What does it mean when we read that ‘he or she ran a good campaign, that’s why I voted that way (for example, R instead of D)?’

        If we tolerate voters (and the results) for how they voted (the people are always responsible – according to Jung’s ‘collective guilt’ – you did not thing* (sufficiently, he meant, I think) – then, can we not also tolerate our public servanrts, the politicians, if we say, humans are not infallible??

        *Even under a dictatorhip, the most immediate experience Jung was referrring to.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It could also be the same voters voting different parties at different times.

          Precinct level data indicates this is a myth. If it was, we should see precincts with wildly different turnouts for both parties in competitive districts with low transient rates, but basically, Mittens, McCain, and Trump had the same number of voters at the precinct level. A state like Virginia had major demographic changes as the Yankee immigrants from the 1980’s and organizing efforts changed the state. What we do see is stable GOP turnout from cycle to cycle, but divergent Democratic turnout in high transient areas (renters; college students; etc.). The GOP turnout is still stable. HRC pulled in Republicans in safe districts who maybe had distaste for Trump, but those same type Republicans in Ohio stayed with Trump.

          Shockingly, the presence of organizing efforts versus not organizing from cycle to cycle is where you see changes, and it tends to just represent a rise and fall in Democratic turnout.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I thought there were Obama voters who voted for Trump.

            And that was something that stood out.

    3. UserFriendly

      He isn’t dismissing an entire generation, he is dismissing the people who entered politics under the clintons and Obama from that generation, which is essentially all of the well known politicians from that generation.

      1. DonCoyote


        It’s a small %age of any generation in politics to begin with. And Studebaker is pointing out that the evolutionary pressure has tended to force out those with morals.

        You could say that there is enough chaos in the system that a non-politician could win (e.g. Trump, which is why there is talk about Oprah or Michelle Obama)–if they have enough previous exposure that people know who they are. There are enough famous people that one of them could be the “Magical Young Berniecrat” (MYB)–as Lambert would say, 23 months is an eternity in politics. But I haven’t seen them so far.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Trump was a businessman running in the party of business where every other complaint about Obama was he’s never run a business and so forth. The base of the parties are still very different. Trump represented so much of what the GOP has celebrated for decades.Then I would add Trump was outspoken. We may not like him, but he was the head birther all those years. Even though he didn’t run for office, he was part of the national conversation. I just checked the date, but the Simpsons “predicted” a Trump Presidency in an episode that aired on March 19th, 2000.

          Oprah may have once been a viable candidate, but besides being out of step on certain issues, her time has passed. Her natural base is older. I doubt she’s drawing in young people, and she doesn’t have a presence in living rooms anymore. Trump was able to establish himself as an outsider to the Bush family. With the growing rejection of the party establishment in Team Blue, how does Oprah present herself that way?

          Michelle is just people looking for a really easy answer in a desperate bid to roll the clock back ignoring the 2016 Democratic primary was basically two anti Obama candidates, one on policy and one on personality.

    4. Wukchumni

      I’m inching closer to a SS payment, and it’s less than 2,000 days away from first crack at my entitlement that I put $XXX,XXX.00 into over the course of my working years.

      Generation Jones didn’t raise hell in the 60’s, we were little kids. By the time we came of age and could understand things a bit, we’re hit with the wallop of Watergate and an America that used to kick ass in manufacturing, but was being beat at it’s own game, a pattern to repeat itself. Oh and a series of recessions in between awful Presidents didn’t help things either.

      Politically, we never had anybody that meant anything to us, and when Obama seemed to be the one, we gravitated to him-forget the neoliberal hiding inside him, and then what a disappointment he turned out to be.

      My generation has had it with what politicians have become, and think of my 57 year old contemporaries, many struggling to find work or meaning in life, the idea of it getting better 1,961 days from now, the only thing keeping them going.

    5. Alex V

      I think you indirectly identify the issue that Studebaker is raising when you say

      “that doesn’t mean that they are incapable of seeing that Americans are getting a raw deal and changing course”

      The main problem is that known and experienced Democratic politicians in the 40-60 age bracket are unlikely to acquire that capacity, based on historical and present evidence. So we would need a strong, progressive complete outsider from that generation to engineer a coup in the party. Not impossible, but perhaps a more difficult than simply running Bernie?

      As a thought exercise, name someone from this generation of reasonable fame (academic, business leader, politician, entertainer, etc…) that you think would make a better candidate, irrespective if they’ve indicated an interest in the office…

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Cynthia Nixon?

        This is the other side of the problem. Anyone from the age range is likely to have the same issues as a person under 40, lack of track record and name recognition. Coming into politics at this stage is going to require more than a “no labels” campaign. Then there is the problem of association with neo-liberals over time or have a near impossible time gaining traction.

        I know people who know Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band. His political views are better than most and most Democrats, but I know he has to be hounded to return his absentee ballot (he would spend time out West during the silly season). Dave is fairly famous, but who will take him seriously? Ok, he exhorts people to vote, and ….he has the young person problem.

        I just checked Corey Robin’s age, but then I remembered no one would care. An academic will have a hard time without producing a book for the masses. Who will take him seriously?

        As for business…in a Democratic primary…that gets GOP types all hot and bothered, but I don’t think it will go over well with the Democratic primary base. Elizabeth Holmes was recognized by Barack Obama, but she did have a business relationship with George Schultz. There is Zuckerberg. Mark Cuban…oh right…Bloomie…Jaimie Dimon…

        1. chuck roast

          Cynthia Nixon?
          Sorry NTG.
          The first thing the woman did upon surfacing as a candidate was attack NYC construction unions.
          That’s all I needed to know about her.

        2. Oregoncharles

          Jeff Merkley of Oregon. As indicated below, not entirely an endorsement, but his record in Congress has been far better than we expected. I thought he was a nonentity when he first ran for Senate.

          One thing I can say for him: he does an “aw shucks,” down home persona better than anyone else, even DeFazio. I was impressed. It isn’t real, but it is sincere. So, effective candidate.

          but he has no national name recognition, so he’s really running for VP or for 2024. If we’re still here.

    6. timbers

      As a middle-aged person I have to strongly disagree with this article. Yes, I get that people aged 40-60 cut their political teeth during the heyday of neoliberalism but that doesn’t mean that they are incapable of seeing that Americans are getting a raw deal and changing course.

      Yes. I went to the University of Chicago, majored in Economics and was totally dazzled by Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics. But I changed over time. Anyone can.

      The Iraq War and the lies being to justify it (I give thanks to DailyKos for helping me see the lies about Iraq) was THE turning point for me and allowed me to rethink many other views I held.

      And later, even though Kos was correct in the Iraq War and could awesome at slicing thru the fog of lies, I’ve was later able to see his Democratic corporatist agenda and where he departed from reason.

      It’s about issues and policy.

      To quote He That Must Not Be Named: “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. It left me.”

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


        Professor James Stone at LSU recommended we read a hour of Political Internet News a day. Starting with and ending here (and lol) ive been able to navigate a course that best fits my beliefs. Dailykos was a daily read for quite some time. James Ragin Cajun Carville told me to. But eventually i grew weary of their towing the line.

        Politics is the best story ever written because the Story. Never. Ends.

    7. Livius Drusus

      Looks like my edit didn’t take. I am referring to the article “Why We Cannot Nominate a Young Person in 2020.”

