Links 4/28/19

What the Scientists Who Photographed the Black Hole Like to Read The Paris Review. Much more here than the headline; well worth a read. Word of the day: Occhiolistic.

Is This a Market Melt-Up? Here Are Some Ways to Tell Bloomberg

How Goldman could get — or escape — a criminal record FT

Searching for Stimulus Capital Ebbs and Flows

What’s the deal with the Green New Deal? Monthly Review

New York Archdiocese releases names of 120 clergy accused of sex abuse CNN

REVEALED: California student ‘shooter’, 19, wrote an anti-Semitic manifesto and claimed he was inspired by the Christchurch mosque massacre before he opened fire at a Passover service, killed one woman and injured three others Daily Mail

How California’s faltering high-speed rail project was ‘captured’ by costly consultants Los Angeles Times


China spends $73 billion on transport infrastructure in March quarter: ministry Reuters

China’s Belt and Road Forum ends with more support and US$64 billion in new deals, but is it job done for Beijing? South China Morning Post but Can China do soft power? Poorly organised yet tightly controlled forum raises questions South China Morning Post

The Manufacturer’s Dilemma Foreign Policy


Trump’s America, Netanyahu’s Israel LRB

Briefing note on the final report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission on the alleged chemical attack in Douma in April 2018 Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media


Labour to decide on Brexit public vote on Tuesday, says Corbyn Guardian

No 10 begs leadership rivals to lay down arms until the PM has secured Commons approval for her Brexit deal Daily Mail

Could Brexit Unite Ireland At Last? The American Conservative

First Minister: Indyref2 most likely before end of 2020 The National

SNP members support new currency as soon as practicable The Herald

Labour wants UK to be first country in the world to declare climate emergency Mirror

NHS data is a public asset. Why does Matt Hancock want to give it away? Open Democracy

Austerity-Battered U.K. ‘Retreating Behind a Nuclear Shield’ NYT

All to play for as polarized Spain votes after tense campaign Reuters


Venezuelan Government Announces Arrests over Electrical Blackouts Venezuelanalysis

Venezuela crisis: Security forces personnel stranded in Colombia Al Jazeera

Ambassadors designated by Venezuela’s Guaido meet in Colombia on winning over China and Russia Reuters

Venezuela Celebrates Split With OAS Voice of America

The making and unmaking of Brazilian democracy Le Monde Diplomatique

Boeing 737

Source: Boeing whistleblowers report 737 Max problems to FAA CNN

FAA could clear Boeing 737 MAX to fly again within weeks Seattle Times. “‘With 250 flights a day being canceled (in the U.S.) and the stranded capital of planes parked all over the West, there’s a recognition that every day has an economic cost,’ the [person familiar with the FAA’s view] said.” Oh.

Boeing faces at least 35 lawsuits over its 737 Max 8 aircraft crashes Yahoo Finance

Bjorn’s Corner: Time to reassess the safety standards for our airliners Leeham News. I think our pilots might have something to say about this one….


Bernie Sanders Campaign Holds Thousands of House Parties for Supporters NYT

Some women of color frustrated by Biden’s presidential bid AP. NGOs….

“It’s Going to Be a Guerrilla War”: The Sanders Left Opens Fire on Biden Vanity Fair

Bernie Sanders collects more cash from North Carolina than any other 2020 Democrat News & Observer

Democrats in Disarray

The Broadway Life of Hillary Clinton The New Yorker

Conservatives want to rewrite the Constitution, and they’re dangerously close to doing it Scalawag

Health Care

How financial markets are responding to the Medicare-for-all push The Week

Class Warfare

1 big thing … The new gig: America’s hidden economy Axios. Check out “portable benefits” in section #5. Health care should, of course, be from #MedicareForAll, but no, we have to have an individualized “solution” that’s insanely complicated and infested with rent-seeking middlemen, because markets.

Google Staffers Share Stories of ‘Systemic’ Retaliation Bloomberg

The Neighborhood Is Mostly Black. The Home Buyers Are Mostly White. NYT (JB: “In one future, the small, medium, and large cities in the US will look like Copenhagen with a mix of mass transit, bicycles, walking, etc. The suburbs and rural areas will look like something out of a Mad Max movie.” With extremely cool, petrol-fueled vehicles!)

How we analyzed California’s wildfire evacuation routes AP. With a list of zip codes so you can check if you are in a high-risk zone. This is from a useful AP page, “Destined to Burn,” that aggregates California wildfire stories from a number of newsrooms working in collaboration.

Dutch tulip growers beg selfie-taking millennials to stop trampling their flowers CNN

How to reduce digital distractions: advice from medieval monks Aeon

Finders keepers? Police say no way after $30K spills on road AP. No way? Way!

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s 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. Ignacio

    RE: All to play for as polarized Spain votes after tense campaign Reuters

    This morning at the electoral school, a few people joking about voting VOX (ultra-right). Not funny for me.

    1. Ignacio

      There are things missed when voting in machines. And old women asked me for help to close the envelopes and you have some conversation with people in the desks. The ballot boxes still have some sacred job. I would dislike and mistrust voting machines.

        1. Eclair

          Alas, Ignacio, you point out another failing of the English language: there is really not a decent term for older people, older women especially, that does not have a perjorative connotation. “Old lady,” “old woman,” or “granny” are especially vile. “Senior citizen” or “golden ager” will work for either sex, although the terms are a bit condescending.

          I have reached the age where younger men constantly address me as “young lady.” I find this intensely annoying, but have not yet devised a suitable come-back. Unless it is a swift kick to the groin with my motorcycle boot-clad foot.

          Language reflects our cultural beliefs and our society does not regard elderly persons with respect; they are no longer able to have value extracted from them, unless, of course, ware-housed in for-profit long-term care facilities. “Grandmother” or “Grandfather” are not titles of dignity and respect. Where in a more humane culture, the elders would be respected and needed as living warehouses of institutional knowledge, in our throw-away society they are just another piece of trash destined for the landfill

          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            This may be true in some subcultures of the US. Grandmother is a term of respect in the Black and Latino communities. Family matriarch connotes power too.

            I struggle myself with Lady as opposed to Woman, having come up in the early 70s when Lady was deemed to be patronizing toward those more fragile than males.

            I see no harm in older woman. Or the generic elder. But elderly woman has a connotation of frailty, even if it should not.

            Maybe a simply factual descriptor: 60ish woman, 70ish woman.

            Of course for the wealthy there’s always dowager, but I wouldn’t know anything about that ;-)

            1. Enquiring Mind

              I may be old-fashioned in my views. When I was young, my parents taught us that ladies and gentlemen were respectful terms and represented some ideal for us to emulate. I miss those days, and have tried to instill some sense of that in my own children so that they may be aware of more links to their past.
              Perhaps the speaker’s tone did not impart a sentiment in keeping with what was once the primary meaning?

              1. Yikes

                Really old fashioned meaning of gentlemen (and ladies) were those who profited by the labour of others, and were ready with the sword or gun, or to employ mercenaries (ie: military) to keep their property.

            2. Eclair

              Ha, ChiGal, I don’t think my “embonpoint” is ample enough or my pearl necklace long enough to justify the dowager title! And I would have to get rid of my husband!

              1. ambrit

                You could re-contract the relationship as a Morganatic marriage. Propriety would be pacified. Propinquity would be preserved. Proscription would be palliated.

          2. coboarts

            “Language reflects our cultural beliefs and our society does not regard elderly persons with respect…” They will once you kick them in the groin with your motorcycle boot-clad foot. Go mama! (assuming that’s ok, just wanting to avoid the above :-) )

          3. Plenue

            “Grandmother” or “Grandfather” are not titles of dignity and respect.”

