Links 5/23/19

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Dear patient readers,

I hope you get some R&R over this Memorial Day weekend or bank holiday Monday, if you are in the US or UK.

I also wonder if any reader knows an accountant or tax attorney who is knowledgeable about how New York applies its franchise tax in practice. I can’t interpret a key part (it ties not at all cleanly or well to other sections). A top tax attorney friend says the New York code is famously not well drafted. I’d like not to have to incorporate in Alabama and merge my NY corp into an Al corp (my accountant advises against Delaware for a small business) and I don’t have a reading on the tax costs of not doing so (from what I can tell, they are either a nothingburger or pretty bad).

If you have anyone to whom you can refer me, please e-mail me at with “New York franchise tax” in the headline. Thanks!

Timelapse of Molting Tarantula Will Make Your Skin Crawl Sputnik (guurst)

Moms of Other Species Pressure Their Kids Into Having Grandchildren, Too Inverse (Chuck L)

The plane that led D-Day is flying back to Normandy MPR News (Chuck L)

How the World’s First Digital Circuit Breaker Could Completely Change Our Powered World Popular Mechanics. Chuck L: “We should start a pool on the date of the first outage confirmed to be caused by a hacked breaker trip.’

How a synthetic genome could be used to repurpose life forms Financial Times (David L)


The Great Power Game is On and China is Winning American Conservative (resilc)

Huawei Executive Accused of Helping Steal Trade Secrets The Verge


Final count under way for India’s marathon election BBC. Live blog.


Theresa May prepares to quit after Cabinet mutiny The Times

May sparks fury by killing off Cabinet No Deal debate The Sun

Exclusive: The surprise new clause in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill proves final straw for many ministers Telegraph

UK suffers crushing defeat in UN vote on Chagos Islands Guardian


Trump Administration Threatens Syrian Government Over New Alleged Chemical Attack Daily Beast

Even Trump Plan That Fails Could Help Israel Annex West Bank Bloomberg

US-Israel relationship is ‘altar’ of ‘holiness,’ and Jerusalem embassy is ‘shrine’ — US ambassador Mondoweiss. Chuck L: “Worth it just for the cartoon.”

Impeachment Should Be on the Table If Trump Bombs Iran American Conservative (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Your Car Knows When You Gain Weight New York Times (Chuck L). Haha, not if you drive antiques!

Imperial Collapse Watch

Pentagon Budget Bill Would End 2001 War Authorization Antiwar (resilc)

Lessons from the Gulf of Tonkin Incident LobeLog (resilc)

Trump Transition

Judge rules Deutsche Bank can hand over Trump financial records to Congress NBC (furzy)

The US Government Is Like A Bad Dad Caitlin Johnstone (Chuck L)

Michael Avenatti Forged Stormy Daniels’ Signature to Steal $300K: Feds Daily Beast (UserFriendly)

Thom Hartmann: This is How Republics Die Truthdig (John Z). Depicts Trump as a cause rather than a symptom. It was Obama that got rid of habeas corpus, for instance.

Women accuse ICE contractor of brutal treatment SFChronicle (MichaelSF)

Why Women Choose Abortion Over Adoption Atlantic (UserFriendly)


Joe Biden’s campaign pitch: Make America Normal Again Los Angeles Times. Resilc: “As delusional as MAGA.”

Joe Biden, Warmonger American Conservative

Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders Subjects of 2020 Campaign Hit Pieces Rolling Stone (resilc)

Health Care

Medicare-for-all: Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s new bill, explained Vox (Kevin W)

Dems in Disarray

One Little Video Shows How Democrats Are Trying and Failing to Control Restive Progressives Ghion Journal (Chuck L)

The Blue Dog Model Is Dead Washington Monthly

Vulnerable Democrats split as impeachment pressure mounts Politico. Resilc: “The DNC is a jobs program, like the DoD.”

Rahm Emanuel’s Deficit of Self-Awareness New Republic

Chicago’s New Mayor to End Water Shutoffs Real News Network

Fake News

Finland is winning the war on fake news. Other nations want the blueprint CNN. Resilc: “Although I’m forced to watch CNN when I work out and it’s almost as bad as Fox.”

Credder Plans To Accelerate Media Shift From Clicks To Credibility Shadowproof (UserFriendly)

“The Times Has Become a Book-Deal Factory”: With a Flood of Star Reporters Thinking of Book Leave, Management Delivers a “Wrist Slap” Vanity Fair (furzy)

When, if Ever, Is It Unethical to Visit a Country? New York Times (Chuck L)

Consumer Reports blasts Tesla Navigate on Autopilot as ‘less competent’ than humans CNET (David L)

China’s Biggest Airlines Demand Compensation For Boeing 737 Max Groundings Daily Beast (resilc)

Apple Agrees To Notify iPhone Users If iOS Updates Will Affect Performance, UK Watchdog Says CNBC

Vicious Cycle: The Pentagon Creates Tech Giants and Then Buys their Services Counterpunch (resilc)

Class Warfare

In Defense Of Throwing Food On People Current Affairs (UserFriendly). Much kinder and gentler than tarring and feathering!

People Are Finally Fighting Back Against the College Textbook Industry’s ‘Scam’ VICE

Silicon Valley residents who live in RVs will soon be forced to leave Business Insider (resilc)

Total Depravity: The Origins of the Drug Epidemic in Appalachia Laid Bare Longreads (resilc)

Antidote du jour. MGL: “Common spoonbill in the islands’ marshy interior. Photograph: Koos Dansen/Natuurmonumenten.”

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Edward

    “As InsideHigherEd reported, the gist of his accusation, which the college has categorically denied, is that, in return for a grant, the school compelled undergraduates to buy a $100 program called MindTap from the company, and also promised to fail at least 30 percent of students to somehow make it seem more effective.”

    The college monopoly textbook scam has gotten worse and even more obnoxious. No wonder millennial are socialists.

    1. anon in so cal

      I teach at a public university and have not assigned textbooks in most of my classes for years, now. The University supports and encourages this policy. There are a variety of ways to legally detour around the use of textbooks.

            1. anon in so cal

              At least five years, maybe longer. Individual instructors started this before the university got on board. The main way I do it is to create a course reader or “course pack” (of sorts) and post the articles on the course website for students to read online or download. This system creates its own set of issues (students reading the articles by using a smart phone, for example) but at least it saves the students money.

      1. barefoot charley

        The most egregious abuse, familiar I think to students at better schools, is teachers requiring their own students to buy this year’s edition of their own textbooks. Last year’s cover is unacceptable in the classroom. Also, they may sell updated downloads, and track who’s failed to click ‘n pay.

        It’s fascinating that students have become both discriminating consumers (who would accept a dormitory with no in-house bowling alley?) while hosting ever more brazen parasites. As long as someone else bleeds for it, no downside, right? Education as lifestyle . . .

        1. Edward

          “who would accept a dormitory with no in-house bowling alley?”

          When you compare how Americans live with other societies, there may be more of this kind of thing then Americans appreciate.

          1. Edward

            I think my comment was a bit confusing. My thought was that what college students today think is normal– a bowling alley in a dormitory, may not seem so to other Americans. But ironically, those Americans judging the students may be in the role of the college student when viewed by non-Americans, who may see American lifestyle choices as extravagant.

      2. Lepton1

        When I took Lagrangian Dynamics at the University of Michigan there was no textbook. Professor Katz would enter the room in his three piece suit and white hair and would start writing at the blackboard. We were expected to copy what he wrote and said. That was our textbook. Best class ever.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Joe Biden’s campaign pitch: Make America Normal Again”

    Make America Normal Again? I’ve heard of Manna from Heaven but would this be then MANA from Biden?

