Links 3/5/19

London HIV patient becomes world’s second AIDS cure hope Reuters

MMR vaccine does not cause autism, another study confirms CNN (original). n = 657,461.

The Bering Strait should be covered in ice, but it’s nearly all gone Mashable

WWF Funds Guards Who Have Tortured And Killed People Buzzfeed

Will $14.5 billion plug GE’s long-term care insurance hole? Some experts say ‘No’ Reuters. That’s real money!

‘I have lost confidence’: Jane Philpott resigns from cabinet over Trudeau’s handling of SNC-Lavalin affair Global News

From a private jet to a police cell: Rosemary Rogers charged over alleged NAB fraud Sydney Morning Herald. “As the then-chief of staff to the former boss of the National Australia Bank Andrew Thorburn, Ms Rogers allegedly accepted multiple extravagant bribes to approve bloated invoices submitted to the bank for services provided by Sydney-based events and human resources company Human Group.” The Five Eyes political class implosion continues. A-a-a-n-d we shift our attention to the Mother of Parliaments


Liam Fox’s trade department cancels business Brexit briefings FT

CPMR analysis: UK to lose €13bn regional funding post Brexit Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions. So May’s bribe isn’t big enough to net out positive for the regions.

BREXIT ‘BOUNCE’ Theresa May warned she should not ‘attempt to bounce’ MPs into agreeing Brexit deal next Tuesday The Sun

May ‘did not understand EU when she triggered Brexit’ Guardian. Ivan Rogers.

Brian Monteith: New Scottish currency is all about joining in the Euro disaster The Scotsman

Dear Europe, Brexit is a lesson for all of us: it’s time for renewal Emmanuel Macron, Guardian

Brexit is 591 hours away. Brexit Countdown. At the time of this writing.

Things Are Looking Up for the Pound, Strategists Say Bloomberg

UK opposition leader Corbyn hit by egg: media Reuters.

Low Visibility NYRB. On the gilets jaunes. Note the role of local radio stations.


Donald Trump Plans to End India’s Preferential Trade Treatment The Wire (J-LS).

After India Loses Dogfight to Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its ‘Vintage’ Military NYT


I see skies of blue and clouds of white:

Commentary: Time to discard growth rate fetish for China’s economy Xinhua

More data show toll of US-China trade war Asia Times


Russian oil imports surge in US as Venezuela’s slow to a trickle McClatchy

Guaido Returns to Venezuela amid US Threats Against Maduro Venezuelanalysis

Venezuela’s Hunger Games Editorial Board, NYT. “[M]aintaining a vociferous front of the Venezuelan opposition and a broad array of countries of all ideological leanings remains, for now, the best available option.” So, a “paper tiger” strategy then?

How the U.S. Is Strangling Haiti as It Attempts Regime Change in Venezuela Black Agenda Report. Haiti definitely under-covered.

Trump Transition

Disputed N.S.A. Phone Program Is Shut Down, Aide Says Charlie Savage, NYT. “The agency has not used the system in months…. Since ‘the sky hasn’t fallen’ without the program, [Christopher Augustine, an N.S.A. spokesman,] said, the intelligence community must make the case that reviving it is necessary.” Absolutely jaw-dropping and a must-read.

* * *

Democratic investigations now target Trump’s entire world CNN

Mueller Gives Up Trying To Get Report Published After Receiving 19th Literary Agent Rejection The Onion

Attorney General Barr will not recuse himself from Mueller investigation Roll Call

When Is Impeachment the Right Remedy? Lawfare

* * *

Trump’s Judicial Nominees Aren’t Just Ideologues. They’re Really Young. HuffPo. If liberal Democrats really wanted power — over anything but the party money trough machinery, that is — they would have been fighting these nominations tooth and nail. For the last two decades. But n-o-o-o-o-o!

Democrats in Disarray

House Dems will take floor action to confront Omar’s latest Israel comments Poltico (PDF of the draft resolution). “Confront” implies that Omar is the stronger party. Perhaps she is.

Ilhan Omar is the Steve King of the left WaPo

Rep. Ilhan Omar says her refusal to ‘pledge allegiance’ to Israel does not make her anti-Semitic Yahoo News. Cf. loveable Joe Biden, master of all the tropes (in 2013, as Vice President):

New House Foreign Affairs Chair Receives Money from Weapons Contractors He Oversees Sludge


Hillary Clinton says she’s not running in 2020 The Hill. “Clinton said she plans to take an active role in the next election cycle,” including, no doubt, a brokered convention.

MSNBC Yet Again Broadcasts Blatant Lies, This Time About Bernie Sanders’s Opening Speech, and Refuses to Correct Them The Intercept

Realignment and Legitimacy

The Clock Runs Down on Mainstream Keynesianism Stephanie Kelton, Bloomberg vs. Modern Monetary Nonsense Kennneth Rogoff, Project Syndicate. To be fair to Rogoff, you can’t understand sectoral balances if you can’t work a spreadsheet. Hence the confusion.

Police State Watch

Xavier Becerra is wrong to fight release of police officers’ crimes Sacramento Bee. At a subsequent protest, a Bee reporter doing a live-stream seems to have been arrested. Good job, Sacramento Bee!

Chicago Police Sergeant Says He Was Punished For Refusing To Help Cover Up Shooting WBEZ. More whistleblowers, please.

How Oakland Has Seen a Big Drop in Crime—Without More Police The Bold Italic (MR).

Imperial Collapse Watch

Sanders, Warren, Ocasio-Cortez, and Other Lawmakers Sign Pledge to End America’s “Forever Wars” The Intercept. Hang together, or hang separately.

Class Warfare

The Harvard MBA Is Bad for You Inside Higher Ed. :-(

Why are New York’s bookstores disappearing? Guardian (J-LS).

‘Shhhh. I’m reading’: the radical new activity in our parks The Age (MR).

The Physics Still Hiding in the Higgs Boson Quanta

Antidote du jour (via). From the Chernyobl Exclusion Zone:

And (via) the Korean DMZ:

(Caveat that I couldn’t verify the images. But what lovely creatures nonetheless!)

See yesterdays Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. taunger

    I’m no economist, but it seems like Rogoffs article is a series of non sequiturs masquerading as argument.

    1. skippy

      It is a proverbial clown car of hysteric opening pejoratives from strange bed fellows ….

      Anywho – “Our differences derive from our different analytical frameworks: Mainstream Keynesian versus MMT.” – Kelton per the Bloomie piece.

      And there in lies the rub, don’t know how many times I’ve attempted to explain that to some only to have the “you don’t know what your talking about” line dropped. Even after unpacking Hicks, wellie its not perfict but ……

      Invest in rope I guess ….

      1. Grant

        I am sick of Krugman (and people like Summers). He seems to do the same thing every time he is challenged. When Galbraith challenged him on the real world impacts of what is called “free trade”, Krugman didn’t respond really with anything based in objective reality. He gave things like Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage, not ever of course talking about the assumptions that Ricardo put forward and not dealing with the fact that a good portion of things like NAFTA are not about trade at all. Ricardo, for example, explicitly said that capital wasn’t mobile, factories stayed put, and labor was mobile. He assumed things about information, the capacity of countries to produce things, etc. He didn’t pay tons of mind to what Ha Joon Chang has shown on the central role of protectionism in many developed countries, the US in particular. So, Galbraith was dealing with real world stuff, using theory but theory to try and explain reality. Krugman was just blathering on about theory, and funnels everything through the models he was taught. It doesn’t seem to matter to him that those models are based on assumptions that are radically violated in reality.

        On the debate between him and Kelton (and Keen before her), she and the MMT economists are explaining how things actually work. How is money created (Krugman said that the government running a deficit doesn’t add to the stock of money in the economy), what are deficits, what is public debt, does the government need to borrow or tax in order to spend, what does the Fed and the Treasury actually do and how do they work together? MMT economists are explaining these things, how they work in the real world. What does Krugman do? He comes in with that damn ISLM model and the loanable funds crap. No basis in reality, doesn’t at all describe how things work, ignores a bunch of important factors. He, with a Nobel in economics, seems to think that full employment can be reached by tinkering with interest rates.

        It isn’t just his reality-less models though, it is his arrogance. When he was debating Keen and Kelton, his arrogance was so thick. He trots out some nonsense theory, ignores reality, and thinks that those he is debating should feel blessed that he even acknowledges them. Does he do this because if he acknowledged that things like ISLM are worthless that he would have to re-learn so much, or is it because at least some of what he has published would also be seen as worthless and people may question what he has said on a wide range of things in the past?

        1. Olga

          There was a time, when we read him at NYT because he seemed to be able to explain complex matters simply. But that was long ago… really, it appears, since he got his not-really-Nobel prize in econ, he’s drifted downward… and the slippery slope is getting steeper. Now, I just ignore him
          I once saw Summers respond to a challenging question – and it was an amazing sight to see. The degree of his arrogance – and a total disconnect from reality – was almost hard to fathom. Honestly, I don’t know what alternate universe these guys inhabit… but it sure ain’t this earth, where the rest of us live.

            1. Sanxi

              I wish she said the frameworks, ‘Reality’ are the same, it’s the way we draw conclusions, or to be fun, the way we do the numbers, that’s different, so there. Different results. Poor Paul, he can’t get over the Obama didn’t pick him.

    2. Jon Cloke

      I think you just summed up the whole of 20th/21st century orthodox neoclassical economics there….

