Links 5/16/19

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Songkhla Zoo puts lemur babies on display The Nation (furzy)

After Walking Thousands Of Miles, Mink The Bear Is Almost Back Home NPR (David)

‘Balls Are Complete’: How a Navy Jet Crew Drew a Massive Penis in the Sky Vice (resilc)

The moon is shrinking, and a new study shows it’s racked by moonquakes NBC (furzy)

Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago PhysOrg

The Rise of the First Animals Scientific American (furzy)

Study finds scientific reproducibility does not equate to scientific truth PhysOrg (Robert M)

India’s court system teeters on brink of collapse Bangkok Post (furzy)


Trump’s Huawei Threat Is the Nuclear Option to Halt China’s Rise Bloomberg

China dumps US Treasuries at fastest pace in two years Financial Times. Brace yourselves for a yawn.


Theresa May faces another catastrophic three-digit defeat on her Brexit deal, claim Brexiteer Tories The Sun

This appears to be significant. “Revoke” idea is now being discussed in polite company. From testimony by Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay in the House of Lords yesterday regarding a planned vote on the Withdrawal Agreement:

I think if the House of Commons does not approve the WAB [Withdrawal Agreement Bill] hen the Barnier deal is dead in that form and I think the House will have to then address a much more fundamental question between whether it will pursue… a no-deal option or whether it will revoke.

May to be told by 1922 Executive this morning: give us your leaving date or you’ll be gone in a month Telegraph v. May loyalists threaten to oust the 1922 grandees if they try to topple her The Sun

EU fines five banks €1.1bn over foreign exchange cartel Financial Times

France to ban e-scooters from pavements in September RTE (PlutoniumKun)

New Cold War

Russia Has Americans’ Weaknesses All Figured Out Defense One (resilc)

What Putin and Pompeo did not talk about The Saker (Kevin W)

Russia Could Take Hold Of China’s Entire Gas Market OilPrice


No increased Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US Guardian (furzy). Wowsers. So no coalition of the willing this time?

The Iraq War Was a Failure—War With Iran Would Be Worse Atlantic

Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea New York Times (furzy).

The Lunacy Of Waging A War On Iran Which China And Russia Will Win Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

Pompeo’s Golan Heights Nonsense American Conservative (resilc)

Houthi drone attacks in Saudi ‘show new level of sophistication’ Al Jazeera (resilc)

How Turkey Defied the U.S. and Became a Killer Drone Power Intercept (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The radio navigation planes use to land safely is insecure and can be hacked ars technica (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

US threatens EU with trade war over weapons Defense Post (Kevin W)

Trump Transition

William Barr Assignment of John Durham to Look at Russia Probe Sends Chilling Message to FBI for Trump Daily Beast (furzy)

What happened to the Trump counterintelligence investigation? House investigators don’t know. Washington Post (furzy)

Surprise: Pentagon Finds Money for Wall! LobeLog (resilc)

Trump declares emergency over IT threats BBC

‘Stinks to High Heaven’: Calls to Investigate Trump Labor Board’s Gift to Uber Amid Stock Market Struggles CommonDreams (furzy)

Conrad Black: Trump pardons ex-media mogul convicted of fraud Guardian (furzy)

As Abrams passes on Senate race, a Democratic problem becomes clear MSNBC

I No Longer Believe House Democrats Will Uphold Their Constitutional Duty Esquire (resilc). Pull out the smelling salts.

Pelosi and Biden: Desperate Times Call For Faint Measures New York Magazine

These 25 Republicans – all white men – just voted to ban abortion in Alabama Guardian

Poll: Majority thinks fetal heartbeat abortion bans aren’t too restrictive The Hill. Resilc: “Why not ban an erection?” Moi: This demonstrates the power of how to frame a question. Recall this tweet from Water Cooler yesterday:


‘It’s infuriating’: Kamala Harris team galled by Biden veep talk Politico (furzy). Hahaha. I have to admit this short-term is a great and nasty way to take Harris out of the running (not that her chances were very good) but at what cost? Harris may be convinced enough of her deserved-ness to play rough via proxies.

Biden’s Early Surge Tests Strength of Democratic Progressives Bloomberg (resilc)

Bogus CNN Poll Favors Biden Exposed! Jimmy Dore (Kevin W)

Elizabeth Warren Has a Plan to Fight the Opioid Crisis New Republic (resilc)


Bullock: Gun violence a public health issue in mass shooting era MSNBC (furzy)

California Burning

PG&E Lines Tied to Deadliest California Fire in State Report Bloomberg

California power company caused wildfire that killed 85, investigation finds Los Angeles Times (Tom H)

Fake News

Newspaper Of Wreckage LoebLob (resilc). Deadly.

Eating Roadkill Is Illegal in California. But That May Change KQED Science (resilc)

Monthly Mortgage Payments in the United States Barry Ritholtz (resilc)

Microsoft Word is getting politically correct Fast Company

Class Warfare

AT&T promised it would create 7,000 jobs if Trump went through with its $3B tax-cut, but they cut 23,000 jobs instead Boing Boing (resilc)

Easy prey to the middleman: the immigrants toiling in US fields Guardian. Resilc: “Why would they be any different than US citizens???”

Antidote du jour. ChiGal:

ne word: Inscrutable. She didn’t move a whisker, showing regal disregard for the four therapists invading her living room for a clinical consult group.

Or alternatively: This is how it’s done, lesser beings. Mindfulness embodied.

And a bonus from guurst:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. rd

    Re: Iran

    Why would Iran attack the US military forces? Iran is already winning without fighting the US military directly. They have a proxy government in Iraq and Assad still looks stable in Syria.

    1. SufferinSuccotash

      Iran wouldn’t, but somebody would (120,000 US troops in the region would present what’s sometimes called a “target-rich environment”) so any attack would be conveniently blamed on those bloodthirsty Eye-Rainians.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        “Iran war that China and Russia would win”.

        Not really. That’s a 19th century view of wars, when they were about territory, resources, influence, and control. Today war is about 2 things: domestic propaganda and the Benjamins.

        Imagine the flow of $$$. We’ve been told for decades all about how the heathen towel-heads are evil. Remember when they took our guys hostage? So open the spigots to the max. Federal Express can get no-bid contracts to ship bottled water from Seattle. Marriott can get no-bid contracts for housing across the region. KFC can gin up brand-new restaurants on the bases. The Microsoft salesguy for the Army will hit his quota because they’ll finally sign up for the Farsi auto-translate features in Microsoft cloud.