    1. Carolinian

      He’s celebrating the 100th anniversary of “a return to normalcy.” Of course Harding meant a return to the peaceful days before WW1. Biden wants a return to bipartisan Broderism without all that nasty tweeting.

      1. Off The Street

        Can’t wait to find out how he plans to incorporate Teapot Dome into his platform!

        1. Carolinian

          It’ll be Ukrainian Dome once the Republicans get done with him.

          In his book about the era Gore Vidal thought Harding was not that bad a guy even if his associates were all crooks.

    2. SufferinSuccotash

      Yes, let’s return to that blissful Edenic state of affairs which made Trump possible in the first place (and which could make someone a lot worse than him possible in the future).

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        But this time Republicans are going to have an epiphany and pass good legislation for Joe Biden…it’s pragmatic…or lazy and evidence of dementia.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Like Saul of Tarsus, Mitch McConnell will be blinded by the white of Biden and allow pro-corporate judges nominated by Biden who aren’t overtly hostile to women, minorities, etc to get an up or down vote. Lindsey Graham will call for the need of our imperialist war machine to increase the amount of recycled materials used in paper products.

      2. Geo

        I fondly remember the heady days of Tea Party rallies, home foreclosures, perpetual warfare, bank bailouts, environmental inaction, and the Dems losing over a thousand seats across the nation.

        Can’t wait for Biden to bring us back to that.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I woke up today with the notion that our body politic has inoperable cancer, and that all we can do now is watch as the limbs and organs are hacked off in sequence as we go gently into that good night.

          We used to know how to rage, rage…but this time around the patient seems resigned to his or her fate. Hey here’s a pain killer. This one here is anti-nausea (yes, please gimme two or three of those ones). If we just take the left leg at the hip it’ll all work out.

          What looks to emerge is not a body politic but rather a disembody politic. A simulacrum…with a few vestigial, ghostly impulses and memories of what having a body felt like. It was glorious! You could feel. You could say. Run. Laugh. Others could come nearby, and you could do things together because they were good for both of you.

          Alas, no. Each patent is shunted to an isolation ward to slip away quietly, in private. Best to take the vocal cords first, so the other patients do not get too upset. Excise the neo-cortex, don’t want the patient thinking rationally about their situation. The limbic brain will be all that’s left, so simply apply soporifics. Like a patient etherised upon a table…exeunt.

      3. Efmo

        If Biden gets in, how long before it’s “grand bargain” time again? And this time would the Republicans be happy to go along? They might.

        1. John k

          Because he’s a republican, too… granted so was big o, but they can deal with joe where they obviously couldn’t with big o.

    3. djrichard

      I have to admit, I thought Biden was out of the running to wear the “normal” mantle. I thought it was going to be bestowed on Mayor Pete. All that’s needed is a cartoon version of what’s normal and Mayor Pete seemed to be destined to wear that mantle.

      But here comes Joe, outflanking the rest of the field. So what if he’s Mr Grabby Hands. And so what if his past policy positions on student debt, war mongering, imprisoning our population, etc would make Biden appear aren’t out of step with the times. Shouldn’t our definition of “normal” allow for legacies?

      Besides he has a big advantage. Who else is more cartoonish than Biden? Well sure Trump, but he’s the opposition and we all know Trump is not normal because we said so. That’s our cartoon version of him and no one can’t say he hasn’t embraced it. And if Biden is not Trump then by definition Biden must be normal. In fact, it’s sufficient for us simply to say so. We just needed somebody who was cartoon-ready. We were holding out for Mayor Pete, but Mayor Pete doesn’t seem quite there in embracing his outer cartoon. Biden seems born to it.

      1. Edward

        I think we are getting another demonstration of the remarkable power of the U.S. propaganda system. I wasn’t expecting Biden to do this well.

        1. Grant

          Because there is no logical why he should be. People are not looking into his record what so ever (polls show most don’t know anything about his record), looking into what he pushed for under Obama, not looking at his mountain of horrible comments or his corruption, not looking critically about his personal behavior or what he did with Anita Hill, not thinking about whether what he offers matches the needs of the time and not thinking about what his policies would do to the country and its anger at the system if implement or what a hugely negative impact Biden’s candidacy would have on down ballet races. Imagine a DSA candidate running and getting asked about Biden. They would either have to savage the candidate from their own party or would look ridiculous supporting someone that is entirely opposed to everything they want to do.

          I made a comment about who exactly is supporting him right now, and there are big differences in regards to age. His lead is right now largely because of voters older than 50, in particular voters older than 65. Bernie leads with voters 49 and younger. When polls don’t over-sample older voters, Biden leads but not nearly as much as that silly CNN poll showing a 300% lead or whatever. While many people say they are for this or that policy, the Democrats nationally never pick candidates that match what they say they support on policy, nor do they seem to prioritize policy or moving forward with a coherent platform. The Democratic Party forces social democrats to share the party with far right politicians, so what exactly is that party going to do to establish a coherent policy platform? This is why it all devolves into empty bumper stickers and those with the most donor money getting the most power. The Democrats are also horribly internally undemocratic and have a record of undermining candidates of their own on the left. So, like the political system on the whole, there is a gigantic gap between what the party says it supports on policy versus what those with power within that party do on policy or even try to do on policy.

          Biden is entirely out of step with the times, is corrupt and may have even more baggage than Clinton did. I can see no better candidate to represent the chaotic train wreck that party is now than Biden. He represents the steaming pile that is the modern Democratic Party more than anyone else running. Trump is horrible but what political system, in 2020, with the problems we have, would ever produce something like a Biden vs. Trump general election matchup?

          1. Oregoncharles

            Compare with ”

            One Little Video Shows How Democrats Are Trying and Failing to Control Restive Progressives ”

            Of course, she didn’t fail – Gabbard answered the second question, not the first. And he gives the reason: he and the people who cheered aren’t even Dems. Maybe they can vote in th primary in California, but not in a lot of places, like Oregon. And will they?

            It exemplifies both the amount of control the big parties exert, and how bad that is. If you really want to get somewhere, you focus on breaking that control; “taking over” the Dems is a pit of despond. They saw you coming. And running AS a Democrat most certainly will not do it; that only reaffirms their control, as we see in that video.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Trump will absolutely wipe the floor with Biden, because: China.

            Creepy Joe says “what’s wrong with China?” But Bob in the Rust Belt knows exactly what’s wrong with China: they’re the ones who stole his cheese. No, Uncle Joe, you old fool, it wasn’t the Rooskies.

            So even if the realities of global supply chains and corporate profits nuance the effects of a trade war, the Chinese are the *perfect* cartoon enemy.

            Add to that the image of The Favoured Son (Hunter) landing in Beijing in Air Force Two sitting in Daddy’s lap and scooping up a $1B bribe private equity investment directly from *the enemy* and Sloppy Joe gots some serious ‘splaining to do.

    4. Edward

      This must be a reprise of “Change You Can Believe In”. It sounds like vintage Obama. I hope empty slogans are getting less traction these days.

      1. Wukchumni

        “Change You Can Believe In” sounds as if it’d be perfect wording of a plea for dough re mi on a rectangular piece of cardboard held aloft by a homeless person trying to attain a median income while standing on a slim island in between cars whizzing by.

  3. russell1200

    “We should start a pool on the date of the first outage confirmed to be caused by a hacked breaker trip.”

    This has nothing to do with remote connectivity. That is already fully in place. Without getting too deep into the weeds, it’s changing mechanical switching with transistors. Since the transistors are much faster and work at higher temperatures, you can get a much faster response time. This is important for both turning them off, and shunting loads to different pathways.

