Links 7/4/19

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Dear patient readers,

Your humble blogger found a local place that said they had sparklers (yeah!) but when I went there and hour and a half after my phone query, they were sold out (:-(). So I hope you were more successful than me with July 4th amusements!

And are you old enough to remember this device? It’s supposedly a Halloween toy but we used them at the 4th because sparks and red, white, and blue. Wish I had kept one:

A Jim Beam warehouse filled with 45,000 barrels of bourbon caught fire CNN (Robert H)

Tennessee’s Walking Horse ‘tradition’ should get back on track: The “Big Lick” pain-based gait created by soring is a “tradition” Tennesseans and U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn shouldn’t be working to protect. KnoxNews (Marty) :-(. See here for details.

The Quantum Theory That Peels Away the Mystery of Measurement Quanta Magazine (David L)

Moore’s Law Isn’t Dead, But Needs a New and Broader Interpretation: Intel’s Top Exec Wired

CUE3: Japan’s free throw robot! – Meet The Record Breakers YouTube (Robert H)

The hard truth about being a 21st century tree in California Mashable (David L)

Researchers Have Eliminated HIV In Mice For the First Time USAToday

EPA Move to Phase Out Animal Experiments Could Mean the End of Toxics Regulations Intercept. Charming.


China accuses UK of ‘hypocrisy’ in Hong Kong row BBC. If you click through, notice headline change from front page.

Osborne eyes chance of taking IMF vacancy Financial Times. Kill me now.


Corbyn takes Labour to ALL-TIME polling low: Just 18% would vote for the party in a general election as they slump to fourth place Daily Mail. So one would assume Labour won’t be pushing for a GE.

Without a transformation on Brexit, Labour’s election chances are dead New Statesman


U.S. Considers Allowing China To Import Oil From Iran OilPrice

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Outcry after reports Brazil plans to investigate Glenn Greenwald Guardian

I OPTED OUT OF FACIAL RECOGNITION AT THE AIRPORT—IT WASN’T EASY Wired. Ahem, this is a piece of cake compared to opting out of millimeter wave scanners. If you think the officialdom isn’t saving those images, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. As a contractor to the surveillance state pointed out via e-mail (warning re Amazon’s Echo, with the airport screens as his base case Note that this was long enough ago that the older tech, backscatter, was still in use):

To understand how this may work, consider the TSA backscatter scans performed every day at airports. The first batch will produce piles of scans of unknown persons. If these scans are compared with the boarding pass scans around the same place and time, then each backscatter scan may be considered as potentially matching one of the boarding passes scanned. Now, when the same person is scanned again, the number of potential matches of similar scans and common boarding passes reduces significantly. Eventually, scans can be quickly paired to an individual with a high degree of certainty. This can be further optimized by considering which scans and boarding passes have not already been tagged to someone with sufficient certainty.

And speaking of Alexa: Amazon confirms it retains Alexa transcripts and voice recordings indefinitely The Next Web (David L)

Huawei founder predicts internet of things is next US battle Financial Times

Trump Transition

Trump dismisses furor over conditions for migrants The Hill. Hoo boy.

Tanks Roll into D.C. to Celebrate Independence Day Real News Network. Classy!

Pentagon guidance to troops in Trump’s July 4th event: Say I love my tank Mother Jones (Chuck L)

Trump baby blimp to loom over Trump’s Fourth of July celebration Axios (Glenn F)

Justice Department Weighs Whether Census Question Can Be Saved Bloomberg

9th Circuit rejects Trump admin request to allow use of military funds for border wall The Hill

Democrats Are Complicit in Trump’s Fearmongering About Immigrant Youth TruthOut

Trump’s remarkably reasonable pick for the Federal Reserve The Week (UserFriendly)

Mueller Report Gets the Trump Tower Meeting Wrong; Promotes Browder Hoax ConsortiumNews (UserFriendly)

Russian oligarch’s story could spell trouble for Team Mueller The Hill (UserFriendly)

Judge Blocks Ohio Abortion Law, Clinics to Remain Open Wall Street Journal

Health Care

50 Million Adults Are Uninsured Every Single Year People’s Policy Project (UserFriendly)

An Unnecessary Primary Panic? Crooked Media (UserFriendly)


Buttigieg Goes for Big Bucks as NYT Oversells His Small-Donor Support FAIR (UserFriendly)

Kamala 2020 Makes Obama 2008 Look Positively Right Wing Issues & Insights. UserFriendly: “ROFL.”

CNN’s Racist Defense of Kamala Harris. Human Events

I’m Trans. The 2020 Candidates Don’t Know How to Pander to Me. Politico. With all due respect, this isn’t pandering to you. It’s virtue signaling to everyone else.

Google’s Manual Interventions in Search Results Medium (UserFriendly). A must read.

How To Spot A Twitter Troll Craig Murray (Chuck L)

Bitcoin Rally Fuels Crypto Derivatives Wall Street Journal

Inside the Congressional Staff Meeting About Libra American Prospect (UserFriendly). Weak questions but what FB said was obviously ridiculous, so maybe the staffers were in res ipsa loquitur mode.