      Please read Steve Keen’s awesome ‘Debunking Economics’ to find out just how right you are, and why…

      1. False Solace

        Mainstream economists serve the same function as the augures and pontifices of ancient Rome. Their forecasts and explanations are about as useful as reading signs and portents from the digestive organs of birds. Their purpose is to justify the actions of the wealthy and stupefy the ignorant, in exchange they’re rewarded with high salaries and unwarranted respect. Michael Hudson points out the nonsense that goes into GDP calculation. So much attention is given to that single statistic, which reflects activity which is literally destructive to the economy in many cases, which perfectly illustrates the depravity of modern economics.

    3. Susan the Other

      Rogoff is simply vacuous. What was that saying, the field of economics advances one dead economist at a time? That would be a natural progression. What we have is an emergency; a terrifying confluence of events being studiously denied by our “economists” – MMT excluded. MMT is the lone voice in the wilderness right now. Krugman, like Rogoff, lives in the past. Rogoff is irrational about deficits and Krug is fretting over private investment being “crowded out.” We need to inject a little Gail Tverberg here. Because what if all these economists, who are the remnants of millennia of gold-standard-thinking and rugged-capitalist delusions, actually win the propaganda battle and we are stuck with their solutions? A hapless world blithely imposing a “free market” of reinvested “profits” (ahem – externalized costs) careening into extinction? As the profits vanish (except for financialized ones) in the confluence of reality: very expensive energy; massively overpopulated planet; dead oceans; high levels of radiation; ineffective agriculture; you name it. And Rogoff and Krugman will pretend there’s nothing to see here. But what possible solutions will they have; what measures will they recommend to keep their illusion alive? And when this pretense becomes intolerable, then what? The fundamental problem is that industrial capitalism is not functioning. It’s just another relic. A cadaver. No matter how much you invoke your models of IS-LM and death by deficit. Capitalism will always have a niche but it isn’t fit for purpose to run the whole show anymore. It is actually really critical that people wake up to this fact.

      1. a different chris

        Here’s the.. well I wouldn’t call it a shaft of light because their countries have their own power structures with associated issues but let’s call it a crack in the wall.

        Economics is about human-constructed assumptions and behaviors. The names you have thrown out – Krugman, Rogoff and yes Kelton- are Westerners. There are plenty of workers/politicos/bureaucrats from the East and Mid-East that don’t view them as contestants, let alone winners of “the propaganda battle” and will not use their “solutions” if said solutions simply don’t work.

        For instance, we’d already be about extinct if China hadn’t imposed the one-child policy, which goes against everything taught in Western economic theory.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          Most US economics PhD programs are full of Chinese graduate students – I presume, but don’t know for sure, government funded. I have no idea if they just laugh at what they are being taught (and forced to do for their own “research”) or if they are being infected with the virus.

          1. ex-PFC Chuck

            Maybe our intelligence community is smarter than we think. They’re working behind the scenes to bring young Chinese economics students over here to brain wash them wit the neoclassical Economics ideology so they can go back and screw up their country in the same way their mentors have been screwing over ours.

            1. ewmayer

              Indeed – the Chinese have their Confucius Institutes, we have our even-more-fiendishly-clever Confuse Us Institutes, in form of University econ departments. The problem is that we allow our own to attend same – we need to confuse our enemies and rivals, not ourselves!

              Re. Galbraith – what I wouldn’t give for Galbraith the elder to come back from the dead and help his son take credentialed willful ignoramuses like Krugman down a peg. Michael Hudson reminds of John K. in that both are historians first, i.e. they ground their economic thought in reality.

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        US universities turn out about 1000 PhD economists a year. Virtually all of them are trained in the same way, focused on modeling an imaginary world instead of our world. Half of them are foreign, which means this type of training is infecting the whole world. A comment was noted here the other day that the Fed hires about 25% of all new PhDs (presumably not a one of them heterodox). Similarly, the World Bank, IMF, and OECD are major employers of economists (again, virtually none heterodox).

        I did a little experiment this year: I attended both the sociology annual meeting (ASA) and the economics one (ASSA but dominated by AEA), each for the first time. They are completely different worlds. The sociologists, despite some claims to the contrary, don’t touch a thing in the economists’ bailiwick. They are also exceeding nice and polite and other-oriented. The economists “study” anything and everything, but with no reference to anyone outside economics. (So, for example, they debate military spending or marriage “markets” among themselves.) Lots of debate, lots of arrogant disagreement, but always within a carefully circumscribed world.

        I agree with everything you said but I think we all really understate how dominant mainstream economics is in politics, business, academia, media, you name it. It is a completely fraudulent enterprise, also completely dominant, also completely mis-apprehended. I hope for the best but have a hard time envisioning a mechanism by which their dominance is overcome.

        1. Susan the Other

          Interesting about the ASA and other sociologists, hopefully waking up to how important sociology is. There is no economics at all without society. Nada. I wonder if they have been intimidated by all the economic “models” – I certainly hope not.

        2. Grant

          I went to the American Economic Association meeting in Chicago a few years ago. Got to meet a few heroes of mine, Robin Hahnel being one of them, talked to Kelton for a few minutes. I was thinking at the time of going for a PhD in ecological economics and was attracted to UMKC. I found it to be really interesting, in a good and bad way. The heterodox types were in upstairs rooms, the names Sraffa, Kalecki, Robinson and Marx were mentioned. The rooms for the heterodox economists were small. People often filled the rooms and people were sometimes spilling into the halls. I sat on the floor, cramped on the side. The debates were intense, but interesting. Piketty was there too, his presentation was well attended. I went to some of the orthodox presentations, and while some were well attended, many were not. I thought it was telling that the people with the most profound things to say were stuffed like sardines into small rooms, and the people giving presentations about an eleventh dimensional universe that will never exist had huge audiences and rooms. Who has proven to be more correct in recent decades over NAFTA like deals, the WTO, globalization, inequality, austerity, privatizations, deregulations, the economics of climate change and the environmental crisis, etc.? My wife often asks why it is that ideas like the ones I support have so little support within the economics establishment, while better (I realize saying better is subjective), more realistic and more interesting ideas are totally ignored. And it struck me, when I thought about the political system here. Why is Pelosi in charge of the Democrats, a woman that gave a speech honoring Pete Peterson on the House floor, a woman that brags about how great she is at being corrupt on national TV, a woman trying to push against single payer and avoiding the environmental crisis, while people with more popular and far superior ideas are just thrown to the side? It obviously isn’t about the popularity of the ideas, how factual they may be, or how strong the models or arguments are. The ideas, the models of the neoclassical establishment strengthen powerful interests, and it seems to me that the assumptions that go into models are there in order to arrive at the ends that they want. If you want to analyze the economy in terms of individuals maximizing their utilities, there are going to be problems in regards to aggregation, unless you have really absurd assumptions. The assumptions needed for general equilibrium are absurd. But there is no way the economics profession would go back to a class analysis like the classical economists employed. I mean, to think that we could analyze the environmental crisis in the way neoclassical economists do is off the wall crazy. Solow wrote a paper in the 1970’s about natural resources, and the dude said, “If it is very easy to substitute other factors for natural resources, then there is, in principle, no ‘problem’. The world can, in effect, get along without natural resources”. Okay.

          1. jp

            All the great debate about sector balances and other accounting identities make great economic theory fodder. The basic statement being dissed by Summers “that governments with their own currencies don’t need to tax, or even borrow, to finance spending” is true enough but a very problematic mine field with broad avenues for unintended consequences. Summers attacks MMT as being a burden on the economy. What does that even mean and just what does he think “the economy” is for, consuming the entire planet? Classic economics cannot see the trees for the forest.

            There is also a big blind spot in economics that turned out to be a big factor in the financial crisis. The pervasive view of debt in economics sees good debt as being repaid and bad being defaulted. I don’t see where the macro mainstream ever looks at whether a debt is productive or wasteful. There is a big difference between money spent on a bridge that facilitates commerce and a bridge to nowhere (thank you Sarah) Stewardship in property ownership is viewed by finance as exploiting its resources for gain, never for conservation or commons enjoyment. Health and education of a citizenry is just as important as concrete infrastructure. Where is that in the equation?

            1. Grant

              Agree, and well said. I would add that I was honestly confused as hell by Krugman’s response to Kelton. He denies that deficits result in an increase in the money supply. How exactly does Krugman think the government creates money and increases the amount of base money in the economy? And where in his models is private credit money and banks? Why does he still think banks are intermediaries, taking your savings and lending it to me? He thinks that because of the models he was taught and teaches. Do they describe reality? He doesn’t bother to show that, the assumptions are unstated. What is the real world value of any model that assumes general equilibrium? A very simple way Krugman could ruin his credibility with readers that maybe don’t have a background in economics; just explain to them that he assumes general equilibrium, and then explain what assumptions are needed for general equilibrium.

              1. Olga

                Apropos of nothing – Even as a silly kid, econometrics (in vogue in the 1980s) never made sense to me… I am so glad I stayed away from it.

              2. WobblyTelomeres

                Strangely, I found Krugman’s response comforting.

                I had applied to graduate school in economics a couple of years ago, after turning 60, shortly after realizing that economics was ALL credentials ALL the time. I had read book after book on economics, Keynes, Mill, Galbraith (both of them), Wray, even slogged through Minsky, and whatever I tried to argue was faced with the question, “Are you an economist? No? Well, eff you!”. Drove me nuts. So, I was determined to get some kind of graduate credential. Fortunately, for me it seems, the school I was applying too had zero interest in anyone interested in heterodoxy, certainly not an aged ffff-ker with a terminal degree in an unrelated field. And, bless their hearts, told me so.

