Links 9/15/19

What It’s Like Living in One of the Hottest Cities on Earth—Where It May Soon Be Uninhabitable Time (Re Silc).

Hypoxia City Science. Sounds like Mars.

US and Brazil agree to Amazon development BBC

Survey underscores high levels of US scepticism on climate change FT

Central banks to grill Facebook over Libra FT

The makers of OxyContin may have tried to hide $1 billion in assets Vox. Via wire transfers. Say, maybe Libra wouldn’t be such a bad business to be in, after all!


Saudi Arabia shuts down about half of its crude production after drone strikes Middle East Eye

Analysis: Saudi says oil stations attacked by Houthi drones (video) Al Jazeera English. Worth watching for (alleged) detail on the drones. See also Iranian Technology Transfers To Yemen (Conflict Armament Research) and this from John Robb in 2006 (!): “JOURNAL: After Abqaiq.”

After Houthi drone attack, everyone should take a deep breath The Atlantic Council (Re Silc). No, not that war!

Russia hosts Taliban delegation following collapse of US talks (Re Silc).


Boris Johnson plans to force through Brexit deal in 10-day blitz FT but Brexit: the darkness descends EU Referendum

Brexit Gamble: Boris Johnson and the Northern Ireland-only backstop RTE (PD) but Boris Johnson Rules Out Northern Ireland-Only Backstop (Clive).

Jeremy Corbyn: Electoral “Chicken” or Political Mastermind? Counterpunch. Brexit does seem to have rather a lot of moving parts.

Artist behind £4.8m gold toilet praises thieves who have taken it Sky News

For the first time in my life, I’m frightened to be Jewish David Graeber, Open Democracy

UK: Suicide rates surge 11.8% in a single year Al Jazeera. Everything’s going according to plan.

The Battle at Royal Mail Tribune

Yellow vest protesters clash with police in Nantes as marches resume France24

How the Moscow Protests Reveal a Schism in Russia’s Middle Class Moscow Times


Protests mount in Indian Kashmir clampdown Agence France Presse

Narendra Modi’s Style Is ‘Shock and Awe’, but That Strategy Doesn’t Always Work The Wire

Home Minister Amit Shah wants a common language for India, says Hindi can unite country The Print

Indonesia seals off 30 companies over forest fires Associated Press


Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong visits New York to seek U.S. support for pro-democracy protests Reuters

Hong Kong protests through the eyes of a Filipino migrant worker Hong Kong Free Press

Exclusive: China prods state firms to boost investment in crisis-hit Hong Kong Reuters

Fake news, sex and a Hong Kong student protester Hong Kong Free Press


Trump Bows to Reality, Stands Down on Venezuela The American Conservative

Venezuela’s Guaidó pictured with members of Colombian gang Guardian

Trump Transition

Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not. NYT

Bolton Leaves the National Security Council in Ruins Foreign Policy

Why It’s Unlikely the McCabe Grand Jury Voted against Indictment Andrew McCarthy, National Review


CNN’s Mark McKinnon Praises Bernie Sanders’ ‘Humanity’ For Response to Veteran Who Threatened Suicide at Town Hall Mediaite

Elizabeth Warren’s Strategy Within the Democratic Party Is All Wrong Jacobin

Clarence Thomas’s Radical Vision of Race Corey Robin, The New Yorker

Our Famously Free Press

Good stuff first: Google moves to prioritize original reporting in search Nieman Labs

Imperial Collapse Watch

How to Fix a Broken Special Operations Culture War on the Rocks

Nearly 18 years after 9/11, the federal air marshals program is in ‘crisis’ ABC

Dial Up, Log On LRB. Review of Edward Snowden’s Permanent Record.

Guillotine Watch

Liberalism as Luxury First Things. Review of Adam Gopnik’s A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism.

List: Reasons That Lady is Crying in Whole Foods McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Class Warfare

Brahmin Left vs Merchant Right: Rising Inequality and the Changing Structure of Political Conflict (Evidence from France, Britain and the US, 1948-2017) (PDF) Thomas Piketty. Important!

Kickstarter’s Union-Busting Hurts Its Project Creators Current Affairs

Russia’s appointed billionaires Le Monde Diplomatique (Re Silc).

Russia Has ‘Oligarchs,’ the US Has ‘Businessmen’ FAIR

Rising Car Prices Are Sending Even Strong-Credit Buyers to the Used Lot NYT. Just as with used clothes. Something’s not right….

The grandmaster diet: How to lose weight while barely moving ESPN

Antidote du jour (via):

“A fat bear is a healthy bear!”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. The Rev Kev

    “Artist behind £4.8m gold toilet praises thieves who have taken it”

    Apparently the toilets from the local Police Station were also stolen at the same time. Police there put out a statement that their inquiries are continuing but that they have nothing to go on.

    And just how big is that bear in the Antidote du jour? It looks huge!

    1. divadab

      The European brown bear is more closely-related to the Grizzly than to the black bear. Our caveman ancestors worshipped* them, but still managed to eliminate them from most of Europe.

      *This is an inference from: a) shrine-like arrangements of cave bear skulls in caves along with cave paintings;
      2) the word for “bear” in the northern indo-european languages is a euphemism – the proto-indo-european word for bear is “arktos”, which is preserved in Greek, and Latin as “ursus”, e.g.; but in Germanic languages such as english, it is “the brown one” (this is what “bear” means); in Slavic languages “medved” (“honey-eater”); in Baltic languages “lokys” (hairy); Celtic “mathgamain” (“good calf”). A euphemism is used to avoid a taboo – that is, mentioning the divine by its correct name, as e.g. the Hebrews are forbidden to speak the name of G-d.

      More here if you are interested:

      1. Wukchumni

        Some years ago during my longest sighting of a black bear not too far from Tokopah Falls in Sequoia NP, in the midst of watching the bruin systematically strip a hillside of bitter cherries for 45 minutes @ 50 feet away, a gaggle of young Swiss tourists approached and asked if it was safe to be that close, and I told em’ it wouldn’t be a problem, when bears are feeding, they’re somewhat oblivious to everything else.

        We all watched for about 20 minutes, and I asked a 30’ish Swiss male “Do you have bears in the wild in Switzerland any more?” and he told me “Not for over 100 years, only in zoos now” and I mentioned how a good many Cantons had a bear on them in their coat of arms, and he countered by mentioning that the California flag has a grizzly on it, also long since gone here.

      2. dearieme

        the Hebrews are forbidden to speak the name of G-d

        I’ve just been reading a little about the early Hebrew top gods El and Yaweh, and how they were eventually amalgamated into one unique God. Were both their names taboo, or did the taboo come after the amalgamation?

        NB When I say “a little” I mean just one book – this is not remotely my field.

