Links 8/23/19

Video: Peregrine falcons can fly at more than 200 miles per hour Boing Boing

Poland lightning strike kills four, injures 100, in Tatra mountains storm BBC

Scientists detect a black hole swallowing a neutron star EarthSky (Chuck L)

Are farmers setting the Amazon ablaze in support of Bolsonaro? Grist Evil.

Amazon fires an ‘international crisis’, says Macron BBC

Guided by AI, robotic platform automates molecule manufacture MIT News (David L)

Electric Dump Truck Produces More Energy Than It Uses Hackaday

A super-secure quantum internet just took another step closer to reality MIT Technology Review (David L)

Vaping Is Suspected In Severe Lung Illnesses The Verge


Canadians tortured while ‘red princess’ goes shopping Asia Times

Korea severs military intelligence ties with Japan Asia Times. (Kevin W)


‘Collective Punishment’: UN Experts Slam Kashmir Communication Clampdown The Wire (J-LS)

Inside India’s Messy Electric Vehicle Revolution New York Times

French Yellow Vests join global activists at G7 counter-summit France24 (resilc)


Emmanuel Macron dashes Boris Johnson’s hope for Brexit deal Financial Times. As we indicated in Links, Merkel’s remarks have been sorely misrepresented. She made clear she was discussing only negotiation of the future relationship document, not the Withdrawal Agreement.

Johnson’s ‘victory’ and a misleading photo: How the UK papers reacted after Boris met Macron RTE (PlutonimumKun)

Irish-America Upends Trump-Johnson Brexit Plan Strategic Culture (Chuck L). Reported here earlier…

New Cold War

Why Russia’s relationship with the G-7 collapsed Washington Post (Kevin W)

US Navy ‘ready’ for Venezuela mission, says a top commander Al Arabiya (resilc)


Outsiders’ Battle to Rebuild Libya Is Fueling the Civil War There,” Foreign Policy

Netanyahu: Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews Haaretz

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The insidious threat of biometrics Financial Times (David L)

Security Researchers Find Several Bugs In Nest Security Cameras Vice

The FCC Has No Idea How Many People Don’t Have Broadband Access ars technica

Imperial Collapse Watch

The A-10 Warthog Lives To Fly Again Popular Mechanics. Resilc: “At least it flies.”

How Amazon and Silicon Valley Seduced the Pentagon ProPublica (UserFriendly)

Rudyard Kipling, American Imperialist New Republic (resilc)

Trump Transition

Bibles but Not Textbooks: Trump’s Tariff Exemptions Pick Winners and Losers ProPublica (UserFriendly)

Revealed: emails raise ethical questions over Trump official’s role in gas project Guardian (resilc)

10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall The Hill


Favorability of Major Political Figures and Organizations in Battleground Districts Data for Progress/YouGov. UserFriendly: “Look at the plot on pg 6 and the paragraph above it re Bernie.”

The Green New Deal Bernie Sanders. UserFriendly: “The Green New Unicorn.”

For Democrats, When Does Climate Change … Actually Matter? Atlantic (resilc)

Bernie Sanders just declared war on the fossil fuel industry with a $16 trillion climate change plan Business Insider (Kevin W)

Krystal Ball: The truth about Bernie and Warren and Krystal Ball: Elites have chosen Warren as The One YouTube

L’affaire Epstein

A Dead Cat, A Lawyer’s Call And A 5-Figure Donation: How Media Fell Short On Epstein NPR (David L). Important as a media story

Why Slavoj Zizek thinks political correctness is dumb Big Think. “Dumb” is charitable.

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne resigns after his ‘deep state’ comments sparked stock selloff CNN (furzy)

Loan funds on course for worst outflows on record Financial Times

Apple Advises Owners of Its New Credit Card To Keep It Away From Leather, Denim BBC

The Exclusive Inside Story Of The Fall Of Overstock’s Mad King, Patrick Byrne Forbes (furzy)

Tensions rise between Facebook and its Libra founding partners Financial Times. Wowsers, this is even more vaporware than this cynical blogger thought: “The 28 members of the Libra Association…made a non-binding pledge to invest at least $10m in the project…”

Economics After Neoliberalism Suresh Naidu, Dani Rodrik, Gabriel Zucman, Boston Review

Class Warfare

17 US states where it costs over $20,000 to die Business Insider

A high-end dry cleaner who’s scrubbed wine out of a $500,000 Chanel wedding dress reveals what it’s like to clean up the bloody, vomit-y messes of wealthy New Yorkers Business Insider (Kevin W). FWIW, I used the London Jeeves for my really good clothes when I was there for four months in 1984 on a project. The NYC Jeeves stole 5 items of Yves Saint Laurent from me in the 1980s. Didn’t deliver them, foot-shuffling promises that they’d be delivering them soon, then followed by claims they’d delivered them ten days earlier when the building, par for most doorman buildings, logs every delivery with when they got it, who signed for it, and then when the tenant picked it up. Jeeves was also unable to produce any record on their end of having made the delivery. So screw them.

For Young Female Coders, Internship Interviews Can Be Toxic Wired

Barack and Michelle Obama buying $14.85M Martha’s Vineyard estate New York Post (resilc)

Antidote du jour. David S: “This little fox is as tame as a house cat. Visits us to beg. Kanaka Bay, San Juan Island, Washington.”

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. UserFriendly

    Re vaping. With such a small number of cases my first hunch is an impurity in the vaping liquid / THC extract. Probably the THC since that seems to be a link. Or something in the THC that reacted with the vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol of the e juice. Time will tell.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      People have been vaping for decades now and there is apparently no strong and unambiguous evidence it is harmful or dangerous to do. And I’m sure there have been people desperately looking for any evidence that it is. How long can officials claim the risks of vaping are potentially significant in the face of the lack of any compelling evidence they can put forward? It seems like we are now well into “put up or shut up” territory. You had your chance to find vaping is dangerous, and you failed. Let it go. And no, I don’t vape.

      1. tegnost

        I’ve both smoked and vaped. I don’t like the vaping because it’s hotter on my throat. I’m more likely to cough from vaping.

        1. UserFriendly

          They have different resistance coils so you can adjust that. Also try sticking to ejuice that is pure Propylene Glycol, much lower boiling point.

    2. spro

      It certainly does not follow that if in some / all of the cases the users also smoked “THC-containing products”, that it is “probably the THC”.

      If it is, then it wouldn’t be surprising (widespread black market THC-vapes contain pesticides and solvents), but I’m not sure how you are making that leap based on this brief article.

      1. lordkoos

        Yes. I’ve heard that at least some of the cases involving pot were from street drugs, not from cannabis shops.

    3. Chef

      Not vouching for the long-term health of vaping but I’ve read that many exhibiting these symptoms concocted DIY vaping mixtures which seems like could have contributed to the ill effects.

