Links 7/31/19

Yves here. We had a terrific event last night with Lambert’s Dem debate live blog. Over 400 comments, many incisive and funny.

Hope you’ll join us this evening at 8 PM EDT (Lambert opens up the post a wee bit earlier) for what the peanut gallery hopes will be a Harris v. Biden or maybe even everyone v. Biden slugfest.

Does My Cat Want Me to Lick Her Back? Atlantic (resilc). Eeew.

RNA recovered and sequenced from 14,000-year-old mummified wolf New Atlas (furzy)

Met Office: UK’s 10 hottest years on record occurred since 2002 Guardian (Kevin W)

Coke and Pepsi abandon the plastics lobby CNN (Kevin W)

Living without water: the crisis pushing people out of El Salvador Guardian (resilc). We pointed out years ago that potable water was the critical resource that would become scarce first….

Why a cure for dementia would trigger a crisis Financial Times. This article is appalling. It presupposes that a treatment would require cancer-level intervention and before and after monitoring. It also asserts that “the disease cannot be reversed,”, when small scale studies have found cognitive improvement for some with relatively short-term (12 weeks) consumption of silica water. See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22976072

China?

Hong Kong protests: ‘I’m in Australia but I feel censored by Chinese students’ BBC (David L)

Please Stop Beating Us’: Where Were Hong Kong’s Police? – Video New York Times (UserFriendly)

China, U.S. Resume Trade Talks Amid Trump’s ‘Rip-off’ Accusation Bloomberg

Lambert notes per below “Cooling off period”:

Your Next iPhone Might Be Made in Vietnam. Thank the Trade War. New York Times (UserFriendly)

China Covertly Subverting Trump Reelection Free Beacon. UserFriendly: “Congratulations democrats, now every electoral loss is illegitimate.”

China Is On Track To Beat Its Peak-Emissions Pledge ars technica

North Korea ‘fires two ballistic missiles’ BBC

Brexit

EU must give way over backstop, says Johnson after rebuff by Varadkar Guardian. Resilc: “This will go smoothly.”

The Politico morning European newsletter version, emphasis theirs. Maybe Johnson believes his bullshit about bullying the EU?

MORE OF THE SAME: The U.K. will leave the EU at the end of October, come hell or high water. Boris Johnson’s EU counterparts have got the message he has repeated one way or another every single day since taking office as prime minister last week. Now it’s being directed to his Irish colleague Leo Varadkar. “On Brexit, the prime minister made clear that the U.K. will be leaving the EU on October 31, no matter what,” Downing Street said in a readout of the pair’s call Tuesday.

Varadkar’s response: The Irish government said Varadkar refused point blank Johnson’s request to reopen divorce talks. “Noting that the Brexit negotiations take place between the U.K. and the EU, the Taoiseach explained that the EU was united in its view that the Withdrawal Agreement could not be reopened,” a statement from the Irish government noted drily.

The backstop has to go, Johnson repeated. But it won’t, was Varadkar’s answer. The Irish leader “emphasized to the prime minister that the backstop was necessary as a consequence of decisions taken in the U.K. and by the U.K. government,” Dublin said.

Brexit causes UK car industry investment to crash to ‘pitiful’ £90m Guardian

Quarterly Bulletin No.3 2019 Central Bank of Ireland. PlutoniumKun: “On Brexit. Revises growth prediction from 4.1% to 0.7% in the event of a no-deal (worse than previous predictions).

US Anti-Abortion Group Uses Big Data to Manipulate Argentinian Women: Report teleSUR (furzy)

Syraqistan

Bahrain Follows U.S. Lead on Executions LobeLog (resilc)

Intra-Afghan talks only after U.S. agrees to withdraw troops: Taliban Reuters (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

On Costliest U.S. Warship Ever, Navy Can’t Get Munitions on Deck Bloomberg

Bolton Proposes and The President Disposes American Conservative (resilc)

Pentagon Study Shows Violence Has Skyrocketed in Africa Intercept. Resilc: “At the DoD it’s called market development….”

Trump Transition

The Trump Administration’s Death Penalty Cult Nation (resilc)

U.S. judge tosses Democratic Party lawsuit against Trump campaign, Russia over election Reuters

Federal Judge Overturns IRS Donor-Disclosure Change Wall Street Journal

While Trump spews hate, I continue to do my job GreenwichTime (UserFriendly). Rep. Tlaib, originally in the Washington Post.

Jeffrey Epstein’s life ‘in jeopardy’ as powerful pals ‘don’t want their secrets out’, victim’s lawyer claims Sun (resilc)

2020

Who won the Democratic debate? Winners and losers from July 30 CNN (UserFriendly). Cillizza is not following the house party line…..

It’s Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren v the ‘No We Can’t’ Democrats Guardian (resilc, furzy)

Stephen Colbert Hits Longshot Democrats for Spewing ‘Republican Talking Points’ at CNN Debate Daily Beast (resilc). When you’ve lost Colbert…..

Can Someone Please Vote CNN Off the Stage? Bloomberg

Coalition to air anti-Medicare for All ads during Democratic debates The Hill (UserFriendly). A pox on them.

Democrats Are Veering Left. It Might Just Work. Politico

A Guide To Bad Faith Arguments Against Bernie Sanders Medium (UserFriendly)

Democrats fail to address working-class issues during the second Democratic debate Vox (UserFriendly)

More Presidential Candidates Taking Strident Pro-Caviar Stance To Appeal To Democratic Socialite Wing Of Party The Onion

How Joe Biden’s privatization plans helped doom Latin America and fuel the migration crisis Grayzone

Stop Suing Patients, Advocates Advise Memphis Nonprofit Hospital System ProPublica (UserFriendly)

Apple put an iPhone in everybody’s pocket — now its growth depends on putting devices all over our bodies CNBC

Equifax is going to rip you off again BoingBoing (resilc)

‘Do ‘Big Four’ Tech Monopolies Deserve Their Antitrust Investigation? Yes Federalist. UserFriendly: “When the libertarians are calling to break up big tech….”

Regulators Found High Risk of Emergency After First Boeing MAX Crash Wall Street Journal. Grr, the Journal put this up just as I was turning in, otherwise I would have posted on it. From the summary:

An internal risk analysis after the first of two Boeing 737 MAX airliner crashes showed the likelihood was high of a similar cockpit emergency within months, according to a Federal Aviation Administration official familiar with the details and others briefed on the matter.

The regulator’s analysis, not previously reported, showed that it “didn’t take that much” for a malfunction like the one confronted by the pilots of the Lion Air flight that crashed into the Java Sea last year to occur, one of the people briefed on the analysis said.

Class Warfare

We Should Thank Amazon for Letting Us Have Jobs New York Magazine (resilc)

DoorDash Tip-Skimming Scheme Prompts Class-Action Lawsuit Seeking All Those Tips That Didn’t Go To Drivers Gizmodo

How Over 25 People Got Scammed Into Working At A Nonexistent Game Company Kotaku (Kevin W)

Private Equity’s Next Leveraged Buyout Might Be the Oval Office American Prospect (resilc). Where have they been? Over half of Wall Street revenues comes from PE. That includes “Government Sachs”. Rahm did a turn in a PE firm.

Globalization Isn’t Dying, It’s Just Evolving Bloomberg

Antidote du jour. Lawrence R from the Pleasant Lake newsletter> “Male Eastern Forktail (Ischnura verticalis). Odonate males are usually more brightly colored than females and are more often seen at the water.”

And a bonus (Bryan W):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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188 comments

  1. Bugs Bunny

    Beware the autoplay video on “Coke and Pepsi abandon the plastics lobby CNN”

    Very annoying, especially in an office environment.

    Reply
  2. toshiro_mifune

    Does My Cat Want Me to Lick Her Back?

    I like cats. I’m married to a crazy cat lady. My daughter insists on having cat themed… well everything. So I understand cat obsession. However…. the only way to hold the Licki thing is in your mouth? No regular grip?

    Reply
    1. marieann

      I am one of those crazy cat ladies….I live with 2 of them, I have cat themes everywhere. I have a rogues galley on the walls of all my former companions…..but a licki I will not do.
      Mainly because it is just another plastic gee-gaw probably from Amazon.

      My cats love to be brushed every day, I have 2 old hairbrushes that I use and they are perfectly happy.

      Reply
      1. anon y'mouse

        lint brush. those ones usually made of that red, slightly barbed fabric. the barbed fabric is much like a cat’s tongue, i believe.

        if they will let you pet them with it. usually they want to play with it instead.

        i have had better success with the lint mit. same fabric made into a hand mitten. few bucks at bigbox store. but i don’t put it over my hand for obvious reasons. one would need sharkmail underneath!

        added bonus: catches shedding fur, grooms. still have to vacuum daily, though.

