Links 6/6/19

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Dolphins Rescue an Exhausted Dog Drowning in Florida Canal in the Most Incredible Way Epoch Times (David L)

Massive ladybug swarm over California shows up on radar Associated Press (David L)

Metal foam stops .50 caliber rounds as well as steel – at less than half the weight PhysOrg. Chuck L: “Arms race.”

Drinking unsalted tomato juice has surprising impact on cholesterol Slashgear

China?

Tiananmen Square & the March into the Institutions Chuǎng. Lambert: “Don’t know the source and the funding.”

Resentment takes hold in China over trade war Asia Times (resilc)

Fiat Walks Away From Renault Talks, Blaming French State Bloomberg. Li: “Somebody noticed that the French govt would be on the board.”

New Cold War

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping talk Russia-China relations DW

Syraqistan

The Trump Administration’s Iran Fiasco Foreign Policy. Dan K: “I’m not qualified to parse this for accuracy or omission, but had noted the MEK efforts and connections for some time.”

What Is Russia’s Game in U.S.-Iran Standoff? LobeLog (resilc)

How US “good guys” wiped out an Afghan family Bureau of Investigative Journalism (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Amazon Shows Off New All-Electric Prime Air Drone That Will Start Delivering Packages ‘Within Months’ GeekWire. If you think they are just delivering packages, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. I hope they are used for target practice in gun-owning neighborhoods.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Is Bolton Trashing Yet Another Arms Control Agreement? Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

Trade

Trump unimpressed with US-Mexico trade talks BBC

US and Mexico officials fail to agree on deal to avoid tariffs Financial Times

Anxious GOP seeks to delay Trump’s Mexico tariffs The Hill

US-Mexico Trade is Dominated by the Auto Industry Big Picture

Trump Transition

Chicken Farmers Thought Trump Was Going to Help Them. Then His Administration Did the Opposite. ProPublica (resilc)

Donald Trump Is The Most Honest US President Of All Time Caitlin Johnstone (UserFriendly)

Health Care

Health Care Remains Burdensome for Families RealClearPolitics (UserFriendly)

Do Democrats Actually Want to Make Drugs Cheaper? New Republic

Green New Deal

Ocasio-Cortez: $10 trillion needed for effective climate plan The Hill (UserFriendly)

Climate change policy: Oregon is poised to cap economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions Vox

2020

Polls flash 2020 warning for Trump The Hill v. 2020 Poll: Rising share expect Trump to win a second term CNN (furzy)

Biden infuriates abortion-rights groups with Hyde stance The Hill. UserFriendly: “Oh, good. Cause screw poor people.” Moi: This is not going to go over well with some/many Hillary voters. For older women, getting abortion rights was correctly seen as a huge deal because they had heard what it was like before then.

Chuck L: “Another loop of the Democratic Party death spiral. Sadly the DNC’s taking the rest of us with them.”

Biden girds for clash with Trump over China Politico. LW: “This is how Trump wins a second term….”

Warren’s Astonishing Plan for Economic Patriotism American Prospect (resilc)

Warrior-Mayor Pete’s Sanctimonious Chest Thumping American Conservative (Li). In Water Cooler but too good to miss. I can hear it now….Driver Pete? Or will it be Chauffeur Pete?

Buttigieg did all of six months in 2014 as a reservist deep inside Bagram Airfield, mostly as a personal driver for his boss, locked and loaded inside a Toyota Land Cruiser. It is unlikely he ever ate a cold meal in Afghanistan.

Media blockade on progressives is helping rig the Democratic primaries again The Hill (UserFriendly)

Blue Dogs call on Democratic leaders to abide by pay-go rule The Hill

More Police Raids As War On Journalism Escalates Worldwide Caitlin Johnstone (Glenn C)

Fact-Checking Website Snopes Is Locked In a Nasty Legal Dispute Seattle Times

The Opioid Crisis Is Killing Trees Too Atlantic (David L)

EV Sales Are Set To Soar 540% SafeHaven

737 Max

US airlines are bumping more travelers as Boeing 737 Max planes grounded CNBC

Inside the Effort to Fix the Troubled Boeing 737 MAX Wall Street Journal. Boeing embeds a WSJ reporter…..at the instigation of American Airlines.

Trump Can Only Move Interest Rates by Hurting the Economy New York Magazine (resilc)

Microsoft is making Xbox body wash Verge (Dr. Kevin)

Zuckerberg classmate launches attack in front of MPs BBC (David L)

The Coalition Out to Kill Tech as We Know It Atlantic (resilc)

AirBnB

Surveillance video shows shooting at Airbnb house party ABC

Local teen severely injured after falling 14 feet from balcony News 10

West Covina shooting at house party leaves 1 dead, 3 others injured  ABC 7

Gunfire reported during party at La Jolla mansion ABC 10 San Diego

Wild party causes major damage for Tempe Airbnb homeowner AZ Family

Midtown neighbors want Airbnb shut down after shooting KSHB 41

Class Warfare

Bernie Sanders confronts Walmart executives at meeting CNN

Urban Rural Spatial Inequality Is Getting Worse CityLab (resilc)

Overdose crises lowering life expectancy: Statistics Canada Globe and Mail (resilc)

Antidote du jour. More of Chet’s snapping turtles:

And a bonus. I can’t find who supplied this in Links, so please take a bow in comments and I’ll update the post to credit you:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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157 comments

    1. a different chris

      And they’ll vote for him anyway in 2020. It’s easy to scare these “real Americans” with talk of “socialism”.

      Reply
      1. edmondo

        They will vote for him IF the Democrats have a shitty alternative. And knowing the Democrats, I’d bet the ranch on it.

        It gets harder and harder to get excited about an election where the only real material benefits trickle down to those who can bundle campaign contributions. For most of us, the election brings no hope nor any change.

        Reply
    2. JohnnyGL

      Team Dem at its best:

      The Justice Department’s top antitrust enforcer, Christine Varney, told Staples she would have his back. “Mr. Staples, let me say, I fully expect you will not experience retaliation by virtue of your presence today,” Varney said at the hearing. “But if you do, you call me at this number because I want to know about it.” The audience clapped and cheered. (When Staples tried to call Varney a few years later, he discovered she’d left the Justice Department for a partnership at the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore. She declined to comment.)

      Reply
    3. polecat

      Don’t forget the torch manufacturers … they’re an essential ingredient to the state of protest, no ??

      Reply
    4. rd

      Its pretty clear the chicken farmers were listening to what Trump was saying instead of what he was SAYING.

      It was clear throughout the campaign that Trump viewed reducing regulation and enforcement on large corporations was going to help the little guy, including miners and farmers. it was going to create jobs for them.

      So the voters heard that he was going to create jobs for them. But what he was actually saying was that he was going to deregulate the large corporations who would then make the jobs for them. This thinking is in tandem with cutting tax rates on corporations and the wealthy which would then increase tax collections due to the increased economic expansion.

      So the farmers are getting less regulation of their ditches by USEPA and USACE while the buyers of their production are getting less regulated on how they treat their vendors. Its all part of the same cloth and its what they signed up for. Be careful what you wish for; you might just get it.

      Reply
  1. Alain

    I really couldn’t care less about people, who think it’s a great idea to run an illegal hotel to wake up to a trashed appartment and a few bullet holes in the wallpaper.

    Neither can I really care much about people who think it’s a brilliant idea to rent a room at a strangers place to then wonder about a rotten place, promises not kept, neighbors calling the cops on them or hidden video cameras recording their sexual escapades.

    In the very beginning the site may really have connected people, who wanted to rent out a spare room with travelers on a tight budget. An image the company works really hard to still project..

    Fact is that a large percentage of listings are shitty, cheaply decorated cookie cutter appartmets, which are run by some faceless management company.

    Fact is that Airbnb ruins and devastates neighborhoods, if not whole cities by pricing out people, who actually live there, are part of the community and actually have a stake in the city they live in.

