Links 7/2/19

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Alaska’s heat wave fuels dangerous smoke, melts glaciers Reuters (EM)

‘Precipitous’ fall in Antarctic sea ice since 2014 revealed Guardian. Resilc: “Burn, baby, burn.”

‘It’s getting warmer, wetter, wilder’: the Arctic town heating faster than anywhere Guardian (UserFriendly)

The perilous politics of climate change Financial Times (David L)

The Mycelium Revolution Is Upon Us Scientific American (David L)

This Fungus Eats Polyurethane Sierra Club

The Modern Farmer Guide to Small-Space Gardening Modern Farmer (furzy)

Scientists Make Model Embryos From Stem Cells To Study Key Steps In Human Development NPR (David L)


This is over my pay grade. The tweetstorm below shows all the windows in the ground floor of LegCo were broken and officials love to use property destruction as an excuse for a crackdown. On the other, the turnout across Hong Kong appears to be huge. How do you put down protests if they rise to the level of say 25% of the population?

Hong Kong protests: Carrie Lam condemns ‘extreme use of violence’ BBC

HK riot police forced to retake city legislature Financial Times

From yesterday, but amazing shots and clips of a day’s action that culminated in the storming and occupation of LegCo:

North Korea

Hope for a Breakthrough in Korea Ray McGovern, ConsortiumNews


Iran breaches uranium stockpile limit set by nuclear deal Associated Press

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Amazon introduces computer vision into warehouses Financial Times

Facebook Abused To Spread Remote Access Trojans Since 2015 ZDNet

Imperial Collapse Watch

A top US Navy engineer says the fleet needs to get out and bust the rust Defense News. Resilc: “Send to some Bengali shipbreakers and save the cash.”

US arms control office critically understaffed under Trump, experts say Guardian (furzy)

Trump Transition

Dear Hollywood: a live reading of the Mueller report will not defeat Trump Guardian (resilc)

Cartoonist loses job after image depicting Trump ignoring dead migrants to play golf Independent (furzy)

My Customers Don’t Pay Trump’s Tariffs Wall Street Journal (LW). Key section:

Most American companies won’t roll over and pay 25% more for a product. They will demand lower prices from their Chinese factory sales representative.

That’s what my purchasing department did. The moment the tariffs went into effect, we were on the phone with our Chinese factories, demanding price adjustments on our orders. Every single factory conceded.

My company is established but it’s not enormous. So why were the Chinese factories willing to accommodate our demand for lower prices?

Bankole: Blacks should stop apologizing for Dems Detroit News (UserFriendly)

AMA Abortion Lawsuit Puts Doctors In The Thick Of Debate KHN

Florida governor signs law allowing felons to vote but there’s a price Reuters (EM)

Border Patrol Out of Control

AOC says migrants forced to drink toilet water after tense border visit New York Post (furzy). Hoo boy.

Agents feared riots, armed themselves because of dire conditions at migrant facility, DHS report says NBC (furzy)

At the time the inspectors visited the border station, two civilian staff members were buying food for over 1,000 people on their credit cards.

“They’re spending $10,000 a day on cards not designed for that purpose,” the report said.

Health Care

Red States that refused to expand Medicaid under the ACA are seeing their rural hospitals close down Daily Kos (furzy)


What Kamala Harris Didn’t Say New Republic

Harris hops past Biden in early race for Black Caucus support The Hill

Kamala Harris Exposed a Flaw in Joe Biden that Trump Will Exploit New Yorker (UserFriendly)

How Lobbyists and Insiders Could End Up Choosing Democratic Nominee Intercept (furzy)

John Hickenlooper’s War on Socialism New Yorker (fruzy)

The deadly poison sarin was detected in a mail bag at Facebook’s offices in California Business Insider (David L)

Future Without Currency Wars? by Harold James Project Syndicate. UserFriendly: “Literally the worst take I have ever read.”

Center for American Progress Puts ThinkProgress Up for Sale Daily Beast. UserFriendly: “LOL.”

Journalism Layoffs Are at the Highest Level Since Last Recession Bloomberg (furzy)

The oligarchs won’t give you peace Carl Beijer

Monetary Independence and Rollover Crises Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (UserFriendly)

Class Warfare

Conservatives are desperate to absolve the 1 percent The Week (UserFriendly)

Canceling all college debt will make us smarter and richer (Opinion) CNN (UserFriendly)

Restoring the Great American Middle Class American Conservative

Antidote du jour. “Pileated woodpecker – photographer Charlie Mullen.”

And a bonus (martha r):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Ignacio

    RE This Fungus Eats Polyurethane Sierra Club

    Polyurethane fibers are much more accesible to enzymes than tigthly packed polyethilene fibers. That is why it can be readily biodegraded I guess

    1. Antifa

      There is genetic research on bacteria and enzymes capable of digesting polyethylene, and research on algae as well. There is a startup in Britain that builds three-story homes entirely out of 18 tonnes of waste plastic, which results in a fireproof and waterproof home that needs only minimal insulation, heating or cooling.