        Domestically? A bonanza. Bibi can instruct Congress on how we should roll (“real men go to Tehran”). Behind the scenes he and Adelman can make sure the “press” goes full jingo 24 hours per day. Ring Zuckerberg and Sergei Brin to make sure they’re on board with the program, any pesky dissenters can be easily silenced, it’s simple these days. And call Tom Perez to make sure that Gabbard lady doesn’t get anywhere.

        1. Olga

          So that means the US will win? Like it won in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria… Really?

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Depends how you define “the U.S.”, if it’s defined as a cabal of billionaire plantation operators who are the main shareholders of arms merchants and other war procurement companies (listed above) then Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria (and Vietnam etc) were massive wins.

            The countries hosting the festivities (soon to include Iran, Venezuela), and the hapless, overworked, insolvent, endlessly propagandized chump taxpayers of course are the losers.

            Good times!

  2. dearieme

    The Dems: I have just come across this wonderful quotation from Lord Salisbury (sometime British PM) on canvassing for election.

    The days and weeks of screwed-up smiles and laboured courtesy, the mock geniality, the hearty shake of the filthy hand, the chuckling reply that must be made to the coarse joke, the loathsome, choking compliment that must be paid to the grimy wife and sluttish daughter, the indispensable flattery of the vilest religious prejudices, the wholesale deglutition of hypocritical pledges.

    1. Clive

      He could certainly turn a phrase, couldn’t he!

      Here’s more, for Salisbury aficionados:

      No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you never should trust experts. If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require to have their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.

      Lord Salisbury

      1. Louis Fyne

        for any fellow citation pedants like me :) …as I’m skeptical of every non-attributed quote on the internet unless it’s Gettysburg Address-level famous (sorry Clive, force of habit)

        Letter to Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton (15 June 1877), as quoted in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1999) Elizabeth M. Knowles, p. 642; this has also been published without the word “insipid”.

  3. John A

    Apropos roadkill being made illegal in California, in Britain, it is illegal for the driver who kills an animal on the road to claim it, but cars following are entitled to do so. Whether or not this is policed, I have no idea.
    But most of the road kill is foxes, badgers and cats. I once killed a rabbit. It was sitting in the road ahead, I slowed down and assumed it would run off, but it stayed still, so I swerved round it, just as it finally decided to run and went straight under my wheel. Unfortunately, it was completely flattened.
    As someone noted, if you hit a deer or horse your car would be the worse for wear.

    1. dearieme

      We’ve eaten roadkill pheasant and venison. The venison takes some butchering: it was friends wot dun it, m’Lud, and they just gave us some as a present.

      The pheasant has just been a matter of hanging them in the garage for a while and then plucking them. Roadkill pheasant has the advantage that you needn’t fear damaging a tooth on shot.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        it’s illegal in Texas, last i looked…but it’s pretty common practice out here; the more red the neck, the more likely they are to pull over, dispatch the deer, and throw it in the truck.
        the main problem is getting hit by a truck is hardly a “clean kill”…nasty sacks of goo explode on impact, often tainting the meat.
        the one deer i’ve hit in my life was thus hopelessly marred, and i administered the coup de grace and dragged her off the road(josey wales:”buzzards gotta eat, same as worms…”)

        1. ambrit

          Similar laws in Mississippi. Road kill deer must be reported to ‘Wildlife and Fisheries’ and then they pick it up and ‘dispose’ of it.
          As for ‘worse for wear,’ I have seen some really badly banged up car fronts due to Cervidae ‘engagements.’ Deer here will get large, what with the year round food sources and low levels of natural predation.

          1. dearieme

            One summer we experimented with eating snails from the garden. They tasted just like French snails i.e. of butter, parsley, garlic, and rubber.

    2. Lemmy Caution

      Common practice in Michigan, especially with deer. You need to either get a salvage permit or inform law enforcement, but the state has made it pretty easy. Makes the best of a bad situation. A friend just had her vehicle severely damaged by a collision with a deer. Total repair cost: $7,300.

    1. ambrit

      These examples come from a part of Aisia where, I’ve read, 5G is in use. The Conspiracy Theorist in me wonders if there is a connection. Say, proximity to a 5G tower and electric vehicle fires. Interference patterns induced in the the charging and discharging circuits by the 5G signals?

      1. PeakBS

        radiolab had a discussion about cosmic rays the other day and part of it was a big brain studying how often cosmic rays affect electronics and his serious concern with the shrinking of electronics and not having appropriate shielding (can’t remember the exact term he used) coupled with unknown consequences

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Clever species finally invents way (5G) to get population from 7 billion to a sustainable 1 billion. Previous methods included global conventional conflicts, ubiquitous forced consumption of plastics, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals, and detonation of fissile materials. Instead said species installs towers worldwide emitting powerful rays that lower reproductive rates and induce widespread cancers. Era of turmoil and die-off begins, then planet regains balance, plant and animal life flourishes, and oceans refill with life

    2. Alex Cox

      Another Tesla story…

      I live in Southern Oregon near the border with California at Hilt. Heading north, Interstate 5 has three lanes (it is the steepest ascent on the interstate) which turn into two, the third lane becoming the exit lane for Hilt.

      Last week the volunteer firefighters were called out to assist at a single-vehicle crash: a Tesla on auto-pilot had mistaken the exit lane for the highway, and run straight off the road.

      Presumably the driver was asleep or not paying attention. Airbags and seatbelts saved the occupants, but the car was a write-off.

      This wasn’t considered newsworthy by the minimal local media. I wonder how many other auto-pilot accidents fail to make the news.

      1. Tim

        I betcha they received a personal signed letter from Musk stating “Thank you for your sacrifice! You and many others in the future are key to Tesla’s strategic vision of realizing a safe fully autonomous vision.

        BTW, been on that stretch of highway many times, usually there is a semi climing the grade at 20 mph, what was a Tesla doing in that lane if the didn’t want to exit? That alone is dangerous if it’s going 75 thats a 55 mph closing speed, will it autonomously brake or avoid the tractor trailer appropriately?

  4. zagonostra

    >Surprise: Pentagon Finds Money for Wall!

    So while the U.S. build walls China builds thousands of miles of high speed rail…and while we can’t find money to provide basic affordable healthcare and higher education the Pentagon can pull $6 billion out of a hat…should I laugh or cry, maybe both…

    Once one gets down to the real business of defense, the dollars are always there, especially in a defense budget larger than the next eight countries combined. The Pentagon claims that it must have all these funds because the Russians are coming, the Chinese are competing, the Israelis need defense technology, the terrorists are threatening, the Iranians want to dominate the Middle East, or, very commonly, America’s military readiness hovers at the edge of collapse.

