Links 6/23/19

Giant Squid, Phantom of the Deep, Reappears on Video NYT. Just in time for Cephalopod Week!

Fed Loses Its Patience and Almost Everything You Can Trade Goes Nuts Bloomberg

‘Damn, This Is Bad’: Fire Continues to Burn After South Philly Refinery Blast NBC 10 and ‘It looked like Armageddon’: Refinery fire puts focus on toxic chemical Inquirer

Green Nimbyism: Frac Sand Mining Near Zion National Park CEPR

Climate Protesters Storm Open-pit Mine in Western Germany Bloomberg

Militia threat shuts down Oregon Statehouse amid walkout PBS

Syraqistan

Trump claims he canceled an airstrike against Iran at the very last minute The Saker

As Trump Wants To Avoid A Shooting War, Iran Will Use Other Means To Pressure Him Moon of Alabama

Trump approved cyber-strikes against Iran’s missile systems WaPo (DK).

Urged to Launch an Attack, Trump Listened to the Skeptics Who Said It Would Be a Costly Mistake NYT

Amid tough talk, Trump says he could be Iran’s ‘best friend’ AP

Comms director for Kamala Harris:

 

Not that I’m a big fan of chaos, but the last triumph for these “freaking foreign policy experts” was rebooting the slave markets in Libya, a dubious legacy.

And from the heart of The Blob:

 

Any Dem Who Wants to Be President Should Reject War with Iran, Not Hide Behind Process Criticisms In These Times

Iran executes man on charges of spying for US BBC

Brazilgate is Turning into Russiagate 2.0 Pepe Escobar, Consortium News

Brexit

Johnson’s Brush With Police Puts Leadership Bid in Turmoil Bloomberg

Short Cuts LRB. On BoJo. “The definition of Conservative policy, according to Lord Salisbury, was the preaching of ‘confidence’.” Interesting!

Conservatives should fear the Lib Dems as much as Nigel Farage FT

Ireland warns British PM contenders against ‘dumbing down’ border issue Reuters (Furzy Mouse).

Alternative arrangements: Holy grail or fig leaf? RTE. The Irish Border Question.

China?

Police siege aftermath: Hong Kong tense but calm as government officials dig in and anti-extradition bill protesters plan their next moves South China Morning Post

No withdrawal, no victory: Why Hongkongers have not yet won the war against the extradition bill Hong Kong Free Press

Mass protests protect Hong Kong’s legal autonomy from China – for now Asian Correspondent

* * *
Coalition of the willing builds in South China Sea Asia Times

America Must Prepare for the Coming Chinese Empire Robert Kaplan, The National Interest. The Kaplans are very successful policy entrepreneurs…

North Korea

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un received an ‘excellent’ letter from Trump: State media CNBC. Trump is a busy guy right now.

Cabinet OKs reforms to address Japan’s labor market woes Japan Times

India

As Pompeo heads to Delhi, the US-India relationship is at a critical juncture Brookings Institution

Low-Income Neighbourhoods Are More Vulnerable to Heatwave Spells The Wire

Impeachment

The Impeachment Question NYRB

Trump Transition

Trump delays ICE raids hoping for bipartisan plan — but doesn’t say what he’ll support Roll Call

Trump admin opens door to fundamental changes in healthcare benefits Healthcare Dive

The budget could take a ‘huge hit’ from climate change Federal Times

The Shadow Cabinet: How a Group of Powerful Business Leaders Drove Trump’s Agenda Rolling Stone

Tech journalists troubled by Assange computer intrusion charge Committee to Protect Journalists

2020

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Had a Secret Nonaggression Agreement. Is It Falling Apart? New York Magazine

Remember the billions of free coverage Donald Trump got last election? He’s getting it again Matt Taibbi, Untitledgate

Special prosecutor to probe handling of Jussie Smollett criminal case Chicago Sun-Times

Migration

Elizabeth Warren’s Pledge to End Private Prisons Sends Shares Reeling Bloomberg

One In Six Migrant Children In The U.S. Are Staying At A Shelter Operated By A Private Equity Tycoon Forbes. DC Capital.

Elizabeth Warren, Pramila Jayapal investigate John Kelly’s role with company that houses migrant kids CBS. All very well, but there’s more to the DC Capital story than John Kelly. Open Secrets:

Boeing 737 MAX

Boeing Says It’s Open to Changing the Name of Grounded 737 Max Jet Bloomberg. From last week, but I have to run it to post this suggestion: “The Flatliner.”

Libra

David Marcus, the man leading Facebook’s charge into financial services FT

Opinion: Facebook will soon have millions of customers at the Bank of Zuck Brent Arends, MarketWatch

Guillotine Watch

Ethics fly out of the window at Oxford University when big donors come calling Guardian

A lost century in economics: Three theories of banking and the conclusive evidence International Review of Financial Analysis. From 2016, still germane.

They welcomed a robot into their family, now they’re mourning its death The Verge

Antidote du jour (via). A crabeater seal:

With teeth for straining krill:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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

159 comments

  1. JohnnyGL

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/06/22/tucker_carlson_john_bolton_bureaucratic_tapeworm_periodically_remerges_to_cause_pain_suffering.html

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/06/22/glenn_greenwald_people_who_feel_inadequate_in_life_get_purpose_and_strength_by_calling_for_war.html

    I know….it’s Tucker Carlson, but he’s pretty much the lone anti-war voice allowed on cable news today. He’s also the only person to bring on Glenn Greenwald (MSNBC froze him out).

    Reply
    1. anon in so cal

      Tucker Carlson denounces Bolton and regime change interventionism, in Syria, Venezuela, Iran (while Rachel Maddow repeatedly praises Bolton):

      “Tucker calls Bolton a “bureaucratic tapeworm,” hammers the neocon push for war.

      He also spent 15 mins slamming the coup in Venezuela on 4/30 while Maddow expressed sympathy 4 Bolton.”

      —Max Blumenthal

      https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/1142253307228041216

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        I think Tucker Carlson recognized the fact that both Saudi Arabia and Israel were trying to get Americans to do the fighting and dying for them to achieve their own political aims. I’ve heard him a coupla times and whatever kool aid the neocons are selling, he is not buying any of it. In that he represents what a lot of people are thinking.

        Reply
    2. shinola

      Perhaps it’s time to bring the term “chicken hawk” back into popular usage. Certainly applies to Bolton, Pompeo et. al.

