Links 10/2/19

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A 9-year-old accidentally won a 10K race after missing a turn CNN

The financial sector has seen enough innovation theatre FT

New Studies Warn of Cataclysmic Solar Superstorms Scientific American

Humanity’s emissions ‘100-times greater’ than volcanoes

Jet fuel from thin air: Aviation’s hope or hype? BBC


Wednesday morning news briefing: PM’s Brexit plan revealed by Telegraph The Telegraph. “Two borders, for four years.” Only four? Heck, only two? From Politico’s London Playbook:

[The plan] is also — health warning — head-spinningly complex. “The plan, which was briefed to major EU capitals on Tuesday, will accept the need for both a regulatory border between the U.K. and Northern Ireland in the Irish Sea for four years — and customs checks between Ulster and the Republic of Ireland,” [The Telegraph’s Peter] Foster writes. “The plan effectively means that Northern Ireland will remain in large parts of the EU single market until at least 2025 — but will leave the EU customs union alongside the rest of the U.K. After four years, the Northern Irish Assembly will be free to choose whether to remain aligned to the EU in the future or return to following British rules.

(Thread from Foster here, for the paywalled.) Surrealism is the new realism:


Boris Johnson denies Irish customs clearance plan Politico. He denies it. Leave out that part.

Boris Brexit plan a ‘scam’, says Good Friday agreement negotiator The Irish Times

Ireland says reported Brexit proposal would not be basis for deal Reuters

Why the Irish Border Is Brexit’s Intractable Puzzle Guardian

French police officers to strike in Paris ‘anger march’ France24

EU brings in ‘right to repair’ rules for appliances BBC


Something’s Happening And You Don’t Know What It Is, Do You, Mr. Sisi Lobe Log (Re Silc).

Zimbabwe’s central bank has shut down the use of mobile money for cash transactions Quartz

The Koreas

US, North Korea to restart nuclear talks after missile tests, State Department says USA Today

Empowering Korea Pacific Forum


Hong Kong Police Shot a Protester at Point-Blank Range. We Break Down What Happened. NYT

How China Sees the Hong Kong Crisis Foreign Affairs

* * *

A Modern, Advanced People’s Liberation Army: First Takeaways From the 70th Anniversary Parade The Diplomat

How Bill Clinton and American Financiers Armed China Matt Stoller, BIG. Today’s must-read.

China: How science made a superpower Nature

Indonesia’s fires are bad, but new measures prevented them from becoming worse Science

Violence in Papua could get worse The Interpreter


India’s moves in Kashmir raise tension in part next to China AP

In Kashmir, Growing Anger and Misery NYT

India shelves plan on countrywide ban on single-use plastic products Economic Times

New Cold War

Ukraine Peace Talks Get Breakthrough as Kyiv Accepts Compromise Bloomberg. An unrelated incident…

Books and Terror Beyond the Kremlin


Mostly opinion. At some point, no doubt, we will have the “whistleblower’s” testimony, and be allowed to read and and examine the supporting evidence. –lambert

What the House Has Planned on Impeachment This Week LawFare

Donald Trump claims ‘coup’ under way as Ukraine pressure mounts FT

The Guy Who Wrote the Book on Impeachment Says Trump Clears the Bar for Removal from Office Rolling Stone (Re Silc).

‘Heartbroken’ Pelosi Fast-Tracks Impeachment Patrick Buchanan, The American Conservative

Looking at Impeachment From the Left Jacobin

Trump Transition

Report: DEA did too little to constrain opioid supply even as crisis escalated STAT

Justin Trudeau’s Spectacular Self-Destruction Foreign Policy


Bernie Sanders Unveils Plan To Tackle Income Inequality With Art Heist From Billionaire’s Home The Onion

In leaked audio, Mark Zuckerberg rallies Facebook against critics, competitors, and Elizabeth Warren The Verge

State rep’s Detroit house mysteriously torn down — and officials don’t know why Detroit Free Press

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Is your ID good enough to travel? It may not be next year. CNN

Revealed: anti-terror center helped police track environmental activists Guardian

Sports Desk

Kovacevic: We as Pittsburghers, together, can take our Pirates back DK Pittsburgh Sports.

A Socialist Success Story in Portugal Der Spiegel

Class Warfare

GM Union Digs In on Strike, Claiming Latest Proposal Fell Short Bloomberg

Chief executives are leaving at a record rate FT

Democratic Senators Orchestrated Infamous Caning of Slavery Opponent, According to New Book The Intercept

Fried Beer Atlas Obscura

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus (dk):

Not sure about the horizon line. Nevertheless!

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. John Beech

    Well, I just registered Democrat from Republican but this nonsense of impeaching the President ticks me off. Maybe enough to switch back. I should have known better than to believe the whole Russia, Russia, Russia BS was over and done with. I thought the guy was a nutter when saying there’s a coup under way. Now I’m not so sure as the ‘Resistance’ works to nullify my vote.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe the solution is to have the US do what most countries do and that is to only register voters and no re. On election days they get to make up their own mind who they vote for. Keeps the parties on their toes that way. The American system is like going out on a date with a person but having to be engaged to them first.