            Many, maybe most, languages have a form of this terminology. It actually is a term of respect. The Confucian derived East Asian cultures are especially big on it.

            And they’ll not only call you a version of young lady, they’ll call you sister as well.

            1. Eclair

              Exactly, Plenue. I was referring to our US/Western culture specifically. Among Native Americans, I feel quite special, being referred to as an ‘elder.’ I’ll even smile on being addressed as ‘abuelita’ by a spanish-speaker.

          4. Janie

            Eclair: when a whippersnapper addressed my 80ish mother as “young lady”, she snapped back with “don’t patronize me” and walked away.

          5. Procopius

            I think your belief that “old woman” or “old lady” is pejorative reflects more on you than on the wider society.

        2. Lunker Walleye

          How ’bout a simple “woman”, or “an older woman”? My pet peeve is being called “Sweetie” and “Dear” by strangers, especially by women younger than moi. We have open carry here — just a thought.

          1. ewmayer

            I always found simple “sir” and “ma’am” to be reasonably broad term of respect for elderfolk (and now that I’m on the other side of 50 I get a lot of the former myself) … but I confess to occasionally slipping into a Python-esque “old crone” and “old git” in inattentive moments. I *want* to be better, but it’s hard. :)

          2. Ignacio

            I don’t know I said she was elder to explain why she needed help. In spanish you can say “viejo” (pejorative) or “mayor” indefinite but not pejorative.

            Regarding electoral results they were, apart from divisive, which was a given, relatively good in my opinion with a decent crash of the conservative People’s Party and the ultra-rigth winning less sites than expected. Only the PSOE can form a govern in coalition, who knows with. Here some people is talking about a coalition with “macronish” Ciudadanos, Cs but I think it is also possible a left coalition with UP (left) and ERC (catalonian-independentist left).

          3. Amfortas the hippie

            i call everybody “Honey” or “Buddy”
            it’s an inherited trait.
            and thus due some consideration on antiimperialist grounds.
            Please pull in your large, angry toes, lest they be trampled.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              I have heard/read that calling everybody of all genders ” Honey” ( though I don’t know about “Buddy”) is a linguistic feature from parts of Alabama. I don’t know that, I have only read/heard it.

        3. Spring Texan

          I’m an old woman (69) and am fine with either “old lady” or “old woman”. What I dislike is “senior”.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Venezuela crisis: Security forces personnel stranded in Colombia” Al Jazeera

    There seem to be a slight error with that headline. Let’s try that again-

    “Venezuela crisis: Security forces deserters/traitors stranded in Colombia” Al Jazeera

    1. timbers

      And here’s a second try again:

      “Venezuela crisis: IN-Security forces deserters/traitors stranded in Colombia” Al Jazeera

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      Speaking of headline errors, the NYT should read

      Supporters hold Thousands of House Parties for Bernie Campaign

      An important distinction–this only happens if the grassroots make it happen. And we brought our own damn snacks!

    1. urblintz

      Apparently the nuns were helpful with the spirits too… St. Brigid of Ireland is said to have turned her bathwater into beer for a visiting clergyman. That’s my kind of miracle!

    2. Synoia

      Alcohol was a major part of all lives then. Beer and wine were safe to drink. Water generally polluted, except for recent rain caught in one’s own water barrel.

      When growing up and in the UK, water barrels,rain catchment, were part of every house and garden.

      1. John k

        Back then wasn’t so long ago. I was served half wine, half water at a French grade school in Tunisia in the late 50’s… maybe enough alcohol to kill most of the germs, though by then the water was potable.

        1. Enquiring Mind

          The ever-present 1.5L bottles of mineral water, whether Contrexéville, Évian or even the disreputable Vichy thinned out the vin ordinaire, nobody’s idea of a fine vintage. They were still present decades later for some beverage drinkable by all ages. The tap water was safe however few drank it in many regions due to the taste.

        2. skk

          I regularly travelled on biz to Provence ( the science park in Valbonne) for 6 years in the late ’80s. We always had wine for lunch. And smoked around the office. Until in the last year or so, as the no smoking policies came into place, I also saw my French ( yeah the French, not us Brits ) watering down their wine at lunch.
          Sigh… US rigid office temperance catching up I thought. Perhaps not – just some reverting to their childhood practices or older traditions ?

        3. Pespi

          John your impulse is correct, even in a 4:1 ratio of water to wine, microbes are killed after about 30 minutes. There’s something beyond the alcohol that kills germs

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Finders keepers? Police say no way after $30K spills on road”

    The Department of Public Safety says….a woman gave up nearly $3,900. The department says on Facebook : “We commend you for your honesty in returning the $2,900 and we will make sure that that $1,900 stays in a secured locker until the $900 can be returned to the rightful owner.”

    1. griffen

      One occasion near Dallas, TX few years back a truck with Oreo or Ritz deposited its content onto the local highway. Not really equivalent, but its the mindset that is. Look, free sh×tz for us.

      Kinda funny, unless that’s my $30 grand.

    2. crittermom

      What surprised me most about this story, was that following the outsourcing of so many union jobs in the automotive industry in the Motor City state, someone still had $30,000.

      Followed by–who the hell could forget they had that much money in a box apparently sitting on the edge of their truck bed?
      What kind of truck was it? A turnip truck? /sarc

    3. Mo's Bike Shop

      The Department spokeperson also noted that the $3,900 had an estimated street value of over $120,000!

    4. Enquiring Mind

      Even the DPS has a vigorish! A hundred here, a hundred there and soon you’re talking about a fun holiday party.

  4. cripes

    Catapulting the propaganda in a nutshell…

    “the ruling class is just trying to convince us we don’t actually want things like good educations and health care or living wages : we just think we do and would be happier to struggle and suffer in pain, because then we can have a true bootstrap moment where we know we have really earned whatever small sliver of joy manages to sneak into our lives.”

    -From RustyBrainHook on Reddit

    1. human

      It’s the Faith story where we’re told that if we live a commendable life we will receive our reward in an afterlife.

      1. Martine

        Wrong. There’s no bargaining with creation. Our relationship to it is not transactional, thus there are no external rewards for faith. It’s its own reward: to keep one focused on asking what actually can be done and leave the rest. Not very different from Taoist or Buddhist teaching in the end.

        Condescension toward the faithful may be de riguer of the moment, but it does not an argument make, and as commentary it’s tiresome.

        Just saying.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Thought-provoking. Since The Enlightenment there has been a different kind of received truth than faith: evidence. It’s very seductive. It has many useful manifestations: we probably could not have gone to the moon if we still took it as an article of faith that the Earth was the center of the universe. So if you have not made the leap of faith can you have a bargaining and transactional relationship with creation? I think so. I know I do. I don’t condescend. I just don’t happen to believe that the sea creature fossils in the rocks on the summit of Mt. Everest were created there. But I have no problem whatsoever if you believe that. Given that we are talking about belief systems we can both be right.

          1. cripes

            If there is any religion there, I was thinking more meek shall inherit the earth, old testament vengeance, Ragged Dick stories of Horatio Alger with a dash of Lone Ranger, emerging as a profoundly anti-social, depressed and dangerous archetype of Man Alone Conquers the World–or dies an ignominious death.

            Funny, being that privileged folks hawking this fairy tale are committed to and benefit from a highly developed culture of solidarity that nurtures and protects them from the horrifying consequences of that delusion.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Both views are just belief systems so I am not so quick to judge (unlike Martine who said the other’s views are simply “wrong”). Maybe that’s the issue with the faith-based version: there’s no evidence, so all you can do is verbally assert its “rightness”

              1. Procopius

                I believe the question of whether or not there is a creator god, and what our relation with It should be cannot be decided by reason. It is an axiom, like the Parallel Postulate in geometry. There are three possible variations, and all three produce complete and consistent systems of geometry. I find the aggressive atheist position that they have proven there is no god to be just as irrational as the insistence that there is a creator god and the speaker knows its nature and desired relationship with humans.

