Links 3/20/19

Abel Prize for maths awarded to woman for first time PhysOrg (Chuck L)

First Anatolian farmers were local hunter-gatherers that adopted agriculture PhysOrg (Chuck L)

THEN AND NOW: How the American living room has evolved Business Insider (Kevin W)

California Reintroduces ‘Right To Repair’ Bill After Previous Effort Failed Apple Insider

Researchers pinpoint cause of deadly Lake Michigan rip current PhysOrg. Chuck L: “The dangers of going swimming in a very large lake after storms pass over.”

Who’s to blame for the neurotoxin that’s poisoning the Pacific? The Verge (resilc)

Politician who opposes mandatory chickenpox vaccinations contracts chickenpox Independent (Dr. Kevin)

Beer and pop cans are not being recycled because car and airplane makers don’t like recycled aluminum TreeHugger (resilc)

Jury Finds Bayer’s Roundup Weedkiller Caused Man’s Cancer Wall Street Journal

China?

Some U.S. Officials See China Walking Back Trade Pledges Bloomberg. Resilc: “They can give trumpismo some bullshit for 2020 and then skate little by little.”

US officials to visit China next week for trade talks Financial Times

Trump Blockade of Huawei Fizzles In European 5G Rollout Bloomberg

India

For First Time Since 1993-94, India’s Male Workforce Is Getting Smaller: Report The Wire (J-LS)

Brexit

Please read entire (not long) tweetstorm (hat tip guurst). Key point:

Richard Smith: “Completely appropriate Gallic shrug from Barnier”:

Consistent with yesterday’s Brexit post:

New Cold War

Putin Signs “Digital Iron Curtain” Into Law Safe Haven

In Plain Sight: Bolsonaro, Moro and the CIA Brasil Wire (guurst)

Trump Transition

Pentagon lists military projects that could lose funds to Trump’s border wall The Hill

U.S. to Stop Detaining Some Migrant Families at Border Under New Policy Wall Street Journal

Trump dismisses court packing: ‘It will never happen’ The Hill

Responses To This Tweet Show How People Fixate On Narrative Over Fact Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

GOP steps up attack over tech bias claims The Hill

Look at These Absolutely Ordinary Americans Who Hate Medicare for All Splinter News (Douw)

Paul Ryan joins board of newly formed Fox Corporation Washington Examiner (Scott)

Dramatic Satellite Photos Show Historic Flooding Across Central U.S. in Wake of Bomb Cyclone Gizmodo. Martha r: “Astonishing group of photos.”

Nebraska flooding shows (again) how extreme weather can threaten national security The Verge

2020

Beto O’Rourke Is the Candidate For Vapid Morons Paste. UserFriendly: “SOOOO spot on!!!”

Artist creates 2-acre ‘Beto 2020’ crop circle in Texas The Hill (resilc). Um, some view crop circles as a sign of alien invasion

CONTRARY TO WHAT YOU HEAR, THE RURAL-URBAN GAP DIDN’T GROW IN 2018 ELECTION Daily Yonder (Mlle. Detriot)

737 Max

4 Other Times Plane Automation Software Went Haywire Popular Mechanics (resilc)

Pilot Who Hitched a Ride Saved Lion Air 737 Day Before Deadly Crash Bloomberg (Kevin W)

“It’s Not Going to Be Easy”: The Boeing Tragedy Is Just the Beginning of the Self-Driving Techpocalypse Vanity Fair (resilc)

Lyft

Lyft says it’s worth up to $23 billion. Will Wall Street concur? San Francisco Chronicle. Quotes Hubert Horan!

The Uber Story Four Corners, ABC. A long-standing Australian documentary show, their answer to 60 Minutes. Interviews Hubert and also includes the Uber competitor sabotage mentioned in yesterday’s Links.

Lyft is seeking a $23 billion valuation as it officially launches its IPO — here’s where its executives are headed to court investors Business Insider

Google overhauls European search results to avoid probe Financial Times

The Financial Bailout in 2008 Was a Trillion-Dollar Mess Rolling Stone (resilc)

Class Warfare

Other People’s Blood: On Paul Volcker n+1 (Chuck L). Important.

New Yorkers are blaming ‘villain’ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after Amazon abandoned its HQ2 plans This Insider. Kevin W: ” A poll of New Yorkers taken where exactly? City Hall?”

Kickstarter’s Staff Is Unionizing The Verge

Antidote du jour (bob):

And a bonus (martha r):

See yesterdays Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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228 comments

  1. Olga

    Interesting link given our times:
    http://www.defenddemocracy.press/michel-raptis-pablo-self-management-in-the-struggle-for-socialism-1972/
    “In this essay I shall try to develop a series of ideas about the way in which the fight for the victory of the socialist revolution and the ensuing socialist appears to us today, under present historical conditions.
    When we talk about ‘the struggle for socialism’ we have to make a distinction. There are two separate phases: the struggle for the taking of power and the struggle for the building of socialism.
    The ‘struggle for the taking of power’ is the fight for the revolution, i.e., for an abrupt qualitative change in the evolutionary process – the kind of change which, however brief, is always typical of an objective revolutionary crisis.”
    Caution: long read

    Reply
  2. Olga

    Also, Pepe Escobar on the fine-dance, tip-toe steps EU has to do to link up with China:
    https://thesaker.is/eu-dilemma-how-to-deal-with-china/
    “The US Deep State may have lumped BRI – along with Made in China 2025 and Huawei’s 5G – as part of an “existential threat,” but that’s not the case for most EU latitudes, from Greece and Portugal to German industrialists and the new Lega/Five Stars administration in Rome.”

    Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Corruption….

        From Zhang Yi, Wikipedia (the guy who helped Qin end the Warring States period and unite China):

        A native of the State of Wei,[4] Zhang Yi studied under Guiguzi*[5] and learnt politics and foreign relations.[3] After Su Qin died,[5] Zhang left Guiguzi, and arrived at the state of Chu.[6] He received a severe beating at a banquet in the house of a minister of Chu when he was wrongly accused of stealing a gem. It is said that on his return home, he said to his wife, “Look and see if they have left me my tongue.” And when his wife declared that it was safe and sound, he cried out, “If I still have my tongue, that is all I want.”[4] He then went to the state of Qin in 329 BC, and saw King Hui of Qin, who had earlier rejected Su.[3][6] King Hui accepted him as a high minister, and in 328 BC he led a successful campaign against his native state, by which Qin acquired a large part of Wei.[4]

        At that time, Su Qin’s vertical alliance tactic still influenced China, and formed a sort of unity between the states of Han, Zhao, Wei, Chu, Yan and Qi. Zhang offered ideas to King Hui about ways to befriend Wei and Yan in order to break the alliance, which Hui graciously accepted. Hui decided to make him the prime minister.[3]

        In 314 BC, civil war broke out in Yan. King Xuan of Qi attacked Yan and murdered the King of Yan. King Huai of Chu, who was the head of the vertical alliance, allied with Qi. Qi-Chu alliance would provoke a great threat to Qin’s unification. Hui sent Zhang to weaken the alliance.[3] Zhang first drew the attention of the king by bestowing expensive gifts to his favoured official, Jin Shang. He then struck a deal with Huai. They agreed that Huai would end his alliance with Qi if Qin gave back 600 li of land that Qin had previously captured to Huai.[6] Huai immediately accepted despite his official Chen Zhen’s scepticism regarding the trustworthiness of Zhang. When Huai sent a messenger to Xianyang to retrieve the land, Zhang gave Chu six li of his own land, and claimed he had said ‘six li’ of his own land instead of the six hundred of Qin he had promised.[6] Chu went to war with Qin. Qin defeated Chu and demanded a further six hundred li of land.[3]

        Zhang repeatedly negotiated with Han, Zhao, Wei, Chu, Yan and Qi, thereby destroying their relationships with horizontal alliances, and paving the way for Qin’s unification of China.[3][6]

        Europe, with many nations, is it like the preunification China with those states. It was corruption then. Is it corruption now?

        *a legendary teacher. A Yuan dynasty blue and white depicting his story sold for the highest price for Asian Art then, back in 2005, for $27.7 million.

        Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        5G will probably be imposed on America no matter how many Americans object. Americans can still try objecting and even join or form movements to ban 5G networks and technologies from existing in America. Such movements would put opponents in touch with eachother.

        Such movement-loads of people in touch with eachother about stopping 5G could then start exchanging information about obstructing 5G from functioning wherever it touches their own lives.
        How can people Faraday-Cage their homes and yards against the 5G broadcasters and repeaters?
        How can people strip the 5G digital chip cooties out of every chip-infected thing that they own? How can they live withOUT things which can not be disinfected and de-cootified? How many 5G “services” and “companies” can the Passive Obstructionaries learn to live withOUT?

        The Amish and the “Mark of the Beast” Christians will probably be pioneers in learning how to live without 5G in their lives. Their workarounds and barriers should be studied by Passive Obstructionaries everywhere.

        Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    “Researchers pinpoint cause of deadly Lake Michigan rip current”

    This article would have been of more use if they had taken the time to tell you what to do if you are ever caught in a rip. In Oz, we are taught to relax, swim parallel to the beach to get out of the rip, and then return to the beach. Got caught in one when young and can vouch for the fact that you should not try to swim to the beach direct. Luckily remembered the lessons and go out of it-

    http://lifesaving.com.au/rips/

    Reply
    1. petal

      Rev Kev, how to get out of a rip was literally the first thing they told us when we(study abroad students) arrived at Newcastle. We got to campus, went straight to a lecture hall, and the first thing was rips-then came the rest about being a student there. And as for the Great Lakes thing-having grown up on the shore of Lake Ontario, it’s not a good idea to go out beyond where you can touch(don’t go out “deep”). The lake is funny and unpredictable.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I had wondered about this. The Great Lakes will have currents that bounce around. They may not be as strong as the equivalent ocean currents, but they can come at you from more than one direction.

