Links 1/30/19

How frigid polar vortex blasts are connected to global warming PhysOrg (David L)

As The Arctic Warms, US Navy Considering Summer Transit, Bering Sea Port Defense One. Resilc: “Can’t wait to see the year-round heated golf course at the base. Nothing but the best for our heros of endless war.”

A Grand Plan to Clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch New Yorker (J-LS)


Huawei’s Meng appears in court as Canada mulls US extradition Reuters

China to rush through new foreign investment law Financial Times

China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Plan in Pakistan Takes a Military Turn New York Times (resilc)

Insights on the Iran deal, BRICS and handling a crisis in Venezuela Pepe Escobar, Asia Times

Brexit. I should provide more links, but with March 29 so close, it’s becoming more difficult to watch this exercise in self-harm closely. I have no idea how readers in the UK and Ireland are keeping their sanity.

Brexit: MPs back May’s bid to change deal BBC

From Politico’s morning European newsletter:

1) This is vindication: EU officials, diplomats and leaders alike didn’t quite believe Theresa May when in December at an EU summit she most solemnly vowed that her Brexit deal was the only possible deal, and was final. And they were proven right. Indulge Playbook if you will, and allow us to quote ourselves: December’s meeting “left some convinced that what the British PM really wants is not an even more solemn declaration of the EU’s wish to have a trade agreement in place as soon as possible, but to get rid of the backstop altogether,” Playbook wrote at the time.

2) May knows the EU’s answer already. Spoiler alert: It’s a ‘No.’ No way. No how. No renegotiation. “This is our position, as coordinated with EU27 capitals,” Preben Aamann, spokesman for European Council President Donald Tusk, said immediately after the votes. “We welcome and share the U.K. parliament’s ambition to avoid a no-deal scenario,” Aamann added. “The backstop is part of the Withdrawal Agreement, and the Withdrawal Agreement is not open for renegotiation.” Meaning, as per a senior Commission official: If Theresa May comes to Brussels “with the same position as before, she will get the same answer.”

How MPs voted on the Brexit Amendments BrexitCentral

Labour MPs rebel to vote down Cooper’s no-deal amendment Guardian

Humiliated Corbyn says he now WILL meet May to discuss Brexit in U-turn after MPs rejected Labour bid to keep Britain in the EU past March 29 Daily Mail

Brexit: Tory minister Richard Harrington issues two-week ultimatum to Theresa May Mirror. See our post today. Too late for threats like that unless you want to greatly increase the odds of a crash out.


U.S. Seeks To Cripple Venezuela’s No.1 “Vehicle For Embezzlement’’ OilPrice. Don’t shoot the messenger.

Marco Rubio’s strategy for winning influence over Trump on Venezuela. Slate. Resilc: “They all below to the same toad herd?”


After Four Votes, Senate Passes Unconstitutional Anti-Boycott Bill Defending Rights & Dissent

U.S. sees contours of peace accord with Taliban to end war in Afghanistan Reuters (resilc)

Syria rewards Iran with raft of agreements Middle East Online (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Discarded smart lightbulbs reveal your wifi passwords, stored in the clear Boing Boing (resilc). Smart lightbulbs?!?! Sorry, that = “stupid buyers”

Facebook got caught paying people $20 a month to let them spy on their phones Business Insider (David L). Original story: Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them TechCrunch (Kevin W)

Two-Factor Authentication Might Not Keep You Safe New York Times (David L). This should not be news….

This 14-year old found Apple’s FaceTime bug before it went viral CNN (Kevin W)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Russia, China Will Exploit West’s ‘Isolationist Tendencies,’ Says New Intel Strategy Defense One (resilc)

Searching for a Progressive Foreign Policy LobeLog. Resilc:

Breakin’ up the USA USA empire ain’t easy. just look at the 400th anniversary of the first slave in USA USA. How are we addressing those issues?? A couple hundred years of usa usa exceptionalism has poisoned the well in the uneducated “We only do good” minds of the population.

Afraid of talking on radio, Millennials Snapchat for fire Duffle Blog (Kevin W)

Trump Transition

Trump ally Stone pleads not guilty to Russia probe charges Reuters (EM)

Southwest Agreed to Pay FAA for Inspector’s Time During Government Shutdown Wall Street Journal

Coal Country Is Dying. All Trump Has Are Lies. Washington Monthly (resilc)


McConnell to rebut Trump on Syria, Afghanistan drawdown The Hill (Bill B)

Meadows Tells Ocasio-Cortez Congress Isn’t Just `Eating Bonbons‘ Bloomberg. Resilc: “Hellllllll no lil’lady. Itz about fillin’ up your pants pockets with lots of cold hard cash tarheel-style.”

Ocasio-Cortez fundraises off report some Dems want her primaried The Hill. UserFriendly: “I’m picturing Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein door knocking in the Bronx.”

Bernie’s Likely 2020 Bid Could Transform the Political Landscape Normon Solomon, Truthdig

Black Culture Won’t Save Kamala Harris Nation (furzy)

Online Neo-Nazis Are Increasingly Embracing Terror Tactics Vice

Why Morgan Stanley Says Get Out Of Stocks Now Investopedia (David L)

Insys ‘Closer’ Lap-Danced to Boost Opioid Sales, Jury Told Bloomberg (Scott)

Guillotine Watch

Warren to Schultz: Ridiculous is billionaires who think they ‘can buy the presidency’ The Hill

Giving Kruggie credit when credit is due. Love the “green room” point:

Howard Schultz heckled as ‘egotistical asshole’ who would aid Trump in 2020 Guardian (resilc)

Howard Schultz should think twice about running for president Seattle Times (resilc)

Howard Schultz Channels Richard Nixon With 2020 Slogan Rolling Stone

Elizabeth Warren’s plan to tax the super-rich has been tried before. Here’s what happened. NBC. I haven’t weighed in but I’m not keen at all. We know how to tax income and capital gains. Increase marginal rates on the high end. We know how to do estate taxes. Raise estate tax rates. People want to transfer stuff to heirs, so hiding is hard then. By contrast, many assets of the rich (ownership in private businesses, yachts, real estate, art) are hard to value and values can therefore be gamed. This will encourage the rich to move even more money into foundations and put themselves and their kids on the payroll, and also run travel and other expenses (an office! professional staff!) through the foundation.

Class Warfare

The New Enclosure by Brett Christophers — the sale of the century Financial Times (Adrien). Important. So like Revolutionary Russia, does the UK now need forced land redistribution? Not that I am advocating the methods of that era, mind you…..

How Starbucks Made Its Baristas Hate Hamilton Grub Street (J-LS)

Bill Gates says poverty is decreasing. He couldn’t be more wrong Guardian Tom H)

The Long Lines for Women’s Bathrooms Could Be Eliminated. Why Haven’t They Been? Atlantic (Dr. Kevin). Architects are overwhelmingly male. Because design symmetry plus bathrooms don’t generate revenue.

Antidote du jour. Furzy: “Lenny the Lizard does lunch at the Avenue Shopping Mall, Pattaya.” I assume this means that Lenny is an official ambassador for the mall.

And a bonus video (guurst). See this story for background.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. jackiebass

    Your comment about a progressive foreign policy is great. Most people only learn the glossed over version of history that they are taught in school. The real history gives a completely different picture of our country. It isn’t a pretty picture.

    1. JerryDenim

      Wow. Thanks for the link. I love Matt Stoller and I’ve always disliked Hamilton as a historical figure. His advocacy for a strong central bank and a monarch-like executive were enough for me, but Hamilton was so much more evil than I realized. I knew something was extremely rotten about ‘Hamilton’ the musical; The propaganda blitz, the bizarre mainstream popularity, but Stoller’s piece was an eye opener, even for a hard bitten, conspiracy-minded cynic like myself. Can’t believe this almost two-year old Baffler article slipped by me. Thanks again. The history surrounding Hamilton’s role in the Newburgh Conspiracy was especially enlightening.

  2. vlade

    Re keeping sanity in the face of Brexit – most people just ignore it. Few people can watch it as it’s similar to total incompetence of some large institutions they may work for, although it’s still hard to do so w/o thinking of the impact on all the bystanders.