Google Internet Balloon Spinoff Loon Still Looking For Its Wings Reuters

New-Vehicle Sales Fall to 1999 Levels: How to Grow Revenues After 20 Years of Stagnation (Yup, You Guessed It) Wolf Richter

Amazon Can Be Held Liable For Third-Party Seller Products, Court Says Reuters

Class Warfare

In re Engen: Nondischargable student loans create a “prison of emotional confinement” Condemned to DEBT (UserFriendly)

Busting Right-Wing Talking Point, ‘Groundbreaking’ Study Shows Federal $15 Minimum Wage Would Not Cause Job Losses in Low-Wage States Common Dreams

Teen accused of rape deserves leniency because of his ‘good family’, judge says Guardian

The eviction crisis is starting to look a lot like the subprime mortgage crisis MarketWatch

Nonprofit Christian Hospital Suspends Debt Collection Lawsuits Amid Furor Over Suing Its Own Employees ProPubilica. Only in America.

Antidote du jour. Timotheu: “From Jiries Atrash, Mentor Marsh [OH]”:

And to get you in the holiday mood:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    I see that today is the 4th July in the US which is celebrated for when the American Colonies extradited themselves from the British Empire. In that vein, I wish everybody there a Happy Amexit.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Thanks. One quibble, given the other American related events of today. There was no Amexit. The colonies merely tried and executed their king in absentia, killing a king is a time honored tradition. The only bonds with the UK were through that particular monarchy. Southern secession was thoroughly illegal.

      This is one reason why Mr Jefferson is deemed so clever. Virtually every colonial assembly put out their own declaration prior to the July 4th to do, but those complaints blamed Parliament when there is documentation of the London Parliament having any say in the colonies, hence the “no taxation without representation.” They demanded violence, but only Jefferson proposed they (the colonies and the UK) were separate entities. The colonies were keenly aware the real power in the UK was the House of Commons and recognized Vox Populi Vox Dei. Since there was no American representation there, the colonies weren’t part of that polity. The American colonies without a tyrannical king are free and independent and only under the threat of a foreign power (the London based Parliament which goes unnamed).

      1. Robert

        “Southern secession was thoroughly illegal.”
        Yet there were no treason trials and just where in the Constitution does it say states are forbidden to leave the Union?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          If Lincoln had lived, would treason trials have been held? Or sedition trials at the very least?
          We will never know.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          The Constitution doesn’t need to forbid it. The Constitution is established by “the people” and establishes a people’s legislature. Lesser legislatures can’t strike out on their own. Individual states or a minority of states don’t have authority over the Constitutional arrangement.

    2. Lee

      I have done some research on a personal Amexit, but no country where I would choose to live will have me as a citizen. Not that I’m a bad person, nor am I indigent; I’m just not rich enough nor do I not possess specific skill sets they seek. It seems all these countries have these things called borders.

      1. polecat

        Be patient Lee .. with the way things are headed, you’ll find your undiscovered country, without moving an inch … as will we all.
        ‘Disassembly’ is required, however.

      2. Wukchumni

        I’ve contemplated Catalina and thought that being a feline fancier would give me good stead in becoming a citizen of the island state and/or dressing, now if only they would secede!

        The town declared its secession from the Union as “the Great Republic of Rough and Ready” on 7 April 1850, largely to avoid mining taxes, but voted to rejoin the Union less than three months later on 4 July.,_California

    3. Brian Westva

      I was thinking earlier today that July 4th represents the birth of one empire and the death of another empire. But that’s not correct since the British empire did not end for a couple more centuries.

    4. Craig H.

      It is the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence which is a worthy document to celebrate indeed.

      It is a pity we have allowed the Bill of Rights to be aborted. : (

  2. ex-PFC Chuck

    ” Wish I had kept one:”

    Ha! Movers Regret! I can’t tell you how many score times I’ve muttered that or something similar since selling our home of 35 years and downsizing to move into an apartment.
    It’s good to read that your move went relatively well.

  3. upstater

    I do remember those mechanical spark wheels! But that is so 1960s…

    Yves, get with the program. There must be a spark wheel app out there, or perhaps VR glasses and gloves that can *safely* recreate those childhood experiences. More importantly, it can spare today’s children from serious injury while harvesting data. Bottle rocket and other pyrotechnics apps, too!

    1. Svante

      Of course, I’m wondering if other readers from hillbilly towns like Pittsburgh, kinda worried about getting hit by all the 12-gauge pumpkin balls, or. 308 fmj rounds flying about, back when everybody was unemployed and free-basing atop the ridges, awaiting the Zambelli fireworks?

    2. Wukchumni

      I survived bottle rocket war skirmishes somehow, where your opponent a few hundred feet away was aiming & lighting one via a coke bottle while you were doing the same. Most of us make it out of childhood though, or that’s the claim.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        i used to f my cousins up shooting Bottle Rockets at them circa 1994!!!

        Tanks, cars, chickens, frogs, boats oh my!

        Black Cats n Jumping Jacks are my favorites!

        1. Cuibono

          Next door neighbors waged battle with Roman candles and cherry bombs kid you not. Somehow e no missing limbs or eyes

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Roman candle wars were the best, we used to use garbage can lids as shields. Cherry bombs launched with a Wrist Rocket were also very effective

        2. skippy

          Then some wonder where I got my mad tactical skills before RGRs. S.V. includes BB gun and dirt clod wars ….

      2. rowlf

        As a teen I was drafted into a fierce battle at 10 yards between houses in northern NJ a few days before July 4th ages ago. Luckily it ended in a negotiated peace when someone did the math and realized at the rate we were firing everything off neither house would have anything left for the upcoming holiday.

        From the amount of smoke one would have thought we were reenacting a Revolutionary War battle. Aside from minor scorches on us and patio furniture used for cover no one was injured.

        Do guardian angels get overtime? Mine probably looks like a Soviet general due to all the service decorations.