        Reply
  4. Yikes

    Bloomberg article on Lion Air/Ethiopia Air crash propaganda that can’t get it’s message straight. So is it multiple mistakes or is it pilots (plural intended) must perform multiple steps. Now, I wonder who advertises on Bloomberg more, the pilots union or Boeing.

    Reply
    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you.

      Over the past year, including on the London underground, Boeing has been advertising a lot, often about the UK’s involvement in its military supply chain.

      Reply
    2. Craig H.

      That was not my reading of the Bloomberg article.

      The most interesting thing to me was the photo of the Southwest planes. They were framed from the back of the wings to tail so you don’t see the gargantuan engines.

      There have been enough commercial passenger crashes in history that EVERY SINGLE WORD relayed to us little folks will be read from a script. Any discrepancies in the messages will be due to private infighting over which script to read. The chances are greater than even that the information in the excellent Seattle Times story was all scripted and the leaks were directed from the top of the Boeing and FAA organization charts.

      Reply
    3. notabanker

      Our corporate HR would people would tell us rumours don’t have to be true for people to believe them. What they need is two people to repeat it and a a third to verify it and they become believable.

      It starts with I’m anonymous well trained US pilots that have flown these birds on hundreds of flights and would do so again tomorrow. Bloomberg, and I’m sure others, verify.

      Now the stage is set for the same vapid morons that will vote Beto to get back in their status queues to be the first to board good old ‘merican built planes with fundamental design flaws. I’m sure we’ll also be reminded that many of these pilots flew dangerous combat missions to protect our rights to do so.

      Reply
    4. Lambert Strether

      I reread the article and I don’t see what you’re saying:

      The so-called dead-head pilot on the flight from Bali to Jakarta told the crew to cut power to the motor in the trim system that was driving the nose down, according to the people familiar, part of a checklist that all pilots are required to memorize.

      By contrast, the crew on the flight that crashed the next day didn’t know how to respond to the malfunction, said one of the people familiar with the plane’s cockpit voice recorder recovered as part of the investigation. They can be heard checking their quick reference handbook, a summary of how to handle unusual or emergency situations, in the minutes before they crashed, Reuters reported, citing people it didn’t name.

      What do you mean, “multiple mistakes” or “multiple steps”? Here is an image that shows how MCAS is turned off:

      There are multiple steps. The pilots work together. That’s multiple, too. I don’t think the Bloomberg article says anything different.

      * * *

      Let’s remember that although the 0.1% have their private planes, the 1% and the 10% need commercial aviation to work.

      Reply
      1. Yikes

        Pilot actions show multiple errors required to crash 737 Max ….. “It’s simply implausible that this MCAS deficiency by itself can down a modern jetliner with a trained crew,” Guzzetti said.

        Reply
  5. Foomarks

    Re: Then and Now: How the American living room has evolved

    They missed one of the biggest trends of the 2000s: Clutter, very likely brought on by the increasing availability of cheap goods and mild hoarding.

    Reply
      1. CanCyn

        Rev Kev – I believe that house size is all about status. Another form of elite distraction. Everyone is too busy working at BS jobs so that they can have a big house, fancy cars, annual southern resort vacations, buy lots of stuff… to see what is really happening in the world. In a way it is kind of ironic that they all see life as a game to be won or lost and have embraced the idea that “he/she who dies with the most stuff wins” meanwhile we’re all losing big time because the game of stuff is destroying our planet.

        Reply
        1. Lambert Strether

          Thank you for reminding me of this*. From Schmoop (I love Schmoop. The style is breezy, but the criticism is remarkably good):

          No, no, it’s not you specifically—it’s just that kipple is everywhere, because it’s the representation of decay and degeneration in physical form. In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, it’s really everywhere. World War Terminus has left our home planet in an awful mess: entire cities have been leveled, radioactive dust is getting in everyone’s hair, and people have left the planet to go seek a new existence in the space colonies—leaving behind all their stuff. As that stuff rots and decays, it becomes kipple.

          Isidore describes it:

          “Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday’s homeopape. When nobody’s around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there’s twice as much of it. It always gets more and more.” (5.23)

          So, in other words, just like the dishes in our sink?

          We kid, we kid. But that does give you an idea of what this means. The decay of an entire planet or species might be too much for us to fully grasp, but we experience the disrepair of consumer goods in our everyday lives. Anyone who has ever maintained an attic, rented out a storage unit, or had a locker can tell you how true this is. As we collect stuff, and the stuff just spreads out, growing in number, expanding the mess as it goes, bringing disarray into our lives with a tsunami of junk.

          Is there hope against this state of decay? Maybe:

          “No one can win against kipple,” [Isidore] said, “except temporarily and maybe in one spot, like in my apartment I’ve sort of created a stasis between the pressure of kipple and nonkipple, for the time being. But eventually I’ll die or go away, and then the kipple will again take over.” (5.31)

          NOTE * For Bladerunner stans, I don’t recall the concept of kipple in the movie…

          Reply
      2. Jason Langford

        I think a large part of it is “when all that is for sale is oranges, people buy oranges” A lot of the factors determining where people move have nothing to do with house size, but if all the new houses in a desirable school district are Mcmansions that is what will sell. The strong towns blog details how walkable communities with their small houses and residential over retail layout have plenty of demand going by how much people are willing to live in those places, it’s just that zoning laws make building a town the way we did a century ago impossible

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          The strong towns blog details how walkable communities with their small houses and residential over retail layout have plenty of demand going by how much people are willing to live in those places, it’s just that zoning laws make building a town the way we did a century ago impossible

          Perhaps we should look at changing those zoning laws?

          Reply
          1. Craig H.

            The land owners, land dealers, and construction businesses own the local governments in every municipality I have lived.

            Reply
            1. wilroncanada

              Mike Davis has written extensively about real estate and land dealing in Chicago, San fFrancisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, some of it going back to the 19th century, with frequently the newspaper owners being the major boosters, and land owners..

              Reply
      3. Lambert Strether

        > House sizes have dramatically increased

        Also car sizes (SUVs, and in general, design that’s both bloated and predatory).

        Also body size; you can always spot the Americans in any photo, and returning to the country from abroad, the American girth is instantly recognizable.

        There’s some deep cultural current/zeitgeist thing going on that relates all this, but I don’t know what it is.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Probably the American population in general was the first to be mass-marinated in obesigenic sh*t food and obesigenic xeno-estrogenoid hormone-disrupters. As these things make their way to other countries, mass obesity will follow.

          Thinking about that Wired video about disguise . . . if Visible Hyperfat marks the American, then thinness is the perfect disguise. For those Americans who can get thin or be thin.

          Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        When you’re in an older house, one thing you notice is how few electrical outlets there are, compared to something built more recently.

        Reply
        1. Wyoming

          The density of outlets being higher in newer construction is more related to the ancient law of learning to correct mistakes after a lot of blood has been spilled. The more outlets there are the fewer house fires due to knuckleheads plugging in outlet expanders and powerstrips up to the point the breakers are ready to trip. Thus generating lots of heat and many fires.

          Lots of outlets is just having more sensible electrical code.

          Reply
        2. Oregoncharles

          And how common the extension cords, which have to be managed rather carefully. Fortunately lights now draw much less power than they used to, and household electronics don’t usually draw a lot, either. Watch out for heaters or motors.

          Reply
          1. wilroncanada

            This is nonsense. The older houses have fewer outlets mainly because previous generations had far fewer gadgets cluttering their kitchens, their living rooms, bedrooms, and did not have dedicated computer rooms.
            Electronic and electrical junk is a recent phenomenon.
            Interestingly, older electric stoves had one or two 15 amp circuits running from the stove. We were surprised to discover that our new “modern” range had no auxiliary outlets.

            Reply
            1. Lambert Strether

              The older houses also have fewer outlets because they are antiquated. When I first lived in the house, I could actually blow the fusebox for the entire house by plugging in a toaster oven.

              Now, you could argue that the toaster oven is a useless gadget, but it’s surely better than lighting a match to fire up the enormous gas stove.

              Reply
  6. Henry Moon Pie

    M4A astroturfing–

    It’s not surprising that astroturf organizations are popping up to oppose M4A. This will be a fight with far-reaching implications. Both Democrats and Republicans like the present Rube Goldberg contraption because it’s so easy to play austerity games. In the spring, you can up the Part B contribution and add a work requirement to Medicaid since they’re two different constituencies. Then in the fall, you can cut ACA subsidies for yet a third constituency.

    Now can you imagine trying to cut health care when everybody in the country is on the same plan?

    You can see why our politicians love the present healthcare system. Not only does it send obscene profits into billionaires’ pockets, but it slices and dices the proles so beautifully. Divide and conquer, baby!

    Reply
    1. Chris Cosmos

      Yes that’s certainly true. Some years ago I heard someone say that the reason for the opposition to universal health-care is so strong in the corporate community is that if it worked then it would make people no longer hate socialism and there would be a domino effect. The whole effort of the American right-wing has been to discredit, sabotage, and shrink government in the non-defense areas–sadly, since the 80s the Democratic Party has bought into this logic and shares the goals of the right-wing.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether

        That’s why #MedicareForAll is so important. If you want a wedge issue for making government work (again), that’s the wedge issue. That’s why it’s good to go for that first, since rebuilding the sense that government can actually accomplish good things for the citizenry as a whole (as opposed to narrow constituencies) is a pre-requisite for mobilization on the scale that the GND needs. By comparison to the GND, #MedicareForAll is low-hanging fruit. Also, the left needs a victory to show they can govern (take power rather than take office).

        Reply
    2. Carey

      Thanks for this fine comment. The Few likely see stopping Medicare for All as a near-existential crisis. What would the uppity proles come up with next?

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Agree. Divide and conquer the proles. A key component of keeping them in their place. M4A ( universal health-care) would be the domino to start the fall of the fear based lies that M4A is evil, godless, commie socialism. Once that slope has slipped, what next? The end of greedy corporate personhood? And?