      Reply
    3. WheresOurTeddy

      Phil Donahue. Ed Schultz. Bernie Sanders blackout and then total attack mode in 2016.
      MSNBC = Make Sure Nobody Blocks Conflict

      Reply
    4. Adam Eran

      All the kerfuffle about Trump’s Iran turmoil ignores the U.S. benefit (cited by NC’s link to a Wolf Richter article): Oil prices rise on turmoil. No war necessary! Fake war is just as good…and cheaper! The economy improves just before the election! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

      Reply
      1. Cal2

        Sanders with Tulsi as his vice president would kick Trump’s ass.
        She’d get the veterans and disaffected Democrats who voted for Trump.

        Reply
    1. Edward

      There are rumors he is actually being advised by Carlson.

      Trump created the Pompeo/Bolton disaster. He fired all his staff that opposed leaving the nuclear deal and replaced them with these two Strangelove types.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Best description that I heard of Bolton is that he is as dangerous as a malfunctioning Dalek. Yep. That description nails it.

        Reply
        1. Edward

          Yeah, he sounds like a broken record and wants to blow everything up.

          Someday both Pompeo and Bolton will be metaphors for a jackass.

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            Don’t underestimate Bolton. To paraphrase the old joke, “He may be crazy, but he ain’t stupid.” Look how he handled Shanahan for failing/refusing to support him 100%.

            Reply
            1. Edward

              I think there can be too much focus on personalities. Bolton is in the White House probably because some rich donors want him there. If he weren’t there they would find someone similar.

              Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Aphorisms about the weasel and the henhouse would be more fitting to this ” Bolton in government” situation.

          Reply
      2. Carolinian

        St. Clair calls him Tucker KKKarlson–apparently because Carlson agrees with Trump on immigration and other such matters (he does have a far to the right history). The current Counterpunch doesn’t have a lot of tolerance for “red/brown” or ideological inconsistency and it might not even be a stretch to say this is in the great left tradition of domestic politics being excessively to the front and center. LBJ championed Civil Rights at home while napalming thousands in Vietnam–a kind of lynching in a hurry. Many of the current Dem persuasion are even trying to rehabilitate Lyndon while looking the other way when it comes to his warmongering.

        Of course Counterpunch is hardly for overseas adventurism or our rapacious empire but I’d say the attacks on Carlson are close minded. The antiwar movement is so weak these days we need all the help we can get.

        Reply
        1. anon in so cal

          Regarding immigration, today’s “far to the right” was yesterday’s “far to the left” (or “left,” anyway).

          In 2007, Bernie Sanders “warned that the immigration bill — a product from then-Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — would drive down wages for lower-income workers, an argument that’s been used by hard-liner reform opponents. He paired with conservative Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on a restrictive immigration amendment. And Sanders backed provisions characterized as poison pills to unravel the bill, while voting to block the final measure in June 2007…..

          “….Sanders was basically one of our only allies … especially for low-skilled workers” in 2007, said Ana Avendano, a former top immigration official at the AFL-CIO. “He adamantly put his foot down and said these kinds of programs [allow] employers to bring in more and more vulnerable workers.””

          Reply
          1. Geo

            Sanders was basically one of our only allies … especially for low-skilled workers” in 2007, said Ana Avendano, a former top immigration official at the AFL-CIO

            The AFL-CIO has an odd way of thanking their allies considering they haven’t endorsed Sanders in his presidential runs.

            Reply
        2. Cal2

          Civil rights are irrelevant during and after a Nuclear war. Tucker Carlson is a wedge into
          converting the Republicans into an approximation of what the Democrats once were.

          Reply
        3. dearieme

          LBJ championed Civil Rights at home while napalming thousands in Vietnam

          Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands?

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Ken Burns’ Vietnam documentary gives a much more nuanced view of LBJ and the moves he made. Straight from the WH tapes. I’m reminded of the quote: “you must do something, but nothing you do will make it better and anything you choose to do will make it worse”

            Reply
            1. dearieme

              The WH tapes – were they like JFK’s tapes, when JFK knew the conversations were being taped but nobody else did? And so, presumably, JFK gave the performance he wanted recorded for posterity.

              Max Hasting’s book on Vietnam paints a loathsome picture of LBJ and JFK.

              Reply
        4. Edward

          ” Many of the current Dem persuasion are even trying to rehabilitate Lyndon”

          My favorite example of this is the embrace of CIA crook John Brennon because he is anti-Trump by some Democrats.

          My basic take on Carlson is that, like his co-workers at FOX, he is a demagogue; they like to come up with often contrived issues that will rile up their viewers. I think Glenn Beck basically flat out said as much during an interview with William Shatner. My guess is that when Carlson was on the “Bubba Love-Sponge Show” he was following his demagogue schtick and was trying to imitate Ann Coulter. Its not much of an excuse. Anyway, Carlson is an intelligent fellow, he understands today that the sleezy corrupt system we have is destroying America, and is trying to push back against the B.S. in Washington. There is an audience for this message among FOX viewers.

          Reply
        5. Procopius

          Having been here at the time, and trusting David Halberman’s The Best and the Brightest, I don’t think LBJ was actually a warmonger. He surely didn’t want to expand the war in Vietnam, but clearly our puppet government was losing and the memory of how the Right used Truman and Acheson “losing China” he felt he had no choice. He is supposed to have agonized over it, because he wanted to use the money on his Great Society, rather than war. I’m not saying that in other circumstances he wouldn’t have been enthusiastic for war, but people at the highest level were aware that our war in Vietnam was based on lies. For example, North and South Vietnam were never separate countries, they were administrative zones created by John Foster Dulles at the Geneva truce talks to end the “civil war” (actually a comical family feud) in Laos. There was no “monolithic international Communist conspiracy.” Sorry for going off-topic, but our stupidity in that mess is not recognized enough.

          Reply
          1. Edward

            I think the basic problem that gets the U.S. in trouble in the developing world is that Washington does not take the people in developing countries seriously. Maybe it is racism. It is something. Washington makes all these plans for countries like Vietnam without incorporating the wishes of the people living there.

            Reply
          2. Carolinian

            the memory of how the Right used Truman and Acheson “losing China”

            In other words he was napalming for domestic political reasons. I’m not claiming that LBJ was a John Bolton figure but rather that his weakness and flaws as a character took the nation into a disaster. His personal insecurities also caused him to give in to his “best and the brightest” advisors who, to be sure, were egging him on toward those bad decisions.

            Whatever Lyndon’s complicated nature he definitely doesn’t deserve to be lionized or rehabilitated. Actions have consequences and he has been deservedly scorned and shouldn’t be given a revisionist makeover by those with their own warmongering agendas.