                So, yeah, seeing the best of the best (according to the Nobel banking committee) struggle to answer the singularly basic question, “Where does money come from?”, is comforting to me.

                1. Lambert Strether Post author

                  > seeing the best of the best (according to the Nobel banking committee) struggle to answer the singularly basic question, “Where does money come from?”, is comforting to me.

                  Money comes from phlogiston. Or out of the ether. Two schools of thought, here…

      3. JP

        MMT is not the lone voice. A discussion between Rogoff and Krugman on MMT is like two flat earthers talking about space travel. There is plenty of discussion about the merits of MMT in the field of economics but I only see links to MMT’ers or Washington Post opinions from the unqualified. Here is a good link from Barry Ritholth:

        He makes a good point, as have others, that MMT does a good job of explaining how our monetary system works but is rather weak on prescriptive solutions. Solutions are where MMT veers from theory into untested hypothesis without differentiation. The problem is, people swayed by opinion become cheerleaders for their perceived team without an actual informed perspective.

        1. Susan the Other

          if we get down to basics the thing we should really be analyzing is the gold standard.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I think the received wisdom (in MMT and otherwise) that we must have inflation also needs a thorough thinkabout.

            Productivity rises. It used to take a farmer 8 hours to grow 1 food unit, now it takes him just 1 hour. How is that reflected in the price of the food unit? Should it’s price not be 1/8th of the prior price? Inflationists say Oh No, the scrip must somehow ensure that the price of the food unit goes up no matter what it took to produce it. I say Rubbish. I would much rather the price of the food unit reflected the current reality of its cost of production rather than some imaginary, artificial Soviet-style planned “inflation target” number. That way I spend 1/8 currency unit and get to keep 7/8. Oh, look, my standard of living just went up.

            Money is an abstract concept but it is also very much rooted in reality: after all I need the stuff in order to exchange it for goods and services. I can’t eat abstract. I can’t use abstract to pay to heat my house.

            And what is money supposed to do, anyway? I’d argue the following: money stores labor so it can be transported across space and time. I grew some wheat with my labor and I want to spend my wheat-labor next spring instead of at harvest time. Or I want to spend my wheat-labor at a faraway market, not just by exchanging a bushel right at the wheat field.

            Inflation-money kills these primary functions. Inflation money does not successfully store my labor. Inflation money puts me on a treadmill: my only chance to keep up, to have the same standard of living, is to charge a higher price for my wheat in the Spring. But wait: I thought we had this pesky stuff called Progress? You know, where productivity rises over time?

            “Economists” argue that productivity growth has stalled. I’d argue that it hasn’t stalled at all, we’re just measuring it in moving currency units that won’t let us have it. Economists in the 1940’s believed that due to the pace of technological progress by now we’d all be living a Jetson’s life of complete leisure. Perhaps we would be…if only our money reflected reality?

            1. skippy


              Inflation is theft or it makes humans go mad …. ????

              Always had issues with any of that when cross referencing history, something about jubilees or punitive war debt.

              1. skippy

                Never groked the physical anchor with esoteric sediments to slave the flock as being anything other than an asset to some or a commodity.

                Better yet MMT [fiat] or gold standard are things without agency, now if you want to talk about ideological preferences an how that dictates how either is – used – then were banging on about humans, society, economics …..

            1. Susan the Other

              Yes because even tho’ we are aware of the fact that money is a social construct, it is fiat, most people still think in terms of money having an intrinsic value beyond the social cooperation it facilitates. So if we look at the gold standard – the gold standard of money “perversion” – we see where all this irrational devotion to “value” comes from. At least that’s my thinking.

              1. skippy

                “we see where all this irrational devotion to “value” comes from”

                The human tool user problem with environmental conditioning from Bernays [supply side consumerism per se] at the point of taking price.

                Tho’ again war necessitates and do as I say and not as I do – ????

              2. Procopius

                This reminds me of a discussion of von Mises’s devotion to gold by Brad DeLong several years ago. Wish I could find it again, but basically he said that Mises believed in his bones that gold had an intrinsic value, and could not grasp that, “It is not that money can buy goods because it has value, but rather money has value because it can be used to buy goods.”

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The assumption is always that the monetary system MMT explains is not the only option.

          We can change that system, and we will need another theory.

          And even under the current system, there are other choices most MMT people don’t emphasis at all or enough. For example, to increase money, government should deficit spend more, but to decrease money (to reverse course), it’s always by taxing more, and not, here is the ignored option, by reducing government deficit spending (the reverse of more government deficit spedning).

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


            The assumption is always that the monetary system MMT explains is the only option.

            In fact, we can change that system, and then, we will need another theory.

        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          Is Credit Writedowns Barry Ritholtz? That said, this sentence:

          It’s the deployment of real resources, labor and machines that matter

          What a concept!

    4. Darthbobber

      Rogoff actually makes no arguments as such. He offers bare assertions and seems to assume that that suffices.

  2. allan

    MMT: a healthy dose of bothsiderism is injected into the debate by one Lawrence H. Summers:

    The left’s embrace of modern monetary theory is a recipe for disaster
    [WaPo – where else?]

    He gives the game away near the end:

    … Supply-side economics was an unreasonable extension of valid ideas; few today advocate the top corporate tax rate of 46 percent and rates above 50 percent for a substantial swath of taxpayers that prevailed in the late 1970s. …

    Well, maybe few who summer with Larry on the Vineyard …

    1. notabanker

      Looking at the carbon tax proposal, tax corps and write checks to every American, I thought it was a bad idea. When Summers came out in favor of it, I knew it was.

    2. voteforno6

      Well, maybe few who summer with Larry on the Vineyard …

      Or few who use “summer” as a verb.

    3. eg

      The whole piece is a crop of straw men erected by Summers as representative of MMT and summarily burnt.

      All you can take away from it is that Summers is good at misrepresenting something in order to trash it.

  3. John Siman

    “We need to abolish the Harvard M.B.A degree for the good of the people who pursue that path, as well as the world at large….”
    — I wouod love to hear Yves’s take on this article!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, re-education camps were homes to many with a business degree.

        Not long after, under Deng, they roared back.

    1. Adam Eran

      Turns out the inspiration for the MBA and “scientific” management–Frederick Winslow Taylor–cooked the books on his data to fit his preconceived hypotheses. By his own admission, his adjustments ranged from 20% to 225%. (“He blinded me with science!”).

      Taylor is the inspiration, and one of the earliest faculty, at the first business school in the U.S., Wharton. A similar fraud inspired Harvard’s Bus. school. See Matthew Stewart’s The Management Myth for the entire story.

  4. timbers


    Russian oil imports surge in US as Venezuela’s slow to a trickle McClatchy

    See, Trump is conspiring with Putin. Paging Racheal Maddow…paging Racheal Maddow….

    1. notabanker

      This article is pretty interesting. Russia is propping up Venezuelan oil and simultaneously selling oil to the US in the largest quantities since 2011.

      Trump picks a non-sensical fight with China a year before they orchestrate this coup?

      Depose Maduro, Russia gets a piece of the action and coincidentally the trade war with China comes to an end?

      Does this explain the smackdown of Mexico last week? We’re they trying to get in on the action too?

        1. The Rev Kev

          I was wondering the same myself. An oil transport is only a short hop from Venezuela as compared to coming from Europe. So maybe a matter of re-flagging?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Apparently, many Chinese exporters are doing just that, rerouting their products through Vietnam.

            Intuitively, you would want to crack down on that.

            Though, like Prohibition, if you can’t stop it, or like Wall Street greed, if you can’t stop it, you legalize it.

            Well, maybe not Wall Street greed. So what we are inconsistent.

    1. 4paul

      TY for this – FUNNY!!!!

      I need to stop, I’m becoming a horrible conspiracy theorist; last night on the NY1 cable tv channel in New York City there was a big interview with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and on theSAME DAY Hillary Clinton announces to a competing cable tv channel in New York that she’s not running.

      Is it friendly one-upmanship? Maybe competition between news channels for who gets the “bigger” “scoop”? It could be sheer coincidence ….


        1. Arizona Slim

          He’s already attracting big crowds. Something like 12,000 in Chicago, right?

          And the warmup speakers? Nothing like the ones he had during the last campaign. This time around, he has some real show stealers, most notably, Nina Turner.

      1. RopeADope

        You do not need to run to be installed as VP à la Darth Cheney style.

        The political access grift will continue in perpetuum with that family. There had been a TV interview with Clinton that was even more of a window into their value system than the Gaddafi laugh. The gist of it is that the Clinton’s derive their self-worth from the bribes they receive for political access.

        1. anon y'mouse

          link or pointer as to where i can find this interview? i always like to see the thing firsthand if possible.

          many thanks for your time!

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Wait, you mean Hilary is not wearing an orange jumpsuit yet? Her maid printing out Top Secret docs at Chappaquiddick Chappaqua? Her “foundation” evading taxes for a decade while grifting millions for houses in Haiti that never get built? Rampant large-scale campaign finance law-breaking? Hubby Bubba leaning on the highest law enforcement official in the land in private airport tarmac meetings?

          Meantime we get microscopic chapter and verse of Trump’s tax returns from 30 years ago. Draw your own conclusions about the state of justice in the land of the free.

    2. philman

      Not running, but she will continue working and doing what she believes in. If only we knew what exactly that was!

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          If Chelsea doesn’t run for NY Senate in the next 20 years, I’ll eat my hat.
          Here’s to her polling in the single digits and getting smacked down like the carpetbagger patrician she is!

