Links 2/22/19

The Ticks That Can Take Down an 800-Pound Moose Atlantic (resilc)

Here’s how many trees it would take to cancel out climate change TreeHugger

Are we on the road to civilisation collapse? BBC (Dr. Kevin)

‘Moment of reckoning’: US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports Guardian

World’s food supply under ‘severe threat’ from loss of biodiversity Guardian

Woman dies after eating at Michelin-starred restaurant Guardian (resilc)

A New Treatment Can Relieve Food Allergies, But Few Doctors Offer It NPR (David L)

China?

From corn to Apple: What’s behind the US-China standoff Associated Press

U.S. Efforts To Block Huawei Gives China An Advantage Moon of Alabama

China coal ban: Scott Morrison is not ‘jumping to conclusions’ Guardian. Kevin W: “That flapping sound that can be heard is chickens coming home to roost.”

India

India reiterates plan to stop sharing of water with Pakistan Al Jazeera (Kevin W)

Venezuela

Venezuela crisis: Maduro to close border with Brazil BBC

US Media Erase Years of Chavismo’s Gains FAIR (UserFriendly)

Juan Guaido heads to Venezuela’s border to PERSONALLY bring in US aid Daily Mail Online (resilc)

Brexit

The Centre Ground: Where Politics Goes to Die! Jonathan Pie, YouTube (Kevin W)

EU Expects May to Request Three-Month Delay to Brexit Bloomberg. She also needs Parliament to amend the Withdrawal Act, which hard coded the Brexit date. Within the limits of what various well-connected reporter have said the EU might entertain. But the Government still needs to give a reason. The EU had before signaled it was not receptive to the UK asking for more time to faff about, but might grant it anyhow to allow for more crashout prep time.

Juncker: I’ve got Brexit fatigue Politico

New Cold War

Russian Attacks Hit US-European Think Tank Emails, Says Microsoft Defense One

Syraqistan

‘Rule of the Rabbis’ Fuels Holy War in Israel Consortiumnews (UserFriendly)

Pentagon Ends Drug Lab Bombing in Afghanistan Time (Bill B)

The Sanders Foreign Policy Advantage New York Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

American Airlines Has Cameras In Their Screens Too BuzzFeed. Oh, great, I have to bring masking tape when I travel?

China Uses DNA to Track Its People, With the Help of American Expertise New York Times

Facebook Continued To Identify Users Who Are Interested in Nazis — and Then Used the Info To Let Advertisers Target Them, Investigation Finds Los Angeles Times

Imperial Collapse Watch

AFRICOM Adds Logistics Hub in West Africa, Hinting at an Enduring US Presence Defense One (resilc)

Trump Transition

Judge imposes full gag order on Roger Stone The Hill

Lindsey Graham Rips New Trump Policy: “The Dumbest F—ing Idea I’ve Ever Heard” Vanity Fair (resilc)

Donald Trump Keeps Picking Losing Fights Bloomberg (resilc)

Devin Nunes Was Trump’s Mole Inside the Gang of Eight Washington Monthly (resilc)

FAT Anomalies In Leaked DNC Emails Suggest Use Of Thumbdrive Disobedient Media (furzy). Not news if you’ve been following this controversy.

Inside a Fly-by-Night Operation to Harvest Ballots in North Carolina New York Times (resilc)

North Carolina board calls for new election in contested House race The Hill

Utah Man Faces Hate-Crime Charges After Allegedly Attacking Father and Son, Shouting ‘I Hate Mexicans’ DailyBeast (resilc)

Congress May Make It Impossible to End a War Defense One (resilc)

2020

Michelle Obama would be tied with Biden as frontrunner if she ran in 2020, poll shows The Hill

Why an erstwhile neoliberal is feeling the Bern The Week (UserFriendly)

Thomas Friedman Is Right: Pie Doesn’t Grow on Trees Rolling Stone (UserFriendly)

people fake cancer too Fred deBoer (UserFriendly)

2019’s Most Sinful States in America WalletHub

Federal prosecutors broke law in Jeffrey Epstein case, judge rules Miami Herald (George P). Not clear the case gets reopened.

The Hidden Risk in the Fracking Boom Rolling Stone (resilc)

Kraft Heinz Discloses SEC Probe, Misses Earnings Forecasts Wall Street Journal. Big corporate accounting fraud came in a wave last time. Is this the start of a series?

Kraft Heinz Sinks Near Record Low on $15.4 Billion Writedown Bloomberg

Experts Find Serious Problems With Switzerland’s Online Voting System Before Public Penetration Test Even Begins Motherboard. Paging CalPERS…..

Warren Buffett Can’t Find Anything Big to Buy Wall Street Journal. Again paging CalPERS.

Waymo Self-Driving Cars Can Now Obey Police Hand Signals Futurism. Oh, come on. I challenge them to be able to recognize the highly variable and always fast hand signals used by cops at 57th and Lex, where the traffic police regularly camp out (often more to deter gridlocking than anything else). And on top of that, what will these cars do if a traffic cop is giving directions that contradict traffic lights, which often happens? Or disobey a traffic light because that’s the only way to clear a path for an emergency vehicle?

Consumer Reports no longer recommends the Tesla Model 3 CNN

Tesla is bleeding executives, and it could suggest a problem with Elon Musk’s leadership Business Insider (Kevin W)

Modern Monetary Theory Is Not a Recipe for Doom Bloomberg. UserFriendly: “Kelton responds to Krugman.”

Class Warfare

The AI Road to Serfdom? Project Syndicate

Google Will End Forced Arbitration For Employees CNET

Purdue’s Sackler embraced plan to conceal OxyContin’s strength from doctors, sealed deposition shows Stat (JB)

Hooked: How So Many Vermonters Got Addicted to Opioids Seven Days (resilc)

Please consider this GoFundME: Help Putnam County WV Workers who Held the Line!

Antidote du jour. Martha r: “Full grown Monte Iberia Dwarf Eleuth frog – smallest species in the Northern Hemisphere, existing only in a tiny region of Cuba.… https://t.co/aZ9WEJsBIJ

See yesterdays Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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253 comments

  1. Livius Drusus

    Re: Why an erstwhile neoliberal is feeling the Bern.

    Damon Linker is right to point out that Sanders understands that we cannot have unlimited immigration while maintaining some degree of national solidarity but I think we have to admit that the immigration issue will be a bone of contention in the primary. Primary voters are much more ideologically extreme than general election voters and it seems like many Democratic partisans and the anti-establishment Left support open borders. I could see Bernie’s interview with Ezra Klein where he called open borders a “Koch brothers proposal” biting him in the behind during the primary.

    I hope I am wrong. I hope Sanders sticks to his previous statement and forces a realistic debate about immigration during the primary. But I am almost positive that “Bernie hates immigrants just like Trump” will be a meme during the 2020 primary just like “Bernie Bros” and “Bernie hates the global poor” were memes in 2016. In fact, I expect those memes to make a comeback.

    Reply
        1. Skip Intro

          Links? I tend to agree with Monty’s supposition that the ‘Open Borders’ shibboleth is trotted out disingenuously, to scare people… another ‘ritualistic smear’.

          Reply
          1. JohnnyGL

            Michelle Alexander recently wrote a NYT piece….she jumped on the ‘open borders’ train. It was disappointing to see. I like her a lot.

            Reply
              1. JohnnyGL

                Michelle Alexander wrote “The New Jim Crow” and helped provide the intellectual foundations for the modern movement to push back against mass incarceration.

                She also supported Bernie Sanders in 2016, and wrote articles that offered withering criticism of Hillary Clinton’s record.

                If she’s not a high-profile intellectual on the ‘left’, then it’s hard to know who qualifies.

                To be clear, I like Michelle Alexander. A lot. But I think she wrote a terrible article and she’s wrong on the issue.

                Reply
              2. turtle

                Ok, how about this one: I went to my local DSA chapter meeting for the first time recently (within the last few weeks). They had a new members meeting where they did an intro presentation. It was all going along splendidly until they included these in their list of areas where they focus their activism:

                Abolish borders
                Abolish prisons
                Abolish police

                They didn’t go into detail about these so I don’t know if they truly meant what I thought they meant, but talk about a way to make many people stop in their tracks and back away slowly. I agree that all three areas need to be completely transformed and reduced, but abolished? Not likely in our lifetimes, so it seems that the only thing that using this wording accomplishes at this point is driving people away and serving as a distraction.

                So, if a DSA chapter qualifies as “leftists”, then there’s my evidence that some seem to really believe in open borders.

                Reply
                1. jrs

                  but many people would stop in their tracks and back away slowly from going to a socialist meeting in the first place, so why exactly they should be afraid of mainstream sensibilities is not clear. That’s for the politicians poll testing a message to worry about.

                  But no they aren’t going to get agreement from everyone on everything. They have their act together better than almost anything on the left though.

                  The DSA is definitely left, hardly the whole of “the left” which is diverse, but they are legitimately on that part of the spectrum.

                  Reply
                  1. Lambert Strether

                    Thank you for this #fieldwork at DSA. Here is my rant in response.

                    If you don’t put the working class first, you’re not on the left. I think if you poke at the justification for Open Borders you get either identitarianism with anarchist-inflected idealistic handwaving, or you get support for the working class internationally.

                    The former isn’t left at all (as Adolph Reed and many others point out), and I would bet some of it is funded splittism (along the lines of the cops in black bloc).

                    The latter has at least a solid grounding in socialist tradition, but the material conditions in the United States are such that making it your chapter’s first priority seems (to me) delusional. Is such a strategic decision based on, say, feedback from — hear me out on this — actual working class people gathered at, say, brake light repair sessions? Why this as opposed to falling life expectancy for working class people all over the United States, which is an ongoing emergency killing thousands yearly? Does this really “put the working class first”? I think it’s day care-level, “let’s all sit in a circle”-level politics, and it makes me think DSA has gone off the rails completely. (Lenin would call it an infantile disorder). Of course, if migrant workers are signing up, that would prove me wrong, but I would bet money they’re not.)

                    If you don’t mind conflict, I’d go to the next meeting and raise some questions :-) I’d like very much to hear what the responses are.

                    Reply
                    1. turtle

                      Thanks, Lambert.

                      Just for clarification, these were not the top items on their list of focus areas. They had the standard Medicare for all, Free college for all, and economic/means of production socialism as well (I don’t recall exactly how they worded that one, but I believe it was the first item on the list), perhaps 8-10 areas total. It’s just that those three stuck out for me as being out of place or confusing for most regular people.

                      If they had instead said something like “completely transform” or “drastically reduce” the police, borders, and prison, they wouldn’t have stuck out for me.

                2. Skip Intro

                  Who knows what that was that claimed to be DSA. I would say it is insane. I assume they have those positions somewhere online, if they are authentic. Sounds more like crazed anarchists/libertarians to me.

                  Reply
                    1. turtle

                      Yeah, I can see that as a possibility too. For now they are still doing good work in relevant, material areas. Hopefully they keep that up despite the other influences. I’ll see what I can do to dig deeper.

                  1. turtle

                    I’m not sure if this is typical either, but this was an official DSA chapter in a mid-sized city.

                    My understanding of the DSA is that local chapters have a lot of autonomy in what they focus on, so probably this is just what the local DSA has decided to pursue. It’s a very diverse city only about two hours from the border with Mexico, so perhaps that explains some of it.