          1. richard

            No, i hate it.
            Not that I didn’t cautiously experiment with explosives as a young man :)
            and I enjoy the stories
            but I hate everything about this day, really

      3. skippy

        Stone age launching platform – coke bottle. Try a coffee can with nail holes on the bottom for the grid sq eliminator effect.

        1. ambrit

          A short (18″) length of 3/4 electrical conduit with two old coffee pot handles duct taped on for “stability” works well. The safety conscious among us will fabricate a blast shield out of sheet tin and duct tape it over the front end of the “launcher.” (Drilling the hole in the middle of the sheet of tin for the conduit to fit through is the most demanding part of the fabrication.) The serious artillerists will cut an aiming notch in the edge of the blast shield and attach a backsight to which a movable indicator can be, through meticulous experimentation, adjusted.
          I should build one now for my upcoming anti-drone campaign.
          On a tangentially serious note, if the drone delivery services do “take off,” can zoning to force homeowners to install drone landing platforms be far off? Another “Captured Corporation” product!
          Speaking of making things go ‘boom,’ does Australia celebrate Guy Fawkes, or something similar?

            1. ambrit

              Yay! Then the drone operators can blame loss of contact on a “meteor shower.”
              Speaking of “irregular” launching platforms, my middle sister, the one married to a copper, when she visited last week wore a tee shirt with a graphic of the “original” low cost bid on the Space Shuttle project. It had a Shuttle glider piggybacked on a giant soda bottle with two giant tubes of Mentos strapped to the sides of the bottle. The whole thing was rising on a column of suds.
              I can see in my mind’s eye someone building the world’s biggest plastic extrusion machine at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans East.

      4. Oregoncharles

        I participated in a bottle-rocket “war” as an adult of sorts, on the beach where I lived at the time. In the dark, IIRC. The plastic lenses in my glasses were pitted – good thing I was wearing them.

        You know how they go “bang” and seem to disappear? The beach was littered with the fragments. Very embarrassing, in daylight. Granted, beaches clean themselves at high tide, but it took a while.

    3. Hopelb

      A sparking Godzilla, nun or Trump toy is available on eBay, but the spark blaster looks more frictionful. 13 bucks and change.

  4. Kokuanani

    Last night on “The Last Word,” Lawrence O’Donnell, in noting how July 4 was supposed to celebrate our declaring independence from tyrants, quoted language from the Declaration of Independence referencing such. It’s a great quote, but the transcript is not up yet, so I can’t include it. Perhaps someone with better research skills than I can.

    O’Donnell also noted that we’re close to the “mad king” phase with Trump.

    1. Kokuanani

      There’s no edit function, so I’ll just note that I remember those spark wheels too!

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Did O’Donnell have a screed about how free trade would be a win win win and only losers would lose? I can’t imagine the worst writer on “The West Wing” has anything worth saying.

      I should note an obvious difference is we have the normalcy of elections, so we don’t have to bother with these worries about tyranny. Michelle Obama’s BFF is a real tyrant given the way the election was actually stolen, but Shrub was respectable to DC rats.

  5. Tyrannocaster

    Trump baby balloon will not be flying because the admin has denied it a permit to be airborne “more than two feet” lest it interfere with Air Force One. They already moved it out of sight of Trump, so it’s not very successful. I have more hope for the animatronic Tweeting Crapper/Crapping Tweeter, which will also be there.

    I will be watching Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph Of The Will instead.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Me? I would be interested in participating in some on-the-ground satire. Like a Ministry of Silly Walks on the Mall.

      1. petal

        Thank you, Rev. Just shared the medium article(for the photos) to someone with increasingly severe TDS that had posted a cartoon of Trump in a tank with a wilted barrel. Others were tittering about his tiny hands.

        1. Geo

          “Trump in a tank with a wilted barrel”

          Reminded me of the old Dukakis photo and then I wondered, “Whatever happened to Dukakis?” Looked it up and seems, for the most part, he’s just been quietly living his life after that failed presidential run. Be nice if a certain other recent losing Dem candidate had done the same.

      2. marym

        One good outcome of pushing back on something bad is that does at least provide an opportunity to point out the hypocrisy of current critics, or lessons unlearned from the past. It may undermine the credibility of some of the critics, but doesn’t invalidate the criticism.

        It does seem from the twitterverse that the Fourth hasn’t been a militarized event in DC at least in the recent the past, and this year the Lincoln Memorial area has been closed for a vip political event


        A National Park Service volunteer just told me that the tanks & military equipment are all in the closed off perimeter for the president’s VIPs and that the general public on the Mall will not be able to see them.
        9:43 AM – 4 Jul 2019

  6. PlutoniumKun


    Corbyn takes Labour to ALL-TIME polling low: Just 18% would vote for the party in a general election as they slump to fourth place Daily Mail. So one would assume Labour won’t be pushing for a GE.

    Without a transformation on Brexit, Labour’s election chances are dead New Statesman

    I make a point of not giving the Daily Mail clicks, but from looking through the polling data there is now pretty much a dead heat between four parties, all on or around 20% – i.e. Tories, Brexit Party, Labour and the Lib Dems. This is bad news for Labour at this stage of the electoral cycle, but its by no means a disaster. If this was repeated tomorrow in an election the Tories and Labour would still have by far the biggest share of seats. The Lib Dems would still probably be well short of 100 (quite possibly still less than the Scottish Nationalists) and the Brexit Party would in reality be unlikely to win more than a dozen or so.