      1. JEHR

        Yes, I always wondered about the Americans having to sign up ahead of time for the party they intended to vote for. That almost makes nonsense of the anonymity of voting. Let the parties guess who anyone is voting for and don’t give them a heads-up beforehand; that way all the shenanigans of gerrymandering and voter suppression would not be so attractive.

        1. Whoamolly

          Re: just vote. No party registration.

          Makes sense to this US citizen. Simple, elegant and do-able.


    2. armchair

      Your man, Bob Barr, is on the case. Mike Flynn is using his case as a platform to get evidence unrelated to his trial.

    3. lordkoos

      Whether or not you support impeaching Trump (I do not, for various reasons) I think you would have to agree that he has committed impeachable offenses. Although I don’t understand why the Democrats didn’t make this about the emolument violations.

      1. inode_buddha

        “Whether or not you support impeaching Trump (I do not, for various reasons) I think you would have to agree that he has committed impeachable offenses. Although I don’t understand why the Democrats didn’t make this about the emolument violations.”

        I largely agree — though I think I know why they didn’t trigger the Emoluments clause. Mainly, at the national level, the Democrats are neck deep in corruption, just like Trump is. And Trump isn’t afraid to expose the dirt.

        One of the larger societal issues is that the national leadership in these organizations often behaves in a way that contradicts the local organizations. Labor unions have the same issue — the leadership votes in a way that completely stifles the local. They know what side their bread is buttered on.

        1. Roquentin

          I think the general theme of this piece is right. It was never about the “rule of law” so much as political expediency. Perhaps impeachment really was a last ditch effort to protect Joe Biden, maybe it was a pump fake thrown to Democratic voters who’d been sold the bogus Russiagate narrative since 2016, maybe the Democrats point blank don’t think they can win an election in 2020 and this is the next best thing, maybe the donors saying they’d turn off the spigot if Warren was nominated made even her intolerable to them.

          Maybe it’s a mix of all of these things, but the one thing that’s pretty clear is that this impeachment was never motivated by any sort of principled stance. That might be the saddest and most perverse part of Trump’s entire presidency. That for the laundry list of malfeasance he’s accused of, the Democrats really only went after them for the crassest, most dishonest, and most opportunistic reasons possible.

          1. Spoofs desu

            I think that is probably correct that impeachment was a way to change the story about Biden’s obvious corruption, at least in some dimension. Similar to how russiagate changed the story regarding the contents of the leaked/hacked emails; a story which actually started the same day the emails were showing up in the msm.

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        I think we would all agree that Pence will make more egregious impeachable offenses, so for Heras Sake lets keep Trump in office.

        1. jrs

          But Pence would not stand a chance of reelection probably, and sadly as bad as he is (certainly up there with worst Presidents ever) Trump does stand a chance of reelection, and 2020 is coming. So I can’t possibly be afraid of Pence at this late date. He would be the lamest duck of them all. Avoiding another Trump term isn’t the only thing that matters, by far, but it really does matter greatly.

        2. The Rev Kev

          I can’t see a President Pence working out. How would he cope if he had to have a formal or even informal dinner alone with a world leader that happened to be a women?

    4. paulmeli

      The difference between Republicans and Democrats is like the difference between the Bloods and Crips.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Elite Republicans are by and large Republicans. Elite Democrats are often simply not Democrats having been recruited as self funders with no particular attachment to positions. The GOP is power hungry, but they have value (they are heroes of their own story). Their entry into the political realm is radically different.

        The failure to understand this is a key problem with reform of Team Blue. We can say they are Republicans in sheep’s clothing but I think its more a case of non-entities. I’m not sure carrots or sticks are viable options to dealing with these Democrats. The GOP understands fear (they dropped DADT support and gay marriage opposition because they understood it would make them look awful). I’m not sure Team Blue members are capable of reasoning beyond mimicking the language of cooperation and compromise.

    5. urblintz

      Someone here posted an interesting comment a few days ago and it made me think that impeachment is the best way for the Democrats to avoid answering the question as to why they prefer Trump (or Pence) over Bernie Sanders…

    6. Tomonthebeach

      I think many of us on all 3 sides (Indeps too) feel like Henry II: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest? “

  2. jessica

    From How Bill Clinton and American Financiers Armed China Matt Stoller, BIG. Today’s must-read:

    “He[Bill Clinton] did this by passing NAFTA, by bailing out Mexico and thus American banks, by creating the World Trade Organization, and by opening up the United States to China as deep commercial partners.”
    What if what Trump is doing with China is not a trade war but rather closing off the United States to China as deep commercial partners?
    Is that wise?
    My first instinct is yes, but taking an oligarchy whose solution for every problem is to bomb someone and putting it into circle the wagons mode is not without its perils.

    1. hemeantwell

      I was disappointed to see Stoller partially motivate his article by one-sidedly fretting over China’s developing ICBM capacity without referring to the long-established and overwhelming ICBM capacity of the US. He sounds like just another “defense” hawk and, given the subject, he’s taking us back to Kennedy’s phony missile gap charge of 1960. If Stoller’s going to pump for a more nationally-oriented economic policy, is he obliged to throw in the autistic inclination of the US to assume nothing it does initiates a cycle of threat and response?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        There is a certain hawkishness, but its an important argument. One of the promises offered by the “free trade” crowd was the U.S. would swamp everyone with our tech edge and everyone learning to code. I mean!!!