      But one fears that any news of doing something with plastic other than tossing it only lets the plastics industry off the hook for its burgeoning growth.

      1. Susan the other`

        This use of plastic to be recycled into durable construction materials is a good way to clean up garbage plastic but this still leaves tons of unrecyclable garbage plastic to dispose of. My question at this point would be what happens if fungus is modified to eat plastic – will it then eat all the new plastic houses and lawn furniture?

        1. Oregoncharles

          There are microbes that eat the wood most houses and furniture were and are made from. We cope, not always successfully,

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Imagine the international outcry if Putin, Assad or Maduro deliberately bombed a sovereign country in the middle of the night, killing 16 people, including children and a baby.

    But when Israel does exactly this in #Syria, no one even bats an eyelash.

    The Guardian report on this yesterday led with the striking of a hillside in Cyprus by debris from a Syrian anti-aircraft missile. It only mentioned the Syrian civilian dead in passing.

  3. Tinky

    The “bonus” buffalo moves with extraordinary grace, belying its undoubtedly awesome power.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    This is over my pay grade. The tweetstorm below shows all the windows in the ground floor of LegCo were broken and officials love to use property destruction as an excuse for a crackdown. On the other, the turnout across Hong Kong appears to be huge. How do you put down protests if they rise to the level of say 25% of the population?

    I’ve no direct insights, but from reading the history of past crackdowns in China, the leadership often goes to extraordinary pains to ensure an absolute consensus among senior leaders before sending troops into a bad situation – even to the point of ousting naysayers before issuing the orders. This is one reason they took so long to respond to the Tiananmen protests, but why they were so ruthless and effective when they did. So any response by China will not be swift – but if they do crack down, it will be extremely hard.

    1. djrichard

      Sounds like “never let a crisis go to waste” does double duty here. Use it not only to squash dissent in the public, but use it also to unmask and remove dissent from the inner circles as well. That’s some pretty serious “will to power”.

    2. Lee

      This is way, way over my pay grade so I have but a simple question: what is the motivation of the CCP for imposing an ideological straitjacket on Hong Kong?

      With a per capita gdp six times that of the mainland it’s quite an asset just as it is. The only threat I can see is that it serves as an alternative model and I guess that’s all it takes.

      1. Ranger Rick

        The law guaranteeing Hong Kong’s “autonomous” status only lasts for 50 years. If they don’t start steering the younger set towards ideological compliance now, in 30 years you’ll have a bunch of very angry adults along with two entire generations under them raised the same way.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        Hong Kong is much less economically important than it used to be. Shanghai has overtaken it as a financial centre. So far as Beijing is concerned, its mostly just somewhere for avoiding currency and tax controls. Its also a thorn in its side due to the shelter provided for dissidents and artists who don’t take the Party line.

        I suspect the only reason they’ve gone gently so far is the desire to woo Taiwan with assurances that a Beijing takeover would not mean the end of freedom of expression there.

        1. JBird4049

          How do you put down protests if they rise to the level of say 25% of the population?

          Although unlike the Assad regime use of barrel bombs on markets, schools, and hospitals is not likely to be copied, often extreme methods are used by the Chinese on the Tibetans and Uyghurs, I suspect that the successful crackdown will occur eventually as even the appearance of self-rule, and I don’t mean actual independence, just self governance, is unacceptable.

          When the Dalai Lama government in India negotiated for his return as well as for Tibetan self governance as a Chinese protectorate about thirty years IIRC and they apparently came into agreement on everything. Somehow the Chinese would always find something to haggle over. Yes, we all agree. But… The Dalai Lama actually had a very large fit eventually.

          The Uyghurs are now effectively in a giant police station and concentration camp.

          Both of those populations are ethnically, culturally, and religiously very different from the Han with the Chinese, much like the American government, clueless on why the populations are getting angrier each time they use a hammer to smash even mild disagreement or misunderstandings. Just like how that perma-war with the constant droning of everything from terrorists bands to wedding parties to local government meetings to the equivalent of a backyard barbecue just makes more terrorists out of the survivors. Simply clueless..

          The Hong Kongers are probably more worrisome because they are more culturally relatable. It is likely to get bloody especially if the local government falls.

          1. witters

            Right, if only Assad had let our freedom fighters do their stuff everywhere (imagine the blood).

          2. uncle tungsten

            Sure JBird4049, meanwhile the White Helmets who used fake gas attacks and dead children from undisclosed sources showed us all how to keep the population under control in Syria.

            1. JBird4049

              I am not sure where the two of you are going with the gas “attacks” and the White Helmets. If it is to imply that the Syrian opposition did some evil stuff, of course they did! It has been an eight year long and counting civil war. It would be strange if some of the many, many armed groups, militia, gangs, and what passed as regular military on both sides had not committed war crimes.