    3. Tomonthebeach

      HRC won’t run in order to devote her time to undermining progressive candidates wherever they may appear. That will ensure a continued stream of approving big-bucks speaking gigs to build a warchest for the next annoying Clinton to run for something.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s not a Sherman statement:

      I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.

      Clinton might not run, but would she very reluctantly accept a nomination from a brokered convention?

      Granted, this is a very low probability event, since it requires that the Democrat establishment be bughouse crazy and completely out of touch with the country at large. Oh, wait…

  5. Phillip Allen

    Regarding the ‘London Patient’ – It’s certainly interesting, and a second successful instance is non-trivial. I would love to know how many failed trials have happened.

    But. This cure requires a full bone marrow transplant, itself a procedure fraught with risk. It is horrifically expensive, at least in the United States where profit ghouls infest the health care system. So this ends up being an option for desperate rich people.

    The average cost of a bone marrow transplant in the US is some $800,000. The drug that keeps my HIV disease in remission retails for about $42,000 a year. If I were young there might be a comparative cost argument in favor of bone marrow transplant over drug treatment, but it would take almost 20 years of pills to equal the cost of that transplant. I think this is an interesting but blind alley, of which there have been many and many these last nearly 40 years.

    1. JBird4049

      With the warning that I know zip about bone marrow transplants…

      Perhaps they could lower the cost of the transplant sometime in the near future? With the profit ghouls deposed I could see a push for it as a replacement for the antivirals. The medications are wonderful with no more walking dead, but they have their own side effects and could lose their effectiveness just like antibiotics have; it would be better to cure rather than medicate.

      1. False Solace

        Bone marrow transplants have significant lifelong risks. Preparation includes chemotherapy or radiation to wipe out your own bone marrow cells, not to mention the need to find a compatible donor with the allele. As appealing as it is to have a “cure” instead of taking a lifelong drug cocktail, I doubt this is an option for anyone but HIV+ leukemia patients (or the like), not to mention the abysmal success rate.

    2. Bugs Bunny

      I think the idea there is that once the mechanism is understood, a cure can be developed from it, not requiring the onerous, painful and dangerous bone marrow transplant.

      A really interesting comment in the article from the Guardian is that the researchers also question whether it’s the illness caused by the immune reaction to the transplant rather than the transplant itself that gets rid of the virus…

    3. False Solace

      We should note that this is not the 2nd time a CCR5-Δ32 bone barrow transplant has been attempted as a cure for HIV. There have been multiple other attempts that failed, so what makes this notable is that it actually succeeded (source).

      This particular allele is present in about 10% of the Northern European population. So not only do you need to be lucky enough to match to any donor at all, but you need to be matched to one exhibiting this specific phenotype.

      The Chinese scientist who recently horrified everyone by genetically manipulating human babies was attempting to edit CCR5 into their genome. We should note the technique he used did not successfully introduce this change to the entire embryo, in at least one baby the change only made it into certain cells, so at least one of the children may have the change in some cells and not others. The effect this will have is unknown.

      We should also note that CCR5 like most genes appears to have drawbacks. Specifically it seems to make one more susceptible to West Nile virus.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Curious spat (perhaps a false one?) since WFP has always seemed like an affinity group of, by, and always for Democrats.

      1. pretzelattack

        they don’t seem to be for cuomo democrats. according to the article, they’re attacking his power base.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      “Progressives” at work:

      The motion to ban fusion voting originated from the state party’s progressive caucus, whose leaders say that while Cuomo may be pleased with what they’re doing, they’re not doing it on his behalf. Rachel Lavine, chair of the caucus, said that upwards of 20 county party chairs approached the caucus, asking for help banning fusion voting. “It’s incredibly onerous for local chairs and activists,” she said. “I’m not gonna say that Cuomo won’t be happy by it, but we’re not people who are Cuomo’s lackeys.”

      “The goal is not to kill the WFP,” Lavine added. “They can do what they do in the 46 other states that don’t have it: Run on your own line. If you wanna be a Democrat, run as a Democrat.”

      So, force the left out of the Democrat Party, but make sure “they have no place to go.”

  6. toshiro_mifune

    After India Loses Dogfight to Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its ‘Vintage’ Military

    India does have much more modern aircraft in its arsenal. They have both SU-30 and Mig-29s. Neither is the ‘most bestest’ but both are certainly more modern and capable platforms than the Mig-21.
    I am not sure why a Mig-21 was sent on the mission it was.

    1. vlade

      They said they rotated all their aircraft (which TBH is a pretty dumb strategy, but.. ). Bison (Indian version on Mig-21) can be apparently pretty good even these days (low radar profile, high turn rate), but it is also very unreliable (which is interesting, a lot of Soviet aircraft were made with low maintenance, reliability in mind).

      1. Plenue

        I’m guessing they’re unreliable simply because they’re so old. Parts of getting more scarce by the day as well.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I can’t find a link to it, but I recall some time ago reading that the Indians when testing various western and Russian aircraft submitted in competition that they found that the old Mig-21’s outperformed all of them in the specific conditions of low level flight in the Himalaya (i.e. flying close to the ground, but at 3-5,000 metres above sea level). This is credible as older turbojets can in some circumstances outperform more modern turbofans. So its possible they simply thought they were better for the conditions.

      Another possible explanation is that the Mig-21’s were back-up to the more advanced aircraft, but that the Pakistani’s timed an incursion specifically to lure the less capable aircraft over the border in order to ambush them.

  7. russell1200

    The India-Pakistan article focuses too much on hardware spending.

    Back in the day, the U.S. would train its pilots against a “Red Force” which were then using the much older F-5 Tiger. The Red Forces dominated. Not because the F-5 was a world beater, but because the pilots flying it were very experienced and had a huge edge in training.

    Training has been important forever. But since warfare has moved into the industrial technology sphere, it has been easy to overlook. And its expensive. And its perishable.

    1. JBird4049

      Training is not as sexy as getting the latest toy and is the first thing to be cut in most organizations to reduce expenses, which actually increase them. In one of my retail jobs, the company first reduced, and then cut out completely, the training for even specialty departments. It was all on the job training with the customers doing the training. That worked out well.

      Corporate then took out their unhappiness with the customer complaints and reduced sales on the management and employees of the stores.

      The little that I have read on training in the military and in other businesses all say the same thing. An immediate payoff for the implementers in management while the actual costs usually show when they are gone.

      1. Procopius

        That’s why the tech companies need HB-1 visas. They are unwilling to spend to train their existing employees (they’re just a fungible commodity, after all) and training in America is too expensive for the employees to risk paying for it themselves when it may be obsolete by the time they’re looking for a job that uses it. I first read about the abuse of the visas in the early ’90s at Robert X. Cringely’s blog.

  8. notabanker

    “That’s real money!”

    Is it? That less than a quarter of Bezo’s potential divorce settlement.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Donald Trump Plans to End India’s Preferential Trade Treatment”

    Part of it is complaints by Trump that India has not opened its markets up enough to US companies and protects its own companies with trade barriers. India has said though that they will not give a “knee-jerk reaction”. India does not seem to be panicking about this move by Trump in any case. There may be other factors at work her. Trump is not happy with India for several other reasons and perhaps he is hoping that India will have a come-to-Vishnu moment and repent their ways.
    For one, India has increased oil imports from Venezuela by 66% just last month as that country seeks new customers and in spite of John Bolton’s threat that those who purchased Venezuelan oil would “not be forgotten” – with a pointed reference to India. They have also been importing Iranian oil under a waiver which ends in May. India is also a purchaser of Russian military gear including the S-400 anti-air missile system. US defense contractors want those contracts themselves and have the Indian military meshed in with the US against China. Finally, India is a major trading country and they have been sidelining the use of US dollars such as when they purchased the S-400 with rubles and Iranian oil with rupees plus organizing a currency-swap agreement with the UAE.
    None of this makes happy faces in Washington so perhaps this trade treatment is a shot across their bow. Trouble is that the US needs India more that India needs the US. The US wants India in China’s face so they have to cut India a lot of slack. Time will tell how much slack.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      China is close to Pakistan.

      Pakistan and India are not best friends today.

      India could use a friend, like the US or Russia. With Russia, then, it becomes China-Pakistan vs. Russia-India.

      That will not help uniting the Euro-Asia block that will take on the US hegemony.

  10. John

    One young woman only in the House for two months and she has the Democratic caucus’s knickers in a twist because she speaks the truth? In what way does “unquestioning support for Israel” not sound like dual allegiance and in the duality are the parties equal and if not, which party comes first? I have no problem with a person supporting Israel; I do have a problem with support for the agenda of the Likud and its minority party supporters. I do have a problem with sniping on the Gaza frontier. I do have a problem with the settlement of occupied territory. I do question the necessity of three billions in military aid to Israel, a wealthy nation, each year. I think unquestioning support is not necessarily in every instance in the best interest of the USA.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The illusion Democrats have been foiled by a GOP run by supervillains is important to the hold Democrats have on partisans. The age divide for HRC support across two primaries is telling. People who were 38 and under in 2016 never made the deal with the Clinton/Third Way devil. If Omar, AOC, Sanders can exist and make policies popular, then it raises questions about the Faustian bargain older Democratic voters made with the DLC.

      If they don’t crush Omar now, other people might speak up. AIPAC’s (like the NRA) power comes from the perception they make or break candidates. Usually, they only endorse very safe districts, so they threaten legislators with warnings about supporting an opponent and their impressive track record. If AIPAC isn’t seen as a make or break endorsement, it becomes like any random PAC.