    8. Wukchumni

      Another factor in the difficulty of finding a young person as a leader, is their life more than likely has all sorts of internet skidmarks, and anything you said, wrote or endorsed can be used against you in a court of public opinion.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        aye! the potential existence of videos/pictures as well as a record of my outrage and outrageousness over lo these many years, are what keeps me from even thinking about office…i mean besides the exhaustion.
        while I don’t regret the many epic debauches I’ve partaken in, I find the idea of defending them in public, against dishonest and hypocritical…and yet “mainstream”!… accusers to be a less than ideal prospect.
        I’m too tired.
        the loss is my country’s, perhaps.

      2. lordkoos

        I think that in another generation (if not sooner), no one will care about a candidate’s youthful indiscretions (archived for all time on facebook, instagram, etc.) because it will be such a common thing in one’s past.

    9. Ignacio

      I find a lot of the generational warfare stuff from young leftists to be really tiresome and ridiculous.

      I think that almost all generational warfare, independently of its origin (younger, elder…) TENDS to be ridiculous.

      1. DWD

        Ignacio – I agree wholeheartedly with your comment.

        Wow second comment of the day. A record!

        I am sixty-eight and grew up during the hey day of the sixties (Graduated HS in 68) and I see these discussions about generations and find them to be absurd.

        And while I cannot speak to those younger or older than I am, I can address some societal misconceptions that have been accepted as truths when they are not.

        To whit, opposition to the Vietnam War was far from universal among the young people. I am guessing it was a lot closer to fifty/fifty than what is actually assumed as correct. When you couple this indifference AND hatred to the Antiwar Movement and the Civil Rights Movement among my peers, it hardly seems surprising that when you add the vast majority of the American People – at least at the outset – that supported the war and opposed the Civil Rights Movement, you end up with a small minority of society (one that was effectively undercut by the draft lottery system) being blamed for all of the bad things that happened since.

        I spent my working life teaching in the poorest district in the State of Michigan and tried my best to make a difference. I coached both baseball and hockey as well as taught computer literary at night.

        There really is nothing more that people like me could have done. To be blamed for the same mistakes that a minority of us have fought for a lifetime, seems just insulting.

        1. Grand

          I don’t agree with your logic. I marched against the Iraq War, but my country did invade and destroy the country. It is fair to say, despite the large amount of anti-war activism, that Americans are collectively responsible for what our government does. We did, after all, vote enough people into power that pushed for and supported that war that they went through with it. It is okay to call the South a right wing part of the country, even though there are socialists and other types of leftists in the South. It is a fact, we can see this from the data on voting, that Boomers do in fact support more right wing Democrats. They overwhelmingly majority supported Clinton versus Sanders last time around, and there were vast differences in voting based on age. Among African Americans, for example, look at the huge differences in support between the young, Gen X and Boomers. Stark differences. And the two political parties did in fact move to the right when the Boomers were younger. It is also true that the people in their 40’s and 50’s that are Democratic Party hopefuls did rise up in a party dominated by a particular ideology, and rose up thinking that systematic corruption was just fine. If we were talking about this in 1993, we would notice the older folks then supporting New Deal type of policies and the newer and younger Democrats wanting to dismantle those things. There was plenty of left wing activism when they were in their 20s and 30s, but having those ideas didn’t lead to a person entering any type of leadership position in that party. So, they operate, think, analyze the world radically different than younger people today, and the decisions they and Boomers made have utterly screwed young people in ways that their parents and grandparents didn’t. I say this as someone that just turned 40. It isn’t a coincidence that the people in that age group are very close ideologically and on policy. Why people are offended by this or think it shouldn’t be addressed is confusing. I have no problem acknowledging this even though I am in that rough area myself.

          And again, the author supports Sanders, who is decades older than the people she is saying to not vote for, so it doesn’t make sense to say that the argument is generational warfare. Sanders comes from a time when his ideas weren’t that radical, especially in his younger years, and he was completely out of step with the Democratic Party in the 90’s and 2000’s on policy, the types of policies and worldview that these people want to maintain. The author’s support of him proves that it isn’t a simple case of ageism.

      2. lordkoos

        I read that Peter Thiel was one of those using his money to fund the inter-generational blame game. It’s such an obvious form of divide and conquer, I’m surprised that so many people fall for it. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised…

    10. Summer

      It’s the children of elite neoliberals being groomed to serve power – being taught the same things at the same institutions.
      We ignore that at our peril.

      1. todde

        ding ding ding.

        I met some Europeans that are children of EU diplomats when I worked for GD.

        The “I never had a bill I couldn’t pay crowd.” It’s more of a class thing then age, one was a Gen X, while the others were younger.

        One, a baroness who is a member of the Communist Party went to Brown for free on a remnant of the Marshall Plan.

        I had a hard time wrapping my head around a European noble who went to college in America under the Marshall Plan being a member of the Communist Party.

        Communism ain’t what it used to be….

      2. crittermom

        I agree. Chelsea Clinton is an example of that. I believe Bill & Hillary have been grooming her for some time to win the coronation (even though her mother failed twice to do so).

        The part that really stood out to me is this:
        “Chelsea Clinton’s estimated net worth is USD $15,000,000.”

        Ah, yes. Given that fact she should be perfect for the position. /sarc

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          This is why it is so very crucially important that Chelsea’s political career be abortionised every time she tries to get it started.

    11. Ignim Brites

      Many of the 40 – 55 year old Dems may not know much about 72 or 84 or even 88 but their parents certainly do. There is a generational dimension to secular politics but it isn’t just a matter of fashion. To paraphrase Marx: “People live their own history but not just as they chose.”

      1. JP

        Everyone is embedded in history. It is easy to look over your shoulder and critisize the past. The future is impossible to know. In 20 years today’s group think flaws will be easy to read and assign blame. Right now we don’t know the scale or range of today’s mistakes because they will be defined by the circumstances of future history. Like the weather being caused by a butterfly flapping its wings. Hindsight is great but it is pure vanity to think the product of one generation or another is going to get the future right by anything other then pure luck.

    12. jrs

      Yes I don’t get it. Middle aged people live in the EXACT SAME economy the millenials do. Afterall, too young to retire (I mean older retired people with pensions and Medicare may not live in the same economy, but that’s some Boomers not Gen X). But in addition they must live in that same economy WITH AGE DISCRIMINATION. How is that better off in any meaningful sense?

      The only offset to that, is they may have had a small personal safety net stashed from better times in housing or the bank or 401k (better times which millenials have never lived in). But that goes real fast in hard times! But they have work experience which they got when decent jobs were easier to get? Yes and this SHOULD be worth something. But the job market does not seem to value it at all, so it’s not.

    13. Grand

      The author of the article supports Sanders, who is older than the candidates she is saying to not support. So, I don’t think it would qualify as generational warfare and ageism. The article was more about the institutional problems with the Democratic Party that really solidified while these candidates were growing up and developing as politicians, and working their way through the party. They made their way up the party at a time when the Clinton types had near absolute control and, unlike the Clintons, they had little to no contact with people even moderately to their left in their own party. I am 40 myself, and in my personal experience, those in that rough area and older age wise have a tendency of dismissing arguments to their left out of hand, without ever being able to counter or actually address those arguments and critiques head on. It is because they have been trained to do so, many of these people have become rich by doing so. I mean, the left was active as these people were coming up. There was lots of activism against NAFTA and similar deals. WTO in Seattle in 1999. The alter-globalization movement, which some called the anti-globalization movement. The types of ideas and alternatives that came out of the World Social Forum. These ideas were around, there was lots of activism, people like Harris and Beto have been used to dismissing those ideas out of hand, those ideas certainly weren’t what their donors wanted, and the left was right about basically everything. Austerity was stupid and destructive, a means of financial capital doing what they couldn’t do by other means. So called “free trade” was a means to tie the hands of government in regards to controlling capital, it did undermine our democracy and create and more inequitable system. NAFTA like deals were far beyond just trade, things like tariffs. These things did undermine our ability to control private financial capital and to protect the environment. They dismissed these ideas without much thought, and now that they are confronted with them because the left always had a point and the left’s ideas are really popular now, they have no good responses, and they have no good alternatives because they have long only considered policies within a very narrow range of policy options. The author, again, is saying that because of when they came up and because of the ideology they have long since been attached to, they make far inferior candidates to someone that is much older than they are. If people like Sanders were the norm and not the Clintons, we would have better options among candidates around that age and the argument wouldn’t hold.
      And in regards to many of the Boomers anyway, many DO in fact support far more right wing Democrats, they have for some time and they don’t seem to care tons about the societal impact of their choices and don’t seem willing in large numbers to re-consider the types of Democrats they support. The data shows this to be true. We can debate why that is the case, but it is.

