Links 7/30/19

Yves here. The Democratic Party debates are tonight and tomorrow night. Both evenings, Lambert will host a debate special feature. However, it takes a lot out of him to participate. So he will be actively involved in this evening’s debate (Warren and Sanders as the big names, where the policy issues, what is said and isn’t said are important) and will sponsor an open thread tomorrow (Biden and Harris, which will presumably lend itself to more reader snark).

I’ve Stayed Silent for Too Long: Opossums Deserve Our Love Mother Jones (furzy)

Boar wars: how wild hogs are trashing European cities Guardian

Scientists Stunned By ‘City-Killer’ Asteroid That Just Missed Earth On July 25 Washington Post

Ethiopia Plants 350 Million Trees in a Day To Help Tackle Climate Crisis Guardian

Can Robots Solve America’s Recycling Crisis? CNBC

5G May Drain Batteries, While Base Stations Will Require Three Times As Much Power IEEE

Lithium Industry Buildup Is Outracing the Electric-Car Boom Bloomberg (UserFriendly)

Despite denials, study claims 2017’s mysterious radioactive cloud did come from Russia New Atlas (David L)

Could cheap drugs (up to a century old) be the new way to tackle cancer? That’s the intriguing question raised by patients who swear they work – but profit hungry big pharma is ignoring them… Daily Mail

No, Lyme disease is not an escaped military bioweapon, despite what conspiracy theorists say The Conversation


Rising rhetoric drowns out Sino-US trade talks Asia Times (Kevin W)


Boris Johnson Issues Ultimatum to EU Over Brexit Talks as Pound Slumps Bloomberg

UK Made Illegal Copies and Mismanaged Schengen Travelers Database ZDNet. And no doubt passed it to the US.

New Cold War

China-Russia air patrol shows Japan and South Korea in disarray ejinsight (Kevin W)


Tanker Seizures and the Threat to the Global Economy from Resurgent Imperialism Craig Murray. Kevin W: “Includes image of actual law in article. Worth scrolling down to last paragraph which he lays out his qualifications to talk on this subject.”

US to reduce Afghanistan forces by 2020 DW

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Amazon Told Police It Has Partnered With 200 Law Enforcement Agencies Vice

BoJo adviser lays down strict ‘no leaks’ policy — but the warning is instantly leaked to media RT (Kevin W)

United Airlines Is Expanding Its Creepy Biometric Screening Technology to More Airport Hubs Gizmodo (Kevin W)

‘Never-Googlers’ Take Extreme Measures To Avoid Data Tracking Washington Post. I must confess to not being this rigorous. My big issue is the avoidance of being GPS located.

How the West Got China’s Social Credit System Wrong Wired (David L). Who paid for this handwaving? The plan is there and the fact that execution is behind schedule doesn’t make it any nicer.

200 Million Devices — Some Mission-Critical — Vulnerable To Remote Takeover ars technica. Honestly, I’m surprised the number isn’t much much higher.

Capital One Says Breach Hit 100 Million Individuals in U.S. Bloomberg

US Files Lawsuit Against Bitcoin Exchange That Helped Launder Ransomware Profits ZDNet

Trump Transition

Trump Adviser Tom Barrack Pushed for Saudi Nuclear Deal — and Planned to Profit From It ProPublica (UserFriendly)

Experts Say the DOJ Justification for T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Approval Is a Joke Vice


Gabbard’s run: “A different type of vibe” Washington Post. UserFriendly: “Actually somewhat positive.”

Conservative Democratic Ringleader Josh Gottheimer Gets A Progressive Challenger Huffington Post (UserFriendly)

Count every vote and count them all by hand Tim Canova South Florida Sun-Sentinel (furzy)

Journey to power: The history of black voters, 1976 to 2020 NBC (furzy)

Judge Dismisses Covington Student’s Lawsuit Against ‘Washington Post’ Rolling Stone (furzy)

The Dangerous Austerity Politics of the Washington Post Dean Baker, FAIR (UserFriendly)

More Older Couples Stay Together Because They Live Apart Wall Street Journal

Privacy Group Challenges FTC’s Small Facebook Settlement, Also Wants an Admission of Guilt The Verge

Apollo Trawls Records in Hunt for Epstein Links: Report Bloomberg

S&P 500 buybacks are driving an unprecedented cash decline, says Goldman MarketWatch

Facebook warns investors that Libra may never see the light of day CNBC

Deutsche Bank probes access of fired workers to lender’s systems Financial Times. We pointed out DB’s IT is terrible. This is far from the worst possible mishap.

Hiring is Broken And Yours Is Too Rajiv Prab. Important.

Class Warfare

28% of Delivery Drivers Have Tasted Your Food, Survey Finds Restaurant Business Online. If 28% admit to it, the reality has to be worse.