          2. witters

            On Enlightenment and Evidence: I once heard a philosopher (David Stove) give a talk on the evidential failure of feminism. Where, he asked, is the evidence that women are as talented as men? Where are the great women composers and mathematicians and philosophers, etc.? (“No, not one or two, we are talking weight of evidence here, and we can expect outliers, but the weight of evidence here is absolutely clear…”). To the appeal to structural/political/cultural barriers, he replied “Now you are imagining ways to controvert the clear evidence, because of your faith…”. So I think it pretty much comes down to what you count as “evidence” and consider “faith.”

  5. allan


    Plane maker Boeing Co. didn’t tell Southwest Airlines Co. when the carrier began flying 737 MAX jets in 2017 that a standard safety feature, found on earlier models and designed to warn pilots about malfunctioning sensors, had been deactivated.

    Federal Aviation Administration safety inspectors and supervisors responsible for monitoring Southwest, the largest MAX customer, were also unaware of the change, according to government and industry officials. …

    Oops. But surely Boeing executives would do nothing to endanger its long term reputation. /s
    Giving new meaning to I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    Could Brexit Unite Ireland At Last? The American Conservative

    A couple of serious errors in an otherwise good article – first off, the writers seem to think that a no-deal means the UK stays in the EU – nope, its out. Also, it says Republicans are calling for an immediate border poll – actually, they’ve been very careful not to do that, because the numbers don’t benefit them right now. Their calculation is that it will take 5-10 years with Brexit to make a victory in a border poll a near certainty. They also don’t say that its entirely within the powers of the UK to run a poll, and May certainly will not do it. Its very difficult to see any Tory government doing it unless they are sure they can manipulate it to win. There is a bit of a game of chicken going on with many smarter Unionists hoping for a premature border poll that they’ll win, so shutting off the question for a few decades, while Republicans are waiting for the right moment. The DUP are too stupid to have any strategy apart from shouting ‘no’.

    1. Synoia

      I don’t believe the America Conservative understands the dept of feeling in N Ireland from the current Protestant majority.

      Do they know the Irish history?

  7. Carolinian

    The New Yorker:

    At “King Lear,” a ritual that I had seen in viral videos played out in front of my eyes: an entire theatre’s worth of New Yorkers and tourists gave her a pre-show standing ovation, as she smiled and waved from her aisle seat. The performance artist Anna Deavere Smith, who sat directly in front of her, looked on with uncharacteristic shock.

    Gag. The article itself describes a different show that is about Hillary herself and therefore even more Hillary centric. Nobody seems willing to say that this woman who just demanded Trump’s impeachment for betraying America to existential adversary Russia is flat out nuts. This seems to apply to much of our Acela riding, Broadway going upper class as well–at least when it comes to Hillary.

    1. flora

      The playwrite’s comparison to the original King Lear (betrayal by those closest who the King had helped) might have been better, imo done instead as a comparison to the original Richard III (malicious, power hungry, and bitter about the hand fate dealt him). My opinion.

      1. flora

        correction: the play “Hillary and Clinton,” (not “King Lear” …so many play titles in one story…) might have been better done as an update of “Richard III” instead of “poor Hillary can’t catch a break”. But that probably wouldn’t play on Broadway. Not yet, anyway. Too soon. My opinion.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I wonder if she would get uncomfortable watching Lady Macbeth? – ‘Out, Damned Spot!’

  8. Carolinian

    Re MCAS and Bjorn’s Corner–I’m not a pilot but it does seem to me that the MCAS half a loaf approach to automation (it works until it doesn’t–be prepared) is fundamentally flawed. Surely it would have been better and more predictable to omit MCAS altogether rather than include a system that depends on highly experienced or even normally experienced pilots to solve problems in an instant. Which is to say that if automation is going to be included it should receive as much time and engineering attention as the airplane itself. Clearly in the case of the Max that was not the case.

    1. Samuel Conner

      As I understand it, the 737/max design (excluding MCAS) is especially vulnerable to stalls on takeoff because of the high angle of attack and high thrust that are part of takeoff combined with the instability of the design with the relocated and larger engines. Stalls at low altitude are very dangerous because there is not much distance the plane can descend while attempting to recover flying speed. I suspect that for this reason, leaving MCAS off and relying on pilot skill to avoid or, at need, recover from stalls was never an option; the most skilled pilot cannot recover from a stall in circumstances of too little altitude; the plane will hit the ground before it recovers airspeed, regardless of the pilot.

      A better engineered MCAS would certainly have been a good thing but, given the danger of low-altitude stalls, it would have been much better to have redesigned the airframe to be intrinsically less vulnerable to that.

      1. bwilli123

        And not suitable for hot and high airports.

        …”The legal documents presented to the commission cited at least 16 airports in the United States as “high and hot” and, therefore, are not suitable for the MAX 8, 9 and 10 operations. Those facilities weren’t made public in the trial, but when asked during a trade commission hearing, an expert witness for Boeing replied that Denver Airport would fall in this category.
        Denver is more than 2,000 feet lower than the Addis Ababa Airport and has five runways longer than that of the Ethiopian Airport.
        Jakarta Airport where a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed last year, is considered as a hot airport. Airports in hot locations produce similar air densities as high elevations, which also require longer runways and faster takeoff speeds”

        1. Oregoncharles

          It’s one of the busiest airports in the country, a connecting point right in the middle. Can’t say how many times we’ve flown through there. Being unable to fly through Denver would cripple any airliner commercially.

        2. The Rev Kev

          And the implication of this fact was that if there was ever going to be a 737 MAX crash in the United States, that it would have been in a high or hot airport, probably in the western part of the country.

      2. Carolinian

        My understanding is that the MCAS never turns on at all unless the angle of attack sensor says that the plane is in danger of stalling. So in other words it’s not necessary to fly the plane but was only included so that Boeing could pretend for recertification purposes that the Max had the same handling characteristics as the original 737. Boeing could have simply told airlines to retrain their pilots (or even just inform their pilots) re the different handling but this would hurt the marketing of the plane and sales.

      3. shinola

        “… it would have been much better to have redesigned the airframe to be intrinsically less vulnerable to that.”

        Yes, but that would be expensive. “Band-aid” fixes are much more, er, “cost-effective.” You gotta think like a corporate exec.

      4. Briny

        Ask any aircraft Loadmaster and they will tell you that changing the center of gravity of an aircraft is a bad thing. Look, safety-critical engineering has been my thang since I was 18 (yes, started very young). Even their supposed fix wouldn’t fly here or the people who I worked for and with. Three flight computers from three different manufacturers yet only one, soon to be two, MCAS sensors? No. Those have known failure modes that render one, even both, with probabilities far too high to stomach.

        Fix the airframe!

      5. Procopius

        Apparently, if the pilot follows approved procedure to turn off the MCAS, after it checks with the malfunctioning attitude sensor the MCAS turns itself back on and again takes over the stabilizer again. The pilot needs to know about the added paragraph on page 700 of the manual to prevent this happening. Since Boeing faced financial penalties if their new version of the plane required any pilot training, they asserted in the strongest terms that no training was needed since this was the same plane as the old version.

    1. Carolinian

      Of course that statement is anathema to 90 percent of the Democrats for whom beating Trump is all that matters.

      1. John k

        A good chunk of that group values something else even higher than bearing trump… keeping progressives that might stop the wars – don’t need legislature for that, or to jail white collar criminals – and pass m4a.
        And Bernie would flip the dnc… anathema to those on top.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      I watched this, and then a few more, including Colbert being odious to her. I recently watched (at the insistence of a friend) as much as I could tolerate of Buttigieg, again several clips in different contexts.