      As for the legislators, kowtowing all these years to the extreme right wing government of a settler country doesn’t look good and will raise questions about their other efforts. After all, I’m sure Omar’s most outspoken Democratic critics are with her on all the important issues but like to explain how they are “pragmatic” and can’t support Medicare for All.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Feinstein’s dismissal of kids and their concern for the planet they are forced to live on in conjunction with her explanation of how DiFi knows whats up because she’s been a Senator for 30 years isn’t limited to DiFi or a result of her age or her isolation. Its a result of the Team Blue elite culture. Team Blue is an organization of people not interested in good government or even governing beyond the spectacle. As more people make the connection between the disinterest in governing and their own legislators, more and more Team Blue elites will be under pressure from primary challenges.

        And they love the spectacle, the granite buildings, the tv appearances. If too many lose, they can’t all get cushy landing spots.

        1. Hepativore

          How long is it before AIPAC tries to smear Sanders as a “self-hating Jew” for his stance against Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians?

            1. Hepativore

              I watch these smears against Bernie Sanders with a mixture of bemusement and pity as they seem to be silly and completely ineffectual against him. Sanders is going strong and his base of support is mighty indeed

              However, I fear we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of the Democratic party refusing to let him win the primaries. I am sure that there is indeed some deal worked out in a smoke-filled back room as an emergency contingency plan should Sanders continue to gain support. Legally speaking, the last election seemed to suggest that the Democratic party leadership could even flat out deny Sanders the primary victory even if he gets the most delegates. This would outrage a lot of people of course and hand the election to Trump, but a Sanders victory could end the entire gravy train where under Trump it would continue to arrive on schedule for the neoliberals in both parties.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                I’m sure there’s a defense in depth, but I think in general “refusing to let [Sanders] win the primaries” is more a matter of opportunities created by the initial conditions, rather than a gamed out plot. (Or possibly, this being DC, and these being liberal Democrats, there are so very many plots that they all intersect and contradict each other. And then of course there’s “accident and error.” The horrid Clinton emails show this clearly. Remember, this is is party faction that elevated Trump, because they thought he would be their easiest opponent, and then lost to him, even though he didn’t want to win (at least on some days). Presumptions of competence are not given, just like today’s discussion of the fantasy worlds of neoliberal economists.)

      2. JohnnyGL

        I think the Ilhan Omar smears of anti-semitism should possibly be paired with the centrist dem critics of Sanders who now accuse him of being ‘weak’ on reparations of #ADOS. In a sense, it’s typical of team dem.

        1) It speaks to the cynical nature of those hurling the accusations, as if they’ve got a stellar past on each of the issues. They continue to shred their own credibility as they act so transparently opportunistically. Pelosi has seen a kind of ethnic cleansing in her district where black americans have been removed via mass incarceration and gentrification for decades. We’re supposed to believe she cares about fixing this problem, NOW?!?!?!

        A scorched earth policy ruins the political capital of the critics doing the accusing. Do keep in mind, someone like Nancy Pelosi has favorability ratings BELOW those of Trump.

        2) It shows the level of desperation they’re reaching when this is what they’re throwing at Omar and Sanders.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The whole schtick of the Clintons and Third Way was these compromises were necessary to win elections. To a certain extent, it worked in Arkansas. Bill combined the partisans who will always vote Blue along with the weak GOP (the structures of the end of the Solid South weren’t entirely rebranded) and winning over Tyson’s and Wal Mart which denied the GOP a certain stability of early funding helped him win elections every two years. In the ’92 primary, Tsongas and Moonbeam made Bill look like Trotsky.

          Outside of that ’92 win with all of the unusual circumstances and a reelection, the Third Way has delivered no victories. Dean may have thrown his lot in, but the 2006 victory (the Senate map was bleak for Dems) was delivered after Team Clinton was shown the door.

          On a practical level, what does the Third Way and Clinton branding really bring to the table anymore? They can’t provide access to the inevitable HRC, and until Kerry lost, Bill was working as Epstein’s wing man. He couldn’t raise a dime. He didn’t move his offices to Harlem to be trendy. Its what he could afford.

          1. Grant

            Stephanie Mudge’s book Leftism Reinvented is a must read on this too. She tracked how the Democratic Party in the US, and social democratic parties in the UK (Labour), Germany (the SPD) and the Swedish social democrats changed over the course of the 20th century. One thing that stuck out to me was voter turnout and support for the system. She went over the data in these countries and she showed that in every case, the turn towards “neoliberalism” resulted in far more widespread apathy towards the system. Like, the 1996 election in the US. At that time, the radical right led by Gingrich had taken power, the Clinton like Democrats had solidified their power (Clinton and Gingrich were working on a plan to privatize Social Security, and the Lewinsky affair seems to be have ruined a plan that was nearing completion) and what happened? Turnout was the lowest for any presidential election since the early 20th century. People always talk about who wins or doesn’t win elections. For some reason, not many talk about the huge percentage of people that simply don’t bother voting. Clinton entered office in 1996 with support from less than a quarter of the voting age population.

                  1. pretzelattack

                    just to add, the broad outlines of all this are already known, but it’s interesting and necessary to get the details to understand the process.

              1. JBird4049

                That is nice, isn’t? Although I could whine about my already stupendously large stack of books waiting to read. Naaah, I’m one of those fools who would trade a meal or two for a book.

                1. KLG

                  On the wall in my room where the books are stacked:

                  When I get a little money, I buy books; if any is left I buy food and clothes.

                  –Desiderius Erasmus, 1466-1536

            1. pretzelattack

              and the latest clinton probably could say roughly the same in the 2016 election. when there is no choice to vote for…

        2. Tomonthebeach

          It clearly is not, as Pelosi asserts, that Omar is being anti-semitic in implying that some Representatives might have dual (conflicted) national loyalties. It is not that there is no record of this ever happening in ways that might harm US security – esp when one might view the US and Israeli security to be conflated. In fact, many of us do conflate the two to some degree. We just would not betray the US.

          How quickly the press forgets Dan Elsberg, Johnathan Pollard, or even Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. In between a number of US citizens have been caught blabbing secrets to Israel. How did our nuclear bomb technology wind up in so many countries like Russia – not to mention Israel itself.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Multiple national loyalities…

            Doesn’t that put many people, including not the least, Ms. Omar, in the spotlight?

            “You have a Martian last name…”

            “You worship Mars?”

      3. RWood


        Call House Speaker Pelosi now at 202-225-0100 and press “1” to leave her a message saying that Democratic leadership should pass a resolution that condemns antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, xenophobia, and bigotry of ALL kinds. From the US to Palestine, we call for no supremacy—no exceptions.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          This is avoids the problem which is the censuring of a black, muslim woman over criticism of Israel and conflation of it with anti-Semitism by vile people.

          The call shouldn’t be some bs call for “all lives matter” but should demand Pelosi denounce Omar’s fraudulent detractors. Omar said nothing wrong, and frankly, AOC should be embarrassed for her statement a few weeks ago thanking for her apology.

    2. Wukchumni

      I’m guessing both of the congresswomen left quite a trail of meaty crumbs on the internet, and once something derogatory rears it’s ugly head, it’s up to the court of public opinion to decide on the matter.

      Their whole lives have been under a microscope…

      That’s the peril of being a young politician in these times.

    3. Chris Cosmos

      I do have a problem with politicians supporting Israel. Israel’s policies are the model that the US eventually followed in its most recent wars, i.e., a policy of systematic and deliberate cruelty in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan. Israel’s stunning belligerence and its power in Washington (which I’ve seen in action) has radically distorted US policy even before the famous incident of the USS Liberty.

      Israel and right-wing Jews deserve as much criticism as right-wing Christians. Anyone who opposes Israeli policies in both Britain (see Corbin’s problems) and the US is labelled as “anti-Semitic” (a stupid term since it refers to Arabs as well) even if they are Jews like Norman Finkelstein (the poster boy for Israeli meddling in US affairs), Noam Chomsky who is still not allowed (and rarely mentioned except to heap invective on hims, on the major US media outlets (unless that has changed lately), and anyone else who questions the right of Israel to ignore and aggressively flout international law.

      In a larger sense we need to stop this absurd squashing of ideas that exists on many levels in our society. We need to be able to criticize anyone even if they are classified as official “victims.”

      1. Olga

        You know who rules by knowing who you cannot critisize… or something like that.
        Not sure who said that – but it sure describes the current situation vis-a-vis Israel.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We don’t criticize (mortgage fraud/student loan/crimes against humanity/etc) victims, beause there is not to criticize them about.

          In those cases, they don’t rule, though we can’t criticize them.

  11. JohnnyGL

    To those who’ve been wondering how the oligarchs are going to stick the knife into AOC….you may yet have your answer…

    At risk of propagating a potential right-wing smear job, this seems worthy of attention. Does it belong in the bucket with the politically motivated FBI inquiry into Jane Sanders (meaning it’s complete hackery)?

    I hope AOC and staff are ready for this kind of thing.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      There’s a follow up story on the same site where AOC is confronted by a Fox reporter at the airport – she denied any violation. Seems like it has legs in the right wing media machine. Likely to be some hysteria in the NY Post in 5,4,3,2….

      1. pretzelattack

        i know it’s being spread around as factual, as smears often are, spreading around the world.