    Fact is that they couldn’t care less about the consequences unless it results in rotten PR or regulation, which goes against their business interestests.

    So, instead of whining “hosts” may view this as a valuable, if costly, education opportunity. Same goes for people who suddenly find their involuntary sex videos on the internet.

    Reply
    1. Pavel

      Thank you.

      I have lived in two small apartment buildings where residents’ lives were made hell by thoughtless and greedy AirBnB “hosts” and their customers. In both cases it was expressly against the rules of the building. But hey, what does AirBnB care?

      Reply
      1. tegnost

        When do we start telling airbnb, amazon, facebook and et al. that they are the ones with no rights? i am so looking forward to the incessant buzzing of drones, not.

        https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/seattle-man-barricades-car2go-car-left-on-his-property-demands-reimbursement/

        good for him, he should sell the tires. Capturing drones could actually be pretty fun. Of course they’ll be taking video constantly and feeding their monster, (oops, I mean ai) with it) They deserve to be treated as harshly as they treat others

        Reply
      2. anon in so cal

        AirBnB and HomeAway have led to hellacious situations in Los Angeles: party houses, traffic and parking problems, noise, lights, trash, etc.

        On several occasions, Ive had to stay up almost all night on the phone with the police department, waiting on hold for a dispatcher, waiting to see if they send units out, waiting to see if the noise abates.

        The LA City Council approved a new law this past December 2018 to somewhat restrict AirBnB activity. We’ll see if things improve:

        “Under the short-term rental rules adopted Tuesday:

        Hosts will have to register with the city planning department and pay an $89 fee each year.
        Only a primary residence can be rented out, defined as the place where a host lives for at least six months per year.

        Renters can’t home-share without prior written approval of their landlord.
        Stabilized (aka “rent-controlled”) units are not eligible for home-sharing, even if you own your own RSO unit.

        Hosts may not register for or operate more than one home-sharing rental unit at a time in the city.
        Hosts can not home-share for more then 120 days in a calendar year, unless they have registered with the city for “extended home-sharing.”

        The “extended home-sharing” option allows hosts to rent out residences for an unlimited number of days. To get approval from the city, hosts have to pay an $850 fee. To qualify, they’ll have to have been registered for at least six months or hosted for at least 60 days.

        Hosts who have received a citation in the past three years will be disqualified, unless they pay an $8,500 fee to have their case reviewed.

        Non-residential buildings and temporary structures are not eligible for home-sharing; that includes vehicles parked on the property, storage sheds, trailers, and tents.”

        https://la.curbed.com/2018/12/11/18136320/los-angeles-airbnb-rules-city-council

        Somewhat relatedly, (since AirBnB is one factor that affects long-term housing availability in Los Angeles), it appears that apartment space may be set aside for immigrants. ( can’t proceed beyond the paywall, so IDK)

        https://www.wsj.com/articles/rising-rents-collide-with-immigration-in-california-agriculture-region-11559813400

        Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      What’s completely different in regards to vacation sharing rentals, as opposed to Uber/Lyft sharing rentals, is the former seems to be very profitable for all involved right down the line.

      Reply
      1. Brian

        It’s not, though. We (against our political views and judgment) use AirBnB at a second home at the shore that we co-own with others in our family. Why? Because it was destroyed during a hurricane, and the state we live in only made state funds available to primary homeowners to rebuild. We didn’t qualify. Our insurance covered about 25% of what was needed to rebuild, and while we we did get another 15% or so from the state through a secondary program, we were left with a ~200K shortfall. We pay the same taxes and have to make the same mortgage payments as our primary-resident neighbors, but sorry, they can avail of up to 150K in grants to rebuild, but not you.

        I actually understand the policy! It’s vital that those who live in their homes all year round be taken care of first. I support that. But to leave others like us to fend more or less for ourselves means either taking a crushing loss, or finding creative ways to make up the costs we sunk into the rebuild. It’ll be more than a decade before we have any chance to sell the house at a price that will recoup most of what we put into it (there’s no profit to be had here), and that’s if climate change doesn’t completely destroy the market (entirely our fault for buying in the first place, and a cost which I would accept). Airbnb rentals make our mortgage payment, but they can also take a large toll on the neighborhood. I’ve personally apologized to our neighbors, but I’ve also pointed out the reasons we feel compelled to use AirBnb.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Pretty much all of the homes for sale in say sub $300k terra firma have been scooped up by investors, mentioned occasionally around these parts under a mutter:

          “did you hear about the LA investor that owns 14?”

          Homes valued at more than $500k don’t work in the overall scheme of things, as the ‘math’ doesn’t pencil out, and they languish on the market, looking for somebody from the Big Smokes that wants to downsize their domicile and lifestyle, while scooping up the equity jackpot from their previous plot.

          Or homes that people living in SD/OC/LA/SF bought say 10 years ago with the idea they’d get here more often, but the tyranny of distance being what it is, lessened their zeal, and what a handy way to make money, as they’ll gross around $6k a month in high season at a minimum, maybe more. There’s 2 agents in town that handle around a hundred of all 300 rentals, and the latter mentioned homes are most likely to be more in their bailiwick.

          Very few places rent a room here, you get the whole enchilada.

          Reply
    3. Chris Cosmos

      We have been somewhat freaked out by the Airbnb on the other side of the fence. One Saturday night there was a shooting and someone climbed the fence (despite considerable brush) lost a shoe and nearly partly knocked down our gate. A friend lives next door to a place (on Lake Norman) where they shoot porn and so on and so on. But this movement is just part of the cultural atmosphere of decline generally which I’ve observed over the decades and it’s pretty much everywhere in the USA.

      Reply
    4. flora

      Interesting to me that Airbnb started in 2008, the same year the subprime mortgage market imploded and homes started being repossessed in huge numbers – fraudulently or otherwise. A lot of homeowners were driven to find extra income to keep the Wall St. wolf at bay. When Wall St. and the tbtf banks got hold of those homes some corps thought they’d make a killing going into the rental biz. Some sold off repo homes in large-lots to developers and more local rental outfits (gotta buy 10 and it’s gotta have a large cash downpayment); sold them at unbelievably low below market rates. (I know a regional rental owner who got deals he could not believe,they were so good… for him. The thing is, if you were a private person who wanted to buy a repo at a great rate it was no-go at that time.)

      So now there was a lot of property in corporate control, fewer people who qualified as home buyers, homeowners fighting foreclosure by getting more money any way they could, and the dispossessed who now had to rent but had reduced means. And Airbnb springs up at just that time. Amazing coincidence.

      Reply
      1. BigUncleBry

        Re: Gunfire reported during party at La Jolla mansion.

        This would be hilarious if it were not so outrageous for the area. This neighborhood is just west of UCSD and above the famous/infamous Blacks Beach. Strictly for the .0001%. 12-15 million is a starter home here. Most likely a vacation or corporate property. That it would rent at that price and to a party that would end gunfire will surely cause mass panic to the wannabe aristocrats who live there.

        Reply
  2. bassmule

    I sent Yves the video of Theo and Harvey, back when I posted under the name Bunk McNulty. I now go by bassmule. I just loved to hear them purr. They’re all grown up now (Theo weighs 18 lbs., Harvey a svelte 11).

    Reply
  3. Wukchumni

    The estimate is that there are 300 AirBnB or similar vacation rentals in our community of 2,000. 1 out of 4 residences is an ad hoc hotel, and as far as I can tell, those renting out their abode are happy as clams, while everybody else is completely pissed off at what it’s done to the character of our very spread out tiny town.

    Nothing noteworthy or even newsworthy has happened, wish I could tell you a saucy story in that regard, but instead its the usual saga of loud, leaving lights on outside, partying, and worst of all, they aren’t a good fit in a place where the nearest stoplight is 20+ miles away, and the pace of things is on the down low, and where until this menace came along, neighbors really did know each other.