    Transistors is what they have been using to turn the DC of Solar Fields to the AC of the distribution system. Those loads are huge. So I am not surprised that they can do this.

    1. pricklyone

      So they put the control circuitry in the breaker, and made it more expensive. They made it really fast so it will false trip unless slowed down(like they already have to do with mechanical ones)..
      And you can call it from a phone.
      Yeah, this is really gonna shake up the power distro world…NOT.
      This is a press release for a rather dubious product, dressed as an article. A PM specialty.

      1. flaesq

        Having developed the solid state incarnations at $DAY_JOB I agree with you. The instant off isn’t a positive, it’s a nuisance tripping negative (when dealing with inrush current for ex).

        The digital incarnations involve great efforts in duplicating the Time/Current performance curves of one-shot passive fuses. Furthermore, the stuff the industry already does in solid state circuit breakers to trip on arc and ground faults is going to have to find its way into these products because of the Code. A bunch of folks’ patents are going to be in play.

          1. Synoia

            This is bullshit. Thyristors are used for switching, and have been for over 50 years.

            What he has is a remotely controlled breaker, the Landlords’ friend.

            A breaker tripping is a message to do much investigation. They generally trip for a good reason, and not searching for the reason is a dangerous and bad practice.

    2. SJ

      …but transistors (more likely IGBT’s or SiC FETs) have farily high power losses due to their intrinsic resistance, unlike the metal connections in mechanical relays which have for all intents and purposes no losses at all. Hence at the end of the article we read that the company now just has to reduce the heat in the devices to make them work – Doh!
      Electrical engineers have been using these devices for years and years, but only in PWM applications such as the solar pannel one referred to by russell1200 where beng able to switch quickly makes sense and not as simple on/off switches where it is irrelevant.
      Ho hum.

      1. pricklyone

        My impession was they were touting the speed of the devices for purposes of load switching, but solid state devices already are used in this fashion. They are simply SSR’s (solid state relays). Breakers have no need of the speed, and are usually mechanically delayed to prevent trips on small surges.
        There are some pretty low resistance FET, IGBT devices, and they are getting better, but these guys are just marketing the same old stuff in a new box.
        (NEW! IMPROVED! NOW with MOAR iPhone!)
        Loved the headline. That’s why my snarky comments :)

    1. Wukchumni

      Gonna rain or snow all weekend here in Sequoia NP with bone chilling cold as an added bonus in our continued winter of no lack of missed content, or perhaps the worst of both worlds, ‘snain’. Add in the idea that to get to the meat of the matter, said sojourners will have to drive a steep twisty mountain road full of other jalopies in what promises to be awful conditions, but neither rain, streets or snow shall stop them from their appointed rounds.

      This will have no bearing on those committed to enjoying 50% more weekend, and there’s no possible way that they could just take a Friday or Monday off the following weekend instead when the weather looks to be perfect.

  4. Carolinian

    From The American Conservative

    Waging war without legal authority is an impeachable offense, if anything is. Impeachment was designed to thwart attempts to subvert the Constitution; congressional control of the war power was one of that document’s core guarantees. “In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found,” James Madison affirmed, “than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department.”

    Sadly these days Congress is more likely to impeach Trump for not starting a war–with Russia. One suspects that if Trump did ask for authorization to attack Iran he would get it if only by saying that Israel is in danger. While there have been rumblings about stopping the Bolton war surge, this seems to be more of a pissing match over who’s in charge, not over the wisdom of war itself. It could be time for the ever passive US public to make their own feelings known. $5/gal gasoline is probably not something they want.

    1. Roger Smith

      I appreciate Madison et. al’s inclusion of impeachment but what they really needed in the Constitution was a sister mechanism that prevented the legislature from giving up it’s responsibility to the question of war or peace.

      1. Chris Cosmos

        Congress represents the people–if they want to give up their war-powers that’s up to them. The fact we must face is that the majority of the American people love war and love the military. They may, in retrospect, not be in favor of particular wars but, in general, most Americans believe in coercion and violence as a way of settling disputes. This may be gradually changing but we still have 21 trillion missing from the Pentagon with incompetence and corruption rampant and still Americans love their military waaaay above all other institutions.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          I know the poll numbers back up your assertions, but what would we expect given the 24/7 propaganda that inundates us wherever we go in this country. The military cleverly bans any real coverage of their wars unless they control it, and our sad excuse for a press isn’t all that interested in really keeping tabs on our omnipresent military and their violent shenanigans.

          But I think it’s pretty well accepted around here that one thing that put Trump over the top were voters in counties with combat deaths above the mean. People are getting edgy about our PermaWar.

          One thing that encouraged me was to see Clooney’s production of “Catch 22.” My view of the military and war was gleaned in large part from Heller’s book and Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. If at least some of our content producers would see fit to portray war and the military honestly rather than as cartoon superheroes, it would help.

          That said, the level of militarism in this country terrifies me. When I see that Trump is pardoning war criminals–and it’s horrific what they did to earn those convictions given our shameful failure to prosecute coat-and-tie war criminals–I think to myself that he’s a man who wants the meanest, most violent, most lawless components of our very “special” forces to be on his side if things move closer to civil war.

          1. Tom Stone

            I’ll quote Kipling here.
            “If any ask why we died,
            tell them,
            our fathers lied.”

        2. Roger Smith

          I don’t believe this at all. Even if data were to show it, I’d wager that the deference (and even zealousness via propaganda) on display is more a result of the loss of power and representation any citizen has in their own government. Congress absolutely does not represent the American people, it just pretends it does. What is their approval rating again? Representation is an act, just like the elections. People have no avenue into how their country exists, so they either tune out, or buy into the script. The benefit of this long con is that the longer it goes on unchallenged, the more false history it has to spin into new generations.

      2. JBird4049

        It would be hard to create a mechanism for forcing the Congress to do its job although if anyone has an idea I am willing to listen. I think also that the Founders did not see that the Congress would start to act like the old Roman Senate when Augustus took over.

        Interestingly war is involved in both cases. Rome had lost most of its effective leaders and powerful families in a horrific series of civil wars, so they were happy for some peace under Augustus.

        The United States has never been a peaceful country but until after the Second World War it was not perpetually invading the Earth; perhaps with them all having lived through a civil war that was both economically and socially costly, they did not think Congress would give up its control over whether we all go to war or not. Even now Congress would end our perma-war tomorrow, if it wanted to, but that would take something almost nobody in Congress has the courage (or to be old fashioned honorable enough) to do the right thing. Besides making money that is.

        1. Edward

          “It would be hard to create a mechanism for forcing the Congress to do its job ”

          How about having voters threaten to defenestrate Congress?

          1. JBird4049

            From the top of the Washington Monument maybe? It certainly would be emotionally satisfying.

            1. Wukchumni

              The only thing that’s been defenestrated from the top of the Washington Monument was a baseball…

              On Aug. 21, 1908, Charles E. “Gabby” Street caught a baseball tossed from the top of the 555-foot shaft.

              At the time, Street was a catcher for the Washington Senators and a favorite of powerhouse pitcher Walter Johnson. The feat had been attempted several times before without success.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Is it possible to toss a baseball over the 555-foot shaft, from the ground on one side, so a catche can glove it on the other side?

                (That would save the climb up, and acrophobic fans may be interested in this question).