    1. icancho

      Few people can watch it as it’s similar to total incompetence of some large institutions they may work for …
      Kinda like W1A, without the laughs.

    2. Redlife2017

      It’s depressing. People are engaging with it, though (finally). Just that it feeds into their natural cynicism. We’ll talk about it in meetings at work and pretty much people face the fact that we are [family blog]ed. Unless you have an Irish passport. Everyone is jealous of them.

      We are getting into no-win territory for any political party. What pieces will be available to even pick-up?

      1. Clive

        Stay tuned for the coming feature of HMRC rigorously and systematically going after bet-hedgers who think they’re going to be able to keep and exercise a non-U.K. residency and avoid U.K. tax. There’s serious moves afoot for the banks to send data to the HMRC for non-doms who have patently failed to sever all ties.

        Schemes are in place to avoid double taxation of course. But you have to fill in the paperwork up front and submit the necessary documentation contemporaneously. You can’t do it retrospectively. Any non-U.K. income earned while living as a non dom will be up for grabs alongside any U.K. income. Regardless of whether you’ve paid tax due in the ordinarily resident country. Good luck arguing it out with HMRC you didn’t know the rules, weren’t aware of the prior notification etc.

        It is, I fear, going to be the source of many sob stories from people who complicated their tax arrangements and didn’t know how to then manage that complexity. I must confess to having not a great deal of sympathy. While it’s nice to keep your options seemingly open at little or no marginal or cash-out costs in terms of geographical relocations, carpetbagging and freeloading on a sovereign state and just expecting it to pick up your pieces if it doesn’t work out as you’d hoped in your dream alternate jurisdiction isn’t on, in my book. I’m quite happy for HMRC to make the lives of people who try it on utterly miserable.

  3. vlade

    Re siberian tigers. Beautiful animals, but they are losing the game against illegal Chinese logging supported by corrupt Russian local officials. People know a bit about the illegal logging of Brazilian Amazon rainforest, but few know that Siberia has even more logging, and with worse results (partially due to releasing some carbon from permafrost too).

  4. Quentin

    About the long lines of women waiting to use the lavatory: women, just pop into the men’s room and use one of the available toilets. I’ve seen that happen here in a theatre in Amsterdam, NL, and found it quite sensible.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Most women do not like walking past urinals with men standing there with their dicks out to pee.

      A few times when super tried wandered into men’s rooms by mistake in airports. The wave of hostility (I swear I felt it rather than saw it) was so strong I did s prompt turnaround.

      1. David Carl Grimes

        I once wandered into a women’s restroom in Narita, Japan after a very long transpacific flight. I was severely jetlagged and was oblivious to my surroundings. I actually used the toilet and did not notice that I was in the wrong restroom until this woman I saw at the entrance gave me a strange look as I was leaving the restroom. I sat down at the lounge area right next to the restroom. After 5 minutes, security showed up and stood guard at the entrance to the women’s restroom entrance. I’m glad he didn’t question me.

      2. a different chris

        >The wave of hostility (I swear I felt it rather than saw it) was so strong I did s prompt turnaround.

        I don’t know if it was hostility as much as uncomfortableness, probably depends on the country (or in the US, the area of the country). We men can be hard to read as we lack much facial expression range.

        However, it can be done on a “grand scale”. By that here is my story – I, along with what seemed like 7 other guys, got dragged to see Alanis Morrisette just after she went ginourmous. And since the concert was long booked, it was at a smaller venue (the Star Lake Amphitheater for any Western Pennsylvanians). At a break we, all 7 of us or whatever, were placidly using the urinals when suddenly an surge of women rolled in like a tidal wave. They came and came and came….they had apparently realized that they didn’t have to stand in what was a very long line, that there were plenty of toilets *if* you punted on the whole his/hers sh*t.

        We surrendered, zipped up and left.

        1. barefoot charley

          Decades ago at some huge thing in Chicago’s Grant Park, a drunk young woman charged past our line of urinals into a stall. A good number of us cheered her on, and I’ve a vague notion we flagged the line of women outside in after her. Guys get when you gotta go. (And I’ve had recourse to the ladies room a time or two myself.)

      1. Wukchumni

        My sister spent around $35k on a bathroom remodel, and I was a bit incredulous how she could spend so much, and her reply was, “shit happens”.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          I was reminded of that when the overnight low of -26° took out the water on my end of town.

          Should manage to recycle lots of plastic bags before they get it fixed.

    2. CanCyn

      Women need to band together. I have avoided lines for the women’s room and used the completely empty men’s room at many events, many times. Just use the men’s room one or a few at a time and have the next woman in line ‘guard’ the door. I’ve even seen men get it right away and patiently wait in the line that we’ve created.

      1. MK

        Men are also able to piss in the urinal or the sink, which I’ve seen enough times over the years when women take over the men’s room and the men don’t need to poo. Many older sports venues have troughs in the men’s room to avoid the sink situation all together when the women start taking over the stalls.

        1. Wukchumni

          Anybody ever utilize a ‘stand-up-shitter’ overseas?

          It’s awkward, and didn’t catch on, thankfully.

        2. Cal2

          Old tyme bars used to have a backsplash and trough where men stood at the bar itself.
          Think of the efficiency!

    3. Cal2

      How about just eliminating all sexual segregation in restrooms?

      Have watched the hilarious panderings to the identity crisis outside restroom doors in San Francisco.
      The Female symbol; skirt, the male symbol; pants, plus a half and half version for transgender confusionists; plus symbols for diaper tables.

      How about one sign for smaller location restrooms?
      “Restroom” First come, first serve. Fully integrated with a urinal for men, and women, who can with practice, use them?

      Mass event restrooms? Integrate them with privacy stalls. What message about gender equality is sent by women clamoring for at least 1/3 more in public accommodations?

      Plenty of men need to take their time as they get older. Older women do not menstruate.

      Think of the water/energy/time savings of urinals?
      A simple search online for “elimination of urinals gender equality” will point to where urinals are foolishly being eliminated for “Gender equality.” IMHO every bathroom in every home in parts of America where water is scarce, ought to have a urinal.

      Not mentioned in the Atlantic article is the massive cost increases in building new or additional restrooms thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        That would mean getting rid of urinals, which reduces the real estate needed for bathrooms (but to your point, gender-neutral bathrooms allow for more efficient use, so it could wind up being net a plus).

        And if you have toilets only, men pee on seats and on the floor. I’d rather be in a line than have to use a toilet and step in pee on the floor to do so.

        I also personally know women who don’t like transgendered people in their bathrooms, they think this increases the odds of rape (man cross dressing to get access). I think those concerns are silly but this particular buddy is adamant, this is a real issue for her.

        This is economically rational. Women’s time is less valuable then men’s. US pay rates say so, women on average make 21% less than men for comparable work, even MDs.

        1. Cal2

          Yup, add a trough along one wall with a privacy barrier paralleling it behind which people stand in a unisex bathroom. The best of all worlds.

          Why not have spring loaded toilet seats that stay up, and have to be pulled down and sat on, to avoid the pee on seat situation? New style flooring, a kind of fine grillwork around the toilet, eliminates floor puddles.

          On road trips we carry a little bottle of spray disinfectant. Every surface in contact with flesh gets sprayed. Women are lucky, they don’t have to worry about things dangling into the front of the bowl.

        2. Cat Afficionado

          I always assumed that women’s toilet seats in public restrooms were far cleaner than those in the men’s rooms. Female coworkers have indicated to me that this is not the case much of the time. They describe a cascade effect where some female users won’t sit on a public toilet seat under any circumstances, so they try to squat and pee, which leads to some splashing and spraying onto the seat, thereby guaranteeing that all subsequent users will squat and exacerbate this. A “piss-cade” is what I heard it called once, although I have no idea if there is any merit to this outside of sounding plausible.

          I have never tried to use a women’s restroom, no matter how desperate I was, because I feel like the probability of getting the police called, or my ass kicked, is non-zero-enough to not be worth it.