    Reply
    1. Summer

      You all do not have to be nice to the BnB’ers. Don’t have to do anything illegal or hurtful. Just do not do as much as possible for them.
      I saw two BnB’ers rolling their luggage down the street. I asked to take a picture ofvthem next to the homeless tent they were passing.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        We’re a lucky anomaly hereabouts in that the nearest vacation rental is about half a mile away, so as loud and obnoxious as they want to be, it’s muted in translation.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          I was at our fire safe council meeting on the weekend, and a fellow member was complaining about this vacation rental where the owner seems to want to cater to every possibility, including putting in 60 new campsites on his property, which would greatly increase the traffic on her windy mountain road where she calls home.

          It’s very wild west, do whatever you want, it’s the gig economy, be bold!

          https://www.venuereport.com/venue/redwood-ranch/

          Reply
          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            Mixed feelings about this.

            First, if you accept the proposition that property can be held privately, seems the owner of a property like that at considerable distance from any other ought to be able to do what they want with it.

            Second, why should some have such a gorgeous spread while others (as New Catty describes) are stuck in what amounts to a SRO.

            Third, I wanna be there on that river, sliding into clear, cool swimming holes and clambering up on boulders to bake in the sun. And the ONLY way I have a shot at that is by polling together with others and renting it for a time. I will never own such a place.

            Fourth, if it isn’t zoned commercial, they shouldn’t be making that kind of money off it, right?

            Reply
      2. Eclair

        Ouch, Summer! I like it. No connection there, between rising house prices and rents due to entities flush with cash buying up properties and extracting profits from their use as short term (and expensive) rentals …. and the rising numbers of unhoused people in cities like Denver and Seattle. But, why were the BnB’ers walking? When its so easy to Uber? And extend the exploitation.

        Reply
        1. newcatty

          Not the same, but related to the degradation of neighborhoods and the exploitation of vulnerable people by greedy and uncaring people. We know of a couple of low wage earning women, also they ‘re single mothers, in southern CA. The women, due to extenuating circumstances (often due to shared child custody arrangements) are stuck in the awful CA housing situation. Often, the ex husband’s make more and afford nice apartments or houses. Even with some child support the mothers are poor or just above poverty. They end up in another kind of exploitative housing market. Quietly, the people who own homes are moving into another domicile ( like a retirement vlllage) and giving adult child or children the house to live in until they choose something else to do. To make the rent, and to make extra income, they turn the old family home into what amounts to a rooming house. They rent out all of the extra bedrooms…can be up to four . The renters supposedly have access to common areas… like the kitchen. The renting mothers, with kids, can be living in one bedroom. The women soon find out the nice, friendly owner’s own child or children, have no respect for the renters. The kitchen is either a mess or “In use”. The living room is completely dominated by the owner’s children and the renters slowly, through self preservation, end up sequestered in their “room”. The owners charge 1000 dollars for the master room. Half that for the small bedroom and guest room. Just times that per month and quite nice “extra income”. There is a revolving door of renters as one moves out, more will move in at any time. Often, the renters are easily found at the owner’s children’s work place, or through word of mouth. This is not the same as families living together in a shared house. This is pure exploitation of low wage workers. I don’t know if There is any regulations on “boarding houses” by cities, counties, or the state. Homelessness is, as it should be, is now being more discussed in the news. This “boarding” situation is another way that poor, or nearly poor, people are trying to survive in sunny California. BTW, the person I know was living in an affluent city , not in a poorer town. She eventually found an older condo to barely afford to rent. America…land of the free and home of the brave.

          Reply
      3. ChiGal in Carolina

        Not sure I get this. BnBs have been around for a while without being controversial I thought. That’s when owners take in others for short stays while remaining in the house to prepare meals, provide fresh linens etc, right?

        Why are those staying in a BnB any different than you, for example, in relation to the homeless in tents?

        No offense intended, if I am missing something about BnBs I’d like to know.

        Reply
        1. Anon

          It takes time for folks to recognize the opportunity of AirBnB. Some folks did use the service wisely; then the “wise guys” realized they could exploit city ordinance, community goodwill, and a generally lackadaisical enforcement to get rich. When you don’t live in a community social controls are of no concern.

          Read Huber Horan’s recent post about Uber to get a better feel for community exploitation.

          Reply
          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            I didn’t mean Airbnb, I meant old-fashioned bed and breakfasts as they have existed for decades. I realize now probably the reference to BnBers meant Airbnb…duh!

            Reply
        2. Procopius

          It’s the difference between BnB, where the owner of the house lives there and rents rooms on a short-term basis, and provides a breakfast meal, and AirBnB where an absentee owner rents out rooms or whole buildings and find your own damned breakfast.

          Reply
  4. zagonostra

    >Hill/Cenk Uygur Media Blockade

    Although agreeing with substance of Cenk’s article, his credibility is severely damaged in my eyes with this refusal to admit his Russiagate narrative was/is dead wrong ; although you have to give him credit for having Aaron Mate and Greenwald on his show and doing lengthy interview with Michael Tracey.

    Just in the last two weeks, there have been two hatchet jobs on him in The New York Times and Politico. But that’s par for the course and happens pretty much every week. If there’s ever a positive article about Sanders, it’s passed around like wildfire online because it’s so shocking that you have to share it with your friends like other online curiosities that are hard to believe.

    If you can’t see the disparity between the coverage of South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), which is nearly universally fawning and obsequious, and the coverage of Sanders, which is universally contemptuous and disdainful, you’re so biased you can’t even see your own bias.

    Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      Cenk’s got a very serious case of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) that he’s struggling with. He’s sort of like a functional alcoholic…he means well, usually comes through in crucial moments when you really need him and has good instincts. But, he’s also got some bad moments….some really bad moments. But, he’s really trying. :)

      To be clear, the above is a joke. But more seriously, I’ve got a soft spot for Cenk…he’s not some snob who insulates himself in a bubble. He gets over the top fairly regularly, and can get on your nerves, but he seems to come across as a generally decent guy. He’s not going to bite your head off if you disagree with him.

      Reply
      1. pretzelattack

        i’m not sure about the disagreement part, jimmy dore eventually left the show i think because of some intense behind the scenes (not always behind the scenes, though) disagreements. but i don’t know what role cenk would have played in that.

        Reply
      2. Cal2

        Not just the text of the articles either. Whatever picture of Sanders that appears in our local joke newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, is invariably weird, taken from an odd high diminishing angle, or showing him with a grimace, or wild hair. Whatever article that mentions Bernie is of course, positioned far below really important news, like what basketball player’s wife brought her cute blue-eyed! baby onto what court, and whose birthday surprise was spoiled by what rapper.

        Contrast that with the top of the page low angle ennobling pictures of Kamala Harris, that they display in their 104th puff piece of the year, (“Things you might not know about Kamala Harris” -basically a political ad masquerading as news), in which she is inevitably hand on chin, deep in thought, with an Oliver Wendell Holmes like pose.

        Reply
      3. Hepativore

        I used to watch the Young Turks on a regular basis, but have since moved on to Secular Talk, and the Humanist report.

        My problem with Cenk, is the fact that he seems to push a lot of the identitarian narrative, and seems to be what is impolitely known as a “social justice warrior”. Another reason why I think I stopped watching the Young Turks is the fact that they seem to push a lot of sensationalist and hyperbolic stories. While I consider myself a progressive leftist, I also think that rational skepticism and critical thinking is something that we should all practice. Sensationalism coming from people who share your political alignment is just as bad as that coming from your political opposites if not more so because of cognitive dissonance.

        Another person I used to watch on a fairly regular basis was David Pakman, but he seems to be drifting eerily close to the same ideological bent of the Pelosi/Clinton/Obama/Schumer wing of the Democratic Party.