            2. ewmayer

              Slightly off-color joke involving the Washington Monument … back in the summer of ’85 I did a summer internship at NASA Lewis (since renamed Glenn, I believe) Research Center in Cleveland, OH. One of their notable areas of concentration is microgravity research, and their chief ground facility in this regard was a 600-foot-deep drop tower – evacuate most of the air, drop an experimental module from the top, get ~6 seconds of 0-g time before module lands in the styrofoam-packing-peanut-filled landing zone at the bottom. There was also a launcher at the bottom of the hole, which would launch a module from there upward at a precise velocity calibrated to take it just short of the top wall and back down again, for a full 12 seconds of 0-g.

              Anyhow, the marketing blurb for the drop tower noted that it could hold the Washington Monument with room to spare, so naturally soon after its inauguration the researchers – mostly men, mostly 60s-era space racers – dubbed it the “Martha Washington Monument”.

          2. Oregoncharles

            How about having them actually do it?

            Because threats aren’t going to cut it.

        2. Roger Smith

          True, it seems as it the Founders may have thought people’s individual power motives would keep the Republic’s fabric taut… but when you need to be accountable to money rather than constituents that plan falls apart.

      3. False Solace

        The omniscient Founding Fathers worshipped by conservatives failed to foresee the rise of the party system. A hefty slice of Congress benefits from protecting a President of the same party, so accountability only happens when the branches are controlled by opposite parties. The Feckless Fathers also failed to anticipate the expansion of the franchise and open bribery. They probably didn’t anticipate that elected officials would openly defy the wishes of voters on a routine basis in service of donors. In their defense, back then the only people allowed to vote were what we would regard today as the donor class. They also made it extremely difficult to amend the Constitution, which is why we remain stuck with a system that only benefits the 1% and their servants in the 10% despite the expansion of voting rights to most of the population.

        1. JBird4049

          The Founding Fathers were definitely aware of political parties, or factions as they called them, but they basically hand waved it away and said that they expected Americans to be gentlemen and at least not create any formal political parties.

          That sorta kept through President Washington’s Administration and then very quickly died in the political fighting between the Jefferson and Hamilton factions. The former was for small farms, small local banks in a primarily agricultural economy and the latter in large scale banking, industrialization, and large scale government backed improvement projects like canal in a very mixed economy. Local control vs. centralization. I think we can guess who won.

          Also, for just under two centuries, whatever governmental system we were under i.e. Continental Congress, Confederation, or the Federal Republic, the legislature was the most powerful and important branch; regardless of what branch had what power, what party was in control of what, or of the people in them, the goal was getting into government in order to run it and not to use it only as a jobs program for one cliche or another and then for getting a lucrative sinecure after leaving your elected office, political appointment, or job.

          There has always been some dysfunction and the corruption in all levels of government was worse around 1900 than it is now, but still there was that consensus that a functioning government was necessary. Today, only one of the two parties even gives a pro forma acknowledgement that a functioning government that is actually governing, but even much of the Republican Party supposed hatred of government is also pro forma.

          So nobody is in control because the only thing that matters is getting the money.

    2. anon in so cal

      “seems to be more of a pissing match over who’s in charge, not over the wisdom of war itself.”

      doesn’t this explain DNC / Dem Party / TheResistance opposition to Trump in many, if not most, arenas?

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s all fun and games throwing milkshakes on people like Nigel Farage until someone throws a milkshake on Bernie Sanders and then it will be the worst thing that happened since the holocaust. If you throw milkshakes at people that you disagree with because you were triggered, it means that you have nothing to counter their arguments with.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I would have thought a Flat White would have been the most appropriate drink to throw at racists.

        2. ewmayer

          We need a good UK-tabliod-style faux headline here – how about this?


        1. Wukchumni

          Cream pies have their place, but you can’t really mill about with one in your hand like you can a milkshake, and it also requires close-in combat, whereas a malted can be tossed from a fair distance with some degree of accuracy from one’s handwitzer.

      1. Frenchguy

        Not saying it’s should be encouraged or applauded. Just that it’s not anything new and that there’s no point in trying to analysis something that has been happening to public figures since forever. It could and should be shrugged off.

      2. nippersmom

        Nobody in the establishment/MSM would have any problem with something much more painful than a milkshake being thrown at Sanders. Sanders himself would probably shrug it off. His supporters would probably comment on how different the reaction by said establishment/MSM would be if it happened to Biden or Clinton. I doubt anyone would react the way you suggest.

      3. dearieme

        There was a recent court case in England; a schoolboy was killed by another boy throwing a slice of cheese at him. Allergic reaction: goodnight Vienna. The young murderer admitted that he and his chums knew that their victim had the allergy but swore that they’d no idea that it could prove deadly. Bollocks, you might think. What the court decided I don’t know.

        People will soon devise ways of making milk shakes nasty weapons – a soupçon of acid, say, or an aliquot of ammonia.

      4. Christopher Fay

        It’s not a milk shake thrown on Sanders or Ilhan Omar or AOC that I’m worried about but something else. Sanders in that circumstance might pull a weirdo and recognize it’s not Vermont milk we’re tasting. What would draw out the holocaustal comparisons would be a shake tossed on Megan McCain

        1. wilroncanada

          Just imagine the consequences of throwing a milkshake made with an alternative fluid at a pol with silly yak disease!

    2. mpalomar

      From the Nation, ”pieing is as American as, well, you know. It was popularized by Laurel and Hardy’s classic skits, then reemerged as a symbol of the counterculture in the 1970s, when Tom Forcade—the man best known for starting High Times magazine—walloped Otto Larsen, the chairman of Lyndon Johnson’s commission on obscenity and pornography. Forcade’s followers successfully pied William F. Buckley, Phyllis Schlafly, Howard Hunt, and Andy Warhol; the anarchist Biotic Baking Brigade, the famous “pieman” Aron Kay and compatriots in the International Patisserie Brigade and Al-Pieda later defiled the faces of Ann Coulter, Bill Gates, Milton Friedman, and the king of Sweden.”
      Politicians, philosophers and a crown prince from, The Great Race

      1. Adam Eran

        An activist threw a pie at then-Sacramento-Mayor (and former NBA star…and husband of education “reformer” / Tiger Mom Michelle Rhee) and the May went ballistic. He beat the kid with a vengeance…

        …so just a word of caution to the potential pie throwers on NC…

        1. mpalomar

          I missed that newsworthy event. Kevin Johnson as I recall was an awful mayor and well matched by equally despicable MIchelle Rhee, whose lauded charter school crusade, helped further destroy the Washington DC public school system.

          She seemed particularly dedicated to tormenting teachers, the professional sector she was directly responsible for managing as school commissioner and yet oddly expressed disdain for. It ended acrimoniously amid allegations of corruption. Perhaps a serving of humble pie was deserved.

          Philosopher and dandy Bernard Henri Levy is stalked by his piers. I don’t approve of acts of violence or wasting food but can’t help sharing a sense of fraternité with the entarteurs.

          Of course no good can come of pieing, except perhaps a little slapstick.

          1. Adam Eran

            KJ’s big accomplishment: Getting the NBA Sacramento Kings to stay in town. It only required a massive subsidy from the public – a quarter billion-dollar loan underwritten by Goldman Sachs – to purchase a stadium.

            Of course, if the team leaves, that stadium is a white elephant. No stake in the team was required as part of this deal, so the stadium owned by the public (no property tax, either) was the key. Forbes estimates the team is worth double what the current owners paid for it as a consequence, but the City gets none of that profit…just a white elephant, and the prospect of further extortion (Kings threaten to leave)

    3. Doug SJ

      The guy literally walked away from a cesna plane crash. Doubt he’ll be too put off by a good milkshaking.

  5. ChristopherJ

    Thank you, Yves. Hope the prep for the move is progressing well for you.

    Will return in am when more comments.