        1. The Rev Kev

          In earlier times in the Hebrewic religion, wasn’t there a female god that eventually got repressed about this time? Sort of like a earth-mother goddess?

            1. divadab

              Interestingly, the Hebrew calendar is a lunar calendar – not a solar calendar as European Pagan and Christian calendars. It seems to me that a lunar calendar is more matriarchal than patriarchal – considering the effects on the women in my life of the lunar cycle – and it is interesting that membership in the Jewish religion is through the maternal line.

              I’m interested how this observation resonates with others?

              1. dearieme

                it is interesting that membership in the Jewish religion is through the maternal line.

                When did that habit start? DNA suggests that Ashkenazi Jews are about 50% descended from Near Eastern men and 50% from European (probably Italian or Provencal) women. So the definition-by-mother can’t have been used in Western Europe a thousand years ago.

                1. Divadab

                  Hmmmmm yes the founder effect. Well, I’m sure you’re right, but I’m pretty sure conversion is required in any case other than maternal lineage in even the most liberal congregations. Just ask ivanka

                2. Procopius

                  I always assumed the tradition arose after the Diaspora. In pogroms it has always been common for Jewish women to be raped, if not killed. It is, anyway, difficult to be confident who the father is, but easy to know who the mother is. I have no idea how to find out when the tradition began, but I presume somewhere in the Talmud there is a case where Rabbis rendered judgement.

          1. Harold

            If I remember from my long long ago course in Bible history it was Tiamat. The opening of Genesis says, God moved over the face of Tiamat. I guess she was a Sumerian water goddess or something. But I don’t know Hebrew.

      3. Anon

        The “Grizzly” bear is a brown bear. The “grizzly” moniker comes from silver, grey fur on the hump of some mature brown bears and the location of their particular habitat. In Alaska the larger, fat brown bears that have a coastal/riverine diet are referred to as “brown bears” while the relatively smaller (in size) interior brown bears are referred to as “grizzlies”. They are the same specie.

        The antidote is easily pushing the 500 lb. median weight of a coastal Alaskan brown bear. The California “Grizzly Bear” (Ursus californica) has been extinct since the 1920’s.

        1. Wukchumni

          About a decade ago I held the rifle that killed the last Grizzly in California in 1926, just outside of Sequoia NP. It had been raiding an apple orchard.

    2. Lee

      Size range within a given mammalian species is generally determined by how cold it gets and often correlates with latitude. Colder climate selects for larger body size to better prevent heat loss. If we knew where this particular roly-poly bear lives, we would have a pretty good idea as to its size.

      See Bergmann’s rule:

        1. Wukchumni


          The best time to be here is in the late fall, its a bit nippy @ night, the days sunny and bright.

          You’ll almost have the NP to yourself, with fall colors @ their zenith, and the best chance for a bear encounter.

          Black bears start noshing on acorns from around 2,500 to 6,000 feet along the main thoroughfare the Generals Highway in Sequoia NP from around the 3rd week in October to mid November in order to put on weight for a series of long snoozes.

          They’re easy to spot, just look for stopped cars, or see them moving about.

          Back before the drought years really decimated the ranks, the most I saw in one day’s drive from Ash Mtn to Crescent Meadow and back was 9.

  2. Carla

    Must confess, I’m having trouble with Piketty’s analysis. The Democrat party is not “left.” It was somewhat to the left in the 1930s, and certainly “to the left” of the Republicans, but the march of both halves of the duopoly has been steadily rightward for many decades. Piketty referring to the Democrats as “leftwing” really damages his credibility in my eyes to the point where I’m having trouble getting anything out of his presentation. Is there something I’m just not getting here?

    1. inode_buddha

      I think maybe Piketty was writing for a larger audience, for whom “Democrats == Left” is true. Most people are completely unaware of the Overton window moving to the right, in my experience — they consider it to be normal. The analogy of a pot, boiling water, and frogs comes to mind.

      One technique that I use to open people’s eyes to this, is to show them how Nixon would be considered an un-electable Leftist today. It always blows their minds.

      1. dave

        Nixon was the last progressive President. An era where it was thought that the Federal Government could be actively used to improve and change lives.

        1. pretzelattack

          lbj used the power to actively improve and change lives. nixon only looks progressive in comparison to today; and only because he was operating in that era.

          1. Wukchumni

            Tricky Dick is a large part of the reason there was photos of lots of dead Cambodians in that recent AOC hit piece tv commercial.

            1. ambrit

              Give the man his due. He followed in a tradition that stretched back through LBJ, to Kennedy, to Eisenhower, with a probable connection to Truman, who had to deal with the Machiavellian Dulles brothers.

            2. Oregoncharles

              Nixon was a “liberal Republican.” (We had much better ones in Oregon, long gone.) Like other liberals, he was an imperialist and militarist.

              From the present perspective, it’s hard to remember how much we hated him; but Kent State and Jackson State had a lot to do with it.

              (A footnote, because I initially forgot Jackson State myself: killing black students in the South was not extraordinary; killing white students was, and produced an extremely dramatic backlash. They didn’t try that again.)

    2. Susan the other`

      Left, what Left? I agree it didn’t make much sense for American politics. But it did make lots of sense. There is a racism/nativism/education divide and it diminishes the votes for Democrats. My question to Picketty would be Please tell me what goes into (actual things and opportunities) making someone elite? If he would turn his meticulous talents toward answering that one question, we’d have found more answers than questions. Because it is undeniable that no education, no income, no wealth and no opportunity do not make somebody elite. Duh. What is needed is not some extension of the social abstractions of the intellectual politicians who ignore homelessness; we need politicians who know how to roll up their sleeves. Like Bernie. Pickett talks of the rise of a new “internationalist egalitarian platform” to unite those who are downtrodden in this world. That’s true, something is needed, but the future will not be too different from the past even if such a platform were to take hold. What we need in any event is “equal opportunity for all”. That’s a catchy phrase. And in order to do that we’ll need to embarrass a few elites by exposing how they had every opportunity and then some. And knowing that, say Picketty does a bunch of blistering chart and graphs, it will be pretty obvious that we either give those opportunities to everyone or we redistribute the wealth like mad. And so when Picketty says that globalization makes redistribution a tad difficult because there is no “vertical redistribution” mechanism left, aka workers and unions, good government policies, etc… then we have two things to address: 1. What specifically makes someone elite and successful?, and 2. How do we implement effective vertical redistribution policies? (I’m pretty sure it’s not rocket science). The fastest way to create equality for all is to take away the abuse of privilege enjoyed by the elite to the detriment of the poor. Because the elite are now so parasitic that there isn’t much blood left in the victim. Just imo.