                    I wish I had taken a picture of the slide or written down the list of focus areas so I could refer to it. Maybe I’ll go again next time and get this info and report back.

                    Reply
                    1. Skip Intro

                      Thank you that would be really helpful, in the sense of further disillusioning me, which I would have said was impossible.
                      I think I can state categorically that anyone proposing Open Borders before environmental regulations and labor conditions are standardized between nations is too anti-worker to be considered Democratic or Socialist.

                      As Lily Tomlin said, “No matter how cynical I get, I just can’t keep up.”

                    2. turtle

                      You’re welcome. Just to reiterate, the other focus areas were indeed the things you would expect, like climate justice and environmental issues, labor issues, healthcare issues, the power of capital, etc.

                      So try not to be disillusioned. Try not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

          2. disillusionized

            What’s wrong with treating one group of people worse than another group of people based on arbitrary characteristics?
            It was an ideological argument, not positing that there were some actual proponents (though those exist).

            Reply
            1. JBird4049

              It is not that anyone is inherently better or worse than any ones else, but that the unhindered flow of both workers and capital across all borders has been a Neoliberal, Big Business, and the 1% goal for at least fifty years; the deliberate destruction of the Bretton Woods System was part of the process of destroying any country’s control of its own economic policies.

              Bretton Woods was a set of agreements for firm, but loose, connections in trade and finance with allowed each country to set its own economic, social, and political policies without outside inside interference, but enabling fairly, stable, free, and controllable exchange of trade between them. It was not the insanity of mercantilism or the destructiveness that is a completely free flow that was the goal of Neoliberalism creators in the 1940s and continues to be by the American and European, even global elites.

              One of the reasons much of American industry was shipped over seas was because the free flow of goods and capital made it easy and profitable. The barely controlled influx of illegal immigration for cheap labor and the use of H-1B visas for the importation of educated and cheap educated specialists especially in programming has helped destroy unions, driven Americans out of the trades, and push wages down for everyone.

              Reply
        2. John Wright

          I’ll pose a question.

          Do these same leftists also believe labor unions are unjust?

          There is a term people use to refer to a non-union worker attempting to cross the no admittance “border” maintained by a labor union.

          This labor border crosser is referred to as a “scab”.

          For labor unions understand they must be unified and controlling the supply of labor in order to have a higher wage structure.

          One could also say that these open border leftists, even if sincere, are catering to the USA management/professional class that wants cheaper labor to increase their profit margins.

          Reply
          1. Cal2

            Caesar Chavez, the founder of the United Farm Workers Union was opposed to illegal immigration because he said, there was no way to withhold labor to underpaying employers if there were unlimited numbers of illegals to scab. The same applies to all employers whether industrial or service.

            One cannot lament the lack of jobs for unskilled Americans, especially African Americans, the ‘housing crisis’ and homelessness, expensive rentals of what was once lower end housing, overcrowded schools and health clinics, and at the same time be for open borders.

            Reply
        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Monty above first mentioned open borders discrediting the left.

          The original coment by Drusus implies the left (Sanders and supporters) is against that, but the Democrats (liberals) are for it.

          I think it should be read, ‘to discret liberals,’ when Monty asked, ‘does any support open borers?’

          Reply
          1. jrs

            Democrats are not for open borders, that is a ridiculous idea. It’s not how Obama himself governed. That can only make sense if we regard the status quo as an open border system, but it’s not.

            Democrats ARE for the existing illegal immigration system perhaps, where illegal immigrants get in by various ways (the border, over staying visas etc.) and work under the table without worker protections of any sort, where others are nabbed at the border and kept in brutal conditions and then shipped back (where they probably try to cross again). Democrats might also be for an amnesty bill for current illegal immigrants in the U.S.. But I still don’t think any of this is really open borders even if it’s more immigration than those who don’t want much immigration want.

            The left, well they have a legacy of internationalism, so they might be more likely to be.

            Bernie Sanders well he’s his own man and doesn’t have to march lockstep with either the Dems or elements of the hard left if he doesn’t want to. I mean he is a movement himself at this point, he doesn’t have to join one.

            Reply
            1. Lambert Strether

              We’ll shortly see the same thing on reparations, with liberals beating up the left for failing to virtue signal appropriately, while simultaneously pursuing long-standing polices that are at odds with their claims to moral standing. Same sh*t, different day.

              Reply
        4. drumlin woodchuckles

          I reject what plenty of leftists think in that regard.

          (Since this nested so poorly as to be said to have hardly “nested” at all . . . let me say that this is in response to a comment way upthread to the effect that “plenty of leftists think that borders are inherently unjust”. That is the though which I reject, however many leftists may choose to think it.)

          Reply
      1. Livius Drusus

        I think some people do or they at least support a very open and expansive immigration policy. The usual arguments for these policies are anti-racism (“borders are the new color line”), the theory that it is unfair to reduce immigration for today’s immigrants when we had a more open policy for the ancestors of today’s native-born (especially white) Americans and that immigrants are good for the economy especially with declining birth rates among native-born Americans.

        So even if some people do not go full libertarian and support genuine open borders there is a strong pro-immigration expansion tendency on both the Left and among neoliberal centrists and I think this will be a problem for Bernie in the primary.

        Reply
        1. flora

          From the Mises Institute (yes, those guys):

          In a libertarian society, there is no commons or public space. There are property lines, not borders. When it comes to real property and physical movement across such real property, there are owners, guests, licensees, business invitees, and trespassers — not legal and illegal immigrants.

          https://mises.org/library/bernie-koch-brothers-and-open-borders

          So of course libertarians support open borders. (You can see where this argument leads if followed.) I wonder if the well meaning sjw understand they are unwittingly carrying water for the r-w libertarians?

          Reply
          1. flora

            Adding, I like this line from above quote:

            When it comes to real property and physical movement across such real property, there are owners, …and trespassers — not legal and illegal immigrants.

            Oh. Well that’s different. /s

            Reply
        2. tegnost

          I think the pro open borders crowd doesn’t have to compete with them in the labor market. A good way to judge the sentiment is look at major newspapers and how they report caravan stories, and where the caravan stories are front page are places where immigration may impact views, L.A., San Diego, El Paso, but get away from the border and those hand wringing stories lose their appeal, one may think ok, there’s 20,000 migrants at the border today…That is different from any day day for the past 40 years? Why is this a story? It’s a metropolitan story. Wealthy people in southwestern metropolii use tons of undocced labor. They love it. Those little blue islands when you look at the color coded map of the 2016 election. I vote that it’s not as big an issue as purported, mostly a way to get the bulk of the hispanic vote to go their way. The Latin workers who I’ve worked with have been pretty conservative so I don’t think it’ll work.

          Reply
          1. Lambert Strether

            > I think the pro open borders crowd doesn’t have to compete with them in the labor market.

            And all you have to do to show that open borders is all about labor arbitrage is look at how the H1B visa program works, which oddly, or not, Silicon Valley liberals never do.

            Reply
        3. integer

          immigrants are good for the economy especially with declining birth rates among native-born Americans

          This argument is a favorite of the ruling class, and not just in the U.S., yet the primary cause of declining birth rates is always conveniently ignored: economic anxiety, bred by neoliberalism.

          Reply
            1. JB

              Given the distribution of wealth and income in the U.S., does that theory apply? In an agrarian-dominant economy, I can understand lower birth rates associated with increased security that comes from increased wealth. In the present day U.S., it doesn’t seem likely. Economic anxiety seems more likely.

              Reply
            2. Lambert Strether

              Behind the falling US birthrate: too much student debt to afford kids? Christian Science Monitor (throwing a flag on the Betteridge’s Law violation, since the answer is “yes”).

              Kids these days can’t afford to have their own kids, and they can’t afford a house or even a car, so they have no place to f***. Stands to reason the birth rate is falling (good for greenhouse gases of course, but you’d think the elites could come up with a better way of doing that than creating a dystopian hellscape).

              Reply
      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Mostly its a psyop to distract from the corporate masters of the GOP who never seem that concerned with the companies who actually employ illegal workers or make a mockery of H1B1 Visas. I mean after all who can blame Trump for employing so many illegals over the years. Its not like there is a way to check…except for the ways to check.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          The average age of a field worker in the Central Valley is 45, and no matter their legal status, they aren’t getting any younger and there aren’t all that many replacements showing up from down under-as it’s not the easiest way to earn $11 an hour, so a golden opportunity exists for young non Hispanic field workers to take over the reins @ the new rate of $15 an hour, as the old guard shows them the ropes, before retiring to the hacienda.

          How do we make that happen?

          Reply
          1. a different chris

            a) stop destroying the economic and social structures in favor of US puppet aristocracies, because even when a so-called Global South county is overall decent on GDP they have terrible Gini coefficients.

            b) stop warming the globe so they don’t have to come North just to breath

            I can’t see either happening.

            Reply
          2. ambrit

            First, help “los viejos” get a hacienda to retire to. Then work on the next generation.
            If a large part of “los viejos” are from Old Mexico, it would help to stop the ‘War on Drugs’ and help the modern exemplars of the ‘Spirit of the Magon Brothers.’ So, to be equitable about it, make Soros fund a Revolutionary Brigade for Mexico. Then the Nortenyo Oligarchs can funnel some of the displaced funding from the halted ‘War on Drugs’ to anti-Revolutionary activities.
            Voila! A grand make work project for everyone! (Imagine the money to be made rebuilding Mexico after the dust settles!)
            Think Big.

            Reply
          3. NotTimothyGeithner

            Moving is expensive. The country filled up on the promise of free land. $15 an hour isn’t going to cut it for what is a risky venture especially with the nickel and dime structures out there.

            Healthcare, housing assistance, and probably a co-op structure besides pay increases are necessary.

            Reply
      3. DJG

        Monty: Hillary Clinton does. As much as I find John Kass a curmudgeon, he gets it right in this article. And note his point: No borders, no country.

        https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/kass/ct-hillary-clinton-open-borders-kass-1012-20161011-column.html

        I suspect that for many liberals open borders means that paperless nanny from Guatemala (she’s teaching the kids to speak Spanish!) and the yard-man with a leaf-blower attached.

        There is simply no way a common market of the western hemisphere can function. And then there’s the other side of open borders: Does Mexico truly want gazillions of spoiled old white people who can’t afford a place in Phoenix?

        Reply
        1. Another Scott

          Yep, this also allows them to claim the moral high ground over people who oppose immigration. They get to call their opponents racists, regardless of their actual views about race. I always like to think of Arrest Development, Lucille Bluth is clearly racist towards immigrants, yet appears to support illegal immigrants as they provide her cheep labor. In the views of a Clinonite, she’s ok, but Bernie Sanders is a racist for opposing immigration.

          Reply
        2. Darthbobber

          But this just reads like Clintonian pie in a distant future sky stuff. And only a couple years removed from her support of near-Trumpian levels of border fortification.

          Reply
      4. DJG

        Monty: Also, I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I’m finding that many of the supporters of open borders are the kind of people who consider themselves sophisticated bilinguals because they speak Mexican Spanish and U.S. English. As with so many aspects of “multiculturalism” in the U S of A, look for the careerist aspects. And follow the money.

        Reply
      5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I could see Bernie’s interview with Ezra Klein where he called open borders a “Koch brothers proposal” biting him in the behind during the primary. – Livius Drusus

        —-

        I suspect there are various shades to open borders (like many other words or terms we use everyday).