        3. Plenue

          “I also personally know women who don’t like transgendered people in their bathrooms, they think this increases the odds of rape (man cross dressing to get access). I think those concerns are silly but this particular buddy is adamant, this is a real issue for her.”

          I suspect it isn’t silly, at all, and if it hasn’t happened already it’s only a matter of time before a trans ‘woman’ gets caught setting up a camera or otherwise being a creeper in a women’s bathroom.

          And whether it’s in reality a nonissue or not, the way it seems to have been just completely steamrolled over as a possible objection says nothing good about trans rights activists. I’m increasingly understanding the rationale of those who are smeared as TERFs, especially those who say men are effectively colonizing femininity. Spend any amount of time around ‘progressive’ social media and the sheer amount of ‘death to TERFs’ type rhetoric is impossible to miss. I think I’ve seen far more explicitly gendered insults and threats from transwomen than from any other group, including MRA, ‘alt-right’ types.

          By all means, have more unisex bathrooms. But not as a replacement for the sex restricted ones already in place. There seems to be something inherently incoherent about demands that we have safe spaces on university campuses where no one has to worry about their feelings being hurt or worldview being challenged, but safe spaces where girls and women can have a reasonable expectation of privacy are to be eradicated.

      2. Oregoncharles

        “a urinal for men, and women, who can with practice, use them? ”

        If they project enough – I’ve seen urinals designed to be straddled. Helps reduce spray on the floor, too.

        The asian style toilets, a hole in the floor with places for your feet, are also unisex; but I imagine the tracking problem is even worse. (My parents weren’t a bit thrilled when they encountered those as tourists; you have to be able to squat.)

    4. neo-realist

      At Women’s Roller Derby Tournaments, I’ve seen women use the mens room when the lines have gotten too long, without disapproval/nasty stares from men. At recent tournaments, I’ve seen the provision of non-gender identified bathrooms which has appeared to have minimized to problem of long lines at the women’s room

    5. bstamerjon

      Neither the room nor the porcelain appurtenances care about gender. It is the minds of the users that need changing.

  5. Wukchumni

    The Long Lines for Women’s Bathrooms Could Be Eliminated. Why Haven’t They Been? Atlantic
    Was skiing @ Mammoth earlier in the month and had to drop the kids off in the pool, and for the first time in my life, there was a line of 10 waiting for the mens’ facilities, while the womens’ had none.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not so simple. In normal places that have toilets like libraries, having unisex bathrooms may be the way to go though I do not think that a lot of women would be comfortable about the whole idea due to safety reasons. However, when you think of a place that has a high traffic flow-through such as a football stadium, the problems start to stack up. It is here that male urinals come into their own as a male can front up to a urinal, point percy at the porcelain, and be out of there in seconds. The same cannot be said of a booth as you are talking a longer time. Even if only but a few seconds longer, with a large crowd the line starts to build up. Kinda like how a car braking on a highway can set off a general slowdown of traffic along the highway. No easy answers here.

        1. Wukchumni

          A lot of public restrooms in California of the single toilet variety have been sexually reassigned to either and/or, but it’d be harder to pass off, if there was multi-toilet-tasking taking toil.

          The newly liberated heretofore off limits womens’ facilities are a lot cleaner looking, for those of you scoring @ home.

          1. Kevin C. Smith

            The Niagara Park’s Commission has sets of 3 bathrooms labelled:
            All Genders
            [I think the All Genders ones are set up for differently abled people also.]

          2. ambrit

            Having done ‘service’ work in many public bathrooms over the years, I do attest to the generally neater and cleaner condition of the women’s bathrooms.
            That said, as for the urinals in men’s public bathrooms, (though I have installed one or two urinals in private bathrooms,) they, or more properly the area around them, generally suffer from “overage” from said urinals, decorating the adjacent floor. So, the floor ‘deposits’ then get tracked around the room on the soles of the utilizer’s shoes.
            The main discommodious effect that I’ve seen in women’s restrooms are micturational deposits on the undersides of the toilet seats.
            And some confusion attends one of your usages. Shouldn’t “…harder to pass off…” rather be “…harder to piss off…?”

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Yves and Kev.

      If one listens to the BBC World Service this week, one would get the impression that Harris should be anointed Democrat nominee now and a shoo in against Trump. The coverage feels the same as its 2016 coverage. One commentator said that Harris is a “diversity Hillary Clinton” and implied that this would be enough to win next November. The UK MSM has been diabolical this week, even by its usual standards.

    2. Summer

      Yeah, you get the longer version of Obama’s sick performance in Micheal Moore’s “11/9”.

      He does that “joke” twice.

      Then you get the bombing of Flint during a military training that followed. Yes, after the crisis Flint was used for target practice during the Obama admin.

      1. neo-realist

        “Because that’s Hope and Carnage that we can believe in.” Whether by free fire or fluids.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Just before I commented, they just had Michael Moore’s 9/11 on the telly which made me connect the sort of person Obama is with Kamala.

  6. Wukchumni

    A O-C & Schultz are despised as rank political outsiders, although it seems only the latter knows nothing, nothing.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      AOC is a reminder of what the Democrats are NOt, and she stands in contrast to the Bernie Bro narrative. With the shift to identity politics and the losses of Conservative Democrats such as McCaskill and Donnelly, the Democrats don’t have much to counter AOC, and conservatives aren’t a creative lot by nature so we can’t expect them to get out of their wheel house.

      They hate Schultz for a different reason. Harris won’t be the beneficiary of nostalgia or HRC’s celebrity, and she will have to actually campaign where she will be open to more criticism than she can handle based on recent events. Sanders is older and that might hurt him, but at the same time, he isn’t a random person in so many early states. Iowa and New Hampshire are already in the win column, and quite simply, he won’t underperform in South Carolina. Nevada is probably in the win column too. Its probably over. Sanders is too close to a “generic Democrat” (the scary kind of FoxNews graphic) to be revealed as a Clintonesque monster. The child like belief in a secret liberal Hillary was very important to her support. (“She can’t criticize her husband in public” which wasn’t a problem a for Eleanor) General election polling has him clearly defeating Trump.

      The problem with Schultz for Team Blue isn’t the general election. The man is thoroughly unappealing. Self proclaimed “pragmatists” who search for answers that offer in the short term the least resistance and offers the path of least conflict with the wealthy which they call “pragmatism” because they don’t have dictionaries might sit out the Democratic primary in favor of seeing how Schultz does. This especially applies to Snow Birds in New Hampshire who may not rush back for the primary or bother to fill out an absentee ballot. Schultz isn’t in danger of winning, but if Sanders gets 40% of NH and Harris gets 30%, it looks better than say 45% and 25% which could be the result of Schultz giving people an excuse to not participate. With a win in Cali, it could make Sanders look weak and see his support in other states fall. This is the only way I see him losing. I could see the Beta Bros and the Harris fans tearing into each other as they know they’ll need to clear the deck to beat Sanders.

      1. voteforno6

        I don’t know if that’s quite the case. I think they are concerned that he could draw support away from the Democrat, as long as that Democrat is someone not named, say, Sanders. Warren, or maybe Brown. I think Bernie in particular would relish the chance to run against two billionaires (or maybe one, plus a pretend billionaire). The Democratic establishment, I think, is scared of Bernie. They would rather lose to Trump, again, then have Bernie win. They already got a taste of in 2018. I think that we would be likely to see a lot more AOCs if Bernie was President, and the establishment has to understand that.

        All of that is why, if it looks like Bernie is getting real traction, they might settle for Warren or Sherrod Brown (if he runs), as the lesser of two evils, if you will (and wouldn’t that be delicious).

        The ideal (to the establishment) candidate is closer ideologically to Schultz than to Bernie. So, yes, I do think this is about the general election, assuming that Bernie isn’t the nominee. I think some of them have also been conditioned to assume that anyone outside the two parties would necessarily draw support away from their preferred candidate. Never mind that far more people don’t vote at all, than vote for third parties, but apparently math isn’t their strong suit.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Schultz won’t do anything besides get some votes from Utah residents who like Trump’s policies but wish he was more polite and know their vote is meaningless, similar to Gary Johnson.