    Caitlin Johnson piece was good, the bad Dad…

    1. pjay

      I was thinking the same thing. This article is a nice companion piece to the Ghion Journal article/video clip. Both nicely illustrate the mechanisms of our totally corrupt mainstream media and political parties.

      The best thing about Trump’s accidental win has been the complete exposure of the “liberal” faction of our War Party Establishment for what it is. Unfortunately, it still has the power to contain this exposure and purge dissenting voices, as you point out.

      1. Chris Cosmos

        And the best voices go to the alternative media. Our only hope not just politically but culturally and economically is to empower alternatives as much as we can and avoid and resist the System which includes the fact mainstream media, in all its aspects is mainly propaganda for various factions within the oligarchy as one would expect if one did not believe in American Exceptionalism.

      2. Cal2

        In the first video, notice the grandstander who took the second question and in her performative manner twirled about and faced the audience as she took over the questioning, ignoring Gabbard?

        She’s the head of the
        “Malibu Democratic Club”. Here’s an example of who lives in Malibu:

        Beaches in California are open to the public. These billionaires thought they were special and blocked that access and then lost in court.
        Real “democracy” in action.

        Several months ago, Jeffrey Katzenberg reached out to Hillary Clinton to assure her that if she runs for president in 2016, he will $upport her.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Can’t find a reference at the moment but there was something like this happening in England decades ago with walkers in the English countryside. The landlords tried to claim public land as their own and were chasing off walkers who were coming from the city to relax. So a movement came about where walkers descended on these areas in their hundreds and their thousands forcing the landlords to back off. What is concerning in the articles that you linked to is where local sheriffs were in on this scam. That is something that has to be called out before it becomes the norm.

  6. zagonostra

    >Julian Assange – Lee Camp

    It’s a sad state of affairs when comedians like a Jimmy Dore or Lee Camp provide truthful perspectives while NYT, WaPo, and all the clattering, chattering, cheating, MSM cretins create falsehoods (high school English teacher shouldn’t have learned me onomatopoeia).

    Many Americans cheer for Assange’s imprisonment. They believe the corporate plutocratic talking points and yearn for the days when we no longer have to hear about our country’s crimes against humanity or our bankers’ crimes against the economy. Subconsciously they must believe that a life in which we’re tirelessly exploited by rich villains and know all about it thanks to the exhaustive efforts of an eccentric Australian is worse than one in which we’re tirelessly exploited by rich villains yet know nothing about it.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      Again, I insist on the truth that most real leftists have a hard time accepting. Most Americans like the National Security State particularly the military but also including all the elements of repression, prisons, cops, FBI, CIA and so on. That’s just the way it is. Fascism may come from both the left and right not one by itself. In an alienated, depressed and angry culture authoritarianism is loved for its own sake. This is why Sanders and others are so important–they provide an alternative path without questioning the whole security swindle.

      1. Adam Eran

        Unfortunately, I tend to agree with you…even believe it’s highly likely Trump will be re-elected. Nevertheless, people are now starting to have a little bit of hesitation about blessing the incarceration state, at least the people encounter.

        Nevertheless, as you say, the Cult of Vengeance is *very* popular. People interested in actually improving outcomes, much less so.

    2. Whoamolly

      Apparently the corporate reporters are — in Jimmy Dore’s words— bought.

      They are appear to be upper class twits who know one thing more than anything else: where their next paycheck comes from.

      We apparently don’t have a journalism profession any more. What used to be journalism is now all about entertainment and the corporate line.

  7. Stadist

    The Great Power Game is On and China is Winning – American Conservative (resilc):

    To an ‘outside’ non-american spectator it looks like China is winning by just growing and existing. Funnily enough even increasing chinese military spending is a ‘threat’ when USA accounts for 36% of global military spending according to wikipedia.

    In recent local discussion I rhetorically suggested my country should get nuclear weapons to have ‘deterrent’ against attack from Russia. I was told Russia would attack pre-emptively if we tried to get nuclear weapon. The logic behind is extremely sick, the one holding most powerful position will consider anyone increasing or trying to increase their power as a threat, even an open attack against his monopoly of power. This is borderline or completely psychopathic behaviour, but im not actually qualified to use the wording.

    We should all be happy China has nuclear weapons.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The guy is basically saying that the US should pull out of half the planet so that they can confront China directly on their front door and overawe that place with weapons, technology and alliances. The only thing that he did not do is end the article with the opinion “I say we take off and nuke the entire country from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How many in the US are saying the same? What percentage?

        Is it only that one person’s opinion?

        Is that person an important individual, perhaps one who is in charge of the country?

        In the case of China vs. Taiwan, to confront Taiwan directly on their front door and overawe that place with weapons, technology and alliances was something Xi and his predecessors have said.

      2. Olga

        I do think that his description of the problem, however, is accurate (much more so than MA’s article on Trump’s acceleration of the US decline posted on NC). But you’re right, the proposed solution makes no sense. The author admits that we could end up in a “hot” conflict (WWIII for the uninitiated) – but then suggests that the US double-down on confronting China. Ok, as I say, it’s been nice knowing ya’ll!

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      China is winning by just growing and existing?

      It is winning by just having a big population – that seems the most important factor. To those who believe over-population is one of the two causes for all the problems in the world today (total consumption = population x consumption per person), that is a black mark. While consumption per person is lower in China, given the second largest economy in the world status, the total consumption in China (Chinese population x conssumptioin per Chinese person) is likely top the chart, together with the US.

      Threat…An aspiring power.

      When one is the most loving person in the room, and another loving person enters that room, you won’t see the former treating the latter as a threat. That’s the nature of love…or true love, because there is no jealousy in true love.

      Not so with other human endeavors.

      A smartest person in the room will see another smart person entering as a threat, unless the former is also a loving person. Then, maybe. But one has nothing to do with the other (being smart and being loving).

      So, we are talking about the uglier side of humanity. If a nation wants to engage in acquiring weapons, dominance in trade, in superpower status, etc, that nation should expect others (not just the current power, but many other nations) to see it as a threat.

      That logic is just logic, nothing to do with being sick or not. It is only sick in so far the dark side of humanity is sick.

      And if a nation, as mentioned above, desires to the most giving, caring, loving nation in the world, it is not a threat to anyone…I beliieve.

  8. Larry Kummer

    “throwing food and drinks on people advocating for far-right policies is actually one of the best possible ways to deal with them.”

    And when the Right does it to Leftists, as they will?

    This is another step ceding the public space to those willing to use violence. It will escate if applauded. The powerful will surround themselves with even more guards. Other public figures will either accept this as a price paid for public life – or retreat to safe spaces.

    Then Current Affairs can publish a long trendy article complaining about the degraded public spaces in America! How did this happen?

    1. h2odragon

      I don’t think the right will reciprocate in a food fight. Childish. They’ll just ignore it and further enrage the people who are so excited that food throwing is their only idea for self expression.

      When the guns and explosives come out, then the right wing nuts might pay some attention. Likely it won’t amount to anything more than a few people asking “if militias were dangerous aren’t these people?” While the media uses the violence as proof that we need to totally disarm the population.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I don’t think they will reciprocate either.

        The right doesn’t throw milkshakes. They shoot you in the face.

        1. Beniamino

          Any examples of this? You know, it’s a thin line between hyperbole and bullshit.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            MLK, JFK, RFK, Salvador Allende, any number of other coups I could mention. That’s just off the top of my head. Enough?

    2. Chris Cosmos

      Absolutely agree. If the left is worth anything (and I wonder if it is) it is because it is attempting to revive the sense of compassion, cooperation, and peace in this country while nearly all of the oligarchs are egging on both the “left” and the right into throwing food or stones or Molotovs or whatever at each other while the security services take more and more power. This fascist move by the “left” has to stop non-violence is essential to move forward.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Not to mention it’s sinful to waste food.