        Reply
  7. voteforno6

    Re: Sanders Campaign Hires

    The responses to that tweet are something. I don’t think I’ve seen anything as nasty as how those Clinton irrendentists act whenever Bernie Sanders is mentioned. Apparently David Sirota and Briahna Joy Gray are triggers for them as well.

    It’s going to be a long election.

    Reply
    1. Mark Gisleson

      Neoliberals are nothing if not well prepared for advancement. They scrub their lives of anything interesting so as to be able to pass confirmation scrutiny.

      Sirota’s a real journalist who’s been passionately tweeting for years. Never expected to work on Sanders campaign sooooo now he has to scrub Twitter and get called a hypocrite. For being a real person who is qualified for the job, instead of an empty suit with no negatives.

      That’s the Meritocracy: you don’t have to be good, but you do have to be perfect.

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Agree that it’s going to be a long election.

      Expect more unpleasant surprises, or just more negative news.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        We’re in the middle of elections here in Australia (state elections in NSW). They have a law in Australia that says it is *illegal* to run a campaign ad more than 6 weeks from the date of the election.

        It’s so cute to hear people moaning about them anyway. There are very few of them.

        The local fascisti are taking a new tack: loudly stating an opponent’s position on a major issue that is just not factually true. The candidate is publicly on record multiple times as supporting exactly the opposite position. Like RussiaRussiaRussia though, just saying something loudly and often enough has become the equivalent of it being true.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Not looking forward to the Federal elections coming up soon either. That is going to be a s*** show.

          Reply
  8. Livius Drusus

    Re: Beto O’Rourke Is the Candidate For Vapid Morons.

    I was genuinely surprised when people were talking up Beto as some kind of “next big thing” politician. Beto is pretty much the definition of an empty suit. I don’t even think he is especially charismatic. Whatever you want to say about Obama I think he was very charismatic. I doubt Beto has much of a chance in the 2020 primary, though. I think that Kamala Harris is the most likely candidate to win among the centrist Democrats who have committed so far.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think we’re assuming the Dem establishment is united, but in reality they may be quite divided over who they want. Plenty of establishment Dems seem to loathe the Clintons so will want to sabotage the Clinton anointed (presumably, Harris) almost as much as they want to stop Sanders. I imagine that their strategy now is to throw as many ‘good’ candidates into the race to see which one sticks. They will coalesce later around whoever they think is the best Stop Sanders candidate. Harris is the early front-runner, but I doubt she has ‘legs’, she has too much baggage.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My suspicion is the Team Blue elites largely believed two things: one, Sanders had cracked a messaging code and two, Sanders would flame out.

        As far as unity, these people are snakes. It was one thing when HRC was the only game in town, but now they don’t have to wait for her edicts or those of her inner circle. The Obama and Hillary people hate each other.

        The courtiers are vying for candidates who can put them as individuals in the best position for a book deal. My suspicion is they simply expect to inherit Clinton’s vote share by virtue of association for their respective candidate.

        Reply
      2. Lambert Strether

        > in reality they may be quite divided over who they want.

        Quite right. I think the primary process is structured to create opportunities rather than outcomes* (with, to be fair, an attrition strategy against the Sanders campaign). I do think the Dem establishment would prefer a brokered convention, but I think it’s the fact of brokerage itself, rather than the particular candidate, that really matters to them. After all, in that case they would (a) retain their institutional power and (b) own the selected candidate. So what’s not to like?

        No matter what you might think of Sanders — that tweet praising McCain, ugh — his parallel structures (list, media, canvassing) are an existential threat to them. So, eyes on the prize!

        NOTE * Except insofar as Anybody But Sanders is an outcome.

        Reply
    2. Cal2

      If a high school team can no longer call themselves “Indians” because of cultural appropriation outrage, how does an Irishman named O’Rourke get to call hisself Mexican?

      “Beto” is a problematic name, it conjures images of Beta Fish, Beta testing the waters, and for Spanish speakers, read voters, B and V are homonyms, which sounds a lot like “Veto” in English, or in Spanish, “Vato” = which is originally a Mexican- Spanish idiom that translates into “One Mean Guy” or “gangster.”

      Vato comes from “chivato” a male goat, which famously has associations with “Cornudo” = “Cuckolded”, not an adjective favored in Latin cultures.
      Remember how well the Chevy Nova sold in Latin America?

      Is there some reason that anyone reading has not yet sent a check to Tulsi’s campaign to get her to 65,000 unique donors? Imagine a Sanders/Gabbard ticket.

      Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Given that she’s willing to pay a reputational cost for her words, why would she not be honest?

            Reply
    3. Phacops

      Beto will be well positioned for the next bipartisan bailout of banksters now that Schumer is leading the charge to eliminate leverage maximums on derivatives.

      Reply
      1. Carey

        Charisma, that’s what I’m looking for. Not healthcare, not a lessening of everyday, grinding, Corporate predations: nope, I want *charisma* from my next president.

        Feels so damn good.

        Reply
  9. Olga

    Beto O’Rourke Is the Candidate For Vapid Morons Paste. UserFriendly: “SOOOO spot on!!!”
    Considering that the local paper is running non-stop Beto O’ coverage, I can only conclude that Beto’s role is to take oxygen out of Bernie’s campaign. Pull the youngsters off from ol’Bernie.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’m sure that’s part of the thinking, although they don’t seem to be very good at their strategizing so far. The obvious way to take the oxygen out of Bernies campaign is to put up a faux left winger who will gradually backtrack from commitments on MfA, etc once his/her job is done. But Beto’s obvious vapidness and lack of policy means he can’t even do that right.

      Bernie might well be very lucky in his enemies. Its a good thing that most of the Dem establishment are so obviously inept at electioneering. Back during HRC’s campaign I commented here that her team wouldn’t get hired by an Irish local Council campaign they were so obviously inept and had such little understanding of the basics of getting people out to vote the ‘right’ way. I still stand by that statement. They obviously have other ‘talents’ than understanding how to get candidates elected.

      Reply
      1. whoamolly

        Re: during HRC’s campaign I commented here that her team wouldn’t get hired by an Irish local Council campaign

        What I *still* don’t understand is why the HRC campaign dissed and dismissed the Bernie supporters. If they’d simply welcomed Bernie supporters, along with Bernie, they would have won easily. It feels like pure vindictiveness on the part of the HRC campaign.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The professional “left”, the people who make up the “liberal” side of punditry, congressional staffs and so forth consider themselves to be lefty types and guardians of the “liberal world order.”

          Sanders and people largely outside the Team Blue courtier caste challenged them with no money, organization, or name ID. HRC was reliant on large leads built up in states which haven’t elected a Democrat to the White House since 1944 (some hyperbole).

          I go to the “Republicans are daddy and Democrats are mommy” themes championed over at DailyKos. These people think they are the parents. Sanders voters challenged their status as guardians of the order which has taken on religious like belief. Whatever they do is ordained by (insert deity of choice) because they are of the faith or the priest class. Anyone outside is either part of the choir or in need of instruction/discipline.

          Like the priestly class in so many societies, its largely a front for corruption, but they believe in their divine status. Sanders exposed their hollow nature and weak hold without any messianic imagery.

          Matt Stoller has recently tweeted about Democratic staffers on Capitol Hill, and what really stuck out to me wasn’t their remoteness from the average American but a belief that FoxNews was seen as a news source not an echo chamber for the Republican choir. These courtiers worried about what FoxNews would say as if it mattered. Yes, my crazy Republican uncle was always a crazy Republican, but now he’s a crazy Republican who watches Fox. These people had internalized an idea FoxNews shapes the electorate (itss very pre-OMG Putin), but it just made crazies drool more than usual. Noting the 1994 Republican Revolution occurred three years before FoxNews went live won’t affect their religious like fervor. Or just look at the inane stuff about Reagan. The Team Blue courtiers are defending us from FoxNews.

          When its pointed out, they don’t have powers. They are going to get vindictive especially if their dreams of being named Bishop are dashed.

          Reply
          1. nippersdad

            Speaking of D Kos, the word has already gone out that their new poll is open for the freeping. I’m wondering if Bernie will get over seventy percent this time.

            Reply
        2. bob

          HRC and most dems aren’t on the left. They despise the left. They see their jobs as protecting the oligarchy from the left.

          dems 2020- we”ll only let the repubs take half of what they want to take.

          Reply
          1. Lambert Strether

            Of course, and especially if Sanders is nominated (or allowed to be nominated).

            The reason the establishment is yammering about unity and forcing people to sign loyalty oaths is that division exists, exactly because there’s nothing to be loyal to. Name one principle where the liberal Democrats are consistent, where their words and their actions match (even granting friction, legacies, etc.). I can’t think of one. The intensity of the establishment’s insistence on unity and loyalty is in direct proportion to its own shrinking power. Not to say that things won’t get very ugly along the way….

            Reply
      2. Romancing The Loan

        I’m suspicious that the faux left Bernie spoiler is Andrew Yang. Suddenly he’s all over, rich dude with zero track record to support his long wish list of left policy proposals. Basic income isn’t usually proposed in addition to Medicare for All, though, and it makes me wonder if that’s the one thing he’d follow through on if elected.

        Reply
        1. Chris Cosmos

          He has a pretty decent track record in business. He’s a genuine guy with a lot of reasonable ideas that make sense to a lot of us. He has showed a strong appeal to some libertarian types which is a good thing. We need pragmatic solutions to our problems. I don’t know enough about Yang other than hearing his interview by Joe Rogan to endorse him but he’s one of the few including Bernie that are bringing policy to the forefront. I think he’s on a lot of media because he seems non-ideological and business friendly. Frankly, no on goes anywhere without making alliances with some part of the corporate world and I know this election shows a split in that community so someone needs to exploit it.

          Reply
          1. Cal2

            Listen to Joe Rogan’s interview in September with Tulsi Gabbard, who is by the way, an experienced local politician, a member of the house of representatives, is a combat veteran of 15 years military reserve status, is healthy, articulate and intellectual, with strong policy positions, backed by bills she has introduced in congress—then get back to us about Yang.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIb2lmHgd5s

            Her presence in the Democratic debates will be the best thing to ever happen to the honesty and future of the Democratic Party in the last fifty years.