    3. Bugs Bunny

      This is a rather academic economics analysis. I think the part to retain is that there is a constituency of elites that used to be seen as “right” and “left” but whose interests are converging. This might be called the new centrism, with perhaps Obama, Renzi and Macron as its first wave.

      Opposing that is a nativist movement, anti-elitist (against both the traditional right and left parties), that may eventually become a sort of new left. I think we see this happening in the policies of Marine Lepen, for example.

      What this means, I would posit, is that the Democratic Party in the US will merge with a certain “fiscally conservative” GOP and that perhaps, what we know as rump, Trump GOP today, may eventually turn…left.

    1. Ted

      I think more than that, Biden’s whole rambling, barely coherent moment, shows how much Biden’s mind seems to be lost in the 1970s when he first entered politics. The reference to social workers and “more school psychologists” comes straight out of Oscar Lewis’ late 1960s prescriptions for the culture of poverty and the Moynihan report. That Biden has not been politely bumped off stage at this point is just further evidence of how broken the democrat party is…they will not win next year. That they only have septuagenarians to offer as top candidates—including one who is clearly in late stages of cognitive decline—is telling.

      1. anon in so cal

        Yes, and earlier in the primary, Biden made reference to people needing to get the right “value set” to succeed. That was also straight out of Lewis’ culture of poverty.

      2. Peonylady

        Biden is a ridiculous candidate, but Trump is a septuagenarian, too. So if Bernie or Warren win the primary, which is nearly assured, we will have a president who is 70+. Kind of moots your larger point.

        1. Shane Mage

          Biden is not even a candidate. He is merely a placeholder for the DNC’s eventual “SURPRISE” entry: Michelle Obama.

          1. fdr-fan

            Yup. Dynasties are everything. Hillary is done and Chelsea isn’t experienced, so Michelle is the real successor.

            Insiders seem to know this. I get several spam emails a day from R sources. They suddenly shifted their target from Hillary to Obama about a year ago.

          2. ambrit

            Hey there oh ye of little faith. The Republican Party re-elected a man suffering from Alzheimers. By that metric, Hillary is qualified to “unite” the Democrat Party for 2020. As long as her exoskeleton works to specs, she’s going to be the standard bearer for the Democrats for 2020.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Could be right there. People like that still keep on going. Didn’t John McCain get out of his death bed to go help vote down health laws for the people? That’s dedication right there – to evil.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Sanders is high-cognifunctioning enough to be not-covered by this concern, though as the Countess Draclintula hastens to remind us many times, Sanders is “not a Democrat”.

      3. Massinissa

        Id rather have a septuagenarian than Cory Booker or Mayo Pete. The younger candidates in the primary are just as bad.

        1. John

          Show me a younger candidate who is up to the job. These youngsters need some seasoning. The last young president we had who was fully competent was Teddy Roosevelt

          1. John

            …and while I have the floor. If they are going to avoid the central issue of climate change, why bother with any of them. But then Inslee was ignored on climate; the DNC, and the media ran away from Gabbard on the stupidity and futility of our orgiastic war policy. Must have our wars to keep the money rolling in. Reach back in time and read Smedley Butler’s War is a Racket.

            Why do these people need to outdo Scrooge McDuck?

          2. Anon

            Teddy became President the same way LBJ became President. While Teddy wasn’t much younger (43 y.o.) than Obama he was capable enough to implement progressive conservation policies that are revered even today. He did have some racial misteps though, as well. (No politician is perfect.)

  3. Medbh

    The Elizabeth Warren article about strategy is great. Many of my family members and friends think that the way to win is incrementalism and moving to the center. From my perspective, what politically works is significant change, backed up with the willingness to lose seats in the short-term to enforce a long term strategy (i.e. my needs/desires as a voter will not be ignored or go unpunished).

    The article describes how that dynamic lead to the rise of the Tea Party and Trump:

    “We might also look at the Right as an example. An insurgent movement like the Tea Party made heavy use of confrontational tactics and primary challenges to wrench the Republican Party toward its end of the political spectrum. Donald Trump’s antagonistic relationship with a GOP establishment that largely opposed him didn’t stop him from both winning the Republican primary and the general election, and today’s GOP has been refashioned in Trump’s image, with even his fiercest Republican critics now fully signing on to his agenda.

    Trump did this not by convincing members of the GOP establishment that he was correct, but by rallying voters and making it virtually impossible for Republicans to both keep their jobs and oppose him. If the next Democratic president fails to achieve something similar, they won’t just face an obstructionist Republican bloc, but a host of conservative Democrats who will stand as a barrier to their agenda, just as Obama did in 2009.

    Both history and Warren’s own dealings with the 2016 Clinton campaign tell us that “big, structural change” can’t be won by coddling the Democratic Party establishment and the corporate money that funds them.”

    1. Watt4Bob

      If the next Democratic president fails to achieve something similar, they won’t just face an obstructionist Republican bloc, but a host of conservative Democrats who will stand as a barrier to their agenda, just as Obama did in 2009.

      Funny, I don’t remember Obama facing obstruction of his agenda on the part of conservative Democrats, what I remember is Obama protecting the interests of bankers, Wall $treet, and the MIC by appointing the likes of Tim Geithner, Peter Orszag, Hillary Clinton, and Rahm Emanuel.

      Hope and change were flushed down the toilet, job one, and done.

      Obama was, and is in the pocket of the rich and powerful from the git go, as was HRC, everyone knows that now, 2008 was proof that you can fool all of the people some of the time, 2016 was proof that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

      It’s we, the people who face opposition from conservative Democrats, Obama and HRC are the sort of conservative Democrats that stand in opposition to our interests.

      1. pretzelattack

        indeed, what i remember was a lot of hippie punching and selling out to advance his agenda, this is just a variant on the “obama was prevented from doing anything by the republicans”.

      2. Medbh

        “Obama was, and is in the pocket of the rich and powerful from the git go, as was HRC, everyone knows that now, 2008 was proof that you can fool all of the people some of the time, 2016 was proof that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

        It’s we, the people who face opposition from conservative Democrats, Obama and HRC are the sort of conservative Democrats that stand in opposition to our interests.”

        Agreed. People need to recognize that Clinton and Obama are just as much of a problem as the GOP, maybe even more so because they’re pretending to be an ally.

        That was the message I took from the article…that political action follows power. The DNC ignores progressives because it can. There are no consequences to doing so.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          If “progressives” are too weak and too polite to invest in hate-based initiatives designed to exterminate the Catfood Democrats from office , politics, and the Democratic Party; then the “progressives” deserve the ignoring they get from the Catfood DNC.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          MUCH MORE SO

          This is my thesis for awarding Obama my coveted Worst_President_Ever Award. (And yes, I’m counting Millard Fillmore and Andrew Johnson).