        Reply
  3. WheresOurTeddy

    Bernie’s “I wrote the damn bill” and Warren’s “Why run for president to say What We Really Can’t Do and Shouldn’t Fight for” were the lines of the night.

    Every online poll I saw had them 1-2 or 2-1.

    Jake Tapper was embarrassing.

    Reply
    1. Krystyn Walentka

      Tapper, yes, wow, the questions, I couldn’t even…the way he kept hammering on the BS about Medicare for All “raising taxes on the middle class”! But what bothered me more was that the candidates could not simple explain that the savings in healthcare costs would “put more money in people’s pockets.” That is all people want to hear.

      I liked Williamson last night by the way, because she is addressing all this as it should be addressed, not as a policy problem, but as a spiritual problem. God or money, take you pick.

      Reply
      1. Ptb

        Yeah Williamson was the audience fave besides the top2, at the Bernie event where I watched it.

        Buttigieg scored some points too (e.g. amend constitution impossible?, Citizens United vs prohibition and repeal?), but lost some back on health care.

        Reply
        1. Oh

          It’s easy for these guys to ask for amending the constitution but it’s a long process and a,most impossible in the case of citizens united. It may be easier to shame the politicians into passing a law to reverse the Supreme Court ruling but it requires the people to understand what’s happening and pressure from the citizens.

          Reply
      2. katiebird

        Maybe Bernie should do a Half-hour ad buy and do a Ross Perot thing with graphs and charts showing just how much money (in dollars) families & individuals of various income levels will save with Expanded and Improved Medicare for All.

        Those details aren’t clear in a 30 second ad. It might be a little early now but I think it’s not to early for him to start explaining how it will work.

        Reply
        1. Louis Fyne

          One only needs 15 secs for the top line numbers.

          Don’t understand why facebook and YouTube aren’t plastered with pro-sanders Medicare ads. Internet adverts are relatively cheap and focused to the right audience unlike TV.

          Maybe they are and I’m not in the target demo.

          Reply
          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Everytime my PS4 booted me from the CNN.com livestream I had to rewatch a long RGA ad attacking John Bel Edwards and Praising Donald Trump for creating 5.3 million jobs and cutting taxes. Ugh so annoying

            Reply
            1. Monty

              Cheeky ad placement!

              Watch it on twitch tonight, there is a ps4 app for it. There were several streams last night. No ads, plus the chat and commentary was sometimes amusing. Look in the “just chatting” genre.

              Reply
          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’d be complimenting the Russians, by imitating what they ‘supposedly did’ on Facebook, no?

            Reply
        2. Katniss Everdeen

          Yes. And just maybe those “graphs and charts” should outline the current situation as it actually is instead of how the defenders of the “healthcare” profiteers want you to think it is.

          From Physicians for a Nathional Health Program:

          We often hear that we cannot afford the taxes to pay for a single payer national health program – an improved Medicare for all. Yet we are already paying most of the taxes that would be required; it’s just that they are relatively obscure and thus not recognized by most taxpayers.

          By 2024, government expenditures will pay for more than two-thirds of national health spending (up from 64.3% in 2013). “Government health expenditures in the United States account for a larger share of gross domestic product (11.2% in 2013) than do total health expenditures in any other nation,” according to this study. Our government health expenditures alone are more than both government and private health expenditures in any other nation. We are paying for a national health program, but we are not getting it.

          Most people are aware of the insurance premiums and out of pocket expenses that they and their employers pay for health care, so they tend to think that most health care spending is private. They are aware of the payroll deduction for Medicare, but they do not tend to consciously connect other taxes, especially income taxes, with expenditures for Part B and Part D Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, the VA system and other government health programs…….And one of the largest silent taxes is the tax expenditure (tax subsidies) on the federal, state and local level that help pay for private, employer-sponsored health plans. Also, we are paying, through taxes, for most of the health benefits offered to federal, state and local government employees.

          http://pnhp.org/2016/01/21/u-s-health-system-is-already-predominantly-taxpayer-funded/

          PS. And what all those tax dollars are buying is the 37th best product when actual results are considered. Quite the “capitalist” success story IMNSHO.

          Reply
        3. rd

          The charts already exist: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/u-s-spends-public-money-healthcare-sweden-canada/

          The takeaway message – US spends double pretty much everybody else per capita on healthcare and there is no change in that. That money comes straight out of disposable income in either out-of-pocket-costs or reduced wages due to employer health insurance costs.

          Re: tax increase – the US already spends more public tax money on healthcare per capita than any other country other than Norway and Netherlands. So why should our taxes rise with Medicare for All? Maybe Americans don’t know how to govern?

          The problem is that healthcare is far too inefficient and expensive in the US, especially considering it is not close to being universal coverage and we have the lowest life expectancy of any OECD country.

          The other countries either use centralized single-payer systems or strictly regulated private insurance systems (Affordable Care Act on steroids).

          US exceptionalism means it is not possible for the US to have too expensive, inefficient, less coverage, and less effective than other developed countries. Therefore any socialist ideas must be shot on sight as too expensive and they would turn us into gay Communists unless we are protected from them. Life was simpler when there were no antibiotics or open heart surgery – people just got sick and died which kept costs down. MAGA!

          Reply
        4. run75441

          Evidently, no one read the article by Kip Sullivan about Single Payor healthcare and the 4 elements supporting it. Chief amongst the elements was having one payor which would be the government through a government entity. Kip Sullivan on Why the Bernie Sanders Bill Is Not Single Payer

          Senator Sanders uses an ACO structure in his Medicare-For-All program, the same ACO structure which made the Vermont plan unaffordable and “may” make the Minnesota plan unreachable if they opt for ACOs. Kip Sullivan is correct in making such a comment in his article and further down in a comment.

          In one JAMA report hospitals (ACOs) have been responsible for a 42% overall increase in inpatient costs of healthcare. Hospitals structured as ACOs have been mostly responsible for the buying up of competitors in cities and regions, minimizing competition, consolidating specialty care within their service, and reducing the amount of care in rural areas. Having minimized competition has resulted in increased costs for patients coming from government programs and insurance alike.

          Kocher and Berwick have proposed an intermediate step to Single Payor. Whether you agree with it or not does not concern me. What they did point to was one singular reason for increased insurance premiums:

          The biggest drivers of premium increases are hospital price increases. Hospital prices have risen much faster than physician prices: a whopping 42 percent from 2007 to 2014. Hospitals have exploited market consolidation to raise prices by employing multitudes of specialist doctors, making them “must haves” in insurance networks. In theory, consolidation should generate administrative cost synergy and quality benefits, but the facts have not borne out that promise.

          While Considering Medicare For All: Policies For Making Health Care In The United States Better

          Before we go forward with any healthcare program, we need to reverse some of the harm ACOs have done today as it will carry over in new programs. ACOs were meant to allow hospitals to increase efficiency in the delivery of quality care to patients and not meant to be a tool for increased profits by eliminating competition.

          Do not take this as a rebuttal. What Kip has pointed out and what I have written repeatedly other places is a recommendation meant to help all of us get to where we need to be in healthcare.

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            Universal Healthcare does not have to be Single Payer. Several countries use multiple “private” insurance companies by heavily regulating them. They seem to be able to make enough profit to satisfy shareholders AND attract competent CEOs. Does anybody really believe the guy being paid $50 million would not be happy to take the same job at $10 million if he couldn’t steal more elsewhere? Or that some smart guy wouldn’t be glad of the chance to get $5 million a year and be at least as good at whatever these goniffs do all day long?

            “ACOs were meant to …” What does it matter “they were meant to …?” The fact is, that is what they were sold as. The people who designed them intended them to be gamed to send the most possible money as profit to the grifters who run the insurance companies and “non-profits.”

            Reply
            1. run75441

              Procopius:

              Sanders’s plan calls for Single payor without commercial insurance supplementing his Medicare -for- All plan. This is what he has stated repeatedly. Unfortunately, it is not Single payor if the plans is using ACOs to pay the hospitals and doctors. Sanders’s Medicare -for- All does include ACOs which is added cost.

              You are talking about European plans which includes commercial insurance in comparison to Sander’s Medicare -for- All which eliminates commercial insurance altogether. Neither are Single Payor in the truest sense if Commercial Insurance is paying out for claims and ACOs are paying out for claims. Nobody is arguing European highly regulated Commercial Insurance and Healthcare is not working for them.