      What I notice is that Gabbard is for real and knows her stuff, and stays on message instead of getting distracted and going for the bait, while Buttigieg is more or less word salad on policy.

      But compared to him, Gabbard is noticeably less engaging. Maybe you could say though she is an attractive woman and well-spoken, she lacks humor, warmth, charisma. She is too serious.

      Understand, I really liked what I saw. But to stand out from the crowd and appeal to the broader public I fear she is going to need to lively up herself. And I don’t know if she can. She strikes me as fundamentally an introvert.

      1. John k

        I wonder if Bernie is an introvert who forced himself to open up… seems to have a limited sense of humor, but nevertheless moves crowds because of his topics m4a, 15/hr, etc.
        maybe the problem is tulsi is serious about wars, and wars being volunteer now, this isn’t fundamental to most of those left behind.
        And maybe Bernie thinks he can win on the fundamentals, doesn’t need to dilute his basic message… or mic enemies.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          I definitely don’t think Bernie is an introvert, he’s a natural–and I think he has a GREAT sense of humor. Obviously, YMMV

        2. Aumua

          Oh introverts don’t have a sense of humor? I bet I could find a few examples to the contrary.

      2. Olga

        If the world (or, at least the US) were wiser, “she is too serious” would be considered a compliment. I would actually appreciate someone who is “too serious.” Same for “introvert.” But you’re right, most people react to images, appearances – emotions rule. Our loss…

        1. newcatty

          Olga, yes emotions rule. Also, there are still ingrained cultural bias and personal judgements about women. Indeed, a serious woman, who is not interested in falsely presenting herself is not an attractive or charismatic personality. Even if physically attractive in the eyes of the culture, she is not using her charm to seduce the people. And, someone like AOC, who is comfortable in her outgoing expression, will be seen as uppity, overbearing, disrespectful and threatening. I like them both. Don’t agree with every policy stand, but my purity test has been tossed out the window. It’s the major policies that pass.

          1. Briny

            I like both and, yes, disagreements do exist. The major policies count more. Same situation with Bernie. Should one of the id10t group, the rest, be the candidate, I’ll stay home, again.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              What if everyone who felt like staying home were to come out and vote for the vanity Third Party of their choice? That way all the votes for ” not more of the same” would show up as votes and be counted. If ” not more of the same” were to get more votes than the Catfood Democrat nominee lost by; that information could perhaps be weaponised and used against the Catfood Democrats.

              Just a thought . . .

              1. a different chris

                That’s what I do, but seem to be mostly alone in that. There seems to be a “ah I won’t show up that’ll show them” attitude that is comically unserious. They don’t want you to show up, actually!

                I don’t think Jill Stein would be much of a president even if the D&R “majors” played nice with her in Congress. But voting for her shows the direction said majors need to go to get my vote. If I don’t vote, then they get no message at all. And you know, there is more than just President on the ballot so you really need to show up and maybe you’ll get to also vote for somebody good and who actually wins! Even a decent dogcatcher is a small victory…

                I think I’ve said, Bernie, Tulsi, Warren, yeah, a few have me on the fence, Kamala, Buttigieg most of the rest, it’s back to Ms Stein.

              2. Briny

                None of them have anything I’d even consider voting for issues wise let alone candidates. I look at that each election cycle. So far, the Progessives have a lock on issues, here.

              3. Procopius

                There is no “vanity third party” that I could choose, unless there were Social Democrats, Democratic Socialists, and Revolutionary Socialist parties available. The DSA is not actually organized as a political party, and I’m not sure I could compromise with all their positions anyway. I don’t want to have “purity tests,” but there are such things as fundamental values that must be observed.

                1. Briny

                  These days? DSA would be close enough. Ex-California -style libertarian but, to this engineer, the system is badly broken and the regular toolbag ain’t gonna fix it. Millennia of history demonstrate the warning signs. We ignore them at near as great a risk as Boeing.

                2. drumlin woodchuckles

                  If there are Initiatives or Referendums on that ballot, one can come out to vote for those alone and only.

                  Here in Michigan, I wonder how many people who would have stayed home othewise . . . came out to vote specifically for the Referendum Item about making marijuana State-legal.
                  And not just for Corporate Persons, but for Natural Persons too.
                  At least to the extent of being State-Lawfully permitted to grow 12 plants for one’s own natural-personal non-commercial use.

      3. dcrane

        Yes, I noticed Tulsi’s extraordinarily flat vocal style in the video in which she announces her candidacy. It could be a problem. Such a shame because her foreign policy positions are extremely valuable and unmatched by anyone else in the primary. (That is, assuming we can believe her, and I like to think that we can.)

        This is like the concern over Bernie’s awkward physical stance. Maybe we can hope that the politician-weary public, who just experienced the Obama disappointment, might be ready for authenticity.

      4. richard

        tulsi is super serious
        although on dore sometimes I’ve seen her in lighter moods
        joking and laughing
        she has a sense of humor
        her natural tone is flat
        it just is
        i do trust her, and not many make it over that bar
        Maybe it would be better if she seemed more pissed off about everything
        I think she really is and this is just how she carries anger
        it’s also possible she’s just not as angry as I want her to be

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          They probably taught non-display of emotions in the service. (Just guessing about that).

          It is said that women displaying visible anger are dismissed as weak, whiny, shrewish and hysterical. Perhaps Gabbard does not wish to be tarred with those epithets.

          It is ultimately up to those people who are smart enough to analyze her words and deeds on their own terms . . . . to accept that she has the style she has, and not hold it against her.

      5. Craig H.

        She was in the Army. In Iraq. The only way to not be serious after that is to be fake.

        Maybe she could have gotten high with Rogan at the end of the show like a lot his guests do?

        Ha ha just kidding. :) I recommend that interview to all. Two hours and very little of it appeared scripted.

    3. Inode_buddha

      I ran across some live stream Bernie ting on my FB feed the other day, and was following the comments — mainstream dems are still pushing the whole “Unity” thing. They think they lost because of lack of unity….

      1. Procopius

        I see some who believe “Bernie Bros.” actively sabotaged Hillary somehow and they consider all Bernie supporters their mortal enemies whom they will work against until the end, when they will find they have to vote for Trump to prevent the hated Wilmer from being elected, and they will. “Unity” is the usual bullshit.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          There are anywhere from several million to several ten million Jonestown Clinties who believe this. If Sanders gets the DemPrezNom, I believe that these Jonestown Clinties will do anything, even voting for Trump; to MAKE Sanders lose. Then they will brag about their “Sanders couldn’t win” fake narrative coming true.

          I want Sanders nominated regardless. Let the Jonestown Clinties be SEEN by the WHOLE WORLD to be the people who make the victory margin of victory difference for Trump’s 2020 victory.

    4. ewmayer

      What does it matter? Why, it matters that it will be the Good Guys™ doing the warmongering and crony-capitalizing, hopefully accompanied by St.-Obama-style soaring rhetoric!

  9. a different chris

    >Conservatives want to rewrite the Constitution…

    In 5 short words that headline shows how ragged and torn the word “Conservative” has become. “Radical Rightists” would be a bit better, or maybe just straight-up Fascists.

    Sadly I think the Constitution has outlived it’s usefulness, and we can all point to how completely ignored the fundamentals of it are at this point. But the article is right that a convention would just lock in the current mess, not fix it.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          10% … remember the 9.9 aren’t doing too bad either, or at least they think they aren’t.

            1. Shonde

              Thanks. Hope this one gets picked up for inclusion in tomorrow’s links. Unbelievable hypocrisy.