        Here, the main thing is that whatever Sanders is for, it’s different from what other Democrats are for…likely less open borders with the former.

        And that will be attacked by those offended at being associated with a Koch brothers plot.

        Reply
        1. Lambert Strether

          > I could see Bernie’s interview with Ezra Klein where he called open borders a “Koch brothers proposal” biting him in the behind during the primary. – Livius Drusus

          Bernie was right when he said that. Hopefully his new and identitarian-compliant staff can walk him through whatever he needs to say. And like reparations, this could get ugly. I think the presumption that identitarians have the moral standing to speak about anything needs to be challenged, and that this is a strategic challenge for Sanders, because they vehemently oppose universal concrete material benefits, exactly because they are universal. For good or ill, there’s a very dense network of Democrat-adjacent NGOs pushing this garbage, and so it has immense traction in the press; the cries of “racist” begin almost at once.

          Again, to me, the failure to focus on falling life expectancy is the tell. If that’s not your priority, what is your priority.

          Reply
        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Why shouldnt we have free movement of the workers of the world?

          WE are all the same. WE shouldnt otherize non Americans.

          Not Corporations tho. THEY erode National Sovereignty and Culture.

          Im shocked none of yall has thought of this.

          Reply
          1. Inton

            That’s basically how Canada worked through most of its history. Common citizenship and government and universal right of residency but no common market in goods or services. In the ’90s there were occasional riots when construction projects in one province tried to employ workmen from a neighboring one.

            Reply
          2. Lambert Strether

            > Why shouldnt we have free movement of the workers of the world?

            Two words: Labor arbitrage (and yes, I’ve been thinking about this a long time).

            Sad to see the left doing capital’s work, although one expects to see it from liberals.

            Question: With open borders, how many migrants from Latin America do you expect? Give a number. Is the number you expect different from the number that should be?

            NOTE * Also, you can easily see why Open Borders incentivize more more. More war = more migration = more labor arbitrage.

            Reply
            1. Chris

              According to Gallup, the number from South America, Central America, and Mexico is between 40 and 50 million. That’s how many people would move north immediately if the USA had open borders.

              It’s why I think Trump is going to get his wall. The thought of that many brown people moving north is certain to encourage all the right constituents to begin thinking border security is where it’s at :/

              Reply
          3. UserFriendly

            At the risk of sounding like a neoliberal, and noting I’m not all that invested on immigration in general, is there a way to use taxes and incentives to make employers pay an extra tax for non natives that would bring the cost of hiring them to be slightly higher than for citizens? It would probably require a way to incentivise immigrants to get on the books and report who their employer is. Maybe citizenship after 10 years or so of being registered.

            Obviously zero immigration is not realistic, the current system is horrible and ineffective, and merit based immigration facilitates brain drain from the global south. I can already think of a few flaws with my off the cuff thought but I wonder if there isn’t some solution of that type.

            Reply
      6. O Society

        Franklin Delano Roosevelt enacted the “most socialist” policies of any US President in the 20th Century. This is from his Declaration of Human Rights:

        Article 13.

        (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
        (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

        Article 14.

        (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
        (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

        Article 15.

        (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
        (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

        As much as we complain about identity politics stealing the show, it seems a crucial part of one’s identity to be able to say where one comes from, doesn’t it?

        Here Eleanor put her stamp of approval on it:

        https://www.unmultimedia.org/avlibrary/asset/1093/1093412/

        Reply
        1. Skip Intro

          ummm… when identity politics is based on your nationality, it is called Nationalism, which is currently passé in the extreme.

          Reply
    1. notabanker

      If the primaries are left up to traditional primary voters, then the game is lost.

      Unaffiliated / Independent turnout for the primaries is the key to a Sanders victory. Even then, I would expect convention shenanigans, to try and oust him.

      Ohio:
      8M+ registered voters
      1.2M voted democrat, Clinton won with 680K votes
      2M voted Republican
      30% turnout for primaries, 71% turnout for the general
      5.5M unaffiliated voters

      The math is easy. Less than 10% of registered voters won Clinton the majority of Ohio delegates for the nomination.The old saying people get the government they deserve. If the country won’t vote, nothing will change.

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        I’ll repeat my confusion over primaries. If – and that is seemingly a bigger if every day – you want to win a general, you would want your primaries to be as like the general as possible. I would let everybody vote in an ADCParty primary. See what’s what. Hand out cupcakes, whatever, get some serious turnout. In fact, I would likely have two primary sessions, one month apart, Let people campaign for hopefully not too long, then the first primary winnows out 50%, and the second primary picks the candidate who survived and learned the most from the first.

        Oh, you say “the (opposite) party would deliberately contaminate your elections”. No they wouldn’t. It’s hard enough, and at the moment understandably so, to get people out for even the general, no significant numbers are going to show up to monkey wrench my two primaries. Hopefully their party is keeping them busy with the same approach. And if they do show up, the people that think they will never vote for my candidate in the general will probably help a lot by tuning my final selection a bit, by punching a hole in my echo chamber.

        Reply
      2. bsg

        With only the Dems running a serious primary in 2020, the dynamic is going to change. Ohio has a semi-open primary system, where it is relatively easy to change your party affiliation on election day.

        In 2016, there was a large contingent of voters looking to vote for/against Trump in the primary, while the Dem primary was portrayed as a non-contest.

        Reply
    2. O Society

      The idea of no borders between countries is psychologically terrifying to most people. Even more so in the United States, where the endless expansion of white man’s progress wiped out the original natives. We’re still arguing over the Great Wall of Trump, as if this is Mongolia in 1600. Why would any sane person think it a good time to even discuss open borders?

      Here is a fantastic article from Angela Nagle

      https://opensociet.org/2019/01/03/the-left-case-against-open-borders/

      Reply
      1. Skip Intro

        Why would any sane person think it a good time to even discuss open borders?

        Because agitating for Open Borders while wearing a DSA or Bernie2020 shirt is a great way of discrediting DSA or Bernie, while also virtue signaling to your neoliberal owners.

        Reply
  2. The Rev Kev

    “In the 1930s, when Britain imposed a 40% duty on Irish livestock, cross-border cattle-smuggling became virtually uncontrollable”

    Regarding that sign that says “You are now entering free Derry”. In light of the title, should that not read “You are now entering free Diary”? Meanwhile, in other news-

    Good news is that America is going to catch a break as Trump is heading overseas soon. The bad news is that he is also coming down to Australia.
    Thanks America

    Reply
    1. Lee

      Driverless cars, leaderless corporations: what new wonders of automation lie before us? Just in case the Existentialists didn’t have you feeling fully de trop.

      Reply
  3. integer

    Re: Devin Nunes Was Trump’s Mole Inside the Gang of Eight

    Thinking it was interesting that evidence had emerged of Nunes relaying information from the House Intelligence Committee directly to Trump, I decided to have a look at this link. It turns out that the title of this article is misleading to the point of being journalistic malpractice. The author bases her entire article on a tweet by Natasha Bertrand (who recently interviewed McCabe), which states:

    McCabe told me that his guess is that the White House “immediately knew the steps I took after Jim got fired, and the cases I opened” because of Nunes.

    Just because McCabe guesses something is true, doesn’t make it so, and whatever one thinks of Nunes, his key role in the investigation of the FISA scandal gives McCabe a highly vested interest in undermining his credibility. Anyway, this has got to be among the worst articles I have ever read, and it’s not like there’s a lack of competition.

    Reply
    1. Enquiring Mind

      Facts are so last-Millennium. All the cool kids want propaganda to confirm, or suggest, their unconscious biases. /s

      Reply
  4. The Rev Kev

    “Maduro SHUTS Venezuela’s border with Brazil as Juan Guaido heads to international boundary to PERSONALLY bring in US aid, raising the stakes of potentially violent clash”

    I wonder if that Guaido has worked out yet that as his coup has stalled, that Dead Martyr Guaido is worth a lot more to the coup’s organizers than Failed Self-Declared President Guaido.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      I thought the same thing. Poor Guaido doesn’t really know how despicable are the ‘forces’ he dallies with.
      Whoever is promoting this attempt at a ‘soft coup’ had better be ready to deal with a major backlash. The last I looked, the Venezuelan Army was still backing Maduro’s government. A few higher ranking officers ‘defecting’ does not equal the Army changing sides.

      Reply
      1. jsn

        I can’t remember where I read it, pretty sure it was linked here, but Guaido is a formal regime change trainee from an NGO set up by USAID in Belgrade after the dismemberment of Yugoslavia.

        So, no sympathy from me, he’s an adventurer who knows what he’s signed on for and has likely already earned what fate awaits him in blood.

        Reply
        1. Fec

          From Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal of Grayzone:

          After a single phone call from from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Guaidó proclaimed himself as president of Venezuela…

          CANVAS is funded largely through the National Endowment for Democracy…

          CANVAS “turned its attention to Venezuela” in 2005 after training opposition movements that led pro-NATO regime change operations across Eastern Europe…

          Reply
      2. Unna

        Why doesn’t Maduro just have Guaido arrested? Can’t do it, won’t do it? Not doing it on purpose? Just letting Guaido run to the end of his dog leash so he gets himself tangled around a tree and becomes a laughing stock? Does anyone know?

        Reply
        1. Cal2

          Venezuela has a rotating set of legislative leaders. It’s now the opposition’s turn.
          The sanctity of the Venezuelan Constitution was used as a means of electing and keeping Chavez/Maduro in power, before, during and after the coup.

          The coup leaders in 2002 were not executed, merely scolded and left with their wealth and private TV stations that continued to call for the overthrow of a restored to power Chavez and later Maduro.

          Recommend the interesting video, The Revolution Will Be Televised
          A Dutch TV crew happened to film the entire coup attempt from within the Palace as it happened.

          Reply
        2. Skip Intro

          I think any action against the random dude Trump selected as Venezuela’s President would only give a pretense for escalation. If Venezuela doesn’t act against him soon, he may need to be martyred anyway. I wonder if he is ready to give his life for his ’cause’, ’cause I’m sure his allies are ready to give his life for their cause.

          Reply
        3. jsn

          Guaido is apparently operating out of the Venezuelan embassy in Costa Rica.

          Should he attempt to deliver Abram’s “aid” he will be engaging in civil war as Maduro has made it clear he sees any such “delivery” as an attack, which with self proclaimed “President “ Guaido at the head becomes an act of insurrection.

          Reply
        4. The Rev Kev

          Guaido also has a screen of diplomats from other countries protecting him when he goes out. I guess that that must be one of the new duties of an embassy in other pople’s countries – supporting and protecting coup leaders.

          Reply
    2. Lee

      Venezuela

      According to this Al Jazeera short news video, it looks like they’re having a battle of the bands at the border and, while U.S. aid is being blocked, Russian and Chinese aid has landed at ports. Not to make light, but it seems for the moment a bit more like Woodstock than a civil war.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3SCmsGqYVE

      Reply
  5. Roger Smith

    Michelle Obama would be tied with Biden as frontrunner if she ran in 2020, poll shows The Hill

    I think that says more about Joe Biden than it does Michelle…

    Also I am curious what on the freaking Earth anyone could find relatable about Michelle Obama. Who even thinks about this woman enough to remember she exists, let alone to want her in the oval office?