        Bill Clinton delivering our latest weapons tech is likely a rock bottom place for many of the most ardent “free trade is good” crowd. Also, the “deplorables” weren’t losers in a natural economic trend but were harmed directly by Bill Clinton protecting people who were more likely to donate to his future “Bridge to Nowhere” and love pad in Little Rock.

        The Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations didn’t notice these problems, because they lacked the wisdom to listen to engineers and people who actually work for a living.

        This is the outrageous part. Union members aren’t shelling out $4,500 to see Michelle drone on about life in the White House. They damn well know this.

        1. voteforno6

          The Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations didn’t notice these problems, because they lacked the wisdom to listen to engineers and people who actually work for a living.

          That’s true about pretty much the entire managerial class. Which goes to show just who these people in politics are, and who they think they represent.

        2. pricklyone

          Reading the linked Times article, focuses on a “sheet press” machine.
          The “technology” sold was 10 year+ old machines, with 1960’s tech.
          Chinese could certainly build the stuff without it, just not as economically.
          At any point, MD could have just declared the machines were not for sale, if they had “national security” concerns.
          *** “McDonnell Douglas basically knew the behavioral remedies were fraudulent almost immediately; one of the most important pieces of equipment was shipped not to Beijing but directly to a Nanchang military plant. It wasn’t just McDonnell Douglas who understood the con; ”
          So McDonnell knew it was a ‘con’ but wanted to do the deal, anyway.
          So they could get a big order for planes.
          And their servants in DC were all for it, acting on behalf of MIC masters, because…?
          MD probably had upgraded to newer machines on the gov. dime, at the time, and was gonna unload these on someone.

          Were machines like this available NEW, from other sources? My instinct says “youbetcha!”
          China can only buy what is for sale.
          ‘Latest weapons tech’ sold to China by USG!!! Not sold by MD?
          Any real manufacturing engineers wanna weigh in?

          1. human

            The Chinese have been buying our unused industrial machinery, at knockdown prices, for decades. No need for them to buy new.

          2. Mark Gisleson

            I’m a real factory worker from the 1970s and I know for a fact that almost all of the equipment used to make your car’s new high tech tires in the 1980s was originally built to help win WWII.

            Guessing now, but I suspect you will not easily find directions for making a Banbury rubber mixer [] or the machines that make beads for earthmoving tires. In fact, I don’t remember bead machines having any brand name of any kind. I think they were custom built by company engineers. You can’t make a tire without them, btw.

            “New” isn’t really applicable here. “Know how” is the more operative term.

          3. rowlf

            Aviation Week did a good job covering the story while it was happening in the 1990s. The DOD was trying to block the sale of dual use machinery/technology and transfer but were overridden.

    2. Drake

      This article made me realize that the chief continuity and bi-partisan consensus in administrations from Reagan through Trump comes in financialization, contracting, and outsourcing of pretty much every function, public and private — no matter how much it guts the country of anything useful, so long as someone high-placed can turn a buck off it.

      In this matter Trump is pretty much interchangeable with Obama, Bush, Clinton, et al, and it really would have made no difference in this matter whether Trump or Hillary had been elected. It’s the bedrock on which both parties’ houses are built. Trump has simply decided China is bad, while putting for sale signs up on everything that didn’t already have one, maybe with a ‘10% off’ notice.

      1. VietnamVet

        A halfway conscious Democrat politician must realize that impeaching Donald Trump over Joe Biden’s corruption led by Adam Schiff is real loser. The House could go Republican. The Senate is gone. Chuck Schumer disappeared. With Bernie Sander’s stints, the resulting Warren – Trump campaign will be a disaster; a replay of 2016. The real reason Democrats deep dived headfirst into the swamp are the global financiers who are tanking from the trade wars. Their profit comes from goods made in China. Globalists can’t live with a Donald Trump second term. They told their politicians to get him gone. This is like Brexit. If it makes money for oligarchs, do it, damn the consequences.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      I usually pay attention to what Matt Stoller says, but he’s gotten way off base this time.

      He seems to be saying that bill clinton approved the sale or gifting to China of valuable, top secret defense manufacturing knowledge and technology because money, and w. and obama did it too, and congress took their profits.

      That couldn’t possibly have happened. Everybody knows the dastardly Chinese STOLE all that stuff and are still stealing important technology stuff as I write this. It’s the reason they are our enemy, those filthy thieves.

      This naked attempt to besmirch the reputations of three of four of our most recent chief executives cannot be tolerated. It threatens the very foundation of our democracy. I call on twitter and facebook to suspend his accounts, google to bury his search results and amazon to drop any of his merch. Oh, and he should be impeached for this treachery.

  3. jeremyharrison

    “At some point, no doubt, we will have the whistleblower’s testimony.”

    Or not. There is no formal impeachment inquiry currently underway (apparently Pelosi doesn’t have enough votes for it to move forward – the 31 Dems up for re-election in districts Trump carried don’t seem to be on board, and it looks like she’s counted the noses, and come up short). The whistleblower will be questioned in secret, closed session, not an open hearing – and whatever he/she says will be selectively leaked (or outright fabricated by Schiff).

    We may never know who he/she is, and what he/she said when questioned by Schiff’s committee (is this even being done under oath??).