      1. knowbuddhau

        Well said, thanks. It’s not just the individual, but the context, too.

        It’s been varying versions of “Yahweh or the highway,” with varying people playing the lead role. Back in the day, Galileo had to damn his own eyes to save his skin. (I’ve heard that he muttered “It still moves,” upon sentencing.) IIUC, for the last few decades, under the dispensation of the Royal Couple and their Court, it’s whoever they say, and TINA.

        I can see how doing what you think the Big People Upstairs will be pleased to see, facts be damned; the Big People Upstairs are always right, *or else; doesn’t exactly prepare a candidate for the specific challenges ahead. (And now that they aren’t Upstairs, no one cares.) Does make sense of Russiaphobia, a bit. They don’t really know the world they’re in. Just taking Power’s word for it.

        Can we make it, “Our way, or the highway?” Signs point to yes. (Or am I projecting? Ain’t easy, inspecting a hologram with a flashlight, amirite?)

        Some say Bernie’s just being cagey by not antagonizing The Blob. Maybe Blobsters hope to contain the contagion, allowing Bernie as a control measure, as long as he remembers his place. Wouldn’t take but a few seconds for some spook to say, “Two words, Senator: Grassy. Knoll,” and then walk away like that conversation never happened.

        Yeah, and some people still think we can control climate change, too. Hard rains are already a-fallin, and these are still earliest of early days.

        Narratives need to be more like the leaves of deciduous trees than stone tablets.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Perhaps Senator Sanders should wear an undisclosed wire always charged and always working 24/7 so that when the mystery passerby says ” Two words, Senator: Grassy Knoll”, his or her words are recorded and uploaded and viralized immediately and forever.

          And played back to audiences of all sizes over and over and over again. So the “Kennedy Killers” who live among us know that we know. And so that they know that we know they know we know.

  8. Party on

    The borrowing and spending binge by Canadian households, businesses and governments (all levels) continues unabated.

    At the end of September, 2018 the total debt outstanding in Canada (bottom line of the Statistics Canada credit market summary data table) was $7.953 trillion. At the end of September, 2017 the total debt outstanding was $7.577 trillion. In the 1 year period from the end of September, 2017 to the end of September, 2018 it increased by $376 billion. This is an increase of 4.9%.

  9. The Beeman

    from the Studebaker essay – Why We Cannot Nominate a Young Person in 2020

    “We face an entire generation of Democratic Party politicians who are untrustworthy and need to be purged.”

    1. JohnnyGL

      The consultants have been grooming party leaders just how they like them for decades. Personally, I didn’t realize how much they call the shots within the party and how much they’re able to manufacture consent through both Dem Party allies and their Beltway media contacts. The results are buckets of cash dumped on Presidential races for consultants to skim, while the party apparatus at the state/local is starved and withers.

      On the positive side, it’s optimistic to me just how much the new Congressional Reps have been able to have influence thus far, and there’s only a handful of them out there making a racket and making life difficult for the status-quo-at-all-costs types like Pelosi and Schumer.

      My point above being that we may not need to do quite as much purging if we can push the wishy-washy ones in our direction with public pressure in the near term. As Lambert says, “Rome wasn’t burnt in a day!”

      1. todde

        and then there is the Aspen Institute. Or as we liked to say “The place where they get exchanged for Alien Space Lizards….”

  10. Andrew

    Thanks for the eu referendum piece on the ramping up of no deal brexit prepardness. There still seems to be plenty of people who think that it’s all ‘fake news/project fear’ and leaving one of the world’s largest trading zones and other assorted treaties and organisations with little or nothing to fall back on will be fine. Why, it’s like cancelling your phone or netflix contract. Easy. Many of these fools are currently running the country. A rude awakening come April next year will be their just deserts. Sadly. I’ve given up trying to converse with these people, who, like the deeply religious just can’t see past their dogma. At least the likes of Richard North, a prominent leaver, recognise the unfolding disaster. No wonder so many like him are aghast at how badly the government has handled the last couple of years and are currently seeing what they hoped would be a fresh start totally squandered.

    1. shtove

      Yves Smith seems even more doomsy than Richard North. Over the past couple of days, however, the EU has shown that it’s not in punishment mode, as it has agreed in principle to the UK joining a transport convention and to disaster-alleviation measures in specific areas of policy. In the latter case, it’s simply to shore up the EU’s vulnerable parts regardless of UK concerns, but even so if the cliff edge does come on 30 March it should mean the UK takes a tumble rather than a plunge.

      ps. Looking forward to YS’s take on the derivatives contingency plan. The last thing I read from YS was that the problem lay more in the volume of contracts rather than their value.

      1. witters

        Moscow 2014: “Think of the sanctions, Vladimir. We will be ruined. it is catastrophic. We must give them all they want!”

        And then…

      2. Oregoncharles

        the EU just backed down on Italy, too – there’s a link about it below. They have more on their plate than they can handle, and important interests who stand to lose from a disastrous Brexit. Not as much as Britain will lose, but enough to ameliorate if they can.

        Anyway, things are finally getting real and the posturing will stop. I wouldn’t be surprised if Article 50 gets cancelled, but if not, we’ll find out the sides’ REAL positions – as with Italy, which backed down only a little.

        1. Yves Smith

          I don’t read it that way. Italy made concessions too and this is just one round in a fight. Brussels does not want it to come to a head before European Parliament elections. Brexit is not a driver. The EU is united on Brexit, including EU businesses. They think the deal the EU gave May verges on being too generous and undercutting European commercial interests. No one in the EU blames Brexit on the EU. This was made in the UK.

          The truce struck between Brussels and Rome’s populist coalition government on Wednesday has allowed both sides to save face, avoiding a political stand-off. However, the concerns raised by the EU Commission and financial markets about the Italian economy are likely to resurface, analysts say.

          Rome has agreed to trim its budget deficit target for 2019 from 2.4 per cent to 2 per cent of gross domestic product mostly by delaying the implementation of some of its most expansionary measures.

          Welfare handouts for the poor, Five Star’s flagship “Citizens’ Income,” will be delayed, as will a plan to unwind pension reforms dating back to Italy’s last financial crisis in 2011. The coalition has also conceded that economic growth for 2019 will be 1 per cent, from 1.5 per cent previously.

          Meanwhile, the commission said it had secured a commitment from the Italian government to increase value added tax if the country’s public finances deteriorate in 2020 and 2021. Rome has also pledged to raise more money in privatisations and hold back €2bn in planned spending for next year.