          In the Cheney Administration you knew what you were dealing with: snarling corporo-fascists explicitly working against your interests. Opposing them was obvious. But with Saint O people were lulled into thinking someone was working on their behalf so people hit the snooze button and bought the Excuse-O-Matic Why We Can’t Have Nice Things. The mindset became “hey maybe real change really is too hard, our guy tried it and failed” that the Davos UberMenschen would love the plebes to swallow. Goal #1 of the DUM of course is resigned dejection and low turnout.

          1. Glen

            Agree 100%. Obama was a horrible President. History will NOT be kind to his betrayal of the country. It will become the turning point where the possibility for democracy to work, and real change to happen was FLUSHED DOWN THE TOILET.

            1. GC

              I recommend “A Crisis Wasted: Barack Obama’s defining decisions” by Reed Hundt for an insider view of how an unprecedented opportunity for change was squandered. Basically, BO lost all leverage over banksters by executing their Bush-era bailout first, half of which evaporated in bonuses a few months later. Tranche 2 of the bailout funds that his admin had exclusive control over then went to the auto companies, with conditions that led to meaningful outcomes like board firings, bankruptcy, etc.

              1. Carey

                “…Basically, BO lost all leverage over banksters…”

                Is there evidence that Mister Obama and his associates wanted “leverage
                over banksters”?

                This, to my mind, is more of the “hapless Dems” meme.
                No: they knew and know what they’re doing.

              2. Pat

                Forget leverage. The fact that the Bush administration prosecuted more bankers/financial industry executives than the Obama administration did tells you all you about that “wasted opportunity”. He wasted nothing, he lined up his post Presidency gift bag full of millions.

                1. GC

                  To clarify, the “wasted opportunity” in the title is an obsevation of what might have been, not what was desired. This book argues that BO was as clueless as most of the economists in both admins. Their attempts to “fix” the 2008 crash weren’t working. You can argue that the disaster capitalists knew exactly what to do, but I recall real panic that the whole house of cards was toppling (“this sucker is going down” Pres. Bush to BO). You give too much credit to BO’s intrinsic evilness in those early days. He needed to be shown the path, then embraced it with gusto like all of our govt grifters.

                  1. NotTimothyGeithner

                    Obama’s particular nature isn’t as fascinating as a book written by a would be hagiographer largely accusing Obama of being unready and largely ignoring a crisis. Reed Hundt even worked for McKinsey.

    2. Jim Thomson

      Jacobin still believes “The Gospel”, second paragraph down:

      “…emails hacked from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta by Russian agents and released by WikiLeaks in 2016…”

      I see this many places.

          1. Harold

            It is interesting how much author Branko Marcetic, identified as being from New Zealand and living in Toronto, relies on the Podesta e-mails supposedly hacked by “Russian agents.”

            Not a bad article, though. A note at the end says “republished from In These Times”, which really is (or was) a leftist magazine, but which also published the infamous “Prop or Not” piece by Timothy Snyder denouncing Naked Capitalism as propaganda. I have no idea why people do these things.

      1. Dan

        Minor detail: The internet, could not physically transfer the files at the speed which the files were allegedly downloaded, so how could they be “hacked”?

        The most senior and skilled CIA computer analyst says so:

        “Pompeo met on October 24 with William Binney, a former National Security Agency official-turned-whistleblower who co-authored an analysis published by a group of former intelligence officials that challenges the U.S. intelligence community’s official assessment that Russian intelligence was behind last year’s theft of data from DNC computers. Binney and the other former officials argue that the DNC data was “leaked,” not hacked, “by a person with physical access” to the DNC’s computer system.”

      2. Oh

        Even Jimmy Carter whom I admire is sinking so low that he parrots this nonsense about the Russians interfering in our elections.

      3. John Wright

        Simply stating “emails from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta released by WikiLeaks in 2016…” would have been sufficient and probably would be acceptable for all readers, left/right.

        But he had to throw in the “Russian agents” crap

        Makes me wonder what other axes the author is grinding.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “US and Brazil agree to Amazon development”: ‘Brazil’s foreign minister said opening the rainforest to economic development was the only way to protect it.’ – 2019

    “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it” Vietnam 1968

    1. Olga

      My thoughts exactly (although I think it was “village” (?)).
      What absolute horror!
      Destroying Lula’s chances of winning and the coup d’etat against Dilma are gifts that keep on giving.

  5. dearieme

    I do dislike anti-semitism, by which I mean hating and baiting Jews.

    I note with dismay, however, that some people try to distort that plain meaning for political advantage. Thus they describe criticism of the government of Israel as anti-semitic.

    Graeber comes up with a definition new to me: campaign … to weaponize antisemitism accusations against the current leadership of the Labour party. It is a campaign … so cynical and irresponsible that I genuinely believe it to be a form of antisemitism in itself.

    These rhetorical ploys seem to me to risk persuading people that the whole business is merely a matter of low manoeuvring. Are the perpetrators certain the game’s worth the candle?

  6. Craig H.

    Re: the Yemen drone attacks

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of leading the attack

    Does Yemen have drone manufacturing capability? I am guessing no, and somebody sold them or gave them those weapons. Presumably Iran, who has refineries that could be drone-attacked.

    Do not feel great about this.

    I don’t think I would take that antidote bear photograph without four skilled bodyguards with fully loaded auto-fire rifles so I don’t suppose I have the moxie that it takes to be the secretary of state. Maybe I just don’t understand all the parameters. The bear could be medicated and in a nature park.

    1. Jim Thomson

      See Moon of Alabama article and the comments, especially.
      There are lots of possibilities as to what is going on.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          It appears it does not take much to shut down a major part of Saudi Oil production. Given what I perceive as a U.S. foreign policy placing an almost complete dependence on Saudi Oil production for our future petroleum supplies I share Craig H.’s discomfort with the drone attack on Saudi Oil production. I also wonder how the Saudis could launch an attack on Yemen and without a better air defense in place, and how the U.S. could let that situation exist. Do the U.S. oil companies stand to — profit over the short-term — from taking Saudi Oil off the world market? I also have questions about the pending IPO of Aramco. How much sovereignty would the Saudis be yielding in return for this sale?

          The Moon of Alabama article is indeed excellent.

          1. Carey

            “…Do the U.S. oil companies stand to — profit over the short-term — from taking Saudi Oil off the world market?..”

            Thanks for positing that question. The particular way these stories appear in
            our corporate media goes a little way in answering that question.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Of course no one will dare question the root cause of Why the attack happened in the first place. Kind of like OBL and the American troops stationed in Saudi.

        And I smell a rat: combine Exxon Mobil’s complete miss on U.S. fracking and subsequent decline in their reserves, plus the pricing of the upcoming Aramco IPO.