          This uproar is about margins and the snowbirds in New Hampshire. At least in my experience, the snowbirds in both 2007 (the primary was the 8th of January and 2016) had voted absentee for Hillary early in the process. The primary is February 11th. Its unlikely the snow birds will not have filled out absentee ballots prior to leaving. Yes, its easier to vote, but they still have to do it. The SS Hillary won’t be the inevitable candidate this time.

          The difference between a 45% and a 25% result and a 40% and a 30% result is the difference between “Sanders as inevitable prepare for the general” and “the comeback kid” narratives.

          1. Morgan Everett

            Yeah, don’t quite get the sturm and drang about Schultz (besides him being obviously unappealing, and so a clear example of billionaires being delusional). He actually seems like his base is Never Trump pundits. I don’t know which potential Democratic voters he’s supposed to be stealing.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Retired professional types with a place in Florida. New Hampshire is a destination for Massachusetts retirees. Its not necessarily a huge deal, but its a case of a “path to victory.”

              Obama had a path to victory in 2008. They put organizers in districts to maximize their delegate return. HRC took care of business in 2016 by making sure everyone in the nursing home voted for her and paid more attention to delegate allocation. HRC’s coronation process wasn’t a path to victory.

              How does a freshman Senator (or in the case of Beta a person who hasn’t won state wide) win? They know HRC’s numbers among the 38 and under crowd in 2016 were disastrous. If an 18 year old didn’t love HRC, its like the 14, 15, 16, 17 year olds who will now be 18 would not have been HRC voters. HRC had four years of deaths. Harris isn’t a rabble rouser, and in light of AOC (who has become AOC without primary call sheets, so its FDR, JFK, LBJ, and AOC organically), becoming a rabble rouser isn’t as easy turning on a switch because future rabble rousers will always be copies.

              I’m not a centrist, and I don’t think Obama would be President if it was known he would have Rahm Emmanuel as his CoS. Hillary would have won. Obama would have lost so many volunteer hours over this he wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what he did.

              The path to victory for one of the others is Warren gets about 10%, enough to hold together and prevent defection against Sanders but not enough to be a second place candidate, Sanders might even bow out for. Sanders can’t win decisively. He’s going to do better in the South by default. If he wins decisively over 50% in Iowa or New Hampshire, its just over.

              Was Sanders support more pro-Sanders or anti-Clinton? I voted for Obama in 2008 among other activities, but I would not have voted for him if (Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama gave great speeches on the eve of the Virginia primary; I liked them almost as much as HRC’s last stump speech from the season which would have made her President) it wasn’t for Hillary (Bill and his cronies really). If Sanders support is solidly Sanders, the game is up. The only way forward is keep it tight and hope the anti-Clinton sentiment doesn’t show up. No one is winning Iowa and New Hampshire. The reason Obama, Edwards, and Sanders had room was HRC isn’t the liberal she appears to be and she was unrepentant about the Iraq War.

              I can’t see a way forward outside of a low turnout election where HRC voters remain strong but still a shadow of Hillary. They aren’t “Her” and can’t be “Her.” They could wear her pantsuits, hire her people, and talk to her donors, but they aren’t the nostalgia. They aren’t the co-President (which was really cool). Schultz appeals to voters they need in a much smaller environment in a staggered fashion. Again it seems small, but the perception of 45/25 and 40/30 is enough change a dominating Sanders win narrative into a “Can Beta be an Alpha?” narrative. They need every potential vote, and their potential pool is smaller.

            2. Procopius

              OK, most of the commenters here are far more savvy about politics than I am, and I’ve been very interested by the observations and analyses here, but I think Schultz is going to be bored with having to actually talk with people whom he can’t just give orders to and go find something else to do with his copious free time. There’s 21 months until election day. “Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.” We’ll have new troubles tomorrow or the day after.

    2. L

      The key difference that I suspect everyone is missing is also what he is fighting for. AOC has been quite clear about what she believes in. The jury is out, at least in my opinion, on what she will do policywise.

      Schultz on the other hand made his key goal quite plain when he opened by savaging Warren’t tax plans, and by extension those of Sanders, AOC, and most of the American people. For him as for Michal Dell that is the problem that must be stopped. If you look at his comments on everything else they are suitably vague and niceish. His one specific policy critique is the one about him paying more.

      I suspect for him, as for much of the Davos crowd they do hate Trump and do what him gone but at the end of the day he would still win more if he acts as a spoiler and then Trump stays in office than if Warren, Sanders, or indeed anyone outside of the billionare class gets elected. They would demand to, or at least face pressure to, roll back the tax cut (Booker and Harris excepted). As with the candidacy of Steve Forbes it is the taxes that are being fought, and once that is assured, nothing else matters.

      1. Lee

        Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

        Why don’t people ever tell billionaires who want to run for President that they need to “work their way up” or that “maybe they should start with city council first”?

        1. Eclair

          Hey, as a billionaire, you don’t need to knock on doors to beg for votes to get you one seat on the City Council, because you have already bought the whole durned Council Chamber and the people in it. See, Seattle City Council reneging on the head tax. Probably you own at least half of the State Legislature too.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is she hinting at the issue of ‘working her way up the age-ladder?’

        That’s another form of ‘working your way up.’

        The age requirement for president seems a bit outdated.

        1. JBird4049

          The age requirement for president seems a bit outdated.

          I get not wanting having a political class of aged dinosaurs stumbling around, but the age requirement for president is only thirty-five.

        2. Lee

          I think she is referring to the remark made by an unnamed Democrat that there were some 20 people who were in line for her seat before her by having won local elections or in other ways served the Dem establishment for longer periods of time.

          Anonymous Dems Want to Primary Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Out of the House

          Much of the Democratic elite treat the 43% of the party who did not vote for their hand-picked candidate in 2016 like pariahs, and their actions demonstrate a belief that they have a divine right to power, and the grassroots organizing that sent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Congress just has to wait their turn, regardless of how popular they are. This disdain for Democratic grassroots is one of the main reasons why we have a President Trump, as the Democratic elite has demonstrated time and time and time again that it’s their way or the highway, even if their way has very little public support.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Implicitly, it seems to me, reverse-ageism is in there somewhere.

            That is, billionaires, excluding those under 30, say, have ‘required substitute experience’ in getting voted to, say, board of directors.

          2. a different chris

            >I think she is referring to the remark

            Actually, I think she machine-gunned down about 5 different sickening aspects of today’s society in one short tweet. Lemme see:

            1) Shultz’s remark, obviously
            2) The “we’ll primary her” crowd
            3) The whole “buying politicans directly” as per Eclair’s comment
            4) She’s a girl!! They cry when spoken down to!1
            5) Politics are for insiders, not people like her

            Wow. Just wow.

            1. Jeff W

              I’d say she managed to hit five different targets with pinpoint accuracy using a single bullet. No wonder the other Democrats hate her.

              I concur: Wow. Just wow.

  7. JTMcPhee

    A “good news” story, until one looks down past the first few paragraphs:

    The miracle method for sustainable rice that scientists dismissed—
    A technique developed by a Jesuit priest is producing bigger harvests – and reducing emissions of a crop responsible for 1.5% of greenhouse gases

    The project, backed by the German and Thai governments and by some of the world’s largest rice traders and food companies, has seen 3,000 other farmers in this corner of Thailand’s “rice basket” near the Cambodian border trained to grow sustainable rice according to the principles of a revolutionary agronomical system discovered by accident in Madagascar in the 1980s.

    Jesuit priest Henri de Lalanié working in the highlands observed that by planting far fewer seeds than usual, using organic matter as a fertiliser and keeping the rice plants alternately wet and dry rather than flooded, resulted in yields that were increased by between 20 and 200%, while water use was halved. Giving plants more oxygen, minimising the competition between them and strictly controlling the water they receive is thought to make them stronger and more resilient to flood and drought.

    When it was first employed outside Madagascar in 2000, the system of rice intensification (SRI) was dismissed by a handful of scientists who questioned the legitimacy of the reported increased yields. But since then, it has evolved and been developed by peasant farmers working in many different climates around the world.