              The fact is ACA ACOs were designed to bring improved quality and efficiencies eliminating waste which takes from better care and increases cost. Nobody designed them to be what they are today although they have intentionally bought up hospitals and clinics in the market place and have caused rural areas to lose care.

              Why should we pay for ACOs in Single Payor healthcare which Sanders’s says his plan emulates. This is added cost.

              Reply
      3. Carolinian

        I missed the debate after long ago vowing to never pay another dime for CNN but one might ask why these latest debates are tucked away on a cable network at all. These cable channels typically get peak viewership in the one to two million whereas the first round of debates on NBC got 19 million viewers the second night. We’ll know in a few days how many watched the CNN debates.

        Debates should be conducted by a non partisan group like the League of Women Voters or perhaps a pool of news organizations rather than an outfit such as CNN which is barely a news organization at all these days. The custodians of our public airwaves could then be required to carry them on a rotating basis.

        Reply
        1. Brian (another one they call)

          This is one aspect Americans don’t understand. Cable is not considered a broadcast like the main three ABC, NBC and CBS (All BS, Naturally BS and Complete BS). Cable is considered entertainment only by law and regulations. It is not required to do anything. Therefore, CNN (Complete Neural Nonsense) is the perfect place to hold a debate that affects the lives of billions, because they have no pretense of being fair or honest.
          If there is a dog, please bark.

          Reply
          1. Carolinian

            Apparently the 2016 debate on CNN had a 15 million rating so maybe a sizable audience did watch last night. I haven’t seen any ratings yet.

            Reply
          2. Oh

            What do you expect when the DimRats (bought and paid for by corporations) are in charge of the “debate”?

            Don’t watch the debates. They’re just there to marginalize the progressives and the left.

            Reply
        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          I would suggest debates are pageant style events which lost their usefulness with the introduction of compulsory public schools and maybe mass communication.

          Now they serve to provide candidates space to have a public position to appease the plebes and a public private position to work on behalf of big business. I suppose I learned Harris is at least proud enough to know Biden is a pig, but as far as positions, I didn’t learn much. I didn’t watch, but I saw Warren falsely accused Iran of having a nuclear weapons program. I don’t see how any debate structure can improve over simply listing what these people have said and done in the past.

          I’ll make an exception for town halls, because it does provide an insight into thought processes of candidates and helps a candidate learn about a district when they might not have enough info or enough of a starting point to ask the right question. There are 300 million americans. Candidates need to be expected to roll on a few key issues (O’Rourke, Buttigieg, Harris, Biden, etc have all failed this), but they can’t be expected to know everything. If Warren doesn’t know much about maple syrup, who cares? My mom? And maybe her siblings? If Sanders didn’t, obviously he does or he wouldn’t be an elected in Vermont. The town hall is an environ where the candidate can be forced to at least acknowledge an issue which even the saints have to overlook.

          Reply
          1. Carolinian

            Warren’s FP adviser Madeleine Albright probably told her to say that. Once Trump or Warren starts carpet bombing Iran the carnage will be “worth it.”

            Meanwhile that Grayzone report on Biden is quite damning. Trump, were he so inclined (and he isn’t), could start calling Biden Death Squad Joe.

            Perhaps one reason the Dems chose NBC and CNN for the debates was that they knew their candidates would not be challenged on such matters. When it comes to bombing the media and the leading candidates other than Sanders are all on the same page.

            Reply
            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              The questions were appalling, a reasonable person would understand that but the casual watchers might not. Reparations? The Free Sh*t Army looking for handouts might like them but it’s a practical and political third rail for everybody else. The only reason for CNN to make them a question was to drive a wedge, pure and simple. Ditto gun control. And I’m surprised abortion wasn’t asked, maybe that’s tonight.

              Reply
              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                . And I’m surprised abortion wasn’t asked, maybe that’s tonight.

                Abortion is an important issue that has been reduced by craven Democrats looking to virtue signal without actually supporting abortion rights which means access. My guess is Team Blue elites are terrified about being asked an actual question about abortion due to the GOP war on clinics and Team Blue’s failure to appoint justices over the years while striking deals with McConnell where McConnell gets to appoint all the Falwell U dopes he can find.

                I assume Biden would say something horrific.

                Reply
      4. Copeland

        I know, keep it simple!

        How about saying something like this:

        “First we will reduce your health insurance premiums, deductibles and all out of pocket costs by $15,000” per year

        “Second, we will raise your income taxes by $5,000 per year”

        “that’s $10,000 in your pocket, every year”

        “Is everyone cool with that? Good, lets make it happen”

        Reply
  4. Ape

    Varadkar from the Guardian

    “He recalled that the agreement requires the sovereign government to exercise power with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in full respect for their rights, equality, parity of esteem and just and equal treatment for the identity, ethos and aspirations of both communities.”

    Thus we see why the problem can not be papered over. It’s not merely border control, but a negotiating interface over the very long-term Irish national strategic interest in keeping at least partial sovereignty over all people who identify as Irish on the island.

    Reply
    1. dearieme

      Is that what it is? And there was me thinking he was trying to win votes by drama-queening and twisting the lion’s tail.

      Reply
      1. Ape

        Who cares about what he was trying to do? He may have just been trying to impress his mother.

        The question is, why this way? What is the context that makes this make sense?

        Naive cynicism.

        Reply
        1. barefoot charley

          Varadkhar’s being a good European reciting the party line. It’s pretty easy to do with 26 bigger dogs at your back. He faces an awful choice, but not a difficult one, between the EU and Boris Johnson.

          Reply
  5. Divadab

    Re: FAA and Boeing- classic regulatory capture. Flipping unbelievable. Almost 400 more dead as a result.

    Similar circumstances in Megantic oil train explosion that killed 40 and leveled downtown Megantic: the company applied for permission to reduce train personnel to one from two, claiming that their trains ran thru sparsely populated areas. In reality the tracks run straight thru every little town in the region, which is rural but populated similarly to New England. But the Conservative government, pro business and anti regulation, said ok and the result of this totally deliberate destruction of regulation for public safety was a deadly disaster.

    Heads should roll. Boeing execs should be criminally charged. The FAA needs a complete purge of coopted staff. The scum who did this need to suffer hard.

    Reply
    1. Craig H.

      The scum who did this made the decision in a committee format and the minutes of the pertinent meetings do not contain one attributable bad faith quotation. There is not anybody at Boeing or the FAA who has a little the buck stops here sign on their desk.

      So in theory I agree with you but we have systemic problems which are far deeper than this one case. I do wonder why the Boeing head muckymuck still has a job.

      Reply
    1. Phillip Allen

      This obsession with alleged Russian (and Chinese) ‘interference’ is, when assessed on effectiveness, utterly without evidential basis. It’s also vastly dangerous, since it plays into the entire “We’re under attack” war mongering of the Blob.

      The threats to the security of our elections are entirely and completely domestic in origin, quite according to plan. Claiming that opposition politicians – odious as they may be in virtually every respect – are traitorous servants of foreign powers only serves to obscure the real source of our electoral problems, while bolstering the worst Fortress America war whores.

      Reply
      1. John Wright

        It should be noted that the alleged Russian/Chinese influence in our election, if true, is evidence of yet more US decline in the world stage.

        But this is a case of USA decline in “election influencing” power.

        The USA has had heavy influence in OTHER foreign countries (some examples, Iran, Chile, The Ukraine, USSR (Yeltsin)) and one of the 2016 candidates (HRC) was recorded suggesting that a foreign election (In Palestine) should not have been held if the USA could not determine the outcome.

        Now, apparently, the Democratic party believes OTHER countries are narrowing the gap in “foreign election” influencing and some in the USA are not happy.

        Furthermore, the “evil foreign power influenced” your vote is probably alienating USA voters who do not like to be accused of being, in effect, Russian or Chinese dupes when they vote for a particular candidate.

        Maybe the Democrats will eventually converge on a winning strategy: put up a candidate people can enthusiastically support. This candidate will get elected with such a wide margin that any alleged “foreign influence” will be lost in the noise.

        But will that be the case for the 2020 election?

        Reply
        1. Medbh

          I wish there was a clearer distinction between election fraud and election “influence.” The idea that we have to be protected from foreign election influence is a sign of weakness. We shouldn’t have to be protected from any ideas, no matter where they originate.

          I also doubt that a foreign government is making any arguments that our own politicians haven’t already made against each other.

          Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Well, at least this will give Rachel Maddow a new career track after Trump wins in 2020 through Democrat incompetence. I can see it now – “Chinagate!” and it will be China!China!China! on her program each and every night. That is when she is not going off about Xi Jinping. Maybe Trump never got to build a hotel in Beijing but it looks very “suspicious” that two years ago the Chinese backed his claim to the “Trump” brand for construction services relating to residential, business and hotel real estate. Maddow will have a field day with that one. Dan Coats being fired would just be gravy.

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        *Maddow puts on glasses*

        Ladies and Gentleman, Ive just received word that George Papadapolous has accepted Chinese Foreign Intelligence at a meeting in Rome with Joseph Mifsud.

        Reply
        1. Chris

          I feel so silly for wanting an ounce of consistency given the hysteria. China is interfering in our elections! So we’re going to double down on 5G and digital voting machines?

          Why keep up the charade if you don’t want anything to be done to fix the problem? That’s a lot of wasted energy.

          Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        The diehards won’t quit. I was listening to NPR in the car earlier and they had some ex-DHS talking head who was foaming at the mouth about foreign interference in our elections. Now they’re talking about Iranian influence/interference. This person seriously claimed that Trump and his admin are openly welcoming Russian interference. No one pushed the simple idea of Lambert’s hand-counted, paper ballots counted in public view.

        Mueller’s dumpster-fire appearance might have taken a little bit of the wind out of their sails, but there’s a core of powerful establishment people who are determined to keep that narrative going.

        Reply
        1. Katniss Everdeen

          I know that the screeching about foreign election “interference” will get even more shrill, if that’s possible, should the hapless dems manage to lose again in 2020.

          But, having thrashed the “integrity” of the electoral system to within an inch of its life, what happens if they win? They’ll have to resurrect Emily Litella to explain it–“Never mind.”

          Reply
        2. wilroncanada

          JohnnyGL
          To pun on “wind out of their sails.” There is nothing much left, because their “sales” have been almost entirely wind. Talk about selling hot air!

          Reply
    3. Louis Fyne

      Yes, putin installed a Russian puppet who wants to bomb iran and put the US Army in Poland. Using only Facebook against Hillary’s $1 billion warchest.

      Putin’s playing some high -level 4-D chess and the greatest political campaign manager in history

      Reply
      1. Monty

        I think it was the email hacks that made a difference. If HRC and Co. were allowed to lie to the voters with impunity, they might have gotten her over the line.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I doubt it. The low turnout in urban areas underserved by the internet and cable news sources probably didn’t register the emails as much as a lack of politicking. The message out of the Clinton campaign was about the importance of White Flight Republicans, not Democratic voters.

          Hillary didn’t go to Wisconsin. Maybe her presence is overrated, but the state of organizing matters. If I bother to ask a person for a vote, it says I at least acknowledge they exist. Ad buys on MSDNC during the general election may have been met to buy favorable coverage, but only the choir would see those ads.

          She did well in Flint after going in the primary, and her numbers for the general were terrible once she perceived she no longer had to put on a show. Nostalgia and the long term open nature of the GOP keeps the numbers high, but 2016 saw the lowest percentage of minority voting since 1996. I wonder who was on the ballot then….

          HRC did really well in a few prosperous zones buoyed by federal spending. Its just that those were in safe states, but those were the voters she wanted and asked for their votes. Emails are an excuse to peddle to the people she promised that “she knew how to win” which is why she needed to be voted for. Because of information access and rates of classified status, these voters should be most aware of Hillary’s email shenanigans.

          Reply
          1. EricT

            Her strategy was shooting for moderate Republicans. Don’t need to change your policies to attract voters from the left, just go for the people who like the pro-corporate policies and can’t stand Trump.

            Reply
            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              moderate Republicans.

              Do we need to play with this fiction of “moderate”? She wanted White Flight Republicans who didn’t pretend to like garbage country pop like Joe Scarborough. These people gladly line up to vote for GOP nutters.

              She wanted people who liked the warehousing of African Americans, who loved the capital gains tax cuts, loved the breaking of unions, and forever wars.

              Reply
              1. WheresOurTeddy

                “She wanted people who liked the warehousing of African Americans, who loved the capital gains tax cuts, loved the breaking of unions, and forever wars.”

                aka the 1992-2000 Clinton Coalition. Unfortunately for her, a lot of those voters died or fell into poverty in the 20 years since her husband helped the republicans make war on the poor and people of color.

                Reply
        2. Big River Bandido

          WJ points out, correctly, that Clinton’s emails were leaked, not hacked.

          I would add that no amount of lying or obfuscation by HRC would have changed the result of the election. Working-class voters in several Midwestern “must win” states simply refused to vote for a career politician they’d known well and completely distrusted for 25 years. The emails didn’t give any new info at all — they merely confirmed what those voters already knew (and hated) about Clinton herself and Clinton Democrats.

          Reply
      2. WJ

        There is no evidence of “email hacks.” The DNC emails were supplied to WikiLeaks by an unnamed DC insider as several persons–among them Craig Murray–have repeatedly testified.

        Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        He’s another Republican embraced by the #resistance. Given Coates’ support for “free trade” in the past, shouldn’t we be investigating his connections to China? His voting record indicates he has a champion of destabilizing the American industrial base.

        In the U.S. Senate, only a dozen members voted a majority of the time against trade barriers and against subsidies. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) was the only senator to vote against trade barriers and subsidies on all six major Senate bills affecting U.S. international economic relations. Joining Allard in supporting free trade were two Democrats and nine other Republicans: Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Richard Bryan (D-Nev.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.),

        https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/few-congress-support-trade-free-barriers-subsidies

        Given Trump is so vile, is it possible to critique Trump without embracing traitors?

        Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Not the GOP anyway, but he’s cartoony and likes to shout the quiet parts. The vile nature of those two parties is why they can’t get him. Pelosi spent a week attacking AOC in all kinds of toxic ways, and Team Blue did nothing but give Trump everything he wanted when Trump did the same in a more direct and nastier way.

            This is more for the little people of the #resistance who have had their minds broken as their carefully constructed narratives of “The West Wing” came crashing down because they don’t want to admit they’ve been ignoramuses all these years.

            Reply
  6. zagonostra

    Vox – “Democrats fail to address working-class issues during the second Democratic debate ”

    As if healthcare cost isn’t the number one f%$# issue for the “working-class.” What moron wrote this article? Any wage increases over the past 20 years have been eaten up by larger pay-check deductions and out-of pocket deductibles.

    They, the “Media” are idiots – or rather sees the masses as idiots to be duped. I remember just about every news magazine and various media outlet got behind HRC in 2016, just about every freaking one of them. No, unless people wake-up their lives will continue to deteriorate past the point of desperation…

    Bernie is the only real choice in my mind, and even he will not be able to change much on the remote chance that they don’t steal the Dem nomination again this time…” I wrote the Damn bill!”, enjoyed watching (even tough I had to disable my ad blocker and suffer through commercials) and reading Lambert’s live Blogging.

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      The live stream was great, thanks to all, I’m in the weeds of multiple stuffs and it’s a great weather vane. Tonight’s theme will be equivocation, unexpectedly exciting to think about how the blob plans to deal with debate 1…they must have “gamed it out” after all.

      Reply
    2. jhallc

      Democrats fail to address working-class during that during the second Democratic debate – Vox

      Yes, and the author rants about none of the candidates talking about wage stagnation, except apparently Mayor Pete, whom she devotes two paragraphs to on the subject. No mention of Bernie talking about exactly that when he mentions the need for $15 minimum wage. Guess she must have had to take a break to get a refill of sparkling water during that part. Just another day on the “Never Bernie” show.

      Reply
  7. Polar Donkey

    Methodist hospital isn’t satisfied to be the most unpopular hospital in Memphis, they are trying to win title of most unpopular in America!

    Reply
    1. Polar Donkey

      Methodist hospital bending under bad press-

      Methodist to stop suing employees, raise wages

      https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2019/07/30/methodist-le-bonheur-healthcare-stop-suing-employees-raise-wages-15-hour/1867802001/

      Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next 17 months and will no longer pursue legal action against its employees or garnish their wages for unpaid medical bills, the health system announced Tuesday.Methodist also said it’s revising its financial assistance policy. Methodist will no longer pursue legal collection actions to anybody making up to 250% of the federal poverty guidelines regardless of insurance status, according to the health system.“With these changes, families of three with a household income of $53,000 or below will now be eligible for assistance,” CEO Michael Ugwueke said during a conference call Tuesday.