              The war started as mostly peaceful, unarmed protesters protesting not shooting. The general issue was the corruption and growing wealth of Assad’s clique of supporters. The more immediate problem was the drought and the theft of much of the ground water by the wealthy supporters of the government. That dried up everyone else’s wells. No water, no farm. No farm, maybe a job in the city. Wanna complain? Don’t.

              The actual spark was some school kids putting some anti Assad graffiti, which got them picked up by one of the security forces. They “accidentally” died. The government’s apologies were underwhelming and IIRC there were not even any arrests. The locals responded poorly.

              Assad’s response was to put snipers on the rooftops in Damascus to just start shooting anyone. Then came the helicopter gunships and the tanks. At that point, the protesters fired back.

              At one point Assad had five thousand people total in the Syrian Army as much of it had deserted. He was loosing. He solution was to go to kill everybody he could. Anyone not in his military or actively supporting him was fair game, which included hospitals, schools, and apartments as special targets.

              One of the reasons he “won” was his campaign of killing any moderates, or at least not of the more extreme adherents of Wahhabism; ISIS, after its later appearance also deliberately campaigned to kill any influential moderate leaders. Please remember that our definition of moderate is not necessarily a Syrian’s. However, leaders advocating religious toleration, rule of law, government for the people not the wealthy, and so, who could create coalitions strong enough to defeat the evil, corrupt, mass murdering government and the evil, barbaric, mass murdering cult were all assassinated.

              Between the barrel bombs, the suicide bombers, the mass artillery, and the beheadings Assad’ Regime and their ISIS frenemies were both loosing to what was left of the middle. Then Assad made his alliance with Putin which got him the military support needed to finish off the original rebel groups and finally ISIS.

              Assad’s strategy of butchering everyone and destroying everything not under his direct control is easy. The Syrian military’s rampant and indiscriminate use of barrel bombs is really easy to see especially as it is well documented.

              If you need an emetic, doing some actual research on the Syrian Civil War would be very helpful. Just pick a side in that multi-sided war.

              I can understand why someone might have a problem with my specific interpretations and certainly my conclusions. I don’t know everything and I am so, so fallible. Sometimes comically so.

              What I cannot truly understand, or really more correctly, accept drive by sloganeering posing as actual thought or even opinions by trying to simplify into idiocy the vast, oftentimes confusing, thing called humanity.

    3. False Solace

      The broken windows happened around 9 PM local time, the police released a video at 9:30 PM condemning it and explaining why they had to get violent in response.

      Then on social media someone pointed out the police officer in the video was wearing a wristwatch which was visibly set to 5 PM.

      Which means the police mysteriously knew violence would occur hours before it actually did and planned a crackdown in advance. This was all over social media last night.

      1. ChristopherJ

        If a mob (however big) was trying to get into Australia’s parliament house, the staff there would defend the chambers inside some to their deaths.

        Those in power in HK invited the mob inside by leaving their facilities unguarded, perhaps to show that the mob went too far when they got inside and created damage?

        The crack down will be brutal. Who in the world is going to stand up and support them when that happens? No one. We’ve let China do what they like, forever. We tend to just shrug and say how they deal with it is their matter, their country…

        Not so different to how many outside look at the USA: lots of strange goings on that only happen there, but that’s their business.

        1. EricT

          I don’t think the US would appreciate meddling by China on affairs like OWS and Ferguson, so why should we expect China to respect our authority on the matter of civil disobedience?

          1. JBird4049

            I don’t care. Neither government has much legitimacy as they both use lies and violence to maintain corrupt, repressive regimes that increasingly only benefit the wealthy.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Whether it’s Moscow, Beijing, DC, or anyone else, whenever criticism is warranted, we should look at it.

              We here should not ignore any particular one.

  5. Wukchumni

    We had a small wildfire yesterday here near St. Anthony Retreat, about 20 acres or so. This was the first conflagration of the summer and how it got started is a mystery, but was knocked down promptly by the 3 different fire departments here, nothing like overkill in that regard. We’re lucky to have such an overlap.

    Firefighters will spend the night protecting a church and surrounding wildland from smoldering flame.

    A blaze erupted around 3 p.m. Monday and burned roughly 20 acres of wildland south of St. Anthony Retreat in Three Rivers, off Sierra Drive.

    By 5:30 p.m., crews had the fire under control. Cal Fire, Tulare County firefighters and the National Park Service coordinated efforts to contain the flames.

    Between the three agencies, 11 engines, two handcrews, two helicopters and two air tankers worked to battle the wildland fire.

    Every local knows that after say May, outdoor fires are a no-go, the greenery dies off and becomes a catalyst, but Bob & Betty Bitchin’ from Burbank and their 2 fetching offspring aren’t hep to the risk, and besides, they promised their kids they could have s’mores.