        2. vlade

          The EU did NOT back off on the UK. It’s protecting its own interests. It’s doing bare minimum to keep the distortions to its citizens manageable. But in entirely unilateral way, and importantly, TIME LIMITED way. The regulation are for 9 months. Yes, they can be extended – but if nothing else, it would also run into WTO rules, which allow only short, transitional preferential treatment. Anything longer, the EU gets grief from its other partners.

          For example, the EU still will allow some UK haulage licenses – for UK/EU trade only, no cabotage. Which is a problem, since if you’re hauling something to say Poland, it’s easier to pick up, for example, Poland/Germany load, and then Germany/UK than Poland/UK.

          But, even if hauliers are available, the real problem is that the comission says “All relevant EU legislation on imported goods and exported goods will apply as of the withdrawal date. This includes the levying of duties and taxes and the respect of the formalities and controls required by the current legal framework”.

          Bam. That means that something that could have crossed the EU borders on 29th, won’t be able to on 30th. Because it’s a _guarantee_ it won’t have the relevant paper work done, because it _cant_ be done before the UK becomes a third country. So earliest it can _start_ on is April 1 (what an appropriate date. The fools day joke will be “we’re back in the EU”, I’m sure). And it’s not something that happens overnight. So, if you export to the EU, expect extra costs and hold-ups. And, in the meanwhile, the continental competitors will be going to your buyers and offering stuff immediately.

          Oh, and services will stop. Contracts will get illegality clauses invoked and terminated.

          Tell me again, how did the EU blinked? “Oh, oh, I see, running away, ‘eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what’s coming to you!”

    1. knowbuddhau

      Gotta start somewhere? Thanks.

      If only evangelicals, Christians in general, would stop pedestalizing Jesus the Superfreak (he was a perfect human, but I’m a lowly sinner; he had the Power, but I can’t ever; I either do as I see being done, or self-excommunicate) and start being the Superfreak themselves.

      Isn’t it weird, that an omnipresent god is always talked about as always being somewhere else? How is prayer supposed to work, if God is omniscient? “Most times I’m not talking to God, but when I pray I am.” Is there a switch for that? What kind of firewall can keep out an omniscient god?

      That god was modeled after tyrants (Persian tyrants, as it happens). It’s as if only some blessed few have access, and the best we can possibly hope for is to stand in the proper relation to them when Judgment Day comes. In the meantime, He’s Always Watching You. Careful, or you’ll lose Access. As if grace and political power are like gold mines or oil reserves.

      Further East, we have the idea that everybody is god in a gilet jaune. From what I hear, you can read by their light, even at night, there are so many out and about at all hours these days.

      Look. Day is breaking. Who really thinks they can contain Dawn? Our ever so clever MOTU, and all their millions of minions, that’s who. And their indispensable opposition in other countries, vying to be kings of a ruined world. That innocuous phrase the other day, having to do with changing belief systems, is tantamount to declaring holy war, in their minds. And they live for that.

      And over in this corner, our corner: people who rightly reject the notion that the cosmos is God’s own perpetual motion holy war cash machine. No! It’s ours, they say, and there’s nothing holy about it. Brilliant.

      Are we radically *repowering and decarbonizing yet?

      1. JTMcPhee

        “NO” is the MOTU creed, and “MORE!” is their mantra. Thank you for your insightful contributions to the discourse here. And some of us are *radically repowering and decarbonizing. It’s in the air, in all senses.

  11. Wukchumni

    Jerri-Lynn here: This antidote reminds me of the several winters I spent as a skibum in Whistler, BC.

    Are you still plying the slopes in the good old up down up down?

    I went to a Randonee binding about a dozen years ago, the recovering resort skier way to ski with friends that are lifelong Telemark* skiers in the backcountry-just lift a lever with your ski pole on the bindings and let your heels be free!

    After being used to perfect groomers all of your skiing life, the many different kinds of snow one encounters off-piste is a bit of a learning curve in itself.

    We’ve been to the Pear Lake ski hut in Sequoia NP many times, about a 8 mile ski in with backpack on, and there’s 10 bunks to put your sleeping bag down on all in one big room, and don’t forget to bring ear plugs. If you’re staying multiple days, it’s time to go explore, my favorite being ‘Skiers Alta’, a big 2,000 slog up to the top of a mountain near Alta Peak, that has a sublime view of the Great Western Divide splayed out before you.

    For tooling around the Giant Sequoias we have Alpina X-Terrain skis with a nice scalloped pattern on the bottom, which allows you to go up moderate hills w/o skins on.

    * Looks like poetry in motion, if the tele-skier is proficient, and makes it seem effortless.

    1. Wukchumni

      {…insert a montage here of a minimum of 6 but no more than a dozen old glories waving furiously to offset potential ‘scavenger hunt’ claims on National bird…}

      1. Wukchumni

        In fairness to the eagle, it was obviously grounded on account of trying to take 2 carrion bags on board.

    2. Todde

      I seen a bald eagle take a carp from the river where i was kayaking this 4th of july.

      That bird was HUGE.

      they have been known to scavenge

    3. Lee

      They both hunt and scavenge. Unlike some raptor species they are generalist predators, taking fish, mammals, and birds. In the Bosque Del Apache wildlife preserve, an amazing place, I saw a bald eagle take a heron in flight. Tens of thousands of snow geese rising into the sky at dawn was pretty cool too.

    4. Stephanie

      Gorgeous eagle.

      A tribute to the success of the DDT ban: When I was maybe 8 or 9, we went to a neighbor’s cabin waaaaaay up north and I saw my first bald eagle, gliding high above the lake, and I thought I was so lucky to have seen that, and how I would probably never see it again. Fast forward 30 years and I can see them nearly every day by the river in St. Paul, soaring and swooping and majestically pooping all over the cars on Shepherd Road.

    5. crittermom

      They do often steal food others have caught. I’ve observed this more than once, of a Bald Eagle stealing food from an Osprey ‘on the fly’.
      Poor Osprey! I’ve also witnessed crows harassing them until they dropped a fish they’d caught. (I’ve captured photos of such encounters, but too far off to be of good quality)

      “Rather than do their own fishing, Bald Eagles often go after other creatures’ catches. A Bald Eagle will harass a hunting Osprey until the smaller raptor drops its prey in midair, where the eagle swoops it up. A Bald Eagle may even snatch a fish directly out of an Osprey’s talons.”

      1. Lee

        Taking the fruits of another’s labors is hardly unique to bald eagles. Indeed, it is a major topic here, although mostly focused on such behaviors of our own species.

        1. todde

          some say scavenger – I say job creator.

          That Osprey has to go back to ‘work’ to get another fish…

      2. foghorn longhorn

        Never realized until moving into the woods how aggressive the crows are.
        They take guff from no birds.
        They are also the warning system of the forests, whether it be human or animal, they let it be known there is a trespasser in THEIR woods.
        Typically hang out in groups of around 8 birds.

        1. Wukchumni

          There was this horrific sound that I thought from a distance was a neighbor’s backhoe’s gears grinding, but when I got closer it was about a dozen wild turkeys raising a ruckus in a screechy tone. It got louder as they retreated up a hill away from me.

        2. CanCyn

          My Dad loved to fish and photograph and often headed into the bush (as we call the woods in Northern Ontario) to take pictures or with pole in hand to go to a favourite fishing stream. He wasn’t a hunter but had friends who were. He swore that the crows and the ravens could tell the difference between fishing poles & cameras vs guns. They never made much noise when someone with a camera or fishing equipment showed up but they made a helluva a racket when they saw hunters – clearly they were warning the creatures of the forest that guns were present.