      Reply
    1. Off The Street

      Harris might as well say – “These are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others”

      Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I know she fits one of the ID POL goals for a new Obama, but she hasn’t really had to run in an election before. Her attorney general primary win occurred when the front runner collapsed (through his own fault when he promised to enforce an unpopular law) late in the game, and being a state wide and removed from the legislature, she was a giant versus Congressional dwarves who might have challenged her for the Senate seat.

      With so many Clinton people on her team, I’m convinced she is just spectacularly bad at this. Obama worked hard against Jack Ryan in a state where winning the nomination was a shoe in and threw down with HRC.

      Not that I’m ignoring this, and I actually think most of these candidates should be condemned for wasting time even if they had good intentions.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        This country has had two Presidents from California, Nixon and Reagan. Both had commanding wins in Presidential elections and were able to be dynamic from a political stance in their own way. Nixon didn’t lose by much in 1960 (his opponent became Senator by thrashing Boston Brahmin and did it without being part of the Mass Dem machine; another dynamic individual). They came out of a single Democratic or at least more dynamic politically state and were able to navigate politics.

        Take Warren and Sanders compared to the field. They are both dynamic and seemingly capable of not resorting to “mandatory national service” or blaming young people. Sanders might be a guy from Burlingon, but he beat the one party in charge to do it. He gave people reasons to make a leap. Warren is from Taxachussetts and in a safe seat, but she didn’t rise through glad handing the party machinery. She somehow despite her gender (stay for the joke) managed to get the CPFB (???) through the Obama Boys Club.

        The Obama strategy of offering prayer and yelling “pragmatic” as often as possible has diminishing returns over time. These politicos from safe seats have no experience whatsoever.

        Reply
        1. Dan

          Both those men had succesful careers and held political office before running for president. Kamala has been a failure at everything she does and had never finished on job without looking to move to another one.

          Reply
  8. msmolly

    Just a minor complaint from your debate live blog title: please let’s avoid using “Democrat” instead of “Democratic.” That’s what the right-wingers love to use as a slur.

    Back to my seat in the peanut gallery…

    Reply
    1. Divadab

      When the Democrat party shows signs of being democratic, instead of the oligarch-blowing money whores they are now, I will take your advice.

      Reply
    2. ambrit

      I’m not right wing, at least I don’t think that I am, and I use Democrat to define that Party. ‘Democratic’ supposedly describes a methodology used in running an organization. The D Party is most definitely not being run democratically, thus, using that word in it’s self defining title is propaganda, pure and simple.
      In the interests of fair play, perhaps I should begin referring to the erstwhile ‘Republican’ Party as the Republic Party.
      The two together can be referred to as the Imperial Party.
      My debased Two Cents.

      Reply
      1. JBird49049

        The two together can be referred to as the Imperial Party.
        My debased Two Cents.

        Thirty, or perhaps forty, years ago I would have been considered socially liberal and socialist incline leftist economically. Currently, I would be called socially moderate, or maybe mildly conservative, and a flaming red communist by The Powers That Be and the approved Mainstream Media.

        Sixty years ago both parties were fairly broad collations that had a vaguely similar basic ideologies to those that they are supposed to have to day. If you squint real hard. There were also several functioning communist or socialist parties, which no longer exist.

        However, as Chris Hedges likes to say, the Democratic Party has become right-wing and the Republican Party has gone insane. I would also add that a very broad spectrum of Americans have no political home in either party.

        Then add the fantastic amount of pay to play political corruption and the use of Identity Politics by both political parties to obscure their servitude to the extremely wealthy and therefore extremely politically powerful 1% and we no longer have a political system that serves we the people; an extremely short sighted system that has been shaped by the elite into funneling money into the every shrinking class of the uberwealthy and the longer term consequences be damned.

        So when I hear about the liberal Democrats and the conservative Republicans, I feel some pain and strong desire to wince. I really ought to get new copies of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. When I have another “conversation” with some Democrats or Republicans who simply cannot, just cannot see the changes of the last five decades, I might not feel so crazy after a read of some of Alice’s adventures.

        Reply
      2. richard

        And now for more sound that goes around we have Debaser
        by the Pixies
        (“another themed music day, please!” comes yet another cry from the peanut gallery)

        Reply
    3. Chris Smith

      Democrat, Democrat, Democrat.
      But seriously, that “Democrat v. Democratic” still makes me cringe years after I quit reading DailyKos. It was some weird sort of insider virtue signaling thing there.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Given the nature of the Obama v Hillary rhetoric over there, I figure it was mostly a way to pretend the toxic attitudes at that hellhole weren’t real all these years.

        Reply
      2. Lee

        I recently got scolded by one of the snowflake word nazis at DK for using “virtue signaling.” Also a right wing meme it would seem. I don’t read, watch, or listen to right wing news or propaganda. It seems I’m getting all my right wing memes from left wing sources.

        Reply
        1. Norge

          “Virtue signaling “ is a very useful term that describes a very common activity engaged in for many (hundreds?) years by the left and the right). Neither side has a monopoly on self-righteousness.

          Reply
          1. jrs

            if it just means self-righteousness, how is the neologism useful? t’s way more vague a term. And self-righteousness seems very far from the worst sin out there. Maybe that’s why they had to invent a scary term.

            So fine whatever ethics shouldn’t have anything to do with our politics, such is the argument I hear from the right whenever they bandy the “virtue signaling” term about. I don’t know what the heck they think they offer with *their* politics, but at that point I just walk away.

            Reply
            1. Yves Smith Post author

              I disagree. Virtue signaling is more specific. CalPERS following ESG principles is virtue signaling, which is taking acts that independent parties can see to demonstrate that they are on the right-thinking side of issues, these days almost always idpol.

              Self-righteousness is a ‘tude that may not have any relationship to actions and does not require action.

              Reply
              1. richard

                thanks for this distinction, which I have been struggling to express for some time
                not sure why I was struggling now, which is always a sign of an “aha” moment and a good teacher

                Reply
            2. False Solace

              It’s just another dumb lazy term like “social justice warrior”, which incorporates the assumption that social justice is evil and fighting for it is stupid and extreme.

              People use the term “virtue signaling” to obscure what it is they actually oppose. If they want to call out hypocrisy they can do that already. If they oppose ineffectual displays of virtue they can argue for better policies. Instead, they invent a new phrase that lumps together actually virtuous people with hypocrites and fools. (What is it that virtuous people are supposed to signal, after all? Something else?) That’s how we know most people only use this term to disguise their own unpopular radical ideas. The rest use it out of laziness like Orwell’s duckspeakers, mindlessly repeating what they hear because it is popular.

              Reply
              1. False Solace

                A virtuous person will also signal virtue. That’s why this phrase is useless and mostly employed for deceptive reasons.

                Reply
                1. witters

                  A truly virtuous person will do what virtue requires, period; not to say or signal to anyone else how virtuous they are. This is a basic and crucial distinction in all moral life.

                  Reply
      1. msmolly

        My point is that their official name is The Democratic Party, whether or not you think it is appropriate or an accurate descriptor.

        https://democrats.org/

        I’m no fan of the Dems, I’m in the Sanders/Warren camp politically. I just hate to see us lend credence to Republican slurs. Liz Warren last night said, “Stop using Republican talking points” and IMHO this falls into the same category. Now I’m done with this argument.

        Reply
        1. Big River Bandido

          Over on DailyKon the use of “Democrat Party” as a Republican slur has long been noted, observation is correct. Over the years, though, as it has become clear that the Democrats are a corrupt non-party, many of us on the left have adopted this slur, because it’s so appropriate.

          You will note that Lambert himself uses this formation whenever he writes the party name.

          Reply
        2. StillAboveWater

          You linked to “democrats.org”, not “democratics.org”. Seems like they don’t have a problem with calling themselves Democrats.

          Reply
          1. marym

            Whatever one thinks about what to call them informally, Democrat is the noun, Democratic is the adjective. For Republicans the noun and adjective happen to be the same.

            Only once did I ever see an establishment Democrat fight back on the party name against a Republican talking head saying “Democrat Party”, back when I used to watch a lot of cable.

            People not allied with Republicans but critical of Democrats from other perspectives can adopt whichever usage they choose, but I see no reason for those outside the establishment to defend the use of “Democratic” if prominent politicians and pundits can’t be bothered defending it, not to mention having it stand for anything.