        2. The Rev Kev

          That estimate is true. The 1% is who it is for and the other 19% are their enablers. Or useful idiots. Your choice.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            The upper 19% make enough money and have enough house to be able to live pretty well, even if their income hasn’t “grown” any lately. Their income is already big enough that it doesn’t need to grow any more anyway. So they are well paid enablers and helpers. Their losses are the hard-to-measure losses imposed by general social and cultural decay, and the degradation/destruction of parts of the Public Lands and Wealth.

            The Lower 80% are getting their wealth and income re-distributed to the Upper Classes and the OverClass. We know the Top 20 generally have income and houses. How about the Next 20? Do they at least have some income and some house? If so, how many of them have some yard around their some house? How many of them could generate their own un-monetized personal physical subsistence/survival wealth in/on/around their own houses and yards if they thought about their houses and yards as little means of subsistence production?

    1. griffen

      Welcome to Panem. May the odds not be in your favor or mine, unless we reside in the right zip code.

    2. Massinissa

      I think calling them ‘Reactionaries’ would be most accurate. The main problem is that most people don’t know what that word means.

    3. redleg

      I’m full-throated in supporting an Amendment that states money is NOT speech and that corporations have no inherent rights, but a convention run by oligarchs might as well be held at Fort Sumter. Nothing good is going to come out of that, and Dems are to blame for allowing this to happen.

  10. Ted

    Thanks for posting about the California rail boondoggle. Reminds me of yet another consultant cash grab in Orange County … the failed “Great Park.”

    With the state captured by a single party, we are seeing what Democrats might really stand for … corruption on a spectacular scale. While schools decay, housing becomes unaffordable, healthcare is increasingly the privilege of the 1% … the good news is that parts of a rail line between the metropolitan hubs of Merced and Bakersfield might one day exist.

    1. Enquiring Mind

      Hey, Acela West needs completing just cuz the net migration to the Goldenish State now is those sought-after Richie Smarties. Proles will keep being priced out to the Intermountain provinces and are now even less competitive.

      Without the train, and separate compartments, how will the triumphalist class be able to take a meeting in Silly Valley for breakfast and then another in Hollywood for lunch and still get that good table in The City for dinner? Does anyone under 80 still call it that outside San Francisco? /s

    2. Peter VE

      I live in the most “Democratic” state in the country, Rhode Island. Any ambitious politician runs as a Democrat, with over 85% of the legislative seats and all statewide offices held by Democrats. One result is the the most powerful pol in the state, Speaker of the House, is pro-life and A rated by the NRA.
      Since there’s no one to contest the Democrats, we have amongst the highest property taxes in the country, and the highest cost for fire fighting services, and higher costs and worse results for all manner of public services than neighboring Massachusetts.
      Of course, I get to boast that I lived next to one pol, who was just released from public housing for corruption (first openly gay State Speaker of House!); and many times met America’s Most Colorful Mayor™, who also went to public housing for 64 months 15 years back.
      Right now these two Democratic led states show what one party rule looks like on the state level, but the Republicans did their part nationally and in Wisconsin. No party has a lock on corruption, which is why the mere accepting of gifts by officials of the United States was banned in the Constitution.

  11. John Beech

    How California’s faltering high-speed rail project was ‘captured’ by costly consultants Los Angeles Times

    How many consultants does China hire to tell them what they’re allowed to do? Must be good ones because they somehow start and finish a project while we’re still consulting with ours. Anyway, it’s my opinion if there’s one thing the left has done is leave America prostrate at the fins of obscure fish and tortoises, it’s the rise of the consultants.

    Me? I like the environment as much as the next guy but the tortoise doesn’t give a rats ass if it’s in this valley, or the next. Ditto some little fish biologists have deemed unique. Just capture the little buggers and move them. After all, we’re the apex and millions of species have gone extinct without our help and millions more will before time ends.

    1. Ignacio

      When High speed railway was buildt between Madrid and Barcelona, the president of the Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid, conservative PP Esperanza Aguirre, ensured to have “her” station close to an urban development of her’s near Guadalajara.

      1. The Rev Kev

        A quote from the TV series “Yes Minister”-

        Bernard Woolley: “This M40 is a very good road.”
        Jim Hacker: “So is the M4. I wonder why we got two really good roads to Oxford, before we got any to Southampton, Dover or Lowestoft or any of the ports?”
        Bernard Woolley: “Nearly all our Permanent Secretaries went to Oxford, Minister. And most Oxford Colleges give very good dinners.”
        Jim Hacker: “And the Cabinet let them get away with it?”
        Bernard Woolley: “Certainly not, they put their foot down. They said no motorway to take civil servants to dinners in Oxford, unless there was a motorway to take Cabinet Ministers hunting in the Shires. That’s why when the M1 was built in the fifties it stopped in the middle of Leicestershire.”

    2. coboarts

      Back in the 80s I had the pleasure of participating in a major habitat mapping project in San Diego. The objective was to delineate contiguous areas of major habitat that would allow the survival of the minimum threshold populations required for healthy species survival. At the time, everyone was on board. The developers just wanted to know where they could build and where not. In the end, it was blown up by “Environmentalists” who could now imagine relinquishing the right to sue over every little corner lot. One of the species that I remember being mixed up in all this was the Gnatcatcher, whom I lovingly referred to as “The Knobby-Kneed Little Gnat Snatcher.” This was as the “Environmentalists” had turned from doing the good work as accomplished during the early 70s, to become the big sh**s that they are today. I turned my back on that then, and haven’t seen it getting back to its roots since. That is why I have such a caustic view towards the “Climate” agenda versus the real need for ecological sanity.

    3. chuck roast

      We used to be able to do the right thing.

      In the ‘oughts I was the principle on a $500M commuter rail project. Alternatives Analysis, Environmental Impact Statement, Full Funding Grant Agreement…soup to nuts. The locals did the oversight of Parsons Brinkerhoff. On time and on budget. I thought it was a crappy sprawl project with thousands of new parking spaces. But, hey, it was what the locals wanted, and there were no PB scams.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      There is no one apex of evolution. Every species is the current apex of its own evolutionary pathway as of this very moment in time.

      Man is the Overwhelming Dominant species at this point in time. That is not the same as being the apex of anything. Man eats at EVERY level of the food chain . . . . from the Great Apex Predators like sharks and tunas down to vast masses of single-celled nutritional yeast. And fossil carbon deposits even below that.

      The Devil’s Hole Pupfish can only live in Devil’s Hole. There is no Devil’s Hole 2.0. ( Though I remember being highly amused at my first reaction upon reading that a population of Snail Darters was discovered in one of the branches of Chickamauga Creek after we all thought the Columbia Dam had killed them all. My first reaction was: “Damn! How did they escape!? We have to build a dam on that sucker!”)

      If species Man in All its manifestations can once again become the Keystone Species which many culture-loads of people used to be, then we can avoid extinctionizing the several millions of species which the OverClass is currently on track to get us all to extinctionize on behalf of the OverClass.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “The Neighborhood Is Mostly Black. The Home Buyers Are Mostly White.”

    So I was thinking about an old “All in the Family” episode from the 70s where this black guy was trying to buy Archie Bunker’s house for more than market value. It was the Meathead that realized that the guy was a “blockbuster”‘. Here is a synopsis of this episode that explains it all-

    So I could not help but wonder if there is now such a thing now as a white “blockbuster”.

      1. Cal2

        i.e. “Gentrification is bad.”

        But Brier Rabbit, whatever you do,

        “Don’t have any white flight!”

        In other words, some people are for all black segregated neighborhoods, whose votes they can steer, rent money they can harvest and by extension, can control from their all white neighborhoods.
        They way they mask this is to hold the above contradictory philosophies that stir the pot and keep people from ever focusing on their privilege.