    The big question though is who’s vote is most ‘spoiled’. You can assume the BP will take most from the Tories and the Lib Dems/Greens from Labour, but without far more granular data its hard to know the impact. My guess is that on a local level Tories will be better at making pacts with the BP, because in many respects they are the same people.

    The only certainty is that if an election was held now, nobody would have a majority – or even close to one. In most countries this isn’t a problem. It is in the UK where there is no real tradition of genuine coalition building.

    Paul Mason is right I think though – Corbyns hedging has been a disaster for Labour.

    have supported Corbyn, and continue to support him, because both as a backbench MP and leader he was always able to rise above bureaucratism, and because his commitment to human rights has been unparalleled during his decades in parliament. And because I knew he could assemble a winning coalition.

    The crisis of Corbynism has begun because its economic nationalist wing has claimed the exclusive right to dictate policy and strategy to the rest of us. In a pre-networked era that might have worked — but it won’t now.

    It is still possible to reverse the five-party fragmentation of English politics, to save Labour’s seats in Scotland and to recover its primacy in Wales. But not on an unlimited timescale. The voters Labour is losing to the Lib Dems may be reluctant, and may come back; but the voters and activists it is losing to the Greens may find life in a party without a bureaucratic machine so liberating that they never come back.

    The Lib Dems, who in reality are a right wing party, will grab many left wing votes, precisely because of Brexit. Left wingers who vote for the Lib Dems may think they are voting for a more Remain, and marginally less left wing Corbyn government, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The only thing going for Corbyn with the Lib Dems is that Johnson is too toxic for them to do a deal with, so they might have no choice.

    The Greens will do well in terms of votes, but thanks to the UK system, are unlikely to get close to the number of votes of the regional parties, even if they have far greater support. So they are likely to only operate as a spoiler for Labour. Labour could prevent this by doing a pre-election deal with them, but they won’t because… well, history or pride or something.

        1. vlade

          I’m sorry, but I’m sick of Corbynites screaming “plot, scheming ” at literally every step. It’s the same as Farage screaming “betrayal” at every corner.

          Corbyn and Labour are managing to keep themselves out of power all by themselves. The reality is that Labour could not manage get a good advantage on Tories despite the worst Tory government in last 100 years if not more, bad economy etc. etc. And I will keep claiming that it did not require Labour to go Remain, but it requires Labour to commit to a _real_ clear path (not dumb “six tests” which were clearly designed to be unfeasible), not to pretend to remain it could back remain, and to leave they backed leave.

          1. Pat

            Just a question from the cheap seats. Based on America, is that Corbyn’s fault or a very real outcome of a divided party with enough still powerful members absolutely determined not to commit to a real clear path.

            Although Sanders has not managed to take leadership of the Democratic Party much the same could be said of them. They should be embracing a real path but are largely still virtue signaling and hoping for the “we hate the other guy” vote, for both the President and Congress.

            In both cases couldn’t a case be made that for real appeal to the voters in this manner would require a purge of both parties?

            Or is that coloring things too much from my perspective?

          2. Albacore

            The New Statesman’s 2017 cover article, written by its editor Jason Crowley and published six days before the election, predicted Labour crashing to its worst defeat ever and heading for oblivion as a party. In fact they gained their best result for many years as the numbers shot up during the campaign.
            The Daily Mail also did its best to demonise Corbyn in that election, again without success.

            It is true that the attacks form all quarters have intensified in the last couple of months. I think that is because the chances of an early election have increased and surprisingly perhaps the right is really worried, hence the ramping up of attacks.

            All the current polls are taken in the febrile Brexit environment. But if there is an election, the issue will not only be Brexit but also the future of an austerity free Britain. We saw in 2107 how quickly opinion can change, and similar short-period shifts have happened in other places including my own country New Zealand.

            Boris Johnson may think he can do a Theresa May and sweep to a majority. Indeed he may have to try, but if so his slogan will not be “strong and stable.”

            I fear for the future of Britain, but I don’t think it is wrist-slashing time yet for Labour. They still have the best ground game as the Peterborough by-election showed.

    1. Synoia

      The British, when polled on politics, especially which party they will vote for, take pride in lying.

  7. jo6pac

    Happy Trumpster & Crime Family Holiday, I’m sure that will be the rebranded name in the future.

    I watched a short utube clip from cbs and one of the tanks had Whiskey Helps painted on the barrel. I think a few live rounds for show would be good;-)

    I remember that toy Ives but never owned one as a kid but would like to now that I’m 71:-)

    1. Brian (another one they call)

      A firework sends its spark aloud
      surrounded by a smoking cloud
      by the end its sad you feel
      but you still have your sparking wheel

  8. lyman alpha blob


    The author ends with a prescription of how the facial scan data should be used after collection to protect people’s privacy. How about not collecting it at all? Why is that not an option?!?!

    Last night I went to a minor league baseball game and a good portion of the crowd was at the gate before the game but wound up missing an inning or more due to the backup while everyone had to go through a metal detector and have bags searched. And somehow the team wasn’t handing out partial refunds for innings missed due to being caught in a security line.

    Yay freedom.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      In the link to the millimeter scans article there’s a bit of lazy fake news:

      In Western Europe, for example, scanners are extremely common and you’ll likely find them in most major airports.