            Reply
  9. The Rev Kev

    “RNA recovered and sequenced from 14,000-year-old mummified wolf”

    That article said that they recovered that wolf from permafrost in Siberia where it lay frozen. There have been more and more of these finds over the years. Recently scientists even managed to extract liquid blood from a frozen 42,000 year old foal and I came across a video showing 14 animals recovered from the permafrost-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLI980fr2K0

    So the question that arises is how long until someone comes across one of our ancestors even older than the 5,000 year old Ötzi? It’s probably only a matter of time.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      And maybe clone them? It is really unlikely to happen, but the last Neanderthals were probably still alive somewhere less than 38,000 years ago. I can just see some unethical researcher getting, and successfully using, the DNA of some Neanderthal, or more likely Denisovan, family found frozen somewhere. Talk about blowing your mind. :-)

      Reply
      1. davidgmillsatty

        Ethics by whose standard? I don’t think the Chinese would have any qualms. They just don’t see ethics the way the west does. They are already well on the road to designer babies.

        Reply
  10. Brindle

    Hope Marianne Williamson “qualifies” for the next round of debates. Her “dark psychic force” line was one of the best of the evening. She brings a little bit of Jungian understanding to our current predicament.

    Reply
    1. richard

      Agreed. I too could do with more from her. Chapo Trap House has been pushing her candidacy without snark, and that rowdy crowd has committed itself to “good vibes” in her honor. It is kind of sweet. Well, now I see it that way. Until last night, I was a little more annoyed. Unlike the younger people at chapo, i lived through the New Age in a place with many New Agers, and at its worst, it really was up its own a&^, class eliding, white person rebellion. And there was plenty of worst; mockery was usually well deserved. But Williamson seems to rep the very best of that sensibility, mostly the courage in standing fast to the principle that issues of social mental health are very worth talking about.

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Read a post after the first debate that Chapos are trolling her, but after last night im pretty sure Chapos are feeling #OrbEnergy for real.

        Reply
        1. richard

          I listen regularly and I don’t think they were ever trolling her (Virgil Texas in particular has always seemed legit in love)
          They do love to troll public figures who are risable (in their eyes)
          A comedy show after all
          But I think they kind of decided from the beginning not to laugh at her too much
          Chapos have this weird sort of collectivism in their comedy and commentary sometimes. They talk a lot about the “canon” for their show, and have familar targets, and don’t do a lot of cross-arguing with each other – the atmosphere of a well organized club, or a syndicate.
          It is an odd show and I’m glad I’ve found it, although i am out of touch with various refererences, aged way out of their audience
          Runner!! (dodges laser fire)

          Reply
        2. False Solace

          I thought the subreddit was pretty well over her after they heard she was counseling AIDS patients in the 80s to focus their positive energy to get better. I don’t know anything about that, but I saw them discussing it and saying she was cancelled.

          Reply
        1. JohnnyGL

          Beltway types love calling on people they don’t like to drop out. It’s usually pointed at candidates that make them uncomfortable and they aren’t sure they can beat. It’s almost like they don’t really believe in democracy.

          I hate Biden, but I don’t want to drop out….I’m going to really enjoy watching him deteriorate and lose Jebbie-style!!!

          Reply
          1. WheresOurTeddy

            I too do not want Biden to drop out, ideally not until at least 2 terrible showings in Iowa and New Hampshire before he slinks away like he has every time he’s run for president.

            Biden dropping out early would only encourage the mini-Bidens like Ryan, Delaney, Bullock, Hickenlooper to stay in. The sooner we start thinning the Interchangeable Centrist Club, the better.

            Reply
      1. edmondo

        Could we not say the same thing about Donald Trump? Hickenblooper? Tim Ryan (Why in the name of God is he even bothering after being eaten alive in two straight debates?)?

        Think of Marianne Williamson as the Democrat’s version of Ben Carson {“9-9-9”) but with crystals. Wait until they find her spaceship in Area 51, I expect her to rise in the polls for sure.

        Reply
        1. barefoot charley

          Her following Buttigieg’s excellent points on reparations with her own moving argument and defense was, for me, the high point of the evening’s entertainment. And the whole show was more than entertaining, it reminded me that Democrats can be a party of ideas. I expect tonight’s moderate version will moderate that idea-stuff for the party-certified contenders.

          Reply
      2. Carey

        Williamson: “dangerous”

        Sanders: “dangerous”

        Warren: “dangerous”

        Gabbard: “dangerous”

        Gravel: Diapppeared.

        Seeing the corporatists expose themselves is good.

        Reply
      3. jrs

        debates might potentially serve two different purposes: 1) getting ideas (and ideally policies) out there in the hopes of waking people up on various things and 2) choosing the Dem nominee.

        So yea for the second thing I don’t want her, no not even on a 2nd or 3rd or 4th choice basis (but she would still be better than Trump).

        I think people overestimate the likelihood that anyone will have a Trump style breakout, Trump’s lead climbed very fast, and Dems face DNC structural obstacles.

        It’s also probably more of an uphill climb to get ideas out there than one might wish.

        Reply
  11. Savonarola

    The insurance coalition has twitter ads against single payer/medicare for all. The comments are brutal. I am amazed and pleased to say that it appears that no one on the twitter is that stupid. Is it insanely optimistic to hope that no one watching the Democratic debate is? I would hope that it would be a call to arms about who really benefits from our health care abuse system.

    Reply
    1. Off The Street

      There is disingenuity component to that type of ad. Pitch one thing to distract consumers from noticing the other thing, that elephant in the room. The medical care costs too damn much, and by medical care I mean doctors, pharma and the whole dysfunctional system.

      Confuse consumers and get them to say, We sure don’t want any of that socialized medicine. How that is defined remains slippery.

      They could be saying, We sure don’t want to keep paying X% more than others in the world for equivalent results. Having more of your money to spend on virtually anything else, like food, isn’t a slippery concept.

      Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is the structural problem the parasites have. They’ve relied on a critical mass of people with “good enough” insurance to protect them they have no idea how to react or make arguments anymore. You can see Biden is trying to scare the “I have mine crowd” because this is all he knows how to do.

      Obama used much of the good will with his arguments about “first steps” and pointing out to the lottery winners who were helped. The myth of Obama as a “Constitutional scholar” helped too because Obama was rarely asked to explain himself except by Republicans who haven’t changed since April 1865 (Grant was okay, we can ignore that blemish on his record).

      With safe districts and the difficulty of running a primary campaign with the state of political activation (AOC isn’t possible in many districts because they can’t be walked and reach as many people), the U.S. has an embarrassingly stupid politicians.

      Reply
  12. a different chris

    >Coke and Pepsi abandon the plastics lobby CNN (Kevin W

    Back when I was a child everything of course came in glass (yeah on the backs of dinosaurs, ok…). And stuff in glass bottles when I can get it now just always seemed to taste better. But I thought it was nostalgia.

    However, in a PCN (Pennsylvania Cable Network) they interviewed the Yingling owner… and note that he’s the rightest of wingnuts. But he was wistfully speaking of their recycled bottles option (which I’m not sure exists now) and slipped and said “it tastes better in (pure) glass” and then literally blushed and backpedaled rapidly.

    The thing is, I don’t think he was being sentimental like me. I believe as a beer aficionado he actually knew this to be true.

    Ok, this is another “things were better then” boring post but…. things were better then.

    Reply
    1. BobW

      In the mid 1950s my grade school lunch milk came in a little glass bottle, for a whopping 2 cents. I don’t remember anyone getting sued for not paying that.

      Reply
    2. Polar Donkey

      Mexican coca cola from an ice cold glass bottle is the bomb. I have one every few months as a treat. How Mexico got better coke than the US is ponderous to me. Beverage in a box coke is total trash.

      Reply
      1. paintedjaguar

        Mexican ice cream is better too, at least outside costly premium brands. Their cookies are crap though, and I hated to see Nabisco bought out by a Mexican conglomerate – that ruined one of my favourite storebought cookies. Of course the same thing happened when Nabisco gobbled up Sunshine years ago.

        Drinks do taste better in glass (no aftertaste), plus a glass container helps keep the drink cold.

        Reply
    3. ambrit

      My Dad would never drink beer from a can. He held the same views on glass bottling. Being from London, he occasionally waxed nostalgic for beer drawn from a keg or barrel, as one would encounter in a ‘proper pub.’
      For pure addictive pleasure, a cola drink mixed from syrup and seltzer water leads the pack. Can we start a “Slow Drink” movement?

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I’ve recently switched to steel cut oats, slow-cooked in a pan, after looking at some slow cookers – one says the inner container is coated with some proprietary glaze (not sure what that means), and the other seems like its’ made of regular stainless steel, except on the bottom of the box, per Prop. 65 (California) it warns of some potential dangers, and so, I decide not to chance it.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          “glaze” would normally be a form of glass, as on ceramics; but you’d have to ask to be sure.

          Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        I don’t like cola, but make a habit of mixing juice with seltzer. Excellent – but it’s still sugar, of course.

        Another way to get the same effect: let it start fermenting (I mostly do this with raw cider), then screw down the lid and put in the refrigerator. Natural carbonation – apple beer. The same thing that’s so pricey in individual bottles.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Kid’s Cider and Ginger Beer, (both real low alcohol content fermented drinks,) were given to kids in the “Local” when I was a tiddler. At least, that’s what Mum tells me. I still have a penchant for either. I generally only drink beer now mixed with Ginger beer, a ‘shandy.’
          If I could get any raw cider, I’d try your method. Unfortunately, there are very few apple orchards here Down South.

          Reply
  13. roadrider

    Re: ‘Do ‘Big Four’ Tech Monopolies Deserve Their Antitrust Investigation? Yes

    Way too kind to Microsoft and Windows. The dominance of Microsoft and Windows was clearly not a matter of personal choice as the author claims. He ignores the “Microsoft tax” that required manufacturers to pay for a Windows license for any PC they sold that didn’t have Windows pre-installed. The result – it was hard to buy a PC without an OS or any other OS. He also ignores the role of corporate IT departments forcing Windows on everyone which meant very few people got exposure to other operating systems through their job so they just took the path of least resistance when buying their own computers.

    And Windows doesn’t “still work”. Its still a bloated, buggy, insecure toy operating system whose limited technical merits are compromised by Microsoft’s blatant and heavy handed efforts to push their own crappy application software (like IE and Edge).

    And I’m not carrying water for Apple here – I don’t – and won’t – use Macs or anything made by Apple.

    Reply
      1. roadrider

        Yeah, I still use WinDoze at home because all I do is web surfing and e-mail (pretty much all WinDoze is good for). I have a Linux VM if I want to do any real stuff.

        At work its all Linux. Well, mostly. I’m forced to use a WinDoze laptop for email and office related stuff but all of my actual work is on a CentOS VM that’s hosted in a remote data center.

        Reply
        1. inode_buddha

          Lucky you. I walked away from both Windows and Mac in 1998, haven’t looked back. Home user only, tho. Office, Firefox, CAD, etc etc. I migrated off Linux 2 yrs ago.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            10 years working for MSFT with a few opinions. Making it backwardly comparable for things like Olivetti dot matrix printers (still used in many banks and companies around the world) naturally leads to bloatware. And entire regions of the Windows OS are black-boxed, where even internal devs do not completely understand how the domain functions, but there are so many critical hooks and dependencies on other functions that they must not be excised. Gates tried to do that with Vista, but that collapsed after 4 years and they had to backpedal. There are guys now in their 70’s who do understand these black function domains and they get $2000/hour when they get coaxed out of retirement by hair-on-fire devs trying to ship a new release

            Reply
            1. Inode_buddha

              bought a copy of O’Reilly’s UNIX power tools in 2001. That has all the know-how I’ve ever needed, combined with RTFM. Also, C/C++ just our of curiosity, no real need. I do wish everything could be so simple.

              Reply
  14. Off The Street

    The NIH paper about silica water treatment for Alzheimers made me think about another aluminum-related topic. Anti-perspirants typically contain aluminum chlorhydrate or similar compounds which are useful to plug up sweat glands.

    Are those under-arm products demonstrated to result in some build-up of aluminum-related compounds elsewhere in one’s body, and if so, do they contribute even marginally to mitigate Alzheimers?

    If they contribute, might people expect to see some growth in silica water product sales to offset whatever marginal effect there may be?

    Reply
    1. Merf56

      That study has been widely discredited by further more current research. I am frankly surprised it is posted here..

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith Post author

        You are conflating two issues.

        The question of whether aluminum causes/contributes to Alzhemiers has studies on both sides of the issue, but quite a few admittedly small scale studies have found that a meaningful % of people with Alzheimers who drink 1.5 liters of silica water for 12 weeks show cognitive improvement. This is not an isolated result. And my comments were limited ONLY to the efficacy of silica water, not the speculation as to why it helps some people.

        Reply
        1. rtah100

          I don’t have the reference to hand but, having run an Alzheimer blood biomarker start-up, the aluminium hypothesis was cast into doubt when it was pointed out the the neuroanatomical studies showing Al in the brain slices did not adjust for the standard brain specimen protocol being to wrap them in aluminium foil for freezing / preserving and to section them unwrapped on the foil to avoid biological (but not metallurgical!) contamination.

          As for silica water, short studies of presumptive AD patients, which do not follow them until death and pathological confirmation of the disease, are confounded by the very high rate of inclusion of non-AD patients (other dementias, depression, Lyme etc). Any of these could have responded to the silica water. Twelve weeks is not enough time for any endpoint to show significant change.

          Reply
  15. rd

    This is beyond bizarre: https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-exploring-imports-of-cheaper-prescription-drugs-from-canada-2019-7

    The reason why other countries have lower prescription drug prices than the US is very simple – they negotiate lower drug prices with the pharmaceutical firms.

    The irony is that the apparent solution to the problem of “free market pricing” in the US cause sky-high drug prices is to turn around and buy the drugs from distributors in socialist countries that have negotiated system-wide drug pricing with the pharmaceutical companies. So apparently, our free-market system will rely on socialists in other countries to push down our drug prices because it would be anathema for Americans to become “socialist” which would require transparent negotiated pricing. I don’t think that is what Adam Smith had in mind in 1776.

    This is a “commons” issue. The other countries believe in using their bargaining power to negotiate lower drug prices across society. The insurance companies (if you have a pharmaceutical plan) pay the same price as the person without drug insurance. In the US, this is viewed as socialist and un-American.

    Reply
    1. Knifecatcher

      You need to do it at each agency individually – Equifax, Experian, Transunion. And each has a somewhat different mechanism for freezing / unfreezing. I think it’s Transunion that no longer lets you do it without registering for an account on their web site, creating yet another vector for these clowns to expose our personal info to hackers in the next breach.

      Reply
  16. Summer

    Re: Globalization isn’t dying, it’s evolving…

    Of course, there is nothing new about the concept of global trade. Yet, their little narrative and particularly the patent graph belies that it’s paying off for the world.
    I think about the term “emerging markets” and all I saw there was one emerging market: China after all these years if “global development.”
    And I don’t think things are going to work the same way for a small country like Vietnam.

    Reply
    1. wilroncanada

      Summer
      They also never show Submerging Markets, although there are many.
      I guess they just look the other way, or like the majority of Americans, they really do believe that poverty and deprivation are just temporary setbacks in growing wealth.

      Reply
  17. Jeff W

    ‘Democratic’ supposedly describes a methodology used in running an organization. The D Party is most definitely not being run democratically…

    I doubt the Australian Monarchist League or the Monarchist Party of Russia is run by a king/queen or czar, respectively, with the other members as subjects, either.

    Party names are not often meant to reflect how the party itself is run. The name might reflect some thing about the political organization that party would want for the place in which it wants to effectuate policy, as in the two monarchist parties just mentioned, but not necessarily. The US is, ostensibly, a democratic republic so we have one party that went with one part of the formulation and another that went with the other. (The early Democratic-Republican Party went with both.) Neither name is meant to (and doesn’t) convey the internal operations of the party themselves.

    Reply
      1. ambrit

        It got to the right place Jeff W.
        In this case, the Name of a political party is divorced from the reality of it’s “heart.” The entire excercise betrays a hollowness to the institutions. Their very names are propaganda misdirections.
        Even accepting this as a norm of political discourse, when the gap between the aspirations associated with the Name, and the reality of the goals pursued by the elites running the enterprises becomes glaring and public, the tension set up within the minds of the acolytes of those political cults can cripple the entire organization.
        As the Hermetics knew from of old, Names have Power.

        Reply
        1. Jeff W

          I don’t disagree at all that “the Name of a political party is divorced from the reality of it’s ‘heart.'” There is nothing “democratic” about the Democratic party. I wouldn’t mind if people said “I’ll call it the ‘Democrat’ party to highlight just how undemocratic it is” (although I’m one of those people who really doesn’t care for referring to people or things by something other than their actual names, e.g., Rethuglicans, Obummer, Shillary—records and practices, negative or otherwise, are more powerful standing on their own, I think).