    Academic criticism has since all but disappeared and the SRI system of farming has been validated in hundreds of scientific papers and adopted by up to 20 million farmers in 61 countries, according to the SRI information centre in Cornell University.

    So planting rice sparsely, and just watering it occasionally and using “natural” fertilizers instead of buying all that chemical-industry nitrogen, can increase yields by 20 to 200%. Good News! To help feed the next 2 billion people that the head of the world’s largest rice conglomerate anticipates, as well as those already on stage.

    And you can hear the monetization/globalization gears meshing in his brain, as he foresees all the ways his “supply chains” can be hung around the necks of all those farmers and consumers… “Win. Win. Win.” As if it’s a competititive game — oh wait, that’s exactly what the whole neo-neo thing is, isn’t it?

    So farmers have to buy their seed rice, can’t just do what farmers used to do, put aside seed for the next year’s planting?

    Looks just wonderful, until one gets to the part about how the world rice cartel and its NGOs and government appendages will be taking control of this “bounty” generated by the labors of thousands of rice farmers.

      1. Cal2

        His technique works best where it rains in the summer and there is no dry season as in California’s rice fields that need to be flooded.
        It summer rains in Thailand, so “watering occasionally” is kind of misleading.

        No till is easy. Doing nothing often produces as much as working your butt off.

    1. Off The Street

      Monsatan needs to grab that next revenue stream to offset lawsuits accruing to its new minders.

    2. ewmayer

      “resulted in yields that were increased by between 20 and 200%”

      20-200% more yield per *plant* or per *hectare*? The distinction is crucial.

  8. John

    If the Republicans and the Democrats no longer represent people like Howard Schultz, why does he not have one of his minions ring up all the billionaires on the planet and propose to them starting their own private political party?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Schultz was asked about the criticisms made about his idea for running and was quoted as saying the following:

      “I now nothing, nothing-g-g!”

  9. zagonostra

    >McConnell to rebut Trump on Syria, Afghanistan drawdown

    We are the leader of the free world, and it’s incumbent upon the United Stares to lead, to maintain a global coalition against terror and to stand with our partners engaged in a daily fight against terrorists,” McConnell continued.

    Above quote above from the Hill article reminds me of a wonderful scene that Isaac Asimov brings alive in one of the Foundation Trilogy books. It’s where some official gives an extensive talk on some issue and when it is carefully analyzed and dissected it turns out it contains absolutely no information, zilch, not one scintilla of anything new. Such a refined skill such that Gorgias would have been awed.

    The Permanent, Deep, bureaucratic, Institutional (chose your own adjective) State, is firmly in control and when anyone, be it the President or other, (Pat Tilman and Paul Wellstone comes to mind for some reason – watch too many YouTube videos last night) steps out of line, watch out…

    1. Chris Cosmos

      I hear you. McConnell speaks the language of our national religion nobody with any intelligence really believes it least of all McConnell. Public officials are not as stupid as they sound. As for the reality of politics which includes dastardly deeds the reason why CT stuff is so demonized by the authorities is that it is heresy and if you start believing the US government is like every other government of a powerful Empire that has ever existed in human history then the whole system has nothing to rest on. The USA is so exceptional that Machiavellian politics simply cannot go on here in the holy city of Washington.

  10. Wukchumni

    Hilarious Duffel Bag doggerel…

    The problem began years back with the generation’s fear of picking up the phone and answering doorbells, but crisis looms as the behavior bleeds over into the professional warfighting environment.

    “That crack of the radio is just so sudden, you know? It’s terrifying,” said Capt. Aiden Mason, who was discovered in his company post huddled beneath his desk in fear, cradling a chai latte and an armful of participation trophies as his Gen-X battalion commander tried to contact him over the airwaves.

    A couple years ago I got clued in by a Millennial friend about cellphones. He told me nobody uses them as a phone anymore, for everybody he knows texts almost exclusively.

    Kinda threw me for a loop, no more voice recognition, one more way we’re letting machines do the heavy lifting of living.

  11. Isotope_C14

    “Scoop w/ @DanielStrauss4. Tulsi’s 2020 campaign manager and consulting firm will leave after this weekend’s formal launch. The rollout has been a mini saga with several false starts and then Gabbard catching her own staff unaware when she announced on cnn. :”

    It’s like they almost hate a WOC, Veteran, and Democrat more than Bernie?

    Guess she didn’t jail enough parents in her life to be considered for the top job in the land…

      1. Isotope_C14

        It makes sense.

        She’s an attractive veteran, minority religion (in the US), and a woman.

        If she’s anti-war, she makes Kamala even MORE un-electable, and then they have absolutely zero gender/race/religion attacks for the “bernie-bro’s”.

        I actually expect the hit-pieces against her to get more and more desperate.

        If I’ve learned anything from the 2016 election, is that if Howard Dean hates a candidate, that is probably the best choice of candidate.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            And buried in that article we see what Joan Walsh will do if Joan Walsh hates a candidate. Here is the offhand quote . . .

            “(So far, criticism of Tulsi Gabbard has stayed political, thankfully, focused on her support for Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad and her history of opposition to LGBT rights.)”

            So now we know that Joan Walsh is a piece of jihadi-supporting scum who wants to turn Syria into an al quaeda terror-state. Someone should confront her in public with that.

    1. Cal2

      How much color is in that woman? I think “Woman of Color” is an over worked and meaningless term.

      The side effect of the use of this term as a positive attribute is that there must be something wrong with someone supposedly so overburdened with attributes that they need to be lumped together.
      Therefore they are defective?

      She gets my vote, in spite of being a “WOC”

    2. ocop

      The knives are out for her for sure, but the (initial) organizational issues ring true to me.

      Anecdotally: I made a donation to the Tulsi campaign and didnt recieve any campaign correspondence for 9 days. Not exactly armageddon, but the radio silence was noticeable for any political campaign, much less a presidential campaign at launch.

      Plenty of time to work the kinks out though.

  12. Dale

    Bathrooms. There are never enough, anywhere public that is. The worst though is the airplane lavatory. Nearly impossible for a man to negotiate; can’t bear to imagine how a woman, unless she weighs under sixty pounds, manages it.
    As a rule I drink nothing six hours before flying. Also, just in case the MEX airport manager is reading, why can’t you get a bathroom installed at the terminal for arriving international passengers? Standing in an hour(s) long migración-aduana line with a demanding bladder is utter torture. Help!

    1. Wukchumni

      How come nobody ever needs to go to the bathroom on tv and in movies, unless it pertains to the plot?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Err…they beam it out on Star Trek which is why there are no bathrooms or the replicated food helps the digestive system be 100 efficient.

      2. Cal2

        Same reason they can always park in front of where they are going.
        Imagine James Bond circling the block for ten minutes looking for a parking place.

      3. newcatty

        Ha…whatever one thinks of the series Shameless, they made the takes on the intro scenes of the family and friend’s bathroom morning scenes a funny ,bitter and perfect metaphor for the characters of the intrepid scalawags, kids, heroes and heroines.

    2. Amfortas the Hippie

      i don’t know about cities in more civilised places, but in Texas, except for gas stations/convenience stores on the highway, you better keep enough change in yer pocket for a cup of coffee if you need to pee while out wandering around. “…for customers only!!!!” is next to just about every doorway I encountered in San Antonio…presumably due to the street people.(can’t let them get comfortable…suffering is good for the soul)
      The other glaring omission from public spaces I noticed…being cripple, and all…is nowhere to sit.
      sure…bus stops generally have a bench…but, like the “designated smoking area” at the hotel,etc, that bench seems purposefully situated in the most uncomfortable place they could find…exposed both to the harshest wind in winter, and the most blazing heat in summer(that’s architectural talent, right there!)

      1. Wukchumni

        The issue i’m seeing in the Big Smokes of California, is open bathrooms attract homeless, and it’s quite a turn-off for a business to have them hanging around, so visa a vis visitation, in a lot of places.