        How many trees were cut down to produce that food?

        I once saw a documentary about Zen monks in a temple on Mt. Hiei. Their breakfast was simple – some rice and pickled vegetables, and to finish, they poured some tea and drank from the rice/tea bowl, to make sure of not wasting even one single grain of rice.

        1. ewmayer

          “How many trees were cut down to produce that food?” — If it’s a McDonald’s-style chemo-shake or ersatz lab-created coffee-flavored shake-thing, none, because said beverages are not “food”. Come to think of it, throwing McD’s crap-o-shakes may be the most healthful possible way to consume them.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Maybe that’s the case in Mahayana Buddhism Japan or wherever that branch has taken root.

            In Theravada “the old ones’ way” (and never Hinayana – small vehicle…derogatory much?) Buddism countries, such as Thailand, the monk/nun on the morning alms round eats anything he/she is given. Even meat or ‘not food.’

            That seems non-discriminating.

        2. fajensen

          How many trees were cut down to produce that food?

          If it was a standard fast-food outlet shake, only petrochemicals and water was wasted!

  9. John Beech

    Finland is winning the war on fake news. Other nations want the blueprint CNN. Resilc: “Although I’m forced to watch CNN when I work out and it’s almost as bad as Fox.”

    It’s every bit as bad as FOX . . . a pox on both! Interesting how Finland is engaging citizens in critical thinking. of ocurse, we only have time for reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic these days and none for citizenship, music, art, etc. Sigh.

      1. Oregoncharles

        As the linked article makes clear, Finland is a northern country and will benefit from global warming, like Russia and Canada, at least once things settl down. That’s depending on the elevations, which the article dosn’t mention.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That’s not how I’m reading that article. For a start, they are going to lose some coastal towns and cities as sea level rises.

          1. Oregoncharles

            That’s what I meant by elevations. But then, so is everybody else, unless they’re landlocked.

            Desert equatorial countries become uninhabitable; the far north will be able to grow a whole new set of crops, and not spend nearly so much on heating. The turmoil in the meantime will be costly, but this might be one reason Russia and Canada aren’t big on fighting global heating.

    1. John A

      Firstly, I notice CNN baldly states that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

      Secondly, both Sweden and Finland are close to Russia and are neutral status. The US and its bought and paid for Swedish and Finnish politicians and MSM want the two countries to join NATO, but the population is wise enough to know that a) it is not good to poke a powerful neighbour with a sharp stick unnecessarily and b) Russia has no plans to invade or try to create a new empire.
      Opinion polls in both countries consistently show a majority against joining NATO, hence, the need to whip up hysteria about fake news, Russian interference in elections blah blah.
      What a world we live in.

  10. Peak BS

    From: Elon Musk

    Date: Wed 5/22/2019 10:45 PM

    To: Everybody

    As of yesterday, we had over 50,000 net new orders for this quarter. Based on current trends, we have a good chance of exceeding the record 90,700 deliveries of Q4 last year and making this the highest deliveries/sales quarter in Tesla history!

    In order to achieve this, we need sustained output of 1,000 Model 3’s per day. Almost all parts of the Model 3 production system have exceeded 1000 units on multiple days (congratulations!!) and we’ve averaged about 900/day this week, so we’re only about 10% away from 7000/week.

    If we rally hard, we can do it!

    Thanks for your great work,


    A Link:

    Regulatory capture perfected. So far.

  11. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Finland is winning the war on fake news. Other nations want the blueprint.

    So CNN has discovered from Finland that critical thinking is the key. And here I was thinking everything you read on the interwebs must be true.

    Yet despite decrying the rise of “fake news” they just can’t help themselves –

    The course is part of an anti-fake news initiative launched by Finland’s government in 2014 – two years before Russia meddled in the US elections – aimed at teaching residents, students, journalists and politicians how to counter false information designed to sow division

    Maybe time to take a look in the mirror, you relentless, propagandizing hacks?

    And Thom Hartmann also seems to be suffering from Trump derangement syndrome –

    Today we have a reality-show president who has told over 10,000 lies…

    Surely Mr. Hartmann is familiar with I F Stone and knows that all governments lie.

    Jesus H Pollyanna-ing Xrist, this crap has been going on for thousands of years and only now are these defenders of democracy pretending to notice?!?

    1. GramSci

      and then we read to the end of the CNN piece where we read:

      “Officials didn’t see any evidence of Russian interference in the [ Finnish ] vote…”

      One more thing to teach students : read. past the headlines…

    2. Oh

      Thom Hartmann is a shill for the Dimrats and has been one for a long time. He’s the one who kept saying that Obamba is playing multi-dimensional chess. He regularly hosted other DimShills from the Center for American Progress (Founder: John Podesta) on his radio show.

  12. Summer

    RE: Times Book Deal Factory

    Did what’s left of the major publishing world ask, “How can we get more insular and cliquish?”

    A vast array of subjects covered by one type of mindset.

  13. JohnnyGL

    Thanks for the Ghion Journal link. I hope these candidates are hiring election observers and attorneys. Lots of them.

      1. pjay

        It was mentioned by me and others above in connection with the Taibbi article (the two are nicely complimentary). But you are right to draw attention to it. That short clip is a microcosm of much that is wrong with the current party system and its sheep-herding ways.

        1. Oh

          The DimRats are already setting the table for fixing the primaries using fake polls that show Biden leadng by a wide margin. “Look lefties, there’s no need for you guys to vote; Biden’s already won”.

  14. flaesq

    I just wanted to tell Yves I’m still thinking about her and attempting to send good thoughts up that way. While I’m home this weekend I’m going to give the cats a lot of extra time and attention.

  15. Wukchumni

    A solid contender for this years Darwin award, I present to you auto-idiotic-asphyxiation, or ‘don’t Bogard your breath’.

    Viral video challenges have been making a lot of headlines in the last year — and usually not for good reasons. Most of them involve risky and sometimes life-threatening behavior, which have left countless kids and teens hospitalized, and in some cases have even claimed lives. Sadly, this was the case for Indiana teen Mason Bogard, who died May 4 of injuries sustained while doing the viral “choking challenge,” according to Local 12.

    As his devastated mother later shared on Facebook, Mason tried to choke himself “to the point of almost passing out,” as the challenge dictates.

    It was something he had seen on social media, and wanted to try himself. But tragically, it went too far, and shortly after the teen was discovered, he was rushed to the hospital.

    According to his mom, Joann Jackson Bogard, doctors and medical staff at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville did everything they could to save Mason’s life. But in the end, there was nothing that could save him.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “The plane that led D-Day is flying back to Normandy”

    Love stories like this where they get old abandoned/crashed aircraft and refurbish them so that they are flying again. Not long ago I found out about a P-40B that was flying again. If you have seen the movie “Tora, Tora, Tora” this was the plane that the US Army Air Corps was flying and that the Japanese bombed on the ground at the airfields. This P-40B is actually Pearl Harbour veteran. Anybody else want more info on that bird, there is a page below which has a cool video of this old warbird flying again-

  17. JohnnyGL

    Posting this one as it has some good bits. I think Cornell West (whom I generally like) is poor on this one. Way too much complaining about ‘tone’ and ‘rhetoric’ from him. It’s like team dem brain rot has partially infected him.

    He could have easily said…”min wage, unions, environment, gentrification, home-ownership, public housing are ALL areas where president has FAILED black America. Just because black people are all driving for Uber and Lyft doesn’t mean they’re winning at life, now.”