    1. Wukchumni

      Drove up to our cabin in Mineral King, and the 10 mile long county road to the NP entrance had by my count from the passengers seat as having 263 potholes ranging in size from an apple to a lhasa apso, and Tulare County is the 6th poorest county in the state, so potverty comes with the territory.

      In the county’s defense, there was newly applied asphalt patches to approx 40 previous offenders, and overall the road has the appearance of a pitch black patchwork quilt with lots of holes.

      Meanwhile not far away, F-35’s occasionally have mock dogfights overhead, the cost of the sortie would procure a badly needed new roadbed or 2.

      1. ambrit

        (Sarcasm Alert)
        Get your head out of your pothole citizen!
        If not for our “Glorious Troops” (TM) you would be filling those potholes in by hand under the eye of a ‘sinister Un-American’ overseer!
        Now eat your porridge!

      2. anon in so cal

        Greater Los Angeles streets are replete with potholes. The freeways aren’t that much better; lots of crude patching, poorly finished expansion joints and seams, etc.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Maybe we can rebrand the potholes and falling bridges with a “patriotic sacrifice” moniker, a la “Freedom Fries”
          Do your part for the war effort, citizen! Every time your car gets bashed you’re protecting your Fatherland from the evil Tojo Hitler Noriega Saddam Assad Rouhani

      3. Oregoncharles

        Potholes prevent speeding, and make work for the local mechanics.

        We’re rather grateful for the many on our little lane, a county road literally around the corner from the county shops, and have become skillful at dodging them.

    2. Summer

      “Pentagon can pull $6 billion out of a hat…”

      That’s loose change they can dig out of sofa cushions around the building.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Some of China’s high speed train miles are to exploit resources of places like Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang, which are their equivalent of America’s West of the 19th century.

      The Native Americans thought differently of that from those back East, who were cheering for young men to go west.

      If Wall Street and DC could find such similar motivation again today, it’s likely we will also be building a few miles of high speed rail, with our without restrictions based on social credit scores.

  5. FreeMarketApologist

    Woke up this morning to reports that New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has launched his presidential campaign. Sigh. Another mayor who thinks he should be president.

    I wonder who’s providing de Blasio’s financial backing? Possibly all the New Yorkers who are fed up with his lack of leadership and non-sensical ideas (banning glass sheathed buildings?), and who want him to focus on something else. I should send him $100.

    1. urblintz

      “I wonder who’s…”

      Clintonistas aware that Biden is not as strong as the polls suggest?

      Wall Street Dems who understand, correctly imho, that Mayor Pete hasn’t got a chance?

      Michael Bloomberg (heh)?

      The “anyone but Bernie” cabal has a lot of money in a lot of places and will use it in any and every way possible to retain power. They welcome and will support anyone who enters the race, especially fake progressives like DeBlasio and Buttigieg, as possible spoilers to Sander’s primary election math. And I fear they will succeed.

      1. Lee

        First Sanders had to take on the anointed queen; now he faces a swarm of Lilliputians. I’m going to mix metaphors and send Sanders a few more bucks so he can get a bigger boat.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Any news coverage that goes to the latest entrant du jour, even if he/she will not be in the race in a few months, is news coverage not going to Sanders and Gabbard in the meantime.

        That could be one part of their calculus.

        The other may be that in a two-hour debate, for example, among, say, 3 candidates, each is likely to get around 40 minutes. With 10 candiates, one is lucky to get 12 minutes to speak (to respond to mabye 20 questions asked).

      3. Cal2

        CNN poll numbers are no accident:

        Conniving Numbers Nudgers

        Nudge is a concept in behavioral science, political theory and behavioral economics which proposes positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions as ways to influence the behavior and decision making of groups or individuals…

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Money doesn’t equal intelligence or being “in touch.” With the options being Sanders (not happening until it’s a bet on a winner), Biden (who has too many old connections), and the others, there is a market for people who want to find the next President they can get early access to. Anyone who comes along can potentially get a shot in the arm, and if the mayor of South Bend can get a bunch of magazine covers, the mayor of New York City should be able too.

      There were articles about Obama’s early money men, and one in particular was very outspoken about how he couldn’t simply demand private dinners with Hillary and supported Obama because Obama showed sufficient respect.

      With Wall Street finding Team Blue acceptable, everyone of these doofuses should be able to find a sugar daddy similar to how Republican candidates manage to raise money.

    3. Bugs Bunny

      a wag’s comment on NYT article announcing his quixotic quest:

      Paul P
      Manhattan | 3h ago

      That’s gonna cut into Gillibrand’s 0%

      Reply 341 Recommended Share

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        When Gillibrand closes up shop her backers will lament that “her message didn’t resonate”

        (Every time I hear that word I think about the stuff that clogged up my bong back in the day…maybe there’s a parallel)

    4. Big River Bandido

      I believe it was Lambert a few weeks ago who suggested the possibility (I’m paraphrasing from memory) that the establishment might be using a widespread “favorite son” strategy to tie up delegates in states where Sanders did well last time. Certainly Inslee, Hickenlooper/Bennet, and several others would fall into that category.

      Not sure how de Blasio would fit in, though, unless Gillebrand was originally supposed to be the NYS candidate and since that’s not working out too well they thought they’d try him.

      Any stick to beat a dog, I suppose.

      1. Cal2

        To continue the metaphor, as to Bernie voters;

        “Even a dog knows the difference between being kicked and being stumbled over.”
        Oliver Wendell Holmes

        Why should progressives and independents support any other
        “Unity” Manchurian Candidate?

        Forty five percent of the electorate claiming to be independents cannot be wrong. When the dogs won’t eat the dog food, it may be time to look into changing brands.

        Bernie with Tulsi as his vice president, running third party, could defeat the Trumpencrats
        by harvesting alienated Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

        It’s up to the corporate democrats to win with Bernie, or, lose, again.

  6. samhill

    China dumps US Treasuries at fastest pace in two years Financial Times. Brace yourselves for a yawn.

    I’m far from having a deep knowledge in monetary matters but seems to me that China’s ginormous pile of treasuries is more than providing credit to its US market, it guarantees that it currency can never be attacked by either the markets, someone like Soros in 1992, or a hostile US govt. Yawn indeed, selling off their pile of treasuries seems like a castle tearing down its walls.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It used to be that fights had unliminted rounds, in the early twentieth century.

      When you punched, you used up energy, and the idea was to get your opponent out before you exhausted yourself.

      Maybe that tactic is at work here.