    2. ambrit

      I looked at the source of the ‘allegation’ and it tracks back to a right wing ‘think tank’ the “National Legal and Policy Center.” Established in 1991, this group dogs the steps of ‘liberal’ politicians and groups. They have targeted the likes of Al Sharpton and the Hillary Clinton healthcare working group of 1993. The group has in it’s mission statement the statement that: “We believe that the best way to promote ethics is to reduce the size of government.” There it is, in glorious black and white. Neo-cons of the old fashioned variety.
      So, yes, AOC had better cultivate the friendship of some dead serious Machiavellian political operatives.
      I particularly admired the way in which the clickbait headline phrased things in such a way as to imply that the ‘complaint’ was from the FEC, and not a complaint addressed to the FEC.
      I think that this is going to be remembered, if we last that long, as the dirtiest Presidential campaign in a hundred years.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > AOC had better cultivate the friendship of some dead serious Machiavellian political operatives

        Yep. Apparently this grows out of the boyfriend attack.

        1. Susan the Other

          So far she seems to have perfect pitch. I like the way she reacts. She knows she’s going to take some knocks and she’s ready. I do really like her style.

      2. Pookah Harvey

        More on the National Legal and Policy Center

        According to Sourcewatch:

        NLPC’s predominate sources of funding are the Scaife Foundations.

        From a 1/14/17 story in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

        When this week’s inaugural speeches and balls are over, and Donald Trump’s administration takes office, it will have dozens of ties to a Downtown-based foundation that has been preparing for half a century for a moment like this.

        The connections are an indicator of the right-wing foundation’s influence in Washington at a time when it controls some $700 million, after receiving $364 million from the estate of Richard Mellon Scaife after his death in 2014.

        More than two dozen organizations funded in 2015 by the Sarah Scaife Foundation have connections to at least 25 high-ranking members of Mr. Trump’s White House transition team, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette analysis found……

        The foundation’s ties to the administration are “certainly not coincidental,” said Shirley Anne Warshaw, a professor at Gettysburg College who has written books on presidential staffing, including “The Co-Presidency of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.”

        “It means that the senior people involved in the Scaife Foundation are well-connected in conservative politics, and that they will play a very significant role in shaping policy in the Trump administration,” she said.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Guaido Returns to Venezuela amid US Threats Against Maduro”

    What I have not seen mention of was the fact that when Greedo returned to Venezuela, he had a bodyguard awaiting him made up of Ambassadors from Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and several other countries. Not low-level diplomatic staff but the actual Ambassadors themselves. Can you imagine what would happen if Nanci Pelosi declared herself President and declared Trump an illegal President because he did not win the popular vote? And that wherever she went, she had a bodyguard of Ambassadors of all these major countries? And that is what you are not hearing about the situation in Venezuela. More on this story at

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Kev.

      It’s another useful and timely reminder that after Brexit, there will still be neo con and neo liberal scoundrels in the EU27, all too willing to be Uncle Sam’s lapdog. The graveyard at Colombey must be noisy. It suits many in the EU27 to pretend that the UK was poisoning the well and preventing the EU from being the land of milk and honey.

    2. Synapsid

      Hi Rev Kev.

      Here’s another could you imagine?: The party of a sitting President of the US has lost majority control of the House and the Senate. The President, on His or Her personal authority, calls a special election for a body to draw up a new Constitution for the US–let’s call it the Constituent Assembly. The opposition party in the House and Senate boycotts the election, declaring it fraudulent, and the President’s party wins the election. Forty-some governments of other countries declare the election fraudulent too.

      The Constituent Assembly convenes and announces that it has the power to make laws that overrule any laws passed by the elected Legislature (the House and Senate) that do not support the policies of the President. The next day the Constituent Assembly announces that it has stripped the Legislature of the power to make any laws at all. It being an election year, the Constituent Assembly calls a snap Presidential election for April, changed to May, instead of November. That election is declared invalid, by the opposition party and forty-some other countries, as the body has no authority to do such a thing (let alone exist) and the opposition party boycotts the election; the President is re-elected. In January when the President’s current term of office ends the Legislature announces that the office of President is vacant and invokes the Constitutional process for succession to the office.

      Couldn’t happen here, of course. Compare with Venezuela.

      1. Barry

        Whether or not the US hypothetical situation and the Venezuelan actual situation are comparable hinge on what their respective constitutions allow.

        1. Synapsid


          Yes. And Venezuela’s constitution does not allow what I described. That is the reason for the opposition’s position and the whole point of the post.

          1. Pookah Harvey

            Venezuelan Constitution:

            Article 348: The initiative for calling a National Constituent Assembly may emanate from the President of the Republic sitting with the Cabinet of Ministers; from the National Assembly, by a two-thirds vote of its members; from the Municipal Councils in open session, by a two-thirds vote of their members; and from 15% of the voters registered with the Civil and Electoral Registry.

            Article 349: The President of the Republic shall not have the power to object to the new Constitution.

            The existing constituted authorities shall not be permitted to obstruct the Constituent Assembly in any way.

      2. False Solace

        A dubious analogy. Your convenient tale leaves out the part where the Supreme Court rules on the entire process and deems it in accordance with the Constitution, as happened in Venezuela. Wonder why you left out that part.

        When the opposition won control of the legislature they passed 4 laws, 3 of which were ruled unconstitutional and tried to change things like Maduro’s term of office and other eye-rolling stretches. They refused to legislate after that. The Venezuelan opposition has refused to participate in elections even though UN observers have rated them among the fairest in the world. The opposition wants a revolution, nothing less, and let’s not leave out the racial and class divides that are their real motivation. The opposition in Venezuela have a history of burning their enemies alive. These are not good people. No wonder our ruling class in DC likes them so much.

      3. The Rev Kev

        OK, I’ll bite. How about media crews come into the US to film homeless people living in the streets of cities like San Francisco and the homeless encampments around many cities. Then they broadcast a round the world that America has Trump has failed the people and impoverished them and must go. All channels in every country. China announces that it is seizing US assets in China to be handed over to Pelosi. A convoy of aid is stopped at the border near Niagara Falls and two trucks full of building supplies, err, aid are burnt out on the Canadian side but that American troops are blamed for this.
        Reports come out that the opposition is really only the Clinton Archipelago and Trump supporters the rest of the country are ignored or denied. American deposits in London are seized on the grounds that the US might spend it on stuff that they do not approve off. China then announces that ‘all options are on the table’ but that they do want America’s oil production facilities for payment for their support as well as any remaining gold in Fort Knox. In 2020 the Democrats, who realize that they have no hope of winning, refuse to run in the elections. After the elections are over, the Democrats claim that the elections are illegitimate as it did not represent all voters. But I am sure that you can think of more scenarios along these lines.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > when Greedo returned to Venezuela, he had a bodyguard awaiting him made up of Ambassadors from Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and several other countries.

      Then I guess we’d better overthrow Maduro tout suite if we want to retain any credibility with those countries. But it also looks like we can’t, as it turns out, do that (the Times just threw in the towel). If so, what a shame that Trump, in his usual blundering way, destroyed a capability that we should never be exercising in the first place. (My working theory — it would be irresponsible not to speculate — is that the whole episode was about Latinx votes in Florida for 2020, and giving Bolton enough rope. And if he hangs himself, well then so much the better.)

  13. icancho

    I think the Korean DMZ critters might be Long-tailed Goral (Nemorhaedus caudatus).
    WP tells us it has a range from “eastern Russia and China through western Thailand and eastern Myanmar. A population has also been documented in the Demilitarized Zone on the Korean Peninsula.”

  14. jfleni

    RE: House Dems will take floor action to confront Omar’s latest Israel comments.

    Anti-Semitism means HATRED for Jews and their religion; there is no sign of Hatred anywhere, instead there is disagreement over ISRAELI policy which
    some Americans dislike or despise. If you are anti – anything, French,German
    Russian,etc., etc,. you just DO NOT agree!
    It looks like a vociferous minority wants things precisely and exactly their own
    way — propaganda by any other name!

    1. Eureka Springs

      Definition of Semitism

      1a : Semitic character or qualities
      b : a characteristic feature of a Semitic language occurring in another language
      2 : policy or predisposition favorable to Jews

      Unless one favors, as in holds semitism above others, one must be anti? Contemptible, elitist, straw manning. I will never cease to be amazed this choke-collar has worked so well for so long on so many.

    2. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you.

      We are plagued by the same in the UK.

      Unfortunately, the opposition Labour Party is daily smeared with the ritual chant, but seems to bend over backwards to indulge the dual nationals and their neo liberal and neo con fellow travellers.

      1. Chris Cosmos

        I was surprised to see, about fifteen years ago, that pro-Israeli Jews has a lot of power in some professional associations in the UK this from a prominent friend in one of these organizations.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Chris.

          I belong to a professional association and a guild / worshipful company and can attest to that.

      2. Brian (another one they call)

        And there is the point. There is no need to do more than hand money and demands to their friends after purchasing them. The borg can concentrate attacks on anyone not yet with the plan. Their friends in governments have made it illegal to speak ought but good about war crimes, bribery, attacks on neighbors, election interference. The UN has passed several resolutions regarding Israel’s acts. They have been vetoed by another ally.
        Saudi Arabia is an important ally of Israel. Both publicly want to destroy each other. Saudi Arabia would be considered anti semitic. I would like to feed this premise to an AI bot and watch it devo.

  15. Frank Little

    Check out the Haiti Information Project (@HaitiInfoProj) on twitter for more coverage of Haiti. They’ve been on the ground covering the anti-corruption protests there as well as the multiple former US military people arrested on weapons charges in Haiti a few weeks ago. The five of them claimed to be on a “government mission” before being quietly shuttled out of the country on a commercial flight, and one of them posted on Facebook saying he’s done in security now that everyone knows who he is. Can’t say I’m surprised that their arrest isn’t getting more attention, but given the history of US policy in Haiti I’m sure it has a perfectly wholesome explanation.