  18. MichaelSF

    The reason I sent in the link on “Women accuse ICE contractor of brutal treatment” is not because it is unusual behavior, but rather that the contractor caught my eye. It is G4S Secure Solutions, a British firm that I think has seen mention here at NC for the exemplary way in which it has looted government contracts in the UK while being a mercenary arm of the state.

    Hands across the water . . .

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

      “High crimes and misdemeanors” is vague, but I would say putting foreign mercs in charge of any kind of state violence apparatus is a high crime.

    2. The Rev Kev

      When I saw that article, I knew exactly who that G4S mob were. They were the ones that were paid all that big money to organize security for the London Olympics. And then, a few weeks out from the start of the Olympics, said that they couldn’t do it and hadn’t gotten anything organized forcing the UK government to use soldiers for security purposes. And yet government still keep on hiring them and giving them money.

  19. JohnnyGL

    Biden’s decline seems to have legs. The new Hill/HarrisX poll has him coming down 13 points from last one. Quinnipiac had him fall 3 points, too. I’m curious how the weekly Morning Consult poll looks next Tuesday. That might confirm if the decline is real, or if outlier polls are just reverting to mean.

    Interesting additional wrinkle….no one is picking up his voters. They seem to be going back to the ‘undecided’ bucket. It may be that Biden’s ‘ceiling’ turns out to be around 40ish%. That’s not something you’ll hear from centrist pundits.

    1. Cal2

      Student Loan Voters…45 million and counting.

      Paraphrasing McDonald’s; “Millions Screwed”

      Built in base for Bernie

    2. Pookah Harvey

      Interestingly the article in the Hill describing the poll is entitled:
      “Biden retains large lead over Sanders, other 2020 Dems in new Hill-HarrisX poll”

      There is no mention of Biden’s 13 point drop. The only reference to the past poll is:

      While she still trails the leading two candidates, Warren’s support has increased across several different polls in recent weeks but it has come at Sanders’ expense

  20. Wukchumni

    Not that I have any experience in the matter of foodstuffs presented to politicians, but you can’t beat eggs for sheer gooey, it’s gonna be messy and there’s no way to wipe it off really. Your only dilemma I see is whether to use white or brown?

  21. Wukchumni

    I suspect the tariffist has strong feelings regarding Jackson remaining on the $20 FRN in lieu of Tubman, and Humordor has had issues with confirming Harriet’s in the past, Miers not with standing.

    Our banknotes weren’t as dead boring as they are now, once upon a time. The ne plus ultra being the 1896 ‘Educational Series’ of $1, $2 & $5 Silver Certificate banknotes, which were stunning, and a little risque…

    The naked breasts of the female figures on the $5 silver certificate reportedly caused some minor controversy when several Boston society ladies took offense to the design. Some bankers reportedly refused to accept the notes in transactions, and the term banned in Boston allegedly originates from the $5 silver certificate.

    1. Wukchumni


      Once upon a time for about 70 years starting in 1863, 12,635 banks across the country issued banknotes with the name of their banking institution on them, and everybody seems to think that we were only on a pure gold standard, but it was just one of half a dozen different types of fiat paper money in circulation back then, not backed by gold. In fact the only banknotes that had that designation were Gold Certificate notes, nothing else.

      1. Oregoncharles

        That’s why I have a $20 bill signed by my namesake grandfather, then president of a local bank – which failed in the Depression.

        1. Wukchumni

          Any idea the name of the town where the bank was?

          The more obscure, the more valuable it is…

          1. Oregoncharles

            Attica, Indiana, on the upper Wabash. Pretty obscure. I also have a couple of Revolutionary era bills.

            You’ll appreciate another detail from my mother’s estate: there were 3 gold coins, 2 1/2 dollar I think. Two were worth about $200, but the 3rd had a tiny “C” on it – meaning Charlottesville, at one time a gold mining district. That was 10 times as much.

            Evidntly there is still some demand for collectible coins.

            1. Wukchumni

              Attica started issuing National Currency way early in the game, and in general midwestern states National Banknotes are no big deal.

              Charlotte & Dahlonega minted gold coins are all scarce to rare, and desirable.

              1. Oregoncharles

                So the bill is mostly sentimental value. That’s OK.

                Funny that such a tiny feature on the coin would be worth so much. There’s no accounting for collectors.

      2. skippy

        Ahh the “free banking” era … some still pine for it to return and then abolish the FED. Its all good as long as there is a clear winner and loser it seems.

        Same goes for the banking sector, shadow banking is A-OK.

        Same sorts then bang on about government corruption and politicians.

  22. Riverboat Grambler

    RE: “The Blue Dog Model Is Dead” by Martin Longman, whose blog I recently (mostly) stopped reading for his recent uptick in Bernie-bashing articles. In this article he lays out the context and reasons why the Blue Dog model is outdated and counter-productive but you’ll notice he stops short of recommending Dems endorse policy like M4A; Longman has previously written posts about how Sanders support for M4A amounts to empty promises without a plan and that people “shouldn’t want” their politicians to offer them such things. He’s kind of an idiot, and definitely was on emptywheel’s level in terms of Russiagate hysteria. The last couple years on his blog have essentially been the Pepe Silvia scene from It’s Always Sunny:

    It’s interesting to watch centrist bloggers like Longman and the the guy who runs No More Mister Nice Blog; lately they’ve been putting out posts expressing concern over the feckless and cowardly nature of their own party’s political strategy, something I’ve never heard acknowledged quite this explicitly. Some of them seem nervous and unhappy that Biden is leading, they can see a repeat of 2016, but they remain stalwart in their knee-jerk opposition to Sanders for the usual reasons. Most of their commentariat consists of people who answer criticism of Nancy Pelosi with accusations of being a Russian bot.

  23. NotTimothyGeithner

    Pfft…send a real message. Get an Araucana chicken and colored (mostly blue) eggs away! It also sends a message to Big Agriculture.

    Dah…this is a reply to Wukchumni

  24. Summer

    RE: tesla-navigate-on-autopilot-less-competent

    The report says the inanimate object can not “anticipate” events. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone not completely deluded by Silly Con Valley hype.

    The other thing notable about this list of faults: it focuses on events that are seen.

    Nobody has even delved into how deafness of these cars. We take for granted how much we use hearing to anticipate or navigate events on the road.

    Smell comes in to play when sensing danger on the road, from our own vehicles, other vehicles and surroundings.

    1. zer0

      Its much more egregious than just that. Smell and noise will unfortunately never be part of the sensor platform for many reasons.

      The REAL kicker, is that Tesla didnt build redundancy into their autopilot system (a), did not use proximity sensors around the car (2), and did not alarm the driver before a crash. All Tesla did was put 3 cameras in front of the car. This pales in comparison to low priced models from Mazda, Toyota, GM, etc. that have proximity sensors that beep loudly (sometimes even display words on the windshield). In other OEMs the proximity sensors also allow for emergency braking.

      Tesla, instead of making a redundant system, just wired everything in the car to the main control unit. And by everything, I mean everything: the door handles, the motor/drive train, brakes, heating, cooling, etc. What this lead to is a situation where Tesla simply thought they could just make updates to the software in case of issues. So instead of getting fail safes, you get what is basically a rudimentary app that can be changed by Tesla on a whim.

      Hence the issues with people getting stuck in Teslas, driving into poles, police cars, dividers, lakes, etc. If they had a redundant brake system, like others, most of these situations wouldnt have escalated in death. If they had actual proximity sensors, Teslas wouldnt be bulldozing other vehicles, trucks, etc.