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Who even thinks about this woman enough to remember she exists

      Pollsters, obviously. Fortunately Michelle doesn’t seem as interested.

      Reply
    2. Big River Bandido

      I think it says more about The Hill than Joe Biden. Honestly, there are few sites that induce more eye-rolling on my part, save for crap like Politico and Five Thirty Eight.

      Reply
    3. Pat

      A lot of East Coast liberals, wealthy and not think that way. I cannot tell you how many conversations I have heard from the same people who rush to hear Kamala Harris spew ‘family blog’ and urge her to run say things like: “I wish Michelle were running. I’d stand in line to be the first to vote for her.” These are the professionals that the DNC courts. The kind you would find at those Hampton fund raisers, and the junior staffers you would find at the fund raisers the Hamptonites would have later.

      Some of it is the continuing lure of a new Camelot, some of it nostalgia for the Obama administration where these outraged Americans were able to ignore what a hot mess everything was, and some of it is just flat out ignorance and stupidity. ‘She is so classy. She goes HIGH. And she was a successful lawyer!’ with not a thought about what she has really accomplished.

      Keep in mind that among those polled apparently no one remembers that Biden has essentially never won a Presidential primary and was an early also ran every time he has run in the past. None of them has every noticed that he is handsy and inappropriate. And not one of them has a worry about paying a student loan.

      Reply
      1. Grant

        The idea that Biden, with his horrific record (going back to his first journey into politics, which centered around his opposition to busing), with his mountain of stupid comments and with his obvious, decades long corruption would be able to withstand any actual critiques is absurd. His shtick is so out of touch with where the country is. Like with so many other things, his support right now has nothing to do with objective reality, it is his image and his connection to Obama that gets him some support with Democrats. Obama was a wreck for his party on policy and massive numbers of seats were lost under him. So, I don’t even know what exactly his connection to Obama brings in regards to policy and the impact that administration actually had on people. It’s more about emotion than logic and facts. Biden is, on a wide range of issues, the exact opposite of where his party is now. Maybe most of his support comes from the Clinton types. Even though they aren’t a huge group, they vote in large numbers. But he is like Lieberman in the mid-2000’s. Some early support because of 2000 and his connection to Gore, melted away quickly when the reality of what he actually was became apparent. Biden goes up there and gets into discussions on policy, his record, it’s over for him. Harris, Beto, there are reasons they could at least stick around, even though I don’t think those reasons are very good. But, there is little to lead to Biden sticking around. If Bernie were to win, yes, it would be him and Trump going head to head, two old white men. But Bernie is Bernie, and Biden is an old corrupt white guy, with a horrible record, inferior policies and ideas, and a mountain of baggage and stupid comments attached to him. What a horrible experience a Biden vs. Trump election would be. It would be a fitting end to the American empire though.

        Reply
      2. Lambert Strether

        > not one of them has a worry about paying a student loan

        With student loans being such an excruciating, life-blighting problem for so many Voters of Youthness, I’m amazed that Biden is even being considered. I almost hope the Democrats do nominate him (after a horrid, brokered convention, of course, as a “safe pair of hands”MR SUBLIMINAL I’ll say!). Wedges to split the Democrats aren’t being driven in exclusively by the left.

        Reply
    4. GlobalMisanthrope

      Guessing that since her memoir (pass the barf bag based on cover photo alone) was the best-selling book of 2018, a lot of people.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The Dems are determined to lose and make loads of $$$ along the way. Kamala Harris = Hilary clone: sure let’s just do what didn’t work last time. Uncle Joe “The Fondler” Biden, the old village idiot with a closet stuffed with skeletons. School marm Warren, yeah let’s put a meek librarian up against the likes of Trump, I can’t wait for the first debate. Beto = Trump-lite, everything you don’t like about Trump restated as liberal-speak, packaged in an anodyne white male.

        Or Michelle, she’s probably the best way of all to lose. Female, black, familiar, people can feel good about losing because Joy Behar and Whoopi and the Hollywood billionaires led the cheers. Perfect, no need to confuse people explaining to them why they can’t have nice things, give them a shiny trinket to play with for a while and then tell them to just get back to their place in line at The Hunger Games.

        May the odds be always in your favor

        Reply
        1. Aloha

          Michelle Obama would be tied with Biden as front runner if she ran in 2020…

          A race to the bottom is more like it! Both Michelle and Hillary married a$$holes and have ruined any chance of getting enough people behind them. But as OpenThePodDoors says the Dem party will make millions of money on the way down and that is all that matters to them!
          There are too many skeletons in Clinton and Obama’s closets although most of Michelle’s haven’t been uncovered in the MSM yet. And Joe being in alliance with Bibi/Israel (the Palestine genocide plan) etc.. won’t be so good for voters who know what’s what. The DNC has no plan for entering a true and popular Dem for Pres. These billionaires at the top are very happy with Trump & Co. and as our country is being run into the ground they (RNC & DNC) are laughing all the way to their private banks.

          Reply
  6. John

    The immigration hoo-hah is not about open borders or closed borders or “illegals” or the “undocumented”, it is about keeping out “those people” for some definition of those. It is about having the lowest wages possible, which leads to the highest profits possible.

    Thought experiment: Make it an offense to employ people who have not come to the USA through the proper channels. Make that apply to all businesses and all individuals. Actually enforce it. There’s a shocking thought. Oh, enforce this law against all the visa-overstayers from countries whose population is not “those people”, for some definition of those. You would rather not? As I thought. So why don’t you just be quiet about immigration.

    Reply
    1. johnnygl

      ‘immigration’ isn’t just about cheap labor…it’s also universities finding oligarchs from overseas who can actually pay the sticker price for their kids’ college in the USA.

      It’s also about the tourist industry, which would get whacked by any attempt to cut the number of tourist visas issued each year. Disney would not be happy.

      Reply
      1. Quentin

        What a hoot. Immigration has nothing to do with rich kids from other countries attending expensive US universities or tourists. No one considers reducing such numbers. It’s all about LABOR.

        Reply
    2. David(1)

      Make it an offense to employ people who have not come to the USA through the proper channels.

      What about the people who are in country waiting for their immigration hearing. How are they supposed to survive while waiting up to three years for their hearing?

      Make that apply to all businesses and all individuals. Actually enforce it.

      Who will pay for this effort? With the extra hiring costs, why would a business want to hire anyone who doesn’t look like an American, whatever they determine that look to be. It seems like an easy path to discrimination.

      From the Fiscal Year 2018 ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Report

      In FY2018, ICE ERO conducted 158,581 overall administrative arrests, 15,111 more than in FY2017, while it conducted 256,085 removals – the highest level since FY2014, resulting in a more than 10 percent increase in overall arrests and removals. ICE continues to prioritize its limited resources on public safety threats and immigration violators, as reflected by the fact that, like in FY2017, 9 out of 10 ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operations) administrative arrests had either a criminal conviction(s), pending charge(s), were an ICE fugitive, or illegally reentered the country after previously being removed.

      Included in this number were 342 Canadians, 209 Brits, 72 Germans and 141,045 Mexicans.

      Reply
      1. RUKidding

        Make that apply to all businesses and all individuals. Actually enforce it.

        Who will pay for this effort?

        Oh but there’s plenty of money – endless bags and stacks and gobs of it – to give endlessly to our already over-bloated MIC, who cannot even account for the money they get and spend. Trump just gave them tons more because, allegedly, the Military was “weak” and underfunded.

        OTOH, we’re led to believe that a mere $8billion spent fruitlessly on a useless and not realistic WALL will somehow stop all of the “illegals” coming here. But we don’t have enough money to enforce laws already on our books? It’s “too expensive” to go after businesses and business people like Trump who knowingly recruit, hire and employ undocumented people to work in their businesses for years, decades even.

        Oh I see: no money for law enforcement that’ll result in consequences on the rich and connected.

        Yes, I see.

        Reply
      2. Monty

        If you are legitimately adjusting immigration status from within the country, you are given a work permit by whatever the INS is called these days.

        Why not just insist employers use the existing e-verify system or face prosecution? The system is in place, but there is a reticence to use it.

        Reply
        1. jrs

          they don’t even enforce illegal use of Social Security Numbers these days. If you report them, they don’t bother investigating, they know it is going on all over the place, people working under stolen SSNs, and don’t care.

          Reply
    3. Cal2

      John,

      No need to criminalize it. Use the mighty power of the IRS.
      Make using an improved E-Verify a strict condition of an employer being able to write off an employee’s wages against income.

      “Employers of conscience”, like Rustic Bakeries in Marin County, from yesterday’s headlines, can continue to give a wink and a nod to fake IDs and employ almost exclusively Hispanics in service to wealthy white suburbanites, but, they would not be able to deduct their wages against income.

      Reply
    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      ‘ employ people who have not come…through proper channels.’

      —-

      We may think the bad guys are big, greedy corporations.

      It could be that we are all gulity.

      The street food vendor you buy from – do you have to check his papers?

      The gardner or the repairman – are you committing an offense?

      The taxi driver you hired on your smartphone – are you becoming a repeat offender?

      The tutor you hire for your kid – another offense?

      Reply
      1. Monty

        i think in a fair world:
        street food. the owner of the foodtruck is liable.
        gardener. if you pay an invoice to an llc. the owner of the llc is liable.
        gardener. if you pay cash to ‘some guys’ you are liable.
        taxi driver. the company they work for is liable.
        tutor. see gardener.
        nanny. see gardener.
        etc

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Many are self-employed.

          The customer is the employer, in that case.

          Anyone could commit that offense any time.

          Reply
      2. Lambert Strether

        I think the point of the original comment is that enforcement really ought to focus on the employers, not the migrants. I can’t imagine why we don’t, but it seems to have been bipartisan policy for many years….

        Reply
        1. Joe Well

          Real enforcement against employers on a massive scale would probably require granting amnesty to the immigrants who will testify against them, and that is supposedly a political lead ballon.

          Reply
      3. Skip Intro

        Frank? Frank Luntz? Is that you? What a juicy list of absurd and scary talking points, definitely semi-pro quality at least.

        The ‘immigration debate’ is basically a pro-wrestling match meant to distract from the national consensus that immigrants must be plentiful, but precarious, so that they can be easily exploited to undermine all wages labor organization. Drumming up fear and loathing for immigrants also keeps them and the native low-wage workers they compete with at each others’ throats, divide and conquer style, instead of recognizing their mutual class enemy. When you add in the race/identitarian wedges used to keep hostilities high and immigrants plentiful, you’ve got several election cycles of posturing to campaign on without any real policy requirements. Win-Win!

        All that was missing is a way to scare people off of enforcing immigration laws at the employer level… until now! Bravo!

        Reply
  7. Jim A.

    Re: trees and climate change.

    Planting trees is great, but I can’t help thinking we also need to stop chopping down forests in the first place. When you chop down a tree, you destroy the entire ecosystem that depended on it. Planting a new tree doesn’t bring that back.

    True, a tree farm is NOT a forest. And yet….I have yet to see any information about what age trees are the most efficient at pulling carbon out of the air per acre. It may well be that optimum way to sequester carbon would be to plant trees close together and then clear cut them every decade. And what happens to the wood after it is harvested? Wood => building => torn down and put into a landfill after 50 years may well be an effective way of sequestering carbon, so long as the building doesn’t burn down.

    As climate warms, I wonder whether the the Northern edge of the taiga/pine forests in Canada and Russia will shift north enough to have a significant effect.