  12. Not From Here

    Third Canadian …. SCMP article link

    “With three Canadians being detained multinationals will now have to start to consider or discuss internally if their duty of care to their staff means that they need to be more careful with staff being posted to China,”

    I’m not so sure China’s Communist Party sees this as a negative. One of the reason US corporate investors were so popular with local Chinese governments was their willingness to localize for lower costs to the extent that they would more rapidly give away the corporate jewels to the Chinese. Every American JV I met was heavily penetrated at the top by CCP members. The best management training schools in China are run by the CCP youth league.

    The difference between Khrushchev’s “Capitalist will sell us the rope to hang them” and Deng”s White Cat/Black Cat” is the timing, Capitalisms development in1950’s loyality to long term returns/retirement pension plans was replaced by the Al Dunlap school of 1980’s and onward financialization/short term bonus scheme and as Bill Black noted, Accounting Fraud.

    Removing expat staff hardly equates with quitting the market.

    <site manager, bock quote function seems to stop comments from posting. has happened several times

    1. Wukchumni

      I realize the effort in trying to get a missive out of the Gulag Hockeypelago, but rest assured we received it.

      You took a Bishop

      They took a couple Pawns

      …your move

    1. Ignacio

      That downside sounds pretty much as an excuse not to leave. There are always downsides to anything so following these lines of reasoning the US would have to have boots in the field… everywhere.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If Turkey is eyeing Syria, which was a part of the Ottoman empire, is she also thinking about Palestine as well?

      Separately, it seems Sanders and the Democrats are more focused on Yemen than Syria. I rarely read about them demaning that we pull out of the latter.

      1. JTMcPhee

        That “eyeing” is why the Likudnik Israel -ites (most of whom have bolt-holes and funds outside Israel, it should be noted) are scurrying to keep the Empire “involved” in all the ways it is. We USians learn geopolitics from The Game of RISK! ™. Other Players in the now global Great Game deal in greater skills of subterfuge and analysis. Not that their approaches generally lead to anything but different-flavor sh!t sandwich outcomes for the mopes, whose labors actually extract the resources, and build the wealth, and manufacture the stuff (including weapons of global destruction, of course) at the lower levels of this hell we humans are making for ourselves of that Beautiful Blue Orb…

  13. JohnnyGL

    I actually have a soft spot for Tucker Carlson. He’s a bright guy and makes some good arguments that aren’t often heard at times and I think he’s a big improvement over the majority of the Fox News personalities. I’d take him over Bill O’Reilly (whom he replaced) any day.

    That said, he also does some reprehensible stuff, and it’s foolish and flagrantly racist dog-whistling to just call immigrants ‘dirty’. I’m frustrated that because of this, all of the good points he’s made will now be airbrushed away in a sea of commentary about how racist he is.

    1. todde

      They just can’t help themselves.

      They all suck, every last one of them.

      Tucker can be one of the last ones to go up against the Wall.

    2. TimR

      I’m not that familiar w him but a cynical view would say it may be his role to blackwash any good ideas he puts out… It’s a very manipulative mediascape

  14. JCC

    Regarding Facebook (and others) tracking location, I believe I read about NetGuard through this site and immediately loaded it up on my android-based phone. From what I’ve been able to determine through logs and daily use, it does a good job.

    It isn’t perfect considering that I use some apps that I do not firewall that probably send location info to Google, at least, and others, but so far I’m happy with the results.

    Interesting, to me at least, one of the pieces of software I found through NetGuard settings was com.facebook.katana I have no idea what this does and I am not a FB user, but apparently it’s included with the android OS on my system. Not only did I disable it, but just in case, I also firewalled it on both the verizon data connection and the wireless connection.

    I did not install this from Google Play but went directly to the source. Pro features, not necessary, are unlocked through direct donations to the author, not through paying money to Google.

  15. rd

    Re: Big Pharma

    I don’t think Americans realize that they are subsidizing low drug prices for the rest of the world. The high drug prices in the US provide a huge base revenue for the pharmaceutical manufacturers. As a result, other countries can negotiate lower drug prices that are priced closer to the marginal cost of production since much of the cost of R&D etc. has already been covered in the US.

    The high drug costs in the rest of the world are typically associated with very new drugs or drugs for rare diseases that are made and sold in relatively low quantities.

    Other countries use hardball tactics where drugs for a particular condition that meet certain price point criteria will be put on preferred lists for doctors to prescribe. The higher priced drugs for that condition can only be prescribed once the lower price ones have been tried and found to be ineffective in that patient. That provides a major incentive to drug manufacturers to price their drugs low enough to get on a preferred list.

  16. ex-PFC Chuck

    Thanks for the link to the Bon Appetit article about Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. I hope fellow her New Yorkers Stephanie Kelton and Pavlina Tcherneva are taking the lead in bring her up to speed on heterodox Economics, if she isn’t already.

    1. John k

      Imagine… a pol with mmt… need to clone this woman.
      Imagine hundreds taking over congress…
      But too young for. 2020… sad.

    2. a different chris

      She. Has. A. Degree. In. Economics. A pretty fresh one, at that. They may have formally avoided MMT but even if they did there is no way she somehow missed its existence.

      Somehow people seem to think she is some naive, well, bartender. She is not. She bartended, yes. But she has quite a history beyond that.

      1. jrs

        it’s what she markets herself as is my understanding, never mind my privilege, what privilege? Trying to have it both ways.

        1. Yves Smith

          In what universe is someone who made $26,500 a year in high tax, high cost of living NYC “privileged”?

          With her high school science award, if there had been any money, she would have gone to a way better school than Boston University. That would have meant a middle class or better job, not waiting tables and tending bar.

  17. timbers

    Happy Holidays (for real if true):

    Washington (CNN)Planning is underway for a “full” and “rapid” withdrawal of US troops from Syria, a US defense official told CNN Wednesday.

    The decision, which would be a reversal from previously stated US policy, was made by President Donald Trump, who has long signaled his desire to get out of Syria, the official added.
    On Wednesday morning, the President tweeted, “we have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”

    Declare victory and get out. How many times has NC given that advisc?

    1. Wukchumni

      I mentioned the other day a potential ‘domino theory’ of how by leaving one armed outpost overseas, it makes it easy to leave the others, and so on right down the line.

      Wonder how the Major Major Major Majordomos in the MIC are taking the news that we’re out of relievers in the World Syrias?

        1. JTMcPhee

          And we parents who care about the fate of our children and grandchildren get to ask, “Why do these creatures get to drag us all down into oblivion with them? Why do you hear children saying, like they did when I was in grade school in the ‘50s, “IF I grow up,” not “WHEN”? And the architects of all this evil and doom — do they go home to a loving family, after a hard day of niggling away at creating the Doomsday Device, and tell their kids and spouse what they have been “working on?” How do people in those High Towers get to where they can not only ‘think the unthinkable,” but busily work away at bringing the ‘unthinkable” to its demon life? One little warfighting doctrine document and procurement process and conference and field trial after another? What is the water cooler conversation there? “Hey, Jules, how are you doing on the revisions to the Mod 3 thruster nozzle on the hypersonic nuclear-capable ALCM project?”

      1. Plenue

        To be honest I don’t have much sympathy for the Kurds at this point. They seem to have a high willingness to watch the rest of the world burn in their quest for an independent Kurdish state. They’re also just kind of…stupid. They threw their lot in with the US, and quite predictably have been betrayed, yet again. They could have agreed to work with the Syrian government and maybe arrived at some sort of federalized accommodation. Instead they worked against Damascus at every opportunity, and now that the US has abandoned them to the Turks, Syria has no reason to be generous or forgiving.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > How many times can we screw them and they still trust us?