      But if you didn’t mass your punches, but spaced them out, your opponent could just wait you out, and counter when you became too tired.

      1. Wukchumni

        Boxing tips:

        The Sweet Science, by A.J. Liebling

        And a recent 2 part HBO documentary on the greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali.

        1. JacobiteInTraining

          Unrelated to this exact thread, but you mention Ali and (in the context of the ‘Russia Has Americans’ Weaknesses All Figured Out’ article, as well as the war drums across Persia — where they say “…What are Americans supposed to think when their leaders contradict one another on the most basic question of national security—who is the enemy?…”

          That immediately makes me think of this Ali quote, translated to point directly at the conmen, grifters, and war criminals running MY country:

          “…If I’m gonna die, I’ll die now…right here fighting you….YOU my enemy!”

    2. djrichard

      From the article, “Analysts said China typically sells Treasuries when it needs to support its own currency, in effect selling dollars.

      Basically the PBoC sells US treasuries to get US dollars to sell to those in China who want to swap yuan for dollars. Basically doing a reverse QE to pull yuan out of circulation in the face of demand for the dollar, thereby keeping the peg the same.

      And then, “The sales in March stood out in part because the currency remained flat versus the dollar through the month.

      Which says the PBoC did a good job – they kept the peg.

    3. Yves Smith Post author


      China gets US dollars by virtue of running large trade surpluses with us. Period

      The Treasuries are incidental. China has to hold dollars. It can do so as cash or as Treasuries or try to find other dollar-denominated stuff to buy.

      1. djrichard

        Hi Yves,

        That’s true enough. But the PBoC itself provides a bias to regulate the peg. If there’s too little demand for the dollars that have been “imported”, then the PBoC buys the dollars using yuan they print, in essence being a buyer of last resort and engaging in QE at the same time.

        When there’s more demand than can be met by the dollars that have been imported, then the PBoC essentially does the reverse.

        Otherwise to your point, the demand can easily be met simply through the market: using goods to buy US dollars, foreign exchange trading. But without the PBoC’s involvement, the peg would truly float. If the float made the dollar cheaper, then the US would welcome it. But if the reverse happened, then the US would have its hackles raised.

  7. Wukchumni

    A curfew tolls on the truth each passing day
    The wondering herd realize they have no say
    Delusion is a solution to bear witness
    For deceit as usual is our business

  8. The Rev Kev

    “No increased Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US”

    Probably find that that British General has been having a lot of conversations with his Iranian counterparts through some back-channels and getting the real lay of the land. US Central Command’s rebuke of him is showing a lot of daylight developing between the British and US positions in this part of the world. The British though have done the whole invasion of a middle-east country, have gotten the t-shirt and are in no military position to contribute to an even larger war just so Bolton can make his wet dream come true. A few western countries in that region are already bailing out rather than get involved though it seems the French are staying in Iraq. Thing is, if there is a major attack, I think then that you can count on Iraq to blow up with any foreign forces.

    Great looking cat in today’s Antidote du jour, by the way, and it reminds me of the playful lion in yesterday’s Antidote du jour.

      1. eclair

        Seen in a Kansas cornfield: THANK YOUR MOM FOR CHOOSING LIFE!

        I am always confused by this meme. Is there a place somewhere (like a limbo), where trillions of little unused eggs, discarded sperm and aborted fetus souls languish and wail their lamentations into the ether for eternity? Or maybe they are really pissed off and responsible for all that bad karma.

        1. Wukchumni

          There it was, me against 40 million other comers to the claim in the opening innings of my coming out party, and I hit the lottery.

              1. ambrit

                Oh yes. We have always lived in the castle, of dreams.
                The natural end to any Lottery is a ‘Jackpot.’

        2. polecat

          Perhaps these vengeful doods will evenually find themselves in the bardo, facing the dais, where before them sits the Lord of Death, to be judged. Imagine said ‘lawmakers’ dread .. coming to full realization, that they will be reincarnated, living out their next lives as deformed fetuses … that never will develope to term .. for what for them will seem like eternity .. until their next judgement, where they come back into the world .. as slime.

          1. ambrit

            It bears repeating, just take the advice of the Dharma Bums and avoid going to the Smokey Light.

      2. ambrit

        Tangentially, the ancient term “Son of (the) God” referred to the son of a woman conceived while she was fulfilling her service as a Temple Prostitute. That custom seems to have been an ancient and venerable method of insuring against population inbreeding.

        1. Wukchumni

          The Habsburgs had a teensy weensy inbreeding problem, and usually on Europeans coins of the era, it was pretty common to ‘photoshop’ the emperor or empress’s countenance in order to make them appear more appealing to the masses, who encountered them with every transaction.

          Emperor Leopold I was known as Leopold the Hogmouth, as that’s what he looked like on coins bearing his image.

          1. ambrit

            As an example of the practice of “Cleaning Up Reputational Information Online,” (CURIO), allow me to cite my immediate past experience with trying to Google, (it’s a verb now!) the aristocratic family of Europe that was supposed to have vestigial tails as a common family feature. Alas, nowhere to be found! Like other cases I have encountered, the “factual” content of the Internet must be approached with a great deal of circumspection now.
            The best I could find quickly:

  9. s.n.

    don’t know if this one got noted yet. Classic Daily Mail with lotsa starstudded photos. The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible…..

    Hillary and her fabulously wealthy friends, including Bezos, Oprah, Bloomberg and Nicky Hilton attend opening of Statue of Liberty museum, as Trump snubs Dem-heavy event to roll out immigration plan in DC
    Party to open new museum on New York’s Liberty Island drew star-studded crowd of ultra-rich on Wednesday
    Chelsea and Hillary Clinton were joined by Huma Abedin and mingled with Oprah Winfrey and Barry Diller
    Nicky Hilton Rothschild posed with Diane von Furstenberg upon arriving at the Statue of Liberty museum
    Billionaires Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg were also in attendance as was magician David Copperfield

    1. The Rev Kev

      Give me your famous, your wealthy, Your celebrating elites yearning to network, The fabulous beautiful people of the Hamptons. Send these, the home-owning, celebrity-mixers to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

      1. polecat

        Thanks s.n. .. I now have to wipe what was my breakfast of my tablet screen ….

        These people are insufferable !

        1. ambrit

          Alas, now, it seems, neither is the Statue of Liberty. The statue was paid for with a massive early form of ‘crowdfunding,’ and dedicated to “The Masses.”

    2. Brindle

      … Aw, princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
      They’re all drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made
      Exchangin’ all precious gifts
      But you’d better take your diamond ring, ya better pawn it, babe…

    3. Summer

      De Blasio should have announced his Presidential run at this event…but that would be letting the cat out of the bag.