            Reply
    1. VietnamVet

      Roosevelt’s policies are second nature to me. But, the truth about his legacy is hidden by corporate propaganda and privititized education. Identity politics and ideology such as limiting “concentration camps” to WWII and Nazis hides history’s lessons. Concentration camps were an outgrowth of the invention of barbed wire and machine guns. Used in the 1890s in Cuba and by the British to imprison Boer families in their victory over the Afrikaner Republics. It is a valid term to describe Immigrant Detention Centers on the US Southern Border.

      Unless, democracy, quality education, and equality are restored, reality will bite back. Restoration of the New Deal could avoid the looming economic depression. Likewise recognizing this is a multi-polar world and governed by international laws would avoid a nuclear war. Both will allow spending of the world’s wealth on keeping the earth habitable.

      Reply
  2. Philip

    So, these twits – Lily Adams & David Rothkopf – would be “front row kids”, amIright?

    Damn glad I won’t have to endure such much longer!

    Reply
    1. Olga

      Lily Adams, Ann Richards’ granddaughter, has lived a privileged life (not as spoiled, rich, and misbehaved as W., but still…). These kids have no concept of what it is to live a “normal” life of responsibilities and obligations, having to pay one’s own way. We can hardly expect them to understand the world – which of course will not stop them from moving into the sphere of decision-makers.

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      And David Rothkopf has the sort of history that you would expect of him. He has been in tight with Bill Clinton and Henry Kissinger as well as ‘the U.S. national security community and selected investors, financial organizations and other corporations.’ Lately he is a media consultant for the United Arab Emirates-

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

      Reply
  3. Steve H.

    Archdruid angle (below is all quotes):

    Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigeig is the poster child for the result: clean-cut, wholesome, happily married, a church-going Christian—you’ll have to look long and hard to find anybody who broadcasts more signals of mainstream acceptability.

    I’d like to suggest that it’s another expression of the same process we’ve been discussing—that the radical left in America is also preparing itself for a future as a stigmatized fringe group.

    That’s what fringe groups do: they define themselves against the mainstream by embracing what the mainstream detests.

    Time and again during that period, and increasingly since 2016, the radical left has embraced ideas and behaviors that alienate potential supporters from outside its own circles. The insistence among social justice activists that gay white men belong to the enemy camp because they don’t have enough “axes of oppression” is a case in point. The gay white male community did the bulk of the heavy lifting in the fight for equal rights for same-sex couples, and driving gay white men into the arms of the populist right is an astoundingly stupid tactic if the radical left hopes to maintain its current position of relative privilege.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      Back in 2017, I attended a Tucson city council candidates’ forum. There were three Democrats running in my ward’s primary, and let’s just say that the forum was a lively event.

      An Asian American candidate pointed out that the audience was mostly white, and that comment got a big round of applause. Yours Truly was among the clappers.

      Well, the longtime friend sitting next to me had a very different take on things. He noted that, to the outside world, he looked like the white man that he is.

      What isn’t as obvious is the fact that he’s a gay man who had a pretty rough childhood in the Midwest. What saved his life — and turned it around — was a youth symphony orchestra.

      He went on to become a professional musician, and he’s been a part of the Tucson Symphony for decades. He also was the symphony’s union rep a few years ago. ISTR that he likened that job to herding cats.

      Okay, back to the city council race. The Asian American candidate didn’t make it through the primary. She was subjected to a series of campaign hit pieces from the guy who won the election. He’s a white guy. And gay. And, if I may say so myself, he has done okay as a city council member.

      As for the Asian American woman, she’s still around. I’m not sure what she’s up to these days, but her behavior has become a bit strange. If she’s planning on running for office again, she isn’t doing herself any favors.

      Reply
      1. martell

        I think he’s talking about that guy who shows up to DSA meetings wearing a hammer and sickle t-shirt. Signifiers may float, but some are anchored. There’s also the fact that it has become de riguer in certain left circles to introduce oneself by way one’s name followed by preferred personal pronouns in the nominative and dative (though some people who are new to this get confused and give the possessive instead). Thus, a tall, muscular, deep-voiced, bearded guy is obliged to introduce himself by “John, he/him.”

        Reply
        1. Plenue

          Liberals aren’t the left. The ‘radical left’ largely aren’t talking about identity politics issues.

          Reply
          1. WheresOurTeddy

            real leftists see idPol as anti-solidarity and a method of divide-and-conquer. a lot of people think they’re leftists in this country but they’re really just liberals.

            if you’re not talking about the class war you’re wasting people’s time

            Reply
            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              This. All other divisions distract from this and should be roundly denounced as playing right into their hands.

              At the peak of his fame Mohammed Ali penned what Guiness says is the world’s shortest poem: “I; we”. No not me me me (I’m gay, I’m brown, I’m young, I’m Democrat etc) but we we we just need to lock arms for a second and get this job done

              Reply
          2. Morgan Everett

            The term “Left” has contested meanings. I’d guess that most of those who read here tend to go with Lambert’s definition, which places those who focus on left-wing economics as the Left, while those who focus on Identity Politics as being just Liberals. That isn’t the only way that term is defined though. Plenty of people that obsess over identity politics identify themselves as radical left. Hell, plenty of people that consider themselves antagonistic to the “radical left” would define it in terms of its focus on identity politics. Those who come straight from wherever it is that IdPol acolytes stay and engage with nothing else would no doubt read Lambert talking about the difference between Left and Liberals and go “what in the world is he babbling about.”

            Reply
            1. Plenue

              If we go straight back to the source, the French Revolution, Left and Right literally mean where you sit in relation to the well being of the peasants and workers.

              I couldn’t give less of a crap about liberals contesting the terminology. Liberals are wrong.

              Reply
              1. Morgan Everett

                You should give a crap about it, if you care about the associations that people make with left wing economics.

                Reply
          3. martell

            Not to pick on DSA, but introduction by name and preferred pronouns is now customary in the local chapter. Members of the Marxist caucus routinely introduce themselves in this fashion. Several of these people belonged to the refoundation caucus, a faction seeking to turn DSA into a Marxist political party. Their mission statement explicitly stressed opposition to cisgender privilege and the like.

            Reply
        2. David J.

          I am an older, not-so-muscular, bearded guy. I’ve dabbled in some local activism. The first time this scenario occurred I simply said my name and shut up. Awkward moment until the next person introduced herself. A couple of times since I’m: “David. Proletariat.”

          They get to choose their identity, I get to choose mine.

          Reply
    2. flora

      Maybe just the radical left misleadership class; brought to you by the corporate centrist Dem estab.

      Id pol comes down to claiming some sort innate moral superiority, or all purpose excuse, imo. The claim to hold the moral high ground may be true in some cases, but id pol claiming the moral high ground based on id alone is questionable.