      But Tesla thinks they are above everything. They think that an app will fix everything. Im not suprised: if you look at the Tesla c-suite & board, they are practically ALL ex-software execs. Not a single automotive exec among them. This is why Teslas have great looking UIs and a large screen, yet cant even get the chassis design or a mechanical door handle done accurately.

      Cars are highly tuned mechanical instruments, before they are computers. Tesla tried to flip this, failed, and then constantly blame the driver.

    1. JohnnyGL

      I wouldn’t read too much into it.

      “Free trade” was popular among Republicans until Trump started bashing China endlessly on the trail and convinced voters that it wasn’t such a great idea. He convinced Repubs to oppose immigration and Dems to preen about how much they love immigrants.

      Also, Medicare for All was sort of ‘meh’ in popularity until someone made the case for it. Now it’s hugely popular.

      Obama’s popular until someone starts taking on his disastrous legacy directly. This is exactly what Matt Stoller clamors for endlessly on twitter.

      I’m not sure Bernie could pull it off. It would be super-helpful if one of the other candidates ran explicitly on an “Obama was a very charming, nice guy but basically failed…..failed on jobs, wages, healthcare, housing, and war.”

      1. newcatty

        I am old enough to remember when John Lennon said “We are more popular than Jesus”. It was a great cause of outrage and helped the Beatlemania ratch up a notch. Most kids I knew didn’t take it seriously. Most , other than maybe some fundamentalists Christians or brain washed Republicans, who already thought the Beatles were evil and a scourge on America’s precious children, thought it was just John getting attention…Like usual. Except, from later descriptions of him, there is not entirely the impossibility that he believed in his, at least, omnipotence. I would say Obama came across as charming, but was not a nice guy. He was backed by establishment Democrats from the beginning of his being the chosen one to be potus. He didn’t fail, but did exactly as they wanted . Now, he is pushing the propaganda of “unity”…support whoever is the DNC candidate. Will a decent one like Bernie, Tulsi or Liz be the one? Or Obama/ Clinton 2.0?

  25. Craig H.

    > Silicon Valley residents who live in RVs will soon be forced to leave

    This was on Bloomberg yesterday and there was a discussion in r/technology. It’s just the city of Mountain View that passed this anti-deplorables law and I wonder about the people chanting build a wall at a city council meeting. They didn’t have any video link and surely somebody recorded it if dozens of citizens were “chanting” build a wall over and over. Probably did not happen the way it’s reported. Anyway there is no such thing as a wall around an entire city in the United States yet that I know of although the way some local police act there may as well be.

    But the one thing is for sure–the people who are the most upset about the campers are the people whose concern is for their own residential property re-sale price. Their values are parallel to the scum who run Goldman Sachs. If the boondockers die it is all the same to them. The people who live in the RV’s are the security guards, cafeteria cooks, and janitorial staff at the offices and the homeowners don’t care that they are living in RV’s parked on the street because their city government hasn’t permitted cheap apartments to be built in thirty years.

    1. Lepton1

      If you have a solution please post it.

      In our world you are born and enter society with varying resources. I don’t begrudge the rich their gated communities and country clubs, but if you have little or nothing where do you go? If you had some bad breaks (got arrested for a minor issue, got sick, got injured in a car crash, lost your parents, what do you do?

      I have been unbelievably lucky in this life. We hit the lottery with some investments so our kids will never be homeless. But a couple of wrong turns along the way and I could have been living on the streets.

      Just a guess, but I think the problem near San Francisco/San Jose is the limited real estate. This is a peninsula. There is no room to expand. Because of the influx of wealth from Google, Facebook, Sales Force, etc. and the influx of money from Asia, real estate here is through the roof. Traditionally poor areas are being gentrified, driving out the poor and working class. Homes sell for about $1,000 a square foot.

      This is a story in flux. Lots of money is being spent to provide affordable housing, but it is not enough. There are proposals to build housing near train stations and such even if the locals object.

      I can empathize with the people in Mountain View. I don’t mind providing a place for people to live somewhere in my city, but if somebody parked a big RV in front of my home I’d be upset.

      If you have solutions, please write a letter to the SF Chronicle and let us know.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Yeah, I got one – of sorts. I was thinking more of the homeless than those with RVs though. San Francisco had this problem over a century ago in the aftermath of the ’06 quake. Their solution? Earthquake Refugee Cottages to house all those people. I am sure that land could be found somewhere to plant a coupla hundred of them and provide basics such as electricity, water and sewerage. It would be cheaper this way than having so many people on the streets. Might be worth a try and it worked before-

  26. Cal2

    “Credder Plans To Accelerate Media Shift From Clicks To Credibility”

    Glad someone’s trying something new.

    “Sounds like a plan…” Papillon

    What’s to keep this from becoming nothing more than a pay for status, data mining business model?
    “The more information you give us about yourself, the more credibility you have…”

    Maybe later your credit card number and payments will allow higher ratings, or, placement on the page like Yelp?

    Barring that, what prevents it from becoming nothing more than an echo chamber for large numbers of Rachel Maddow parrots upvoting the consensus?

    1. Pat

      Nah. Bad loans to Podesta to secure a Clinton appointment would have just been considered good business.

  27. Judith

    From Jacobin, in honor of the elections: The European Union Is an Antidemocratic Disgrace

    Here is an excerpt:

    “The entire architecture of the European Union thus favors executive and technocratic power over legislative power. This represents a huge step back even from the “bourgeois” understanding of liberal democracy. Indeed, the European treaties themselves state that “the functioning of the Union shall be founded on representative democracy” — an aspiration more than a reality — but they don’t actually claim the EU itself to be a democracy.

    This reminds us why national elites and oligarchies have been so keen, over the course of the past decades, to transfer power to the EU. Their aim was not simply to insulate economic policies from popular-democratic challenges, but also to reduce the political costs of the neoliberal transition, which clearly involved unpopular policies, by displacing the responsibility onto external institutions and factors. This can be said to embody what Edgar Grande calls the “paradox of weakness,” whereby national elites transfer some power to a supranational policymaker (thereby appearing weaker) in order to allow themselves to better withstand pressure from societal actors by testifying that “this is Europe’s will” (thereby becoming stronger). As Kevin Featherstone put it: “Binding EU commitments enable governments to implement unpopular reforms at home whilst engaging in ‘blameshift’ towards the ‘EU,’ even if they themselves had desired such policies” (emphasis added).”

    1. eg

      See William Mitchell’s “Eurozone Dystopia” and his collaboration with Fazi (who wrote the Jacobin piece) “Reclaiming the State” for more in this vein

  28. Wukchumni

    Future headline from 2452…

    “In a pitched battle, a well preserved mummy from the early 21st century with a colorful dragon on it’s back, was sold @ auction for $8.4 billion. Interest in old tattoo masters among captains of trade shows no sign of abating, This smashes the old record of a mummy with 2 different poems running the length of it’s arms that fetched a little over $7 billion, one of them in badly translated Sanskrit, not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

  29. Pelham

    Re “One Little Video Shows How Democrats Are Trying and Failing to Control Restive Progressives”:

    Excellent. The woman who took over the mic and effectively erased the guy’s pertinent question made a point about Dems not attacking one another. TOO LATE!

    What the party establishment pulled in 2016 on several occasions as they tried to undermine the Sanders campaign was inexcusable. It’s now imperative that Sanders, Gabbard and possibly Warren supporters hit back as hard and as frequently as possible.

    I suggest we need to find means (like raising the kinds of questions this brave questioner raised in the video) and methods to forcefully do so. An organized nationwide progressive threat to sit out the election if someone other than the mentioned three ends up with the probably ill-gotten nomination is one possibility.

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