        And I bet if you looked at Goldman’s positioning in the oil futures market they would be set to make serious bank.

        Lastly, Team Trump (to the extent there can be said to be such a thing) might be looking for a nice economic shock that isn’t immediately blamed on the boss. (Somehow I don’t think we’ll get Cheetoh wearing a sweater sitting next to the fire in the White House saying Sorry about the gas lines and telling us we all have to conserve energy).

        *Always* follow The Benjamins, they explain everything.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Can we also please notice the incredible cat that was let out of the bag by the Cheney Administration and faithfully reinforced and followed up and codified by Saint O: That it’s perfectly OK for countries to launch drone missile attacks on other countries anytime they wish.

          That should have been a Red Line that was vehemently defended by every nation (in their right minds). Any nation crossing it would receive the strongest possible global response and universal condemnation and consequences. In the U.S. we don’t even need a friggin declaration of war before we rain robot death from above on anyone we want.

          Instead of a Red Line we get a free-for-all. Thanks Bush. Thanks Obama

    2. The Rev Kev

      Apparently these things can be manufactured in that part of the world by local talent and I would guess that Iranians are giving technical advice for construction and manufacturing. Remember that the Yemeni military has experience with military rocketry and that a lot of gear is still there. Sure Iran has refineries that can be attacked as you pointed out. If that happens, then you can expect that the other 50% of Saudi oil refineries would be knocked out – along with the water-filtration plants. Not good that.
      The hand-wringing about this attack has been remarkable considering that most governments did not give a crap that the people of Yemen were being starved to death. The UK Foreign Office minister Andrew Murrison tweeted: “Totally unacceptable attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia this morning. “The Houthis must stop undermining Saudi Arabia’s security by threatening civilian areas and commercial infrastructure.” No word about the Saudi attacks on wedding parties farms,food depots, meetings, funerals, etc.
      Pompeo was saying that the whole world was attacked but I am not seeing a lot of sympathy online for the Saudis. There will be no Coalition of the Willing 2.0 here. I even read a Daily Kos article concerning this attack and they were doing a remarkable tap-dance around the Saudis, especially when they referred to the Saudi invasion force as “military resources inside Yemen”. Idjuts!
      For the Saudis, this will be serious. They are already experiencing major financial problems and losing 50% of production would be hurting them. It means that they are going to have to lay off a coupla thousand Jihadists in Syria as well as several hundred Washington lobbyists. All the billions that they have spent on high-tech toys and they could not stop this attack. I have no idea what would happen if the next attack was on the Royal Palace but I bet that the Saudi Royal Family is now thinking about this possibility. Time to negotiate. Either that or await the next attack. I would not be surprised though if the next headlines that you will see is where Trump has generously decided to let Venezuela and Iran sell more oil into the world market.

      1. Wukchumni

        Every new weapon introduced has a short shelf life before your adversary has the same advantage you used to have

        It took a whole 4 years for the Soviets to replicate our A-bomb, how hard could it be to replicate our fleet of drones to hit refineries, and not wedding parties?

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          How hard? I know high school students who could do it* in two weeks. You probably do as well.

          *”it” being design and build a UAV that could fly > 30km and strike a target using GPS coordinates. Four weeks if the UAV has to use aerial photography to approach and identify the target/refinery instead of GPS.

          1. Dan

            Or, maybe the Yemenis just have an Amazon Prime membership and are getting the drones delivered with free overnight shipping?

          2. vlade

            That assumes access to pretty much anything you need handy. Which tends to be one of the main problems in areas like Yemen etc. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it does take time.

            Most physics masters coudl build an A-bomb if they had access to anythign they wished – it’s really about getting a few bits of sub-critical mass together. It would be horribly inefficient in terms of energy, but hey…

            But the problem is a) getting the stuff b) making it small enough to be a viable device. Both are pretty damn hard.

            1. Kurt Sperry

              Yeah, building a weaponized drone (or more correctly modifying an existing platform) will be a million times easier than an atomic weapons program. I’m pretty sure the Yemenis can get anything they need to make a weaponized drone without any problems if it is a priority for them to. Making a reliable semi-automatic rifle or pistol from scratch would be significantly harder.

              1. WobblyTelomeres

                Well, I’m certainly not going to provide a detailed list of parts and instructions here lest large sober men appear at my door in the night. But, anyone arguing that it would take a nefarious collection of Irani and/or Pakistani scientists to assist the Yemeni in constructing such an attack drone is clueless or lying

      2. jo6pac

        just time for house of saud big ipo. They good guys should lobe in a few the day before to help out the ipo.

        I wonder what the price of oil will be on Monday. This will help the Russians.

        1. bob

          The Aramco IPO was always a longshot, before bonesaw. I don’t see any wall st or city bankers backing an IPO of a company based in a country where the crazy king is a known billionare hostage taker.

          They had to send bill gates in the negotiate the release of prince al, in one of the funniest and least examined events in recent history.

        2. mpalomar

          Should help Canadian tar sands, US fracking and all the other non-profitables. Just in time for the winter heating season.

        3. Oregoncharles

          And Venezuela, if they manage to sell any oil.

          Saw an article years ago about major oil deposits being a curse for most nations. Sounds about right.

      3. Acacia

        Lots of interesting detail in this report:

        Suicide Drones… Houthi Strategic Weapon
        Abaad Studies & Research Center — Strategy Unit — January 2019

        This study, which is the first research on the Houthi UAV weapon, in addition to a previous preliminary study issued in early 2018, summarizes this dangerous technology that is owned by the first armed group outside the state in Yemen, especially since the Houthis, after their attack on “Al-Anad”, has announced that they are seeking to build a large stock of drones as their strategy in the war.


        Targeting oil installations: In July 2018, the Houthis announced that they targeted Saudi Aramco Oil Company with “Sumad 2” drone.

      4. VietnamVet

        This is ominous for anybody who depends on petroleum for energy.

        I took the Houthis pronouncement at face value that they launched 10 drones that cut Saudi production by 50%. They have the will and means and could have gotten lucky. But, the US satellite photos on Zerohedge taken today show approximately seventeen hits at Abqaiq with the strikes on empty storage tanks with military precision from one direction. Brent Oil futures jumped the highest since 1991.

        The USA and Saudi Arabia are failed nation states. They could not protect a vital national resource. Hell, they didn’t even detect the attack yet Russia reportedly intercepted the US cruise missiles that attacked Syria. I doubt Israel or the Russian/China Axis would knock their economies into a global depression. That leaves non-state proxy forces or the government of Iran. If they did it once, they can do it again. Any military response against Iran will cause a complete cut off of oil from the Gulf. An attack against Hezbollah or Shiite militias will be ineffective and will escalate the ongoing regional mini-world war.