      Chris Arnade has a great comment about claiming moral high ground for political advantage.
      https://twitter.com/Chris_arnade/status/1142435518564700167

      Reply
    3. Cal2

      “happily married, a church-going Christian—you’ll have to look long and hard to find anybody who broadcasts more signals of mainstream acceptability…”
      Details, details.

      Reply
  4. RopeADope

    2020

    I used to believe that having so many candidates was a good thing as it would just end up wasting all the big donors money. Now I am becoming concerned that the GOP can use this to show the Dems are a total clown show and not reliable to put in government. Repeating videos of Williamson and Yang alone could hurt general election chances.

    There are only five candidates whose Presidential run you can really take seriously. Warren, Sanders, Inslee, Booker and Gillibrand. So what are the others running for?

    Reply
      1. Bugs Bunny

        Indeed. Warren and Sanders, correct. Harris is likely to start getting more support once Biden self destructs. Booker might make it through New Hampshire. Probably won’t. Buttigeig is a wildcard. Unfortunately I don’t see Gabbard making it past Iowa, if she even makes it that far.

        Predictions at this point are silly though. Though I will predict that Trump will win :(

        Reply
        1. JohnnyGL

          “Harris is likely to start getting more support once Biden self destructs.”

          I’d push back on that, somewhat. I don’t think the primary is shaping up quite the way we think it is. Look at those charts of polls on RCP. Warren’s been picking up Biden supporters as they’ve drifted off. Of course, Biden’s post-announcement pop came from a mix of undecideds and he also took a chunk out of Bernie.

          The elites may split the way we see things (into centrist and leftie camps). But, the electorate doesn’t seem to divvy up quite so neatly and is much more fluid in its views of candidates.

          With regard to Harris, specifically, she’s really been underwhelming as a candidate and a campaigner and her track record in CA isn’t doing her any favors. I thought she’d be better than she has been.

          Reply
          1. Cal2

            Why do you think Harris moved her campaign all the way across the country from her alleged “hometown” of Oakland to Baltimore? Because [black] locals hate her, they call her “Kamala The Cop.” She imprisoned parents of truants.
            Harris did a terrible job as a D.A. in San Francisco. A whole family in SF was destroyed because of her support for sanctuary, resulting in a father and son murdered by an illegal alien with a long rap sheet, who she had sent to a summer camp for [citizen] young criminals instead of prosecuting.

            https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/18/politics/kamala-harris-criminal-justice/
            Crime rates soared when she was D.A.
            https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/03/07/crime-lab-scandal-rocked-harris-term-as-san-francisco-district-attorney/

            As state attorney general, she did nothing but favor Mnuchin’s OneWest Bank, ignoring his 36,000 fraudulent foreclosures, but he did give her a donation for her senate race,she let Herbalife hucksters go unprosecuted,
            https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2019/03/documents-show-san-diego-prosecutors-told-kamala-h.html
            and she did nothing to defend the people against the multi-billion dollar Bay Bridge construction scam.

            Kamala is a joke, who jumps from job to job, never finishing anything, favoring the elite and aiming higher and higher with no accomplishments except having chosen the right parents, so she can flaunt the vote-harvesting chocolate chip on her shoulder in South Carolina.

            Reply
            1. Procopius

              She imprisoned parents of truants.

              I definitely dislike Harris, but I think this is not quite true. She advocated for it, she encouraged it, and under her view other prosecutors did do it, but I think she herself did not prosecute any parents. On the other hand I found her “apology” for that terrible policy insincere, as I find almost everything she says. And the way she refused to prosecute Mnuchin and failed to call out the corrupt prosecutors in Orange County will always make me hostile to her.

              Reply
        2. RopeADope

          Harris won’t last. She was boosted rapidly like Obama but lacks his political skill. Her lack of experience shows with her high school level comments to deflect that crumble when the questioner follows up. It is worth recalling that she was picked by a powerful network within a blue state for Senate instead of duking it out with political opponents and consequently developing skills.

          Booker, Gillibrand and Inslee see power, which is something I can’t say about the lesser candidates.

          Reply
          1. Pat

            Harris has too much of a record. It has been too apparent that what she says bears no resemblance to what she actually does in office. And people are not letting it drop. This is where being THE office in a populous state rather than one of a group in office leaves no where to hide. Can’t be an Obama Trojan horse candidate like that. Buttigieg is only surviving because of less time in office from a place with a smaller population, and even he is getting roughed up.

            Reply
              1. The Rev Kev

                It’s almost as if the polls are rigged and the numbers do not reflect reality on the ground. That certain people are having their numbers pumped up to appear to be inevitable as a choice. I’m sure that Hillary Clinton would be familiar with this phenomena.

                Reply
          2. lordkoos

            We could do worse than Jay Inslee IMO. I met him once when he was campaigning for state representative in my district. Not too many candidates are talking seriously about climate change.

            Reply
            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              > Not too many candidates are talking seriously about climate change.

              If Inslee were serious about climate change, he’s say “Screw you, DNC, I’m organizing my own debate.” Very disappointing he just issued a press release, then rolled over.

              Reply
              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                Perhaps he is seriously afraid of what the DNC could do to the political career he still wants to keep having.

                I think only an old retired politician like Gravel who has no career aspirations in politics would be fearless about DNC aggression and suppression.

                It would take a person with more hatred than fear to court DNC aggression and suppression by trying to organize his/her own debate on Climate affairs. Someone who hoped to turn the DNC itself into a battlefield upon which someone could let their hatred burn.

                Reply
        3. Yves Smith

          Harris is doing badly, relatively speaking, in CA, her supposed stronghold. She got a very cold reception at the Dem party event in SF a few weeks back

          Reply
      2. Charger01

        LOL. Vanity projects before they limp along in politics or lobbying. I’m sure Inslee will mitigate to Coie Perkins or Sierra Club before too long.

        Reply
      3. WheresOurTeddy

        Inslee the “climate candidate” who whined that since the DNC won’t be holding a climate debate and will bar candidates who participate in one from future debates (how democratic!), surmised ‘I guess we just won’t have one’ and capitulated?

        Yeah that’s the leadership I want in a contender

        Reply
    1. Chris Cosmos

      So what is wrong with Yang? You want “normal” politicians, clearly. Check Yang’s site and his policies and his interviews–he’s real and a non-politician therefore appealing to many people particularly independents. I’ve seen UBI criticized here but it is not unreasonable nor unusual as a proposal. I think Yang’s arguments are compelling and based on reality and in tune with where Americans are at, particularly the young who know they have no future unless their parents belong to the top 25%. UBI would, as Buckminster Fuller indicated long ago, release a lot of creativity that we need at this time of limited horizons. As for traditional Sanders/Warren style leftism it has the weakness of needing more government programs at a time when most Americans are deeply suspicious of government programs for good reason (Republicans spent a couple of generations trying to sabotage gov’t programs but that’s another story) because much of the federal gov’t is now systemically corrupt.