  2. russell1200

    Hope this link works:

    “Last year, Tesla initiated ‘Project Titan’ — a stealth nationwide program to replace solar-panel parts that could cause fires

    The Amphenol H4 they are talking about could be used to tie in module to module, or a string of modules to the conductor that goes back to a combiner box typically. They are a pain in the neck. They did not work with other companies connectors and were very hard to take disconnect and reconnect when you are trying to do maintenance work. They could cause a short circuit. But the earlier reports photos indicated that there was also a problem with connection points within the modules factory-attached junction box (where the bypass diodes I mentioned earlier are contained), or within the cell components of the modules themselves.

    1. a different chris

      >were very hard to take disconnect and reconnect when you are trying to do maintenance work. They could cause a short circuit.

      Start of project – “Hey let’s prioritize reliability, even if it makes connecting difficult!”. Later in project – “Hey beta customers are complaining about connect/disconnect difficulty, we need to address!” 80% point of project – “nice Powerpoints, let’s promote the leaders off to somewhere else!”. Final shipment – a camel that isn’t any good at either “priority” and nobody to blame but the late-coming engineers trying to please everybody.

  3. dave

    The US two party system and climate change:

    one party doesn’t care about climate change,
    the other says it does, but doesn’t

    1. Carla

      That formula applies with just about any issue, to wit:

      one party doesn’t care about healthcare,
      the other says it does, but doesn’t

      one party doesn’t care about income/wealth inequality
      the other says it does, but doesn’t

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I’m reminded of that old joke, ‘But in Soviet Russa, party can always find you.’

          Here, the two parties can always find you. You can’t hide from them, when you’re in the ballot booth.

      1. polecat

        I ‘ll bet BOTH collections of elitist legacy R&B care about the plebians, where lampost ‘alterations’ are concerned …

    2. sinbad66

      This reminds me of a libertarian leaning colleague of mine who tries to (jokingly) needle me for being a Democrat (I’m more a democratic socialist). I told him that the only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Republicans are more honest about who they really are. He chuckled at that and grudgingly agreed…

    1. derechos

      What caught my eye was the caption “This little fox is as tame as a house cat.” Ironic given the recent post about a house cat bite resulting in a rabies shot series costing over $20,000. Their next post will be about the trip to the doctor for the fox bite and the cost of care.

  4. Winston Smith

    10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall: John Solomon and Devin Nunes? Not sure those fellows have the most cred.

    1. urblintz

      I do not question your skepticism regarding Solomon and Nunes. They’ve been loathsome throughout long careers and well before the Trumpster ascended. But who would you suggest to have any cred in the bi-partisan [family-blog]show of Russiagate? Rachel Maddow and Adam Schiff?

      If declassification proves to reveal, as true, the information discussed in the article…

      1. DJG

        urblintz: Agreed. To me, the most interesting one is the exoneration of Papadopoulos, for the simple reason that the FBI wanted to entrap him and likely has nothing on him. It puts a face on how bad the FBI and CIA have behaved.

        As running dog of the Commie Ruskie mind-kidnappers, Jill Stein, said of Hillary Clinton: Thirty thousand e-mails about yoga? When did she have time to do work?

        What the Democrats likely fear the most here is the universal law of What Goes Around Comes Around. (It was okay for Hillary Clinton to undermine the law and lie blatantly about it, but Papadopoulos is just some jamoke and expendable. And I sorely want to read those disquisitions on yoga…)

        Also, anything factual that is likely to expose and undermine the FISA courts will be good.

        Solomon is a scoundrel, and Nunes is not the smartest guy around. But then, as you mention, Rachel Maddow is deranged. And as we see lately, with her preoccupation with Susan Sarandon and Nina Turner, Neera Tanden is just an anagram for Devin Nunes. To put it politely, we’re dealing with a lot of turds in the punchbowl, but as democratically minded citizens, we sort-a know what a toxic brew we’re dealing with.

        1. Camp Lo

          Entrapment is an affirmative defense, which if sworn to be true, could put a definitive end to any case. For the untrue bits, gotta to settle for a whisper campaign on social media, on constant drip. Peer consensus achieved by osmosis. Nothing is true. Drip. Nothing is untrue. Drip. Why use reason to sway rationale people when swaying the irrational is so much easier. The phony is, somehow, also revelatory: stories labeled “bull butter” are used to claim an unveiling of the true conspiracy. If something truly is propaganda, then a close reading of it won’t yield any insight because the information is manufactured whole cloth. If an agent goes to the trouble of entrapping an innocent person, why would you expect that agent to go back to his computer and write an accurate report on his entrapment efforts?

        2. Harrold

          Papadopoulos? The one with the sexy Italian wife with the Russian accent?

          The once that married him while he was unemployed and under investigation by the FBI.

      2. Winston Smith

        Therein lies the root of the problem: one side tries to hype and the other to downplay, discredit or smear. Unless one is willing, perhaps without the necessary expertise, to wade through piles of docs. We don’t know if this declassification will yield the expected revelations. More tiresome speculation. Both sides are guilty of this.

    2. Sushi

      Review the voluminous documentation uncovered and posted publicly by Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse over the past several months. You will see the source documents and benefit from the exhaustive dissection of the issues and players involved.

      FOIA efforts also extend to the work done by Tom Fitton. Those aren’t popular intermediaries of documentation and don’t receive much play from the conventional media, but it is much harder to argue with facts instead of personalities or perceptions.

  5. zagonostra

    >Barack and Michelle Obama are buying a $15M estate in Martha’s Vineyard

    Unlike Judas who did the right thing and hung himself, Obama seems to have no moral scruples in having sold out the working class…How Ironic was Dylan’s visit to Obama White House viz below…

    Like Judas of old
    You lie and deceive
    A world war can be won
    You want me to believe
    But I see through your eyes
    And I see through your brain
    Like I see through the water
    That runs down my drain

    Let me ask you one question
    Is your money that good
    Will it buy you forgiveness
    Do you think that it could
    I think you will find
    When your death takes its toll
    All the money you made
    Will never buy back your soul

    1. Phenix

      Obama was always this person. His wife saton the board of Wal-Mart. People just assume black=progressive.

    2. Eclair

      Just taking a coffee break from painting (2 rooms down, 2 to go!). I have been listening to Mark Blythe lectures on youtube as I paint and in the last one (Why People Vote Against their Best Interests), as a kind of throwaway line, he mentioned how Wikileaks had pinpointed the geographic origin of all the emails in the DNC dump. Number 1 was: Martha’s Vineyard. Number 2 was : the Hamptons.

      Nice to know that the DNC is so connected with the working class.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Barack and Michelle Obama are buying a $15M estate in Martha’s Vineyard”

    I bet a lot of homes in that area have names. I wonder what Barry & Michelle will name theirs? The “Pay-Off” perhaps. Or maybe the “Cash-Out”. Better yet, how about the “Ka-ching”. After checking out where they are going to live, I take great satisfaction to know that they are only about 70 yards from the waters edge. In other words, right on the battle-lines of rising sea levels. I note too that Sandy took a bite out of Martha’s Vineyards when it went through-

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I hope they don’t ‘buy high, sell low.’

        The real estate market just seems to be peaking, though maybe it’s ‘land, because they aren’t making any more of it.’ (But ask the Dutch!)

      2. WheresOurTeddy

        anyone who uses “summer” as a verb unironically should be sent to a gulag.