Parents Are Giving Up Custody of Their Kids to Get Need-Based College Financial Aid ProPublica (UserFriendly)

Against Against Billionaire Philanthropy Slate Star Codex (UserFriendly)

Antidote du jour (MGL):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. SlayTheSmaugs

    Re capital one breach–100 million is roughly 1 in 3 Americans. Really? That may are entangled with Capital One?

    1. Off The Street

      Here is one potential issue with Capital One, which could extend to any other solicitor.
      Those companies buy database information, well beyond mailing list addresses, from credit bureaus through so-called soft inquiries, and from, ahem, other sources, to use in their carpet-bombing campaigns for potential customers.

      The potential new debtor doesn’t even have to sign up to have information exfiltrated. One’s mere existence in some inadequately secured database somewhere is enough.

  2. ex-PFC Chuck

    Re the Craig Murray piece on the rights of passage through straits:
    As Gladstone put it back in the day, “She who rules the waves can waive the rules.” But as I said, that was back in the day.

    1. Briny

      That Iranian tanker would have been transiting the Strait of Gibraltar from West to East. Given the traffic patterns (rules of the road) there, it would have been on the southern, or Moroccan, side of the strait. That’s an act of war, not that I expect Morocco to do anything about it.

  3. Bugs Bunny

    Re: “28% of Delivery Drivers Have Tasted Your Food, Survey Finds”

    How would that work with pizza?

    Though it may explain the lack of any visible lamb in my last order of rogan josh.

      1. polecat

        How would you even know ?? .. I mean, said deliv. drivers prolly have their favorite utensils (read ‘hands’) at the ready at All times ! How else are you going to eat, working for less than Uber wages ……. and, as if that wasn’t enough, there’s the fast-food preppers, uh, idiosyncratic ‘handling methods’ to worry about !!

        ‘When in doubt, Don’t Take-Out !’

      1. The Rev Kev

        Hmmm. Licking without swallowing. Is that kinda like when Bill Clinton smoked marijuana but maintained that he didn’t inhale at all so it didn’t count?

            1. John Beech

              I gather you’re unaware of the viral video of the girl licking a container of ice cream in a Texas grocery store and putting the lid back on, or the kid spitting into a soda bottle before screwing the cap back on. Sigh.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Cook at home.

      Instead of consuming energy to deliver and using more single-use (paper or other types) containers, just make your own meals.

      Perahps banning takeouts should be considered.

    1. Craig H.

      Possums are cat-size rats and they make most dogs totally freak out. I don’t know about that guardian boar article.

      But more and more, they are drawn to city life. In Barcelona and Berlin, Houston and Hong Kong, groups of wild boar have been seen roaming around town at all hours.

      Google finds this.

      The Houston locations are not what I would describe as even remotely “city life”.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Our dog used to slaughter possums relentlessly. They’re invasive here and I wasn’t aware of their tick-eating habits (nor do we have ticks, that we’ve noticed), so we didn’t stop her. Did learn to give them a decent burial, though, or she would wait till they were nice and ripe and roll in them (you have had lunch, right?)

        A small possum in your kitchen late at night looks remarkably like a rat, as I saw one night in Portland.

        As far as urban boars: why is no one hunting and eating them? There should be a way to take them without endangering the neighbors – very carefully; in medieval Europe, they were considered the most dangerous game.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      at least 3 of them live under my house(possums, not walruses. my tolerance has limits)
      so long as the chicken house is reasonably secure, I’m cool.

    3. marieann

      I’ve only once had a possum in my backyard, he was the loveliest little creature. I wonder what they eat, perhaps I could encourage him to return.

      I love all creatures…..and some humans

    4. polecat

      The above Antidote is us, in about million, or less, years from now … especially considering we now have CRISR at our command.
      We could speed up ‘human’ evolution a bit, if need be.

        1. polecat

          All a part of going through the contortions of space/time travel. Musta been a bumpy ride !

    1. flora

      Bernie’s comment about Harris’ Medicare For All.

      Sen. Kamala Harris released a plan today that her campaign calls “Medicare for All” — you can call it anything you want, but you can’t call that plan Medicare for All.

      Her plan is centered around privatizing Medicare, enriching insurance executives and introducing more corporate greed and profiteering into the Medicare system — and even then, waiting for 10 years before any changes happen.

      Medicare for All means Medicare for All. Not more private insurance. Not more profits for denying care.

      I agree with his assessment.

      1. jrs

        only that’s not what existing medicare is is the problem, he’s not going to win the semantics battle, it contradicts with people’s lived experience with medicare is the thing. is the important thing semantics or policy? well i’m not saying it’s semantics, just saying how that would probably play out, I never though M4A was the term that should have been used.

        peoples lived experience is Medicare Advantage plans are what many sign up for.