      I think multiple candidates helps us open up our collective imagination at a time when it has become very narrow and also is more likely to insure that the DNC and machine politicians don’t cheat and fix primary results like last time.

      Reply
      1. Plenue

        UBI has been tried and failed. It doesn’t ‘unleash creativity’; it just provides a subsidy to businesses so they can pay crap wages. Yang is a tool.

        Reply
        1. deplorado

          Fully agree here on UBI and Yang. Yang had an interview recently where he blithely and smugly (which made it infinitely worse) admitted that Social Security will be eliminated with UBI per his policy ideas. No thanks.

          Also, on the large Democratic candidate field, almost all of them are there to bleed from and distract from Bernie, even Warren is in that camp. Bernie and Gravel are the only ones with real integrity and independence, and possibly Gabbard. And we know Gravel is there for a specific and very socially valuable purpose. So that leaves a very clear picture. Nothing at all to do with trying to open up the collective imagination.

          Reply
        2. WheresOurTeddy

          Libertarian trojan horse to destroy the social safety net. Interviewed on youtube by a libertarian commentator and did not push back at all when interviewer said “eventually we can just give everybody $1000 and those other programs will not be necessary”

          Reply
      2. Pat

        Unless and until universal basic income is enough so that people with disabilities and or other issues can survive without having to scrounge to find enough for food and rent AND with a very distinct means of automatic increase for inflation, I will consider it to be a libertarian means to decimate the safety net. Nothing Yang has said or presented has dealt with what I consider to be obvious concerns regarding UBI. I am happy he is adding it to the conversation, but he will get no support from me beyond that until I see something that makes me believe he sees the pitfalls and can adjust to protect the non entrepreneurial among us. Supplement for an inadequate minimum wage but not enough to live on doesn’t free up anything.

        Reply
        1. Chris Cosmos

          The safety net is poorly designed and managed at best so people are not going to have any reason to add to it. I fail to understand how it can be defended as a system. Social Science tells us that if we can just keep body and soul together with the basics human beings look for meaning and helping others. It is this system of greed, fear and competition that is harming our human development. We went through the industrial era why are we obsessed to stay in its soul destroying jaws. UBI is an entrance to a new sort of world where people don’t have to scrape and bow to capitalists if they don’t want to and they are free to do so if they want. People could come together, live in communities and communes if they didn’t have to worry about feeding themselves. The alternative is to continue the toxic career of capitalism even with a veneer of socialism to keep people from rioting–but it isn’t sustainable in the long term because the system is based on waste and consuming mass quantities not developing higher brain functions.

          Reply
          1. lordkoos

            If climate change is not dealt with, nothing will be sustainable in the long term.

            I just finished reading “The Uninhabitable Earth, Life After Warming” by David Wells so it’s been on my mind.

            Reply
          2. Pat

            Believe it or not, I’m not defending it. It is woefully inadequate and true sign of the meanness and pettiness of the American culture (thank you, Puritans). It is however something. You see UBI as an entrance to a new sort of world, yet what I see is
            a bait and switch fully intended to decimate not only that woefully inadequate safety net, but eliminating everything BUT UBI. Having to give old people, the disabled and dependent children a thousand dollars a month is much cheaper than the current Social Security payments. And there wouldn’t be any food stamps to supplement that UBI if you were still living in poverty. There would be no childcare credits, so single parents might be in even greater straights even with UBI. And even in NY where unemployment has not been increased in the thirty years I have lived here, you might get less than you would with unemployment. And what do you think would happen to those training programs and the programs to help people find a job. They wouldn’t be needed with UBI. And if you think a thousand dollars a month means that you don’t need to bow and scrape to capitalists, well see my other post where I point out that the average rent in South Bend is over eight hundred dollars a month, and that average covers an 800+ square foot living space, ie. a one bedroom apartment.

            Seriously, once you open the rabbit hole you begin to recognize that without strong controls and a full complement of exceptions, UBI is a libertarian wet dream. That keeps the workers chained but eliminates much of the things they friggin’ hate about caring for those who cannot bow and scrape to the capitalists.

            Reply
          3. Summer

            “UBI is an entrance to a new sort of world where people don’t have to scrape and bow to capitalists if they don’t want to and they are free to do so if they want…”

            I haven’t heard of any UBI that proposes over $1000 per month.
            That’s complete BS with housing and nealth care costs in THIS country – anywhere.

            Reply
        2. jsn

          UBI will also require a carful tax plan targeting the oligarchy to ensure it doesn’t end up just passing through society as a subsidy to the oligarchs, as Plenue above alludes.

          To be effective it will require the government those who propose it don’t trust.

          There is no substitute for good government.

          Reply
      3. GramSci

        Thanks for the comment on Yang. I hadn’t taken the time to visit his website, but I agree with your assessment of his program. A UBI of $10,000 per adult only takes the minimum wage to $12.25, but that’s where the round number take you.

        Reply
          1. Pat

            And the average rent for an apartment in South Bend (can’t imagine why I picked that but what the heck) is $827 That leaves a whopping $173 for food and utilities. And then there is transportation. If you are elderly or disabled or need any help, this is not going to do it. Mind you couples will have it better than people on their own.

            Now we could go back to boarding houses, but that would mean people would have to open them. Or a bunch of people could share that one bedroom apartment. Or we could just recognize that even the requested increases to minimum wage are woefully inadequate if you actually acknowledge the real cost of living.

            Reply
          2. Another Anon

            Eight hours a day, a forty hour workweek, comes out to 2,080 hours per year. $12,000 per year is equivalent to $5.77 per hour

            Reply
          1. Summer

            No, the UBI of $1000 will not help with your basic needs enough for a “gig” to cover the rest.

            Snap out of it.

            This is an amount that would help people with basic needs covered by a “real” job keep over-inflated healthcare prices up and other over-inflated assets boosted.
            It”s a version of TARP but on the demand side.

            It’s obvious.

            Reply
      4. martell

        I’m not familiar with Buckminster Fuller’s argument, but I’m skeptical of the idea that free time unleashes pent up creativity. What we call creativity seems to be highly dependent on culture (very broadly construed so as to include political institutions). So, for instance, relatively cosmopolitan and radically democratic Athens produced great art, philosophy, and history whereas its contemporary, xenophobic, oligarchic Sparta, produced exactly nothing of the kind. Also, I believe that medieval peasants actually had a lot of free time. There were lots of holidays, there was only so much that could be done in winter months, and there was nightfall, which tended to bring an end to any activity requiring light. In spite of all that free time, the creativity of peasants seems to have amounted to little more than making more peasants.