        I am referring to them, not you, Christopher Fay

    1. urblintz

      The “I-Got-Mine-So-Screw-You Mansion”
      The “I-Ate-The-Poor Estate”
      “Smug’s Cove”

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        while a jaunty song with a familiar HItchhiker’s Guide tune plays in the background: “So Long And Thanks For All The Cash”

    2. Winston Smith

      An opportunity for Trump supporters to take a page out of the Resistance playbook where billboards featuring Mitch McConnell and his wife with the caption “We’re rich…how y’all doing?” are up along KY roads

    3. tegnost

      you could surmise that mother nature sent the little sparrow to birdie sanders, maybe she’ll have a different message for he obama’s, say a tornado that blows their house up, but leaves the neighbor’s intact… when they’re not at home of course, wouldn’t want any harm to come to the royals. That said, Ka’ching Castle, Mammon’s Manse, Moloch’s Meadows, Ozymandias’ Overlook, or my personal fave, Hell’s Half Acre :)

  7. Quanka

    Shockingly informative discussion by Krystal Ball at the Hill/Morning show. If information like this continues to break through the glass ceiling of our MSM … its maybe a crack developing in the wall holding back the revolution.

    “Not enough capable bodies” (to fill a Sanders admin) in DC – love that comment!! Then go outside of DC to get capable people you moron! Thats the whole point!!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      As we have seen with the current administration, it’s not just the people appointed by the president to fill those political positions, but there is another job – long time, non-politically appointed staff.

      1. Procopius

        I’m glad you point that out. There was an article in 2007 (Harpers?) about the problem with Rick Perry being Secretary of Energy. The article was excellent because it explained in depth how DoE is in charge of the ATOMIC BOMBS!!! and many other nuclear programs. Really diverse stuff that is esoteric and unfamiliar to the public, and Rick F Perry was not even talking to the staff of the department. Many of Trump’s minions have been making a point of driving out the long time civil servants, and this will be the lasting damage to America.

  8. petal

    So If I get into the Biden event this afternoon and get to ask a question, any suggestions? Thanks, guys!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      How mischievous are you? Since Joe borrowed from anecdotes from Neal Kinnock, I would just ask Joe to about the plagiarized parts without acknowledging they were plagiarized.

      “In 1988, you gave a powerful speech about…Tell us more about it, Joe”

      1. petal

        Heh nice. Thank you! Will see what I can do. I am definitely the quiet type, but I’d enjoy taking the piss out of these jerks that have made my life a hopeless hell and crushed my dreams. One does not get many opportunities to do that. He probably can’t even remember 1988. Should be fun!

    2. PhillyPhilly

      A few off the top of my head, there are so many:

      How will your presidency benefit Comcast Corporation?

      Do you wish that the Obama administration would have done more to help homeowners with upside-down mortgages in the 2008 financial crisis instead of pumping money into the big banks?

      Given the rise in student loan debt in this country and the consequent falling rates of home ownership and marriage for younger adults, do you regret your role in making it impossible to discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy?

      Do you regret your support of the Iraq war?

      1. urblintz

        Mostly in jest, but not entirely, I’d ask how difficult to make was his decision on the hair plugs? Does he believe that not being bald increases his credibility?

      2. nycTerrierist

        “Do you wish that the Obama administration would have done more to help homeowners with upside-down mortgages in the 2008 financial crisis instead of pumping money into the big banks?

        Given the rise in student loan debt in this country and the consequent falling rates of home ownership and marriage for younger adults, do you regret your role in making it impossible to discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy?”

        I vote for these two. Pretty pleeze??

        1. petal

          These are super! I will make a list of them-in case some get asked before I get a chance. Will see what I can do!

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            It depends on the audience, but if its a Sierra club pulp subscriber audience, you might ask about Symone Sanders efforts to nix a debate about climate change.

            With Biden, there is just so much.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              “Did a state-controlled Chinese firm invest more than a billion dollars in a company run by your son a few days after you visited them in Air Force Two?”

              Repeat question for the other son and The Ukraine.

        1. Skip Intro

          If, god forbid, Biden is the nominee, the bankruptcy bill will be the petard on which he hangs. I believe it will be a bigger hit for Trump than the ACA, NAFTA, and the crime bill.

          1. Carey

            That’s how I see it as well, especially as we seem to be heading into what being euphemistically called a “mild

            Eighth circle for D’oh

      3. polecat

        “So Joe .. How do you see yourself when you look into the mirror every morning ?

        “Do you even OWN a mirror ??”

        “And lastly .. Do you and Hunter think it’s a GAS that you pulled rank getting that upstart Ukrainian prosecutor fired for looking into your dirty energy dealings ??”

      4. WheresOurTeddy

        when you tell Millenials you have no sympathy for them, saying “give me a break”, why do you think that would inspire any sentiment other than the obvious, open contempt they all have for you? And do you think that’s a good strategy when the off-year election participation of the 18-29 age cohort nearly DOUBLED from 2014 to 2018?

        Basically, why do you think it’s smart to piss off the people who have the most skin in the game, since we’ll be alive decades after you are dead?

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Could you (joe) please explain why a $12,000 annual medical insurance deductible is better than a $0 one, especially in view of the fact that half the population can’t scrape up $400 cash in case of emergency?

      PS. If reports of the crowd size biden is drawing at his events are true, (and there’s video), you’ll have no trouble getting in. You should think about documenting the crowd size yourself. It could be useful later.

      1. petal

        Yes, it is summer here and students aren’t back yet. The hall it is being held in is kind of big, too. I figure it’ll mostly be the older folks from our area. I plan on bringing a notebook and taking notes like I did (with I think it was Shaheen) before. I’ll report back tomorrow. I don’t have money to contribute but I try to contribute this way when I get a chance.

        1. JohnnyGL

          “Given the Ukranian government’s involvement with violent neo-nazi groups, why was your son, Hunter, on the board of the Ukrainian gas company, Burisma Holdings? Will he return the hundreds of thousands of dollars that he and his firm were paid for his work in that role?”

          “What impact will his work have on your foreign policy stance as president?”

          Always hit them on corruption!!!

          1. JohnnyGL

            Remember, Q&A sessions aren’t genuinely about gathering information from a candidate. You shouldn’t ask a question because you want to know the answer. You should ask it because….

            a) you want to plant doubt in the heads of the people listening (is Biden corrupt?)
            b) you want their answer to force them to commit to something (pledge on an issue)
            c) you know they won’t answer and it makes them look bad in doing so (for the undecided)

            Others can think of additional reasons, no doubt.

    4. The Rev Kev

      Ask him which Americans need the most help these days. He is just as likely as not to say something stupid like Wall Street which would go viral in the media.

        1. tegnost

          I like the trick question angle over the student loan/mortgage thing as he’ll have a canned response (even if it’s a lame one) for those but a good question can draw him out where he can be taken…NTG’s is a good one but might be hard to spit out in the moment, rev’s seems pretty concise and leaves lots of room to shoot himself in the foot. Good luck and thanks

    5. jrs

      why did your campaign push against the DNC climate debate when you claim to be in favor of it?