    “On short little Washburn Drive alone, we have five of these. One of the absentee owners has obviously NOT told their short-term guests that campfires are not allowed. However, that doesn’t stop these folks; they use the out door fire ring for having weiner roasts, toasting marshmallows, etc. Fire department notified; still doesn’t seem to have any effect on the owner of the house. This is only one drawback to non-permanent residents; there are many more. It’s sad to see what’s happening to our community”.

    1. Carolinian

      Some see camping not so much a visiting nature as getting away from civilization. They wouldn’t be allowed to make a campfire in their back yard at home but feel unleashed once within millions of acres of flammable trees. Then there’s the fireworks…

      I need to visit the Smokies near Gatlinburg and see how the park is doing. That section was all burned a few years ago–human caused of course.

    2. anon in so cal

      We live in a high fire danger area of Los Angeles where street signs abound warning, “no smoking, no fires…..” Amazingly, the LAFD does allow use of fire pits on people’s property. One of our close-by neighbors is an absentee landlord with the entire house for rent on airbnb and the guests often use the fire pit and the New Mexico-ish clay chimney. This is in a fairly wooded area with Live Oaks, brush, etc. My appeals to the neighbor have no effect.

  6. Sharkleberry Fin

    The “Sarah Abdallah” Twitter account is a propaganda outlet associated with Hezbollah. The woman’s image is someone based in North American, not Lebanon. But, please, don’t let that stop anyone from feeling righteous outrage by pretending an intractable conflict is the product of one side’s moral failure.

    1. a different chris


      Ok so you judge people’s statements on who they are, not if said statement is accurate or not?

      And, can I have “righteous outrage” because both sides are run by total s(family bloggers)ts. Do I have your permission for that? I suppose I would be going too far to be madder about the bad side that my tax dollars support, yes? I will try not to do that, just to make you happy.

    2. Olga

      In other words, let no one puncture western propaganda about Syria and the Middle East?! All hail white helmets, no doubt!

    3. anon in so cal

      “The “Sarah Abdallah” Twitter account is a propaganda outlet associated with Hezbollah. The woman’s image is someone based in North American, not Lebanon.”

      People have posted that exact reply when I would occasionally approvingly post a link to Sarah’s tweets on my FB page (my account there is totally pseudonymous). Wherever this Sarah person is based, and regardless of their associations, the content of their missives provides a very accurate assessment of the overall situation, both in Syria and in the US and globally.

    4. richard

      I hate propaganda when it hasn’t gone through channels!
      And conflicts do have a way of being “intractable” when one side is armed to the teeth and uncritically supported by the global hegemon
      but certainly no moral failures anywhere to be seen as an apartheid state illegally bombs another country
      and if you dare to break from norms and say that might does not equal might
      I think it is totally reasonable that you get demoted from a person to a “propaganda outlet”.
      / S

    5. Massinissa

      Wait, so, when do we get to the part where you show us what she said is not factually accurate?

    6. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      I support Hezbollah, Lebanese Workers, and Iran for funding them.

      Heres where i post that meme from The Princess Bride…You keep saying things that i dont think u mean to say.

  7. marcyincny

    Lordy, just reading this morning’s links is horrifying. I already need a lie down…

  8. Martin Oline

    Regarding the story The Mycelium Revolution Is Upon Us, my sons always said they were going to sell me to the Soylent Green factory. Looks like they won’t have to wait too long for it to be built!

  9. Henry Moon Pie

    Resilc: “Burn, baby, burn.”


    I have lived here before
    The days of ice
    And of course this is why
    I’m so concerned
    And I come back to find
    The stars misplaced
    And the smell of a world
    That is burned
    A smell of a world
    That is burned.

    Yeah well, maybe, hmm…
    Maybe it’s just a… change of climate

    “Up From the Skies” Jimi Hendrix

      1. jrs

        I run to the river, it was boiling
        I run to the sea, it was boiling
        I run to the sea, it was boiling
        All on that day

        Oh, Sinnerman, where you gonna run to?
        Sinnerman, where you gonna run to?
        Where you gonna run to?
        All on that day

    1. Duke of Prunes

      This picture was posted on an unofficial Chicago police blog in regard to an event over the weekend where a stolen car was chased into a bus shelter. A man waiting for a bus was killed. There’s some dispute about whether the SUV was actually being chased, but that is what the news says. I don’t think the problems in Chicago are because police are instructed to not chase on crowded city streets.

    1. djrichard

      The Chinese politburo have their ways of dealing with dissent. And the Irving family of New Brunswick has their ways of dealing with dissent. [Though I suspect there’s no dissent within the ranks of the Irving family themselves.] That said, neo-liberalism has its ways of dealing with dissent too. From the originally linked article

      He said major newspapers in New Brunswick, including the Telegraph Journal, The Daily Gleaner and The Times & Transcript all said they would no longer accept his work, but gave no reason for his dismissal.