        Reply
  5. The Rev Kev

    “Warrior-Mayor Pete’s Sanctimonious Chest Thumping”

    I can guess that a lot of Afghan vets would be familiar with a guy like Buttigieg. Likely he would be just like this guy-

    https://www.duffelblog.com/2019/03/veteran-didnt-risk-his-life-at-bagram-pizza-hut-just-to-see-u-s-and-taliban-sign-peace-deal/

    Nice cats, by the way bassmule. I noticed though that right at the very end of that film clip, that he stuck his tongue out at the person doing the recording.

    Reply
    1. jrs

      otoh they are pushing complete garbage like Seth Moulton, otoh that is garbage that has about the least chance of going anywhere as anyone out there. But at least he served? Yea but he sucks … uh end of argument.

      Buttigieg is probably running for VP, though there is an off chance he really thinks he’s running for Prez.

      Reply
      1. Anon

        Major Tulsi Gabbard, would be better as a candidate for V.P. along with Bernie.
        She actually saw combat under mortar fire and had to handle the combat dead,
        contrasting with Butt’s belonging to the 42nd Dry Cleaning Pick Up and Errand Unit.
        (Don’t forget his Deep State connections with Naval Intelligence though)

        Reply
        1. newcatty

          Now why, when thinking at all about mayor Pete, that my mind immediately goes to “Catch 22”? Many things old are not new again.

          Reply
  6. Stanley Dundee

    Tian An Men Square eyewitness report by Peter Lee (China Hand):

    I was on the scene at Tian An Men Square in Beijing for a good number of significant events in 1989, including June 4th and also May 19, which might have turned out to be even more significant…I revisited my old typewritten/handwritten/faxed/photocopied archive yesterday and decided to convert them into digital form and post them here to provide a documentary alternative to the June 4th fetishism (now supercharged by the hope that the CCP will be swept into the dustbin of history as a challenger to US pre-eminence) that infects the Western press and intelligentsia

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      CCP challenging US pre-eminnce?

      We see people from China moving to and settling in the West, from Ireland, Canada, the US and other countries.

      And Chinese women pay to give birth in America, and probably in other western countries as well.

      Then, we have studious students from China in universities and colleges here in the US, as people have commented here.

      These are all voluntary acts. They don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk (in fact, not talking much).

      We don’t see the same (to be sure, there are Western students in China, for example) the other way.

      Reply
      1. Olga

        You should not confuse Chinese with the representatives of the comprador elite. Do you ever wonder which Chinese women can come to the US to give birth?

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Not just them, but students and house buyers.

          From the elites at the top who have money in the West, to the small business people too.

          But not the other way – women going to China to give birth, or crave for, say, baby formula from China.

          That’s not what should be seen from a pre-eminent country.

          Reply
  7. Wukchumni

    Tail Gunner Joe and tale hunter Pete are eerily similar in that both did bupkis in dubious battle, and then brandished their warrior bonafides to make political bank.

    A motor pool President, really?

    Reply
    1. pretzelattack

      at least mccarthy went on some combat missions, according to wiki. otoh, the democrats didn’t encourage him to run for president as a democrat. i think mccarthy would have been all in on the anti russia campaign if he were reincarnated as a current dem candidate, though.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        LBJ was similar to McCarthy, in capacity.

        Johnson’s biographer Robert Caro accepts Johnson’s account and supports it with testimony from the aircrew concerned: the aircraft was attacked, disabling one engine and it turned back before reaching its objective, though remaining under heavy fire. Others claim that it turned back because of generator trouble before reaching the objective and before encountering enemy aircraft and never came under fire; this is supported by official flight records. Other airplanes that continued to the target came under fire near the target at about the same time that Johnson’s plane was recorded as having landed back at the original airbase. MacArthur recommended Johnson for the Silver Star for gallantry in action: the only member of the crew to receive a decoration. After it was approved by the Army, he personally presented the medal to Johnson. (Wiki)

        LBJ had a charmed life, the ace pilot of all in Japan with 64 kills had his plane in it’s sights when a lucky cloud intervened…

        On his way to his 64th kill, Saburō encountered a formation of American medium bombers headed for Rabaul. What made this encounter interesting is that Reserve Lieutenant Commander Lyndon B. Johnson, USA’s soon-to-be president, was on one of the B-26 Marauders. In an interview, Saburō vividly recalls that day as follows:

        “I attacked the B-26s. One, two, three planes. When they were coming towards me, I shot. My bullets hit one of the planes, and its bomb exploded. I flew black through the smoke. The Americans thought that we collided. I looked back. I attacked another plane, but there were clouds, and the plane that I attacked flew into the clouds together. That was the plane Lyndon Johnson was in. His plane had a lot of bullet holes but they managed to land. Each time I went to America, I was asked, why didn’t you shoot at Johnson’s plane first and not the other one? If I hit that plane, there would have been no President Johnson.”

        https://warbirdfanatics.com/2019/02/11/how-saburo-sakai-attacked-lyndon-b-johnsons-b-26-marauder/

        Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          thanks, never knew lbj was in combat. goldwater wouldn’t have been an improvement, we got some social programs out of the the pilot’s decision.

          Reply
        2. JohnnyGL

          Nice anecdote….Johnson was obviously a very mixed back, but he certainly was a transformational president.

          Fun to think of the ‘what ifs’ of history. Could we have gotten a president that wasn’t so stubborn-as-a-mule about getting into Vietnam, even though he knew better, according to his own statements? Team Dem still had a lot of die-hard war-hawks hanging around.

          Then again, would another president have been able to do the arm-twisting on Civil Rights and Great Society programs?

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Fortuna also intervened for GHWB when he bailed out of his crippled plane and drifted away from Chichi Jima to a waiting US submarine that picked him up, unlike the 10 or so aviators they drifted to the isle, and were late, for dinner.

            The Japanese garrison officer made his men eat roasted aviator liver, probably with a sake chaser.

            Not only no GHWB, nor his progeny, should he have been the main course.

            Reply
          2. neo-realist

            LBJ had a Congress that arguably wasn’t as hard wired right wing as the present republican majority is. He wouldn’t have gotten the Civil Rights legislation and Great Society Programs with today’s Bircher Congress. Hell, If Nixon had such a congress as the present day one, he wouldn’t had to leave office.

            Reply
            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              The problem is people said that about DADT just a few years ago. Pressure works.

              100,000 people don’t show up at (insert Senator X) rally. The President, virtually any President, doesn’t need to worry about Congress. People didn’t even like LBJ.

              Reply
              1. Procopius

                People didn’t even like LBJ.

                Well, I did. He had plenty of faults and was probably corrupt (in a money-grabbing sense) but I loved the way he made TPTB come beg for favors while he was sitting on the commode. I’m re-reading Halberman’s The Best and The Brightest, and I had forgotten how contemptible so many of Camelot were. No, “contemptible” is not the right word. Maybe “alien.” Greatly admired at the time, though. Every bit as bad as the slugs in charge now, except much better known.

                Reply
  8. Stadist

    Drinking unsalted tomato juice has surprising impact on cholesterol Slashgear

    Regarding the blood pressure, these articles are a little silly, it has been reliably verified that high blood pressure is commonly tied to bad sodium-potassium (Na/K) balance. This linked article is no way the first to report this, this balance knowledge has not been absorbed into wider common knowledge yet, and therefore we continue getting these simplistic sodium-centric articles.

    How does tomato juice then tie in with the sodium-potassium balance? Well it just so happens to be that tomatoes are one of the most well known sources of dietary potassium, potatoes are another. The article provided above has quite a comprehensive list of potassium containing food articles. Apparently human body needs far more potassium than sodium in order to function at optimal level, however the obsession with only sodium is unfounded if the diet does not contain enough potassium.

    Reply
    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Too bad your link is behind a pay wall. Would it be fair to say less sodium and more potassium is, in general, a good thing or is a more exact balance important for real benefits?

      Reply
      1. Stadist

        Sorry, its accessible if you search it from google, at least in my country.


        This article talks about the same thing, but it’s not as thorough.