      I go through many airports in Western Europe and have never seen one of these. There was one in Japan when I came back from there though.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Teen accused of rape deserves leniency because of his ‘good family’, judge says”

    This must go down as idiotic as that case five years ago when Judge Jean Hudson Boyd sentenced Ethan Couch to ten years’ probation for the death of four people and the injury of nine people while drunk driving due to his suffering from “affluenza”. In other words, he was too financially privileged to understand the consequences of his actions. This was ignoring the fact that he had stole two cases of beer from a Walmart and had three times the legal limit for booze and also tested positive for marijuana and Valium. This case is yet more of the same where a rapist is getting special protection because he is of the right class or from a privileged group. Nope. Rape is rape and this kid planned the whole thing.

    1. dearieme

      Can judges be jailed for this sort of moral corruption?

      I say “moral” but it also makes me wonder who is responsible for checking judges’ bank accounts from time to time.

    2. doug

      Planned it. Documented it, and Distributed the documentation.
      He was not worried one bit, ever…..
      ‘what goes around comes around’ .
      He will get his due.

    3. Janie

      About 20 years ago in small-town northern Nevada, a teenage couple were let off with probation for killing their secretly-born newborn because they were from good local families. At the same time, a 15 year old boy from LA staying with his grandparents south of Reno was sentenced to life without parole for an unwitnessed shooting death where there was no intent.

  10. Wukchumni

    Greetings from the purple mountains majesty, above the fruited plain-America. Happy 243rd, you old coot.

    I had one of those spark wheels, and a water powered rocket where you pumped up the pressure and it would shoot up about 100 feet into the air. Oh, and a cap gun too.

    1. Hopelb

      The stomp rocket goes pretty high and requires no water, just stomping. I used to bring two of them to recess when I was on playground duty. The nun in charge made me stop because the flying rockets were distracting the students on the upper floors. Great toy!

  11. Brindle


    Buttigieg is Wall St’s favorite and that means he will get glowing coverage on MSNBC–they love him there.

    –“On June 25, the day before the first Democratic presidential debates, Pete Buttigieg’s average in polls of the race stood at 7.0 percent. Today, after the attention and considerable positive media reaction that he got after the debates, he’s surged—to 5.2 percent.

    Despite the fact that more people seeing him seems to have resulted in less people liking him, the media narrative about Buttigieg is that his is a campaign on the move—based almost entirely on his fundraising success.”–

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Not that they wouldn’t love him, but I feel DC internalized the idea that simply raising more money would result in wins, not recognizing money often flowed to winners. Many would be winners had no money when they were doing the work that made them winners. I feel like successful challengers of incumbents or seats held by the other party do tend to go on about how much easier everything is with money, ignoring the key their reelection is more about free media and incumbency. The money is more like tribute.

      I don’t think diminishing returns is understood in politics the way it should be. Campaigns need enough to operate, but how many ads need to be campaign ads before they are tuned out? For pundits, money is the same as polling, and too many are too stupid or have had their brains broken to reassess.

      1. Oh

        There are too many consultants, ad agencies, pollsters and the like who’re attracted to the campaign with mucho dinero. The campaign manager and the ones in charge of spending the loot are really paying back favors to their pals. The idea of diminishing returns is never thought of.

      2. GF

        According to the DNC 130,000 individual donations are need to qualify for the Sept. 12 third debate. “Candidates must submit a certification, executed by the Presidential candidate’s campaign Treasurer, demonstrating that the campaign has received donations from a minimum of (1) 130,000 unique donors; and (2) 400 unique donors per state in at least 20 U.S. states.”

        How are the candidates doing so far? Tulsi has over 93,000 right now but I haven’t seen numbers from any of the others.

    2. lordkoos

      “A Harvard graduate and veteran of the McKinsey consultancy, Mr. Buttigieg is fluent in the language of elite New York circles,” the story noted.

      Yes, to big donors I’m sure that’s a lot more important than being fluent in the language of the working class.

  12. Alar

    Regarding “Trump’s remarkably reasonable pick for the Federal Reserve”.

    I disagree with the logic that lower (real) interest rates (or other methods of more aggressive monetary policy) are good for workers – it’s the other way around. I agree that lower rates would create a faster growing economy (at least temporarily, when these lower rates induce people to take on more debt, through which consumption is increased, which would induce higher inflation), which would increase the pace of wage growth. But that logic ignores the other side of the coin, ie how much the costs for the workers would increase. The biggest cost is having a roof over the head. Homeownership in US is currently 64%, ie 36% are renters. It is likely that lower rates increase the value of houses faster than the wages increase (one could look at figures since financial crisis, after which a very aggressive monetary policy has been implemented). If that is the case, then everything is good for the 64% as their home and wage would increase faster. But for the rest (36%) the house / apartment they live in is a negative asset – and they are the worse off, the faster the house values appreciate. And the more the negative asset appreciates, the larger part of their income would be spent on rent (as it is likely the wage growth is slower). Therefore I would be very careful wishing for looser monetary policy. Unless the goal is to have more people barely getting by to ensure a large and constant fan / voter base.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’m going to read Judy Shelton’s 1988 book The Coming Soviet Crash this weekend.

      I don’t remember too many prognosticators calling for the downfall of the USSR a year before it happened, very prescient.

      1. dearieme

        Bernard Levin had made a pretty good prediction in The Times. I can’t remember when. A decade before, perhaps.

      2. Butch In Waukegan

        In 1976 the French historian and demographer Emmanuel Todd predicted the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Wiki.

        Shortly after it was published in 2001 I read his prescient After the Empire:The Breakdown of the American Order.

    2. justsayknow

      To add to your post the home rental industry is growing rapidly. This pulls property out of the individual house market thereby increasing home prices and Kaching!, raising rents.