      Some criticised the Irving family, which owns the newspapers and is also involved in the forestry, shipbuilding and energy industries.

      There was an article on the Irving family that was linked by NC just last week or so:

    2. ds

      I distinctly remember an editorial cartoon with this exact same idea from over 30 years ago by Jack Higgins, who was a famed cartoonist for the Chicago Sun Times. It must have been from 1988, since, from what I remember, it depicted then VP candidate Dan Quayle with golf clubs in the midst of the scene from the famed “Napalm Girl” photograph with the caption, “mind if I play through?” At the time, Quayle’s avoidance of the draft was a campaign issue.

      I am also pretty sure that Higgins won a Pulitzer Prize around this time, and he remained the featured editorial cartoonist for the Sun Times for many years after that.

      I guess it shows how times have changed — back then Higgins won a Pulitzer Prize for his dark, satirical works, and today, DeAdder gets fired for the same thing. Also, I wonder if DeAdder might have seen this cartoon at sometime and lifted the idea without attribution — or, at least a hat tip to Higgins.

      1. JEHR

        Re: Cartoonist loses job after image depicting Trump ignoring dead migrants to play golf

        When billionaires own all the papers in our province, then we get lots of front page full-size ads and no satire. The billionaires really hate satire!

        Trump was giving the Irvings some flack regarding soft wood lumber. You see what happens when billionaires seek to avoid any loss of profit even stooping to excoriate a cartoon that shows us who Trump really is.

    3. wilroncanada

      I’m making a wild guess here that, because KC Irving company owns most New Brunswick newspapers, along with most oil production, including retail, most forestry activity, along with much else in this “family compact” province, that it was Irving papers which banned the cartoonist.

    1. Monty

      What is the benefit to the donor? Is there some fraud here? Is it that they can brag about being generous, but are really diverting money to pet projects that benefit their kin?

      1. BoulderMike

        I don’t believe you have read the article. The answers to your questions are within the article.
        But, to try and answer your question(s): they get a capital gains exclusion, they get a tax deduction, and there is no disclosure of if, when or how the money is spent, and on what. It isn’t about whether they are spending on pet projects, but whether they are spending at all. Apologies for being a bit critical in my reply but please do read the article if you are interested, and then comment back.

        1. Monty

          I did read it. If they can no longer spend the money on themselves, where is the problem? Isn’t it like the “safe withdrawal” advice they give to retirees? If they only spend 3-4% a year, the principle amount can provide grants for eternity.

          1. Olga

            If you read it, perhaps you noticed this tid-bit:
            “We here are providing a service for the wealthiest folks in our country in order to create the perception of giving, in order to suck away from the tax basis,” Brown said, “without actually guaranteeing that any of this money is actually going to go out to serve society.”
            Pet projects used to evade taxes vs taxes paid that may be used “to serve society.” Not sure why the distinction is hard to understand.

            1. Monty

              But taxes don’t fund spending… So surely this means that more funds will go to “good causes” overall vs the wealth being hoarded in personal accounts?

              As long as they can’t withdraw the money for personal use. Who cares?

  10. Brindle


    I probably watch too much cable news–but it gives me a good sense of the establishment / beltway memes that are current.

    Bernie Sanders is often an invisisble candidate. He is rarely mentioned unless it is something negative or disappointing about his campaign. The same could be said of Gabbard but more extreme.

    There was a massive amount of coverage of Buttigieg’s fundraising totals but zero reporting on the policies of Buttigieg. The zero reporting on policies is a common feature of the cable news stories about 2020 Dem candidates.
    Curious as to the disconnect between Buttigieg’s huge fundraising figures and his weak showing in the polls. Cable news seems uninterested in delving into that dynamic and also as to the details of who is contributing to his campaign.
    Anyway, I often end up muttering, “what a bunch of garbage” after a 2020 segment is aired.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Curious as to the disconnect between Buttigieg’s huge fundraising figures and his weak showing in the polls.

      He’s the Democratic version of Marco Rufio for this cycle. Michael Kinsley’s line about Al Gore being a rich old person’s idea of a young person is applicable here but for the “woke” crowd such as Bradley Whitford who didn’t get the joke about telling black person he would have voted for Obama for a third term in the movie “Get Out” despite being on “The West Wing.”

      1. Brindle

        I read somewhere about Buttigieg being the master of the “closed door-rich fat cat” fundraiser—that he knows how to read that room. Good skill to have if your grass roots support is modest.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I don’t think its about Buttigieg “skills”. Politicians can read rooms.