            Reply
          2. Lambert Strether

            > he seems non-ideological and business friendly.

            I don’t think you’re saying what you think you’re saying, here.

            One general principle I have is: “Beware of squillionaires with bright ideas.” Yang seems to have a lot of bright ideas.

            > He’s a genuine guy with a lot of reasonable ideas that make sense to a lot of us.

            Ugh. Who’s “us”?

            Reply
        2. jrs

          Maybe, though I suspect he’s really running an issue campaign mostly on one issue: basic income, just because he wants to get that issue out there and doesn’t expect it to go any further than that in terms of gaining political office (or maybe he’s deluded and does).

          Reply
          1. Lambert Strether

            Somehow I think Silicon Valley’s UBI obsession has more to do with creaming off rents from a government subsidy than anything else, and that’s what all the other rentier parasites will come to see. The UBI will go in your pocket, and then your cable/game subscription/software rental/health insurance will all go up, and you will be exactly where you were before. Pouring more water into a leaky bucket! (For example, the purpose of a wage is purported to be reproducing the worker’s ability to work, as through household purchases, etc. Walmart’s wages are (were?) so bad as to make that not possible, and so welfare and food stamps and so on made up the difference. UBI would have the same function; and Yang’s UBI proposal, AFAIK, replaces those programs, and does not add on to them.)

            If you want to give workers power, you empower them as workers, not as consumers. That’s what the Jobs Guarantee does, which is why I support it (and why UBI is at best an add-on to handle edge cases). If you don’t, you don’t, but if Yang doesn’t want to do that, let’s not pretend he’s on the left.

            Reply
        1. Carey

          Yeah, I’ve been noticing his comment in the press for awhile now, and
          have been trying to see where Schatz fits in. Thanks for the comment
          and link.

          “..always be closing.”

          Reply
        1. Cal2

          That’s easy Wobbly,

          Chelsea Clinton runs for president. Her V.P.? Elizabeth Holmes, of Theranos fraud fame.

          “Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of the embattled blood-testing startup Theranos, has struggled with commercial partners, shed board members and a lot of credibility over the last few months…One person Holmes hasn’t lost? Hillary Clinton, apparently.”

          “Next Monday, Holmes is hosting a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Palo Alto. The event includes a conversation with former First Family member Chelsea Clinton, and participants who pay $2,700 get to go to a “host reception” with Chelsea.”

          https://www.recode.net/2016/3/14/11586966/theranos-ceo-elizabeth-holmes-is-holding-a-hillary-fundraiser-with

          Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is the strategy obviously for Beto, but Beto has the same issue as Al Gore and a host of Republicans such as Ben Shapiro. O’Rourke is what an old “pragmatic liberal” thinks young people are like or want out of a candidate.

      Reply
      1. Carey

        If what I hear from my late-twenties daughter is generally indicative, they want
        people-affirming policy, not platitudes.

        Reply
      2. WheresOurTeddy

        “O’Rourke is what an old “pragmatic liberal” thinks young people are like or want out of a candidate” is much the same phenomenon as “Big Bang Theory” is funny to stupid people who don’t actually know any smart people

        Reply
    3. The Rev Kev

      Trump would make mince meat out of a candidate like Beto so there is no point really pushing him forward. Probably Trump would get under his skin by labeling him as the NPC candidate with the NPC policies. And Trump’s supporters would love him for that. My own guess is that by Christmas people will be saying ‘Whatever happened to that Beto guy?’

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Given the state of the msm, especially the “liberal” venues, I see most of the field staying going into New Hampshire as long as they have a shoe string budget or feel “debates” can be their chance to shine. These people are narcissists after all. As flaky as O’Rourke is, he’s a narcissist. The guy lost state wide and has no vision for the country, but he knows he was “born to it.”

        Except for Warren, the others are all reasonable VP ages. Selling their supporters and delegates is definitely on their mind. O’Rourke would probably dig being VP. You get to live at the Naval Observatory, and you get your own plane. He could talk to Americans at Burning Man. I bet he would have fun.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Don’t think Beto’s ever gone to Burning Man, not that there’s anything wrong with never having been.

          Reply
          1. WobblyTelomeres

            I’ve been there (Black Rock Desert) for other events. Say, is Bruno’s still up and running? He seemed to own just about all of Gerlach. Made a great ravioli back in the day.

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              One of the reasons i’ve not been in a decade was on account of Gerlach, not the little town itself, but the speed trap Nevada Highway Patrol had set there, that went from a member of our camp being stopped going 10 mph over, to a full blown inspection of his RV, “and if you don’t let the sniffing dogs in, we’ll get a warrant” swayed him and of course he divulged his schwag, and then spent most of the burn in jail in Reno, with 500 other would-be burners.

              The episode cost him $14k in legal bills.

              Bruno’s is ok, but if you’ve made it to Gerlach, it’s only 10 more miles to Burning Man, and that’s where you want to be.

              Reply
      2. RopeADope

        Trump has already identified Beto’s weakness. Beto is basically doing the Jordan Peterson bit where he distracts the focus of the audience from his mediocre blather with hand movements.

        Reply
        1. Susan the other`

          Indeed. Just another jerking, barking windsock, with an aneroblic look in his eyes. And republican ties out in the open for all to see, like so what, you’re stupid? Where Liz Warren has almost a self-delusional passion, Beto’s is merely impatience and blather. He’s dead-eyed, like an emotion-parasite and I agree Matt Christman – I can’t believe anybody would vote for Beto after the Obama revelation, aka apocalypse.

          Reply
    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      , and that’s exactly what Obama offered: Elect me, and you’re part of the team, but I’ll do all the heavy lifting by sheer force of personality. -from the article.

      This was Obama’s real appeal. It was all easy answers and a dismissal of the crises in the country and world. As the country degraded, Obama supporters determined he lost his mojo or even felt betrayed when his act didn’t produce the same sense of both calm and excitement.

      With a few exceptions, I don’t see O’Rourke as appealing to young people. He strikes me as more of an easy answer for older Gen Xers and Boomers who are worried about young people not embracing the Democratic establishment.

      Reply
  10. zagonostra

    >Caitlin Johnstone – Controlling the Narrative

    I was recently out to dinner when the spouse of friend said she liked Rachel Maddow. I asked her if she knew that there wasn’t a shred of evidence that Russia threw the election to Trump. She simply dismissed my statement, she liked Rachel Maddow and that was that. And this was the sentiment of another lady sitting at our table. These were well educated solidly middle class professionals. I was, flabbergasted. I can only conclude that I’m orbiting a different world/narrative than the one my friends’ spouse live in.

    If you can control the stories that people tell themselves about a given situation, then you control those people on all matters pertaining to that situation. Regardless of facts.Which is why the plutocratic class funnels so much money into buying up media influence, funding think tanks, and other means of narrative control: if you can control the narrative, no amount of facts will deter the mainstream public from going along with your agendas. This is why the behaviors of governments so consistently move in alignment with the interests of this same media-buying, think tank-funding, politician-owning plutocratic class. Whoever controls the narrative controls the world.

    Reply
    1. whoamolly

      Re: I can only conclude that I’m orbiting a different world/narrative than the one my friends’ spouse live in.

      Have had same experience with family and social media friends. It’s as if they have been programmed or brainwashed. Scott Adams talks a lot about how the media persuades and programs people on his daily podcast.

      https://www.periscope.tv/search?q=scott+adams

      In a recent podcast he deprogrammed someone of a false memory, live and online. The sequence was jaw-dropping.

      Reply
    2. Harold

      This is my experience, as well. And they become enraged if you say something negative about people they like: like Nicolas Kristof, who apparently has an engaging personality on screen, despite having supported dumb things. I am talking about liberal, fairly well informed professional people with responsible jobs. Ophra is another one people become attached to. I don’t watch TV, so am blindsided. Have gotten into uncomfortable disputes. Just venting.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Deep down, people know they are supposed to pay attention, study the issues, etc, but then they do things like admire Joe Biden anyway. He almost has an element of being the kind of President a fictional CIA agent might report to in a two parter. If Joe Biden played the fictional President in Stargate SG-1 and the Dark Knight Rises instead of William Devane, would anyone have noticed? The answer is no. His appearances are fairly innocuous, and he doesn’t project the parodied image of an Oberlin sophomore which could be used against the Democrats. Biden either wouldn’t need to go on a phony hunting trip or would probably not look like Elmer Kerry…John Fudd…I’m close to it.

        For the last 15 years, it takes five even ten minutes to determine Joe Biden is a hideous monster. Pointing out they have not lived up to the state religion by not even putting forth minimal effort (this doesn’t apply to poorer people under greater stress) exposes them as people who have not lived up to their civic duty. They get nasty because you’ve hit upon their moral failing.

        Centrists and their supporters will point out countries such as Germany and Switzerland have universal healthcare without single payer systems and suggest we could do something similar. This seems easy. The U.S., Germany, and Switzerland have lots of white people, protestants, catholics, and so we could just do that. Problem solved. Ask those people to explain the radically different organization of German corporations with boards with minimum requirements of labor representation, stronger schools, then they shut down and declare single payer advocates are being negative.

        I’ll defend Oprah on this one. I don’t like her for a variety of reasons or more accurately accept she is a television host and not a saint, but she has brought important issues to Americans on a daily basis. She has helped in the rehabilitation of guys like Shrub, but take her role in the recent Michael Jackson documentary, there is a reason people have become attached to her.

        Reply
      2. Michael Fiorillo

        The disheartening conclusion I’ve reached is that the overwhelming majority of people are incapable of thinking for themselves, and have become vectors for received opinion, whether they get it from Fox, MSNBC, NPR or Christian Fascist Radio.

        Education has nothing to do with it, since I observe highly-credentialed family members repeating the ravings of Rachel Maddow and her ilk as credulously as any Rush Limbaugh Dittohead.