  16. Wukchumni

    After India Loses Dogfight to Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its ‘Vintage’ Military NYT

    Let’s take the wayback machine 50 years to a forgotten war between El Salvador & Honduras which featured:

    P-51 Mustangs vs F4U Corsairs in the last air combat between piston engine planes.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for that link. Man, I was reading about the aerial conflict on that page. Those WW2 era warbirds going against each other must have been something else. Some of the finest fighters to have come out of that war too.

  17. Grant

    I love that NYT article on Venezuela. The paper, after all, supported the coup against Chavez and was embarrassed when his people brought him back to power, but it didn’t learn anything because they don’t make decisions in an objective way based on logic. Chomsky’s critiques of the NYT are as powerful as ever. Maduro has problems to be sure, but to call Venezuela a dictatorship is hilarious. Right now, some right wing puppet declared himself president with the support of a foreign power. The article says that the Venezuelan government is “depicting Mr. Guaidó as a stooge of Washington and its right-wing allies in Latin America”, but that isn’t a claim. It is objective reality, and one of its allies in this fight against Venezuela is Colombia, which has arguably the worst human rights record in the western hemisphere. The right in Venezuela is funded by the US through the NED, USAID, and the CIA. Eva Golinger, among others have written extensively on this. The NYT knows this. Guaido himself is a creation of the NED (Max Blumenthal’s article is a great background on that), and he operates pretty freely around the country. What would happen if someone here did the same thing? Think arresting them for treason would be out of the question? But the NYT editorial board feels the need to call Maduro a dictator.

    It also said that a compromise would involve internationally monitored elections, which Maduro would think of as a surrender. Hello! The US doesn’t allow in international observers to monitor its elections despite many here begging the government to allow observers in. Venezuela’s many elections have had international observers (many of whom wrote reports supporting the much maligned 2018 election, claiming that it was well run) including president Carter, and they have all said that they were well run. The radical right wing opposition is the one that has not only boycotted multiple elections, it also lobbied for the EU to NOT send election monitors (it didn’t send monitors, but still found the time to denounce the election from afar) and the people leading the radical right wing were the ones that issued the Carmona decree that tore up the constitution, dissolved all branches of government and announced a dictatorship after the coup against Chavez. You know, the one that the NYT supported. I know it is asking a lot for the paper of note to actually accurately report independent of a CIA propaganda operation, but come on.

    To frame what Maduro and the US are doing in that way is indefensible. The US is central to Venezuela’s struggles, its economic attacks are a big reason why the country is having trouble exporting, importing, getting access to credit, being able to re-negotiate its foreign debt, it has a big role in the hyperinflation and it essentially announced that it was offering that aid (equal to about what our economic war costs the country every day) as a means to foment a coup. But no, it is the “dictator” playing games with food. How can anyone trust the paper when it does stuff like this all the time?

    1. pretzelattack

      you can’t trust them, or the post or the guardian or msnbc or cnn or fox. and they don’t seem to care about that at all, which i guess is one more thing to worry about.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          The local Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC, modeled after the BBC) is normally fairly circumspect and fair, but they ran the news story “Guaido returns to a hero’s welcome”.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Same with the Australian government’s SBS which caters to those who use languages other than English.

      1. Grant

        Maybe. But in the old USSR, I am told, people knew to take what Pravda said with a grain of salt. It was more important to read Pravda to get the party’s propaganda, to hear its justifications for what it was doing, but many people knew that what they were told wasn’t a reflection of actual reality. Pravda couldn’t prevent the system’s collapse, it was there to try to keep it in place. Looking at polls, it seems that most in the US now see the media in similar ways. The bias is so blatant at this point that it isn’t possible to really trust the papers. The NYT does some good journalism at times, but the good journalists are done no favors by the paper itself. The problem I see, personally, is that people respond to this situation by often finding shelter in some bubble that prevents information they don’t like from getting in.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        The NYT demonstrated its true colors when they sat on the wireless wiretapping story before the 2004 election. The NYT gave us two terms of George W. Bush.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              I would say not only illegal behavior, but the complete destruction of the Fourth Amendment* (normalized and rationalized, naturally, by the Obama adminsitration).

              NOTE * Its clear as day that email and SMS messages are “papers and effects” in the modern day — i.e., digital not paper — and that a warrant should be required to access them.

  18. Darthbobber

    Monteith’s Scotsman article on the Scottish currency proposal, but really on the importance of Scotland staying in the UK and out of the EU to best capitalize on all the awesome growth that his Global Britain organization sees as following from hard Brexit.
    1) He attributes all lack of growth in the eurrozone to the very existence of the eurozone, thus assuming what needed to be shown.

    2) He further assumes that a proposal for a Scottish currency inevitably means the adoption of the Euro eventually. It doesn’t, as was discussed ad infinitum and ad nauseum during the Indyref debate.

    3) He attributes all of the trade deficit between the UK and eurozone nations to a generic lack of demand in the eurozone countries. This just leaves unexplained why some trading partners of the eurozone countries do better at this than the UK does. The idea that the lack of demand might just reflect lack of demand for the UK’s export offerings is passed over in silence.

    4) The numbers he uses to make his case are not those provided by standard sources, but estimates from sources sympathetic to his cause.

    5) One example of how far off he is: World Bank GDP data expressed in constant 2010 US dollars shows the EU GDP as a whole standing at 166.38% of 1994 levels in 2018, and US GDP standing at 157.93% of 1994 level in 2018.
    Now, he refers to the Eurozone rather than the EU, which might get him closer to his desired numbers, but not that much closer.

    6) Like most of the Brexiteers he provides nothing but cavalier handwaving to explain how Brexit will magically strengthen British exports to the “emerging markets” he pins his hopes on.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, DB.

      Monteith has a regular column in City AM, the Sun of business journalism.

      He would like Ireland to leave the EU and form a sort of association with the UK, not an insignificant minority view in the Brexiteer camp.

      1. ambrit

        He wouldn’t be calling that the “Cromwell Plan,” would he?
        I’m wondering what percentage of Ireland’s foreign trade is with England. We can discount trade that transits England to somewhere else. That can take the sea route around Cornwall to Le Harve. That port is fairly large and could expand somewhat. France has a string of ports on the Atlantic coast suitable, from Brest to Bayonne.

  19. JEHR

    Re: ‘I have lost confidence’: Jane Philpott resigns from cabinet over Trudeau’s handling of SNC-Lavalin affair Global News

    Well, our Liberal government is in the process of imploding. I can’t help thinking about how our PM was so proud to have half of this cabinet composed of women; however, he forgot that women have a different point of view from men (who have mostly run our government in the past) and now he is learning that lesson the hard way. I’m very proud of the fact that the women in his cabinet have been hard working and very successful in each of the portfolios that they have held.

    I’m thinking that men have not included women in positions of power for the very reason that they like to run things the way they have always run things and the women’s viewpoints put a crimp in their style. The PM needs to become fully transparent and explain the truth about the workings of his cabinet in relationship to SNC-Lavalin lobbying. There should be apologies all round and an acknowledgement that the judicial system should always be independent of the politics of the time. If large corporations become used to deferred prosecutions then they will never have the incentive to stop the fraud and corruption and will make the fines part of the “cost of doing business.”

    I use as my example any of the banks that were responsible for The Great Recession doing just that. Where does the corruption get interrupted–when the honest person says that criminal prosecution is needed for a company that commits bribery, fraud and corruption. Only fining the company gives the company multiple opportunities to continue on its corrupt course. Are jobs more important than honest companies? Are politicians more important than corruption?

    1. Chris Cosmos

      Politicians and those in power use power to further their agenda. This has little to do with gender. Corruption in the West (particularly in the USA) is systemic–personal attempts to stem this tide simply don’t work because any honest individual will simply be fired and drummed out of their careers if they attempt to make changes. Change must come from the top or no change can occur. The only way people can make changes from the bottom are from powerful social movements but because our culture lacks the social literacy to form associations other than vague ones like Occupy or the Yellow Vest movement in France.

      Having said that, I believe it is important, at all levels, for women to assert themselves. I see a lot women who feel disempowered and who disempower themselves particularly in their intimate relationships with men. Women have a point-of-view that is essential if our society were to transition into a focus on conviviality rather than aggressive competition.

      1. ambrit

        Funny you should write that. I am re-reading some works on the early conflicts between the male oriented ‘sky god’ cults, like the early Hebrews and the Greeks, and the feminine oriented ‘fertility’ cults like the worship of Cybele, Aphrodite, Inanna, and the like.
        Strength of character, for men as well as women, is discouraged in this culture.
        It as an endlessly fascinating subject.

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘Strength of character, for men as well as women, is discouraged in this culture.’

          Interesting that you make that observation. Stephen Covey – of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” fame – did his doctoral dissertation on American self-help books. He was struck how until a century ago, such books were based on developing your character and Benjamin Franklin’s work was an example here. But sometime after WW1 this rapidly changed to the “Think and grow rich” and “How To Win Friends and Influence People” type of book which was much more superficial. Something had changed in our culture.

  20. Chris Cosmos

    I think that we seem to be in a very fluid situation with the Venezuelan crisis. The indications are that the US will not invade Venezuela for two good reasons. First, Trump is weak politically in Washington and few people trust him as a Commander in Chief for what would be a very complex military occupation and a long term guerilla campaign to deal with. Second, the US has lost a lot of credibility over the years such that even its European satellites might balk at supporting yet another doomed military intervention.