          -he’s young.
          -disassociated with the Obama or Clinton Administrations. There is no mortgage settlement problems in his past.
          -tokenism. We haven’t had a publicly gay non-antebellum President. He’s not a butch lesbian. Or one of those T’s and Q’s at the end of LGBTQ. He uses the men’s bathroom.
          -not too tokenism. He converted to Anglicanism because you know wanting to recognize the Liz the II as Imperator is normal. He’s not a butch lesbian. Or one of those T’s and Q’s at the end of LGBTQ. He uses the men’s bathroom. Obama grew up in Kansas, not Oakland or Baltimore. He went to Harvard, not Howard or Morehouse. Obama learned of Jay-Z through a former Duke basketball employee, so not exactly someone who might join the Black Panthers.
          -sounds reasonably intelligent. The rich don’t have to think about problems (Scrooge’s sin was ignorance not greed.), so they know all they have to do is hire a smart person.
          -Oh right..Hillary didn’t go to Wisconsin. That’s in the Midwest…like Indiana. Both Big Ten schools!
          -foreign policy. Did you hear Mayor Pete was in the Navy? In Afghanistan…because of the water….I kind of remember applauding at a baseball game when they asked veterans to stand…I don’t have to think about wars…I can ask the guy who drove an officer, not a general, around to ask about those fantasy generals on the ground like Bobby Lee and some other misfit who wound up getting a bunch of people killed think.

          Its overlooked how lazy and disassociated the rich can be especially when it comes to thinking about problems. Mayor Pete is a “SIMPLER” (not simple solutions) solution, he theoretically removes a number of obstacles to victory without doing any of the hard work.

        2. jrs

          Is there any conceivable way or policy on which he could have grassroots support except that which he already does have? I don’t think so, because he has almost no record (mayor of nowheresville?) and he could run on almost any policy imaginable and the media is not going to allow a candidate to break through on policy.

          So he’s playing the only game he logically can play if winning is the main thing (if issues were the main thing it would different and he’d be polling even lower probably). Maybe of course mayor of nowheresville shouldn’t run for President.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Not being ready to roll was a problem.

            Look at the mileage Warren gets out of having “plans.” Seriously like five people care about the internal workings (I’m disparaging voters not Warren).

            AOC is a star because she has views and fits a few molds which Pete does too especially for Team Blue with its promise of identity politics.

            Obama was just this President despite this age of Trump, and a promise of “I’ve got this because let me clear no drama obama” isn’t going to fly. When Mayor Pete can’t answer simple questions without asking for more time and reminding people he knows enough to know his tenth grade teacher was really impressed he carried a copy of Ulysses with him whenever he came to class.

            His height is an issue, but I think if he was ready to roll, he could have made noise with the age of Sanders and Warren. The race relations in South Bend is a problem.

            This is a narrative we don’t articulate as a whole but Obama milked all the problems he “inherited” for eight years for every inch he could get. HRC’s whole campaign was based on being ready to be President from day 1. That’s a shot at Obama. Admitting it is difficult for many, but I think there is a demand for some semblance of being ready to be President.

            1. Pat

              I wish I thought that was true. Unfortunately I am encountering too many intelligent people who say policy and ability is important, who seem to be wowed by the articulate clean white gay guy (hat tip to Joe Biden). That he gives multiple syllable answers to questions and is seemingly thoughtful and well spoken plays well with a lot of people who are appalled by Trump.

              Seriously, we may get that Obama ‘milked all the problems” but despite masses of evidence to the contrary from the Trump administration a whole lot of people still have not admitted that he did little to address the real issues in this country and blamed that on a lot of memes that should now die. There is a reason why Biden could poll well and it wasn’t just name recognition (that it doesn’t survive exposure to Biden DOES prove Obama has some posing chops. His ‘cool’ does survive long past its use by date.)

    2. Cal2

      Paraphrasing the old Soviet employment model:

      “They pretend to report and we pretend to care about them or their advertisers‘ products,”

      …who should be notified and actively boycotted for “interfering with Democracy,” by posting ads next to slanted coverage.

      Call up your local advertiser on MSM, read them the riot act and tell them you are going to boycott them, unless they pay for the truth, instead of falsehoods.
      Urge your friends and neighbors to do so and promote it online. Don’t forget Yelp, Craigslist etc.

      Gloves off for Democracy.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I support the sentiment, but have you watched ads on MSM outlets? They aren’t consumer products except for designer drugs. Why does Lockheed advertise on MSNBC? To avoid reporting on their crummy products. Or why was HRC advertising on MSNBC? To reach the audience of people who watch the nominally liberal cable news network but aren’t dyed in the wool partisans? So like all five of Joe Scarborough’s audience that is aware he is a radical right wing Republican but finds his shift to be genuine and not at all about chasing a buck?

        Stories about the navy cutting crew sizes on ships while dramatically increasing the non-sailor jobs on those same ships leading to crashing into commercial ships, despite the Navy’s point of protecting commerce, should take up 15 minutes of a prime time show. Its a scandal, but as long as those stories are contained to blogs or offbeat news sources, they aren’t reliable for enough people.

        1. Cal2

          Think banks, car dealers, grocers and purveyors of services.
          We must be noticing different MSM.