        It’s always been this way, to some extent, but monopoly control of the media, combined with the elimination of class issues from mainstream, or even “Left” (!) political discourse, has made the terms of terms of debate even narrower and less meaningful.

        Bernie, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and others – striking public school teachers and UE members in Erie, Pa., for example – are opening up space for broader, more honest debate. The problem is that the Democratic Party leadership will do anything (including seeing that Trump is re-elected) to keep them from taking over the Party.

        Reply
        1. remmer

          I think you hit the nail on the head with the Rush Limbaugh comparison. Last week I had an appointment with my doctor, a good liberal Democrat I’ve been seeing for years. We used to have good, short discussions about politics, but last week he mentioned something Maddow had said the night before and went on about how smart and funny she is. She has become the person liberals rely on to let them know what they’re supposed to think.

          Reply
    3. Earl Erland

      I lost a friendship over Maddow/RussiaRussia. I repeatedly pointed out the lack of substance to her obsession, and he repeatedly accused me of gas lighting him.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        We’re currently the go between of neighbors on both sides of us, that have broken off conversation on account of political differences.

        It just isn’t worth it, to surrender civility on account of politicians that frankly aren’t worth the effort.

        Reply
        1. Trent

          The answer to me seems rather simple. Most people never grow beyond high school. How many of us have seen bullying in high school by individuals or a group? How many have seen this same type of bullying continue at a work venue? Some people learn from this experience and try not to ever be the bully again and stick up for those bullied. Most do not and instead learn that they never want to be that person who is bullied by any means necessary. Social herd animals have strengths and weaknesses.

          Reply
          1. Trent

            In the temple by the roadside of a village there was a wooden image of a deity. A man passing by found a ditch across his path, so he pulled down the image and placed it over the ditch as a bridge. Another passer-by saw the figure on the ground and, feeling sorry for it, restored it to its place. But the image took umbrage because he had offered no sacrifice to it, and so placed a curse on him, causing him to suffer a bad headache.

            The spirits of the kingdom of the underworld were puzzled. “You let the one who trod on you go free, but punished the one who helped you up. Why?”

            “You don’t understand,” said the deity. “It is so easy to bully a good man.”
            Xiao Zan (c. 1580 AD)

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              That’s a nice story.

              During the Cultural Revolution, story books about spirits were often burned (easy to bully inanimate books). Fortunately, this one is still around.

              We can see from the story that, for example, when we need to fight inflation, we reduce money supply, by taxing dollar users here, and not, say, those in Moscow (there are dollar users there too, and other places…just one example). Some are easier to draft into fighting inflation.

              Reply
    4. pjay

      Yes. I’ve had very similar experiences. Remember all the “I lost my father (grandfather, favorite uncle, etc.) to Fox News” stories of yesteryear? This is the “I lost my educated liberal friend/colleague” version.

      Reply
    5. Chris Cosmos

      The reality is that you get nowhere making people wrong–the minute you do so they will simply ignore anything you have to say. The only thing you can say is that you don’t like her. If they are interested, they will ask you why and then you very briefly state, in general, without being insulting why you don’t like her. Dialogue here is the key. Most people of any political/tribal POV are not interested in dialogue they are simply interested in identifying with a particular tribal/cultural affiliation. The same is true of people who listen to NPR which is even more warlike than MSNBC, for the most part. Both these stations offer a sense of affiliation. The accents are familiar, the background of NPR voices is urbane, “educated”, upper-middle-class professional and so on. These qualities are just the reverse of Trump–people love Trump because he talks in their language and their style–has nothing to do with policies. Most Rachel Maddow lovers are non-violent mild often very peaceful people who will unthinkingly support war at the drop of a hat if it’s done in the right accent.

      Reply
      1. Harold

        It’s funny, I asked my daughter what she thought of Kristof and she said, “Oh, he’s bad.” That’s what I happened to think, too. I saw him and his wife in person once, hawking one of his books at a social function and conceived a bad impression, plus his failure to support unions, and so on.
        Then an old friend whom I occasionally visit, who opposed the Iraq and Vietnam wars, and whom I thought was on my wavelength, mentioned Kristof as someone he particularly liked, and I blurted out, “Oh, he’s bad.” And my friend got very very angry. Kristof, happens to be a bugaboo of mine — a bit too complicated to explain here, but I realized on looking him up on Youtube that he has a very nice, friendly manner and often explains liberal ideas very convincingly to the unconvinced.

        Reply
        1. barrisj

          Spent some time on the “liberal” Political Wire blog poking holes in the “Russia-collusion” meme, and got absolutely savaged by the readers…there definitely is a Church of The True Believer ethos operating amongst these blogs, for which a principal canon is in fact the Trump-Russia/Putin nexus. Gave up on the topic, but will return in time to say, “Told you so”.

          Reply
          1. Michael Fiorillo

            I’ve been looking forward to that, too, but the probabilities favor our disappointment, People will deflect and refuse to own up to their delusions, which are often there to protect their sense of moral superiority and privilege.

            It’s already started: Maddow, et.al. are no longer betting on Mueller to Win, Place and Show on their preposterous collusion narrative, so they’re turning on an amnesiac’s dime: after more than two years of “It’s the Beginning of the End for Trump!” they’re now saying, “It’s the End of the Beginning!”

            Although he’d likely deny it now, a friend of mine with Advanced Trump Derangement Syndrome, while admitting that Trump had done nothing as comparably bad as Bush II during his first two+ years in office, nevertheless stated that he preferred the fig leaf of empty rhetoric and platitudes about Democracy and Human Rights, amid the reality of stolen elections and fabricated justifications for war, because it made him feel better about the country. When I asked him if the the people of Iraq, Libya and Syria (to name just a few millions) should feel likewise, he had no answer.

            With a straight face and an edge of panic/hysteria in his voice, he tried to convince me that what Trump might do in the next two years is orders is infinitely worse than what Bush II actually did during a comparable period of time.

            How do you argue rationally with that?

            Aaron Mate, one of the few journalists who hasn’t been taken in by this mass hysteria, is correct in describing Russiagate as “a privilege protection racket.” Even those with no direct material interest in it (unlike neocons, defense contractors, mainstream journalists/courtiers and Democrats, et. al.) hold on to it for dear life, because it validates their sense of moral and social superiority, and allows them to maintain the magical thinking that, once the evil Trump is out of the way, all will automatically return to that status quo ante which we remember so fondly.

            As Charles Mackay wrote in Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds, “… they (people) go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

            The way things seem to be going, with otherwise educated and intelligent people willfully refusing to reason, you’ve got to wonder if even that will ever happen.

            Reply
              1. Michael Fiorillo

                Make sure to check out Aaron Mate’s Russiagate analysis on YouTube, especially his masterfully calm and complete evisceration of collusion pied piper, Luke Harding on The Real News. It’s an object lesson in how a real journalist can civilly beat the family blog out of someone who richly deserves it.

                Reply
          2. Oregoncharles

            Let’s not forget that there is a certain number of paid propagandists supporting myths like “RussiaRussia.” They won’t change because they can’t afford to. It’s real news when someone like that “comes out.”

            Of course, there’s a much larger number of just plain fans who treat fandom as their identity. The two are hard to tell apart, in print; the pros are probably the more competent ones.

            Reply
    6. Cal2

      “These were well educated solidly middle class professionals.”

      Sorry to jump on them sight unseen, but anyone who has taken a critical thinking class, definitely part of “well educated”, is not going to swallow Maddow’s cult of personality, more akin to infotainment, like Ellen Degeneres, with a political twist of lemon.

      Let’s see how solid their class status is after their ultimate economic and social betrayal by the oligarchs whose mouthpiece they worship.

      You can find many “well educated solidly middle class professionals” living in Motels converted into Section 8 apartment houses or trailer parks in the U.S. When their teeth start to go, their confident smiles will have vanished. You often see them sitting in the local laundrymat, with a permanent expression of bewilderment and shock on their faces at what has befallen them.

      Reply
      1. Chris Cosmos

        I mean people with college degrees–in the US, this means little in terms of what I grew thinking as education. Most college grads particularly as they get older are shockingly illiterate.

        Reply
    7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Responses To This Tweet Show How People Fixate On Narrative Over Fact Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

      From above.

      If the narrative is not accurate, or is misleading, you would want to focus on that and fight/oppose/correct the narrative. You may appear to fixate on the narrative, but that is a different kind of fixation.

      Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “Beer and pop cans are not being recycled because car and airplane makers don’t like recycled aluminum”

    Talk about how everything old is new again. During WW2, the British launched a mass collection of both iron and aluminium. They were told: “We want it (aluminum) and we want it now. New and old, of every type and description, and all of it. We will turn your pots and pans into Spitfires and Hurricanes, Blenheims and Wellingtons.” You can see a bit about this at http://thewartimekitchen.com/?p=278 which also includes a small film clip.
    However – and you knew that there was going to be a however – it seems that the metal collected was not of good enough grade and as the story goes, was either buried in quarries or dumped out at sea. The whole thing was just one big propaganda campaign. Same with all that iron and in 1978, a journalist claimed the London iron was loaded onto barges and dumped at sea in the Thames estuary. So here we are nearly sixty years later and it is the same old story all over again.
    As Yogi Berra said: “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, this is the dirty little secret of recycling – it is very, very hard to get recycled material up to the quality of ‘virgin’ material. This applies across the board – paper, plastics, metals, construction materials, etc. A successful recycling strategy relies as much on enforcing a market for this material as it does on collecting it. This may mean forcing companies into using lower grade materials than they are comfortable with using.

      Reply
      1. Whoamolly

        Have concluded that the only practical thing we can do on the Whoamolly homestead is build a big composting bin, and try to cut our use of all single-use packaging.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Cans still have value here @ the all cats & cattle ranch no matter the metallurgy, as a target a couple hundred feet away, emanating from the end of a barrel.