        The only way out is peace. The withdrawal back to North America will be traumatic and unless democracy is restored, it will splinter the USA apart.

    3. Carolinian

      Does Yemen have drone manufacturing capability?

      Awhile back the Russian base in Syria was attacked by crude drones made of plywood. It’s the guidance systems that are sophisticated and portable and the Russians accused the West of helping with that.

      So Yemen most definitely could make such drones if not the electronics.

    4. Tomonthebeach

      My initial reaction to the news was “Well, finally. Surprised it took this long. What did the Saudi’s expect?”

      I found the tone of the Atlantic Council article to be that of a displeased parent. Naughty Houti’s – naughty. Insinuating that it was all the fault of the Iranians was pure Pompeo bullshit. I suppose they should just let the billionaire Saudi’s exterminate the entire Yemeni population with good old-fashioned peasant resignation? So it is written; so it must be – or some such Lawrence of Arabia condescension. The smug tone of the author seems to ignore that after a decade of war and genocide, people might not yet be willing to abandon vengeance in favor of peace talks. Likely most Houti feel they already have lost everything worth living for. At this point, does she think the Houti care about losing the sympathy of the rest of the world? Has their sympathy stopped the genocide? Fontenrose’s suggestion is just arrogant.

      1. EGrise

        I was thinking along similar lines: the Houthis *tried* the sympathy-from-the-rest-of-the-world route, only to discover that no one (in power) gave a damn about thousands of Yemeni children dying from starvation and disease. So now they’re going to try hitting a bunch of bloodthirsty monarchists in the pocketbook. I suspect this might actually work, and I also suspect that is the real reason the AC person is so annoyed.

    5. Plenue

      The big problem with blaming Iran for material support is that it’s not clear how they would even get anything into the country. The land route is blocked by, er, Saudi Arabia existing, and the sea routes are blockaded by both the Arab Coalition and the US. Saudi Arabia regularly bombs things down to the level of fishing boats. I’m sure Iran can (and has) slipped in a few intelligence officers, probably with blueprints on a thumb drive, but the actual materials to make anything is much less certain. Yemen however was never short of weapons, and the Houthis have had the support of a portion of the Yemeni military and its infrastructure from the start (they also capture coalition gear all the time).

      The ‘Iranian proxy force’ meme has never made much sense. I have no doubt Iran loves what the Houthis are doing, and has given them whatever aid they can slip through. But I don’t see how they can slip through much.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Good source report linked on MOA explains the provenance of the tech. Determined smuggling efforts combined with off-the-shelf parts plus home-grown know-how:

        Maybe it’s just me but this may be a “Russian fleet sunk at Port Arthur” kind of event.

    6. rjs

      anyone else have the sense that the US might be behind this? the Saudis are the #1 competitor for US oil exports; taking some Saudi oil out of production & pushing prices higher would allow the frackers to return to profitability…

      Pompeo was almost accusing Iran of the attack before all the drones hit their target…Trump is now saying his weapons are “locked and loaded” & they know who did it…a war going into 2020 would sure distract voters from the economic downturn we’re starting to experience…

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong visits New York to seek U.S. support for pro-democracy protests”: ‘The bill would also mean that officials in China and Hong Kong who undermined the city’s autonomy could face sanctions.’

    So down the track Trump gets into a brawl with San Francisco or Los Angeles over being sanctuary cities, or car pollution laws or simply for being Democrat strongholds. Trump then goes to pass laws to run roughshod over the local laws in those cities. At that point, China passes a bill that would mean that officials in the United States and San Francisco/Los Angeles who undermined those cities autonomy could face sanctions. Yep, that would be well received that.

    1. John Zelnicker

      @The Rev Kev
      September 15, 2019 at 10:25 am

      B-b-b-but America is the *indispensable*, *exceptional* country.

      Other countries are not allowed to do unto us as we do unto them.

  8. dearieme

    revived “yellow vest” protests against the government of President Emmanuel Macron took place across the country.

    Ah, the summer holidays are over, eh?

    John Bolton promised: “We will continue to defend and protect the interests of the United States, and those of our partners in the Western Hemisphere.” Really doing that would end Washington’s campaign for regime change in Venezuela. The price is simply too high.

    Do neoCold-Warriors like Bolton ever deign to compute a cost?

    Rising Car Prices Are Sending Even Strong-Credit Buyers to the Used Lot

    We always buy used; most recently ten years old. Not only do we save heaps of money but we avoid the frustrations of all the irksome geegaws that the last ten years of “progress” and regulation have brought.

    1. Monty

      I have noticed there are hardly any old bangers in England these days. Do they keep ramping up the MOT standards to make it impossible to pass?

      The last time i bought an older car, I found the maintenance costs, and ultimate worthlessness, meant the car ended up costing at least as much as buying a similar new one over the duration I owned it. There are a lot of plastic parts and irreducible electronic modules in modern motors that are not designed to live much longer than 10 years.

      Some do get a lucky bargain, but its a lottery.

      1. dearieme

        You might class our newest car as an “old banger” but it’s not conspicuously an old banger – it looks OK. You’d need to look at the number plate to know that it’s antediluvian.

        “Some do get a lucky bargain, but it’s a lottery.” We’ve won that lottery several times and not because I’m a keen mechanic. Our last four cars have lasted us 15 years, 8 years (when stolen), 19 years, and now 4 years so far.

        Our rule is to buy a big car with a powerful engine and an automatic gearbox. This will not have been thrown around by some boy-racer but will probably have spent much of its life cruising on motorways. We always look at the service record too.

        We’re not gas-guzzlers, simply by virtue of choosing to drive low mileages. For example I cycled to work for a quarter century. We chose to buy a house with decent bus services nearby. It’s worked out well for us. We might even try a hybrid or an electric car once there are decent second-hand ones available at low prices. Lots of our local taxis are electric. (And so I can tell you that a Nissan Leaf is more comfortable than the last Merc I travelled in: the Merc lacked headroom. So did the last Beamer I travelled in. Are these cars specially designed for Little ‘itlers?)

          1. bob

            BMW’s are junk after the 99 the m3’s. Cars and motorcycles. Expensive to fix and not that reliable. Bad combo.

            1. WobblyTelomeres

              I’ve seen BMW-riding motorcyclists with spare final drives strapped to their bikes in preparation for a cross-country ride. Of course, BMW denied there was a problem.

        1. Carl

          2005 Lexus LS430 here. One of the finest engineered mass produced cars ever made, imo. Used, they can be a fraction of what they commanded new.

  9. Wukchumni

    I was a newly minted hellion on wheels when the lines of ’79 helped to kill Carter’s chances in the 1980 election. The longest I waited was a little over 1/2 a mile in order to get go-juice.

    How would a similar scenario play out today, and what effect would it have on the teflon Don?