        You would have thought enough times already.

        The basic premise here — one in which liberals deeply believe — is that we can use war in the Middle East to make sure that people can have nice things. I don’t see any evidence for that, even in their own terms of “responsbility to protect” and yadda yadda yadda. Best thing we can do is get out entirely and take whatever karma has in store for us.

    2. Carey

      Les Aspin said that “we” were abandoning ‘Star Wars’ missile defense with great fanfare,
      too. In other words, I’ll believe that the US is leaving Syria when I see it.

    3. Ignim Brites

      Looks like it will soon be the case that the answer to “Are We Ready to Lose Afghanistan?” is yes. Then Iraq followed by Saudi Arabia. Will Dems try to capture the peace flag by pushing for leaving Bahrain and Kuwait?

      1. Wukchumni

        The idea that a gallon of 91 octane costs $400 dlvd to somewhere around BFE in Afghanistan to our military, is only assuaged by all of the oil resources in the ground we’ll be able to ship out of the Straits of Kabul.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Indeed. If the Republicans had any stones they would have done this long ago. But they pussy-footed around, and got wrapped round the axle on ZOMG!!! Benghazi (stupid, because the real issue was gun-running to Syrian “rebels” out of our consulate’s basement, which of course nobody can talk about). And now it’s too late. Well done, all.

  18. Craig H.

    > Are We Ready to Lose Afghanistan?

    This was posted yesterday and I restrained myself and I’m kind of sorry but really I am not. If I owned Afghanistan I would put it out on the curb and anybody who wants it can have it. There might be a less desirable property on this planet but I cannot think what it is offhand. If warlords and terrorists and drug dealers want it so be it. Any alternative timeline cannot be worse than the one my taxes are sponsoring right now. Nazis who do genetic experiments to make comic book godzilla monster armies. Anything.

    These experts are fluxing idiotic.

    1. Wukchumni

      We go AWOL (Adios w/o Losing) and leave the whole kit and Kabul, er caboodle to allow scrap dealers to salvage something from the loss.

    2. JTMcPhee

      The Empire walked away from billions of War-bucks in “bases” and armaments in Vietnam, in 1975, but sssshhh, we don’t know or talk about that “it wasn’t actually a war,” because that reminds us of the many unsuccessful Imperial adventures… A piece from the NYT at the time: “US forces out of Vietnam; Hanoi frees the last POW,”

      Leaving behind billions in military equipment (“ It was obsolete anyway, so there! :P”) and billions of wealth transfer to Bechtel and KBR and many other opportunists to build Tan Son Nhut and Cam Ranh Bay and Da Nang and Chu Lai and Phu Bai and the rest.

      And more recently, there’s this on Iraq:

      Something our war leaders and contractors and consultants and arms merchants are good at, finally? Not only the Emperor, but the Generals and Admirals have no clothes. And jeebus, I enlisted to be a part of all that. Speaking of human stupidity, futility, and why idiocy continues from generation to generation…

  19. allan

    U.S. Cash Repatriation Plunges 50%, Defying Trump’s Tax Forecast [Bloomberg]

    A shocker:

    The amount of offshore cash corporations are bringing back to the U.S. dropped sharply for a second straight quarter, falling short of the trillions of dollars President Donald Trump had promised would result from his tax overhaul. …

    Even though companies are less restricted in moving their offshore profits under the U.S. tax overhaul, corporations, in aggregate, are choosing to keep earnings in their foreign subsidiaries, a team of Morgan Stanley analysts led by Todd Castagno said in a note earlier this month.

    “The sharp drop and trend trajectory is surprising — and may require analysts and investors to rethink their near-term capital deployment and return expectations,” the note said. …

    But fear not, that 10% middle class tax cut is gonna happen any day now.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Isn’t that somehing* the new House (D, now) would initiate?

      *They are welcome to make that 20%, instead of 10%.

  20. justsayknow

    Just a little amazon and post office anecdote. Last week when bush1 died the post office closed. Except for “some deliveries” which the post office would not define.
    So I asked our postman on Tuesday would they be delivering my packages on Wednesday. (We ship small weight thru USPS.) He said all he knew was they were delivering amazon on Wednesday.
    Sure enough the little delivery vehicle was out on Wednesday and full of amazon boxes.
    To be fair some of our Wednesday deliveries were made so I think it varied by local post office. But it is certain amazon got preferential treatment over every other american business and citizen.

    Bear in mind amazon gets a 70-80% discount. And I resent subsidizing my competitor.

    BTW I think the post office does an excellent job. Maybe not great negotiators.

    1. zagonostra

      I’ve noticed in the small town I live a post office vehicle going down my street several time on a recent weekend. I stopped and asked the driver if she was lost, and she said no, that she was just making Amazon deliveries.

      I also see PS vehicle delivering on Sundays.

      I remember a time when most groceries and department stores were closed on Sundays. Does getting your Amazon Prime delivery in a short time improve the lot your life? At what cost…rhetorical question obviously, I don’t patronize Amazon or Walmart.

      I guess people don’t make the connection between the vacant stores, lack of jobs, and diminishing quality of life in small towns and the convenience and lower prices that these behemoths are able to provide.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Italy was threatening to pull the temple down around everyone’s ears – and Italy is big enough to do it.

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Exercise could be as good as drugs at cutting high blood pressure The Telegraph


    Smiling is also good for that as well, I believe.

    Both geuniue smiles, and or simply stimulating it by involving the same facial muscles.

    The latter is what I am experimenting with right now (this moment, and nowadays…both).

    1. pretzelattack

      i’ve read that it’s harder to simulate a genuine smile because you don’t use all the same muscles when attempting a “social” smile.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Learned Her Most Important Lessons from Restaurants Bon Appetit


    Khadi Workers on ‘Satyagraha’ Against Government Neglect The Wire


    From Spinning Wheel, Wikipedia:

    Mahatma Gandhi’s manner of dress and commitment to hand spinning were essential elements of his philosophy and politics. He chose the traditional loincloth as a rejection of Western culture and a symbolic identification with the poor of India.

    An inspiration would be to prepare our own meals.

    Yes, restaraunts would suffer, just like fabric factories. But nothing we do seems to be cost-free.

    I think this would be one lesson from restaurants.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Erdogan sees China as a partner for the future Asia Times

    I could not find one mention of the Uyghurs of China in that article.

    Since they and many Turks are related and believe in the same faith, I wonder if that could be a problem now, or in the future.

    And of course, alliances can be temporary. Not that it will turn out that way, but the Wehrmacht and the Red Amry were close at one time.

  24. Cynthia

    Re: Natalie Shure and her article in JACOBIN entitled,”Can We Just Have Medicare for All Already?”

    Natalie Shure got it wrong when she stated that the Wall Street Journal editorial board “dislikes” ObamaCare. If anything, its editorial board members like ObamaCare very much. Anything that has been as profitable to Wall Street as ObamaCare has been is very much liked by anyone who’s associated with the Wall Street Journal. That’s pretty much a given, and anyone who thinks otherwise is either just plain stupid or is deliberately not telling the truth.