        1. flora

          Medicare Advantage is a private insurance PPO or HMO plan that gets a subsidy from the govt, it is not existing traditional Medicare Plans, which are still available and fairly straight forward compared to Advantage plans. (Although, people are being mightily pushed to choose Advantage over traditional. )

          I think it’s important Sanders and others say what is true and point out the differences even if people have been seduced into confusing Medicare Advantage for Medicare, maybe especially if people are confused about the two forms.

        2. marym

          The original bill HR 676 (2003 through 2008) called it the “United States National Health Insurance Act or the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act”. A few years of “Insurance” being replaced with “Care” during the Obama years (!!!), and then just “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.” Only the current Jayapal and Sanders bills call it just “Medicare for All.”

          If they’d left it at “Expanded and Improved M4A” then a few bullet points on the expansions and improvements would be a simple way of presenting it in speeches and campaign literature.

        3. Procopius

          I’m worried that people are thinking that “Medicare for All,” or “M4A” are well defined terms. They aren’t yet, and there’s a lot of sausage making to be done. I hate Harris’s plan, but Bernie left an important phrase out,

          … you can call it anything you want, but you can’t in good faith call that plan Medicare for All.

    2. flora

      Former Sen. Frist (R-TN)has a new company selling Medicare Advantage plans to seniors? Ohhh, that’s reassuring, considering what happened with his earlier for-profit hospital chain HCA Inc.

      A little bit about former Senator Frist’s HCA Inc company’s Medicare billing practices:

      “Out of hundreds of newspaper stories on Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s (R-TN) stock sale currently under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Justice Department, only a handful have noted that, in December 2002, HCA Inc. — the company whose stock Frist sold off before share prices dropped sharply — agreed to pay the government $1.7 billion in fines and penalties related to 14 counts of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid. HCA Inc. is the for-profit hospital chain founded by Frist’s father. The total in penalties is the largest settlement ever recovered by the federal government in a health care fraud case, although many observers — including a prominent Republican senator — criticized the Bush administration’s withholding of information in the case and aired concerns that the government may not have been adequately compensated.

      “But few print stories have mentioned the company’s history of fraud and its precedent-setting fine to settle charges stemming from kickbacks to doctors and overcharging the Medicare program. Media Matters has reviewed all 350 articles in the Nexis database that mention the Frist stock sale; only six articles — five by print news outlets and one by a wire service — have mentioned the record $1.7 billion settlement in their coverage of the investigation: Gannett News Service [9/21/05], The New York Times [9/22/05], Roll Call [9/26/05 (subscription required)], The New York Observer [10/3/05], and The Tennessean [9/22/05 and 10/1/05 (subscription required)].” (my emphasis)

      Now he’s selling or plans to sell Medicare Advantage plans to seniors through his new company called Devoted Health? What could go wrong?

      1. anonymous

        Thanks flora. . . Can’t remember all the corruption, there’s so much of it— even at this scale. Last week notabanker commented that most people forget how Congress had originally voted down TARP—-out of anger.

  4. zagonostra

    >”Sanders spoke at the @NAACP convention where he got a standing ovation. The @nytimes straight up pretended he didn’t go”

    Below link at TruthDig is related to above quote. Jimmy Dore and other YouTube sites like Secular Talk, Rational National, TimBlack TV, and many others have noted these blatant biases of omission much earlier…and of course Ed Shultz being fired at MSNBC for just covering Bernie in 2016 and the infamous 16 negative articles in the WaPo should have sensitized everyone at this stage that “something strange is happening here” and that what it is is perfectly clear.

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      Secular Talk now over 700K subscribers; Majority Report has over 600K; Jimmy Dore 580K+; many other leftist channels in the 50K-200K range.

      You’ll get more policy discussion and actual information from a 10 minute video from any of those channels than you will from 24 hours of cable news.

      How many eyeballs do the shills at MSNBC (Make Sure Nobody Bashes Corporatism) get?

      1. Procopius

        I’m glad to see that Jimmy Dore is gaining viewers. I like his message, and from time to time I’ll click on one of his YouTube videos, but I can’t stand to watch more than a few minutes. He acts like he’s learning this stuff for the first time, like nobody ever told him bosses steal employees’ pay. Much worse, he laughs at his own jokes. This is not pleasant to watch. This is not endearing. Probably it’s just a generational thing. I’m in-between — too young for the beat generation, too old to be a hippie. They called my generation The Silent Generation. After The Greatest Generation, before the Boomers. “Cool” was cool. Anyway, I just find his mannerisms offend my sense of propriety and make me think he’s an idiot.

    2. curlydan

      “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”
      ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22

  5. Watt4Bob

    Current 4G cell towers are located roughly 10-20 miles apart and use less power.

    5G antennas are located roughly 500 feet apart and use much more power.