          Reply
    2. bassmule

      I’m confused. Somebody is buying that aluminum scrap. Or somebody’s smoking something really strong…?

      “Around 75 % of all aluminum that was ever produced is still in use today. Part of this has already run through several recycling processes, according to aluminum manufacturer Hydro.

      With a production of around 700,000 tons, the German aluminum recycling industry is one of the leaders in Europe. In Germany, the production of aluminum made of used products has long since far exceeded production using primary aluminum. The recycling rate has reached around 95 % both in the automotive field and the construction sector and over 80 % in packaging. Throughout Europe, close to 95 % of aluminum scrap is also recycled from vehicles.”

      Markets for Steel and Aluminum Scrap (Spotlight Metal)

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I’m pretty sure I received some aluminum cans back via a made in China garden hose reel that fell apart 4 months after I purchased it.

        Reply
        1. Randy

          A well constructed hose reel is impossible to find. Material choices are plastic and aluminum. What is needed is steel which has some mass so it unreels the hose instead of sliding along the ground, then catching and tipping over when you attempt to use it. Steel so it lasts. A steel handle that won’t break.

          Any capitalists on here that might be able to construct something like that? It is needed. You could sell it on amazon and Bezos could make a killing. ;)

          Reply
          1. Oregoncharles

            If there’s a Habitat Restore near you, try them. They usually have a selection.

            What you’re looking for is old ones.

            Reply
        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          If we had Protectionism, American ( or other First World) hose reel makers would be able to make and sell longer lasting hose reels because fallapart hose reels from China or wherever would be forbidden entry into the American market.

          Reply
    3. Yikes

      In general that recycled products are inferior is true, but the real issue that Treehugger misses because it’s a click-bait farm, not a real journalist resource, is that China, the major producer of 2ndary Aluminum(Al), such as container Al, construction forms, etc. has banned imports of scrap/recycle from USA as part of trade war with USA. All the industry that could have used that quality of Al has been off-shored.

      Reply
      1. Yikes

        Forgot to add most of that recycled Aluminum(Al) in China was going (and still is) going into USA bound products, it’s just that the Al in these items no longer comes from USA recycled cans.

        Reply
      2. Wukchumni

        China first announced the ‘Green Fence Law’ regarding recycling in 2013, which made clear their intentions in the future.

        Reply
        1. Yikes

          Green Fence does not ban scraps, it only bans unrecoverable scrap. China is still importing cans, just not from USA.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            The Chinese have given the same reason for rejecting Aussie coal, as they have for ixnaying our recyclables, for ‘environmental’ reasons.

            Beijing: China’s crackdown on coal imports has become significantly harsher, with Australian and Mongolian coal being particularly targeted for inspection on “environmental” grounds.

            Inspectors recently rejected 182 trucks carrying 19,540 tons of Mongolian coal, the biggest coal turn-back in years.

            And Australian coal continues to suffer long delays at Chinese ports, with coal industry analysts who spoke to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald saying environmental inspections had been significantly stepped up this year.

            https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/australian-coal-in-the-firing-line-of-chinese-environmental-crackdown-20190319-p515j2.html

            Reply
    4. Pookah Harvey

      It would seem that if you truly want a efficient recycling program you need regulations for packaging. If recyclers aren’t accepting aluminum cans because they are the wrong alloy, force manufacturers to change their containers to something that is recyclable.

      Oh I forgot. You can’t have regulations that might have corporations take responsibility for the externality costs that they can dump on the public.

      Reply
  12. YY

    Re Four Corners. They have a better batting average than commercial TV, which actually has Oz’s own version of 60 minutes complete with the ticking time piece cliche. They are more sensation with no substance just as with the original US version. There’s something to be said for true public TV and what they can afford to do without thinking about commercial dollars. But then they can also descend to the level of BBC without anybody noticing.

    Reply
  13. integer

    Gallup poll on AOC:

    Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Better Known, but Image Skews Negative Gallup

    Despite some increase in her favorable ratings, Ocasio-Cortez’s unfavorable ratings grew at a greater pace since September among most groups. The congresswoman is viewed negatively by most Republicans, of whom 73% have an unfavorable view of her — up from 52% in September. Only 5% of Republicans view Ocasio-Cortez favorably — resulting in a net favorable rating of -68 among this party group. The fact that Republicans are more likely to have an opinion of her than Democrats helps explain her overall net-negative rating.

    Ocasio-Cortez is also underwater in her net favorable ratings among men (-24), whites (-24) and adults aged 55 and older (-22).

    On a net basis, Ocasio-Cortez performs best among Democrats (+41), of whom a majority (56%) now view her positively, and nonwhites (+20). Meanwhile, her net ratings are slightly negative among independents (-5) but slightly positive among women (+4) and Ocasio-Cortez’s own age cohort of adults aged 18 to 34 (+5).

    Reply
    1. Katz

      I can’t prove it, but this would seem to me pretty easily explained by fox news and co’s decision to make AOC a fixture in their coverage.

      Reply
      1. nippersdad

        I would agree with that. My trolling of our Congressman’s page necessarily means that I don’t need to watch FOX to know what their trending stories are. AOC cannot be brought up without an immediate chorus of “cow farts.” One guy was so pleased with this trope that he is now routinely referred to as Senor cow fart.

        It never ceases to amaze me how little it takes to amuse them, but then I am amused by awarding them names like “Senor cow fart,” so who am I to judge?

        Reply
      2. integer

        I think you’re correct. Fox has been going after her relentlessly lately, often grossly distorting her positions. She does give them some material to work with though, such as when she said: “a lot of people are more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.” Her numbers on the D side of things seem fine though – only 15% disapproval, with 29% having no opinion. Interestingly, that is exactly the same disapproval rating as Sanders got from Ds and D-leaning independents in this poll.

        Reply
    2. a different chris

      More importantly, is this even a problem? For the 1,000,000 time, let me paraphrase Newt Gingrich – “I want 51%, not 60% because that 9% limits you”.

      Reply
    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Nothing too unusual about the numbers for the Republicans and Democrats.

      Fox news can perhaps explain the former.

      The negative five number among independents – is it also due to Fox?

      Reply
    4. Raulb

      It would be surprising if not worrying is she was popular with some of these crowds, this is as useful as polling economists about mmt by age, sex, ideology, race, area rather pointlessly as the outcome would be the same.

      US politics is on the right, aoc is on the left, though she now has celebrity along with inbuilt authenticity so difficult to stop unless she herself puts a foot wrong.

      Reply
  14. PlutoniumKun

    Dramatic Satellite Photos Show Historic Flooding Across Central U.S. in Wake of Bomb Cyclone Gizmodo. Martha r: “Astonishing group of photos.”

    Amazing photos, but it should be said that so far as I can see, all those floods are within obvious existing floodplains. Its when areas that are outside floodplains start flooding that we need to really panic. It won’t be long.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      We’ve got enough frozen white stuff in the High Sierra to construct an army of millions of abominable snowmen, and all it would take to release them downstream would be a warm pineapple express storm in April or May.

      Reply
    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I wonder why the photos used were from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel satellites instead of some NASA satellites. Is Gizmodo European?

      Reply
  15. Wukchumni

    Thanks to gerrymandering, Devin Nunes should be my Congressman, but I ended up with Kevin McCarthy 100 miles further south, not that either could battle their way out of a paper sack, or stop kissing the ring of power.

    Devin launched a $250 million lawsuit, the same amount as that Covington MAGA kid is trying to get out of the WaPo, for grievous injury to his psyche.

    Nunes is going after the #Moo Too movement, as a satirical website featuring in theory, one of his milk cows in Iowa, is a target of the lawsuit.

    Reply
  16. Summer

    Re: Urban-Rural Gap

    Is using the narrow spectrum of the political duopoly the best way to talk about divisions or problems in this country? Politicians are forced to run as Dem or Repub to offset that the people in this country would have killed off the duopoly long ago.
    You all know and I know that is true.
    A big reason issues linger, unresolved for the many.

    Reply
  17. nature must go

    Beto O’Rourke Is the Candidate For Vapid Morons

    Thank you for posting this excellent piece. Many Americans, if not most, politicians included, respond to what’s going in the world through what seems to be a soft, squishy emotional filter. Hard facts and analysis, forget about it. It’s about feelings. I saw this in an interview with Kamala Harris last week. I don’t recall subject they were speaking about. Maybe it was about crime. What I remember was the hardness of her comments mixed in occasionally with a quivering tone, as if she was about to shed tear. It was a mix that creeped me out in the extreme.

    Reply
    1. Carey

      Staying in the realm of “feelings” plays a big part in *stopping* people-affirming policy from being implemented. Remember Bubba Clinton’s “..I feel your pain”?

      “He heard us! It’ll get better now.” heh

      Reply
    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      And whatever happened to that Starbuck’s guy? Gee that was fast, he went from media darling and “sensible” savior to flatliner in milliseconds

      Reply
  18. Summer

    Re: Lyft 23 billion
    “It’s all predicated on the $1.2 trillion U.S. transportation industry flipping from an ownership model to a service model, CEO Logan Green said in the video.”

    “Flipping”: the new euphemism for monopolize.
    Then watch the rates rise to the equivalent of what would have been the price of one’s own car on a monthly basis.

    Reply
  19. Summer

    Re: Beto

    I’m thinking this really may be one of those things that goes away if you do not talk about it. He attracts those who are over impressed with “buzz” of any kind.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      What kind of buzz impresses me? Well, the kind that the bees put out when they’re hard at work amongst my pollinators.

      Reply
  20. The Rev Kev

    “Jonathan is a 182-year-old giant tortoise”

    That is amazing that. I work it out that Jonathan was born about 1837. For a bit of context, here is what was happening in this year and I am sure that people will recognize a few familiar people and events. Would you believe that this was the year that Proctor & Gamble came together?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1837

    Reply
    1. WheresOurTeddy

      Andrew Jackson had just been reelected on an anti-central bank platform and it would be 11 years before Marx and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto and 24 years before the Civil War.. There were people still alive who knew Washington and Jefferson.