    Not being a formal inquiry, it just seems more like a “pretend” inquiry, done behind closed doors – just an excuse to go dirt-hunting and then leak whatever is found (or made up) to the Dems’ friends in the media.

    “Testimony”. I kinda don’t think so….

    1. Shonde

      Until I read Pat Buchanan’s article in Links, I had forgotten that we learned oh so many years later that Deep Throat was an FBI agent. A repeat of the same play book but this time by the CIA?
      By the way, looking back, I have to admit I had Nixon Derangement Syndrome. Any other readers willing to admit to the same affliction?

      1. Lunker Walleye

        By the way, looking back, I have to admit I had Nixon Derangement Syndrome.
        Yes, but mine was pure. Ha!

      2. ambrit

        I had NDS, partly motivated by what I saw “up close” of the 1972 Republican Party convention on Miami Beach. Now i know that both partys are equally corrupt, and could well have been so back then. It’s like discovering that Santa Claus is shacked up with the Tooth Fairy. A betrayal of trust with an admixture of tons of gender confusion.

        1. Dan

          You assume the Tooth Fairy has teeth?

          Teeth don’t stop one from becoming a genetically confused presidential candidate.
          Go ask Willie, I think he’ll know…

          1. Wukchumni

            Tooth Fairy is kind of similar to our banking system, in that money is dispensed sans collateral, for something no longer useful.

      3. Craig H.

        The Nixon story is as goofed up as any story. Whether or not taking him down was a quality political move or authentically justified is almost beside the point. The Be Powers wanted him gone and he was gone. Replaced with a football player who could not walk and chew gum at the same time!

        I grew up hating Nixon but a few years ago I read something that I really admired. When he was going to law school his classmates called him “cement ass” because he spent far more time sitting in the law library studying than anybody else. Who knows if it is really true but that doesn’t sound like the type thing his press agent would make up. Also to this day Duke pretends Richard Nixon, the man who signed off on detente with Russia and opened China, never existed. I don’t know if this is true either.

        1. L M44 E

          If you have 1 hour 45 minutes to watch Benton Becker explain the first 90 days of Gerald Ford’s presidency were like.
          Heck, Haig as chief of staff was still totally loyal to Nixon.

          Nixon starts at 45 minutes.
          authority for pardon at 53 minutes
          acceptance of pardon is admission of wrong doing starts at 1:00

          Ford was hard working, very tall, respectful, honest, etc.
          The only negative that I have on him is providing FBI daily info from commission investigating JFK murder.

      4. mpalomar

        When evaluating Nixon it should be remembered that Nixon and Kissinger sabotaged the Paris Peace talks in 1968 to get themselves elected. As a result it is likely that hundreds of thousands died and parts of SE Asia were napalmed and agent oranged with devastating consequences. One might think of that as treasonous.
        He and Kissinger also had a bloody hand in cynically exacerbating the catastrophe in East Pakistan/Bangladesh to enhance his China opening.

        We might also recall his career was born destroying the reputations of others during the red scare 1950s, perhaps a creature of the CIA and Alan Dulles.

        Nixon’s impeachment process, like Pelosi’s apparent plans for Trump, was grounded on, relatively speaking, political misdemeanors, compared to the actual more serious crimes that the Washington elite rarely fess up to.

        1. xkeyscored

          it is likely that hundreds of thousands died and parts of SE Asia were napalmed and agent oranged with devastating consequences. One might think of that as treasonous.
          likely: certain
          hundreds of thousands: probably well over a million. USA estimates 2m odd dead in Vietnam alone during the war (V. est. 3m+)
          One might think of that as treasonous: Why should anyone care? Treason is basically about whether it was legal under US law & constitution. If it was, would I therefore change my mind about its sheer evil? No way.

          1. mpalomar

            Why should anyone care?

            As is germane to Nixon, the imperial security state, as with Trump’s impeachment, settles on the misdemeanors and lets the crimes against humanity slide knowing such events will likely occur again and not wanting to set any possible cumbersome precedents.

            1. xkeyscored

              Exactly. You can kill millions with impunity, but don’t get caught burgling a psychiatrist’s office for dirt.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      If the pelosi / schiff game plan is to “impeach” the constitutionally elected president of the united states in a “fast track,” straight “opposition” party line “vote” based on closed door “testimony” to rabid partisans by a “whistleblower” whose identity must remain secret, who did not personally witness any of the “crimes” on which he/she is “testifying,” and who refuses to be confronted by the person he has accused, then any debate over whether or not the u.s. has morphed into the worst kind of banana republic imaginable is well and truly over.

      That this coup is happening in an election season is absurdly ironic. Billions of dollars being spent convincing citizens to cast their sacred votes, while “heartbrokenly,” “prayerfully” and secretly telling them that if you don’t pick the deep state approved candidate, you can go to hell and take your “democratically” elected candidate with you.

      1. Titus

        Which “democratically” elected candidate, would that be Gore, H. Clinton, W. Clinton with 43%, Ford unelected? I’m confused.

      2. pasha

        The constitutional impeachment process is the exact opposite of a coup, which is “the taking of governmental power by force.” Rather, it is practically the only constitutional way to remove a president-still-in-office. The constitution requires the House to act as a grand jury. If a majority of the House votes for Articles of Impeachment, a trial is held in the Senate. If, after hearing the evidence presented by the house, 67 senators find the President guilty, the President is removed from office.