    I’d speculate that the biggest advantage of 5G goes to the government’s ability to triangulate a users position much more precisely, in fact down to the sort of distance that can be closed by an agent on foot.

    Currently ‘they‘ know roughly where you are, and need a car to get close, in a 5G world, they’ll know more or less exactly, and run you down on foot.

    1. bob

      “I’d speculate that the biggest advantage of 5G goes to the government’s Big Tech’s ability to triangulate a users position much more precisely”

      Yanno, the people who are making Billions of dollars actually selling this stuff, advertising included.

      They’ll also sell it to the government, for a fee….

      1. Robert Valiant

        It boggles my mind that people will frantically pay many hundreds of dollars to have these new 5G surveillance devices in their pockets. People are just plain stupid.

          1. Watt4Bob

            Hard to tell where the gubmint leaves off and big tech begins isn’t it?

            And why is it that big tech seems to know where we are all the time, but when you call 911 they can’t find you?

            1. bob

              It’s not tough at all. Facebook just paid a 5 billion dollar “settlement” (aka a few days of revenue) and didn’t admit doing anything wrong. They still have many, many lobby in DC, kicking back pennies on the dollar to the people who supposedly control them.

      2. jax

        The larger issue with 5G is that citizens will be bathed in radioactivity. Brussels recently declined a 5G rollout because of unknown health risks. It boggles the mind that citizens are willing to not only spend hundreds of dollars more, but expose themselves and their children to the unproven safety of 5G tech.

        1. Procopius

          … citizens will be bathed in radioactivity.

          Oh, for goodness sake. Do you know what “radioactivity” means? Look it up, there are many good dictionaries on line for free. It’s “electro-magnetic radiation,” same as radio, television, and sunlight.

    2. jefemt

      But they first have to put down their donut…

      My very anti electro -magnetic-anything friend is much more concerned with health risks than the Po-leece state/ privacy.

      The Po-leece state is game over– but there is plenty of non-tin-hat evidence out there about the health risks of 5-G. Israeli army has been using for some time and its radio ops folks have been suffering through a myriad of health issues that are pointing to 5G as the culprit.

      I should be flattered that so many resources go into tracking me and other terribly ordinary folk… my life and habits just don’t seem very compelling 99.9% of my days.

      The ability to track, o build a case, after the fact does not appear to modify behavior or prevent any given thing from happening. Viz 911, school shootings, the myriad of non-school seemingly random acts of violence or protest- hacking of Experian, Cap 1— they all occurred.

      1. anon y'mouse

        it isn’t intended to prevent “any given thing” from happening. it is intended to prevent you from being politically active, or doing whatever it is they decided yesterday makes you an enemy of the state.

        just as self-driving cars are not meant as “more convenient as taxi cabs”. just able to bring you to where they want you. ever see Cold Lazarus? similar to that.

        what they are selling and what they are selling it for are not matching up.

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          “I should be flattered that so many resources go into tracking me and other terribly ordinary folk… my life and habits just don’t seem very compelling 99.9% of my days.”

          If that is your response, they’re not looking for you. You’re already self-governing in their interest. They’re looking for dissidents. And that term will grow to encompass more and more as time goes by.

    3. Monty

      The biggest advantage to the consumer is that it may break the cable company monopoly on a very high bandwidth connection to your home. Hopefully it wont just be priced at whatever the cable company is getting away with (+- a few bucks) and will usher in much lower prices. However, this is America so don’t get your hopes up.

      1. John Wright

        I suspect 5G wants to appeal to customers willing to pay for high bandwidth for portable devices.

        Maybe if they have surplus bandwidth they might try to appeal to the fixed location cable customers, but only on a recovery of marginal costs basis until the cable companies customers can be replaced by higher margin customers willing to pay for portable bandwidth.

        Your suggestion that they will price it at cable company rates +/[- a few bucks seems most likely to me (and at cable company rates + bucks)..

        The build-out of the network with a lot of expensive hardware suggests to me that 5G bandwidth will not be priced cheaply, except, possibly, during an initial introductory offer phase.

      2. Pat

        I already know people whose internet connection is a combination of free wireless, eg Starbucks, and their phone. Unless they can share multiple lines with friends or family they are already paying more than the cable company charges for broadband. “unlimited “usually means five gb for cell phone companies. Forget hours of streaming video. 5G will certainly be priced higher.

        There is no advantage to the consumer for 5G.

      3. WheresOurTeddy

        What evidence can you point to that an ostensible increase in product quality will ever be distributed widely to he masses via discounted pricing and increased competition rather than result in a “premium tier” service which can justify a higher cost to the consumer?

    4. cnchal

      > 5G antennas are located roughly 500 feet apart and use much more power.