        Reply
        1. lordkoos

          I doubt peasants had a lot of free time where they weren’t exhausted from working. Hunter-gatherers probably had more time.

          Reply
            1. Procopius

              Sewing. People are so used to sewing machines they don’t think about how much time sewing by hand takes. Certainly all the females in the extended family spent a lot of their time sewing. Weaving, too. Before powered looms it took a long time to produce a yard of cloth. Just carrying water occupied a lot of time, although that could be done by children if you had any who hadn’t died yet. I’ve seen an eight-year old girl after school carrying two buckets at a time on a carrying pole, many trips the half mile or so to the pond we got out water from. We mostly don’t appreciate how much easier our lives are now from even a hundred years ago.

              Reply
      5. Ape

        The problem with UBI versus job guarantee is that UBI gives access to a cash flow, but no active capital, while a job guarantee gives the cash flow capital, plus physical capital — usage of the equipment for production.

        Means of production and all that — a job involves access to means, even if it’s limited by ownership rights, but still better than no access at all.

        Reply
    2. Lee

      The 2016 Republican primary is strong evidence that a significant portion of the U.S electorate loves clown shows.It is an indication of the low regard in which the general public now holds the mainstream political establishment. If the people can’t get what they need from their political elites they can at least expect to be amused.by them.

      Reply
    3. Chris Smith

      Gillibrand? Her campaign was toast shortly after it started. She may want to call it quits and start shoring up her support in NY to keep her current job.

      Reply
    4. JohnnyGL

      I’m not worried about a clown show making the party look bad. It already looks horrible because it’s a horrible institution run by awful people (Pelosi, Schumer, Clyburn, Hoyer). Besides, it hardly hurt the GOP in 2016.

      The point of the number of candidates is to hide Biden in plain sight. He’s a raging dumpster fire of a candidate who’d make a horrible president and he’s trying to sneak into the presidency under the radar.

      I’d tweak your short list of candidates:
      It’s coming down to Biden, Warren, Sanders.
      Harris and Buttigieg are on the bubble.
      Candidates like Booker can do damage to Biden, and I’m happy to see him do so. It’s one of the braver things I’ve seen from him (I know, it’s not saying much). But, getting Biden to self-own is a good thing.

      Reply
    5. Geo

      the GOP can use this to show the Dems are a total clown show

      1. Do you really think anything the Dems do will stop the GOP from mocking and deriding them?

      2. When representative government has become a circus then a clown show may be the best way to get people to pay attention.

      3. My only issue with it is whether the clowns use their platform to speak about progressive policy and reforming the circus or use it to clown around with more third-way shenanigans to distract us from the real purpose of the circus which is to exploit the powerless and gullible for the profit of the ringleaders.

      4. I’d gladly vote for an Emmett Kelly or Red Skelton but fear the DNC will force another Ronald McDonald on us. Or worse, we’ll lose to John Wayne Gacy.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I voted for the game show host (no, not that one) in 2016, probably garnering the only nod for Wink Martindale.

        Reply
    6. anon in so cal

      Um, you omitted mention of Tulsi Gabbard, whose presidential run is most serious and most laudable, and whose candidacy is being ignored as she is being smeared by the MSM (and NeoCon Dems).

      Reply
      1. mle detroit

        I read the recent profile of Gabbard in Nymag.com. The fact that an advisor and a staff member both belong to the not-really-Hindu cult in which she was raised is a storm warning. I’m no longer considering her.

        Reply
    7. Young

      “Former Presidential Candidate” title entitles you for all-inclusive mini vacation to give 30 minute speech at an annual conference of “(fill here)”.

      You have to be present to win.

      Reply
    8. drumlin woodchuckles

      So what are the others running for? They are running to divide up the caucus and primary votes so many ways that no one candidate will win on the First Ballot. And the way the Catfood DNC has engineered the rules is that primary-caucus-elected delegates are only bound for that one single first round of balloting. Then they are unbound to vote any way they want to.

      The CDNC (Catfood Democratic National Committee) hope that the unbound delegates will start coalescing around one or another Catfood Democrat. And if not, the Convention will broker a Catfood Democrat into the nomination.

      And that’s why so many others are running.

      Reply
  5. RepubAnon

    “Boeing Says It’s Open to Changing the Name of Grounded 737 Max Jet” – one can imagine the conversation in Boeing’s board room:

    “Hey, the 737 Max has dangerous design flaws – shall we re-design the plane to fix them?”

    “No, that would cost money – let’s just rebrand it after every crash.”

    “BRILLIANT!”

    Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “Coalition of the willing builds in South China Sea”: ‘Europe’s entry also arguably gives greater international legitimacy to Washington’s freedom of navigation and overflight operations in the area’

    I wonder what would happen if in ten year’s time a Chinese blue-water Task Force arrived in the North Atlantic to give greater legitimacy to Russian maneuvers. Maybe take part in freedom of navigation operations in the Bay of Biscay and the Skagerrak Strait. Maybe too some overflight operations in these areas with bombers from their carrier. It could happen.

    Reply
  7. Brooklin Bridge

    Boy, people will feel a lot safer in the 737 Max once they change the name. Let’s see, The 737 Super Safe – Honest – We Really Mean It, would do the trick. Better a long name than a long list of things to actually fix. And the beauty of it would be that once a few of them go down in flames, we can just change the name again so the FAA doesn’t even know which one to ground.

    Perfect. It’s why we pay the branders the big bucks.

    Reply
    1. John

      I would take the train, if there was a train or drive, take a bus,hitch hike. When profit is placed before sound engineering and safety, it is time to look elsewhere.

      Reply
      1. polecat

        At least when one’s donkey cart (or, preferencially, a llama ..) pitches downward, one won’t have so far to fall …

        Reply
      2. Geo

        Hard to get to Hawaii or foreign lands by train. Unless you have time to take a boat.

        I love train travel along the east coast. On shorter trips it’s barely any longer than a flight when airport time is counted (and much less stressful/degrading). And on long trips it’s a relaxing way to get there with lovely scenery and more cormfortable accommodations. But, using the train to get to most other places is a long journey full of transfers, way too much layover time, and can get really expensive.

        Reply
      3. Brian (another one they call)

        ask yourself who’s buying Boeing stock when their business model is making a third rate product likely to kill its customers and their businesses as well.

        Reply
    2. KnotRP

      Management can often devolve into being all about moving goal posts to the ball. When engineering cannot overcome that management culture, the org has brain death. And there is never just one cockroach when it comes to management by cost externalization…

      Reply
    3. Felix_47

      Hey the stock price remains solid. Quite a few people think the plane will fly again and sell again. I am shocked that after all this bad news about management etc. the price holds up but that says a lot.