        1. newcatty

          OK, can understand a business not appreciating having the homeless “hanging around”. Not attractive look. With no place to do the elementary business, that AFAIK, that all breathing humans do, guess it will be more like what I read about the streets of San Francisco, where human feces and urine grace the streets and business front entrances.

      2. Joey

        US If you must list…
        1. Hotel- the more conference center the better. Have own housekeeping..
        2. Nicer chain restaurants. They keep tabs on facilities more than front doors.
        3. Odd hallway in hospitals. Not main restrooms, but something by MRI perhaps.
        4. Classy bars
        5. Nice looking local sit down restaurants.
        6. Grocery and big box chain stores. They have minimal standards.

        Maybe museums or library, but no other government buildings!

        Most importantly avoid gas stations and fast food joints where demand outweighs willingness of supplies..

  13. The Rev Kev

    “As The Arctic Warms, US Navy Considering Summer Transit, Bering Sea Port”

    The bad news is that Russia has about 40 icebreakers while the US only really has one which it is lurky about sending too far north as it might break down and need the services of a Russian icebreaker to be towed away. The good news is that the recent freezing temperatures in the northern States like in Minnesota shows that there are still plenty of Americans who could quickly acclimatize themselves to living in the sub-zero temperatures of the Arctic.

    1. georgieboy

      Resilc: “Can’t wait to see the year-round heated golf course at the base. Nothing but the best for our heros of endless war.”

      Huh? More effective and constructive might be making an effort to distinguish between the deplorables who serve and the politicos who help others profit from their service.

    1. integer

      Fourth time’s the charm:

      Measure Title: A bill to make improvements to certain defense and security assistance provisions and to authorize the appropriation of funds to Israel, to reauthorize the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act of 2015, and to halt the wholesale slaughter of the Syrian people, and for other purposes.

      Even without the “other purposes” it looks bad. I note that Harris didn’t vote, probably because she knew supporting it would alienate a subset of her potential 2020 voters. In any case, she’s all in for the people AIPAC and Israel:

      As Democrats Shift Left on Palestine, 2020 Contender Kamala Harris Gives Off-the-Record Address to AIPAC The Intercept

      1. Cal2

        More surprisingly, Feinstein voted “Nay.”
        She must have gotten the word from on high in the Party to cool her ardor temporarily in order to promote the Kamala Toadstool erupting from San Francisco.

      2. integer

        Does anyone happen to know which bills the three failed attempts at passing this anti-BDS bs involved?

    2. polecat

      Well, I see that both my Wa. Senators ‘Cant(Do)well(Enough)’…. and ‘We’regonnaneedsomeevenbiggerairsJordans’ Murray (both D-BigBaddaBoom!) are living down to my expectations in reaching hands across that aisle !

      So Both sides of the PurpleBruise Party strikes again …

    3. Oregoncharles

      F’ing slimeball Wyden. I need to write another letter to the editor about his disloyalty to the US, sacrificing American rights for a foreign (?) country. At least TRY to hold him accountable.

  14. lyman alpha blob

    More on Venezuela from the deliberately obtuse MSNBC –

    The insinuation is that Maduro may be trying to make off with the booty. However it seems obvious that the reason for removing the gold is so Uncle Sugar won’t take a 5 finger discount, as has been done recently in other countries subject to regime change, which I’m sure the Venezuela government is aware of although probably not the American populace. Can’t remember exactly off the top of my head, but I think it was Libya where the gold was removed by the US for ‘safe keeping’ or some such?

    1. Wukchumni

      but I think it was Libya where the gold was removed by the US for ‘safe keeping’ or some such?

      Not sure who ended up with the booty…

      It was the French who were concerned about the fiat accompli of their pan-African currency, if a Libyan gold-backed one were to be a competitor, and it just happens to be documented, as it was in HRC’s released e-mails.

      The most recent batch of Clinton emails reveals perhaps the most bizarre morsel of Blumenthal-baked intelligence to date. An April 2, 2011 memo titled “France’s client/Q’s gold” quotes “knowledgeable individuals” with insider information about French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s motivation for bombing Libya. The military campaign, the anonymous sources say, was designed to quash plans by Gaddafi to use $7 billion in secret gold and silver to prop up a new African currency. The French worried the move would undercut the currency guaranteed by the French treasury, known as CFA franc, that’s widely used in West Africa and acts as a strong link between France and many of its former African colonies. After French intelligence officials got wind of this secret plan, the Blumenthal memo reports, Sarkozy freaked out: “This was one of the factors that influenced [his] decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.”

    2. tegnost

      20 tons of gold vs all the oil under venezuela…
      looks like that shiny trinket is doing it’s deceptive best once again.

      1. Eureka Springs

        I’m betting the top reason the U.S. wants control is to make sure V’s oil is sold in dollars only. The rest (killing off any leftest notion, profiting off gold, oil, contracts, etc.) is icing on the dollar denominated cake.

        Saddam, Gaddafi, now Russia and Iran all threatened to get away from the dollar. I wonder if V has threatened to do the same?

        1. tegnost

          I think what triggered me on that was venezuela might “steal” (hide, spirit away, put it on a ship, a perpetually airborne plane …reports from reliable sources claim we need Venezuela’s oil so they can’t keep the gold plane up in the air) it’s own gold. If you want to get people to look somewhere, anywhere else, say GOLD! But you’d best not put your own eggs in that basket…

            1. tegnost

              maff not my strong point but 20 tons is 40,000 lbs x 16 oz = 640,000 oz’s @ +/- $1,000 = 640 million?
              2010 single year oil revenue 61 billion
              In the basket of commodities, one of those is a rounding error

              1. ambrit

                I had to learn the hard way myself once that precious metals are weighed using Troy weight. One standard pound has 14.5833 Troy ounces in it. There are also Troy pounds, etc.
                Weights and measures is a seriously psychedelic experience. Just ask any Pyramidologist.
                As for the “missing” Gold connection; just where is the Spanish Republican gold sent to the Soviet Union during the Spanish Civil War?

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          I think the U.S. is more thuggish than is realized. “Because we can” is sufficient. Iran has gone down the memory hole because its clear it would be a disaster, so they are looking for another country of brown people to blow up. Expectations of an easy victory are the driving force.

          Trump tried North Korea except the South Koreans had no interest. He tried Iran, but AIPAC’s control over popular opinion is limited and the Pentagon knows Iran would be a disaster even without help from Moscow or Beijing. The Kiev super state is run by the grandchildren of Nazis and NATO weapons and “training” were butchered by local militias. Russia and China have increased ties in the mean time.

          The Russians and Iranians dealt with ISIS or helped the Iraqis after the U.S. bumbled around for a bit. Afghanistan is a political loser. The recent Kissinger plan to turn Russia against China isn’t working because the U.S. was so overtly deranged since 9/11 no one will buy it. Where are our enemies who can be beaten up without raising taxes on the oligarchs? Cuba? No one is buying this.

          1. Cal2

            The goal is not the destination, it’s the journey to the land of incredible profits and contracts along the way. So glad I bought Raytheon before 9/11. Life is good.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Thank you – that’s one of the ones I was thinking of.

        Maduro may be a lot of things but he’s not a complete fool.

  15. pretzelattack

    as far as i can tell, the worthless democrats are lining up behind trump on this venezuelan invasion idiocy.

    1. GF

      This from Reuters a short while ago:

      Some quotes: “U.S. refiners last week asked the administration not to issue sanctions, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Tuesday. “Such a ban would further tighten the heavy sour crude market in the United States, resulting in higher crude prices for U.S. refineries and higher fuel costs for U.S. consumers,” the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, a trade association, said in a Jan. 23 letter to President Donald Trump.”

      The whole debacle is a bold-face attempt to disrupt the oil industry and let oil prices rise to the desired $100 per barrel. Trump’s payback to his oil investors/contributors.

  16. a different chris

    So – to be clear, I don’t think Tulsi has much of a chance. The major differences between her and Trump is the lifetime exposure he got in the NY media, plus that he was an older male and she is a relatively young women.

    But do you see the virtual reprint of the early Jeb/Trump story lines here with Harris/Gabbard? Just change the names and locations, guys! It’s pretty funny. They don’t know nuthin’, do they? Now that includes me and what I wrote above, but at least I admit it.