      1. Svante

        Were Bill & Chirlane even invited? (I honestly TRIED to look at all the beautiful Librul gazillionaires, simply can’t any more). We’d got stuck in some paniced stampede, where folks thought somebody was shooting up one of the MTA trains, and so never made it.

        1. Summer

          I would think with mayoral credentitials he could swoop in on anything in NYC…

          Sorry to hear about your stampede scare.

            1. Summer

              I was in a stampede a few years ago in LA at an outdoor festival. All you can do is run first and ask questions later.

    4. Charlie

      Glad you posted the link, I thought it was The Onion for a minute. But then again, we are living in the age of the absurd.

  10. Wukchumni

    After Walking Thousands Of Miles, Mink The Bear Is Almost Back Home NPR
    Wow, what a homing instinct~

    A dozen years ago, the park wildlife biologist and 3 others combed the Giant Forest in Sequoia NP on November 1st, as the GPS collars that had been put on tranquilized black bears in the spring had been programmed to fall off of their necks on Halloween…

    It must’ve been way irritating, as the meat of the matter was 4 inch wide leather, with what approximated a frozen orange juice concentrate can for the GPS unit within, hanging under their jaw.

    The bruins generally had a range of 10-15 miles where they hung out according to data, with one of the 10 bears having a more robust 50 mile range.

    We all had range finders, but they only got us within 100 feet of the booty, and sometimes they were easy to find in the generally wide open area beneath the canopies of the brobdingnagians, but some were more challenging and it took us all day to make a full recovery.

    1. petal

      Mink was my local bear. I think my younger dog even barked at her a few years ago and scared her enough she took off running with her 3 cubs. She is a bit of a celebrity around here and I do worry about her and hope she will be okay. Her situation has helped educate people about bear behaviour, and handling their trash and stuff appropriately. Unfortunately around here we have such a rotating/transient population(students and staff moving in from out of state) I’m not sure how long it’ll last.

      1. Wukchumni

        My largest sleuth of bruins last year was here in the foothills, where we watched a mom and 3 cubs walk towards the river and then lost sight of them. Each of the little ones was about the size of a small microwave oven.

      2. TheHoarseWhisperer

        Hi Petal – you sound like another Hanover local :)

        My house abuts the Mink Brook Preserve. I have had Mink’s progeny on the lower deck of my house — if I can find the video of him hissing of me, I will pass it over for general antidote consumption.

        The sad story of Mink-the-bear reflects the bigger picture of our struggle with Nature at the suburban interface. We want to have Nature be just so. Picturesque – but without the inconvenience of having to put our trash inside a locked metal container or inside the garage. It is not much to ask but EVERYONE has to do it. Otherwise it does not work.

        And we are an Ivy League town – Solidarity 101 is definitely not on the curriculum. And Solidarity-with-a-bear is an advanced topic on the same subject.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “‘Balls Are Complete’: How a Navy Jet Crew Drew a Massive Penis in the Sky ”

    And according to the “Sacramento Brie” (check out their motto), the Navy promoted a pilot for drawing a giant vagina in the sky with his aircraft. One mother said: “Opportunities to talk about female empowerment don’t come along every day,” she said, almost breaking into tears. “For a young boy to see a giant vagina in the sky is … well … I just don’t have the words.” MWAHAHAHAHA!

    1. Sutter Cane

      On the one hand, I am not above laughing at a dick joke. On the other hand, I’m tired of all our money going to the military, and would prefer all the money we waste on F-35s that don’t fly and aircraft carriers that are obsolete would go instead to a WPA program to pay artists to create publicly funded, Thomas Hart Benton-style dick joke murals

      1. KevinD

        Meanwhile a kid with a $4 spray can paints a wall in Chicago and gets a felony and jail time.

        We have lost all perspective in this country.

    2. Anon

      Yes, tasteless, but according to the article I think these guys are the ones you want in the cockpit when the action turn hot. It has often been remarked that the personalities that work in wartime don’t translate to peacetime and vice versa.

      1. Big River Bandido

        What kind of defensive war calls for fighter jets these days? For that matter, in what kind of war strategy are they even useful?

  12. Dita

    Re Alabama abortion ban, so with this they’ve established that men as a class have an implied right to impregnate any woman. That to me is the blunt reality here.

  13. WJ

    From the Propagandistic defenseone article:

    “All the uncertainty is part of Vladimir Putin’s plan.”

    Gasp! Putin is weaponizong future contingencies! MWAA-HAHAHA!

    1. shinola

      I thought the name of author of that article seemed familiar so I checked the bio:

      “Jim Sciutto is CNN’s chief national security correspondent and anchor of CNN Newsroom.”

      Pretty much says it all…

      1. WJ

        Jim Sciutto is a graduate of Yale who majored in Chinese History and from 2011-2013 was Chief of Staff for US Ambassador to China. He was only “reporter” to embed with US special forces during Iraq War.

        (Isn’t there an intelligence agency that recruits heavily from Yale?)

        Anyway, Sciutto started career as journalist, then between 2011-2013 served as Chief of Staff at one of the two most important US embassies in the world–in China–then suddenly finds himself in 2013 (Hmmmm) names Chief National Security Correspondent for CNN. He now makes a well-remunerated living writing military-industrial complex propaganda under the guise of “journalism.”

        Funny how Sciutto’s shift back to journalistic “reporting” at the highest level just happened to occur the year after this legislative act went into effect:

        Smith-Mundt Modernization Act 2012

        Wouldn’t be surprised if the guy is CIA asset or even agent.

  14. Wukchumni

    If only Mayuary had happened in 2015* in the depths of the drought, you would’ve heard nothing but oh! hosanna praising it’s passing by, but in our winter of overabundant content, it’s barely newsworthy.

    * how dire was the winter of 2014-15?

    We never got a chance to use our season passes @ China Peak ski resort that year, they didn’t get enough snow to open and it was too warm overnight to make man-made snow.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea”

    This is totally a legit story this. After hours of heavy-duty research and following a trail across the internet of rumours, insinuations and semi-classified material, I too have found images of Iranian missiles at sea-

  16. Brindle

    2020…Elizabeth Warren…

    Makes sense to question her political instincts. So, climate change is hampering “our ability” to go out and kill people not like us around the globe ? I want to like Warren but she too often come out with stuff like this.