          But to say that the “Democratic” in “Democratic Party” somehow refers to something internal in the party and is therefore undeserved strikes me as, well, a bit of a stretch (and ahistorical as well: in fact, “Democratic” was originally added to the name of the Jeffersonian Republican party as a derogatory term by the opposing Federalists to conjure up the extreme actions taken during the French Revolution in the name of “democracy”). So, in terms of the name referring to anything about the party itself, the Democratic Party is “democratic” no more or less than the Pirate Party is composed of buccaneers on the high seas.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Points taken. I will ‘double down’ by suggesting that the Name of a Party is also meant to conjure up, (a felicitous phrase that,) an image of that Party. A mental construct to guide one’s interactions with the corporate entity is desired, based in the yearnings and wishes invoked by the Name. So, a reasonable person could be forgiven for expecting a Democratic Party to hew to the norms of a collectivist state of mind. Our reasonable person can also be forgiven for viewing a Democrat Party as representing a class of persons, distinct from the generality; that class being named Democrat.
            As such, my main complaint against the use of Democratic Party to name the organization we all recognize that name as representing is that the Name, as presently constructed, is misleading and conductive to cognitive dissonance.
            Dissonate et imperia. (Sic ?)

            Reply
  18. Otis B Driftwood

    Regarding “Coalition to air anti-Medicare For All ads…”, you need to dig a bit deeper behind the facade of the Partnership For America’s Healthcare Future (PAHCF) to find its primary sponsor – the Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) (see https://www.hlc.org/about/).

    Here you will find the major insurance, pharmaceutical and IT vendors who have put aside their competitive interests to join common cause toward defeating M4A. They are ruthless and well-funded.

    Reply
  19. Rod

    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/30/business/coke-pepsi-plastics/index.html

    THE GOOD NEWS

    At the start of July, India gave Nestles an ultimatum: develop and put your packaging in a circular supply system that you create today or you will get your business out of India tomorrow.
    To Nestles. In India.
    Those Coke and Pepsi Soda bottles are readily identifiable by their proprietary designs. Have they suddenly become sensitized or…
    And how many individual bottles does 3.3 million pounds of plastic make?

    Reply
  20. Alexander Fleming

    Important FT article about the impact of legislation to put an end to “surprise billing”.

    You’ll have to google this and use the link to get past the FT paywall.

    “US healthcare provider loans tumble as politicians target patient billing”

    This comment following the article sums it up rather well:

    The article leads with the impact of this on loans to PE backed firms, rather than the sheer criminality and human impact of this practice. This fact alone illustrates what has gone so terribly wrong with Capitalism!

    Reply
  21. nippersmom

    Subject line form an email I just received from Our Revolution:
    centrist (n): a misleading term for politicians with unpopular positions that are at the center of exactly nothing but what’s good for corporate interests

    Reply
    1. ewmayer

      And based on the MSM coverage, it’s a euphemism for ‘moderate’. They apparently want hoi polloi to believe that being a Republican in Dems clothing and blowing corporate America for $ is in some fashion ‘moderate’.

      Reply
  22. flora

    Why private equity should not exist.
    The latest from Matt Stoller. Long, worthwhile read.

    https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/why-private-equity-should-not-exist

    “On a deeper level, private equity is the ultimate example of the collapse of the enlightenment concept of what ownership means. Ownership used to mean dominion over a resource, and responsibility for caretaking that resource. PE is a political movement whose goal is extend deep managerial controls from a small group of financiers over the producers in the economy. Private equity transforms corporations from institutions that house people and capital for the purpose of production into extractive institutions designed solely to shift cash to owners and leave the rest behind as trash. Like much of our political economy, the ideas behind it were developed in the 1970s and the actual implementation was operationalized during the Reagan era.”

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I know Stoller means well but the idea that PE started as a political movement is bunk.

      It was started at Bear Stearns in the 1970s by guys who wanted to make a buck (Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts among others) It was called “bootstrapping” back then, buying a company with no equity. Bootstrapping in fact had a very long history but the depressed stock market of the 1970s created more opportunities. I was at Goldman in the early 1980s when it was just getting going.

      And the reason it took off in the 1980s was that there were a ton of overdiversified companies, many of which were conglomerates created in the go-go stock market of the 1960s, which had been another borderline scam (hi-flier conglomerate with big price-earnings multiple would by cheap stodgy co with low price-earnings multiple. Stodgy co earnings would be added to Conglomerate earnings and valued at Conglomerate multiple, even though being owned by Conglomerate did nothing to make the business more profitable or competitive). Those near or actual conglomerates were trading on the cheap and often had bloated corporate centers. The sum of the parts (value of the constituent businesses) was more than the whole (current market cap). Plus additional points for getting rid of the excessive corporate level spending.

      This was arbitrage that took some doing to pull off (the hostile takeover was the hard part, along with banks initially not wanting to lend to take over big Corporate America companies, even if they weren’t particularly well regarded ones).

      But blue chippiest of blue chip Wall Street firms Morgan Stanley had worked on the side of hostile acquirers of oil companies in the 1970s, so the notion that hostile takeovers were a no-no had been abandoned before the LBO industry really got going.

      Reply
        1. Grebo

          In the UK they were called “asset strippers”. Prominent exponents were Sir James Goldsmith, Jim Slater and Peter Walker who became one of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet ministers.

          Reply
      1. Inode_buddha

        Would like to share a quote from Napoleon, which shows the current troubles are nothing new:

        “Money is without Fatherland; financiers have no patriotism, and no decency. Their sole object is gain.”

        If I recall my history lessons correctly, he was upset upon finding out the Rothschilds bank was funding both sides of a particular war. Or maybe it was the Medicis. Our equivalent would have been J.P. Morgan.

        Reply
      2. cnchal

        Also bunk is the idea that Pirate Equity was the leader in sending production to China, when they were just following what Walmart was doing from the mid 90s on, which was telling suppliers to move to China or else they would not get shelf space.

        Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      Havilng read Yves’ comment (she should know), I think the disagreement can be resolved with a slight edit: ” PE AMOUNTS TO a political movement whose goal is extend deep managerial controls from a small group of financiers over the producers in the economy. ” IOW, that is its ultimate effect, regardless of its initial motive which is simple greed. Or complicated greed.

      I remember its initial era, which Yves recounts, even though I wasn’t in finance; it was highly controversial and not very respectable.

      Reply
      1. sammie

        Having read the article carefully, I think Stoller explains in great detail why he’d call it “a political movement” and why that description fits. Even with Yves’ comment, I don’t think he’s off. What I understood was that the PE enterprise got going as a part of the overall movement to restructure the US economy into a more pro-corporate space, in which even the traditional meaning of the corporation underwent revision. In that sense, it was political.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, that is not correct. The guys in PE didn’t have political motivations. They didn’t care about “restructuring the economy”. Milken and his raiders were outsiders seeking to get rich. After Milken went to prison he got into trying to rehabilitate his image by among other things starting the Milken Conference which was a West Coast libertarian Davos wannabe.

          Most guys on Wall Street back then had absolutely zero interest in politics, save unless a college or grad school buddy was running. If anything, they had contempt for politics as unserious.

          During the 1980s LBO wave, they didn’t try to curry politicians or fund think tanks or pay for flattering PR. They were still so much on the outside that towards what turned out to be the tail end of that era, 1987, the Reagan Treasury proposed putting a surtax on highly leveraged transactions, meaning a Republican administration was trying to shut LBOs down. But that proposal was one of the two triggers for the 1987 market crash.

          Reply
  23. cnchal

    > And how many individual bottles does 3.3 million pounds of plastic make?

    At two ounces each, about 26 million bottles, if there is no scrap.

    The bad news? Each of those, Pepsi or Coke, is a diabetes inducing poison.

    Reply
  24. boz

    International abortion campaigns (gasp!)

    Re Argentina…these tactics happen on both sides. I guess it’s only outrageous when team red do it?

    Gates Foundation Encourages Women In Ethiopia To Have Abortions link

    On the agenda for the family planning conference in Ethiopia are sessions titled “Efforts to Implement Policies that Expand Access to Safe Abortion,” “Access to Safe Abortions,” “Abortion and Quality of Care,” and “Abortion: Before and After.” These feature representatives of the world’s top abortion providers–Ipas, Planned Parenthood, and Marie Stopes–as well as other pro-abortion groups.

    Reply
    1. ewmayer

      So the best way to stop desertification is to simply ship the sand overseas to be made into concrete? Hmmm…

      Reply
  25. rjs

    some kind of mistake in the telling of the water shortage story in El Salvador…

    “The tap is the family’s only source of water, so Funez makes the journey along the dusty dirt road 15 to 20 times each day.

    “My husband’s job is to fetch the water so I can do the housework”

    20 trips with a 3 gallon jug is a lot more water than anyone needs…

    Reply

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