        The identity of the whistleblower is of no import. The evidence is presented before the entire House, and Articles voted on in open session. At present, the evidence already appears to be public: the “transcript/ memo” of the Ukraine conversation, handed to the Schiff committee by the President. It is up to the House to determine whether this is sufficient to find cause for impeachment.

        Is the House highly partisan? Yes. Is the Senate highly partisan? Yes. Will they balance each other out, or find common ground? Remains to be seen. Your characterization of this process as a banana republic is mistaken.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > At some point, no doubt

      A WASP’s way of a saying “when Hell freezes over.” The Democrats have no more incentive to release everything than the Republicans do.

  4. milesc

    “Please join us and participate via our donation page, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal.”

    Still no bitcoin, huh?

        1. Grumpy Engineer


          You entire house for only 3.5 bitcoin transactions?!? Wow. Nicely done. When I said “for the better part of a month” in my initial comment, I was being lazy and referencing the 20.59 days of electricity consumption that the Digiconomist article said was equivalent to a single bitcoin transaction.

          However, when I review my actual electricity bills, I find that I’d get nearly 2 months for one bitcoin transaction’s worth of electricity. My house is better insulated than most. But you get over 3 months out of the same amount of electricity. You either live in a really temperate climate or have excellent insulation.

          1. Ignacio

            It was only electricity, not heating. My yearly consumption is 2100 kWh in electricity. About 10000 kWh yearly in heating and hot water using a NG boiler. Not so good!

      1. xkeyscored

        stupendously energy-intensive technology

        Do you happen to know if that’s inherent to Blockchain, or is it just the way Bitcoin etc implement it? Haven’t come across an answer yet!

        1. milesc

          Consider the problem Bitcoin was trying to solve: how do you get people who do not know or trust each other to converge on one version of the truth (in this case, a record of transactions), without an authority? It’s an exceedingly difficult computer science problem, considered impossible to solve prior to Bitcoin.

          Bitcoin solves (sufficiently) this seemingly impossible problem using “proof of work” (among other things). The point is the energy expenditure is measurable by anyone on the network, meaning each and every participant can verify for themselves, relatively easily, which version of the blockchain is supported by the majority of the network.

          Strip out proof of work and you need some other way of finding consensus. There is no other way, or at least none that offers comparable security assumptions — which should be obvious, right? If you remove the enormous cost of Bitcoin’s consensus mechanism, what are you losing? What is the trade-off? There has been no shortage of people attempting other methods (which was equally true prior to Bitcoin, except now people can point to magical ‘blockchain’), hence we have seen the emergence of so-called “permissioned” blockchains (where participants must trust an authority of some description!) and “proof of stake”, where you trust existing token holders to decide the truth. Different (considerably worse) security assumptions.

          Hope that helps.

          1. xkeyscored

            Thank you (and I fully understand your moderation problems!).
            Another question for engineers: I believe there’s a limit to the number of Bitcoin in circulation, and that we’re fast approaching that limit. As I understand it, the motivation for all this energy-intensive Bitcoin mining is to get a bit of new Bitcoin. So what happens when there’s no new Bitcoin to get a bit of?

            1. milesc

              Bitcoin transactions generally aren’t free; each one includes a fee that goes to the miner that includes that transaction in a block (ie the miner not only gets the block reward, it gets all the transaction fees too).

              Currently total fees per block are only a small % of miner income. Over time, that % will increase until eventually the miners will only get fees.

              Will those fees be sufficient to keep Bitcoin secure? We don’t know. That rather depends on future demand for block space. If demand is high, fees will be high (relative to now) and price (relative to everything else) will be high. The theory is that bigger, more important and thus more expensive transactions will happen on the main chain and smaller, less important transactions will move to higher layers built atop Bitcoin. That is already happening to some extent.

              The block reward is set to decrease by half roughly every 4 years for the next 120 years or so, so we have lots of time to assess the transition to fees only block reward.

        2. Monty

          “we can see that faster hardware and more of it drives the cost of mining up and the rlationship between the difficulty and the cost of mining a Bitcoin is linear. Faster hardware enables higher hash rate at improved energy efficiency, and the difficulty adjusts to keep the rate of blocks and supply of new BTC at 10 minutes.”

          Controlled inflation. The hash rate has increased tenfold since the article was written.

      2. milesc

        That’s an odd response. I wonder how much energy has been burned to enable you to post it. Some would consider it a waste! (Mods: I’m joking, this is a great site and Grumpy Engineer deserves his or her Internet connection.)

        “It’s a stupendously energy-intensive technology.” — Non-government or corporate hard money and personal financial sovereignty are expensive, for sure.

        Anyway, the energy is being produced, and sold to Bitcoin miners on the open market, so I’m not sure what the problem is. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        1. xkeyscored

          Why is that an odd response? I’ve read many articles about how much energy goes into Bitcoin (yes, I’m doing my bit for global warming too, but I haven’t heard reading and commenting uses 609.21 kWh per transaction). But I’m still unclear whether the 609.21 kWh is an unavoidable aspect of blockchain itself, or of the particular way Bitcoin uses blockchain. I’m hoping someone knowledgeable will enlighten me, preferably with a link or two!

          1. milesc

            @xkeyscored – that response was for Grumpy Engineer. I responded to your post too, but it hasn’t arrived yet (maybe held up in a mod queue, which is messing with the order?).