      Reply
      1. petal

        Shortly after the 2nd accident, I was in the grocery store and heard a guy saying how now was the time to buy Boeing stock, that it’ll be completely recovered in 6 months.

        Reply
        1. Summer

          That has less to do with “great management” than the fact the Boeing is almost a century long defense contractor.
          Aren’t the majority of long-term, giant firms defense contractors?

          Reply
    4. Tinky

      To be fair, such re-branding would be the perfect compliment to the “Health Valley” (or some such nonsense) snacks served aboard the flights.

      Reply
  8. Carey

    ‘400+ 737 MAX pilots sue Boeing over ‘unprecedented cover-up’ that led to crashes & grounding’:

    “..The legal action was started by a pilot, identified only as ‘Pilot X’ in court documents, which were seen by the Australian Broadcasting Company. He was joined by over 400 fellow pilots, trained to fly the fourth-generation narrow-body 737 MAX aircraft. They accuse the Chicago-based aviation corporation of hushing known concerns about the glitch-ridden equipment installed on the jets..”

    https://www.rt.com/usa/462492-boeing-lawsuit-pilots-737max/

    Reply
  9. XXYY

    Boeing Says It’s Open to Changing the Name of Grounded 737 Max Jet Bloomberg. From last week, but I have to run it to post this suggestion: “The Flatliner.”

    Could also be the 737 MCAS.

    Or the 737 MAYDAY.

    Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Well, a long time ago, the unit for measuring radiation – the Strontium unit – was briefly renamed Sunshine units and the Department of Defence promoted it but the term was ridiculed to death. How about re-cycling the term so you would have the 737 SUNSHINE.

        Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      “. A modern understanding of economies sees them as complex adaptive systems subject to evolutionary forces.”

      Not entirely a new idea. About 50 years ago, when I was taking Econ 210 (book by Samuelson, very Keynesian), one article theorized that market dynamics work not by guiding business peoples’ decisions (because it’s pretty clear that they frequently do not), but by evolution; that is, by eliminating those that make the “wrong” decisions. The theory is then after the fact. And since this means that markets work essentially by trial and error, it eliminates the possibility of “efficient” markets. They’re actually pretty wasteful, as we see all around us, and painful, since people do not like being “eliminated.” That doesn’t mean they aren’t the only practical way of coordinating a complex economy (note the double negative). That is, when market failure doesn’t apply; the requirements are pretty stringent.

      Wish I could give you the source, but it was 50 years ago! The idea sure stuck in my head, though.

      I, too, like the idea of the economy as a garden; makes me wonder what constitutes the weeds – since I just spent most of the day weeding. The trouble with high fertility is it makes the weeds grow. I was also planting the last 5 of the echinaceas I started from seed last year.

      That was pursuant to a discussion here on NC. I think it was Yves pointed out that one big problem in a crash would be access to medicines, as a number of countries have discovered. We don’t take much in the way of medicine (one supplement I’ve been taking to prevent gallstones), but there are some herbs we use, so I went on a campaign to grow them Already had some growing, like valerian (a gorgeous, highly fragrant flower, about 6 feet tall in my garden), but got seed for echinacea and pyrethrum (a natural insecticide – and vermifuge, should it come to that), and plants for saw palmetto. The last is very marginal – the nurseries called it much hardier than the official sources – but it did survive the winter, lightly covered. And every single echinacea seed came up. I’ve never seen that before (the pyrethrum and tea, not so much). So I’ve been wandering through the garden, finding places for echinacea. It’s a handsome purple flower, so not so bad. Just planted the last of them, after removing the weeds and volunteers that were occupying the spot. Now my back aches.

      Reply
      1. Ape

        Evolution is also non-equilibrium — the famous arms races, dynamic semi-stabilities (wolves vs rabbits having interlaced boom-bust cycles without ecosystem dampeners), and sexual selection races. Much more realistic than equilibrium models that depend on NOT modeling tertiary interactions, which often dominate the system over longer terms.

        Reply
        1. Ape

          Here’s a misunderstanding of economics: “Traditional economic theory is rooted in a 19th- and 20th-century understanding of science and mathematics.”

          That is incorrect — equilibrium models are 18th and 19th century mathematics. Equilibrium models without information systems or a deep understanding of the underlying manifolds and the CHOICE of postulates are pre-1880s. By the time you get to Klein, Boltzmann and Laplace, you’ve gone to a mathematics that would really deny the sophistication of economics, which is interesting since it’s so crucial to our social structure.

          Reply
  10. Cal2

    Oregon State House article;

    Like the Yellow Vests in Paris, protesting higher “environmental” fuel taxes, the people of Oregon are not going to allow Wall Street to parasitize their daily activities with cap and trade with doesn’t work, according to its creators.

    Cap-and-Trade’s Unlikely Critics: Its Creators
    Economists Behind Original Concept Question the System’s Large-Scale Usefulness, and Recommend Emissions Taxes Instead
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB125011380094927137

    “According to James Hansen – the world’s leading climate scientist fighting against global warming – in a interview on Democracy Now that cap and trade not only won’t reduce emissions, it may actually increase them: The problem is that the emissions just go someplace else….”
    https://www.globalresearch.ca/cap-and-trade-a-gigantic-scam/19294

    Meanwhile, the promoters of this scam keep pushing to build, build, build and to continue enriching themselves, no matter how much greenhouse gas that produces and how large the attracted population of new debt serfs.

    https://www.oregonmetro.gov/tools-partners/grants-and-resources/transit-oriented-development-program

    “Since then, the city has given more than $1.3 billion in subsidies to developers along its rail lines
    [Our kids should not have to fight this hard to protect the planet they will inherit.Governor Kate Brown ], and even more subsidies have been provided by Portland’s suburbs. More than $430 million of these subsidies went to developments along Portland’s first streetcar line, while a portion of the streetcar route that received no subsidies also saw almost no new development.” Ugh, the CATO institute, still good numbers:
    https://www.cato.org/blog/portland-model-nation

    Reply
  11. ewmayer

    Started watching a DVD set of the late-60s “alien invasion meets The Fugitive” (in fact it was another Quinn Martin production and was his followup series to TF) series, The Invaders. Wikipedia describes the physical characteristics of the aliens:

    Neither the Invaders nor their planet were ever named. Their human appearance was a disguise; they were shown in their true form in two episodes … They had certain characteristics by which they could be detected, such as the absence of a pulse or heartbeat and the inability to bleed. Most of the aliens, in particular the lowest-ranking members or workers in green jumpsuits, were emotionless and had deformed little fingers which could not move and were bent at an unnatural angle, although there were “deluxe models” who could manipulate this finger.