    Harris is definitely Jeb and will be dispatched at about the same time in the process. If Bernie doesn’t run I don’t know who will actually play the Democratic Trump, like I said I doubt it will be Gabbard. What will be interesting is that if unlike the Rethugs the D party can stop him/her (and thus lose the election, of couse).

      1. a different chris

        Haha thanks that was actually what I was trying to say. Remember I’m from Pittsburgh, to me “the NY media” actually is what the rest of us in the middle of the US get to gape at, along with the bimboism of LA on the 99 other channels. Since you are more worldly you see the distinction but it’s lost on us in the boonies and thus my unfortunate phrasing.

    1. nippersdad

      I saw the video yesterday and was really impressed with him. He didn’t mince his words at all. As you say, I doubt he will be invited back.

  17. allan

    Major story by Reuters on former NSA hackers working for the UAE and helping the UAE build up
    its own version of the NSA. Up to and including spying on American journalists.
    Sadly, Reuters neglected to ask Brookings or the Center for American Progress for comment.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “Look, I don’t think we’re going to listen to her [AOC] on much of anything, particularly not on matters we’re gonna leave in the hands of a much, much higher authority, and certainly not listen to the freshman congresswoman on when the world may end.”

      I think this Huckabee god is great. We make the mess, and the Huckabee god cleans up. My question is does the Huckabee god also scoop driveways?

      1. Wukchumni

        I try and avoid her, but over time she seems to be morphing into Jabba the Hutt no matter how much Max Factor you slather on her.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I have seen pictures of AOC with lipstick on.

          My question is, is it petrolatum (or petroleum jelly) free, which, apparently is a fossil fule by-product, and not aways safe (see Wikiepdia).

        2. integer

          She looks exactly the same as she did when she became Press Secretary. Liberals suffering from TDS dehumanize her – because that is what one must do to reconcile a visceral hatred of a woman with the view that women should be protected by the shield of identity/gender politics – but imo she is much smarter than people give her credit for. Here’s the most recent clip of her I’ve seen, regarding Roger Stone and Wikileaks:

  18. cripes

    “The unusually frigid weather is attributed to a sudden warming far above the North Pole. A blast of warm air from misplaced Moroccan heat last month made the normally super chilly air temperatures above the North Pole rapidly increase. That split the polar vortex into pieces, which then started to wander, said Judah Cohen, a winter storm expert for Atmospheric Environmental Research. ”



    1. Chris Cosmos

      It seems like people are more interested in women’s restrooms. Our collective environment, the future of the world are just not considered very important as opinion polls indicate. I suppose that is because the minority of us who care about the issue just don’t see any chance of it being remedied it. We have to wait for the authorities to decide it’s important I guess.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Not only is it interesting that the obvious shortage of women’s restrooms received far more comments than recent events in Climate Chaos but consider the extent that the comments focused on the relative shortage of women’s facilities to men’s facilities. Is it impolitic to suggest there’s a general shortage and poverty of all facilities provided for all those who must rely on on public facilities? I suppose it might indeed be impolitic to suggest that at least some of the facilities may have been considered more than adequate at the times they were designed and built but our populations have grown, customs and expectations have changed, and public funds for public facilities have greatly diminished. And try to find a place to sit, especially one with a back, anywhere around the NJT trains in Penn Station NYC. Notice how many waist high walls are topped with spikes or steeply slanted top pieces. How many bus stops have wind breaks or coverings?

        1. Chris Cosmos

          I think the authorities don’t like the concept of a public. As Maggie Thatcher used to say–there is no such thing as society etc., etc.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            True that … so much for expenditures to support women’s restrooms, and men’s, airports, train stations, the highway system, bridges, museums, parks, colleges, hospitals, teachers, firemen, trash collectors, the radio airwaves, — I must of forgotten something — but we still have national defense, homeland security, and espionage to serve the public.

        2. human

          I still get sentimental when I walk through the now leased retail space of the Grand Central waiting room in NYC. I spent many a night sleeping on those long gone great oak seats after a late night event waiting for the morning commuter trains to begin their northward trek.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            If you visit the Grand Central Waiting Room area in Pennsylvania Station in Newark NJ you can sit on and see great oak benchs, probably similar to those you recall in Penn Station NYC, in the waiting area. I wouldn’t try sleeping there though. The designs in the terrazzo floor in the main waiting area are fabulous. The overall architecture is similar to the architecture I recall seeing at the Los Angeles Grand Central Station. It’s amazing what beautiful and functional public buildings the WPA programs built, but today we’re so much more efficient, cost-effective, cost-conscious and ….

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      [Cockpit error while editing — ugh!]
      The wandering polar vortex and with it the wandering weather are not news, but they are interesting. Just out of curiosity — one of today’s links pointed to a PhysOrg discussion of the polar vortex. Why are you citing from the BusinessInsider? I didn’t hunt down your link but I’ll hazard a guess its read is no where near as exciting and interesting as that of the PhysOrg link: It’s difficult not to notice the effort to establish global warming as cause for the interesting weather behaviors — particularly since that tie should be very well established by now in the minds of all but the willful deniers. The diagrams in the PhysOrg link offer an immediate visual means to grasp the enormity of shifts in weather. The close of the link further disturbs me: “Undoubtedly this new polar vortex attack will unleash fresh claims that global warming is a hoax.” Why is PhysOrg still engaged in battling deniers at this late date, and if it is going to engage then what kind of counter is: “But this ridiculous notion can be quickly dispelled with a look at predicted temperature departures around the globe for early this week.” Those who use events like the weather shifts to deny global warming will hardly regard “a look at predicted temperature departures” as compelling evidence.

      What is most interesting about the PhysOrg link is what it doesn’t say. A moment should suffice to draw some of the dire implications of the link’s information and their reasonable extrapolations. Interesting that this PhysOrg link didn’t go there — although the many articles in “More news stories” touch upon some of the interesting future we might visit.

  19. nippersmom

    The reason there are not more/larger women’s restrooms is covered in the comment attached to the link: bathrooms don’t generate revenue. Clients want leasable space. It is all architects can do to carve out the restrooms required by code, along with the mechanical, electrical, data, and janitorial closets required to allow the building to function. Something that is merely a “convenience” to the end user will not be accepted, especially since the end user is frequently not the client. My male colleagues do not, in general, have a cavalier attitude towards providing adequate facilities for women, but they are fighting the same uphill battle female architects are when it comes to space allocation.

  20. Wukchumni

    Ran into some neon-Nazis @ night in Vegas, they had suggestive symbols draped in el-wire on their person as they were goose-stepping down the strip towards the 99 cent shrimp cocktail special @ one of the casinos.

  21. Wukchumni

    Will the absolute detesting of anything Nazi ever soften in say a century or 2?

    How many generations must pass before swastikas can become lucky again?

    A small, left-facing Indian-style swastika was painted on the inside of the original propeller spinner of the Spirit of St. Louis along with the names of all the Ryan Aircraft employees who designed and built it. It was meant as a message of good luck prior to Lindbergh’s solo Atlantic crossing as the symbol was often used as a popular good luck charm with early aviators and others.[Note 2] The inside of the original propeller spinner can be viewed at the National Air and Space Museum.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have to look again, but I think I have come across both left and right facing ones in Buddhist images.

      If that is the case, it’d not be surprising, as symmetry has always been important for the Chinese, Buddhists or otherwise.

      The other symbol that is of interest is the Taiji symbol, the interwining ‘comma signs’ – one dark and one light – suggesting circular motion, as well as the idea that the dark emerges from the light, and the light also emerges from the dark.

      That is, you can get to the right side by heading left, and evetuanlly you are at the right side (or liberals becoming conservatives).

      Moreover, within the dark side, there is a light dot, a seed, and within the light side, there is a dark dot, or dark seed.

      And that reminds us of Anakin who developed into Darth Vader.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      In light of his views on eugenics and his colorful history shortly before and during World War II, I’m not sure Lindbergh makes a good poster boy for bringing back the swastika regardless of the way it’s oriented.