        2. xkeyscored

          Well, I found the answer to my own question in Grumpy Engineer’s Digiconomist link (lesson: I shouldn’t be in such a rush to comment before reading!).

          Proof-of-work [Bitcoin] was the first consensus algorithm that managed to prove itself, but it isn’t the only consensus algorithm. More energy efficient algorithms, like proof-of-stake, have been in development over recent years. In proof-of-stake coin owners create blocks rather than miners, thus not requiring power hungry machines that produce as many hashes per second as possible. Because of this, the energy consumption of proof-of-stake is negligible compared to proof-of-work. Bitcoin could potentially switch to such an consensus algorithm, which would significantly improve sustainability. The only downside is that there are many different versions of proof-of-stake, and none of these have fully proven themselves yet. Nevertheless the work on these algorithms offers good hope for the future.

          1. milesc

            My original reply to you has appeared above! I mention proof of stake. Interesting aside on PoS: a while back there was a hack of a hugely popular Ethereum contract called “The DAO”. So much Eth was compromised that the powers that be inexplicably moved to undo the contract and the hack. Why did they compromise immutability and the promise of unstoppable code? It’s very likely because of the stated aim of switching to PoS, which would have left the hacker with an enormous amount of power (having acquired such a large stake). Like I said, different (considerably worse) security assumptions.

            Since you asked for links, here are a few:
            (I highly recommend the entire wiki — it deals with just about every aspect of Bitcoin, from a so-called cryptoeconomics perspective, in a very precise, not too technical and entirely neutral way.)
            (What is waste, really?)

      1. Tom

        Investment seems like a stretch for a dupe-the-dopes “currency” that has no consistent demand.

        Unless you are involved in illegal activity or trying to hide income and wealth, there’s really only one compelling reason to accept them: you really do believe in the greater fool theory. You’re going to dupe the dopes and ride that Bitcoin up and pray that a) you don’t lose your wallet; b) your exchange doesn’t go bankrupt; and c) you can sell out of Bitcoins before the whole thing crashes.

      1. Wukchumni

        You mean to say that my near mint 1962 Marv Throneberry card is completely without merit as money?

        1. xkeyscored

          Do you possess a large nuclear weapons arsenal to back it up?
          (Apologies to all of NC’s MMT fans. I’m still of the opinion at least one of the Ms should stand for Military.)

          1. Wukchumni

            Even with a large nuclear weapons arsenal, Marv would’ve screwed it up somehow, as was his forte.

          2. ambrit

            Interesting how nuclear weapons arsenal valuation is tied to quantity? I was of the opinion that any nuclear weapons arsenal was an event horizon that got you into an exclusive club. Said arsenal does not have to be tied to a State. A ‘Movement’ with said ‘means of coercion’ would become a part of a pretty exclusive assemblage.
            Paging Auric Goldfinger! Please pick up the Glistering Courtesy Phone.

      2. miles

        Clive, it’s money and, crucially, it can be delivered directly over the Internet to naked capitalism at zero cost to naked capitalism.

        Open a Coinbase account and immediately exchange it for fiat if you must. Or do it properly and use btcpayserver to accept donations directly on the website. You know, like Internet Archive or the Tor project or Wikileaks or The Electronic Frontier Foundation or United Way or The Red Cross or Save The Children or any other number of websites. Donations are donations.

          1. xkeyscored

            “Getting paid in cash creates significant challenges for both employees and factory owners. Not only are workers at risk for theft, but they also have limited ability to save and often have to take days off to travel miles to pay household bills.”
            MasterCard set to pilot digital payments to garment workers
            (Cynics may doubt the sincerity of the concern shown for garment workers, and suspect a plot to render our every transaction visible to The Algorithm’s pineapple eyes!)

        1. Clive

          No, it’s not money. It has no intrinsic value. Like my Diana, Princess of Wales commemorative china tea service set, it is worth only what someone will pay me for it.

          And there’s zero consumer protection. If I get scammed in any part of the transaction (or Yves did), my bank, the regulatory authorities and most likely the police too would say, in a nice way, “you’re an idiot”. Upon which, I’d rather have to agree.

          1. milesc

            I’m struggling to see how you could get scammed accepting a donation of what is essentially a bearer asset, but okay.

            Intrinsic value is an odd requirement. Does anything have truly intrinsic value? Food, maybe. Certainly not dollar bills. Your Diana, Princess of Wales commemorative china tea service set could be a form of money, I suppose, but it would be a really bad one—it just isn’t scarce enough, it’s easy to counterfeit and it lacks the required utility (divisibility, portability and so on, which Bitcoin has in spades).

            1. Yves Smith

              You need to stop or you will be blacklisted. You are acting like a promoter and violating our written site Policies by arguing in bad faith, specifically ignoring or talking over comments that engage with what you have claimed.

              Separately, I’m not having you tout a vehicle which is used almost exclusively for criminal activity (including tax evasion, which is a crime) and financial speculation. These are socially destructive activities. That makes them antithetical to what we stand for.

              As for your continued blather, you know damned well there have been crypto scams and losses. Pretending otherwise is yet more evidence of bad faith on your part. I’m mot wasting my time producing the links. And people who’ve decided to keep cypto locally have lost huge amounts due to losing their computer (one guy I recall lost $23 million).