    People were pretty civil to one another 4 decades ago during their vigil of going nowhere fast, as I remember.

      1. Monty

        I remember there was a problem in Phoenix in August 2003. Another week and it would have gone full on Mad Max around here.

        Just two 8″ pipes bring all the go-juice that 5 million folks rely on to survive. Gas reliance is a very serious vulnerability for many places around the USA, especially isolated hellscapes like Phoenix. You need a tank of gas to get anywhere else.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Home Minister Amit Shah wants a common language for India, says Hindi can unite country”

    Yeah, so I was checking on a language map of India and the different language groups involved-

    Doesn’t sound very inclusive to me this idea. Sounds more like the Ukraine where they brought out a law demanding that the Ukrainian language will be the only language used in that country and banning Russian, Hungarian and Polish. I can see the same happening in India eventually with Modi’s nationalistic government.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Sounds like continuing conquest by the Indo-Europeans (Sanskrit speakers) who invaded from the northwest around 3000 years ago.

    2. Gaianne

      While Modi is not one to let any bad idea quietly drop, we can only hope he quietly drops this one. If enforced, the carnage would be worse than the Partition of 1947.

      Nor is the “Hindi” belt as unified as the map in wikipedia implies–and one would expect (and I say this from personal experience) strong regional feelings even there.


  11. anon in so cal

    Trump has chosen rabid Reagan-era NeoCon Charles Kupperman as interim head of the NSA.

    Kupperman “served as a policy advisor to the Committee on the Present Danger, a neoconservative-led advocacy group with an aggressive anti-Soviet posture.”

    “from 2001 to 2010, he served on the board of directors of the Center for Security Policy, an anti-Muslim think tank led by Frank Gaffney Jr. that promotes aggressive missile defense programs and militarist policies.”

    Apparently, Kupperman said nuclear war against Russia was winnable.

    1. rowlf

      Having lived on military bases next to thermonuclear weapons on first line military targets (Duck And Cover was useless for us) for fifteen years where we went through operational readiness drills, this guy is another chickenhawk idiot. Look how the US folded to foreign goals when two office buildings got attacked. He probably still believes that Civil Defense exists.

      Ever have a Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner 100 yards away from loaded bombers on the Alert pad?

  12. Alex

    The Moscow Times analysis of different groups within Russia’s middle class is spot on. One thing I’d add to it is that not all employees of state-owned and state-affiliated companies are pro-government and can be easily herded to rallies supporting it. A mid- or low-level employee of Sberbank has much less in common with a police officer than with someone working in a private sector.

    1. Andrew Subbotin

      I think its mostly wrong. The main dividing line is between people who lived through 90s and remember what happens when idealistic crowd overruns the government, and younger people who believe that if you wreck state apparatus, it will be all flowers, unicorns and happy smiles.
      If you ask the pro-state people, they will readily admit the problems with the current setup – they just think alternatives are worse.

      1. Olga

        I would agree with you. Not much of what is published by MT can be taken at face value, as the paper has a built-in pro-western bias. One can read it, but always remember where it’s coming from.

      2. Alex

        I’d say that any protest movement, whether in NYC, Hong Kong, Syria or Moscow is mostly made of young people.

  13. Duck1

    Among other things, the Gopnik essay makes me realize what a cliche the old sixties euphemism “making love” has become. Alex was more descriptive with “the old in-out in-out”, or other earthy names for copulation. Of course, the bourgeoisie makes love to the lower classes perpetually, strictly missionary position of course.

      1. Carey

        I don’t know whether Gopnik’s and his complacent audience are clueless or just careless; either way, I’m thinking that quality will not be lasting so long.

    1. Oregoncharles

      “making love” was a euphemism all along – trust me, I was there. Sometimes it was like that, of course, but, ummm, not always.

      Come to think, it’s odd that young people then would want a euphemism for the F word. We were usually opposed to that sort of thing. Maybe wanted to preserve our illusions, even then.

  14. Wukchumni

    Venezuela’s Guaidó pictured with members of Colombian gang Guardian
    I’ve heard of a domestic gang that only exists by name spoken by those 49 other states on the outside looking in, the Cali Cartel.

    Nobody calls it by its shortened span when on the inside looking out.

    And sad revelations in regards to our young stooge primed for gory in Caracas, a not ready for prime time player as it turned out.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Edward Snowden is a patriot.

    How a Presidential candidate responds to the question of whether they would they pardon him is a synecdoche for where they stand on all issues that surround the rights of the people versus the rights of the State.

  16. Wukchumni

    Hypoxia City Science.
    Great story, and i’ve only ever been as high as Mt Whitney, and you struggle for breath @ 14k, couldn’t imagine living @ 16k, and doing back-breaking work in a fetid setting near Lake Titicaca.

    When I started backpacking in the High Sierra, it seemed as if I was an altitude sickness magnet, I almost got used to the feeling of malaise and general uneasiness & pounding headaches, although I eventually outgrew it’s effects.

  17. WestcoastDeplorable

    You need not travel to Pakistan to experience hot temps; here in Eastern Riverside County in California it regularly gets 120+ in the Summertime and that’s not caused by “globull warming”; it’s been that way for decades. Earth’s climate is constantly changing and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it!

    1. skippy

      Weather is not relative to Climate, though the latter does influence the former given enough time.

      S.E. Queensland is going to experience this like nobody’s business up to December. Best part is going to be all the deregulation and zoning for C/I/RE decades in the making based on supply and demand arguments from the developer lobbyists [RE and Car freedom and liberty ideologues in guise], not to mention the hay being exported to the interior [100 year drought] from the coastal area drying up, and zero days for water approaching – tis a short list.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Yeah, skip, we’re going to cop a flogging with the heat. And I would expect it to continue on the March. Bushfire season this year is going to be a mongrel and the fires that we saw last week are just a taste of what to expect.

    2. notabanker

      /Sigh. Another “by the end of the 21st century” article. Oh look, Time, shocking.

      How about by the end of 2025? 2030?

      1. Dan




        Which is more appropriate?

        Remember Mark Twain’s
        “Everybody Talks About the Weather, But Nobody Does Anything About It.”

        Well, now Wall Street recruits the gullible to buy carbon credits and towns to build high rise apartments near transit. So there!

        1. pretzelattack

          mark twain on a different subject in the mid 1800’s is not a rebuttal of climate science in 2020.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      We could avoid forcing even more of certain particular artificial man-made changes ( global heating) by avoiding even more carbon/nitrogen oxides/ methane/computer-chip cleaning-fluid skydumping.

      The changes which are natural and non-human are the changes we can do nothing about. Our recent warmup is not one of those natural and non-human changes.