        1. Enquiring Mind

          Real Estate Reverends, fine grifters in the City of the Big Shoulderbags, pork-barrelers to their part of the ‘hood.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          In Singapore (small enough to pull it off) before you’re allowed to rent or buy a place you have to tell them your ethnicity. They make sure neighborhoods are completely mixed to increase social harmony and prevent ghettos

    1. Svante Arrhenius

      I thought Jefferson’s kid told him? I’ve seriously been wondering just where “The Chi” is going with, and how they’ll update this marvelous, perpetual & quintessential Murikan theme? The cats just LOVED Jean & Sally!

  13. John Beech

    SNP members support new currency as soon as practicable The Herald

    Seems to me SNP’s leader might do well to recall a bit of history. After the disaster in the Darien, less than a decade later, and broken economically Scotland joined with England to form Great Britain (the Act of Union). Over a span of 150 years what was a largely agricultural and poor country turned around to become an economic powerhouse compllte with an ‘enlightenment’ no less. In fact, economist Adam Smith said the union is what led to economic freedom for the very poor and the creation of a middle class.

    Fast forward and Nicoloa – with a talent for wagging her tongue – wants to bring it all down. Separate from England, and create their own currency. Wouldn’t surprise me she if she fancies herself to have a spot of Stuart blood and wants to be queen. God help the Scots!

    1. paul

      I’m pretty sure we can help ourselves.

      The act of union was a stitch up between the two countries aristocracies, the riots daniel defoe witnessed led him to conclude:

      for every Scot in favour of the union, there are 99 opposed

      Whatever benefits we might have gained from the imperial age are long gone and I certainly look forward to independence and liberation from the degraded english polity exemplified by likes of grayling,johnson and mogg.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        I wish the Scots the best of luck on independence, but I would be worried about that large zombie going by the name of RBS which is registered in Edinburgh, in the light or perhaps dark of the EZ’s usual method of dealing with these monsters in a banking crisis within small peripheral countries.

        Still….I suppose that in such an event, the usual austerity castor oil would in any case be administered by the old enemy below, unless in either alternative something drastically changes within our world of no hiding place from the myriad tentacles of globalisation.

  14. Bee

    Not much of a denial by the two Kellys in the High Speed Rail story. The consultants helped fund the bond measure, probably also funded by the bond sellers, and the utility companies that received a big gift of public funds from the project, so it’s little wonder they were the big beneficiaries.
    Looks like a bit of a soft-soap job by the LATimes, perhaps a “limited hangout” before a bigger bomb drops.

    1. Cal2

      Looking back to the San Francisco terminus of High Speed Rail:
      “News that the Transbay Terminal is something like $300 million over budget should not come as a shock to anyone. We always knew the initial estimate was way under the real cost….If people knew the real cost from the start, nothing would ever be approved. The idea is to get going. Start digging a hole and make it so big, there’s no alternative to coming up with the money to fill it in.” Willie L. Brown July 27, 2013 in his SF Chronicle weekly column.

      Willie Brown, Speaker of the California State Legislature, Mayor of San Francisco, Kamala’s boyfriend, political launchpad and mentor wrote that:

      His girlfriend, (post Kamala), owned the engineering firm that mysteriously got the contract and so screwed up the foundations and design of the East Bay Terminal’s lower level, being prepared for HSR, that all the work had to be redone. Nine years later, the terminal has been shut down because of construction defects, an example of how the exercise of political power corrupts absolutely.

      1. Elizabeth

        Also, I believe that the footpath in the park on top of the terminal will have to be redone because the material used is crumbling. The entire footpath will have to be ripped out and new material will have to be installed. The entire cost for this project is around $1M.

  15. John Beech

    NHS data is a public asset. Why does Matt Hancock want to give it away? Open Democracy

    This article nails it! We need an NHS with an American-characteristic. Bernie’s Medicare For All doesn’t go far enough. And note, I’m a Republican voter!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I hate to do this but “pragmatism” is the reason.

      -one, we already have a single payer system, so it’s more of a we can do this tomorrow than in 3 to 5 years
      -two, we are far less regimented than WWII Era UK. The NHS wasn’t done from scratch.

      There is room for improvements, but yes, an NHS should be the goal, but we aren’t there.

      1. Procopius

        The NHS wasn’t done from scratch.

        This is true, and few Americans think about it. In England, with The Battle of Britain, by the end of the war the government already owned all the hospitals. It was the only way they could have all the civilian casualties treated. So they already had the situation where, if a bomb dropped from the sky onto your house, you were cared for. Same with the doctors. They were already on the government payroll, so National Health Service was already essentially established. America never had that path open.

  16. Craig H.

    > Conservatives want to rewrite the Constitution, and they’re dangerously close to doing it

    After more than 200 years and an unsteady evolution toward a just society, it seems inconceivable that anybody would want to risk snatching away a citizen’s right to a jury of their peers, or the right against unlawful search and seizure.

    This sentence contains a couple of stupidities.

    But having never heard of Scalawag before I poked around and they had a really nice article on Anti-Air-B-N-B neighborhood activists in New Orleans.

    How communities are fighting to save New Orleans from an Airbnb takeover

    They did not mention that in a couple of those neighborhoods I have never known one single person who lives there who hasn’t been mugged at least once. If you are traveling to New Orleans I really recommend that you stay in a downtown hotel and if you can’t afford to do that just don’t go. Tourists get mugged all the time in New Orleans because there are really shit neighborhoods all over town just one block off the main drags.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      “shit” neighborhoods…would those be similar to “shithole” countries?

    2. Enquiring Mind

      Locals know that mugged tourists are unlikely to return to testify. That plays out around the world, from Waikiki to Athens.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Perhaps what is needed are very skilled unarmed combat/injury/kill qualified people to go into these “mug-the-tourist” zones disguised as tourists. When the mugger attempts a mugging, the mugger discovers too late that what the mugger thought was a helpless tourist was really a professional neighborhood-cleanup-artist with skilled and magic hands ( and feet and knees and elbows) of maim and kill.

        Enough broken teeth and broken bones would convince the “smarter class” of mugger that the seeming-tourist may not really be what it appears. Mugging might become a “sunset enterprise”.

    3. Eureka Springs

      I love New Orleans. Love airbnb even though I think there are more airbnbs permitted in NOLA than there should be. The sketchy neighborhoods are almost all that remains of the real deal – the gris gris. Yes, I enjoy The Garden District, etc., and sometimes stay there as well, yet I am ever so thankful airbnb allows me to reside in the gris gris if only for a short while.

  17. John Beech

    So the Democrats end up with three white guys (my prediction for Sanders, Biden, and Buttigieg to be the main contenders when the dust settles). Two old, one young. I’d favor the old because they have more experience with treachery. Is what it is.

    If I were a black woman, at least Sanders marched with King. Still an old white guy, but contrast that with Biden v Hill where he was at his autocratic smarmiest. Will Biden get even one black woman vote? What a mess for the Democrats and with Hilarry’s machine working to undermine Sanders at every turn I’d put my money on Trump.

    As it happens, Trump is my guy. No, I don’t love him. Wouldn’t even want him over for dinner but would be delighted to break bread with any of the three Democrats. This despite the fact I vote Republican (if it’s not obvious). Strange times, eh?

    1. Cal2

      Harris will get some of those black women’s votes, but on the east coast where they don’t know more than her face, and certainly not her record of being a cop and a friend to oligarchs. Is that why she took her campaign headquarters from her alleged “home state” she was absent from, first grade through her bachelors, to Baltimore?

      The downside to her identarian politics; not enough whites will vote for Harris,
      except those profiting from the status quo in the Hillary wing of the profit machine.