              Do not EVER pimp for cypto again.

              1. milesc

                (I responded to your post earlier, Yves, and now realise I must have misread your post (missed the reference to financial speculation, of course), so apologies for that. The part about me refraining from posting further stands—but for this correction!)

        2. ewmayer

          “[Bitcoin is] money and, crucially, it can be delivered directly over the Internet to naked capitalism at zero cost to naked capitalism.” — I can – and did – accomplish the same thing using Paypal’s “send money to friends and family” feature, simply using the same e-mail addresses I use to forward links to Yves and Lambert. And I didn’t have to open a new account online or cause on the order of a megawatt-hour of electricity usage to do so. So the alleged advantage of BTC here is what? That I can use the same Coinbase account to buy illegal drugs or rent underage hookers online? Or have my not-money stolen by the latest blockchain hack? Or evaporate simply due to the crazy intraday volatility resulting from BTC being a speculative vehicle for degenerate TechBro gamblers?

        3. Yves Smith

          Bullshit. It is not money and it is not zero cost. I don’t want any crypto because it is not dollars.

          It is not money because I can’t pay taxes with it or any bills.

          There is a cost on my very scarce time in setting up an account. I haven’t even set up a local bank account because it takes time I don’t have.

          There is a cost in IRS reporting AND TAXES on any profit.

          I also spend a fortune on bookkeeping and accounting to make myself bulletproof if I am ever audited. Taking Bitcoin is waving a big red flag at the IRS and asking for an audit, a huge time and cost sink.

          1. milesc

            Fair enough. I’ll ask again next year.

            Maybe we’ll have a de minimis exemption by that point. Or maybe PayPal will deal with accepting Bitcoin for you.

        1. Massinissa

          I mean, that might actually be useful if he or she lives in Alaska. There are still a few dozen Blockbusters in Alaska because the internet is bad there so a lot of people still rent videos there.

            1. Massinissa

              Im sorry, my info was out of date. There is indeed only one left, not ‘dozens’.

              My bad. A few years back there were more but looks like they’ve been closing too.

  5. Martin Oline

    Matt Stollers piece about arming China is a must read, but I thought that the letter at the end of his piece got to the heart of the matter. I am a retired tool maker and I have seen this throughout my life. In the 1950’s it was the engineering talents who were promoted and ultimately ran the companies. Then it changed to the accountants and financiers who became CEOs. Understanding technology had no place in the boardroom. I taught part time in a Community College after retirement and I see the same thing happening, with professional administrators running the programs and setting goals. Their goal is to automate the teaching process by delivering education through multi-media and the internet rather than actual hands-on experience. Hiring teachers with no work experience, which they prefer, generates greater wealth for the school and gives the administrator obedient minions. This keeps costs down, but more importantly produces inferior graduates, who are poorly trained and unimaginative. Computer-Aided software is useless without the engineering experience behind it to make it work. In the 1990’s, scientists were excited at the prospect of laying down atoms to make miniature machines. When they assembled them they didn’t work. It seems no one had told them about fits and clearances between parts.

    1. Carla

      Great comment. I would add that as the quality of education dropped, the cost sky-rocketed. As Lambert says, everything’s going according to plan.

    2. Carla

      Great comment, Martin Oline. I would add that as the quality of education dropped, the cost sky-rocketed. As Lambert says, everything’s going according to plan.

    3. Carolinian

      Thanks for the comment. This country once had a “genius for the practical” that has now–perhaps–moved to China with their ambitious engineering projects. But even as manufacturing and professions like yours faded we created a computer industry that changed the world. It’s hard to overstate the amount of human ingenuity that goes into the much derided smartphone. So perhaps it’s merely the goals that are askew and not some mental decline attributable to education etc. Frankly my encounters with the long ago, non computerized public school system didn’t overly impress.

      1. Big River Bandido

        The smartphone debuted in 2007(?) If my date is right then the intellectual/engineering pipeline goes back 10-20 years prior to that, meaning plans were laid and the technologies developed that made the advancement possible in the first place.

        I suspect one of the biggest losses from the Lehman Crash was our “ingenuity investment”. A decade later and only now we’re starting to see the results of that shortchanging.

    4. zagonostra

      I have a friend who teaches undergraduate philosophy courses at a major university as an adjunct. Over the past several years he has been given more and more online courses to teach via an online platform that is canned (although of very good quality).

      I told him that I recalled reading an article where holograms of teachers were being tested to “teach” classes. If a robot can deliver the news (actually being tried in China) why not philosophy?

      The untoward consequences of a de-humanized mode of interaction between teacher and student does not bode well for developing the kind of citizen that does more than just administer to the machine…switching from those with the actual hands-on, lived experience, such as those with “engineering talents” to “accountants and financiers” to run the show is just on strand of an educational system that is in in a state of decline, or at least (d)evolving into something different.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Holograms of teachers…

        That would be holograms within this hologram world we live.

    5. Jason Boxman

      Oddly, I bought My Journey at the Nuclear Brink by Perry when I was reading nuclear apocalypse books last summer. He covers his background in the military industrial complex. It’s self-congratulatory, but provides some background into his private sector career. And he did indeed fetishize technology. (He was also right about delaying entry into NATO of former Warsaw Pack countries, but overruled by Clinton; and genuinely seems to care about nuclear issues and arms reduction.)