      The industry is hard at work in states to overturn HOA requirements to allow for significantly more rentals in neighborhoods where prohibited by HOA agreements

      In Tennessee they even inserted in their bill that private homeowners could not, as an individual rent their homes. The law would require only legal entities be allowed to rent.

      They failed in the last legislative session in Tennessee but will be back until they “buy” what they want. It should be noted the home rental industry uses rural legislators to introduce laws that only affect urban/suburban citizens.

      1. Carla

        “The law would require only legal entities be allowed to rent.”

        Hhmm. Corporations are legally persons, but persons are not legal ? ?

        Sounds about right. To celebrate what would be a REAL Independence Day, check out House Joint Resolution 45 — now with 53 co-sponsors:

        It is short and sweet, so after checking the co-sponsor list to see if your Congress Critter has signed on, you’ll still have plenty of time for hot dogs and fireworks.

        1. richard

          thanks for this link
          my own c.c., jayapal, heads the list
          short and sweet is right
          section 1 reserves rights under the constitution to natural persons only
          that part I get and like
          though I am no lawyer
          section 2 seems tacked on, aspirational and vaguely worded
          all about access to money not impacting a person’s access to the electoral process
          section 3 is telling the courts that they aren’t allowed to construe this as a violation of 1st amendment rights
          2 questions, for anyone who might know. One, is section 3 even kosher? I didn’t realize you could write a law and forbid any particular judicial interpretation.
          Also, who the hell had the idea for section 2? The initial momentum for this movement was around abolishing corporate personhood, which is extremely clear and easy to express and defend. I’m not sure how I’d go about explaining section 2, or how it might be developed with further legislative action.
          It seems unnecessarily flawed, and the foily part of me wonders if this was an accident.

  13. NotTimothyGeithner

    Aren’t we forgetting the real spirit of the holiday?

    The Nathan’s Hot Dog Championship. The greatest hero in American history, Joey Chestnut, looks to keep his title. Those were dark days when Kobiyashi bested the U.S.’s best competitive eaters.

    Scroll down for a picture of Joey Chestnut after his 2018 victory.

  14. Tom Stone

    Thank God I live in America and not one of those Third World shitholes where the wealthy and powerful loot and plunder with impunity, the water isn’t fit to drink and lifespans are decreasing!
    One of those places where torturers are appointed to high office, the Government spies on everyone and the press is nothing but a propaganda arm of those in power?

    Can you imagine how awful it must be to live somewhere without Habeas Corpus?
    Where the cops have tanks and machine guns and where they take more money and property from the inhabitants than robbers and burglars do based on mere suspicion?

    I am eternally grateful to live in a Country dedicated to the concept of the Rule of Law, where Freedom and Justice for all prevails.

    A happy 4th of July to all, don’t forget the Freedom Fries and Coca Cola when you enjoy your hot dogs today.

    1. Oh

      And I’m so thankful we don’t have to go thru security screening at airports, intrusive searches, no fly lists, license plate readers, telephone eavesdropping, internet snooping and the like that happen in dictatorships around the world! I can celebrate in peace.

  15. Wukchumni

    The hard truth about being a 21st century tree in California Mashable
    In 2015 at a friend’s cabin in Mineral King, a nearly 5 foot wide and 210 foot tall Lodgepole pine 20 feet from the cabin, and approx 400 years old started doing something very strange, in that at about 20 feet up the trunk, a slow steady stream of water about the size of a #2 pencil was pissing down, and said friend called me over to check it out, and i’ve never seen anything like it, tasted the water which seemed perfectly normal to me, and then 3 days later the branches started going tan and within a week was as dead as a doornail. The worst year of the drought combined with tiny bark beetles, who had compromised the tree’s vascular ability to push water to the higher climes, TILT.

    The sentinel’s potential downward trajectory had the potential of hitting 5 cabins, so it needed to go, but its tricky stuff bringing down a biggin’ around buildings, and the 1st bid was $10k, with the underbidder nabbing the job @$5k.

    It took 4 fellows 3 days to bring it down safely and cut it up. I was on the deck as far away from the action as possible but could still see, when they brought it down in a narrow 20 foot band, and it felt like a 4.1 temblor, impressive.

    Arbor had it’s day, and survives now in the guise of the tables @ the Silver City Resort, as another cabin owner sectioned longer 5 foot rounds and made something out of the wreckage.

    As you drive up through the dead zone of trees from 4,000 to 8,000 feet, on approximating 30% of all previously alive, the needles are now long gone, making it a little harder to see their skeletal remains. A rebirth is needed, yet they’re all in the way awaiting Thor’s Hammer, to put them out of their misery.

  16. Wukchumni

    I’m wearing a tank-top & broad rimmed hat today en route to Eagle Lake in my very own version of a do it yourself millinery parade, which I doubt i’ll get to on account of accounts of lots of snow in the talus field below the lake through which a clever trail goes. What i’m most interested in seeing is a couple of sinkholes in action which drain the outflow stream from the lake. Mineral King has around 15 of said sinkholes, and i’ve walked everywhere in Sequoia & Kings NP’s and have never seen any elsewhere.

    Video of one of the Eagle sinkholes:

    1. JP

      It’s been awhile since I have ventured to Eagle Lake but Mineral King is a metamorphic inclusion in the Sierra batholith. Are any of the sink holes in granite?

      1. Wukchumni

        I never metamorphic I didn’t like, and that’s a great query, i’m not sure what sort of rock they’re set in, i’ll have to check.