  18. WestcoastDeplorable

    Attn Yves & co: I really appreciate your efforts and check in to read daily. But do you guys not realize any links you serve up to Financial Times requires a subscription? It’s frustrating to see a nice click-batey headline then not be able to read it!

    1. dearieme

      If they supply the headline the solution is easy. Open a private window in your browser, copy and paste the headline into the search bar, and click. When the links appear, click through.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Don’t know about FT, but a lot of sites detect private browsing and block you anyway.

        It’s an arms race, one without winners.

  19. Kurtismayfield

    RE: Car buyers with good credit buying used.

    I just purchased a 4 year old car with 30k miles for about half it would have cost me new. ($27k new on the lot vs $14k used from 2016). Why am I going to pay ~3700 per 20k miles on the first 30k, when I know I will be driving it to 150k and I just payed ~$1200 per 10k miles? The depreciation is insane for the first miles on the car.

    I was disappointed that my credit union gave me a worse rate than the auto dealer did. My credit is good, so I am guessing that the dealer knows the local bank rates and has to undercut to get any loan business.

    1. eg

      I have only ever bought one new car in my life — a youthful indiscretion coming out of post-secondary education.

      It’s a mistake I never made again and have no intention of repeating …

  20. Barbara

    After reading the article on liberalism and the “lyrical love story” of Harrriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill, Tom Lehrer’s singing popped into my mind spontaneously – “Alma, tell us, all modern women are jealous. . .”

    No further comment

      1. dearieme

        I once knew a granddaughter of Alma. It seemed rude to enquire who her grandpa was.

        That was Part CCCXXXVII in my series on my tenuous connections to the famous.

  21. NotTimothyGeithner

    I can’t wait until Joe Biden’s Corn Pop story ends with, “and that man grew up to be Barack Obama!”

      1. Wukchumni

        Usually the good thing about being a long suffering Bills fan is you can give up about halfway through the season, but this will test our patience.

  22. Oregoncharles

    One of the graphs in the Piketty article (haven’t actually read the article yet) shows “Top 10% Income Share: US, Europe, Japan, 1900-2015”. IOW, inequality. One very striking feature: Not only is the US in 2015 far, far above the other two; it is substantially above the number in 1930. If indeed inequality is a cause of crashes, we are cruising for a very serious bruising – WORSE than 1930. Would make the Great Recession (11 years ago!) look minimal.

    This might be a good reason to hold onto our little homestead, which could feed us if necessary, and NOT to hold onto stocks. And so on.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Food will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no food.

    1. Drake

      The comments section at ZH is such a, uh, different experience from NC that going from one to the other is like a bucket of cold water. I find ZH entertaining but only in small doses. Very small doses sometimes. It doesn’t matter which thread’s comments you read, since they’re all pretty much the same.

      1. Carey

        Oh, I fully agree! I don’t read comments at ZH anymore , and in fact I go to the trouble of turning off images before looking over there. Something tells me that
        much there is not organic (as with so many sites, these days; heh).

    2. dearieme

      I saw one suggestion that she was drunk during the last “debate”.

      But it was made by one of those cruel souls who thinks Hands-On Joe almost lost his false teeth.

      I still think it’s a laughable idea that any of the Terrible Ten is a patch on Tulsi.

      1. Duck1

        I hear this guy Steyer is going to be in the October extravaganza, giving us eleven notables. According to Wikip. he made his money

        “taking high risks on distressed assets within volatile markets”.

        Sounds like the political corpse is being eyed by a vulture.

      2. Carey

        I hear you. Gabbard has been now unpersoned, and after Sanders too is dumped, #boycott2020 is my thinking.

        the legitimacy’s the thing

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          If one writes in the name of one’s own preference for President, do the ballot counters have to count that written-in vote?

          Or is every written-in vote discarded without being counted?

  23. ChrisPacific

    Regarding Johnson’s ‘Hulk’ comments, it would be interesting if somebody would ask him what kind of post-Brexit government he is envisaging that draws strength from rage. I can think of plenty of examples in the world at present, but none of them are the kind of organizations I would want operating in my country, much less running the government.

    1. Carey

      I’ve been thinking about Biden’s comment during Thurday’s debate, in apparent, clueless response to Sanders’s description of the horrific hardship our sickCare system
      puts almost all of us through: “This is America..” Biden said; Whatever TF did that
      mean- was it just another version of “like it, proles!”, or something else?

      what a country

      1. Carey

        Just adding that the only one one that stage who was not a personification of Evil
        was Bernie Sanders (Warren = same old, same old in this week’s reformist face).

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Nearly 18 years after 9/11, the federal air marshals program is in ‘crisis'”

    Probably the federal air marshal’s program has been in crisis for a long time. About a decade ago I read a story about how they were complaining about how their bosses refused to listen to them. The bosses mandated that the air marshals wear – I kid you not – ties because what is the point of having your presence being secret without you being well dressed. The air marshals said that experienced travelers learned to spot who the air marshals were so in case of an attack, the hijackers could easily come from behind, grab those ties, and start to strangle those agents before killing them. Another problem was that the guns issues were too powerful to be considered using in a pressured tube at 20,000 feet but the bosses refused to listen to the air marshals themselves.

    1. dearieme

      Surely the air marshals could wear the sort of fake ties held up with elastic that we sometimes wore as children. Or could they not wear those bow ties that function as amusing propellers on command?

      For shooting inside planes at 20,000′ I’d favour the potato gun of my childhood.

      Come to think of it you could solve both those problems at a stroke by wearing one of those childish water-pistol bow ties.

    2. rowlf

      A bullet size hole (or even holes) in an aircraft pressure vessel on a airliner doesn’t do anything. With two air conditioning and bleed air systems most airliners will tolerate a lot of air leaks. Bullets punch a clean hole in aluminum structure and plastic windows, and unless you get above pistol and rifle ammunition the front laminated glass windows won’t be punctured.

      If you report a bullet hole in an aircraft to authorities park the airplane in a far corner first so the concerned authorities don’t block up your hangar or ramp by not allowing you to move your aircraft until they are done with their investigation.

  25. Chris

    Had a fascinating experience at the International Spy Museum today. The exhibits were interesting, but what really held my attention was the sheer extent of the propaganda about everything since 9/11. It’s like the CIA and the FBI and the NSA were given free reign to create whatever cover stories they wanted about everything from torture to the Skripals. Amazing to listen to people defend the enhanced interrogation program as providing valuable information and that when things are declassified everyone will see what good it did. It is a neat museum to visit, especially if you’re interested in WWII history.

  26. Procopius

    Many of my family members and friends think that the way to win is incrementalism and moving to the center.

    Unfortunately, since 1983 (foundation of the Democratic Leadership Council) when they say “moving to the center” they mean “moving right.”

Comments are closed.