    I doubt that Ms. Shure is stupid, so that leaves her, in all likelihood, not telling the truth. And if she is paid by the establishment media to always frame Obama and everything he did as president in a positive light, despite the fact that he did a lot of negative and awful things as president, I’ll bet money on it that she is no different from, say, Rachel Maddow. She is paid, just like Rachel Maddow is paid, by the neoliberal money class to spread and perpetuate this lie that Obama Care was intentionally designing to put people over profits. If Obama Care was intentionally designed to do this, healthcare stocks in general wouldn’t have been one of the biggest winners on Wall Street over the past eight years or so. In terms of profits, only the tech sector did better than the healthcare sector over that period of time, and not by much. And the way the healthcare stocks tanked this week on the crushing news that ObamaCare might be overturned by the courts is indicative of the truth that ObamaCare doesn’t nor has it ever put people over profits.

    And as far as single payer is concerned, whether it’s based on Medicare, Medicaid or a combination of both, I’m all for it, as most Americans are. However, I’m also a realist. And the realist in me says that the way that the private sector has taken almost complete control over the management of Medicare/Medicaid dollars ever since the rise of ObamaCare indicates to me that single payer won’t be much different from what we already have.

    So-called ” managed care” plans for Medicare/Medicaid recipients, which are run by private insurers, already put profits over people. So if we were to go to a single payer system, private insurers will likely have complete control of it as well, thus continuing their ruthless and selfish practice of putting profits over people. The only way to put a stop to this is to frame it for what it really is: corporate welfare. Then strictly limit the profits that the insurance industry can make managing Medicare/Medicaid dollars.

    If this doesn’t happen, private insurers will keep skimming more and more off the top in the form of higher profits for themselves, as well as creating increasingly higher overhead costs for health providers. This will result in less money available to spend on actual patient care. Thus, in the end, according to this scenario, which is rather dark and gloomy yet strikingly realistic at the same time, having single payer will get us nowhere in terms of reining in healthcare costs. Nor will it get us anywhere in terms of improving care and patient outcomes.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Yes, Medicare/Medicaid have a bad neoliberal infestation, too. Passing #MedicareForAll legislation would only be the opening skirmish in the battle. (Coverage and costs would both improve, but the rentiers will not give up everything without a fight, and they must be made to.)

    1. Lambert Strether

      The key difference is the complexity, indirection, and time lags* with which the Clinton Foundation operates, so as to obscure any case for quid pro quo.** By contrast, Trumpian operations have a pleasing, “smash and grab” simplicity. We forget that the definition of corruption is the use of public office for private gain, and in this, the Clinton Foundation excels.

      * “I’ll make it up to you on the back stretch,” as we used to say in the newspaper advertising business, when there were newspapers.

      ** Cf. the Obama Presidential “Center,” the golf course-adjacent library without any books.

      1. openandshut

        The key difference is the complexity, indirection, and time lags* with which the Clinton Foundation operates, so as to obscure any case for quid pro quo.**

        A lack of evidence does not prove its removal or guilt of anything else.

  25. Enzica

    There must be many Naked Capitalism fans watching former Runaways bassist Jackie Fuchs kick ass and take names on Jeopardy so here’s a connection for you. In an article for The Huffington Post in 2011, where she compared Obama to Joan Jett (aptly so), she said she just wanted Obama to “shut up” when he gave his long-winded, presidential sounding, yet vapid expositions during classes. I couldn’t help think of Jerri-Lynn who has said the same thing about the Obamamometer. She even attributed the coiner of the nickname to another classmate. Perhaps Jerri-Lynn herself? So they both went to Harvard Law at the same time as Obama! She’ll be back on tonight looking for win number 4 in a row. Cheer her on! Shameless plug.

  26. Cal2

    If United States brick and mortar retailers are worried about plunging Christmas sales, they might try putting up a Christmas tree, decorations and not pretend that the word “Christmas” does not exist.

    Any small merchant who does put up a tree and who decorates gets my cash spending.

    The “happy holidays” hooters are self identifying and get nothing. We will remember what they are all year long and won’t shed a tear when they are out of business.

    1. Geo

      There’s the spirit of the season: spite and division! It’s always enjoyable when someone says “Merry Christmas” as a challenge instead of a greeting. As if the “holiday” is merely a litmus test for one’s identity and a lack of “Christmas” greetings is an assault on one’s identity that triggers irrational outrage. I recommend spending your holiday season in a Hobby Lobby safe-space to avoid any more micro-aggressions against your fragile identity.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If it’s X’s day, we say happy X’s day.

        If it’s Y’s day, we say, happy Y’s day.

        So, if it’s the Buddha’s birthday (presumbly calculated correctly), we say, Happy Buddha’s birthday.

        And if it’s Christ’s day, we (even non believers, and even if it was computed mistakenly, on purpose or not) say diplomatically, Merry Christmas.

        As well, if God (for those who believe) rested on the 7th day, Saturday, we say ‘Happy no work day for all of us (even non-believers).

        No one wants to vulunteer to work on the that day of the week.

        I don’t say we should just say, on Buddha’s day, for example, Happy Day.

        “It’s your day. You or your believers have earned it.”

      2. todde

        I see you beat me to it.

        I say both happy holidays and merry christmas.

        I wish I had so few problems to care how people wish joy on me.

    2. Pat

      So let me get this straight, you want to encourage the mass commercialization of your high religious holiday? You want to punish people for recognizing that 1.) Christmas isn’t the only holiday of the season and 2.) perhaps treat yours with more respect than Walmart and Target and Hallmark. Retailers who have seen fit to start selling their wares (products and or media) in the summer using Christmas in July.

      Considering the message of the person whose birth you are supposedly celebrating largely clashes with the goals of those merchants (none of which has anything to do with supposed Christian values), I have to wonder that you don’t instead choose to boycott any retailers who start the Christmas music and decorations in October.

      1. marym

        I first heard about the “war on Christmas” while visiting an older family member who was watching Bill O’Reilly’s show in another room. I wasn’t current on the who’s who of cable, but knew he was considered a conservative. The family member was a traditional Catholic who participated in both the religious and the secular traditions, but not always pleased with the more commercialized and materialistic aspects of the latter.

        So I went to watch, ready to be impressed that there was possibly a sensible conservative push-back in the “war” of commercialization of what I supposed they considered primarily a spiritually meaningful holiday. Imagine my surprise….

    3. jrs

      and those who don’t celebrate xmas which retailers should they shop at? But they aren’t buying xmas presents? That might be. You don’t think anyone might actually buy clothes just because they want/need some new clothes, or go to a hardware store because they need something there, or buy someone with a Dec birthday a present, or buy food (the last of which isn’t even discretionary) etc.

      Just because some businesses make 60% of their sales in an orgy of consumption known as commercial xmas, doesn’t mean the season is the only reason people shop there.

  27. How is it legal

    Fixing that New York Times link title: As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants, 9 Major Media Companies, and US Government Surveillance On Its Own Citizens

    So where’s for profit US citizen surveillor, Palantir, on that 150 entities list? Not even mentioned, despite Palantir’s Founder, Peter Thiel (mentor, initial investor/profiteer, board member), having been involved with Facebook in a very large way, since its inception.

    Instead, the New York Times, as with the Mainstream News’ Cambridge Analytica analysis, ultimately highlights RUSSIA! with Russian Search Site, Yandex.

    Further, when finally – mid article – the New York Times acknowledges being one of the benefactors of the thirteen years of user deception and privacy violations, they don’t even note why they haven’t reported on this well before now:

    These were not the only companies that had special access longer than they needed it. Yahoo, The Times and others could still get Facebook users’ personal information in 2017.