      (realistically it’s because Biden sucks yes, but also because this may be a losing issue for Dems. However notice how they double down on other losing issues like immigration that can only hurt them)

  9. jfleni

    RE: Are farmers setting the Amazon ablaze in support of Bolsonaro?

    It won’t take very long for poor people to figure out how to give the Bolsonaro
    plutocrats a HOTFOOT!

    1. voteforno6

      To paraphrase someone who was much funnier than me, I won’t attend the funeral, but I might send a nice letter saying that I approve.

    2. Steve H.

      > Sad.

      Ember Brody, truly extraordinary commentary. So many dimensions collapsed into so few characters.

      1. Oregoncharles

        That’s what I wonder, too. How much difference will his death make?

        His brother is still alive so that’s the short answer. It’s the long one that’s interesting.

    3. Dita

      Are they sure? Perhaps a guard armed with a wooden stake should be posted near the corpse in case Koch rises again.

    4. Musicismath

      He should’ve died in 1991, in the crash of US Air Flight 1493, but for some reason was given another 28 years to wreak his havoc.

    5. Sushi

      Kochland by Leonard was referenced at NC recently. Reading through that book reinforced my view that the Koch family and their empire represent the worst of a horrible neo-liberal system.

  10. russell1200

    Krystal Ball on Elizabeth Warren.

    Warren is certainly picking up the press support. And Sanders is disliked by the same.

    But it isn’t surprising that when she starts to surge she picks up the relatively mobile (could we say fickle?) elite NYT crowd? For a time it seemed like Harris would be their darling, but her flip flopping, and disaster in debate 2 I think were noticed.

    One reason Bernie has broader support than her is that he has been around longer and is better known. The African American voters, over time, have become more comfortable with him, and he is doing better with them than he did when running against Clinton. He has broader, less fickle support than she does. The flip side of that is that a “known” candidate is much more at risk of having approached their maximum ceiling.

    So in net, I think it is a little ridiculous to be critical of Warren for having picked up the support of the one group she really needed if she was going to move out of the pack. The real test will be to see who can move best beyond their respective bases. It is not fair to Sanders, but Warren getting the fawning media coverage will have at least one advantage going forward.

    1. vlade

      TBH, in the end, the question is whether they supporters can support the other one too – it may be a close call, but in the end, it will be only a two horse race, and the importance will be whether they will be willing to go together aganst Biden.

      If not, if they will split, then Biden will almost certainly win.

      Personally, I believe that Sanders/Warren ticket would be a very strong one and have a very good chance to send Trump back to one of his towers.

      1. jrs

        Bernie will endorse if he is not the nominee, and with Warren endorse with some enthusiasm I think.

        Not saying his followers will agree, but sometimes they seem little more than a savior cult waiting on a savior. I like Bernie, skeptical of Warren but.

        1. lordkoos

          If Warren ends up supported and backed by the establishment, there is no way in hell they will allow her to have Sanders as a running mate. They will pick that person for her.

          1. WheresOurTeddy

            I cannot be dissuaded from voting for Sanders in the primary, and Warren is the only one other than him I’d hold my nose for in the general. But I will not campaign, and I will not be excited about it.

            Every other democrat is a hard pass.

      2. Grant

        “If not, if they will split, then Biden will almost certainly win.”

        I don’t know if that is the case at this point. Warren seems to benefit from Harris losing support, Bernie from Biden losing support. If it was about policy, Biden going down would benefit someone closer to him ideologically, like Harris. So, it seems that with Warren a portion of the increase in support is not a reflection of her policy stances. There is a class element too, and if you look at who tends to vote in lower numbers (lower income people, the young and communities of color), Bernie does better than she does with those groups. I think the polls are likely a ceiling not for Bernie but people like Biden, because he will not inspire anyone to vote that normally wouldn’t, while Bernie and to a lesser extent Warrant likely would. So, the polls are probably floors for Bernie and to a lesser extent Warren. I also think that there is no one running in either party that will do better than Bernie in key swing states. He not only inspires people, but has a record unmatched by anyone running on issues that appeal to people in those areas.

        The biggest problem for Bernie is not just the media, but the party he has to run in. There is no reason to think that the Democratic Party is going to allow a fair election. It has acted horribly to the left time and time again, it has a history of rigging things in favor of corrupt candidates and has argued in court that it has a right to do this, and what it did in places like California and New York last time around (Palast has done good work on this) in 2016 is likely to happen again. I think what those running the party want is for there not to be a clear winner in the first round, so that the superdelegates are back in the game, and that is almost certain to happen even if Bernie or Warren dropped out. If Bernie doesn’t have a very high percentage of the vote, even if he has more than others, they will give it to someone else and they will accuse his supporters of whining about finding another compromise candidate in what is a divided party. I can heard the propaganda now, echoed everywhere. I think Warren could be that, and I frankly don’t trust her. I think she would be good in some key areas, in particular the issues she is an expert in like finance and some areas of economics, but I think she is far more persuadable and has said that she may take corporate cash in the general election. She has also hired on a number of advisers that I personally find a little troubling, is already not good on foreign policy and continues to go back and forth a bit on single payer (although she is obviously better on that issue than Harris and much better than Biden). I think she is much better than Biden, but not in the same league as Bernie as far as pushing strongly for long overdue and comprehensive changes. And that is why the media hates her less than him. I think the media sees how horrible Biden is, realizes that there isn’t likely a backup with much of a chance and can see a scenario where both Bernie and Warren have a shot. Between the two, the media is clearly going to favor Warren. Whether those that would benefit from Bernie being in office more than they would Warren (from my vantage point, a good portion of the country, but particularly working people, the poor and communities of color) can overcome what those in power will do, well, we will see. I think they would cause the media to lose their minds if they teamed up, but I can see Bernie picking her as a VP more than her picking him. If she were to win, still less likely than Bernie, I could see her having more problems with picking him and being much more open to pressure to choose someone else than him. I don’t think he would give a damn about what the media and the powers in the Democratic Party want when choosing a VP.

        1. lordkoos

          Bernie currently pulls more support from women and people of color… Warren has more white people. I guess white liberal America feels safer with her than with “a socialist”.

          1. WheresOurTeddy

            the only candidate less popular with African Americans than Warren is Mayor Pete, and rightly so. YIKES.

      3. Carey

        Saw this over at Kunstler’s place:

        “Biden couldn’t win if he was running unopposed..”

        I think Krystal Ball is right on target, WRT Warren.
        The comfortable do seem to think her hopey-changey V 2.0
        thing (I have a plan!) is the way to go.

        “Everybody has a plan, until they get hit.” -Mike Tyson

      4. Plenue

        Warren is as far to the right as I will compromise. So the Dems can either run Sanders or Warren, or go without my vote.

        They also likely have the choice of running one of those two or losing to Trump. Which frankly I’m fine with.

        1. lordkoos

          I’m not fine with Trump for another four years, the man is a train wreck, but I cannot see myself voting for Biden.

          1. Plenue

            That Trump is a trainwreck is why I’m fine with him. He’s doing a wonderful job of battering the American Empire to pieces. If we can’t have a progressive to intentionally dismantle it, Trump’s oafishness serves well enough.