    Reply
    1. Linden S.

      I wish more people had your perspective. “A tree farm is not a forest” is spot on.

      In the Minnesota greenhouse assessment run by the pollution control agency they include carbon “sequestered” in timber used in building as a carbon sink. That kind of thinking is going to get forests destroyed for short term benefits that will be almost impossible to measure.

      Reply
      1. Jim A.

        Preserving ecosystems that support bidiversity and sequestering carbon to fight climate change are BOTH important. But they are not the same thing, Indeed tree farms in one place may well be a tool to assist ecosystems in other places to survive.

        Reply
      2. heresy101

        The sequence – “Wood => building => torn down and put into a landfill after 50 years” – is totally wrong. Wood is not sequestered carbon in landfills! The wood chips in landfills decay into methane fairly rapidly.
        Since methane gets released into the atmosphere and is 22 times more impactful than CO2, it gets burned in flare stacks and the CO2 is back in the atmosphere. The CO2 in the landfill wood is not sequestered; it just is slowed down some!

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          Actually, the evidence from actual excavation is that cellulose in landfills does NOT decay rapidly. It’s usually too dry – the PNW may be an exception. An archeologist who tried it found readable newspapers decades old (and conveniently dated.)

          Some dumps collect the methane and use it to generate electricity – I don’t know why they don’t just put it into the pipes. That at least competes with fossil fuels.

          Wood in buildings constitutes sequestered carbon, especially if they don’t get demolished. But it’s similar to soil storage: as long as you’re putting as much in as is coming out, you have net sequestration.

          We need to think in terms of a total carbon budget: how much is NOT in the atmosphere? Obviously, any use of fossil carbon is a net loss, though some materials may be reburied for a long time. Current account carbon is more complicated.

          Reply
    2. PlutoniumKun

      Depending on type and growing environment, trees usually take in most carbon in their first 25 years, then forests become more carbon neutral. So a mass tree planting policy would take two forms:

      1. Planting trees where there are no trees now, where they can be left (such as urban fringes, damaged land, used as agriculture land boundaries, etc).

      2. Cropping trees for uses that don’t release excess amounts of CO2. There is a lot of research into using fibers and carbon from trees for all sorts of ‘permanent’ type uses, such as adding to structural concrete, but within current technology the best way is probably biochar – this is essentially turning the wood to charcoal, and then adding to agricultural soil as part of no-till agricultural practices. It has major beneficial properties for soil structure and is known to stay stable for thousands of years.

      Reply
      1. jsn

        This is super interesting, where does one find this kind of information?
        Thank you in advance for any links or direction, and thanks in any case for the comment!

        Reply
        1. PlutoniumKun

          There is lots of biochar research online – there are various links and references in this paper. The book ‘Drawdown’ also has plenty of detail on this. I can’t recall the name, but there was a link here a few weeks ago on a book about uses for carbon in construction and other uses.

          Reply
      2. Jim A.

        And as climate bands shift Northward due to climate change, forests will be viable in places that they were not previously. Seeding those areas rather than waiting for the forests to naturally expand may be worthwhile.

        Reply
    3. Randy

      I recently had a selective cut done in my hardwoods. My forester pointed out the reasons as to why he was cutting what by showing me growth rings on the stumps of the sugar maples we were cutting. The stumps showed growth rings about 1/8″ thickness from 12″ diameter to about 16″ diameter. Then from 16″ to 24″ diameter the growth rings were 1/4″ to 3/8″ in thickness. After 24″ the growth rate slowed again.

      In the case of sugar maple, letting them get bigger allows a higher rate of carbon sequestration as evidenced by the wider growth rings. You get more money for what you cut as these trees are being turned into veneer. The outer wood is white wood which is what is desired for veneer and you also get two veneer logs from the 24″ trees as opposed to one from a 16″ tree. This harvest will occur every ten years with this system of management. By taking the big ones you allow the smaller, younger trees light which is all important when it comes to faster growth.

      Reply
      1. rd

        Faster growing hardwoods don’t live as long. The faster growing trees have weaker wood and are more susceptible to disease and fungal attack.

        The really old trees in old growth forests may have looked like a sapling for a century as they grow slowly in the understory. Interestingly, the mychorrizal fungal network between trees (even of different species) shares nutrients to the smaller trees so they can survive a century or more growing very slowly in the shade of the much older trees. This is one of the key differences between an old growth forest and a tree farm.

        Reply
    4. John Wright

      My degree is in electrical engineering, but I have seen a lot of cut logs and their ring structure.

      As the trees add one ring per year, assuming a fairly constant ring thickness for two trees seeing the same sunlight and water supply in the same forest, a tall larger diameter tree should sequester far more CO2 than a small diameter short tree as its larger diameter/taller cylindrical ring has much more volume of CO2 converted to tree growth.

      To me this suggests the article is casting another “here’s the fix for climate change problems” that can’t scale up in time to matter.

      We can’t even stop net deforestation, how the hell are we to add all these trees in time?

      Reply
      1. jsn

        You are not accounting for growth: a mature tree is simply replenishing the same canopy year after year while a sapling produces greater sequestration each year by increasing trunk height and canopy volume. A mature tree only adds girth to its trunk.

        This makes forest growth and tree farming effective carbon sinks.

        Reply
      2. coboarts

        And why do we trust the estimates of climate scientists more than those of pharmaceutical scientists? Why, do you suppose, is there never enough *time* to begin and build long-term solutions, step by step, without rushing into panic?
        Hype ’em up, get ’em scared, and take ’em for the ride.

        Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          because climate science is the most scrutinized on the planet, due to the propaganda campaign, and still no evidence of fraud. this distinguishes it from the pharmaceutical industry.

          Reply
      3. Cal2

        Brazil’s rainforests are being cut to produce soybeans to feed cattle to make hamburgers in America. One more reason to stop eating junkmeat, or meat in general. Don’t forget cattle farts, a potent greenhouse gas.

        Whatever, plant trees now. Anyone with a back yard or a piece of land they control can plant trees. Research which species is best for the climate, wildlife and place it so it does not block useful sun, or, in hot climates, so that it does. Just do it.

        Coppicing is an interesting and productive way to use trees to produce a useful product that can replace plastic in building material and making baskets. This technology was perfected half a millennium ago and there’s no reason to make it overly complicated.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Increasingly going forward the Brazil rainforests are cut to produce soybeans to feed pigs to make pork in China. One more reason to buy less cheap China crap in hopes of reducing Chinese revenue enough that China will have less money to buy less Brazilian jungle soybeans to feed to less pigs.

          But the reasons to eat no junkmeat still stand. However, carbon-capture meat is not junkmeat. If the meat animals are part of a verifiable carbon-capture farm system, then we should eat more such meat to bribe more farmers to adopt more carbon-capture methods, including fast-moving tight-bunched packs of grazing animals.

          Coppicing is indeed good. One wonders if coppicing could be integrated into silvopasture systems. The “tree” part of the silvopasture could be fast-growing coppice-able trees and shrubs. Some of them could even be nut-growers, like chestnuts and hazelnuts which produce food their own selves before being coppiced again for another round of fast new-trunk growth from the established roots.

          Reply
  8. crittermom

    >2020: Michelle Obama…

    Whew! *breathing normally again*
    I feared Michelle had thrown her hat in the ring while I was sleeping. Noooo!

    This poll shows how many people idiots completely ignore policies & will vote for someone based just on gender or color.
    Example: “She’s a woman” *checks box* “She’s black” *checks box*

    Snowing in CA, NV & AZ?
    I feared hell had frozen over until I read the article.

    *Deep sighs of relief while making second cup of cocoa*

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      I do think the dlc has someone waiting in the wings for a bid at the presidency and what they’ve put out so far are their candidates with known weaknesses, just water down bernies announcement with people who have no chance. One reason for this is in the seattle times much was made of jay inslee, but he never gets mentioned in the horse races I looked at. I’m drawing a blank on who they have though, but I imagine that whomever they think they have wouldn’t get me too excited…

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m drawing a blank on who they have though,

        Long term candidate recruitment is an issue for the Democratic Party. The Clintonistas believed getting Evan Bayh to run for the Senate again was a huge victory. EVAN BAYH. Even if Beto wasn’t such a doofus, he would be a joke as a simple result of not having a record so soon after Obama. An appeal of Sanders was the record behind him.

        In the end, its a demand problem. There is no demand for a friendlier Republican in office, and the elite Democrats between the ages of 40 and 60 are pretty much awful inspired to enter politics by Bill Clinton or the DLC. Even in 1992, Tsongas and Moonbeam made Bill look like Trotsky. Moonbeam was Rick Perry bad.

        Reply
        1. Big River Bandido

          Demand problem, indeed. The dogs won’t eat the dog food.

          I do recall at least the perception at the time that Jerry Brown was running to the left of Clinton in 1992. But even at the time, Brown’s populist image struck me as completely phony. And from today’s vantage point, there’s nothing to distinguish between the political careers of Clinton, Brown, and Tsongas other than their respective longevity in politics. The motto for all three of those clowns was “we can’t afford that”.

          And right there is the root of the demand problem. This politics no longer wins elections — enough voters hear this kind of nonsense and recognize that the candidate is just not serious. When candidates like this get nominations for elective office (especially by “defeating” a more popular insurgent by underhanded means), suddenly the party’s “base voters” are nowhere to be seen in the general election.

          Reply
          1. richard

            I remember ‘92 pretty well. The fix was in for clinton going back to ‘88. There was no organized left opposition to him. Just brown. And you bring up a good point bandito, that if we step back and look at these candidates over a longer period of time, there isn’t much that separates them. No left candidates, but plenty of left demand, even back then. Left demand is off the charts these days, but how do we get the candidates to match what we want?
            Maybe we need to teach children how to be leaders in a thoughtfully planned manner, rather than the prolonged sociopath knife fight seminar we have now to develop leaders. Maybe we need to change the default definition of leader to caretaker in the public interest, a brave listener.
            Instead of “tough” and “knows how to say no” for instance

            Reply
            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              how do we get the candidates to match what we want?

              As a whole, Democrats tolerated the election of people who weren’t Democrats at the local level for too long. These non-entities made it up the food chain. Klobuchar, a sitting Senator, is running on a campaign of she doesn’t want to do anything but be President.

              Reply
            2. Lambert Strether

              > how do we get the candidates to match what we want?

              You have to be willing to force liberal Democrats to lose elections, even against conservatives. The left didn’t do so well at that in 2016.

              Reply
          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            With the demand side, wealth inequality. Democratic and Republican elites are ultimately fighting over a smaller subset of the population with each day that goes by.

            The perception of HRC as a fighter (hence the narrative Team Clinton tried to push that Bernie and HRC were two peas in a pod) against the GOP was necessary. Even the HRC dead enders aren’t interested the person she chose to be her replacement, Tim Kaine.

            Reply
    2. ambrit

      I have an Opium Fit Nightmare political team up: Hillary/Michelle 20/20 “America Needs Two Mommies.”
      Don’t forget the other “Identity” boxes for Michelle: She’s a Lawyer, (smarter than the average ‘deplorable,’) She’s a Mommy, (that’s the ‘official’ story,) She’s Green, (for some definition of ‘Green,’ she certainly loves ‘green,’ as in dollar bills,) and, last but not least, She was not born in Kenya, (why is everyone beating up on Kenya?)
      Oh, and, for extra tin foil hat building projects for the ‘kiddies,’ there is a wonderfully wacky conspiracy theory circulating the ‘Unternets’ that casts doubt on your first ‘box’ category.
      When is this election going to be? Two years off? My, my, how time crawls.