      The other day we learned that the Canada Pension system is throwing money down the fracking rat hole, but I have to give them credit for being prescient. We thought they were nuts, but it is apparent we are going to have to burn every drop of oil and puff of gas to power the cell phones of the future, and the energy requirements are going to intensify as time goes on with cell phones calling somewhere without your knowledge several times per second, to satisfy the requirements of the surveillance system.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And using that to run blockchain transactions will use even more energy.

        Should be that be an issue for the Green New Deal? Is AOC bullish on Bitcoin, as one Bitconist dot com article suggests.

    5. Tomonthebeach

      Who the heck asked for 5G in the first place? I sure didn’t.

      It’s a friggin telephone that just happens to take pictures, record voices, make movies, remind me of meetings, let me know when the garage door is open, tells me when there is somebody at the front door, lets me change the room temp or the pool temp, sends emails, converts money and measures, stores my grocery checklist, lets me call any of the 3,369 people in my contacts list with a button push, does arithmetic calculations, scans barcodes, provides access to all my financial institutions, warns me of bad weather, translates most languages for me, blocks robocalls, shows me where I parked my car, gives me directions to where I want to go, and most importantly, lets me play solitaire while waiting, waiting, waiting – or just bored at meetings. What does 5G add other than justifying a bump my phone bill?

      1. Paul O

        Massively reduced end to end latency is one aspect. So being able to fly your camera enabled drone over the air interface for example (they won’t need to chase you down on foot – the AIs can do automatically).

        Though that may not add much for most customers

        Think Internet of Tat rather than telephone

  6. TheMog

    Re the UK copy of the Schengen travelers database, German IT media is reporting that the data was indeed shared with companies in “Drittstaaten” – ie countries that aren’t part of the EU. The US is explicitly mentioned, but it reads like the data might have wandered off in other directions as well.

    The particular news website I looked at (, which is the online arm of a couple of long standing and highly respected German IT magazines) also reports that the UK has apparently decided to keep said illegal copy post-Brexit, too. It doesn’t seem to be quite clear what data they have access to, as the article only mentions that the UK has access to a restricted amount of data as they’re not a Schengen country and only has had access since 2015.

    The article reports that copies of the data have been found at border control offices, police stations and other unnamed governmental entities. Also, it doesn’t appear to be the complete data set (mostly seems to concentrate on terror suspects) and to make matters worse, they didn’t bother updating their copies regularly either, so the data that was i use is very likely out of date.

    Link to the source article (German only, sorry):

    1. TheMog

      To clarify – the article doesn’t make clear what parts of the data they had/have access to, I’m pretty sure the EU does know.

      The article also reads like the UK wasn’t the only offender that copied and misused the data, but it’s the only country mentioned explicitly.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Reading between the lines, you can see that they accuse the UK as acting as a direct conduit of all this sensitive information straight to the US. They talk about taking practical steps to limit the damage but I suppose that post-Brexit, this problem will slowly go away as the database retained by the UK ages. Didn’t help though when the UK said that they are keeping their copies and do not intend to give them back out of defiance after being caught breaking the rules. It is stuff like this that will make the rest of the EU be glad to see the back of the UK government.

      1. vlade

        Last week there was an article on the UK police basically brute-force copying all the EU databases they could get their hands on, in expectation that they will not be able to access them post October 31.

        1. The Rev Kev

          If the police are doing this, then you would expect that the GCHQ would be doing the same. This is starting to get ominous this. The people of the United Kingdom do not deserve what they will have to deal with after October 31st because of entitled idiots like Cameron, May and Boris.

    1. jefemt

      Need a farm-stand or CSA as second and third legs on your marketing stool? Really sorry to hear that- maybe barter some eggs, make some yummy Quiches, they freeze well and are one way of preserving the fresh goodness…

      Hang in there…

      1. Steve H.

        To clarify, I’m not a vendor, we’re eating all I grow now. But one can dream…

        What is difficult is watching person A, who knows someone I had a meeting with last week, and person B, that my mother worked with, ripping into each other. None of them that I know have been anything but kindly and civil, productive in the community. All would oppose ‘hatred’ and yet they are finding ways to divide themselves.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Preserving the fresh goodness.

        Slices from Queen Victoria and Albert’s wedding cake (with lots of sugar and brandy) regularly are bought at auction. I wonder if they are still fresh.

        1. bruce

          Yes, but that’s like pieces of the True Cross. If you put them all together, you could assemble enough trees to fill a state park.

    2. flora

      Why do I think the Ukrainian and other US backed ‘color rev’ bs were test runs for US corps who want to crush little-guy competition… even from tiny-guy farmers’ markets. (Still trying to decide how much the social justice warriors are useful idiots and how much they are knowingly in the pocket. sigh….) Sorry, too tin foil, need more coffee…

      1. Oregoncharles

        The ones I know I’m pretty sure are genuine (if sometimes annoying), but they aren’t the ones causing the problems.