            1. Carey

              Yes. Better Trump! than Biden / Harris /
              Booker / O’Rourke / Mayo Pete / and the
              rest of the corporatists. And in the short term Team Dem are probably fine with that, but at least with Trump! the mask is off, and the 10% cockroaches are having to scurry a bit. Good.

    2. voteforno6

      All that being said (and I don’t necessarily disagree with you), I think that both Sanders and Warren have both been very smart about this. I think that they know that the instant they go after each other, the media will be all over that. Their respective bases may be different, but the media views them as being sort of the same, and are just itching to click send on those progressive in-fighting stories that have been languishing in draft form for months now.

      Meanwhile, the rest of the field is jockeying for position in their own way. Harris seems to have the expectation that she will become the next front-runner once Biden stumbles, and Buttigieg expects the same once people realize that they don’t like Harris.

      1. UserFriendly

        Lambert linked to this poll the other day, but there wasn’t much talk about it. To the extent the polls are accurate there is a condorcet cycle with Bernie Biden and Warren.

        Biden 44% 38% Sanders Biden +6
        Warren 41% 39% Biden Warren +2
        Sanders 43% 37% Warren Sanders +6

        There is another one if you swap Sanders for Harris.

        So, the sooner Biden crashes and burns the better for Sanders.

    3. vidimi

      i like both sanders and warren. sanders has more cred and is more well-rounded, but i believe liz is genuine, too. either would be an enormous improvement. even if warren is an eisenhower republican, ike was far, far to the left of today’s centrist democrats.

      1. Elspeth

        Sanders has got the vision, he’s the architect, Warren is the builder knows how to get things done. The two would be great. I can see it working in Michigan, not sure of the rest of the Midwest. It’s a get out the vote thing.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          GOTV and the prerequisite registration process requires eager and energetic folks. HRC did well in areas where the vote amounted to token support because why would a Republican bother to vote in a safe blue district if HRC is going to win. The risk of jury duty is just too great.

          Hillary was knocked for not going to Wisconsin, but the real issue is HRC’s base simply wasn’t motivated to spend their Summer going to “core districts” (definitely coined by the “woke”) and working to register to voters.

    4. Nealser

      I watched just 10 minutes of MSNBC ‘Meet the Press Daily’ this week and came to the same conclusion as Krystal Ball. They were fawning over Warren.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Even this title looks suspicious:

        Krystal Ball: The truth about Bernie and Warren and Krystal Ball: Elites have chosen Warren as The One YouTube

        Chosen…The One.

        Like, on a subliminal level, ‘The Chosen One?’

        1. polecat

          “I’m a [Rainbow] C(r)apitalist at heart” .. or some such …

          Yeah .. That’$ the Ticket ..


        2. Grant

          If they are stuck with choosing her or Bernie, it is her 100 out of a 100 times. Warren would probably be their second to last choice, but if they are staring down their last choice, Warren it will be, and she will not be a candidate of the left if that came about. She would be a “unity” candidate. On one side, a parasitic rich group of people that have long controlled things, on the other side most of the rest of the country. I don’t think it would turn out well for the people most in need of structural changes. As David Sirota recently said, in a Bernie administration, a corporate think tank and a corporate journalist would be essentially worthless and would not have their typical access to power, they would have no gravy train to latch on to. For them, it would be an easy choice, and I think the elites look at Biden and, being logical, have worries. Given that there isn’t anyone in Biden’s rough area ideologically waiting with a chance, what choices are they left with?

          1. Carey

            All well said. Warren’s their triangulation candidate,
            and in the most unlikely event she could Beat! Trump!,
            she’d be neutralized by inauguration day by the PTB.

    5. Cal2

      “Favorability of Major Political Figures and Organizations in Battleground Districts Data for Progress/YouGov. UserFriendly: “Look at the plot on pg 6 and the paragraph above it re Bernie.”

      Short version: “LoseWithKamala2020

    6. Procopius

      I think that in 2016 one of Bernie’s problems was that he wasn’t well known. I noticed at the time that with each primary election he picked up more voters. Of course, now he’s as well known as Kim Kardashian, so that’s good.

  11. The Rev Kev

    Scott Ritter: (From his Twitter feed)“To all those who have shamelessly parroted the position of the US Government over the past few years: Congratulations! You’ve got your arms race. Takeaway—Russia told the truth about the 9M729, while the US lied about Aegis Ashore (Mk 41). Deal with it.”

    Unfortunately Scott Ritter is right about this. In an insane attempt to achieve a first strike capability against Russia, Washington has started a new nuclear missile race whose weapons can only ever be used in case of World War Three. How long until there is a repeat of the idea floated during the Ronald Reagan years that the world can survive a “limited” nuclear war.

    1. dearieme

      It’s odd that Reagan isn’t given more credit for finding “mutually assured destruction” repugnant and trying to do something about it.

      By the time he had left office, Reagan … had forged an enduring diplomatic partnership with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. That partnership, combined with strong U.S. and European public pressure for nuclear restraint, led to some of the most sweeping arms control proposals in history and helped usher in a new age in U.S.-Russian relations.

      Reagan and Gorbachev eventually concluded the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement and established the foundation for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which was concluded in 1991.

      The contrast between the old boy and intellectually frivolous presidents like Slick Willie and W is striking.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You are right of course. He did do all that eventually. But when he first came to power there were more than a few in his administration that were mouthing the “limited” nuclear war idea. At the time, when newspapers actually did actual investigating, they found that these chicken-hawks all took measures to make sure that they never had to go to Vietnam when they were younger but used their privileges to have them ruled out of contention. I took an interest in this as I was in Europe in these years and the idea these Chicken-hawks had was to limit the nuclear bombing to Europe itself.

        1. urblintz

          I recall Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen – who indeed gives Reagan and Gorbachev great credit for the INF – saying that they both were surrounded by cabinet/party naysayers who decidedly tried to undermine nuclear detente… and that one of the ways R & G blocked them was through face to face meetings, with no one else present but a translator.

        2. polecat

          “Bombing begins in 15 minutes” mic drop … with the attendent guffaws and backslaps all around.
          I’ll remember that one till my dying day !

        3. urblintz

          I heard Stephen F. Cohen (who gives a great deal of credit to Reagan and Gorbachev) say that both leaders were surrounded by naysayers and cold war stalwarts who tried mightily to undermine the accomplished detente and that R & G managed to block them by meeting face to face only a translator present, no aides. Hmmmm… ( mind you, I am no fan of Reagan or Trump …but still).

          1. wilroncanada

            Most of the information on Reagan during his second term has been that he was by then deeply into dementia. You sure he wasn’t sitting on Nancy’s knee with her hand into his back? Maybe she deserves the credit.

    2. James

      How long until there is a repeat of the idea floated during the Ronald Reagan years that the world can survive a “limited” nuclear war.

      Did that idea ever die? I seem to recall it being bandied about frequently by the Obama/Clinton crowd during the Ukrainian festivities.