        Less sodium more potassium is good rule of thumb, to my understanding it’s hard to overdose oneself with dietary potassium. And there is always some sodium unless one goes to extremes to get rid of it.

        The key is balance, the article talks about some stone age, ‘paleo’, balance of 16 to 1 (mass base I assume), but I don’t think there are any exact generally agreed good ratio.
        If one is having too much sodium (=salt), it can lead to high blood pressure and decreasing sodium can possibly improve blood pressure. However if problem is too much sodium combined with too little potassium, as is common nowadays with modern dietary habits, the situation can’t be remedied by just sodium adjustment. I estimate that majority of people suffering from ‘sodium related’ high blood pressure need to reduce sodium and increase potassium. One will find oneself eating much healthier and balanced diet by just concentrating on the sodium-potassium balance, so don’t do supplements, concentrate on dietary potassium and sodium intake.

        As always, one should discuss the matter with his(her) physician if one is suffering from high blood pressure before making major dietary changes because of some random internet commentator.

        Reply
        1. Stadist

          16 to 1 is for 16 parts potassium for 1 part sodium.

          Sorry, my earlier post had this in incorrect way and I couldn’t edit it anymore.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The recommended ranges from my test reports show, in mmol/L, for poassium, 3.5 to 5.4 and for sodium, 136-145.

            The range of the ratio, thus: 25 – 41 to 1, sodium to potassium, not potassium to sodium.

            Instead of mmol (how many particles), if we convert to mass (sodium atomic mass 23, potassium 39), we get 15:1 to 24:1, sodium to potassium.

            Are the recommentations off? Maybe my interpreation or calculation is wrong?

            BTW, my blood pressure has always been normal, but my sodium and potassium are both a little high (4 to 5% over).

            Reply
            1. JohnM

              As is also the case with cholesterol, dietary intake is not directly related to serum levels.

              Some have suggested that the obsessive dietary sodium focus is misguided and is really only a marker for a processed food diet where the sodium/potassium ratio is skewed relative to what one would consume eating non-processed food.

              i highly recommend this article by gary taubes where he explores the weak connection between salt consumption and hypertension.

              Reply
            2. Stadist

              The article I linked first states clearly it’s 14:1 to 16:1 mass base for potassium:sodium dietary balance. There should be more potassium than sodium in diet.

              Your values seem roughly correct, the apparent ‘imbalance’ is explained by sodium-potassium pump. So your blood should have more Sodium than Potassium, as explained in the link provided, while inside the cells the balance is roughly inverted.

              Based on my understanding of the recent research, the potassium:sodium balance is the key variable, both values being somewhat higher or lower should not be a significant problem as long as balance is good. But still, I’m not a physician and you should bring up the potassium-to-sodium ratio with your physician before major dietary changes if you have problems with blood pressure.

              Reply
        2. Oh

          Most physicians will automatically recommend blood pressure medication rather than any dietary change. The pressure from Pharma is too high.

          Reply
      2. Roxan

        Probably true, although salt seems to be the culprit. I think it causes your blood volume to expand, raising your pressure. GP told me once your potassium is at the proper level, more potassium wont help. Before modern BP meds, docs gave potassium. Better to get it in food than pills. And not everyone is salt sensitive.

        Reply
        1. Roxan

          Another curious factoid about blood pressure–for many folks it normalizes during hot weather. And lack of sufficient sunshine and UV raise it, as well as lack of sleep.

          Reply
    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      Fun fact. About 0.01% of the potassium found in nature is the naturally radioactive isotope K40.

      Reply
    3. John k

      I started potassium supplements to reduce cramping, definitely better now.
      I was surprised at the mdr for potassium, 5 grams. I take 500 mg daily… no doubt eating better would be better.
      I do have high blood pressure, take drugs for it, much better lately, don’t know whether to credit the drugs or potassium.

      Reply
  9. Brooklin Bridge

    Media blockade on progressives is helping rig the Democratic primaries again

    Interesting that my web browser, Fire Fox, tried to “warn me” that this site was dangerous and I had to insist (hitting the “advanced” button followed by another purposely obscure button to get to the site). I don’t recall The Hill being an “infected” or in any way dangerous web site and wonder if Fire Fox has made some sort of agreement with the powers that be.

    Reply
    1. Brian (another one they call)

      I got my first of these warnings 3 days ago. I hadn’t received a “not sure” message from the browser program in years. Funny that they are sites where people question reality? Got one this morning as well.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Tucker Carlson asked the question: “can a president be elected if Google and Facebook don’t like them?” His answer: No.

        So Permanent War it is, courtesy of The Atlantic Council.

        So many in the Left-erati still think of Google as “benign” and “kind of on our side in this thing”. But let’s review:

        2005: “Don’t be evil”
        2010: (China search blocking) “It’s OK to be evil sometimes”
        2019: “We just do whatever we want”

        Reply
  10. The Rev Kev

    “Resentment takes hold in China over trade war”: ‘The US needs to explain its actions properly, as its opponent is a hyper-nationalistic, resentful dictatorship whose leaders will lose everything if they lose power’

    Sounds totally legit that. Kinda like when Obama would betray his supporters or do a massive giveaway to the Republicans and for him, it would be all about the optics. He would just have to spin a bit of PR and it would be all sweet. So in this article, Trump and some anti-China fanatical advisors have declared economic war on China to cripple its development and to slow it down but if they “explain its actions properly” then China will just cop it with no blowback. Yep. Totally legit.

    Reply
    1. Olga

      Yes, this is a curious article. A mix of stereotypes of the Chinese and CCP, with a few tidbits that seem to ring true. Without some independent knowledge of history and a very long memory, I don’t know how anyone these days makes sense of the media.

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Last year, I believe, SCMP had an opinion piece with this title: Someone tell Trump the trade war is over. China won.

      Maybe Beijing can explain if there is still a trade war.

      Reply
  11. Wukchumni

    In the aftermath of the 2008 downturn, vacation travel just about died. A casino/hotel near Hoover Dam where we stay before going on kayak trips on the Colorado, had a $10 a room rate, Whiskey Pete’s casino just past the Ca./Nv. border wanted $15 a night, they were desperate.

    A prolonged downturn is what kills AirBnB et al, as everybody involved is under the gun to get those rentals filled, going against the current.

    Reply
  12. Eclair

    Re: Journalist Ford Fischer’s problems with Youtube.

    Will ‘demonetization” replace “defenestration” as a form of social control?

    Reply
      1. Arizona Slim

        For those who are new to NC, the full quote is:

        “If your business depends on a platform, you don’t have a business.”

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          But if a candidate’s campaign depends on a platform, he or she can still be in business.

          Reply
  13. marym

    06/05/2019 NPR: Administration Cuts Education And Legal Services For Unaccompanied Minors

    The Trump administration is canceling English classes, recreational activities including soccer, and legal aid for unaccompanied migrant children who are staying in federally contracted migrant shelters.

    The administration has requested nearly $3 billion to shore up the program in a supplemental budget request, but Congress has yet to approve the money.

    06/05/2019 Yahoo News: Border Patrol is confiscating migrant kids’ medicine, U.S. doctors say

    Yahoo News spoke to five doctors…who volunteer at shelters and clinics on the border and each confirmed that they regularly see migrants with chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, seizures and high blood pressure, for which they claim to have had medication that was confiscated while they were in custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and neither returned nor replaced. It happens more frequently to adults, who are more likely to be on such medications in the first place, but doctors said they’ve been hearing similar reports from increasing numbers of children or their parents.

    06/02/2019 Miami Herald: Court gets unprecedented peek inside Homestead shelter

    A 705-page court document filed by lawyers who spent substantial time inside Homestead’s detention center for unaccompanied minors says the migrant children held there are subjected to “prison-like” regimens, potentially sustaining permanent psychological damage due to isolation from loved ones.