        Felt your Ridgecrest quake here, how are you faring as a result of it.


        Disney had planned to have a restaurant with the Bear Country Jamboree (that later ended up @ Disneyland) @ the top of Eagle Ridge when they were contemplating putting in a ski resort in the 1960’s.

        1. JP

          I heard the quake was centered at Searles (dry) Lake. We are in the Sierra and don’t feel much unless it comes from Bishop.

          The best thing Disney did was build the incredible road up to Cottonwood Meadows. An excellent way to miss the weekend warrior crowd going to Whitney. Over Cottonwood pass and the warriors turn right. Go straight into high country where you won’t see a soul. A leisurely eight days to get to the west side

  17. Polar Donkey

    Methodist hospital suing own employees for medical fees- That’s here in Memphis. That has caused quite a pr firestorm here. So much so that Methodist got a special guest article in the “local” newspaper (run out of Nashville). It wasn’t an editorial. It looked and was titled like a normal news article but written by a high ranking official with Methodist hospital. Talked all about the wonderful things Methodist did and amounts of discounted healthcare it provided the public. It didn’t mention how much the CEO and other officials get paid. I imagine other church based non-profit hospitals are nervous. Methodist hospital is better than Baptist. That’s not saying much though.

    1. Janie

      Good news, for once. Morning paper tells of a Nazarene church in Medford, OR, which paid off all available Oregon medical debt in collections from its Christmas offering. Pastor Schaeffer was inspired by a John Oliver story. The $30,000 forgave over two million dollars debt for a thousand-plus Oregonians and one million for veterans’ debts in other states. Our so-called “system” is shameful, but blessings on that congregation.

  18. Wukchumni

    Libra, Bitcoin, et al, remind me of this:

    Notgeld (German for “emergency money” or “necessity money”) refers to money issued by an institution in a time of economic or political crisis. The issuing institution is usually one without official sanction from the central government. This occurs usually when sufficient state-produced money is not available from the central bank. Most notably, notgeld generally refers to money produced in Germany and Austria during World War I and the Interbellum. Issuing institutions could be a town’s savings banks, municipality and private or state-owned firms. Nearly all issues contained an expiry date, after which time they were invalid. Issues without dates ordinarily had an expiry announced in a newspaper or at the place of issuance.

  19. Jeremy Grimm

    Matt Stoller recently posted his analysis of Boeing’s demise on his website: “The Coming Boeing Bailout?” [].

    Based on past actions by our government perhaps Boeing stock might be a good contrarian play. I suspect our Uncle feels at least as fondly toward big MIC Corporations as toward big FIRE Corporations.

      1. Carolinian

        The story says that’s not a settlement offer, just a ‘community goodwill” fund and/or a pr ploy.

        And obviously the Boeing board (now including the inimitable Nikki) is part of the problem, not a solution.

        If only Haley had come on earlier they could blame the whole thing on her and everyone would believe it. Our former governor is the dimmest of dim bulbs.

        1. newcatty

          Regarding a Boeing bailout: are they not a major MIC Corporation, like are the big FIRE ones, that just too big to fail( fall)? Oh, wait…

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        $4.2 *trillion* in share buybacks since 2012…in case anyone wants to know why stocks are going “up”.

        Until 1982 companies borrowing to buy back their own shares was against the law, since it was so obviously stock price manipulation by insiders.

      1. Carolinian

        Horowitz had a great piano version to show off with.

        Personally I’d say in the cold war of anthems the Russians have us beat wih their’s.

  20. flora

    re: Kamala 2020 Makes Obama 2008 Look Positively Right Wing


    This is a more balanced look at Harris, imo.

    THOMAS HEDGES: Branko Marcetic, a contributor to Jacobin magazine, who wrote one of the most extensive profiles of Kamala Harris back in 2017, says that Harris’s recent progressive rhetoric is a form of compensation for a lifetime of enacting tough-on-crime policies Democratic voters no longer think are fair.

    1. jrs

      the problem with her, among other things is that while she has a prosecutor record, she has no political record, no record of voting for policies etc. when it matters (junior Dem in the Senate when Dems have no power doesn’t count). She literally may as well be the mayor of South Bend. She has that little of a record, but somehow isn’t seen that way, and she’s seen as more experienced than a small town mayor.

      But she’s not really. So noone really knows how she will vote on anything, she could even be a good surprise, but with the money she is collecting that is very very unlikely. They will ALL end up bought in the end, only Sanders has a base that might finance him, maybe.

      1. Duck1

        Not a Harris fan, but she does have a record of winning campaigns in a major city and then several statewide in the largest state. Different than legislative record, but significant.