    3. Procopius

      That’s why Obama started his nuclear upgrading/modernization program, isn’t it? The smaller yield nukes are just big bombs, we can use them without provoking a wider war, right? /s We could use a tactical nuke on North Korea’s missile testing site just to “send a message,” like giving a bully a bloody nose, right? /s

  12. NotTimothyGeithner

    So Bibi is going to mat for Adie? Yep, it’s fitting so many DC electeds applauded this monster.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “The A-10 Warthog Lives To Fly Again”

    Whatever else you can say about that plane, it is as ugly as its name. And yet, just like the P-47 Thunderbolt of WW2 fame, both were built like tanks and both have reputations as being superb at ground support. The Air Force wanted to scrap the A-10 and replace it with the F-35A Lightning which would be akin to replacing a Ford F-150 pickup truck with a Thailand Tuk Tuk. If that had gone ahead, American troops would have been killed because the F-35 is spectacularly unable to fulfill that mission. The A-10 has been a breakaway success story for the American military-

    1. a different chris

      Don’t get me wrong, I think the A10 is pretty nifty in that it does what it is supposed to do without fuss – but it only works against a 3rd world (aka air-forceless) military. And even at that I gotta wonder how it’s gonna fare going forward against the sudden surge in cheap missile tech.

      The great thing about the F-35 is you can easily understand what it can do (nothing) and what it can’t do (everything).

      1. dearieme

        I suspect that a WWII Mosquito would be more use than an F-35. In fact it might be worth asking whether a WWI Sopwith Camel would be more use too.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Do you suspect some individuals involved in the design and production of the F-35 planes are peacenik patriots?

          Is that suspicion a conspirary theory?

      2. Monty


        Maybe it’s all a big double bluff? Enhanced the stealth abilities. When the enemy radar picks it up the signature of an F35, it will be dismissed as a false positive.

      3. James

        The great thing about the F-35 is you can easily understand what it can do (nothing) and what it can’t do (everything).

        LOL! Priceless!

      4. Procopius

        … it only works against a 3rd world (aka air-forceless) military.

        What’s wrong with that? That’s the kind of war we look likely to be waging for the foreseeable future. It’s been obvious since the F-80 that jets are good for fighting other fighter planes, but not so good for ground support. In Vietnam, I heard that when the grunts called for air support they prayed it would be a Marine (because all Marines, including the pilots, are riflemen) driving a Douglas A-1 Skyraider.

    2. Camp Lo

      It’s complicated. The A-10 was designed to cut through amassed waves of tanks and BMP’s pushing through the Fulda Gap. Flying a cannon low, slow, and close to a professional army practicing even basic combined arms tactics is a one-way ticket no matter how thick your pilot’s aluminum bath tub is. Best-case scenario: POW camp. And just like the antiquated concept of an amphibious landing force, if a peer nation is able to amass tanks in the first place, chances are, you’ve already lost the war. CAS during low-intensity conflicts is better addressed with turboprops, which have the fuel-efficiency to loiter for longer than six minutes. Do peer competitors fly anything like the A-10 anymore?

  14. Pat

    Skip the whole first half of the article about expensive cleaning issues. The rich pay too much for their clothes, treat them badly and then pay too much to clean them.

    No, The real humdingers for class warfare are in the section about high end honeymoons and the throw away requests for nannies in the final paragraph.

    Oh and Medicare for All would ease half of those dying expenses in the most expensive places to die article which is pretty half baked. Mentions inheritance and estate taxes, but the figures cited are for end of life medical and funerals. Mind you they also call New York City a state.

  15. dearieme

    Peregrine falcons can fly at more than 200 miles per hour Boing Boing

    They can go even faster if they are inside a Boeing Boeing.

    Except a 737 MAX, obvs.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Scientists detect a black hole swallowing a neutron star”

    So, black holes suck up gas, matter and even neutron stars. That must make black holes the Roomba vacuum cleaners of the Universe then.

    1. flora

      adding: I think as long as the DLC/(Koch)/Clinton-ite wing keeps a choke-hold on the Dem party this history and all DLC histories are currently relevant. If they ever let go that hold, or are driven from power within the Dem party, then these histories will fade in modern importance and become footnotes in history, like the Teapot Dome scandal in the Harding administration, for example.

    2. JCC

      It’s exactly that sort of behavior that leaves many Americans wondering whether there are two systems of justice inside the FBI — one for the Clintons, and one for the rest of the country.

      For most Americans that hold Clearances, there is no “wondering” whether there are two systems of Justice, and we all know it’s not just the Clintons. We can easily add Barr, Comey, McCabe, Strzok and many, many others.

  17. tegnost

    Re the fox, I’ve had them walk up to me and as you say david s they seem to be begging but I’m all “Dude, you’re a wild animal and I don’t trust you one bit.” They are a protected species, only found in the states at least on san juan island to my knowledge, so that may account for the apparent tameness…or they may just be being foxy and pleading for the opportunity to be your babysitter… Anyway, unique in their dealings with humans, and really cool to see them wandering around.

  18. dearieme

    A high-end dry cleaner

    I am delighted to live in Britain rather than the US. But there are downsides. I have no idea why finding a decent dry-cleaner should be so difficult. Dry-cleaners are obviously kept busy but Lord knows why because they are no ruddy good. I mean: three goes to remove a food stain from a tie! And that at a firm that claims to be a Swiss dry-cleaner. God alone knows how bad the Afghani dry-cleaners are.

  19. roadrider

    So if “UserFriendly” dismisses Sanders’ plan as a “Green Unicorn” what is his or her alternative? We can’t damn the Democrats for thinking small and ignoring climate change and then turn around and crap on a plan that recognizes the enormity of the problem and proposes to, you know, DO SOMETHING!!!

    1. tegnost

      Maybe I shouldn’t speak for userfriendly, but from comments I’ve read s/he feels that the only way to match the calories produced by fossil fuels is to work the bugs out of nuclear energy, or develop something new. I would welcome any clarifications on this. In one memorable comment UF mentioned that s/he is a younger person, and is not ready to accept the slow march back to cave man, and would rather live a long and fruitful life, so there’s a motivation that some of us geezers no longer need to be concerned with…

      1. roadrider

        Yes, I get from UF’s comments that he or she is a blatant apologist for nuclear energy who ignores the fact that even if you ignore the obvious safety and environmental problems with nuclear energy (which would be a huge mistake) there’s no possible way that, even using the industry’s own figures, enough of those plants could be built in the time frame necessary to have a real impact on climate change .

        And the idea that a transition to renewable energy sources represent a “slow match back to the cave man” is ludicrous on its face! Did the Neanderthals have solar panels and windmills? Nuclear energy is not new its an old technology that has not proven to be economical and would not eve exist without an explicit government guarantee of a massive government bailout in case of a catastrophic accident. And, no, thorium reactors are not the solution either. This is not a “new” ideas and no one has actually demonstrated them to be feasible or to overcome the safety, environmental and proliferation issues with existing reactors.

        I think UF needs to be more educated on the history and reality of nuclear energy technology before he or she dismisses the Sanders plan as a unicorn because he or she is advocating for an even bigger unicorn.