      Reply
      1. richard

        ambrit, is it you who’s always thinking up these nightmare tickets?
        Or is this just a house feature of the NC links comments section?
        It’s pretty diabolical
        just as I’m sitting down with my coffee to look over what all the smart people have to say
        and yagggghhhh

        Reply
    3. Oh

      Had a cushy job at the University of Chicago with a fat paycheck and pension. Check!
      Some women swoon at the mention of Michelle’s name. They religiously read her (ghost written) books and admire her hip length gold colored boots.

      Reply
  9. WobblyTelomeres

    Food allergy treatment/oral immunotherapy is NOT new despite NPR’s declaration. My siblings and I received this therapy 60 years ago.

    Reply
  10. Wukchumni

    Are we on the road to civilisation collapse? BBC
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Reading Tainter’s tome was a lightbulb moment, in that complexity come a cropper in past collapses was the culprit, and we’ve taken complexity to the nth degree to the point where nobody understands what we all rely on.

    A few years ago I was on a drive in a 2010 Ford Mustang a friend owns, and the body style was that of a 1970 Boss Mustang. I asked to see what was under the hood and glimpsed at what looked to be a comatose patient in a rather cramped ICU ward, with a mess of wires, hoses, etc. hooked into something that rather implicitly stated, don’t touch.

    The concept of being what they used to call a ‘shade tree mechanic’ and maintaining that 1970 version, completely lost.

    Or look at this contraption (with an emphasis on trap) where we effortlessly communicate to everybody in hailing distance and yet could any of us could set up such a network on our own, or the complexity of snooping on everybody in the USA & points beyond-via Eavesdrop Utah, versus old ways of just a few decades prior?

    Throw in winning the oil lottery which brought on more layers of complexity, with money itself reliant upon the whims of very fast computers to make it so.

    In my life i’ve witnessed a slowed down collapse in society and nothing too major just gradual moves plumbing new depths (i’d never heard of Fentanyl 5 years ago, now it kills as many as guns per year in our country)
    and they thing is, they have no shock value anymore.

    Tainter identifying previous causes of collapses, stressed these 11 things as being a common factor, and how nice of them to all be in play currently…

    Resource depletion
    New resources
    Catastrophes
    Insufficient response to circumstances
    Other complex societies
    Intruders
    Conflict/contradictions/mismanagement
    Social dysfunction
    Mystical factors
    Chance concatenation of events
    Economic explanations

    Reply
    1. Lee

      The author’s ladder of civilization metaphor is apt and powerful. It brought to mind the lines from Yeats:

      Now that my ladder’s gone
      I must lie down where all the ladders start
      In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.

      There’s some DIY stone age technology videos on YouTube. Perhaps we should acquaint ourselves with them while they’re still available. Also, for you personally: Plant more apple trees!

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        The Primitive Technology series. Wordless, hence strangely soothing – but you’re right: detailed enough to be an effective primer.

        Varying the tree planting and/or getting hold of those Kazakhstan wild apples would make sense for someone in the California mountains. Nuts will sustain life better than apples. Yesterday, I walked out and the hazelnut tree was loud with our neighbors’ bees, collecting pollen from the catkins. Hazelnuts are in bloom.

        Reply
    2. tegnost

      I was able to tear down the 270 in my old ’56 gmc with 3/8″-3/4″ box end wrenches and there was enough room for me to actually get inside the engine compartment with the engine. Toyota chopped two cylinders off that design and made the block out of aluminum, the famed 20R and 22R. End of story there. My GMC had at least a million miles on it. 4 drum brakes vs the moden bmw antilock? That’s why I got rid of it and the 8 miles a gallon and the no matter how hard I tried to stop it forever oil leak…I drove it down 89 to susanville then 395 to mammoth and over to s.d. a few times. I love those 89/395 road trips, great scenery, didn’t mind my 55 mph top speed at all going by hat creek

      Reply
  11. Polar Donkey

    Mississippi is full of divorced, lazy people watching porn and gambling. So few good Christians there. I hope some nice missionaries open a few churches there to change those people’s evil ways. The devil has his run in that state!

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Wait a second oh Mammonite!
      The State of Mississippi is an object lesson in Manichaean Theology, and thus, worthy of emulation as the ‘Pointer of the Way’ into the Neo-liberal Millennium!
      Besides, Christians? which kind? The original Theological Communists or the later State Religion Authoritarians?

      Reply
      1. Off The Street

        Their efforts became anticlimactic compared to the more energetic cowgirls out west.
        Clearly they need a reversal of fortune.

        Reply
  12. The Rev Kev

    “‘Rule of the Rabbis’ Fuels Holy War in Israel”

    Personally, I have nothing against a secular Israel. It could be a great place to visit and I even had distant family that lived in Jerusalem a century ago. An Israel controlled by the Ultra-Orthodox, however, is another matter. If they get their way, then you can expect women in Iran to have far more rights than their Israeli sisters for a start. You are talking about banished from the military and banished from public life. As for non-Israelis? Well, their Chief Rabbi for the army said years ago that it was permitted to kill babies of non-Israelis which is as low as you can get. It’s not like that the Utra-orthodox serve the State much. I have heard Israelis say something along the lines that a third of Israelis serve in the armed forces, a third pay all the taxes for Israel and a third fill nearly all the governmental posts in Israel. Unfortunately, it is all the same third! Worst case scenario? An Ultra-orthodox Israel that has control of the several hundred nukes in Israel.

    Reply
    1. Lee

      Religious nuts with nukes, Masada with missiles. Our tax U.S. dollars at work.

      I used to think Israel would make a nice religious theme park run by Hollywood. Now, maybe a walled asylum would be a better idea.

      Reply
    2. L

      This holy war has already been happening and is turning into a civil war. If you go to Israel you will see that it is already three countries in some ways: The hip beachgoing Tel Aviv which has *a lot* of money. The ultra-orthodox in Jerusalem who literally destroy any picture which shows a woman’s face in public and argue that women should shave their heads and wear wigs so as to appear ugly to all other men, and then the Palestineans who are subject to Israel but not in control of it.

      The Ultra Orthodox routinely get exemptions from required military service but are enthusiastic proponents of its use.

      Reply
    3. Alex

      I think the author commits a linear projection fallacy. There are so many unknowns that can work either way to make this apocalyptic scenario more or less likely. Yes, the ultra-orthodox have more kids than the rest of us here but we don’t know how many of them will become non-Orthodox (after all 300 years ago nearly everyone was Orthodox and look what has happened since then). Also, it’s impossible to know how many people will immigrate (they tend to be less religious) or emigrate, for that matter.

      Reply
    4. Alex

      A survey in 2016 showed 51 percent of Jewish pupils attended sex-segregated religious schools, which emphasise Biblical dogma – up from 33 percent only 15 years earlier.

      This is by the way simply not true. The original article says https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/state-religious-schools-face-haredization-as-private-education-sneaks-in-back-door-1.5410717:

      In the past 15 years, the number of students in sex-separated state-religious elementary schools rose to 51 percent, from 33 percent.

      This should be parsed as “In the state-religious elementary schools [which educate c. 15% of all students] the number of students in sex-separated classes rose from 33% to 51%.” So definitely a worrying trend but the majority of students attend regular state schools which are non-sex-separated, obviously.

      Reply
    5. Plenue

      Israel is already secular. It’s just a fanatical secularism that manages to contrive excuses for Zionism that don’t rely on supernatural claims.

      Reply
    6. integer

      IMO Cook writes some of the best articles on Israel, the weaponization of antisemitism accusations, and Judaism in general. One positive that could emerge from the Ultra-Orthodox gaining greater power in Israel’s political and military affairs is that it will make it harder and harder to justify unconditional support for “the only democracy in the Middle East”. Israel’s disgraceful treatment of Palestinians and continued expansion of settlements, which are invariably inhabited by some of the most extreme and hateful elements of Israeli society, appears to be receiving more and more condemnation of late, and people, including anti-Zionist Jews, are getting increasingly tired of the attempts to silence criticism of Israel. Should Sanders win in 2020, his Judaism is going allow him a greater freedom to take action on the Palestine issue, as accusations of antisemitism will be rendered farcical. I’m guessing the Israel lobby is aware of this so it will be interesting to see what measures they take to derail his campaign.

      Reply
  13. Lee

    Who holds the power in potential U.S.-China trade war?

    Paul Solman interviews Yasheng Huang regarding the relative bargaining power of the two countries. Cutting to the chase, Solman concludes:

    And so, at last, we come to the bottom line: China seems at first to have quite an arsenal of economic options. But, in the end, they all seem more likely to backfire. We know it. They know it. No wonder they are willing to negotiate.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      This is so a version of the old adage “owe the bank 1000 dollars, they own you, own them a million, and you own them”. Of course that was when a million meant something, make it 100 million I guess.

      Anyway, China has become so dependent on giving us stuff for free they have put themselves on the wrong side of the equation. Something Trump even in his dotage instinctively understands.

      Reply
  14. pretzelattack

    hmm just checked out the guardian front page, not one article about russia cubed or mueller, nothing on yahoo featured news stories either. time to move on to a different propaganda campaign?

    Reply
      1. flora

        Yes. I think the US 3rd Way Dems and the New Labour estab have remembered Hannah Arendt’s formulation that the ‘alliance of elite and mob’ is the material basis of fascism. Realizing also the way to prevent such an alliance is for new Labour and 3rd Way Dem parties to represent some of the material interests of the working class, or at least not consign the working class to political limbo. But that would mean changing the parties back to representing the old alliances of who and what they once represented, imo. gasp!

        Maybe best not to talk about fascism anymore. Worry instead about socialists!

        Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Yeah the #resistance went overboard on glorifying Mueller, they didn’t leave themselves an out, and its hysterical because Mueller is so scummy in the first place. If they were slightly more skeptical, they might get away with attacking Saint Mueller today.

      Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “Experts Find Serious Problems With Switzerland’s Online Voting System Before Public Penetration Test Even Begins”

    That is not good news. I just heard this week that in another State in Oz, that they were having computer voting for those who-

    – are blind or have low vision
    -are unable to vote without assistance or have difficulty voting at a voting centre because you have a disability or have difficulties reading
    -are a silent elector
    -live more than 20km from a voting centre
    -will be interstate or overseas during election day.

    I did some checking the other night and found a page full of reports on this iVote at https://www.elections.nsw.gov.au/about-us/reports/ivote-reports but reading the one called “iVote source code review invitation” did not exactly fill me full of confidence. This sounds like the wedge to introduce computer voting across the board because it will be so “convenient”. Somebody wants this as that Scytl systems was given the contract to do this year’s elections even after their last effort in 2015 proved vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack. More on this at-

    https://www.itnews.com.au/news/review-finds-security-of-nsws-ivote-system-adequate-516184

    Reply
  16. Wukchumni

    Wow, seemed to have snowed in a lot of unusual places on the left coast-bottom corner pocket in our variant of the polar vortex, which takes into account the wimp chill factor associated with delicate Californian constitutions, anything near freezing could put you in Siberia.