    –“Climate change is real, it’s worsening by the day, and it’s undermining our military readiness. More and more, accomplishing the mission depends on our ability to continue operations in the face of floods, drought, wildfires, desertification, and extreme cold.”–

    1. jrs

      Her instincts are to appeal to the center and the right. But how to address the climate change issue (and at least she wants to, she’s not Biden: “we must not get too serious about climate change, oil executives and people likely to be killed by climate change can all sing kumbaya together”, that’s a paraphrase :). But that doesn’t make her the best).

      AOC’s instincts are to appeal to the progressive, populist left (not the right at all) with GND (even though it drives the right absolutely bat@#$# crazy, what do those issues have to do with climate change?). Probably much better instincts as to which constituencies really are winnable. I mean Islee may run a pure climate change campaign (really also a GND) but it’s barely cracking 1% at present.

  17. Svante

    In (attempted) response to The Rev Kev, FAR above re: Statue O’ Liburty soiree?

    Terrifying, thank you! I’d simply assumed it’d been replaced with a solid gold statue of Ivanka, nude, with a smoking MTAR-21 in one hand and “My New Order” clasped to her breast? We’d heard all the fleets of helicopters and simply assumed something else had mysteriously collapsed, exploded beneath or crashed into the Hudson… again?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Can you imagine what would happen if they found it possible to do fracking on Liberty island? The rig could be gracefully hidden within Lady Liberty herself and any excess gas that had to be burned off could be done where Lady Liberty’s Torch is. I am sure that it would have bipartisan support.

      1. Svante

        I’m all for well pads in Central Park. After Spectra’s 30″ PA fracked gas line crossed over from Bayonne, Liberty Park (right as The Meat-Packing District & Chelsea were yuppifying like crazy). We’d watch in horror as ConEd’s inspectors would buy gas linepipe we’d rejected, then the mill’s own folks rejected… to run laterals up through Hell’s Kitchen and all the way across lower Manhattan. Nobody protested the really scary stuff. Not that it wouldve done any good? I’m waiting to see if the new Williams line was welded DC/ AC on the OD? Oh, well…

        Ever watch Seven Seconds? Or, The Night Of?

      2. polecat

        So the Blue BORG do-over of Lady Lib is real after all !
        Is That some sort of assimilation laser beam I see emitting from her eye ??

        1. Svante

          Believe, I’d posted that here, circa 2017… but the part about the 35′ blinking pink LED nipples apparently sent it for “moderation?” Go, figure?

      3. a different chris

        >any excess gas that had to be burned off could be done where Lady Liberty’s Torch is.

        I would have it vented *quite* a bit lower , “humanizing” her a bit. Now I have been told ladies don’t do that, but I think that is a lie.

        1. polecat

          Well, it’s too bad that the Liberty ‘Flame of Flatulence’ hadn’t gone operational just prior to that whole sordid soiree of elite blowviation !

  18. Summer

    As Abrams passes on Senate race, a Democratic problem becomes clear (MSNBC)

    That problem: anybody that thinks Democratic Party is stands in opposition to the Republican Party is a propagandist or fool?

    These people went right back to that “third way” laser focus on the Executive Branch.
    The election industrial complex of the Clintons (the most modern incarnation of it for the Democratic Party) has a lot to to with it. How manu of the Presidential campaigns have a former Clinton (Bill or Hillary) operative working in it?

    De Blasio just announced the launch of his 2020 Presidential campaign.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is also the result of candidate recruitment. AOC wasn’t recruited to run for any office by Team Blue. What is wrong with them? Or why is she not on Crowley’s staff as soon as they saw her working for Sanders? Crowley won’t be there forever. With redistricting, she could get bumped into an adjacent seat and do a positive identity politics for Team Blue. The Democratic Party wants inoffensive to Republican self-funders. Nepotism candidates who play on nostalgia for a parent hide part of the problem (Al Gore would be a law school drop out without his father’s old congressional seat opening up and Junior is not the old man), but as a practical matter, much of the Democratic Party elite aren’t Democrats. They are people who maybe like certain aspects of political life but don’t really care about political outcomes. Instead of dreaming about a Green New Deal or leaving a legacy as an elected, they dream about Marine One taking them to Air Force One and having the band play. This is what politics is for them. The idea of fighting in Alabama isn’t for them because its hard. One might need to think about why a person can’t simply move out of Alabama and have an abortion elsewhere. This is hard work especially for the shallow.

      If Team Blue takes the White House, they will get invited to all kinds of fancy parties. Look at the Liberty Island soiree, everyone was really old, so there should be some openings pretty soon.

      1. Summer

        We are on the same page.
        I’m saying it’s got a lot to do with candidate recruitment (hussling) too…by the usual suspect grifters.

        I have to throw this out there: They are all jumping in like beating Trump WILL NOT be the goal. Almost like there is no incumbent they will need to worry about.

        Just throwing that out there…

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        “It’s going back in time,” DCCC Chair @RepCheri Bustos tells @Kasie about the AL abortion vote, says “we should be concerned”

        “We should be concerned.” I think this is a message to the caucus. The members don’t give a damn. It doesn’t affect them, maybe mistresses (but I’m sure they will be able to get an abortion). Their natural instinct is to not care about policy outcomes.

        The Alabama legislation is so obviously vile. Congresscritters should be spitting. I can understand why there is often a lack of urgency when confronted when anti-choicers have used zoning laws to ban abortions, but this is a very direct attack. The perceived expedient path to the next job and set of honors matters more than policy outcomes.

        1. marym

          As referenced in the twitter thread, she’s appearing at a fund-raiser to re-elect anti-choice Lipinski (IL-3).

          As Southwest Side congressman Dan Lipinski faces a renewed Democratic primary challenge from the political left, he’s getting some high-level help from the party’s establishment.

          Scheduled to star at a big-bucks Lipinski fundraiser next month is U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, a fellow Illinoisan, from the Quad Cities area, and, far more significantly, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

          Challenger: who narrowly lost (51-49) in 2018

        2. Summer

          “The perceived expedient path to the next job and set of honors matters more than policy outcomes.”

          They do look at policy outcomes. All of them. I imagine they look at the results and say, “Damn, they still aren’t all dead yet?”

        3. Big River Bandido

          Democrats are only interested in issues like abortion as fund-raising tools and outrage-raising tools. They don’t care about policy. In fact, if the status quo gives them an issue they’d rather have that than good policy.

            1. jrs

              yea deep blue states are never going to ban abortion. If that’s because Democrats “care” or they are forced by the overwhelming wishes of the voters to actually serve them, at least on some issues, is not that important a distinction.

              What Dems will do with this on a national level I kind of shudder to think, but they aren’t in charge.