      I am glad I am not a tortoise.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And two years before the First Opium War, which led to the Treaty of Nanking.

        Two copies of that exist today, one in the UK, and the other in China…the Republic of China, its National Palace Museum in Taibei.

        Reply
        1. WheresOurTeddy

          which number Opium War are we on now? America is on #2 by itself, as the first was a proxy and 2nd was to fight them over there so we didn’t have to fight them over here or some such nonsense…

          Or did we stop counting them that way when mass marketing was invented in the 20th century?

          Either way, “Rambo III” has not aged well (except for the Russians being EVILLLLLLLLL)

          Reply
      2. Swamp Yankee

        Actually, Jackson was reelected in 1832. His successor, VP Martin Van Buren, Old Kinderhook AKA The Little Magician, was elected in 1836.

        Reply
        1. WheresOurTeddy

          damn you are right, serves me right for not googling to confirm…’twas the election of 1828 that started the whole conflagration

          Reply
  21. Louis Fyne

    Right to repair….last weekend changed the tumbler belt on my mom’s 1992 Kenmore dryer. Hasnt been maintained in literally decades.

    No one remembers the last time a technician touched the dryer. But a $8.50 belt + screwdriver + 30 min = years more use.

    Those 1990’s pre-digital control board washers/dryers are simple, ridiculously easy to maintain, and should literally out live all of us with a changing of belts every decade

    If you have one and value simplicity (versus the latest whizz bang), don’t yours go!

    Conversely get one if you something simple and DIY easy. Toss in a new belt, clean the innards and you should get years of use

    Reply
    1. jhallc

      I finally replaced my old 25 year old GE gas dryer “Squeaky” last year. I looked into replacing the belt and at least one bad pulley (bearings were shot). I eventually decided to buy a used 2 year old GE that matched my newer washer. I have to say it drys a lot faster than the old one and is a whole lot quieter than “squeaky” was even in its best days. I hang most stuff out to dry anyway so hoping this one will be my last. Also YouTube is my best friend when it comes to repairs.

      Reply
      1. bob

        “YouTube is my best friend when it comes to repairs.”

        Best thing for repairs ever. Let someone else break it on camera first.

        Reply
    2. Amfortas the hippie

      yup. had a kenmore w/d for 20 years.
      dryer crapped out first. replaced it with a parade of used giveaways for 5 years, until they all crapped out, in turn.
      then the washer died.
      so sprung for a new pair.
      can’t get em without lots of bells and whistles anymore..
      parts were hard to find on all those old ones, and the things that died in them were on the more expensive side.
      motors that were still good went in the pile in the shop(i’ve used them for everything from shop fans to drill presses)…drums got filled with city mulch, topped with good mulch, and colonised by various herbs.
      metal housings(from those with substantial metal, at least) became a line of compost bins, slowly filling up.
      more than one way to reduce/reuse/recycle.

      Reply
    1. tegnost

      yes, related to that, I’m surprised it’s still such a mess with the clock having apparently run out re barnier…”Michel Barnier: “Everyone should now finalise all preparations for a no-deal scenario”
      I’ve appreciated all of the brexit coverage and informed commentary, thanks to all, clearly it’s not done yet…

      Reply
  22. DorothyT

    “The Financial Bailout in 2008 Was a Trillion-Dollar Mess.” Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

    This excellent link was included in yesterday’s NC also. I didn’t see any comments on it before I ck’d out. Matt Taibbi takes on the WaPo’s FactChecker columnist Glenn Kessler’s take on the financial crisis, Sander’s Medicare for All, etc. This is a reminder to Democrats that remember Barack Obama with fondness: Tone isn’t anywhere near a good enough measure of reality regarding his presidency.

    Taibbi sums up the WaPo article:

    The Post’s take on this goes beyond fact-check, arguing the bailouts were necessary, appropriately sized and validated by future repayments. But the facts show the crash response was a massive, sustained investment in the wealthiest sector of the economy, which also happened to bear the biggest responsibility for the disaster. The pain was mostly felt elsewhere. Sanders, and the many citizens who helped pay that bill, are right to be upset.

    Reply
  23. The Rev Kev

    “Putin Signs “Digital Iron Curtain” Into Law”

    Deary, deary me. So now it is a digital iron curtain now. This is a case of Russia battening down the hatches while they have a chance. They have seen twice now how Iran has been cut off from the SWIFT system at Washington’s orders and were themselves threatened to be cut off themselves. That is why the Russians have been busy putting in place their own system so that if they are cut off from SWIFT, their financial system will not be crippled. Same with the internet. They have worked out how if Washington cuts Russia off from the internet, that it could also cripple the country. I would not be surprised if they were not hardening their other systems, particularly their electrical grid considering what happened to Venezuelan last week.
    And I saw an article on those protests. They looked impressive, That is until you saw them from the air and discovered that there was basically only a line of protestors across the road. They must have been taking tips from Hillary on how to make crowds look bigger. I thought it funny when the article said: “Europe’s “war” has been about protecting privacy—not about suppressing dissent and controlling the population.” Yeah, right. People have totally not been blocked from platforms on the internet for dissent against the MSM. I wonder if I should mark this article as – dare I say it – fake news on fake news.

    Reply
    1. Jeff W

      From this 2009 Today piece “Do high heels empower or oppress women?”:

      Dr. Helen Fisher, an anthropology professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, is in the camp of those who think that sky-high heels are just too sexy for most workplaces.

      “High heels thrust out the buttocks and arch the back into a natural mammalian courting — actually, copulatory — pose called ‘lordosis,’ ” Fisher said. “Rats do it, sheep do it … lions do it, dogs do it. … It is a naturally sexy posture that men immediately see as sexual readiness. [Heels] are a ‘come hither’ signal. …”

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        It’s not everyday that I learn a new mainstream word that is not only potentially very useful but also interesting to me for prurient reasons.

        So instead of: “Hi, if I told you that you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?”

        I can lech with “My instructor told me to find a yoga partner skilled in lordosis, would that be you by chance?”

        Reply
      2. Carey

        Wouldn’t a better (or honester) question be “in what various ways do high heels empower or oppress women?” ? But I’m an old dude who thinks sexual polarity is a good
        and necessary thing, for the survival of the species.

        “sexiss! misogyniss! homophobe!”

        there is some not-bad stuff on this topic in A. Bloom’s ‘Closing of the American Mind’, under ‘Eros’, I think.

        “you… bad person!”

        Reply
  24. Wukchumni

    Our country needs a Presidential aspirant that doesn’t sugar coat bonafides, featuring a following that constructs 2 acre corp circles in their honor, with lots of brand names represented.

    Reply
  25. Chris Cosmos

    Re: New Iron Curtain

    Most Americans have NO IDEA how Russia was looted and raped after the end of the Cold War by Western gangsters (bankers and others) who allied with corrupt Russian officials. Americans tend to be allergic to history but this was a fact. Putin eventually put an end of it and the political establishment have hated him ever since. There is, at this time, an all out covert assault on Russia the US and some of its minions to destroy the Russian state through financial war and covert war (think Ukraine). The CIA and associated organizations are, I’m sure, throwing bribes around Russia to do exactly what the American oligarchs are claiming the Russians did in 2016. Russia simply does not have the resources to covertly destroy the USA–the US and the West does have the resources and is using them. Thus it is logical for the Russian gov’t to tighten up security and close down dissent. They are truly in a war now and, to survive, need solidarity within the country–they are being attacked–we are not other than by the same oligarchs that are trying to destroy any independent (from the Empire) country in the world.

    This doen’t mean I think they ought to arrest people who criticize the government–but closing down free access to the internet is a sensible policy to avoid all kinds of sabotage.

    Reply
  26. Wukchumni

    Another instance of to the right of right farmers getting screwed by their winning vote.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Your Lindsay Olives won’t come from Lindsay anymore.

    Tulare County olive growers are reeling after Bell-Carter, a major California table-olive processor, terminated contracts to buy fruit from orchards across the state without notice.

    Up to 4,500 acres of Tulare County olives will likely go fallow this year after the company canceled all but seven of its contracts with growers in the region.

    That represents a significant chunk of the total 10,000 acres of olives planted in Tulare County last year, according to an Ag Commissioner’s report.

    “This termination is effective immediately and we will not receive your harvest in 2019,” Bell-Carter wrote in a letter to growers.

    Growers estimate 31,500 tons — 63 million pounds — of Tulare County olives will not be harvested and brought to market this year as a result.

    That amounts to a $40 million loss in gross revenues in Tulare County alone, and industry leaders say tariffs are to blame.
    Growers and industry experts say tariff troubles are to blame for the contract cancellations.

    Last July, Bell-Carter filed complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Spanish olive company Dcoop, claiming that Spanish olive imports were hurting local growers.

    In Spain, the olive industry is heavily subsided by the government. Dcoop also sources olives from Morocco and Argentina, whose olive orchards have a documented history of child labor abuses

    “I cannot compete against subsidized Spanish olive growers and Argentine olive growers using child labor,” Werner said. “If this continues, there is a high likelihood that the American consumer will be eating olives from Argentina — from the fingers of their children to the fingers of ours. We cannot support that.”

    The Trump administration used those complaints as a basis for a hefty 37.4 percent tariff on processed table-olive imports. Last August, Dcoop acquired a 20-percent stake in Bell-Carter, the California processor.

    The acquisition was widely seen as a way for the European conglomerate to avoid Trump’s tariffs through a loophole — by funneling their raw Spanish and Argentinian olives, which aren’t subject to tariffs, to California for processing.

    Bell-Carter assured local growers that the acquisition would benefit them, granting them access to a vast global marketplace. The company told growers they would, in fact, require more olives to keep up with demand, according to Bell-Carter in 2018.

    Dcoop’s leadership painted a very different picture, however, telling trade publications that they planned to become Bell-Carter’s sole provider of unprocessed olives.