    It’ll be near 70 a week from now, just a few more frigid nights, with one last chance at snow yesterday, and it stubbornly refused to fall here, but 300 feet above is enough cover to last awhile, and the look of the lightly covered forest on a ridge high above us chock full of dead trees on account of the drought & bark beetles (we call it Cemetery Ridge) is that of delicate intricate lacework in between and betwixt nooks & crannies, blue sky prevailing.

    I’m taking Dr. Seuss’s advice, see ya later…

    “Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.”

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Somehow your descriptions of where you live and the natural movement of the seasons are like a breath of fresh air.

      Reply
  17. Carolinian

    Re NYT on Bernie FP–sounds like Sanders is fully down with responsibility to protect, evil Putin, evil Maduro etc. but presumably with a preference for jaw jaw over war war. The former Slate writer penning the op-ed thinks this is a “strong” stand even as it endorses a US led global world order that would be a less bloody (?) business as usual. I’d say: beware the NYT bearing gifts….

    Reply
    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Yes, an excellent example of trying to nudge a campaign direction by being “helpful.”

      It’s just slightly more subtle than some others – no doubt to keep up that NYT only the best cat litter liner reputation.

      Reply
    2. jsn

      Bernie was around to see Kennedy, Kennedy, King and X get shot for leaning towards real leftism.

      One says what one needs to say to the men with guns that may be pointing at you.

      Reply
      1. John k

        If I were he, I would pick somebody they like less for veep.
        Dem elites might be too far gone with tds to remember pence, mic would remember tulsi.

        Reply
      2. Carolinian

        Bernie supported Bill Clinton’s Kosovo intervention in the 90s and that was supposedly the real genesis of the R2P excuse for foreign meddling. None of us can read minds, but it’s likely that those speeches last year were statements of what Sanders really thinks. In Counterpunch today St. Clair reprints his 2016 view of Sanders

        It is one of the great failures of the Sanders campaign that he didn’t try to puncture some of the comforting illusions about American foreign policy. As cruelly as we treat our own citizens, Americans like to believe, in fact must believe, that our country remains a force of light and goodness in the most troubled precincts of the world. We are reluctant warriors, heroes for humanity[..] Sanders was punching a collective ticket back to a past that never existed.

        Overly harsh no doubt, but if–as Sanders himself said in those speeches–FP and domestic mismanagement are intimately entwined then he has some obligation to be a bit more incisive about what we are really doing overseas.

        https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/22/that-magic-feeling-the-strange-mystique-of-bernie-sanders-2/

        Reply
            1. Oh

              If we don’t like what he does on foreign policy we can rise up and put pressure on him unlike what the people forgot to do with Obomber. Let’s not just take potshots at him now. He’s probably the best we can hope for. Or do you want one of the other established liers from the Dim party?

              Elections are not like switching on an auto pilot. People have to be vigilant and participate full time, not every 4 years.

              Reply
                1. jsn

                  And the lesson is what? It’s hopeless?

                  Sanders has had a consistent, focused message on domestic policy his entire career which is distinctly left in the US context.

                  To run for President to implement that domestic program he is required to have a foreign policy position.

                  If your career focus is on domestic policy it seems reasonable to take a fairly “conventional” (yes I know conventional US FP is psychotically insane) FP position to hold focus on your core expertise/intent.

                  Once in power his leftist principals will make it easy to hold his feet to the fire, as Oh says above. He’ll need better Secret Service protection than JFK at that point.

                  Reply
                  1. jsn

                    “In Him You Trust”, no.

                    This is the best option going into this election right now. One gets to choose from the candidates that can get on one of the Duopoly tickets. Other options at present are empty idealism.

                    Sanders isn’t JFK, but you may want to read “JFK and the Unspeakable”. Kennedy ran on the policy he needed to run on to get elected and once in office tried to steer in a different direction, this got him killed.

                    Sanders has a clearly articulated domestic program and a plausible plan for how to get some sort of opportunity to execute on it. I see no one else in the field with similar possiblities.

                    Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            To me it seems just as likely that he remembers the good days of what America stood for in WWII and a short while thereafter. If so, he would be uncomfortable with saying: ” Responsibility to protect? Not America’s problem.”

            I would be comfortable with hearing it, though.
            Anti-Rohinja ethnic cleansing? Not America’s problem.
            Great Nazi-Han Lebensraum-genocide in Tibet and East Turkestan? Not America’s problem.

            Reply
            1. PlutoniumKun

              In response to these questions, I think the best ‘short’ answer is Noam Chomsky’s base principle of ‘first, do no harm’.

              In other words, the first question to be asked of any proposed military intervention is ‘is it possible that this will make it worse?’ If the answer is ‘yes’, then don’t intervene. If the answer is ‘no’, then you can start talking about the broader issues about intervening.

              Chomsky does discuss a few successful military humanitarian interventions – such as the Vietnamese going into Cambodia and the India going into Bangladesh to stop massacres. Its quite hard to think of many US successes.

              Reply
        1. Unna

          The problem is that nobody really knows what Bernie’s FP beliefs are and so nobody really knows what he would do if elected – even after reading the speeches and the articles. And after reading them, I’m not particularly amused.

          Bernie calls out all the politically-correct-to-hate “authoritarian oligarch” lovin’ bad guys of the world most of whom also just so happen to be aligned contra the American Imperium – plus Trump. So where’s the courage in that? Will he sanction Turkey for buying military stuff that works from Russia as opposed to buying stuff that doesn’t work from America? What about Germany and Nord Stream II? Will he establish diplomatic relations with Iran? How about Chairman Kim? Will he continue de escalating tensions there, small step by small step, or will he go full on neo-con?

          And so what business is it of Bernie’s anyway what Orban does in Hungary so long as Orban is not threatening the US or committing mass murder in the streets? This nonsense has to stop.

          If the Senate can pass a resolution against Trump for withdrawing, or at least saying something about withdrawing, 2,000 troops from Syria, can you imagine the impeachment meltdown the Dem-Repub party will have about anything more than that attempted by a democratic socialist with no religion and no political party like Bernie?

          All that having been said, Let the Games Begin. Let’s see what Bernie says from here on and how the action develops.

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            I know that Bernie has a lot of support here but I think that Bernie has made his deal with the establishment. He will support all the Russia, Venezuela, Iran adventures and in return, they will throw something to him domestically which is all he really cares about. As an example, he is not stupid and knows the deal with Venezuela but he has just hummed and hawed his way here about his position.

            Reply
            1. jrs

              Actually he’s saying good things on Venezuela, that the U.S. should not be involved and that he doesn’t support U.S. puppets. For which he is getting slammed by some of the Dem party (and of course smeared all the more as a leftist, when what he is saying is just common sense regardless of one’s take on Venezuela, the U.S. doesn’t need to get involved). So he’s saying stuff and getting slammed by all the right people.

              Now what he would actually DO when elected, I can’t say I could predict (I mean for heavens sake how many people have won on promising to end wars at this point, and haven’t). And it’s not the focus of his campaign, that is his domestic policy.

              Reply
        2. Oh

          Good article well written by Jeff St Clair. Always a good read. A lot of good points. Still leaves us scratching out heads…why didn’t he press on and use the GP platform? Why didn’t he show more aggressiveness again Hilly? Why did he campaign for that witch? I hope 2020 is not a redux. He needs to grow a pair and go for it all. If needed he should run as an independent where he can be on the national ballots.

          Reply
    1. Vsy

      People need to stop depending on these corporate behemoths for their platform, NOW. People wail about this but if they don’t pick up and move the discussion somewhere else the management of these companies have every reason to stick with a winning censorship strategy.

      It’s not hard that to get independent web hosting, and there’s still Usenet.

      Reply
      1. Arizona Slim

        Last I checked, NC is a blog with no social media presence. And here we are, a thriving commentariat.

        It can be done. Because we’re doing it right here.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Thanks! We do auto-tweet our posts on Twitter, and I sometimes re-tweet material I find interesting, but I don’t invest time there and our follower #s show that.

          Reply
    1. Paul O

      I happened to catch this by chance attempting to flick through the BBC Parliament channel (not a frequent haunt!). It did manage to hold my attention for quite a while.

      Reply
    2. Anonymous2

      Thank you. Rogers manages to say more sensible things in under two hours than most English politicians have managed in the last three years.

      Reply
  18. Craig H.

    > Facebook Continued To Identify Users Who Are Interested in Nazis — and Then Used the Info To Let Advertisers Target Them, Investigation Finds

    “I grew up in a punk scene in Miami where there were Nazis, they would kind of invade the concerts as a place where they knew they could get away with violence,” he said.

    Where I grew up those people joined the police department (ha ha just kidding). Any way businesses collect data on customers and use it from way back. Redlining, &c. When the police departments classify you as a dangerous person and deal with you with their fingers on their triggers is going to be where the legal conflicts get spicy.

    Reply
  19. L

    Jonathan Chait (yes I know) is out with a genuinely novel line of attack on Bernie Sanders. According to the all knowing Chait he does not actually have real working class support, the people who voted for him in 2016 just hated Hilary.

    Coming from him that is both unintentionally hilarious and really really sad.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The reality that not every HRC voter and donor was a neoliberal is coming home. Obama wasn’t elected to let white collar crime flourish and be rewarded.

      Two narratives about 2016 jump out to me, one, HRC’s inevitability and the need to unite behind steady hands to fight Trump, after all Obama just lost 1,000 seats, yes, I know Bill was a disaster down ballot too but he hasn’t been President in almost 16 years then.

      Back in 2014, Pelosi was reassuring donors HRC would set everything right and to keep giving. Without an anti-Sanders unity, Sanders will run through the primaries the same way he ran through the DKos poll.

      Reply
      1. Robert McGregor

        It may be that the “top 20%” of Dem voters will sit around mumbling about who is the “best candidate.” Some will say Harris, some–Beto, some–Warren. But that the “bottom 80%” of Dem voters will deliver a massive majority vote for Sanders. Sanders has history, policies, and reputation. The others are like “brand experiments.” “Hey, we got this candidate, Harris. A woman, attractive, black. This could be it.” Or “We got this guy, Beto. Good-looking, aw shucks kind of buy. Appeals to millennials.”

        Reply
    2. JohnnyGL

      Chait is right that there was a distinct block of ‘never-hillary’ voters and I think it was thoroughly under-rated throughout the campaign (especially compared to the imaginary ‘never-trump’ breed of voter). I know several of them, personally. They hated the lying and the corruption. Yes, the hatred was often heavily infused with sexism (though I think the sexism was an add on to someone they already hated, not the driver).

      The other side of the Dem primary is how many HRC voters actually liked Bernie, but were voting HRC because ‘pragmatism’. That was at least as large of a block of voters as the anti-hrc vote. I saw some polls that showed as much as 10% valued ‘electability’ above all. That’s code for ‘just win’ and ‘just beat trump’. A +10 for Bernie, -10 swing for HRC would have put Bernie over the top.

      I think Chait is also discounting/underestimating how much the electorate has changed. Bernie has been busily creating a more hospitable environment for his own message and his own style of politics for the last several years. He’s made a lot of things seem possible. That’s likely going to move the needle in the upcoming primaries.