        1. UserFriendly

          tegnost, it is perfectly fine with me if you say what you remember my stance to be, as long as it’s appropriately caveated (which it was). For clarification my stance has always been absolutely every single kind of carbon free power as fast as possible. But as far as motive goes you are off by a mile. I can’t even imagine a plausible scenario for my life where I don’t kill myself within 5 years. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt anything but miserable; this worthless country told me to work hard, go to school, and learn a marketable skill. Did all that; $120k in debt from a state school for an engineering degree and I’ve worked a whole 4 out of 11 years in my field since I graduated and never even made the average starting salary I was expecting when I signed my loans. I have so much nondischargeable debt that there is practically no point in working even if I could get a job which I doubt I could. Dating, fun, friends… all hazy memories at this point because my life is such crap that I HATE having to talk to people I know about anything.

          Roadrider, sigh. apologist?… If I didn’t know any better, I would assume that word means “I have neither facts nor logic with which to defend my position,” A lawyer might say if you don’t have the facts or the law pound the table. Just like Hillary Clinton you treat any disagreement as de facto proof of corruption or stupidity / being uneducated. That was a very long-winded way of saying you are condescending and judgmental.

          there’s no possible way that, even using the industry’s own figures, enough of those plants could be built in the time frame necessary to have a real impact on climate change .

          Well good thing we will definitely have enough wind, PV and Batteries ready to go in time, Oh wait… (a very anti nuke source btw). If you are going to link to something and say it’s from the nuclear industry don’t expect me to take your word on it and don’t expect me to sit through some horribly inaccurate, long propaganda video, where (if I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt) the anti-nuclear activist has something flash across his PowerPoint that I’m supposed to be able to use as a way to find the actual information.

          If you want historical average construction times, you can read this. And when are they changing the name to ‘The Same Old Deal?’ You know, where the private sector is in charge and the government just sits there and thinks ‘gee I wish they would make more non-co2 energy’. Obviously, there will be delays, overruns, and setbacks. That is what happens when you kill off your supply chain and need to rebuild it from scratch. It’s hard to set up a onetime use supply chain. The government ordering 50 or so is entirely different.

          I honestly can’t stop laughing at the quote marks here: ““slow match back to the cave man.” You do realize tegnost wasn’t quoting me? I’ve never said that phrase in my life. And then you spend a paragraph shadow boxing. The closest I have come to that on here is that I personally believe that doing anything to stop switching to non-co2 energy as fast as possible by any means necessary as tantamount to murdering poor people.

          Have you actually read anything about reactor insurance or are you just parroting talking points? There is currently $13billion paid by reactors sitting in an account to pay out in case of emergency, and It’s not like we would ever have a similar big electrical infrastructure project that would require the government to payout all damages above a threshold… DAMN (hydro).

      2. urdsama

        In one memorable comment UF mentioned that s/he is a younger person, and is not ready to accept the slow march back to cave man, and would rather live a long and fruitful life

        Maybe the unicorn reference is a bit of self-projection?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      His or her alternative.

      Another question, more significant (to me), is whether it is or is not a Green Unicorn.

      If it is, how it is so, let’s hear the reasons. And if it is not, voters likely will want to hear that case too.

      If it is not, we’d miss a great chance if we do nothing.

      If it is a Green Unicorn, that will weaken the advocating candidate.

      1. polecat

        There’s no way in Hades that we’re going to get completely of fossil feuls, without reverting to lifestyles that require more human, and animal power .. and a life fullfilled, predicated on less amounts of superflous ‘stuff’, and much less energy production .. and thus consumption, across the board. That’s not necessarily a bad way to go, imo.
        Renewables will certainly help to an extent .. while the EROEI from fossil fuels is in the positive .. but they won’t be the cure-all many people think they are. Of course, this mean a reduction, gradual or otherwise, of human populations, on account of the losses in ‘magic’ that petroleum, coal, and nat gas have provided for the last 100 or so years.

        Powering down, and living lighter on this blue rock, is where the future trends lay. Physics and Entropy demand it, in spite of what early 21st Man wishes as his birhright !

  20. funemployed

    I would think the founding editor of Jacobin would know better than to use the phrase “Sanders has a rabid base of volunteers…” (In the guardian op-ed on Biden failing to inspire his wife, among others). I honestly can’t think of a worse adjective than “rabid” to use in an ostensibly pro-Sanders op-ed.

    I think many people underestimate/overlook just how gifted of a communicator Bernie actually is. I frankly can’t think of his equal in contemporary politics, in spite of the fact he utterly lacks the poetry of prose of someone like Churchill.

    1. dearieme

      To every Sanders there is an equal and opposite anti-Sanders.

      If you want to see one in action go to youtube and watch Jeremy “banana fungus” Corbyn.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think with Sanders, it’s all or mostly about his message.

      With a good message, the messenger can afford to stand aside a bit and just focus on ‘game managing’ the delivery. If that is so, you don’t have to be a great or gifted communicator, as long as you are not terrible enough to ruin the message.

      And if that is not so, it’s still good we go through this exercise (to make sure we don’t confuse the message with the messenger).

  21. Another Scott

    I looked through Sanders’ Green New Deal, and yes it is unrealistic; however, there are a few huge improvements over the ones that were discussed earlier in the year. First, direct government ownership is a huge improvement over current status for those of us served by IOUs, and hopefully eliminated the reliance on PPAs with private companies to capture tax benefits. Second, an explicit statement that the jobs will be union ones, rather than a reliance on a just transition, which makes me think of training workers displaced by NAFTA. The inclusion of a new CCC and reduction of military spending are also pluses.

    1. Mike Mc

      Of course, we have Trump/GOP/Bolsonaro’s Black New Deal – burn it all, drill it all, use it all up and shoot anyone who gets in the way.

      1. Carey

        Maybe I’ve misremembered: who was it that pursued the “all of the above”
        fossil fuels strategy?

  22. The Rev Kev

    “US Navy ‘ready’ for Venezuela mission, says a top commander”

    Venezuela’s coastline is 2,800 km (1,700 miles) long. Does the US Navy have the ships to patrol that length of coastline without stripping the Asia-pacific region? Is there enough ships that do not need heavy maintenance or crew replenishment? Will other South American nations along with the UK, Portugal and Japan risks their involvement? Especially since so few countries are volunteering their ships in the Gulf. What legal authority will they have without a go-ahead fro the United Nations – which will never give them it. What if a Chinese or Russian cargo ship attempts to go to Venezuela? Will they attempt to board and seize it? What if they have an escort? That Admiral is an idiot.

    1. a different chris

      >That Admiral is an idiot.

      Or he’s just a guy who knows how he got to the top and continues to practice his technique. Our problem is a weird concoction of idiots across the ideological spectrum supported by immoral-but-not-idiots handlers and suck-ups.

      Maybe we should use capital-I “Idiot” to signify that we aren’t necessarily talking about brain capacity but just the fact that they are driving the bus over the cliff, knowingly or not.

    2. carycat

      that admiral is just talking his book. I don’t see any chance for UN legal cover for interdiction on the high seas (Piracy) or Venezuelan waters (act of war) I see sales opportunities of oil for anti-ship middle swaps.