    Recent twitter thread from author of One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps
    https://twitter.com/andreapitzer/status/1136081213041651712

    so far, what the US is doing is similar to some prior systems, all of which degenerated further before they were ended

    Reply
  14. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “Donald Trump Is The Most Honest US President Of All Time” — That photo of Trump with Queen Elizabeth looks as if it were drawn by a political cartoonist to parody England after BREXIT and the US as it struts toward its collapse.

    Reply
    1. JEHR

      It’s fair dinkum that what is most dishonest about the president is really the most honest thing about him. Will he leave when it’s his time, or will he prolong his attendance?

      Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “US-Mexico talks: Trump says more progress needed to avoid tariffs”

    Apparently this is playing badly with the Chinese. The US has been in negotiations with Mexico about their trade relationship ever since Trump arrived in office. Now, out of the blue, he trashes all talks by playing the national security card which is one that can be played at any time irrespective of what talks are going on. The Chinese took this as a sign that any deal with Trump would be worthless as even if a final deal is agreed upon, Trump could play the national security card afterwards causing all sorts of chaos but would claim that it had nothing to do with the agreed deal. So the takeaway is that Trump’s words mean nothing and any deals are always up for negotiation at any time. I wonder what the Chinese for ‘non-agreement capable’ is?

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Unpredictablity.

      That, I think, is in Sunzi’s The Art of War.

      We should not be surprised if Beijing is unpredictable as well.

      Reply
          1. Procopius

            I learned with the Yale transliteration, although the last third of the course we had to learn Wade-Giles. I’m still not comfortable with Pinyin. Using x for hs isn’t bad, or q for ch, but then I’m always unsure about zh or zi for what I learned as tze, and I just don’t like c for ts.

            Reply
  16. timbers

    All Biden or most any Democrat running for President needs to do to win against Trump, is talk about Universal Single Payer / MedicareforAll plus other sensible popular programs to help working people.

    So we know that’s not going to happen.

    Bernie or bust. I’ll likely never vote for a Democrat (or Republican) running for President again in my lifetime.

    Reply
    1. zagonostra

      No, the Dem’s will try to re-direct, divert, obfuscate, prevaricate, etc…and never focus and stay on topic with the one policy that would easily, handily get anyone elected, M4A…and I like you will vote for anyone but Dems unless it’s Bernie or Tulsi

      Reply
        1. Procopius

          He’s doing that kind of thing lately. I think it started last year. Don’t know what it’s about, because then on his next show he’s flinging poo at the walls again.

          Reply
    2. petal

      Somehow I ended up on a list so I was getting multiple texts from the Bernie campaign(I’m in NH). Texts cost me real money and money is very tight and scary right now, so I asked to be taken off the list immediately. They got back to me, took me off the list, were very responsive. This was around the time he came out for impeachment. I told them “If he wants to win, he needs to stop talking about impeachment and instead tell me how he’s going to make my life better.” Hoping it filters up, but not optimistic.

      Reply
  17. Wukchumni

    Read a great D-Day story maybe 25 years ago, about a US army photographer who parachuted near the landing beaches in the wee hours, made his may to a perfect aerie above the fray and dutifully shot every roll of film in documenting the landing, and then made his way to the beach as things cleared out, gave the 10 rolls of movie footage to be put on a ship going back to the UK, and that’s the last he ever heard of them. And they obviously haven’t turned up since, forcing us to watch that GI Joe on the beach getting shot & going down in the one bit of footage out there, over and over again, in some sort of twisted Sisyphusian fashion.

    Reply
  18. Susan the other`

    American Prospect. Liz Warren. This highlights Liz’s plan to promote good jobs and do domestic American manufacturing and green projects and products. She’s not promoting international corporations and trade. She sounds better then Bernie on most of this stuff. And from a different planet than the rest of the neoliberal democrats. This article makes her sound like a German-style ordo-liberal. Which would also be a marked improvement from the mire of neoliberal globaloney-international-shareholder-value-rentierism we now have. And she knows what she is talking about, I caught a clip of her presentation on Fox or MSNBC. The thing I noticed about her position was that she was almost taking a stand against private banking and the Fed. And Liz knows that industry as well as anyone. Maybe “against” is the wrong word but her presentation started out by proposing we get rid of the Fed and spend directly into the economy. She didn’t call it MMT, probably because MMT has become a lightning rod, but she referred to it as active management of our money to accomplish good jobs, a good economy and climate mitigation. All good stuff. She does keep slipping back into the old mythology of bringing in tax revenue to pay for things. A little. She seemed to imply that the Fed had failed to balance our economy, when in fact the Fed was prevented by Congress from doing anything fiscal. Liz knows this. So that’s a fudge. Congress is the culprit; they have been almost criminally negligent. The Fed is just the bookkeeper who disperses an allowance to the banks. And it’s a no-brainer that Congress is happily corrupt, siphoning that money off to various constituents and to themselves; leaving American Labor high and dry. I guess anything would look like MMT compared to the corruption of Congress.

    Reply
    1. Off The Street

      Imagine Warren’s honesty spreading in DC. We could see elected critters thinking more about their constituents than about where the next campaign contributions are coming from. They could think about why they were elected more than how to get re-elected.

      Combine that theme with the drug price article notions and see how to apply bulk purchasing discounts, public pricing and such to VA and other fed agencies. Or a Warrenesque post office bank. There is a monopsonist element to fed policies that hasn’t been explored enough for the positive results instead of for the neo-liberal fee grabbing and trough-suckling insiders.

      Rant in honor of D-Day 75th Anniversary and how my parents and their generation would be disgusted at what has become of the country that they fought for.

      Reply
    2. JerryDenim

      “She sounds better then Bernie on most of this stuff.”

      Sanders made Stephanie Kelton chief economist of the Senate Budget committee in 2014. What’s Warren’s contribution to advancing MMT in the economic and political discourse?

      I wish both Sanders and Warren were more clear and vocal in debunking monetarist, deficit-hawk lies, but seriously what has Warren actually done on the MMT front? A cynical person might believe Warren is attempting to erode Sanders’ lefty-reformer base of support by pitching one blue-sky policy idea after another on the campaign trail, while having no intention or ability of ever implementing those policies.

      Despite her new found radical rhetoric I think Warren is still a Reagan Democrat who’s only sincere anti-establishment conviction is believing the law should apply equally to bankers and regular citizen-consumers alike. In 2008 that was a rare enough sentiment in the Democratic Party to qualify you as a radical. That sentiment is hardly radical in 2019 and definitely not radical enough to attract headlines and young voters interested in DSA style socialism, so we get this new blue-sky policy-proposal-per-day Liz Warren of the 2020 campaign trail. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made the cover of Time magazine and has won the admiration of right-wingers like Steve Bannon and Ann Coulter. Even Marco Rubio is penning policy white papers criticizing shareholder capitalism, so being far out on the left flank isn’t bold or even risky in 2019. Campaign trail talk is absurdly cheap, but it’s especially cheap for someone running a distant third in the polls.

      I lost all respect for Elizabeth Warren in 2016. She could have been Attorney General or almost anything else she wanted right now in a Sanders administration, but she sat out the primary fight, then enthusiastically endorsed Clinton once it appeared she had a lock on the nomination. Not the actions of a true believer or a person who desperately wants to see progressive-left reform. Maybe she’s 100% genuine, but I’m not buying it. I predict she successfully splits the Sanders-lefty reformer vote, then accepts a VP slot on a Biden ticket. I really hope I’m wrong, but if I’m right you heard it here first.

      Reply
      1. Oh

        We have have reasons to be very skeptical about the DimRat candidates, don’t we after getting deceived so many times and most recently by Obomber.

        Reply
    3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I don’t think you have the Power Pyramid quite right.

      The accepted power pyramid has the hapless Citizen as the base, above that are Corporations, then above that Banks, then above that Governments.

      When in reality the occupant of the top spot is Banks. They in turn own and control Corporations; which in turn own Governments; which in turn inflict upon the Serfdom.