  7. dcrane

    Borrowing by the federal government is set to top $1 trillion for the second year in a row as higher spending outpaces revenue growth and concern about budget deficits wanes in Washington and on Wall Street.

    The Treasury Department said Monday it expects to issue $814 billion in net marketable debt in the second half of this calendar year, bringing total debt issuance to $1.23 trillion in 2019. That would represent a slight decline from borrowing in 2018, when the Treasury issued $1.34 trillion in debt—more than twice as much as the $546 billion it issued in 2017.

    I haven’t seen a total debt figure in a while but it must be going up fast.

    1. John

      Don’t worry, all that debt is also an asset on the other side of the ledger…unfortunately residing in the pockets of the oligarchs and inflating real estate and the stock market. Basically the activities of a private casino to which you are not admitted.
      The private debt this encourages the little people to take on in delusions of grandeur is more of a problem.
      Good times. The Fed can pay all gubbermint debt off the same way they did QE….with the magic of a few computer keystrokes. But there’s no fun in that. How are those bond traders gonna skim?

    2. ewmayer

      To put that in perspective, here are the total-new-debt-issuance numbers for the past 10 FYs, rounded to the nearest $0.01T:

      FY ending 9/30 of year Total New Debt
      2018 $1.27T
      2017 $0.67T
      2016 $1.42T
      2015 $0.33T
      2014 $1.09T
      2013 $0.67T
      2012 $1.28T
      2011 $1.23T
      2010 $1.65T
      2009 $1.89T

      Based on that, the Trump-era deficits are not particularly huge, despite the tax breaks for the rich and other stupid sh*t.

  8. bob

    NYS priorities-

    NYS lets 18 communities grovel over $10 million in funding to replace lead water pipes.

    NYS also donates over $50 million a year to a public/private organization run by a old school republican power broker. The organization just announced a $100 million dollar ‘overhall”

    Prioritize Pat!

  9. The Rev Kev

    “More Older Couples Stay Together Because They Live Apart”

    Wait. Isn’t this what they call friends with benefits? But the senior version? I suppose that if you were a person that had commitment issues this could work out fine. No – that is too cynical and this story is deserves better. I just feel uneasy about the whole thing and when I try to identify why, all I can think of is that if you had kids being raised in a “nuclear family” in the 20th century, then perhaps the kids would grow up to be “nuclear seniors” and this article describes what this looks like. Obviously many people are quite happy with this set up but in the back of my mind, I feel like I have seen this movie before. Just how women were told that “they could have it all”, this is like telling seniors that they too can have it all. And it is not that simple of course.

    1. anon y'mouse

      i was once told by an old drunk philosopher something i have found to be absolutely true in life:

      happiness in relationships is dependent upon every person having a room they can go into when things get heavy, and a door they can close on anyone/everyone else.

      this is just the “don’t mess up my bathroom” version. a friend of mine out of state has two neighbors who live on opposing corners and are long-term married (and retired, but were not when the “agreement” was made).

      i have also known a nearly lifelong married couple who had to do a lot of extra legal maneuvering in life because they both had various investments, pensions and so forth and ran their financial lives totally separate although lived together.

      if you don’t have children to worry about inheriting anything, this all starts to make more sense.

      how about the couple profiled in an article on this website a few years back that divorced simply so they could get proper Medicare without donut holes, because one got sick? kinda parallels people giving up their kids for college financial aid, doesn’t it? our human relationships are being heavily impacted by our financial relationships. one could say that they always have been.

      1. Cal2

        The economy is forcing people to either become criminals or hustlers.

        A service buddy wanted to take care of another who was down on his luck economically and health wise by leaving him some property and getting him some health benefits.

        Both guys ‘got married,’ thus granting a higher social security, health plan and other benefits to the other at no expense. Their girlfriends didn’t care because they already had kids etc.

    2. jrs

      because $ I guess it’s not simple, but if money is not the driver of one’s decisions because one isn’t that strained financially, and this is how one wants to live, then why not.

    3. Oregoncharles

      An acquaintance, years ago, told me she’d been happily married for 7 years, hadn’t seen him in 6 (he was in prison.) She’d changed states, so apparently meant to make it permanent.

      On a different note: neighbors of ours lived separately for many years while married – got along much better that way. Different cities, but got together most weekends. Now they’ve bought another house and are planning to move back in together. I hope it works out for them, but they won’t be near neighbors any more.

      1. laughingsong

        I think the moral of the story is that the simple, cut-and-dried descriptions we got as kids as to what relationships are and what they entail was waaaaay too simplistic. I myself am in the “whatever works” camp. As Demi Moore’s character said in the movie The Butcher’s Wife: “. . . life isn’t about your damn books and theories. You know what, life is life, and it’s messy, and it’s complicated, and you know what it takes guts!”