            2. NotTimothyGeithner

              It doesn’t make sense for the pro-choice crowd. The Democratic elites haven’t been Democrats or particularly pro-choice in a very long time.

              Sure, there are a few, and their voters are overwhelmingly pro-choice. The Democratic Party picks and supports candidates who can self fund in their first race and don’t annoy Republicans. Team Blue would never have discovered and developed AOC. Conversely, the GOP would (not Trump) crawl through the mud to promote a Conservative AOC. The end result is one party of non-entities who are concerned about potholes on their local streets and a ideological party in the GOP.

              The head of the DCCC isn’t outraged. She said “we should be concerned.” She’s doing a fund raiser for an anti-choice Democrat in the near future which I could tolerate from an election and caucus standpoint as long as he doesn’t actually cause a problem. But Busto as a leader should not be reminding members to show concern. No she should be paying Uber drivers to take people out of state for abortions (you get the idea). The Democratic elites simply don’t care because they aren’t really Democrats.

            3. Yves Smith Post author

              Abortion was already effectively illegal in many flyover states by virtue of having only one clinic in state and no ability for low income people to pay for the procedure. Team Dem never publicized this issue.

  19. Summer

    “The election industrial complex of the Clintons (the most modern incarnation of it for the Democratic Party) has a lot to to with it…”

    Just a note: This is also morphing into the Clinton-Obama election industrial complex – a rebranding.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      You had it right the first time. Obama was elected on the back of the organizations that came into being with the 50 state strategy, but he’s still just a New Democrat from the 80’s who appeared better than he was because the Clintons and what they raised in Team Blue is so awful.

      Virginia has 5 Democratic State wide office holders. Mark Warner might be the best of the lot (I have despised Tim Kaine for 12 years now). At least, Warner doesn’t have claims of sexual assault leveled against him and has never been reported to have appeared in black face.

      Because Obama focused so much on crushing organic growth after he became President, its just the Clintons, and combined with a rolling wipe out, he never put Obamalings into office. With his cult like aspects, I don’t think he has been able to transfer his popularity to other people. The young star of the Democratic Party didn’t work in the Obama White House. She canvassed for Sanders.

      I see Obama more of a gilded age President. Despite real power, he was just there. Oh wow, Obama picked Duke to advance one more round than the NCAA committee has their seed and went chalk everywhere else!

      1. Summer

        The Obamas are a major fundraising force.
        Their list of donors, large and small, is still making the rounds in the Demicratic Party.

        For all the money Obama recieved from big donor, he did blow minds with the amounts he got from small donors. No matter how comfortable the elite were with him, they knew the rhetoric he used to get elected registered enough to provide a model for someone to come along who actually believed in something to use it. I think there is still a connection to that and the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” ruling.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > Obama was elected on the back of the organizations that came into being with the 50 state strategy,

        Which Obama then systematically dismantled, let us remember.

        1. Geo

          After climbing the mountain it was important to pull that ladder up behind him. Wouldn’t want to allow anyone else up there with his new elite friends.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Take It From an Iraq War Supporter—War With Iran Would Be a Disaster”

    David Frum? A supporter of peace? We have really gone into bizarro world levels here. I guess that not many real men want to actually go to Tehran after all.

  21. Wukchumni

    I was a bit miffed that Koons piece didn’t fetch into the three figures, but $91 million seems like plenty in a rabid test of who would hold their paddle up the longest.

    1. ambrit

      That suggests that Koons is in “Bubble” territory. When will the “value” of his ‘artwork’ be ‘popped?’
      The new definition of Koon’s artworks: Inflated Assets.

      1. Wukchumni

        Anything ridiculously high end in collectibles have a feverish audience of well heeled people in their thrall.

        Coin collecting is dead or certainly getting there. Values of coins have fallen considerably across the board as far as mundane to better quality stuff the past decade. There are no new young collectors, and every Boomer is a seller now.

        But, if you have the right gear, it’s worth a bloody fortune, and a 1913 Liberty Nickel is a good example of ne plus ultra.

        When I was a kid, one of the 5 known examples sold for $100,000, the last one traded hands @ $3.7 million.

              1. Wukchumni

                This will give you an idea of how values have plummeted…

                Liberty Head & Indian Head $10 gold coins circa 1900 to 1932 in PCGS Mint State 64 used to be worth $4,000 each 15 years ago and have just under 1/2 an ounce of gold. Back then they contained around $200 worth of gold @ melt value.

                Now both are worth around $1,000 each and have close to $650 in gold value.

  22. Summer

    Re:US threatens EU with trade war over weapons Defense Post (Kevin W)

    Let’s put this in perspective. This is another threat of some kind of war to go along with:
    1) War on Terror
    2) War on Drugs
    3) Cold War 2.0 with Russia
    4) Trade War with China
    5) War on Cancer
    6) Culture War
    7) War on Venezuela
    8) War on —– (fill in the blank)

    You get the drift. At what point do people say: “It has all passed insanity and turned to f’in ridiculous?”

      1. ambrit

        Some personality recently proposed adopting the Lysistrata Strategy.
        Divide and Conquer.

          1. ambrit

            The definition of the “Fighting Fair Sex.”
            Too many ‘manky’ word plays come to mind for this debauched old roue.

  23. Craig H.

    > scooters . . . France

    Instead, they will have to use the street or dedicated cycling paths, “so pedestrians are no longer squeezed against walls”, the minister said. The development of the hugely popular personal transport vehicles “happened very fast and in a bit of an anarchic way”, Ms Borne said. Riders will still be allowed to push them on the pavement, so long as the engine is turned off.

    Bully for the French. Who ever that that could fly on a sidewalk?

    Do they still let you bring your dog into restaurants? The average French dog owner must be a lot more alpha than they are in America.

  24. Synoia

    Pompeo’s Golan Heights Nonsense

    It’s not nonsense. Both the Golan Heights and Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem are all about attracting donations from US, and other, Jewry. who have supported Democrats for many years, to Trump’s re-election campaign for 2020.

    It’s clever politic$, and clever fundraising. I predict Trump will be the first president to retire with a Trillion Dollar (unspent) campaign fund.

    Trump process:Grift early, often, and to the widest range of donors.

    1. Cal2

      If it’s not nonsense, then it all makes sense!
      What do the Golan Heights, Iran and Venezuela have in common?

      “Israeli and American oilmen believe they have discovered a bonanza in this most inconvenient of sites. After three test-drillings, Yuval Bartov, the chief geologist of Genie Oil & Gas, a subsidiary of American-based Genie Energy, says his company thinks it has found an oil reservoir “with the potential of billions of barrels”.”