      So it’s not the Congress as “the culprit”; it’s The Banks. The entire rest of the structure simply operates like marionettes on a string below them.

      Reply
      1. Todde

        The men who control men, control the men who control machines, while the people who control money, control all.

        Will Durant

        Reply
  19. bwilli123

    The engineered rise of Neo-Liberalism in the IMF
    From the twitter thread at
    https://twitter.com/Kentikelenis/status/1136588407621193730

    …” In 1980s, int’l orgs set up to support post-war “embedded liberal” order were refashioned to become leading promoters of neoliberalism. We focus on the rise of “structural adjustment” at the IMF: deregulation, liberalization, & privatization mandated through IMF loans.
    The rise of structural adjustment at the IMF is puzzling: a massive departure from the founding treaty (prohibiting IMF policy activism) but occurred without formal renegotiation. We argue that the Americans achieved this through a three-pronged *normative* strategy.
    Why change norms & not treaties/guidelines? Can get the job done more easily! US official: “no one in their right mind wants to start amending the treaties; this has to be approved by the countries… If we can accomplish a goal without having formal vote, it’s a safer bet” ….

    Alexander E. Kentikelenis and Sarah Babb, “The Making of Neoliberal Globalization: Norm Substitution and the Politics of Clandestine Institutional Change,” American Journal of Sociology 124, no. 6 (May 2019): 1720-1762.

    Or from the author’s website
    http://www.kentikelenis.net/uploads/3/1/8/9/31894609/kentikelenisbabb2019-the_making_of_neoliberal_globalization.pdf

    Reply
  20. Ptb

    Re: DNC punishing candidates debating for climate change policy:

    Wow. Climate change was one of the two remaining pillars of the hold-your-nose argument for mainstream Dems. (The other being diversity/anti-racism/women’s rights – also weak points for Biden)

    This should be front and center. Eliminate the DNC, take back the party.

    Reply
      1. jrs

        Since Biden cares so much about the climate (he now has a plan, didn’t you hear?), I’m sure he will be fighting the DNC on this one.
        /sarc

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I like how Perez is basically admitting Harris, Buttigieg, and Biden (I assume they’ve given up on O’Rourke) are so awful they can’t even risk answering softball questions on whether they approve of recycling.

          Reply
          1. jrs

            Beto the candidate “with a climate plan” (and he does have a plan, the plan itself might be ok), who last time was found cheating on the “no fossil fuel” pledge and taking fossil fuel money. Not a good look.

            Reply
      1. jrs

        Oddly demanding a climate change debate was one of the things Greenpeace graded candidates on. But Biden sure earned that B. LOL. Oh who am I kidding, Biden has never earned anything in his life.

        Candidates that have actually said they support a climate debate (from axios):
        Jay Inslee (Washington Gov.) of course
        Sen. Elizabeth Warren
        Sen. Bernie Sanders
        Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
        Sen. Michael Bennet
        Former Obama cabinet official Julián Castro

        Reply
    1. Olga

      It is, of course, supreme travesty that representatives of the country that carried the greatest burden to defeat nazis have not been invited to the D-day celebrations. Pathetic.

      Reply
        1. Olga

          Well, good for Steve Bell… It is ironic that the V day (May 9) went by without much mention in the western press, but the D-day (coming in June 1944, when the outcome of the war had already been decided – and, as some have pointed out – to prevent the Red Army from marching into Paris) is given major accolades. Aahh, hypocrisy!
          (Off-topic – and to give some due to the Guardian, which still manages to publish a reasonable article now and then – here are two links:
          https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2019/jun/06/socialism-for-the-rich-the-evils-of-bad-economics – long read
          https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/jun/06/toronto-smart-city-google-project-privacy-concerns

          Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I understand Stalin was surprised by Operation Barbarossa, having signed the non-aggression pack.

          It didn’t help matter that many top soviet political and military leaders, before the war, who lived with their families in the House on the Embankment were purged.

          Reply
      1. Wyoming

        Perhaps. But I don’t believe that that US nor the UK was invited to the 75th anniversary of Stalingrad either. The Soviets were not at Normandy and the US/UK was not at Stalingrad. So it sort of makes sense.

        The big fault occurs, without a doubt, in the West not acknowledging that by far the heaviest burdens of the war were carried by the Soviets and we all owe them a deep debt of gratitude for that.

        Reply
        1. urblintz

          Had the Soviets not been fighting Hitler on the Eastern front, he’d have sent his panzers to Normandy and the outcome may have been very different indeed. That the Soviets were not at Normandy may be the very reason the allies won there.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Ironically, even though this was before the Wehrmacht came into being, the Reichwehr conducted secret tests abroad (in cooperation with the Red Army).

            Reply
          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            The target was always Eastern Europe. The various powers in Germany at the time (the war plans were cooked up before a certain person was chancellor) needed to prevent France from marching to Berlin while he invaded the East.

            “We need breathing room.” (I love this movie).

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum

            Soviet five year plans were moving the USSR, despite Stalin’s best efforts, out of a place where Germany could hope to win or gobble territory without dealing with Moscow.

            Patton’s race across France and into Germany was what German war planners feared if they didn’t lock down the French coasts and stop the UK from harassing them.

            Reply
        2. Olga

          It did occur to me, too – i.e., that Russians were not there – but then I rejected it as shallow reasoning. The defeat of the nazis was a common effort – with the USSR carrying the highest burden. I am sure, the USSR would have welcomed help at Stalingrad – but none was forthcoming. Plus, before 2014, Russians were invited to the D-day celebrations.
          And on the subject of the Stalingrad battle (lasting almost seven (7) months) – it was not until I saw a documentary on PBS (maybe 15 yrs ago) that I finally understood the gravity of the war and the USSR’s sacrifice. Until then, I still carried a child’s distaste for all “things war.” (What can I say – some of us are slow learners… although, once learnt, the lesson is not forgotten.)

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            It is all getting so petty. China recently had their 70th anniversary Naval celebration with ships attending from around the world. The US Navy declined as they had to shampoo their hair or something. And western countries have been deliberately not inviting Russia to memorial events that they played a major part in or not attending Russian events either. This is so amateur hour this sort of stuff and shows that you are not a professional player.

            Reply
  21. Cal2

    “The Growing Inequality Between America’s Superstar Cities, and the Rest”

    Richard Florida is not a champion of flyover country. He is more likely a shape-shifter for developers. Now that his “Creative Class” has grown to the point of a strangler fig in places like San Francisco, where homes routinely sell for not two million, but 22 million$, he’s moving on to help destroy urban growth boundaries where profitable.

    “Florida has been thinking a lot about that dark side lately, for a book he’s publishing in the spring called The New Urban Crisis. It will talk about fixing the affordable housing shortage in desirable areas, connecting cities and their outlying suburbs with mass transit, raising the wages of service workers so they can afford the prices that are rising around them — to knit together a “patchwork metropolis,” as he calls it…” (Mass transit to get the maids and other staff to work servicing the elite in the cities).
    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/texanomics/article/The-Reeducation-of-Richard-Florida-10165064.php

    “Transit Oriented Development”, means forcing, by state law, suburban and even rural communities to accept high rises around new transit stations. Pour concrete, pave, attract more people, meanwhile other people, usually “migrants,” with old cars, move into the houses that those moving into Transit Oriented Developments left. a.k.a. Immigration and overpopulation to help fight global warming? This most definitely enriches construction companies and bond issuers.

    Here’s their game plan:

    http://planningforreality.org/top-6-urban-hijacker-tactics/

    Reply
    1. Geof

      It doesn’t have to be forced. Municipalities in Metro Vancouver are doing it voluntarily, with very little public opposition. I know – a bunch of 50-something towers sprouted over a rapid transit station about 500 meters from my suburban home, tall enough to block winter sun, with very little complaint from my neighbours – or from me. In exchange, we get parks, a community centre, shops, restaurants – and bike lanes, care sharing (not ride hailing), improved sidewalks, more frequent bus service, and rapid transit extension. It’s already possible to live here without a car; that will only get easier.