    It seems the current policy is to try to support paramilitary organizations in Venezuela and on the borders of Columbia and Brazil and continue the embargo and attempt to bribe and threaten Venezuelan military officers. This policy has a decent chance of success but I think I doubt it will work, as long as the current FP team is in charge which seems to want to alienate everyone.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > This policy has a decent chance of success but I think I doubt it will work

      Or won’t work in time. I mean, you get the ambassadors to show up to escort Your Guy, then it takes a lot of torture and killing and bad press over a decade or so to finally install him?

  21. BobWhite

    On a much lighter note…
    Happy Mardi Gras! :-)

    Although, for most of the readers, just Tuesday… :-(

    1. Janie

      Celebrate this cold Mardi Gras by making a pot of gumbo. It’s pefect: inexpensive and delicious. Ingredients are flexible and ratios variable. Just don’t turn your attention from the roux. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

      1. ambrit

        We’re in a one horse town about a hundred miles from New Orleans. Today, as I wandered about on errands, it was quiet. Several places were running short handed. Two managers told me that they suspected that suddenly ‘sick’ employees were down in N’awlins for the parades.
        The biggest problem for Phyl about gumbo is preparing the okra. You can’t get the slime off of you. (Three guesses who gets to slice and dice the okra now.)

        1. pretzelattack

          well it should be looked at, but the nlpc which filed the complaint has a right wing agenda. still they’ve apparently been upheld in a few cases; they actually complained about defense department corruption which shows some objective adherence to their mission, to wit:
          Asserting that the social responsibility of the corporation is to defend and advance the interests of the people who own the company, the shareholders.
          True responsibility is fidelity to one’s own mission, not someone else’s, or someone else’s political agenda.
          Exposing influence peddling on public officials by corporations, which inevitably is the result of high levels of government spending and intervention in the marketplace.
          Combating practices that undermine the free enterprise system, including philanthropic giving to groups hostile to a free economy.[4]

          i’m not comfortable with that agenda except for the part about exposing influence peddling on public officials by corporations. i’m just not convinced they are honest.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Is this here an argument or debate based on information/facts on hand, or taking into account, or being influenced/decided by the person (i.e ‘hominem’)?

            I think it’s appropriate to taking into account the person or persons, though information/facts should remain the focus (referring to the quote about broken clock).

            1. pretzelattack

              afaik, there are no facts yet, just allegations in a complaint. i’m just saying i don’t take it at face value, given their agenda and history. some of these right wing outfits are like breitbart, i’m leaving open the possibility that some are not. i’m still mad about the acorn smear, they did good work.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Still wating too, and going home soon.

                I think I will agree with what you say, that we have to look at the person, but overall, it should still be based on the information and facts we have (thus the broken clock note).

                So far as I have seen, the Ocasio-Cortez team will respond back, quickly and forcefullly to allegations. And hopefully we see that soon.

                1. pretzelattack

                  it’s like mueller’s indictments in the trump probe, it is possible there is some factual basis. i hope we don’t have to wait as long for a factual basis for this to be provided.

                  1. ambrit

                    I put in a comment above, this quote from the NLPC site: “We believe that the best way to promote ethics is to reduce the size of government.”
                    This bunch have a definite far right wing agenda.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Let’s also hear what the Ocasio-Cortez side has to say, then, we can better judge, based on relevant information, rather than prior reputations.

  22. Aldous

    There is zero incentive to have kids.

    In the meantime, the US has no statutory paid parental leave, they have no statutory sick leave (women get paid time off for any pregnancy related appointment &/ illness in Europe.)

    US charges mothers extra money if they want to hold their own baby after birth. Bills of $65,000+ are not unusual for having a baby.

    After the birth, the lack of employment laws mean back to work. Childcare costs as much as a mortgage.

    I mean, honestly it surprises me that anyone is having kids.

    1. jrs

      well on the one hand we need to stabilize and reduce global population because the environment can not sustain an ever growing population, and having way fewer kids is the way to do this.

      On the other hand the lack of leave is a problem for those who do choose to have kids. India has 6 months of leave, and Modi supported the policy. Uh that’s a 3rd world country with a right wing leader. Just goes to show there ain’t no right-wing country quite like the U.S.A.!

      And sick leave is just a necessity.

  23. Yikes

    Brexit ~ Real News Network

    Professor Leo Panitch covers Corbin’s strategic thinking within his very limited power under both labour party and UK security state bureaucracy / USA interference.

    earlier post on wrong date.

  24. Wukchumni

    A Nearly $1 Trillion California Flood Likely to Occur Within 40 Years

    The odds of a 1-in-200-year flood in California costing nearly $1 trillion (4% of U.S. GDP) are steadily rising due to climate change, with a greater than 50% chance of one occurring in the next 40 years. That’s the startling conclusion of a paper (open access) published in 2018 by a team led by Daniel Swain (University of California, Los Angeles, press release here). One dramatic example of the type of damage such a storm could potentially cause is the failure of the Whittier Narrows Dam on the San Gabriel River in the Los Angeles metro area, which could flood up to 1 million people in the metropolitan Los Angeles area.

    Storms capable of causing a $1 trillion flood in California have hit multiple times in the past, so it is only a matter of time before one occurs again. The most recent one occurred back in the winter of 1861 – 1862. A 45-day period of torrential rains from multiple storms carrying a strong “atmospheric river” (AR) of tropical moisture impacted the state, turning California’s Central Valley into a lake 300 miles long and over 20 miles wide. The resulting floods put downtown Sacramento under 10+ feet of water, forcing movement of the state capital to San Francisco. Sediment research has found that six storms even more severe than the 1861 – 1862 storm hit California in the years 212, 440, 603, 1029, 1418, and 1605 AD.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Thanks for the link! There seem to be all sorts of interesting events lurking in our future. I wonder what would happen if California had its big earthquake right before it was hit with a ‘200-year’ flooding event.

    2. Oregoncharles

      If it’s ” Likely to Occur Within 40 Years,” it isn’t exactly a 200-year event, is it? Not any more.

      Since we live in the flood plain, I wonder how this applies to the Willamette Valley. Might be time to do some research. Our house has been surrounded with water, with maybe a vertical foot of clearance (that foot doesn’t sound like much, but represents a vast amount of water), but that happened in the late 90’s. We haven’t had recent flooding like that – which may just mean we’re overdue.

      Gee, thanks for the disquieting information, Wukchumni.

    3. David H.

      This article regarding the odds of an “ArkStorm” happening sooner with “climate change” thrown in makes me sceptical of the whole climate change argument. And the last line noting that according to sediment research, these storms have also happened in 212, 440, 603, 1029, 1418 and 1605 AD makes me wonder what caused the previous storms. I am so tired of the climate change boogeymen being tied to everything. Climate change is probably causing my acme for all I know. But when written articles attempt to tie climate change to everything it just weakens the argument. Like highlighting every word on a page in a book such that nothing stands out. These massive storms have seem to have happened periodically over the past 2000 years. So, to wrap it up, be cautious building in a flood prone area. It’s a real mess to clean up after the water recedes.

      1. Wukchumni

        Think of those epic floods of yore in a different way, in that they’ve happened like clockwork, every 200 or 400 years or so, for the last couple thousand years, and 40 years from now would be the bicentennial of the 1862 flood that was small potatoes compared to say the 1605 flood.

        The only climate change the Native Americans produced here was via fire.

    4. Susan the Other

      It’s more dangerous now. Because that “atmospheric river” seems to be a permanent fixture. The jet stream is folded up like a blanket and moves too slowly for the sky to clear, so the storms just pile up, one one top of another. It’s frightening to realize that even in “normal” weather, storms like this occurred. Here in the high desert I’ve noticed a new kind of cloud formation – the upper sky is always overcast and white, while beneath it the storm clouds gather – white on white. I’ve never seen that before. So I’m thinking that this warmer and wetter era produces an extra deep pile of clouds. It’s more like an atmospheric ocean.

    1. SoldierSvejk

      Sorry, now see this was posted above. Trust NC to be on top of ALL that is going on in the world!

  25. Oregoncharles

    ” If liberal Democrats really wanted power — over anything but the party money trough machinery, that is — they would have been fighting these nominations tooth and nail. For the last two decades. But n-o-o-o-o-o!”

    And you would want to “take over” that corruption machine…why?

  26. Anon

    RE: Korean DMV antidote

    Those are Korean native black goats. Though they have ears like a deer, they are goats (see horns on the mature goat).

    Goat meat is used as part of a traditional medicinal meal (like chicken soup in America). Korean goat meat played a larger part in the native diet in the past, but is now overshadowed by beef, pork, and chicken.

    But still, they are a wonderful antidote as seen in their native landscape.

  27. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: The Physics Still Hiding in the Higgs Boson —
    I think the physicists will have to come up with some strong arguments to get funding for the new collider they want. They may find themselves replaying many of the same arguments they used to get their current collider built. Many mysteries remain as mapped out in an interactive map linked to near the bottom of today’s link:
    While it is exciting that mysteries remain when there is some chance of finding answers I feel sad that so much might remain unknown perhaps never to be known.

  28. John Beech

    It’s just dawned on me Democrats are so divided the President will win re-election. Their candidate, anybody but Bernie, means stay-at-home Ds protesting his being screwed out of the nomination once again. Check and mate for the RNC – wow!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Naturally, we can’t in good conscience overlook the Rus Putin in masterminding the unfolding tragedy.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      If Sanders wins the nomination, the Clinton voters will all stay at home to demonstrate that “Bernie couldn’t win.”

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