      Sanders is the best choice and in spite of age, he has massive support from the young, a paradox.
      His vice presidential choice is paramount. Tulsi Gabbard, 38, an athlete, combat veteran and experienced progressive house member, would in my opinion, guarantee his election as president.

      If Bernie and his supporters are defrauded in exchange for another corporate ‘democrat’ on the ticket, lots of Democrats will vote for Trump, just like they did before.

      The Democrats would rather lose to Trump than to elect a real Democrat (again).

      1. Massinissa

        Black Twitter, at least, virulently hates ‘Copmala Harris’. Also, black people in her home state don’t receive her very well, either, due to her history.

        The problem is, most black people I think don’t really follow Black Twitter, and her past prosecution of working mothers of color isn’t really well known outside of the state. Still, I’m not that convinced she is going to be able to lock up the black vote the way Obama did.

        1. VietnamVet

          Barrack Obama had charisma but more importantly he was married to a black Chicago politician’s daughter. That got out the black vote. His election and Michelle Obama’s taking charge of the White House made a visible change the attitude of middle class black women in the DC. They were no longer second class citizens. They belonged in the White House. Kamala Harris’s husband is white male elite lawyer. She’s half Indian who graduated from high school in Canada. She is a member of the global jet-set, through and through, with a false identity. That’s enough to be Joe Biden’s running mate on the corporate Democratic ticket.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      I sometimes wonder if you are a highly polished performance-art satire-troll. You have been here long enough to know that Sanders did not “march with King” unless he did it in Chicago. Certainly, when King was marching all over the South; Sanders was activisting, including getting arrested, in Chicago.

      It was the treacherous liar-with-faint-facts John Lewis who noted that he “never saw” Sanders in any of those Southern Marches . . . . by way of seeking to create the lie-impression that Sanders was not involved in Civil Rights Action, without having to overtly LIE about Sanders being LITERALLY “not involved”.

      But Slick Johnny wasn’t quite slick enough. The Sanders forces saw what he did there, and he was forced to issue a thoroughly Nixonian non-apology apology.

  18. Lee

    What the Scientists Who Photographed the Black Hole Like to Read The Paris Review. Much more here than the headline; well worth a read. Word of the day: Occhiolistic.

    Basho’s expression of epistemological humility:

    Deep autumn —
    my neighbor,
    how does he live, I wonder

    Sartre on contemplating his personal black hole:

    I sensed my death moving backward in time bringing all the moments of my life to an end.

    In other news, I attended the local Sanders campaign kickoff gathering and my heart was gladdened.

    1. cuibono

      Funny, as i grow older i wonder if Sartre didnt have it backwards: I sensed my death moving backward in time bringing all the moments of my life to a beginning.

  19. Carey

    The Vanity Fair thing on Sanders was quite something. To begin with:

    “Biden is an existential threat to your candidate,” says one progressive activist. “So you have to fuck him up.”

    Anonymously sourced, of course. They’re just getting started.

    1. Lee

      Biden’s current appeal lies in that he is famous for being superficially well known. I foresee that changing rather quickly. His ability to hang in will rest primarily on the support he gets from the Dollar Dem old guard big donors.

      One of the people I spoke with at some length at our local Sanders campaign kickoff meeting felt that Biden might have the best chance of beating Trump and that was first and foremost among her concerns.

      In the video transmitted from Sanders headquarters in Boston there was one point that Faiz Shakir (IIRC) made that particularly impressed me. Trump ran as the fake Bernie on healthcare, outsourcing, worker pay and rights, and so forth. But now people need to vote for the real thing.

      Populism of the Left. Powerful stuff IMHO.

    2. Svante Arrhenius

      “Far Left®” = Lifelong Keynesian Democrat, wishing to represent lifelong Keynesian Democratic cinstituents

    3. willf

      In the body of the article the quote is sourced to one Sean McElwee, who has started something called Data for Progress, which seems to be producing polls for some liberal, half-ass, “tinker-around-the-edge-of-the problem” type of solutions. His Twitter feed reveals him to be more “resistance” than activist.

      Thinking he’s not a Bernie supporter.

      1. Carey

        Thanks for this comment; I should have read more closely. I expect there will be
        many more loose-language types like Mr. McElwee, claiming to speak for Sanders et al.

  20. JCC

    A comment on The Week’s article, “How financial markets are responding to the Medicare-for-all push“.

    The last statement in the article is ridiculous.

    If the “stock slide says anything, it’s that health-care companies need to sharpen their arguments.”

    They don’t need to “sharpen their arguments”, they need to justify why, with their average 30% Administration Costs, geographical and network restrictions, and lack of “free-at-the-point-of delivery” is more efficient than Medicare For All.

    Coincidentally I was talking with a retiree yesterday. He told me that after he and his wife’s retirement with both Medicare and a supplementary Health Insurance payment carried over from work, they pay about $1500.00 a month for Health Insurance. On top of that, after they retired, their supplementary Health Insurance program was re-written and they now live 9 miles outside of the geographic coverage (although their network coverage still holds, so they are not wasting all the money).

    Health Insurance in this country is a joke, and not a ha-ha joke, either.

    1. Briny

      Happening here in California in committee before it takes effect. The industry will not like my reaction should they be successful.

  21. George Phillies

    737 Max: The controls that normally move the flying curfaces are all-electronic, no wire cables (astute readers will remember the exception). They give pressure feedback. In some cases, they apparently give a lot of feedback, like over a hundred pounds, or so press reports seem to say. Yves the Omniscient can correct me.

    Readers will note that as a consequence the pilot can have both of her feet be raised and pushed against the front dash panel, be trying to move the stick toward the rear of the plane, and if you think carefully about that pose she is trying to do a dead lift of more than her own weight. Yves, of course, can do this one-handed. The rest of us, not so much.

    If someone trying to sell me a car told me that sometimes I would need to apply a hundred pounds force continuously to rotate the steering wheel I would run, not walk, to the nearest escape point.

    1. Carolinian

      You have that all wrong according the the 737 pilot who comments here. The flight control surfaces are cable operated with hydraulic assist on this plane designed decades ago. It’s the Airbus planes that use fly by wire and a joystick control next to the pilot.

      1. George Phillies

        Noted, OK, there is also a wire with hydraulic ssist. My attention was on the feedback arrangement to the pilot. Thanks for the correction.

        1. Alex V

          It should also be noted the forces holding the control column in the wrong position in this emergency situation are aerodynamic, not hydraulic or electric.

  22. George Phillies

    NHS data is a public asset. Why does Matt Hancock want to give it away? Why give it to any medical researcher who satisfies any required NDAs? Because you all paid for it?

  23. 737 Pilot

    Ref: Bjorn’s Corner and making better aircraft vs better pilots.

    One pilot’s opinion. Manufacturers have been making better aircraft. The training pipeline has not necessarily been making better pilots (exact situation varies tremendously from place to place). This is in part because the aircraft have been getting better, and some group of people have decided that the expectations for pilots can be lowered. After all, giving pilots more training and experience is pretty expensive.

    Someday someone may figure out how to make a flawless, autonomous aircraft. Until then, there will still be a need for a skilled aviator in the cockpit.

    1. Arizona Slim

      737 Pilot, I hope that someday we will meet. Because I would like to thank you in person. Your professional perspective is invaluable.

    2. marku52

      This being the case, what do you say to someone flying in the developing world?

      Don’t fly Boeing? Requires a skill level you are not likely to get?

      Might be true, but would be tough on Boeing sales.

      Like they say “We design our planes for the average pilot.”

      So half of all pilots lack the skills to fly them?

      Not arguing that more pilot training would be a bad thing. But we are where we are…..