    4. bruce

      It’s a lot simpler than that. You reach a certain age, and you have no further interest in doing the thing, but it’s nice to have someone compatible around to talk to. My jersey has been retired in the singles hall of fame.

    5. ewmayer

      I’m actually more interested in the much-more-common older-couple arrangement of separate bedrooms under the same roof. I always considered the sex euphemism “sleeping together” to be quite misleading. I suspect for a lot of folks, once the young hot-n-heavy days and then raising-of-kids are done, and there’s now that extra room or 2, the misnomer status of “sleeping together” becomes really glaring, you still enjoy the overall companionship and may like an occasional tipsy hookup but outside of that you really want a little privacy and actually want a good night’s sleep more than anything. So separate bedrooms under the same roof makes perfect sense.

      I wonder how many earlier-stage marriages might be salvaged were there not the societal pressure to conform and share a bedroom? I suspect the number might be shockingly large.

      1. Ander Pierce

        Personally I tend to sleep better with a partner, and I’ve never really had tons of privacy, so I don’t tend to miss it too much.

      2. BillS

        We really need to get over this idea that married couples “need” to sleep together in the same bed. If they can, great. If not, the relationship will benefit from partners sleeping in separate beds. This can be seen as an act of love for your wife/husband.

        If someone starts snoring or tossing and turning, it’s off to the guest room for the one who wakes up. Returning on tip-toes just before wakey time could conceivably lead to an amorous start to the day..reflecting the benefits of a good night’s sleep and loving consideration for your partner. Young couples take note as well!

  10. Carolinian

    That WaPo on Gabbard is indeed remarkably fair and even grasps the essential point

    Gabbard appears to embody a desire by some voters to break out of long-standing categories.

    Here’s hoping tonight’s debate gets her to that 2 percent so she can continue.

  11. a different chris

    >Gabbard’s run: “A different type of vibe” Washington Post. UserFriendly: “Actually somewhat positive.”

    At a certain point, beyond even Bezo’s personal needs, the WP needs eyeballs. They are probably now just realizing how horrifying a Biden or Harris or Mayor Pete will be to write articles about. Since they have no doubt that one of the anodyne Dems will be the actual candidate, they have suddenly flashed on the (in their eyes) fact that if they don’t talk about the interesting ones now they never will have anything to grab eyeballs with.

    And that means they can’t Mean Girls them quite yet, even if that is their first reaction. Gotta string this out. Heck even Gravel will probably get a warm “hey a little weird, but a nice old guy” feature.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Hiring is Broken And Yours Is Too”

    Sounds like a pretty thankless task interviewing people for jobs. If you hire the wrong person, then everybody would blame you. It would be even worse of you were hiring people for a company like Initech of whom you too worked for-

    1. jrs

      It’s suspect it’s more like and I’ve occasionally been on the interviewer end pretty much *ALL* the candidates are qualified (at least if some human resume screening has gone on prior to interviewing), now some might turn out bad eventually, but the immediate task is deciding which qualified candidates to choose from, and it gets pretty arbitrary, because they are all qualified.

  13. richard

    re Glenn Greenwald
    the crowd at chapo trap house interviewed Greenwald to open their latest show; they spoke at length (first 40 minutes or so) about recent Brazilian political and social history and the judicial coup that essentially brought Bolsonaro to power, as well as the threats to Greenwald’s life and freedom. It is very informative and well worth a listen.

  14. a different chris

    From the Cheap Drugs/Cancer thing..

    >‘I run regularly and the most overweight I’ve ever been is by 7-10lb.

    All sympathies, but.. can you tell she is a doctor? No real grasp of cause and effect, just “thin active people are healthy people” so I don’t deserve this!

  15. pnongrata

    > Against Against Billionaire Philanthropy Slate Star Codex (UserFriendly)

    Garbage. The article wants us to bend over to billionaires for not paying their taxes, because otherwise their money wouldn’t be spent on charity.

    It goes as far as to sanctify the Gates Foundation. Comments are also utter crap.

    1. richard

      yes, it was sad reading
      example of 3 sad things from one sentence
      “Billionaires respond to incentives like everyone else.”
      How can you read a sentence like that without despairing a little?
      1)it elides class (any sentence which counterpoises “billionaires” and “like everyone else” should be thrown immediately in the pile of suspected gaslight)
      2) It contains the hidden premise that the acceptable way to solve social problems is to “incentivize” billionaires to deal with them.
      3) It sounds like it’s from an inflight magazine.

    2. Cal2

      And, their “Philanthropy” almost always goes to religious, fraternal and philosophical economic self-promotion, while being subsidized by the rest of the taxpayers.