    3. Carolinian

      Those cable shows tend to have ratings of a couple million people tops. So their penetration into the American hive mind is limited. Unfortunately people who do heavily watch them (because they want to be on themselves) are media types. So the “memes” tend to percolate throughout the political coverage.

      Our president watches them too of course–particularly Fox.

    1. Cal2

      Next question:
      Why aren’t they claiming asylum in Mexico, the first country they arrive in, which is what the law says they are entitled, and obligated, to do?
      (Mexico speaks Spanish, has a labor shortage, free health care and a similar culture–maybe they are just “economic refugees”?)

      “This year, about a million Central Americans will have relocated to the U.S as refugees…all these millions will have to, at some point, go to court hearings and have their asylum cases adjudicated. The trouble with that argument is that only 44 percent actually turn up for their hearings; and those who do show up and whose claims nonetheless fail can simply walk out of the court and know they probably won’t be deported in the foreseeable future.

      I suspect that the Democrats’ new position —
      everyone in the world can become an American if they walk over the border and never commit a crime
      — is political suicide.

      I’m sure the “American Working Class” that the Democrats are trying to get back on their side will just love that as to livable wages, affordable housing, taxes, schools and infrastructure availability.

      President Trump thanks the ‘democrats for easing his way back into the white house.

      1. jrs

        and then this reverberates to help Trump and his evangelical base, because never mind all the Dem candidates who seem to, not many people really want the whole world to come to the U.S..

    1. prodigalson

      I lived in “Squarebanks”, AK back in the 90’s. The payments back then basically just covered heating bills for the winter (which in the interior is quite long). I have no idea what it pays nowadays, if it’s more or less inflation adjusted. For larger families that extra money is pretty much kids clothes and food. Gutting U of A is a bad idea, but back in the day AK residents, especially those outside of the few big cities are working poor. So I can see where they’d prioritize payments to people who need it to live on vice the bloated education racket. (preferably we’d have s system that didn’t require this kind of constant Sophie’s choice)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Both seem like some sort of free income/universal income/basic income.

    2. Harrold

      I’m sure that the free market will step in and fill the void if the University of Alaska shutsdown.

  11. Susan the other`

    Project Syndicate. Who is Harold James? He’s incomprehensible. I’d just like to point out that Trump did rave about currency manipulation at first but has since dropped that hysterical attitude. His latest proclamation on Draghi is that he would like to see him run the Fed. Trump thinks Powell is lost in the weeds. I think he might be right. As for the rest of this article… I just hope everyone can see it doesn’t state facts and it doesn’t even come to a logical conclusion based on its own incorrect facts. Harold is a good old-fashioned gold bug who wants to protect the value of currencies by taking away national sovereignty. That’s about all he has to say. To have a totally static, inflexible currency is his dream. And he’s busy pushing FB’s Libra. This reads like blatant propaganda. “Libra will be pegged to a basket of government currencies” in order to insure stability. (??) This will save the world from currency wars by creating a universal monetary system and it will achieve what the euro has achieved… except that James doesn’t seem to know that the euro has destroyed the EU. What a dodo. He says the reason crypto won’t ever become an effective medium of exchange is that it is too hard to mine and too scarce. So which way does he want it? Libra will not do anything to maintain the value of national currencies. And FB will probably be short-lived as a clearing house of transactions targeted to “reach the world’s poorest people, most without bank accounts” because once the BIS organizes digital transactions (which it is trying to do) and coordinates central banks to do so (digital currencies are not crypto at all, they are not the equivalent of digital gold or any other silly thing James might not want to talk about) FB will be less convenient than a digital account at your favorite bank. Makes it look like FB is actually attempting to do some kind of a pre-emptive financial move.

  12. flora

    TAC article by Sen. Hawley is good. Missouri was once a large manufacturing state in St.Louis and KC areas. Too many of the manufacturing jobs have been shipped off shore , imo.

    1. Mike Mc

      Sen. Hawley should be working his Rolodex or the electronic version of same to bring those jobs back if he’s so damn concerned. His GOP and the people that fund it are in large part the reason those jobs left MO and the USA in the first place.

      Youngest serving senator; guarantee he’s got his eye on Pennsylvania Ave. at some point. Watch this guy.

      1. Harrold

        I have the feeling he has some things buried in his past like the former Governor Greitens.

      2. flora

        No doubt. Missouri was a reliable Dem state for decades… until the Dem estab decided outsourcing manufacturing to poverty wage countries to increase US corporate profits was more important than good jobs at good wages for US citizens and voters.

        Hawley sounds like what a New Deal dem used to sound like. Is he sincere? I don’t know. I do know that when the Dem estab turned their backs on the working class and US manufacturing that Missouri turned from Dem to GOP. So long, Claire.

        Why aren’t dems talking about this?