      Plus, the name recognition starting point is so much better than 2016. That makes him a much easier sell than in 2016, when no one had heard of him

      Imagine how the ‘just get trump out’ voter is going to react when they see Bernie bringing in crowds of 50K, and crushing the donation race, again. Donor class is a careful bunch. They’re not going to commit to unproven centrists that don’t seem like they can win. They hate backing a losing horse. With Harris’s stumbles and the pundit/political class having little confidence in Biden, don’t be surprised if the donors hold back on the donations and wait to see who catches on. That leaves the money race to Bernie’s army of small donors to build a sizable lead. A few of the bigger donors might try to make their peace with Bernie thinking that they’re rather get ‘on the bus, instead of under it’.

      The advantages Bernie has going into 2020, are much bigger than anything he might have had from the field being cleared by dem party apparachiks in 2016, being able to consolidate the anti-hrc voters.

      Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/bernie-sanders-was-helped-by-the-neverhillary-vote-what-does-that-mean-for-his-chances-now/

        It seems 538 is on the case, as well. The goal seems to be to figure out how to take apart the Sanders vote and reach the conclusion that he’s not that big of a deal.

        I’ll repeat….once he gets out in front with small donors and crowds…he’s going win the tag of ‘best bet to beat trump’. Once he gets that tag….dem voters will consolidate around him. Even bitter hold outs who accuse him of ruining things for HRC will soften their hatred.

        Something tells me pundits are figuring out he’s the front-runner.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The problem with HRC wasn’t that she was the worst possible candidate. The problem was as bad as she was, she was still better than most Democratic Party elites. This is a structural problem with Team Blue. Look at the statewide office holders in Virginia. Other Democrats may not be as gross, but there is a reason an unconnected bartender beat a member of the Democratic leadership in a primary. Other primary challenges exist because of this crisis. Nostalgia and structural problems exist, but the widespread calls for primaries at all levels across the country is directly linked to the anti-Clinton vote not being personally about HRC or Bill but the movement of the Democratic Party to the right of Richard Nixon.

          Reply
        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think it depends on how ugly it becomes.

          While there were and still are never-Hillary voters, there are also never-Sanders people.

          Reply
        3. NotTimothyGeithner

          Something tells me pundits are figuring out he’s the front-runner.

          I suspect there was a sense that Obama’s ad campaign was more important than that he didn’t vote for the Iraq War in 2002. Creating Obama level excitement isn’t a simple process.

          To show where the Team Blue elites are, they are standing with Trump in favor of Eliot Abrams and John Bolton.

          Reply
        4. oh

          If IIRC, Nate Silver (?) of 538 called the race for Hilly way ahead of time. A DimRat friend of mine snapped at me for suggesting that Trump would win. I haven’t been able to hear his prophecies since. Although once a dyed in theBlue Kool-Aid, always one. He took glee at one of Trumph’s dirtbags geting indicted last year.

          Reply
      2. John k

        I’m pretty optimistic too… if you want m4a it’s absurd to think of supporting one of the bait and switch centrists, or Warren proudly claiming to be a capitalist… the electorate has changed, fewer oldies supporting a centrist and more young, not least 14+ yr olds that couldn’t vote in 2016.

        but not on the big donors. Not many of them can stomach the combination of higher taxes on the rich, m4a, and breaking up the banks and monopolies… they likely prefer trump. Agree they likely hold back until they figure out which non Bernie to back… a lot went up in smoke in 2016…
        Biden has been leading in polls, granted polls usually miss young and other new/occasional voters that likely support Bernie…
        interesting to see how much boost he and Bernie get after entering race.

        Reply
  20. rd

    I haven’t seen a TV screen on an American Airlines flight in several years. On the AA planes I tend to fly on, they pulled them out because they make the seat backs thicker and the seats need to be spread apart more, so the screens make them have fewer rows and less revenue. So it turns out that packing more people in by removing the screens to add more rows may give me more privacy? Very cool.

    Reply
  21. Brooklin Bridge

    U.S. Efforts To Block Huawei Gives China An Advantage Moon of Alabama

    Should be read just after reading,

    Are we on the road to civilisation collapse?

    They are strongly linked.

    Somewhat as an aside, I would point out that the civilization collapse article has the obligatory, There’s room for hope last paragraph. That hopeful, apparently de rigueur, conclusion is somewhat unbolted from the rest of the article by the weight of historical facts listed earlier; especially where it points out that NO major civilizations have ever avoided collapse in the past. Then there is the point made about how interconnected and global (another way of saying major) our current civilization is unlike all those that came before it which I take to be either the lone difference that might signal hope in some completely unexplained manner, OR, more probably I fear, signals a qualitatively as well as quantitatively more comprehensive and definitive global collapse in the cards that belies the slightly forced upbeat last words.

    I’m not sure where hope lies, but it is not to be found in the bromide, “if we all start doing the right things RIGHT now…”. Because we won’t. Common sense aligns with history on that.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Assessing the ongoing collapse of our civilization through the lens of past civilization collapse is inherently optimistic. I believe this time is very different. Past civilizations were replaced by new civilizations and though much was lost and forgotten yet much was rediscovered or remembered. I believe our collapse will be much more thorough. I worry no new civilization will be born from our ashes. We are using up too much of what societies are built from and we have spread our economies and knowledge too far and too thin.

      Reply
      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Agreed that this time is different. The whole world is our Easter Island and we have not one, but multiple very likely (almost inescapable) paths to end our part in it for good. And in some cases by the mere flick of a switch (or close enough). What hasn’t changed and where the article is strong, is that complexity (perhaps not enough about the frailties of human nature), and inequalities, not to mention system aging, seem to have collapse built in down to the smallest levels.

        Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I’m not sure where hope lies, but it is not to be found in the bromide, “if we all start doing the right things RIGHT now…”. Because we won’t.

      —-

      If it’s not in starting ‘doing the right things RIGHT now…Because we won’t,’ what other options?

      Is one choice a Green Dictator, to make us, to force us ‘do the right things RIGHT now?’

      Will someone be the bad cop, so we can remain good (victims of a dictator)?

      Reply
    3. Brooklin Bridge

      Correcting the impression given; Are we on the road to civilization collapse is well thought out and definitely worth a read.. My tiff with the last paragraph is minor and I should have pointed that out.

      Reply
  22. JohnnyGL

    https://freebeacon.com/columns/clumsy-kamala/

    I’m more than a little squeamish about posting a link from the ‘freebeacon’, but it’s a good column. They’re quite accurate in pointing out Harris’ early stumbles and gaffes.

    It’s going to be a real project for the establishment, party apparachiks, consultants, and donors to manufacture the consent to push her over the finish line. I’m increasingly doubtful they can pull off this trick.

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      American Airlines Has Cameras In Their Screens Too BuzzFeed. Oh, great, I have to bring masking tape when I travel?

      Fly the friendly skies — bring superglue.

      Reply
  23. roxy

    “A New Treatment Can Relieve Food Allergies, But Few Doctors Offer It” NPR “If you have lived your life thinking this stuff is poisonous and can kill you … and now the treatment is in fact … to take a little bit of it in food every day, that’s a difficult thing for people to wrap their heads around, particularly when they start to experience symptoms,” Vickery says.

    No kidding. Growing up in the sixties I was ten years old before finally seeing an allergy specialist who said, “Yeah, she’s allergic to peanuts. Stop trying to make her eat them.” I don’t family blogging eat them, or any of their evil relations, like peanut butter. Whenever this “new treatment” stuff is trotted out I think it’s the peanut lobby trying to increase sales. If I doubt something I don’t eat it. End of story.

    Reply
  24. doug

    Re: the NC crooked vote:

    The vote capped off four days of witness testimonies detailing an alleged scheme by Leslie McCrae Dowless, a political operative hired by Harris’s campaign, to pay workers to collect absentee ballots from voters in rural Bladen County.

    They collected them in open envelopes and then marked them for the paying customer. Pure Federal election fraud, which the perp did 2 years earlier also. The perp is not even up for a single charge yet.

    NC is failing to protect its citizens….

    Reply
  25. Cal2

    Re Epstein,

    At least he doesn’t have an airport terminal named after him as in San Francisco with the Harvey Milk Building. Maybe it was the small number of children he slept with?

    Reply
  26. Yikes

    Brexit?

    BAE being held back from delivering Tornado Aircraft because Germany withholds parts due to boycott of Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, France and Germany sign agreement to allow French/German JV to get around boycott.

    Reply
  27. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “India reiterates plan to stop sharing of water with Pakistan”
    Two proximate nuclear powers have been in conflict since the Partition and the “Indo-Pakistani War of 1947–1948, sometimes known as the First Kashmir War…” [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Pakistani_War_of_1947%E2%80%931948]. Both India and Pakistan face serious water shortages as Climate Chaos proceeds and both have large populations to feed. The Indian decision to stop water sharing is unwise and provocative. A war in this region could have impacts reaching far beyond the borders of these two countries

    Reply
    1. pespi

      This is the sort of thing that could lead to war, nuclear or not. Pakistan is utterly reliant on runoff from those glaciers in kashmir. That red button becomes a lot less frightening when everyone is dying of thirst. just distribute some iodine pills and tell everyone to get into the basement

      Reply
  28. Synoia

    In the 1930s, when Britain imposed a 40% duty on Irish livestock, cross-border cattle-smuggling became virtually uncontrollable

    Ah! the moove on moment.

    Reply
  29. Synoia

    American Airlines Has Cameras In Their Screens Too BuzzFeed. Oh, great, I have to bring masking tape when I travel?

    Fly the friendly skies — bring superglue.

    Reply
  30. Oregoncharles

    “2019’s Most Sinful States in America WalletHub”
    What a disappointment: Oregon turns out to be rather pale, though not down there with some of the Great Plains states.

    Reply
  31. ewmayer

    o “Woman dies after eating at Michelin-starred restaurant Guardian (resilc)” — On first take I misread that headline as “Woman dies after eating a Michelin-starred restaurant”. Cue Python sketch: Ron Obvious, after failing (but coming oh so close!) in his attempts to jump the English Channel (while carrying a hundredweight of bricks to satisfy an advertising agreement with his sponsor, a local brickmaking firm) will now attempt to eat an Anglican cathedral…

    o “Pentagon Ends Drug Lab Bombing in Afghanistan Time (Bill B)” — Showing the growing power of the Afghan wedding-party lobby, whose members were apparently tired of being mistaken for drug labs by those top-flight USAF whiz-kid drone operators.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Using F-22s to hit basically tents with guided bombs is akin to smashing walnuts on platinum anvils using golden hammers. I suppose that it gives the pilots training and makes for some good stats for the Pentagon to quote. Still you would reckon that the Brazilian A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft would be better suited to the job and the US Air Force was considering them a few years ago-

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkgeladdlaI

      Reply
  32. Savita

    ‘screens on airplanes have cameras’ – now one has to travel with masking tape

    not really. what’s called ‘blu tac’ in Australia is really helpful to have when travelling. it’s the soft grey putty used to put posters up without damaging the paint. i cover my phone self-facing camera with a dab, easily removed and replaced, reusable forever. it’s one of those thing I’m always grateful to have in my backpack, in some odd situation or another.

    Reply
  33. oh

    If IIRC, Nate Silver (?) of 538 called the race for Hilly way ahead of time. A DimRat friend of mine snapped at me for suggesting that Trump would win. I haven’t been able to hear his prophecies since. Although once a dyed in theBlue Kool-Aid, always one. He took glee at one of Trumph’s dirtbags geting indicted last year.

    Reply

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