      Genie Energy, with major investors and advisors such as Lord Rothschild, former VP Dick Cheney and news mogul Rupert Murdoch, could be at the center of decade long play for Israeli energy dominance in the Middle East…

      Look man, I want cheap gas for my R.V. Our foreign policy sure makes sense to me.

      1. Geo

        Genie Energy is bipartisanship at its finest. Along with Cheney and Murdoch they also have Mary Landrieu, Bill Richardson, and other esteemed Dems as their board of directors.

    1. Summer

      Saw this about Harris too:
      “Kamala Harris Is the Jan Brady of the 2020 Race”..LA Times

      I’m surprised Jan Brady isn’t the Jan Brady of 2020. What’s not to love by Dollar Dem standards? She’s a “she,” a fictional character that is young, “middle class,” and a non-threat to the status quo with name recognition.

      1. Wukchumni

        Oh, that would never work, there were rumors regarding her tryst with Sam the Butcher, that would surely come out.

      2. Cal2

        “Harris may be convinced enough of her deserved-ness to play rough via proxies.”

        Oh oh! She may call in her Secret Masonic Police Force to bust some heads.

        How anyone, except her handlers and the San Francisco Chronicle, where her ex-boyfriend and career launcher State Assembly Speaker Willie Brown writes, can even consider her as presidential material is laughable.

        “Pelosi and Biden: Desperate Times Call For Faint Measures”

        Have you heard? La-z-Boy is reintroducing the Fainting Couch.

  25. marym

    Re: the power of how to frame a question.

    To counter misinformation on:

    ”fetal heartbeat”

    palliative care for terminally ill new-borns

  26. JEHR

    Re: Conrad Black: Trump pardons ex-media mogul convicted of fraud

    Trump and Black are apparently good friends and neighbours (in Florida). Both are feckless but each in his own way. In my opinion, Conrad Black’s most dastardly deed was:

    In 1985, Conrad Black’s Domgroup Ltd. withdrew millions of dollars from the Dominion Store employees’ pension plan, which had a large surplus at the time. The move, although approved by the Ontario Pension Commission, sparked controversy because the company was closing stores and laying off workers. The unions fought a bitter and lengthy legal battle against the withdrawals, and a court-approved settlement eventually saw some of the money returned to the pensioners.

    I can easily see how the two are somewhat cut from the same cloth in spite of seeming intellectual disparity.

    1. RopeADope

      Richard Perle received $3.1 million in undisclosed bonuses at Hollinger for running an Internet investment arm called Hollinger Digital, according to the company report.

      The report said that Perle and Gerald Hillman, a friend of Perle, convinced Black to put $2.5 million of company cash in Trireme Partners LP, a venture-capital fund that Perle and Hillman had set up to invest in homeland-security technology after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

      WSJ July 2008

      Influential former Pentagon official Richard Perle has been exploring going into the oil business in Iraq and Kazakhstan

      Trump and Kazakstahn

      Trump’s friend Arif uses underage prostitutes so who knows what he has on Trump.

  27. Olga

    Important: What Putin and Pompeo did not talk about The Saker (Kevin W)
    Hate to give away the punchline, but it confirms what one thought:
    Which brings us to the heart of the matter. Diplomatic sources – from Russia and Iran – confirm, off the record, there have been secret talks among the three pillars of Eurasian integration – Russia, China and Iran – about Chinese and Russian guarantees in the event the Trump administration’s drive to strangle Tehran to death takes an ominous turn. This is being discussed at the highest levels in Moscow and Beijing. The bottom line: Russia-China won’t allow Iran to be destroyed.
    But it’s quite understandable that Ushakov wouldn’t let that information slip through a mere press briefing.“
    Can we now breathe a sigh of relief?

  28. Oregoncharles

    Is the Daily Beast usually a right-wing outlet? Because their article on Barr’s naming of a prosecutor to investigate the FBI investigation is straight-out FBI propaganda: eg, “Certainly, the FBI, like any other government agency, should be subject to scrutiny. If you were to ask most FBI agents about internal investigations, they would tell you that they welcome such probes when done in good faith because they ensure not only accountability but also public trust.

    Following the FBI’s aggressive surveillance of civil rights activists and war protesters in the 1960s and ’70s,”

    Cointelpro was “aggressive surveillance?” It was active sabotage. That’s an outright lie. And claiming that FBI agents welcome internal investigations is, too. Not even vaguely plausible. Of course, if you define “in good faith” as ensuring “public trust,” maybe it’s true – but I doubt it. (I know one, but I’m not going to ask him, because he’d lie to me and it’s sort of a touchy subject.)

    Anyway, that’s where I stopped reading.

    1. Olga

      Given that designations such as “left“ or “right“ have lately lost most, if not all, meaning, it may still be helpful to point out that D Beast was linked to Newsweek. “In November 2010, it was announced that Newsweek and The Daily Beast would merge into a joint venture named The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, with IAC and Sidney Harman each owning 50 percent of the new company. Harman’s rationale for the merger was that: “In an admittedly challenging time, this merger provides the ideal combination of established journalism authority and bright, bristling website savvy.” That is Harman of the Jane Harman fame (a former Rep from CA).
      This is what states:
      “The Daily Beast’s parent company is IAC (InterActiveCorp). which is run by Barry Diller, who had led the creation of the Fox network. IAC’s CEO is, Joey Levin. IAC (InterActiveCorp) is a media and Internet company comprised of some of the world’s well known brands such as HomeAdvisor, Vimeo,,, Investopedia and more. The Daily Beast is primarily funded through online advertising.“
      Soooo… count your biases…

  29. ewmayer

    Another captcha-hell for me … nothing works by way of workaround. Thanks, CloudFlare!

    1. Ignacio

      Two captchas today! One blocked the post. The second was successfully surpassed!!!!

      1. ewmayer

        The only reason I was able to get my above post through was by virtue of its being a 1-liner. OTOH, a long comment (Frank Zappa song lyrics) over on 2pmwc went through fine.

  30. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Russia Could Take Hold Of China’s Entire Gas Market OilPrice


    The entire gas market of China?Not sure if Beijing wants to rely 100% on Moscow.

    To be sure, I don’t see anyting mentioned in the article itself about all, entirety or 100% of China’s gas market. Perhaps it was from the headline writer.

    Common sense would suggest that that is not prudent to have only one supplier; moreso for anyone who remembers that for a long time, in the 60’s and later, most of Beijing’s best divisions were stationed in the north, facing off the USSR.

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