    Yahoo could view real-time feeds of friends’ posts for a feature that the company had ended in 2011. A Yahoo spokesman declined to discuss the partnership in detail but said the company did not use the information for advertising. The Times — one of nine media companies named in the documents — had access to users’ friend lists for an article-sharing application it also had discontinued in 2011. A spokeswoman for the news organization said it was not obtaining any data.

    So where’s the full list, New York Times? The public has the right to know, particularly those who have never used Facebook, yet get snagged in it’s privacy violations regardless. As Kashmir Hill noted in this piece, focusing on Amazon and the Facebook ‘Partnering,’ the Times piece is very vague in its detail:

    Why was Facebook giving out this data about its users to other tech giants? The Times report is frustratingly vague, but it says Facebook “got more users” by partnering with the companies (though it’s unclear how) , but also that it got data in return, specifically data that helped power its People You May Know recommendations.

    It seems certain already, that nothing will be done about rampant violations of citizens in this case, as in the Cambridge Analytica Case. The entire focus will be Russia, as increasing amounts of US citizens commit suicide, slowly or quickly (gun access) because they can no longer afford to live with any sort of the most basic dignity; which dignity includes, at least minimal privacy.

  28. Big Tap

    Cal2: I agree. If Corporate America wants me to go Christmas shopping they might want to mention that not ‘holiday’. I’m not that religious but the virtual elimination of the word Christmas for Holiday is obvious and odd since Christmas is a federal holiday like nine other such holidays throughout the year. The other holidays are usually mentioned by their specific name when they occur but Christmas not so often.

    1. Geo

      Christmas is in December 25th. On that day saying Merry Christmas makes sense. Saying it on December 19th makes no sense. Do you wish people a Happy Halloween on October 25th? Do you wish people a happy birthday for the month leading up to their birthday?

      “Seasons Greetings” and “Happy Holidays” are proper greetings in the lead up to Christmas.

      As for it being a federally recognized holiday: So what? Does that mean we all must celebrate it the exact same because the government tells us to? Must our non-Christian friends be forced to wish us a Merry Christmas or face a Federal criminal charge? What exactly is your point? That you’re offended because Capitalism doesn’t worship Christ? Is God mad because TV commercials don’t say His son’s name from October through New Years? You say you’re not religious so why would you insist we recognize Christ?

      Get over yourself and this obsession with some micro-aggression triggering your fragile need for tradition. Some of us prefer Christmas to be one day and not two months long. Some of us celebrate other holidays between Halloween and New Years. And some of us find the obsessive consumerism of Christmas to be more offensive to “the reason for the season” than how a stranger (or marketing team) decides to deliver a friendly greeting in a store.

      Happy Holidays. :)

      1. ewmayer

        Unlike Halloween, Christmas is understood to be a longer festival than just one day … cf. “Twelve Days of Christmas”, and the European tradition of opening the Christmas season on the first day of Advent, Dec. 6, the feast day of St. Nicholas. So when Christians say “Merry Christmas” on “the wrong day”, they generally mean it as “a merry Christmas season to you.” That is aside from the rampant consumerism now attendant to said holiday season, which you rightfully deride.

      2. Conrad

        I use a hearty “Compliments of the season to you” as my stock greeting between the December equinox and twelfth night. Mild bemusement is the worst reaction I’ve ever gotten.

      3. pricklyone

        I wish Cal a happy Saturnalia.
        Enjoy your pagan ritual. I am so glad there are no important concerns in your life, to override your silliness.

      4. Big Tap

        Geo: It seems that you’re addressing me so I have this to say in response. Speaking of Micro Aggressions it seems you’re the one who’s triggered. I stand by my comment and you can stand by yours.We have a difference of opinion. Instead of a conversation with me you go off on a tirade. When did I mention Capitalism or consumerism? My prior comment wasn’t even to you anyway.

  29. Oregoncharles

    “Why We Cannot Nominate a Young Person in 2020” (Answer: because they’re too young, or have no political record.)
    Sen. Merkley of Oregon.

    This is not an unqualified endorsement – the Oregon Green Party will probably run someone against him in 2020, because we do have some issues with him (eg, Palestine, and some recent unanimous Senate votes). Also, for technical reasons we almost have to.

    But he’s the closest thing to Bernie, even if he doesn’t call himself a socialist.

    To my mind, the biggest objection to Bernie running is that it might kill him, whereas he could have many years in the Senate. But in reality, people like Merkley are running for VP at this point: no name recognition.

  30. knowbuddhau

    Caitlin Johnstone: now we’re talking. Thanks.

    Yes, they have the apparati of control at their disposal. So? The power of propaganda lies in surprise (surely such pillars of the establishment wouldn’t say such a thing if it weren’t so, right?) and crucially, the belief of the targets. What happens when they’ve so blown they’re own cover, for so long, that people stop believing?

    Propagandists publicly losing their minds could be a symptom of it. What shape does narrative collapse take? I doubt it’s linear. More like landslide. And then the real fun starts.

    I wonder what the plans for Shock Doctrine: America look like. It relies on imposing a well-PSYOP’d narrative during a state of shock. If we don’t have an organic one, it’ll be their world we’ll be living in. Again.

  31. remmer

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Learned Her Most Important Lessons from Restaurants Bon Appetit

    Many years ago I used to tend bar, and I learned a lot from working in restaurants. A well-educated, white, middle-class guy, I went to work with people of different races and ethnicities, people who never finished high school, people who were immigrants — some documented, some not — some of whom had only a basic grasp of English, and people, native-born and immigrants, who were poor. And the biggest lesson I learned was that the reason a restaurant works smoothly on Friday and Saturday nights, when it’s so busy that you have to stop thinking and go on automatic, is that 95% of those people do their jobs. The only management that counts on one of those nights is in the kitchen — you need a good chef. But the restaurant managers are irrelevant. Things move too fast for them to have any effect. If the night turned out well, as it usually did, it was because everyone in that motley group of employees — wait staff, bartenders, barracks, busboys, dishwashers — all did their jobs. That was true even for the ones who were told to clock out after 40 hours and clock in again with a different time card so the managers wouldn’t have to pay overtime. And none of us had health insurance. But we all worked well together and did our jobs. More members of Congress should have such work experience.

    1. knowbuddhau

      Bravo, and hear hear! Just had the staff party, for the restaurant at which I’m the janitor, last night. A little secular churchin’ up does a body good. Preacher’s sermon, tho, I could do without.

      And why do we do what do so well? Because, speaking for myself, hospitality is what’s best in life. Sure as hell ain’t the money, amirite?

      (Also omg the people watching. Free food and beer don’t hurt, either. I love being backstage in the Play of Life, with the occasional comic cameo. Huh, that looks like a hook, headed my

    2. Lambert Strether

      > f the night turned out well, as it usually did, it was because everyone in that motley group of employees — wait staff, bartenders, barracks, busboys, dishwashers — all did their jobs.

      One of the great things about Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential is that he’s a fierce defender of the kitchen staff.

  32. Henry

    RE The missing $21 trillion.
    It seems if you listen to Mark Skidmore it is MUCH worse than either of these articles indicate:
    It is looking like some part of congress and the treasury are involved in this fraud and the response has been to classify the federal budget because of National Security.
    Also of note that Catherine Austin Fitts was put in jail for reporting the fraud at HUD, perhaps why no one in msm wants to touch this. (NPR has not invited or talked with Mark Skidmore )

  33. Telee

    I am right to be astonished that the link to the articles on the 21 trillion dollar fraud by the pentagon has not elicited one response from NC’s readers. Is the attitude we couldn’t care less about 21 trillion?

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