  21. evodevo

    Re: “Tennessee’s Walking Horse ‘tradition’ should get back on track”
    This has been going on for at least the 60 years I have been in the horse bidness…I always thought it was a travesty…if they don’t have the gait naturally, stop torturing them….I have seen the torture up close and personal, having been at many horse shows in the rural South and having friends in Walking Horse circles. The basic technique is to put a caustic burning paste (usually used as liniment on a sprain) on the front of the feet just above the hoof line, and then buckle chains around the fetlock joint to flop up and down on the burn, making the horse pick up the feet higher and higher. Not necessary…you can teach a horse to pick up their feet in infancy by using a system of wires until they are used to doing “high action” (takes a couple months) and then they will do it for life, without being tortured. I never could understand why walking horse people didn’t try this….
    Same with “tail-setting” in Saddlebreds – they cut the muscles at the base of the tail and put it in a special brace (which they wear for life) to cause the tail to be raised while in the show ring. There are Saddlebreds (and Arabians) that do this naturally, but that wasn’t enough for trainers, especially those whose horses didn’t raise the tail naturally while gaiting…so they disfigure them….Saddlebreds (a riding breed developed in Cynthiana, Ky, near me, by the way) got laughed out of the show rings in Ireland and Europe for this reason… there is also “gingering” them – where you insert a plug of chewed ginger root (spicy hot) in the anus so they will raise their tails and look “spirited” and alert while showing. The horse dealers have been using this trick since the Middle Ages if not before. I haven’t been to a horse show in several years, but I would bet these practices are still in use…

    1. newcatty

      Evodevo, thank you for sharing this information about the absolute cruelty of the horse business in the Walking Horse circles and the the Saddlebreds Circles . It is torture of these magnificent animals. In this same vein, I recall reading that race horses are dropping dead on tracks in CA. Then reading that it is “common” for some race horses to ” expire”…like its the cost of business, losses are factored in the overall profit. Then, reading that the carriage horses still in use in some American cities are neglected and mistreated by many owners. Saw them in Victoria. Do not know about treatment of them there. Then we have the torture of bucking horses in rodeos. I remember reading the original book: Black Beauty. I cried as I read of the stories of Beauty and Ginger. The sanctioning and acceptance of the cruelty and arrogance of humans in this country towards intelligent and beautiful animals, such as horses, is indicative of the indifference and greedy selfish behaviors of many people. It, of course, should be outlawed. But, we have cruel and unusual punishment in our prisons. We have homeless and hungry children in our towns and cities. We have vulnerable and desperate children and women in border “camps” in horrible conditions. Happy Fourth of July, America.

      1. juliania

        Tennessee walkers (not the showbred kind) are wonderful horses to ride. My fatherinlaw had them in Utah, and they weren’t ‘highstepping’ but gaited to avoid the bouncy trot, accomplishing this by simply walking faster. ( You see this in the Alan Ladd movie ‘Shane’ – that’s a walker for sure.) Then, instead of cantering or galloping – squeeze with your legs and ease back the reins – you’re into a singlefoot, fast and smooth. (Just typing that minds me of many an exciting ride along the Wasatch Bench.)

        And never, never give pain or stress to a horse in training. Never. My fatherinlaw encouraged the natural gait by laying out poles for the horse to pick its way over, but mostly the horse had followed along as a colt when its mother was out on a ride. Smart, and instinctive. Beautiful!

        1. evodevo

          Yes, they are – “natural-gaited” is the best kind. I raised, broke and trained them for years…I also observed all the execrable practices with show horses up close and personal for years. And they are still doing all of that, I am pretty sure. Horses are pretty well fully domesticated, and they ENJOY trail riding, driving, doing work in the fields/forests. A lot of people do not get that. The problem is, when you get people involved who abuse/neglect domestic animals either through profit motive or ignorance. THEN you have a problem. One of the main reasons city-dwellers welcomed the advent of the auto/truck was that it did away with the daily sight of horses being tortured/dropping dead from overwork in the streets.

  22. Geo

    First she flip flopped on the private health insurance thing, now she seems to have flip flopped on school busing. Harris is really showing off a total lack of integrity.

    On Wednesday Harris characterized busing as a choice local school districts have, not the responsibility of the federal government.

    “I think of busing as being in the toolbox of what is available and what can be used for the goal of desegregating America’s schools,” she responded.

    Asked to clarify whether she supports federally mandated busing, she replied, “I believe that any tool that is in the toolbox should be considered by a school district.”

    Should be interesting to see how this goes over.

  23. Susan Mulloy

    On the eviction story link above: Some interesting factoids. There were more than 500,000 evictions in LA County in the last 8 (I think) years. See this report by UCLA law clinic:

    And the eviction study discussed in the Marketwatch report link speaks to the predatory pattern of serial evictors nationwide. It measured the incidence of evictions facing African American people. The map shows high concentrations of evictions in the Eastern USA, Midwest, South but not California. This may be because California is more multi-ethnic in composition. Recent census reports show that Asians are the largest minority population in Alameda and San Mateo Counties (in SF Bay Area).

    1. Cal2

      Absolutely. Areas in Los Angeles, that were once black, as Watts, or South Central, Vernon etc, are now mostly Hispanic.

      “Los Angeles County’s overall population is projected to increase about 9 percent by 2060, adding almost one million persons. [Yay! Transit Oriented Global Warming Fighting Development].
      The most significant changes will be the increase in the Hispanic/Latino population (by almost 11 percent or more than 500,000); the increase in multiple race persons (by 66 percent or about 140,000); and the decrease in the black population (a drop of 17 percent or almost 140,000).”

  24. ewmayer

    “CUE3: Japan’s free throw robot! – Meet The Record Breakers | YouTube” — BFD. Free-throw shooting, much like e.g. automotive assembly-line welding, is all about executing a repeatable trajectory, the challenge lies in a human shooter pulling that off under variable game/fatigue conditions, with all the subjective distractions. File this under “World’s most inane demonstrations of robotic technology.”

  25. Old Jake

    A late-day second look at today’s antidote finally resolved what the red thing on the wing is. My wive was as puzzled as I was until my brain’s pattern-matcher finally clicked. So what does that red winged blackbird chasing the bald eagle represent, if the eagle represents our US of A? Nature getting her dander up?

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