  23. Summer

    RE: Libra

    “Two of the project’s founding backers told the FT they were concerned about the regulatory spotlight and were considering cutting ties. Another backer said they were worried about publicly supporting Libra for fear of attracting the attention of agencies who oversee their own businesses….”

    So this was a good idea to them for only as long they thought it would provide them more shadows to thieve in…

    How nice it must be to still be anonymous in this article so that people can’t see them for the parasites and theives they are…

  24. Synoia

    Amazon fires: How does one turn Tropical forest into farmland?

    One cannot. It turns into desert, because thete is little plant matter in the soil (laterite).

    In a tropical forest, all the plant matter is in the plants and trees, due to the continual growing season.

      1. JBird4049

        The thinking is that it was created by the locals in order to have good farmland. Jungles are usually not good for farming. Otherwise the civilization that use to be there could not have supported the pre-Columbian population.

    1. Cal2

      “Plant matter”, I think you mean “nutrients and minerals”. One can get an excellent crop growing certain things in the ashes of the rain forest, but after a couple of seasons, it’s dead. Ample rainfall, which will diminish over time as the land is stripped and evaporation slows, allows the grass to grow for McDonald’s hamburgers and export crops–with the addition of lots of chemical fertilizers.

      If one wants to see a horrifying preview of what the Amazon may look like in a few centuries just look at the former grainbelt of the Roman Empire, North Africa.

      “Here by field examination at Bare and Hirbet Haas we found that soils had been washed off to limestone bed rock to a depth of from 3 to 6 feet. The ruins of these towns were not buried as other ruins such as we saw elsewhere, but were left as stark skeletons in beautifully cut stone, standing high on bare rock. Measurements from doorsills to the foundation rock indicated that soils to a depth of 3 to 6 feet had been washed off and swept away in winter floods, leaving a region of ghost cities….” But now that soils are gone, all is gone.”

  25. tegnost

    I’m not against ads as a way to help pay for the blog, but that e trade pop up is persistent, so just pointing that out to whom it may concern…

  26. Summer

    Is it just me or is David Koch’s death getting the write-ups more akin to a long-time, but minor celebrity rather than a long-time major political player with outsized political influence that clouds the world?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps I am alone in this, but I am reminded of the line ‘any man’s death diminishes me,’ because we are all mortal, or possibly we think that if a rich man, with all the resources available, can’t achieve immortality, or come close to it, there isn’t much hope for the rest of us.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think it was in an introduction to philosophy book that I read there is another kind of immortality – being talked about long after one’s death.

          In that sense, when we talk about, for example, Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon, he lives again (as an immortal…up to now, and hopefully, people continue to talk about him, so he can be immortal longer).

          Another possibility – he has been secreted away to some really nice place, like Epstein, who is, in that case, still alive.

          1. JBird4049

            Here’s to hoping that they both are having a well earned experience in a really…tropical climate; I try not to think or speak ill of the dead. Who am I to judge? I’m just some ass whinging on a keyboard. Still some people have truly earned a handsome reward. They take all their gifts, education, and money and use to ruin an enormous number of lives for some electronic numbers somewhere in a computer or just for some orgasms. What a waste of life, an anti-life really.

      1. Procopius

        I never understood that line. Probably I’m just an insensitive clod, but I don’t feel the slightest diminishment from David Koch’s timely passing. I don’t really worry about whom the bell tolls for. I know I’m going to die, maybe today (I don’t think so, but accidents happen).

  27. Summer

    The problem the USA has with a trade war with China:
    China can do mass rescues of their people if necessary and really don’t care if they are called communist or whatever. They’ve lived with the name-calling for decades. Nothing new there. The USA can’t do much because half the people in the USA want the other half of people in the USA dead.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In a (trade) war, there are (trade) battle victories, and (trade) battle defeats.

      The recent one day RMB currency drop causing chaos in the global markets, and this tarriff retaliation as a battlefield victory for Beijing can all be used by Trump next year as why we can’t retreat under his command, seeing we being punched.

      Again, a non-western way of fighting a (trade) war could involve less direct frontal attacks (on Beijing’s part).

      1. JohnnyGL

        Awful as Trump is, he’s gotten China to show their hand.

        I suspect the geo-political landscape is being altered, perhaps permanently, there won’t be any way of putting the toothpaste back into the tube.

        Free-traders are getting put out to pasture, also permanently. Biden is their last gasp, and even he’s going to be forced to soften his free-trade love, even if he wins.

  28. Summer

    Economics After Neoliberalism Suresh Naidu, Dani Rodrik, Gabriel Zucman, Boston Review

    “Economics does have its universals, of course, such as market-based incentives, clear property rights, contract enforcement, macroeconomic stability, and prudential regulation. These higher-order principles are generally presumed to be conducive to superior economic performance…”

    Move along…nothing to see here….

  29. Cat Burglar

    So bibles printed in China will be exempt from the tariff?

    As I checked out at the bookstore yesterday with my haul, the staff member told me, “Well, at least you got those before the China tariff raises the prices!”

    “I’m sorry?”

    “Bookbinding and printing have been outsourced, just like everything else. So most books will be subject to the tariff. Our wholesalers are going to sell us current stock at the current price, but the new stuff coming in will be at a higher price.”

    I am still trying to find out what percentage of US published books are printed or bound in China.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Trump on the bible! This is worth it.

      Instead of asking Trump to display his biblical knowledge, wouldn’t it be much more fun to ask him about his thoughts on Verse X and then quote the Book of Nephi or something?

      Usually, the Evangelicals wouldn’t care because they love to annoy libruls and be all around hypocrites, but they also aren’t sure about Romney and his people.

      “President Trump, your life story really seems to come straight out of the Book of Ether. Would you agree?”

      1. polecat

        He could write a preface for the ‘Book of Kek’ (with an embossed silhouette of the Frog God .. complete with an orange coif !) and call it good, could he not ?

    2. neighbor7

      I know many art books are; domestic color printing has long been prohibitive. Though last I heard Singapore was cheaper.

    3. neighbor7

      I know many art books are; domestic color printing has long been prohibitive. Though last I heard Singapore was cheaper.

  30. Plenue

    >Why Slavoj Zizek thinks political correctness is dumb Big Think

    I think there’s room for some distinction. A lot of people who complain about political correctness seem to just be genuinely upset that they can’t use slurs like they used to, or that just being a blunt ass is now frowned upon (there’s a whole vein of ‘comedy’, epitomized especially by Bill Burr, that seems to think that just being a douchebag makes someone some sort of anti-PC truth telling rebel. No, you’re just kind of a jerk).

    But political correctness as a way to curb actual discourse, because of the petulant whine that “you can’t saaaaay thaaaaat” because it might trigger someone, or because it’s just ‘wrong’, that I have no patience for. Safe spaces are a closely related phenomenon.

    A big example is Islam. Lots of people just will not countenance criticism of it. It’s treated as a protected category, along with a bunch of memes about how ‘of course’ it’s a religion of peace etc. But I simply have a very dim view of it. And the more I learn, the less I like. But I also have no fear about Shariah taking over the US or think we should be killing vast numbers (or any) foreign, mostly Muslim, brown people.

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