      What’s crucial, I think, is that this development does not only happen in the wealthy and expensive centres, but spreads out to the suburbs, reducing the wealth gradient towards the centre and providing more options to more people. (Especially the possibility to reduce driving and the costs of multiple car ownership.)

      It’s true that most of the material about this is basically marketing bumph (here’s a glossy Avison Young “report”) in the service of developers, but the benefits are real.

      Reply
  22. a different chris

    >I hope they are used for target practice in gun-owning neighborhoods.

    Haha if you want to see real, successful “gun-grabbing” in action just see what follows “target practice”, when the target belongs to our corporate overlords.

    It will not be pretty.

    Reply
  23. Olga

    What Is Russia’s Game in U.S.-Iran Standoff? LobeLog (resilc)
    I have long ago stopped reading Lobelog, as the main author represents a certain agenda, while masquerading as an independent blog. This article just confirms this view. The writer – Shireen Hunter – was a diplomat under the shah’s regime; hence, she may feel justified in detesting the current Iranian govt. But I am not sure that gives her the right to misrepresent facts.
    One example: in asserting that Moscow is concerned about a reconciliation between the US and Tehran, Hunter completely skirts over the fact that Lavrov was instrumental in getting JCPOA finalised in June of 2015 (spending days in Vienna, engaged in heavy negotiations).
    Another example: “When America in the late 1970s treated Iranian events with complacency, it suffered a major strategic loss after the 1979 revolution.”
    Complacency? Really?! The US – and the west in general, plus the Saudis – unleashed Saddam Husein against Iran in a destructive war. Hardly an endearing act.
    In another piece on the same blog, in which Hunter ponders why Iranians do not talk directly to the US, she skips over the fact that Iran made clear overtures to shrub’s administration not long after 9/11. Iran, though, was summarily rebuffed. Plus, it was the US that cancelled JCPOA.
    Like I say, one has to have a long memory to wade through the current maze of disinformation and misinformation to make sense of what’s going on.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Another example: “When America in the late 1970s treated Iranian events with complacency, it suffered a major strategic loss after the 1979 revolution.”
      Complacency? Really?! The US – and the west in general, plus the Saudis – unleashed Saddam Husein against Iran in a destructive war.

      The complacency was in the late 1970s, from the quote.

      The war between Saddam’s Iraq and Iran came in the 80s. It’s possible the writer believes that that complacency continued after the late 70s, but it’s not apparent from the quote.

      Reply
  24. Synoia

    Resentment takes hold in the United State over trade war (satire)

    The US-China trade fight was never going to be easy – just like going to the dentist for long overdue root canal surgery. And like an infection complicating recovery from surgery, once resentment takes hold in nation-to-nation disputes things get harder – and more dangerous.

    And the United States has now got a full-blown case of resentment.

    This isn’t surprising, as the US simmers in resentment. But part of the problem is the US Government’s failure to explain itself properly.

    American foreign policy, often as not, is all about “sending messages” and “signaling”. And it’s too often assumed that the intended target of a given action understands the intended message just as Washington does – and will respond appropriately.

    So it is with the US and trade. As the Trump Administration – and much of Congress – sees it, the United States is properly and belatedly standing up to the wrong people 40 years of deliberately self-inflicted economic warfare.

    This reasoning makes sense to many of the 1%, if not most, Americans. Now, if only the Americans were Capable of Self-Analysis.

    Instead, US claims this is all intended to damage the US, by stealing US technological prowess and bolster its monopolies. And it reeks of classism, and racism – seeking to humiliate all 300 million Americans.

    Preposterous? Maybe to American Leadership – and many others on the receiving end of the US decades-long assault on workers and unions taking too much money as living wages and not making money for the 1% in ever increasing percentages of wealth.

    But it’s not at all preposterous to many, many Americans.

    ‘New Civil War’

    President Trump is telling his citizens to look at the trade war as it would a real war and to prepare for a ‘WW II’. And the US’ National Security Advisor and top Pentagon Officials vowed at last weekend’s TV appearances to “fight to the end.”

    And nearly every week US media produces a retired military officer or other commenters demanding the US skip the trade war and go straight to a ‘real’ war with the China and Iran. The US National Security Advisor threatens all with war. Since the US media is so money hungry it will always amplify “if the bleeds it leads.”.

    Rallying US citizens around the flag also makes sense from the US’s perspective. What else can it say? “America was wrong to embrace Neo Liberalism?” Hardly.

    But tribal appeals to nationalism can paint a regime into a corner. And it’s hard to back down, especially for the leader of the Free World, Moreover, US leaders in DC might even start believing the rightness of what started as mere tactical demagoguery.

    The US already resembles an angry drunk who’s talked himself into a fight.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If the opposition is to neoliberalism, then, the battle is to be fought in Russia, China, Germany, America and many other nations that have also embraced it.

      Reply
  25. Oregoncharles

    Working link for the Caitlin Johnstone piece on police raids of journalists:
    https://consortiumnews.com/2019/06/05/more-police-raids-as-war-on-journalism-escalates-worldwide/

    Alarmingly, the llink directly to her website comes up blank. I searched it for an alternative link.

    This works: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/06/05/more-police-raids-as-war-on-journalism-escalates-worldwide/

    I wonder if her site was down for a little while? Or is the Aussie gov’t messing with her?

    Reply
    1. norm de plume

      She has been down on and off for the last few days. If not down then on the go-slow. 3 attempts at joining her mailing list have failed. FB messages don’t seem to get thru. Strengthens my conviction that there is now a two track web, with dissenters and activists not just tracked but sand thrown in their net gears. Perhaps I watch too much Black Mirror.

      Nothing surprises me anymore, not after what has happened here in the wake of Assange and the election. Feds and govt after the two raids made reassuring noises that the whistleblowers were the target for releasing secret (read: embarrassing and damning) information. The AFP actually modified its statement yesterday to make clear that journalists too can be charged for receipt.

      The media is panicking, but despite the seriousness, I was still able to be vastly amused by this priceless statement from News Ltd after the Smethurst raid:

      ‘“This raid demonstrates a dangerous act of intimidation towards those committed to telling uncomfortable truths.”

      You don’t say! Of course the word Assange does not appear in the piece, not in any other mainstream piece I have seen, with the honourable exception of Waleed Aly in the Herald. Of course Caitlin made the obvious connection immediately.

      The Guardian of course is as guilty of airbrushing Assange as the starboard MSM; even pieces by novelist Richard Flanagan and head of the Alliance for Journalists Freedom Peter Greste manage to avoid the albino elephant in the room. Not surprising with Greste, who wrote a disgraceful column pretending Assange was not a journalist when he was arrested, but disappointing from Flanno. Was he edited?

      I can also recommend, in a more general sense, this excellent piece by Ian Welsh.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Julian’s mom is active, calling out the real reason behind the raids: they exposed Australian war crimes

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          And there it is. No wonder neither party wants Assange back in Australia again. Have thought for years now that Australian democracy is a matter of an iron fist in a velvet glove. The past day or two, we are now seeing a bit of the iron fist in action.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I think it’s stupider and more clumsy than that: it’s a case of neglect, and distraction. In the background The Fascisti are ever-opportunistic in their quest for hegemony over the individual. It’s up the The Individual to be vigilant. So Il Facisti in Australia passed this law in the dead of night last December when everyone was at the beach. And so today Dear Leader ScoMo (The PM) can say with a straight face “I always approve when a law is enforced” and “this had nothing to do with The Government, it was just The Police.” The first is simply disingenuous, given the circumstances under which this law came into being. And the second is a howler, that begs at least a few follow-up questions: “So Dear Leader, The Police are no longer a part of The State? What are they then? Do they operate on behalf of and report to perhaps a foreign power?” Unbelievable complete bullshit, plain and simple and delivered with a straight face.

            Reply

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