      1. 737 Pilot

        It doesn’t really matter what I think, because no one in charge is going to ask me. However, it’s a pretty sure bet that the training philosophy and expectations are not going to change much unless aviation starts killing a whole lot more people. Our body count is still an order of magnitude lower than just about any other form of transportation, and too many people are constantly looking for that $99 fare online.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Well there is the obvious solution about pilot training. Have self-flying aircraft. Instead of having 300,000 pilots not being enough to fly all the aircraft being built, they could have only one pilot per aircraft that would act as more a systems monitor. Pilot shortage problem solved! If a lot of people are happy about getting into a self-driving car, I am sure that they would have no trouble with getting into a self-flying aircraft. It’s the same thing, right? Eliminate the human factor altogether in the cockpit and put your trust in Silicon Valley. At this point, do I need to insert a /sarc tag here?

  24. Susan the other`

    Thanks for “occhiolistic”. The epiphany when you suddenly realize how small you are. Is there such a word for suddenly realizing how short your lifespan is? I awoke in a fog last week, (could have been dreaming), to a report on the BBC to the effect that physicists had now discovered a variety of interesting new particles and among them is one which they have determined to have a half-life of over a trillion years. Immediately raising the question how such a particle can exist in a universe that’s only 14 billion years old. Makes me remember Freeman Dyson’s comment about our inability to hold two conflicting realities in our mind. We cannot conceive of anything infinite being contained within the finite. It’s interesting because it is so incomprehensible.

      1. Susan the other`

        yes, stg like that. We explain it in terms of our understanding of time (zip) and gradually figure out the rest?

    1. ewmayer

      “Immediately raising the question how such a particle can exist in a universe that’s only 14 billion years old.”

      Uh, the stuff of which the universe, from stars to atoms, are made is by definition the stuff with an infinite or extremely long half-life. (Though note that some ‘stable’ particles, like neutrons, have context-dependent stability – free neutrons decay with a half-life of ~15 minutes as opposed to free protons which are stable (oo lifetime unless destabilized by interaction with another particle), but neutrons are, generally speaking, stabilized by being bound up with protons in atomic nuclei.) So particles like one under discussion “exist” because they were created in the Big Bang or at some later point, and once created, they tend to hang around for a long time.

  25. Susan the other`

    About the Monthly Review post on the Green New Deal. “Capitalism cannot not grow.” True, but it can become non-profit. And it can be maintained with regulation. It has always been subsidized. And fiscal measures to insure a balanced economy as we green away will be possible with MMT. Otherwise a good summary of the seriousness of climate change.
    And also about LRB’s Trump’s America and Netanyahu’s Israel. Also seemed to avoid the reality on the ground, which is that Israel is hell-bent on becoming the energy hub of the Eastern Mediterranean. Israel is going to be a petro state and Trump seems to be looking in all directions at once to secure as much oil as possible. Why this is ignored when it is so obvious is beyond me. And the two articles, this one and the Monthly Review on the GND, dovetail on the topic of the urgency of the whole situation. Also never put into so many words.

    1. pjay

      I don’t think capitalism can become “non-profit” — if it does it becomes something else besides capitalism. And that’s a real threat to the PTB. I don’t mean to sound flippant; as the author notes, the changes required are massive. Not only are the technological issues significant, but the current concentrations of economic and political power and the corresponding interests will require major societal changes. I support a real GND, but we need to have our eyes open.

      On that subject, b at MOA had one of his Week in Review summaries. In it he posted a link to an article from Cory Morningstar’s extensive multi-part critique of the “Non-profit industrial complex” in relation to environmentalism (including the GND). Her work is detailed and very useful for understanding the infiltration and weaponization of the NGO world. The MR article hints at this but is not explicit. Being explicit is no problem for Morningstar. I know she makes some well-intentioned progressives mad, but she also asks some important questions.

  26. allan

    Attorney general may withdraw from Mueller report hearing over terms of his testimony, House Democrats say [WaPo]
    The dispute centers on whether the House Judiciary Committee’s lawyers would be allowed to question William P. Barr after lawmakers do so, congressional aides say.

    The chief law enforcement officer in the land is afraid of being questioned by actual practicing attorneys.
    John Mitchell, in whichever circle of h-e-double-matchsticks he resides, needs to come to terms
    with the fact that he is no longer the most corrupt AG in history.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      See I have a completely different view, in my version Obama and Hilary used the power of our spying institutions coupled with a menagerie of shadowy actors from Ukrainian dissidents to Australian ambassadors to cock up a fanciful tale intended at first to destroy an opposing candidate and later to de-legitimize the legal winner of a presidential election. A fully-partisan DOJ of course was there to assist, “insurance policy” firmly in place, as was a supine and compliant media establishment ready to repeat CIA talking points verbatim on demand. Taken in total, a soft coup attempt and a monstrous assault on the basic institutions of a functioning democratic polity.

      But that’s just my view as a Trump-hating lifelong Democrat who happens to think that the soundness of our institutions is much more important than mollifying the petulant refusal of the then-party in power to face up to the real reasons why they lost. Either that or let’s just fess up to being a completely corrupted banana republic where it’s every man for himself and there’s no rule of law.

        1. integer

          No, not including Napolitano. He has offered his opinion on whether or not Trump is guilty of obstructing justice, but was never a one of the “menagerie of shadowy actors” that OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL is referring to. It appears that Napolitano did, however, ask Trump to put him on the Supreme Court and to pardon his friend:

          Trump: Fox’s Napolitano asked me to pardon his friend, put him on Supreme Court The Hill

          One wonders whether Napolitano would be of the same opinion had Trump granted his requests.

  27. George Phillies

    Either that is a very tame hummingbird or life may become interesting when it is released.

  28. ewmayer

    Crapification, UPS style — Just wasted an hour trying to schedule a package with a preprinted shipping label for pickup by UPS. There are 2 ways to do this – the first, via their website, doesn’t work for me because it repeatedly causes my browser to hang. So tried option #2, the old-fashioned make a phone call to 1-800-PICKUPS. The problem? There is apparently no way to use that number to actually, you know, SCHEDULE A PICK-UP. The computerized menu offers just 2 options: “track a package” and “shipping information”, neither of which leads to any submenu involving scheduling a pick-up. Trying to say some other keyword combo like, oh, say “schedule a pick-up”, just leads the oh-so-soothing computerized female voice to loop back to “I’m sorry. I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dave.” Saying “agent” breaks the cycle, but is unhelpful at the moment, because it only works during normal business hours, which is an interesting restriction for a business which runs a 24/7 global logistics operation. Thanks, UPS! I’m sure computerizing and uselessifying your customer service helped fund some fat executive bonuses.

  29. Summer

    Re: How California’s faltering high-speed rail project was ‘captured’ by costly consultants…

    The middle men’s middle men have middle men.

    The fear of creating a “permanent workforce”.
    Or even a large body of people with institutional knowledge?

  30. ewmayer

    ON tonight’s 60 Minutes, the newsmagazine does its part in the imperial propaganda dissemination project by way of an installment titled “The U.S. helps defend Norway’s border with Russia”. Thanks for keeping your eyes on those evildoing Rooskies, CBS – I’m sure we’re all a lot safer knowing y’all are on the case! They may have cost Queen Hillary her coronation, but by God they’ll not meddle with our Norwegian allies’ lutefisk stocks!

  31. drumlin woodchuckles

    I am going to guess that this is a rufous hummingbird. That was my immediate impression and some of the “rufous hummingbird” images appear to match it. If I am wrong, hopefully our host Lambert Strether will tell us what kind of hummingbird this is.;_ylt=A0geJaWNbcdcTpYAQB5XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyY3VucDBuBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjY4MjFfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=rufous+hummingbird&fr=sfp#id=11&

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