  22. ChristopherJ

    thank you, Yves. Getting round paywalls is now easy.

    Go to and just enter in the article’s url.

    So, all the FT and NYT links that I avoided… bring em on

  23. ewmayer

    Re. l’affaire Howard “I know nussink!” Schultz — If I didn’t know better I might almost believe that the loud noising and virtue-signaling about this fellow is intended to distract us from the egotistical neoliberal assholes we *should* be worried about. Namely the one’s in MSM-beloved sheep’s clothing, the “uncle” Joe Bidens, the Kamala “proud African Warrior queen for justice and kids who can’t read good” Harrises, and the Beto “yo soy el Guapo, amigos” O’Rourkes. Thankfully, I know better. :)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Shhh…Schultz is engaged in real trickle down economics. Jeb! Bush didn’t light $250 million on fire. It was a redistribution scheme. Lets all pretend Schultz is viable and just needs to spend a few more dollars on local newspapers.

      C’mon Howard, don’t be a Jeb!. Spend, spend, spend!

  24. How is it legal

    Re: Bill Gates says poverty is decreasing. He couldn’t be more wrong [- An infographic endorsed by the Davos set presents the story of coerced global proletarianisation as a neoliberal triumph] Guardian

    I don’t suppose Bill posted any infographics on the shameful amount of US unsheltered homeless citizens who once worked livable wage jobs – ‘courtesy’ of the likes of Billionaires Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Howard Schultz – on the streets of the Seattle Metro Area – not that far a drive from their Seattle area estates. Ditto, a similar infographic regarding the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley, along with the Los Angeles and San Diego Metro Areas; none of which ever had as many homeless encampments as they do now.

    And why should anyone give Bill any credence at 63 years old, when others – his age and far younger – have been implicitly and increasingly treated as too old to be employed in a livable wage job since the early 2000’s (at least), despite having proved they were capable. I believe Bill was one of the first technocrats with a horrid record of Age Discrimination (and certainly Race, Gender (particularly Females), and Class discrimination).

    Bill is a horrid excuse for a human, humane being – along with his younger, fellow white male, Ivy League admitted, billionaire Technocrats, such a Diverse™ group! – which was very obvious from so many early write ups about him (unfortunately some are not now accessible) over two decades ago, such as this lengthy, January 1997 Time Magazine piece (which I believe borrowed, and then tamed, from an early 90’s Time Interview which noted, among other things, that he had been a Congressional Page, and was more damning even, than this piece is), In Search of the Real Bill Gates , where his utterly self absorbed, antisocial, destructive to even his mother and ‘friends,’ brazenly cruel, sociopathic megalomania was on full display:

    When Bill Gates was in the sixth grade, his parents decided he needed counseling. He was at war with his mother Mary, an outgoing woman who harbored the belief that he should do what she told him. She would call him to dinner from his basement bedroom, which she had given up trying to make him clean, and he wouldn’t respond. “What are you doing?” she once demanded over the intercom.

    “I’m thinking,” he shouted back.

    “You’re thinking?”

    “Yes, Mom, I’m thinking,” he said fiercely. “Have you ever tried thinking?”

    As I recollect Billy is the one who proudly shared that tender moment with his mother telling him dinner was ready on his personal intercom, and that he couldn’t be bothered with any cleaning up, with Time Magazine (1992?), Further down:

    Longtime competitors raise a more philosophical issue about Gates: his intensely competitive approach has poisoned the collaborative hacker ethos of the early days of personal computing. In his book Startup, Jerry Kaplan describes creating a handwriting-based system. Gates was initially friendly, he writes, and Kaplan trusted him with his plans, but he eventually felt betrayed when Gates announced a similar, competing product. Rob Glaser, a former Microsoft executive who now runs the company that makes RealAudio, an Internet sound system, is an admirer who compliments Gates on his vision. But, he adds, Gates is “pretty relentless. He’s Darwinian. He doesn’t look for win-win situations with others, but for ways to make others lose. Success is defined as flattening the competition, not creating excellence.” When he was at Microsoft, for example, Glaser says the “atmosphere was like a Machiavellian poker game where you’d hide things even if it would blindside people you were supposed to be working with.”

    It comes down to the same traits that his psychologist noted when Gates was in sixth grade. “In Bill’s eyes,” says Glaser, “he’s still a kid with a startup who’s afraid he’ll go out of business if he lets anyone compete.” Esther Dyson, whose newsletter and conferences make her one of the industry’s fabled gurus, is another longtime friend and admirer who shares such qualms. “He never really grew up in terms of social responsibility and relationships with other people,” she says. “He’s brilliant but still childlike. He can be a fun companion, but he can lack human empathy.” “If we weren’t so ruthless, we’d be making more creative software? We’d rather kill a competitor than grow the market?!?” Gates is pacing around his office, sarcastically repeating the charges against him. “Those are clear lies,” he says coldly. “Who grew this market? We did. Who survived companies like IBM, 10 times our size, taking us on?” He ticks off the names of his rivals at Oracle, Sun, Lotus, Netscape in an impersonal way. “They’re every bit as competitive as I am.”

    “We win because we hire the smartest people. We improve our products based on feedback, until they’re the best. We have retreats each year where we think about where the world is heading.” He won’t even cop a plea to the charge that Microsoft tends to react to competitors’ ideas–the graphical interface of Apple, the Web browser of Netscape–more than it blazes new trails of its own. “Graphical interfaces were done first at Xerox, not Apple. We bet on them early on, which is why Microsoft Office applications became the best.”

    Gates is enjoying this. Intellectual challenges are fun. Games are fun. Puzzles are fun. Working with smart people is superfun. Others may see him as ruthless, cold or brutal; but for him the competition is like a sport, a blood sport perhaps, but one played with the same relish as the summer games at Hood Canal. He sprawls on a couch, uncoils and pops open a Fresca. Though rarely attempting the social warmth of his mother (he doesn’t actually offer me a Fresca but acquiesces when I ask), …

    Lovely attributes, for someone who’s been consistently touted by US/UK™ Propaganda, and bought AHole Tech Journalists™ , and/or their Editors, as working on Saving Humanity; and I have utterly no respect for those, in the excerpt above, Rob Glaser, and Esther Dyson, who creepily and amorally admired him as a competitor, and/or a long time friend yet acknowledge what a nasty awful person he is, in so many words. Bill Gates has perpetrated untold economic and psychological damage (which a common human wisdom has acknowledged for centuries to be deadly, no white papers are needed to prove that utterly unsolicited abasement is lethal to humanity) on countless human beings who can no longer afford to live, and/or no longer want to live in such a depraved reality.

    If he and his elite white biological male (and their elite female heirs and alpha partners) billionaire Technocracy ilk survive us all, then may they hunt each other down and eat themselves alive with blunt knives and forks – as they’ve had no compunction in metaphorically doing that to .99999% of human beings.

  25. rob

    matt stollers article about hamilton is a great link to the modern federal reserve.

    The history of the federalists, and the bankers is one that has not diluted a bit.
    Hamilton and robert morris, who was the power behind the first bank of the united states(which was a power of british financiers), were attempting to do something from the very onset of this country’s beginning, that they only succeeded in doing in 1913. and has lasted ever since.

    In the newburg conspiracy, they were trying to tie together the military and the banking interests. They wanted a strong federal government, so that the gov’t could tax the population to pay the interest of the debts owned by the financiers. Sound familiar anyone? The 16 th amendment, was the way to keep the debt created by the federal reserve creating our money,paid for.

    That article was a great example of how long the bankers sought to create a quasi-governmental organization that was immune to the “disease of democracy” . One that could provide a stream of payment to their investments.

    This is exactly what the federal reserve is. It is the embodiment of the morris and hamilton plan. The federalists of that day, like the whigs of britian, are who runs our government today. The money power of wall street, and the federal reserve.

    The federal reserve banks, all owned and staffed and run by banking elites, and elites in the making, picked at the behest of the banking elites, to carry out policies that favor their investments, and riddle the citizenry with debt, ad infinitum.

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