  13. Cal2

    “The felony conviction rate rose from 52 to 67 percent while Kamala Harris served as district attorney in San Francisco…”Sure, she only prosecuted certain easy, non-politically correct cases.

    Here’s more on her record:

    She failed to notice that her local State Senator Leland Yee and ally was an arms trafficker trying to sell assault weapons to terrorists.

    Then there was Keith Jackson, former SFUnified School District President who was in a murder-for-hire scheme.
    He had nothing to do with murals being painted over, at least.

    Kamala Harris, ‘district attorney,’ ignored Edwin Ramos, known illegal aliens M13 gang member, after numerous arrests and obtaining a mile long rap-sheet, including weapons charges enabling him to escape a half way house for ‘young offenders’, pull an AK-47 and gun down an innocent family of three.

    San Francisco’s crime rate before Harris, was far lower than after her tenure.

    Who Harris as A.G. did not prosecute: Mnuchin’s OneWest bank, “only 35,000+foreclosures, Herbalife, who her husband worked for.
    “…one of her first decisions as AG was to let off Angelo Mozilo without admitting to wrong-doing or personally paying a fine (the small money that went to restitution came from Bank of America shareholders).”

    1. Carolinian

      Seems like only yesterday she told 60 Minutes that she would stay in New York and run the real estate business.

      To be fair she did make guest appearances on his other reality show.

      1. uncle tungsten

        Maybe she is anticipating some growth in vacant real estate in Iran sometime soon.

  14. rd

    Re: Precipitous fall in Antarctic sea ice

    I am not a climate change denier, but I see a lot of volatility in the graph with a relative consistent mean and insufficient data to evaluate trends. The main reason it was a precipitous fall in area from 2014 was because 2014 had much more sea ice area than in any of the other years in the graph. Given the increase in warming in Antarctica, why was the sea ice area increasing from 2001 to 2014? Is the volatility we have seen since 2010 part of a long-term normal trend or is it the increased volatility that is actually the change? If we plotted sea ice area in Antarctica over the past 100 years, what would the mean and standard deviation be? Where would the 2010 to 2019 swings fit in that?

    One of the problems with both climate change advocates and deniers is that individual data points become trends with breathless media coverage. Often the real issue is something else entirely, such as the likelihood that the dramatic freezes in the south over the past few years may be due to the polar jet stream potentially becoming floppy due to reduced temperature gradients between the Arctic and Tropic of Cancer.

    1. SJ

      those questions were answered in the article:

      “Antarctic sea ice had been slowly increasing during the 40 years of measurements and reached a record maximum in 2014. But since then sea ice extent has nosedived, reaching a record low in 2017.

      We don’t know if that decrease is going to continue,” she said. “But it raises the question of why [has it happened], and are we going to see some huge acceleration in the rate of decrease in the Arctic? Only the continued record will let us know.

      So, no breathless media coverage – only an observation that a variable that has been slowly and steadily increasing for 40 years suddenly plunged to an all time low for no obvious reason. I think is it safe to assume that something happened that has never happened before.

  15. dearieme

    I don’t have the exact numbers … I’m guessing that several billion … is corrosion-related


  16. JCC

    I’m not sure if The Million Dollar Baseball has ever been linked here in the past, just use the right arrow key to scroll through.

    Goes to earlier points this morning about “the market” and I think the use of Bezos as well as the winning Boston Red Sox baseball are near perfect.

    Makers vs Takers, another example of The American Way.

    (Mr. McMillen has some other appropriate comics on his site)

  17. ewmayer

    “Iran breaches uranium stockpile limit set by nuclear deal | Associated Press” — I love how the Western propaganda-MSM headlines about this uniformly make Iran look like the bad rogue-state actor here. At least AP makes clear in paragraph 1 of the article:

    Iran has broken the limit set on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, international inspectors and Tehran said Monday, marking its first major departure from the unraveling agreement a year after the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the accord.

    The US abrogated the deal, IOW there is no longer any accord to “breach”. Gads, the hypocrisy:

    The European Union urged Iran to reverse course and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the action “a significant step toward making a nuclear weapon.” Iran long has insisted its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, despite Western fears about it.

    The EU, rather than pressuring the US to “reverse course”, is urging Iran to do so … and yah, Netanyahoo, given what a powderkeg the region is, it would be bad to have a ME nation with nukes, right?

    At the White House, Trump told reporters Iran was “playing with fire,” and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the international community to require Iran to suspend all enrichment, even at levels allowed under the nuclear deal.

    “Even at levels allowed under the nuclear deal” – so Iran should not only continue to honor the deal the US abrogated and enjoy those illegal US sanctions trying to starve it into submission, but it should go above and beyond what the now-defunct accord stipulated, to “show good faith” or something.

  18. Plenue

    >Dear Hollywood: a live reading of the Mueller report will not defeat Trump

    This play may literally be the stupidest thing I’ve read about in about six months. How embarrassing.

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