  16. anon y'mouse

    for every rich person giving up custody of their teenager so that said teenager can take advantage of financial aid in college, i could probably give you five people i actually came across who were stuck in this situation:

    couldn’t get financial aid (or couldn’t get much), even though they have received no monetary support from their parents from the day they turned 18 and sometimes even before then. and even when their parents were just making a “normal” amount of money. of course, this is hearsay, but i heard it a lot!

    i think 26 is the cut-off year (or was when i went) were they stop digging into what your parents make in order to determine what they will give you. which i means i waited until after then, or just paid out of pocket like i was doing with everything else in my life at that time for any schooling i was getting, even at the community college level.

    some of us could not even countenance going to college for these very reasons. some of us had parents threatening to throw us out of the house at 18 (or in my case, 16), much less help us pay for any schooling.

    i am deliberately leaving out people, like my own relatives, who entered the military in order to get school monies as a tangent aside.

    1. Freshstart

      Parents paying for their adult children’s school should be subject to the yearly max gifting amount.
      The adult children/students don’t have to claim the free parental $$ as income- but if a student borrower has a loan balance forgiven, however unlikely, the borrower is on the hook for taxes on the forgiven debt “income”. Gotta love it.

    2. barefoot charley

      In the 1970s college aid was need-based, and to prove your impoverished hind end was independent of your parents you simply sent a copy of their tax return to your school, showing that you weren’t a (dependent) deduction on their return. Voila, you were needy!

      I wonder if the predators have changed the law, or just assured that no one knows it?

  17. Mildred Montana

    OT I know but I just had to mention this:

    Last night while reading a biography of Charlotte Corday I googled her victim, Jean-Paul Marat. The top search choices were all “Jean-Paul Marat, Physician”. Needless to say this confused me as I was looking for the famous French revolutionary, not some French doctor.

    But I clicked on one anyway and lo!—the physician was indeed the revolutionary.

    This got me to thinkin’: Is Google now in the process of “disappearing” revolutionaries by disguising their bios? After all, most people would know Marat as a leader of the French Revolution, not as a physician. To put it crudely, he was notorious not for healing people but for sending them to their deaths. Maybe Google doesn’t want today’s internet-seeker to know that.

    (To be fair, I just googled Che Guevara. He is indeed listed as a revolutionary. Guess he failed medical school.)

  18. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Trump Adviser Tom Barrack Pushed for Saudi Nuclear Deal — and Planned to Profit From It ProPublica (UserFriendly)

    STOP THE PRESSES! A billionaire american “investor” is attempting to manipulate u.s. foreign policy to further enrich himself and a few of his close friends. I could be wrong, but I think we’ve gotten ourselves caught up in more than a few wars as a result of just this very thing.

    There would probably be a lot fewer globalist billionaires if, as a group, they didn’t do this.

    And it’s worth noting that it’s only “illegal” because he didn’t file a form beforehand telling .gov that he was going to do it.

  19. FredsGotSlacks

    Conservative Democratic Ringleader Josh Gottheimer Gets A Progressive Challenger Huffington Post (UserFriendly)

    Glad to see someone challenging Gottheimer. He’s in the district next door so I can’t vote but I just donated to his challenger. My district is represented by the nearly as distasteful blue dog Mikie Sherrill so hoping this inspires someone to challenge her though I won’t hold my breath.

  20. Carey

    Jonathan Cook- ‘Three Lessons From ‘Failed’ Mueller Inquiry’:

    “..The leaders of the Democratic Party are less terrified of Trump and what he represents than they are of us and what we might do if we understood how they have rigged the political and economic system to their permanent advantage.

    For them, it may look like Russia-gate was a failure, but it was actually a success. It deflected the left’s attention from endemic corruption within the leadership of the Democratic Party, which supposedly represents the left. It diverted the left’s political energies towards the convenient bogeymen targets of Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin..”

    1. Procopius

      … the leadership of the Democratic Party, which supposedly represents the left.

      LOL!!! You make the comedy. That has not been true since Jimmy Carter was President.

  21. Oji

    Saw this in Japan in the 90s. Older people who were lonely, especially women, but still wanted their space. Some even married while retaining separate residences– sometimes one moving to live very near the other.

    Of course, being Japan, the reports tended to focus on whether or not others approved of it: their kids, friends, neighbors, etc… gotta have ‘wa,’ donthchya know.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Joan Crawford said “I want a man in my life…just not in my house”

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Please do not link to Rense. You are discrediting yourself and NC. It’s a garbage site. I’d normally rip the comment out.

      And no, the CT is based on the emergence of the disease IIRC In the late 1970s near a US lab that the CT types charge with having developed it.

  22. Anthony K Wikrent

    Ethiopia Plants 350 Million Trees in a Day To Help Tackle Climate Crisis
    [Guardian, via Naked Capitalism 7-30-19]
    The private sector would never be able to do something like this. Just one reason: who’s going to pay for it? You want to save the planet, it requires collective action. That means government. And the Kochs can go to hell.

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