    “We will ship our product from Spain, but the oxidation process for the production of the black olives will take place (in the U.S.), so they will be exempt from the payment of the tariffs,” Antonio Luque, Dcoop president, told the Olive Oil Times last August.

    https://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/news/2019/03/18/tariff-loophole-blamed-in-40-million-olive-lose-in-tulare-county/3194735002/

    Reply
    1. heresy101

      Remembering an article about olive oil in Italy, a search yields:
      https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/03/20/olive-oil-shortage-italy/
      “A severe winter in 2018 and a massive bacterial infestation are crippling Italy’s olive trees, especially in Puglia, in the boot of Italy. The region produces 40 percent of the country’s yield.

      Italian extra virgin olive oil — 100 percent — you are going to be challenged to find it,” Coletta said. “Production is down by 57 percent.”

      Thinking that CA olives could go to Italy, another search shows that eating olives and olive oil olives are not the same:
      https://californiaoliveranch.com/table-olives-vs-olive-oil-olives/
      “there are over 2,000 varieties of olives; about 150 of them are commonly grown for table olives or for olive oil. While some olives are grown specifically to cure and eat as table olives, others are prized for their distinctive use in extra virgin olive oil.”

      Reply
    2. Eclair

      Thanks for that link, Wukchumni. Olive growers are being screwed by a big buyer, same thing that is happening to so many of the small dairy farmers that have been supplying all their milk to one bottler. The notice comes one day … sorry, we will no longer pick up your milk. Starting tomorrow. Tell that to 300 cows that have been carefully bred to produce 6 or 7 gallons of milk a day.

      Anyway, back to olives. Those canned black olives, produced by the American olive industry are turned black by their processing in lye and brine. Awful stuff. I’ll give a pass on canned pimento-stuffed green olives for martinis.

      For years, I have been ordering olive oil from a small California grower. It is delicious and we go through 2 gallons a year … and that is because I save it for salads and veggies and only occasionally use it for cooking. This past year the crop was so small that I was unable to order any. And, in my effort to keep my eating supply chain short, I have given up buying imported cured olives …. which I love.

      It hurt my head to think of all those California olives going unpicked. The article mentioned that it would take years to get cooperatives and local curing and pressing operations going. Plus, like wine making, cheese making, even good bread making, it’s not something you can read instructions for and just do. (When we lived in Southern California, I experimented with curing olives picked from a neighbor’s tree; not a great success and it involved a LOT of work.)

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I suffered through canned olives and feel your pain, ha.

        It’s another episode of great waste, and the worst part in this instance is the easiest way to take care of olive trees is to let them die.

        Reply
    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think the key here is not about the farmers and their ‘winning vote.’

      The key is Dcoop using child labor, and whether it is currently prevailing in the fight to oppose that (from reading the article).

      So, is that claim accurate, and was Dcoop hurting local farmers then, and now (through being smart) by buying up 20% of Bell-Carter, is able to evade the effort for consumers to avoid their child labor products?

      Reply
      1. wilroncanada

        Seems to me the reaction, if the information given is accurate, is to organize a boycott of the brand. It is also what happens when legislation is written for bragging rights rather than service to the citizens. Sloppy drafting, not researching nor caring about unintended consequences. What could go wrong?

        Reply
  27. a different chris

    And if you needed a real definition of what separates neolibs from conservatives, it not gay marriage. This is it:

    And not only does UK not have answers, it is blithely unaware of the questions.

    Neolibs are frightenly wrong about their solutions* but at least they try. Conservatives are just the world’s laziest intellectual people. That doesn’t even mean they are stupid, you don’t get comically rich by being stupid, I just mean that they can’t be bothered to think about anything but their very narrow slice of the world. And if your a c/Conservative Politician, unlike say a steel magnate, your slice of the world is one in which you can maintain by doing basically nothing at all.

    *My dad always said his employees (all hard-science PhDs in this case) differentiated into two groups, ones that thought too much but didn’t get things done and ones that worked too much without giving what they were doing enough thought. Neolibs are the second, whether they realize it or not.

    Reply
    1. Kurt Sperry

      Re the first link, two money quotes:

      “If you look at this field, Biden is a giant in terms of his actual foreign policy experience. They have nowhere near the hands-on experience that he’s had,” said Ken Weinstein, president of the conservative Hudson Institute. “He spent decades talking to world leaders and in that sense, he’s got far deeper contacts.”

      and

      Robert Gates, who served in the first two and a half years of the Obama administration alongside Biden, wrote in his memoir that the vice president had been wrong on “nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

      Being serially wrong recast as positive “experience”. There ain’t enough lipstick on Earth for that pig.

      Reply
  28. barrisj

    Captain “Sully” Sullenberger on the Boeing 737Max-8 FUBAR:

    Capt. Sullenberger on the FAA and Boeing: ‘Our credibility as leaders in aviation is being damaged’

    For most of the history of powered flight, the United States has been a world leader in aviation.

    This nation’s aviation regulatory body, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has long been the gold standard of safety regulation in global aviation, often a template for other nations to follow in technical and safety matters.
    But now, our credibility as leaders in aviation is being damaged. Boeing and the FAA have been found wanting in this ugly saga that began years ago but has come home to roost with two terrible fatal crashes, with no survivors, in less than five months, on a new airplane type, the Boeing 737 Max 8, something that is unprecedented in modern aviation history.
    [more…]
    Estimates are that Boeing likely will face additional costs of several billion dollars because of these recent crashes and the decisions made several years ago that led up to them. This case is a validation of something that I have long understood, that there is a strong business case for quality and safety, that it is always better and cheaper to do it right instead of doing it wrong and trying to repair the damage after the fact, and when lives are lost, there is no way to repair the damage.

    And in this ultra-cost-competitive global aviation industry, when it comes to costs, nothing is more costly than an accident. Nothing.
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/capt-sully-sullenberger-where-boeing-and-the-faa-went-wrong-in-this-ugly-saga-2019-03-19?mod=mw_theo_homepage

    Also, Boeing ran a full-page note from Dennis Muilenburg in this morning’s Seattle Times, trying to take the sting out of the paper’s stellar reportage on the MAX certification process, and reiterating all the “Our commitment to safety” pledge that – as Lambert has pointed out here – simply was ignored whilst competitive pressures rose to get the beast up and flying.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      Oh good, an industry we actually invented here is going to be lost to our leadership because corruption profit, stupidity MBAs, and incompetence arrogance.

      Reply
  29. Wukchumni

    Somebody born in 1837 and still living ala Jonathon Livingston Tortoise could tell you about the endless cycle of ever easier devices making it a breeze for us hares to speed around the place.

    And speaking of that, post-Jackpot, will we revert quickly to traditional male employment in many jobs, when muscles make a comeback, as the workplace used to be once upon a time?

    Reply
  30. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Some U.S. Officials See China Walking Back Trade Pledges Bloomberg. Resilc: “They can give trumpismo some bullshit for 2020 and then skate little by little.”

    Motivatioin by itself is not sufficient. You still need evidence.

    If we look forward, people in the future might look back at this (the above) as a reason for, wait for this, Chinese meddling in our 2020 election, should that narrative is needed.

    Has a seed being planted?

    Reply
  31. allan

    Trump proposes slashing science spending at the NSF [Nature]

    … The Trump administration has singled out research in the Antarctic and Arctic for the biggest cuts at the NSF. Funding for the Office of Polar Programs would shrink by nearly 20%, to $403.4 million, from 2018 spending levels.

    Maths and physical sciences would be another big loser. Trump has proposed $1.3 billion for the mathematical and physical sciences directorate, a roughly 17% reduction from 2018 spending levels. He has requested $787.1 million for the geosciences directorate, down about 13% from 2018 levels. …

    The decision to go after geosciences and the polar programs – that’s a real headscratcher. /s

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It is somewhat puzzling that he did notgo harder, relatively speaking, after economics, or economic science, and other social sciences, unless those fields are, already at the present time, not recognized by the NSF (National Science Foundation) as scientific enough, and not currently receiving any money from the foundaiton.

      In that case, there is nothing to cut back.

      Reply
  32. Oregoncharles

    From the sidebar to the article on aluminum can non-recycling, the answer to a discussion earlier (I can’t remember whether on Links or on Water Cooler, so I’ll repost this to WC): https://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/how-plant-clover-lawn.html; “How to plant a clover lawn”. Complete with seed source, in Portland OR.
    And a caveat of sorts: my experience is that clover lawns do not remain pure for very long. I think you’ll have a mixture after a year or two, so you might want to plant a mixture in the first place. I was just looking out at the area where I planted (full-size) white clover years ago; it’s about half clover now, a beautiful texture. And luxuriant.

    Reply
  33. ewmayer

    Re. “Beer and pop cans are not being recycled because car and airplane makers don’t like recycled aluminum | TreeHugger (resilc)” — I fail to see why this is some kind of insoluble problem … as the article notes, the Alu market is diverse enough that those wo really need the pristine refined stuff can buy that, and those who don’t – and I expect the latter market to be much larger than the former, just look at how many beverage cans the world uses each year – buy the recycled stuff. Isn’t this the wort of supply/demand sorting-out that markets are supposed to be efficient at? I mean seriously, w.r.to the issue of not enough domestic rolling mills which process the recycled stuff into sheet for new cans:

    Meanwhile, Molson-Coors and Pepsi still need cans, so they buy imported aluminum, even though it is costly thanks to tariffs. The director of packaging procurement for Molson-Coors says, “We’d prefer to purchase domestic can sheet, but as of right now there is not enough to supply the domestic market.”

    Surely there is nothing – except shortsighted pursuit of profits-uber-alles, mind you – preventing a huge beverage company or consortium thereof from investing in ramped-up domestic production of the stuff they need? Sure there will be a time lag and an adjustment period. What this article is telling me is that said beverage makers, rather than making the effort and outlay to secure such domestic supply, are simply hoping the tariffs will go away soon so they can go back to buying everything from China on the cheap, domestic production and jobs be damned.

    Reply

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