    As I recall, former GFC-era Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs chair Hank Paulson had just such a pinkie on his right hand. And he also tried to “take over the world”, by way of his infamous “unlimited powers, not subject to any form of judicial review” initial bank-bailout proposal. Hmmm…

    Reply
    1. Acacia

      Hmm indeed. I don’t want to think about Hank Paulson seen through those sunglasses which appear in John Carpenter’s They Live.

      Reply
  12. Wukchumni

    Six of us went looking for the fabled ‘Arm Tree’ in the Atwell Mill Grove which had eluded capture by local searchers for over a decade until a Sequoia fancier friend found it late last fall. It’s lower branch about 50 feet high from the ground resembles an upraised arm and is about 12 feet in diameter, making it the largest branch of any tree on this good orb. We had lunch about 50 feet away from the brobdingnagian, and everybody was counting coup, having been there-done that.

    The terrain is all steep off-trail, where your next step is wherever you decide it should be, and 4 miles of walking up and down took us 5 hours to complete. Along the way to our desired prize was the Dean Tree, the 30th largest living thing in the world, and over 20 feet wide @ eye level, and as an added bonus, it’s situated on a steep hill, so when you approach it from below, it looms even larger not that it’s in any need of grandiosity. A beautiful specimen of Sequoia, the width hardly wavers all the way up 235 feet to it’s top.

    Another giant we all noticed for the first time was an exceptionally large tree with a little of the bark on that must’ve fallen in the past century. Splayed out on the ground very much like a rocket that accidentally fell off the gantry, the would-be Saturn 5 then broke into 4 sections upon impact, with the 20 foot wide flaring root system ending of the tree approximating flames jutting out from said rocket, if you only added a little imagination.

    http://famousredwoods.com/dean/

    http://famousredwoods.com/atwell_mill_grove/

    Reply
  13. Wukchumni

    Fed Loses Its Patience and Almost Everything You Can Trade Goes Nuts Bloomberg
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Having lost 97% of it’s value since 1971 when measured against something that matters, everybody is in agreement that the last 3% will be a hard road to hoe against a debt instrument backed by nothing other than a tired out military and way too many nuclear tipped missiles.

    …our country is the new & improved barbarous relic

    Reply
  14. Wukchumni

    Green Nimbyism: Frac Sand Mining Near Zion National Park CEPR
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    That frac sand, the cause of much distress in a beautiful part of the USA (Utah might be the prettiest state overall and southern Utah ooh la la!, methinks) will become our problem if the proposed fracking sites all around us in the Sierra foothills & high Sierra come in as planned, and despoil what was previously Mother Nature’s realm in entirety pretty much.

    Can’t we leave anything alone?

    I know its all about profits, not that the fracking industry is all that keen on making any in their erstwhile non-profit industry.

    Reply
  15. Summer

    If Elizabeth Warren hasn’t come out for “Medicare For All” out of fear of being branded a wild-eyed lefty (though her deep background doesn’ t bode well for support for Medicare For All), then she can proceed without caution or care. Exhibit A: The New York Times. They are stating she’s for it in headlines with only a minor easily overlooked caveat deep in the text.

    NYTIMES – 2020-democrats-medicare-for-all-public-option
    This is in the lead and paraphrased all throughout:
    “A new survey of the Democratic candidates by The New York Times finds that many of them prefer less sweeping changes than the Medicare for All Act, the single-payer bill introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders and supported by Senator Elizabeth Warren and several other presidential hopefuls. A majority of candidates in the survey — including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the leader in early polls — said they would rather add a “public option” in the health care system that would compete with private plans.”

    Then one sentence with a parenthetical briefly mentions it may not at all be true that she supports Medicare for All:
    “Ms. Warren’s responses sounded almost as single-mindedly focused on the single-payer approach. “There’s no excuse for stopping at half-measures,” she wrote. (In a separate interview with The Times, she said there were “a lot of different paths for how we get there.”)

    Reply
      1. Summer

        Exactly. But I couldn’t help but how far off from that the NY Times breakdown on candidates stances are.
        They even have Warren in a picture graph grouped with Sanders.

        Reply
        1. John k

          Are they trying to help warren or hurt her?
          Clearly no part of msm is for it.
          And clearly neither Warren or Biden is, either, so they’re deliberately obfuscating her position.
          Certainly dem elites prefer her to sanders, but the banks would cut them all off if they tried to support her.
          She’s only a progressive when compared to a right wing conservative like Biden.

          Reply
          1. Geo

            Edit: She’s only a progressive when compared to the majority of the Democratic Party and the entirety of its party leadership.

            Despite her numerous flaws and the many aspects of her that leave us progressives wanting more, she is one of the best we have right now. In an ideal world she would be the “center” of our political spectrum but that’s not our reality.

            Until we can get more real progressives elected we have to support the allies we do have. I’m still a devoted passenger on the Bernie bandwagon but if it loses steam I’ll gladly hop on the Warren rickshaw in the hopes it can escape the DNC tar pit.

            Reply
    1. Geo

      The last time he ran for office the DNC spent money to defeat him (after he defeated Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Spector in the primaries). Same as they did to Allen Grayson that same year.

      If the DNC hates him I happily welcome him to the clown show. Would love to see Tulsi, Bernie, and Sestak band together and use their campaigns to expose the DNC for the junior mafia they are.

      Reply
  16. a different chris

    OMG we’re saved!! Saved I tell you. Sit down – Joe Sestak, yes he himself, has jumped into the Dem primary.

    It’s all over except for the shouting now! Try hard to catch your breath.

    Reply
  17. Tom Finn

    Re: the Brazilian Russiagate II article, Did anyone else click on the link to the Mint Press article on Pierre Omidyar? Why was this not a feature in NC? Or did I just miss it?

    Reply
  18. John k

    The lost century article from 2016 is a must read.
    Imagine not allowing money to be loaned to corps to buy their own shares, etc.

    Reply
  19. RMO

    Quote of MSNBC reporter Hakke in the Taibbi piece: “Look, Joe Biden would not be running for president against to Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.”

    Kind of says it all really. Biden is pretty much a solid Republican when it comes down to policy.

    Reply
    1. Plenue

      It is striking how actively bad Biden is. A lot of the other candidates tend toward a kind of slick nothingness. But Biden is just downright, blatantly terrible. He’s also a walking PR disaster, just speaking purely about optics. If Sanders is a lovable grandpa, Biden is an asshole uncle who alternates between lecturing young people and being creepy.

      Reply

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