    6. Jessica

      That our elites worked so hard to deskill us and to ship key infrastructure to China is a sign that as a class, they have lost their purpose. They have ceased to function as a class and have devolved into a congeries of plunderers.

        1. Drake

          From James Joyce, Dubliners:

          That’s a fellow now that’d sell his country for fourpence — ay — and go down on his bended knees and thank the Almighty Christ he had a country to sell.

          Which of our vaunted elites this describes best I’ll leave as an exercise to the reader.

      1. polecat

        They are but Morlocks in suit and tie ….

        But for many of us Eloi … we have our squabbles, our virtues, our cheap trinkets, and base entertainments to keep us distracted and @ each other’s throats.

        1. newcatty

          Polecat, your comment resonates with my thoughts about the whole dog and ponies’ show that we people’s have , as our overseers make up a controled production, as our roles play out on the world stage.

          … to keep us distracted and @ each other’s throats.

          Are more and more people, so called “every day people” starting to wake up and see the game being created by the elite and their minions in every place of power in the country? People can have agency in their lives. As long as the divide and conquer strategy is in play, then the people will continue to be controled. Fear is used effectively in almost every aspect of this country’s people’s lives.

          Be well Bernie.

    7. WobblyTelomeres

      Spare me the “Scientists baffled by Soviet pencil” speech. Yeah, sure, perhaps some fresh post-docs (or “free” labor 2nd year grad students) may have messed up an iteration of a nanotech hinge or whatever. Using that as a very broad brush to bash science students is beneath you. Your point was well made before your closing (“In the 1990’s…”).

      1. Martin Oline

        Everyone hopefully learns from their mistakes. These scientists, not post-docs, did just that. Today they no longer try to create miniature machines but are busy trying to “re-program” organisms to carry out specific tasks. It is too difficult to put in a 1/1000 (proportional) clearance into molecular structures, at least when you are dealing with atoms. It is much easier to get a cockroach to do your bidding. Second year grad students are also available, but have limits.

    8. The Rev Kev

      Good comment that. You have laid out the problem which also lays out the obvious solution if one was sought. Hard to blame the Chinese here as they were only grabbing what was up for sale. And now they are a world leader in technology and manufacturing. Reminds me of Napoleon Bonaparte’s quote from two centuries ago — ‘China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.’ Damn right. But it was us that woke her up and sold her the tools that she needed to rise.

      1. xkeyscored

        it was us that woke her up

        More like us who sold her opium in the hope she’d never wake up
        (and now we complain about fentanyl…)

      2. fdr-fan

        Yup. We didn’t even sell it, we gave it away and paid for the giving. We paid Chinese businesses to take our factories and our skills. Like negative interest.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The Chinese are like people everywhere, which means, people grab what is on sale, and if not, nations (run by people, by humans) resort to other means.

        The Russians do, we do, the British too, etc. So, China is no different.

        So, the situation here is a mixture of buying and espionaging.

        And if you or we examine other countries, you see the same, or similar acts.

    9. L M44 E

      engineering competence is darn good in USA. ethics….
      If you want to be honest, ensure american leadership and pay our bills:

      1) shut up and compete

      2) educate an additional 60,000 engineers each year for a while.

      please note that medical is 50% waste, same as dept of war.

    10. Glen

      I’ve worked in manufacturing of large aerospace products for thirty five years, and your experience is dead on with mine.


    11. Jeremy Grimm

      “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” — Lenin. Our Elites have been looting our Industry for several decades now and figure they can use that wealth to assure that we not them are the ones who will hang. The observation you made about the accountants and financiers becoming CEOs is echoed in some detail in the old book “On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors”.

      I’m not sure whether the general crapification of education is part of a deliberate dumbing of the populace or simply a beneficial side-effect of the financial exploitations of the education system. As Stoller suggests in his analysis of WeWork — the financiers and CEOs so effectively crapifying things and grabbing all the wealth are not Comicbook Masterminds of Evil. They are members of our Elites, an Elite completely given over to the free reign of their greed and lusts.

  6. The Rev Kev

    ‘Hong Kong Police Shot a Protester at Point-Blank Range. We Break Down What Happened.”

    Saw the same video earlier but it appears that the New York Times drew a different conclusion than I. Instead of Hong Kong, imagine if this had happened in New York city as it is the home of the “New York Times”. So during a riot in New York a cop is being beaten by protesters with clubs and the like. His buddies go to his rescue and start chucking tear gas to get the protesters away. During the ensuing melee, a masked protester swings at a New York cop with a large piece of metal pipe or something. The New York cop, ‘in fear of his life’…
    Yeah, everybody knows how this ends. And that Hong Kong cop only shot once whereas a New York cop would have emptied his entire magazine clip. So why are the Hong Kong cops being singled out when they are nowhere as violent as French and Spanish cops in riots?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think police violence here in the US is reported frequently.

      If it happens and some news organization tries to ignore it, it’d be big news.

      The question is why there is no report of, say, Japanese police violence today? Perhaps there is one. But maybe there is no (known) news worthy event that is associated with that particular act of police violence and so, it is not reported here in the US. But if there was some news worthy event, and there happened to be police violence, then, it would be news in itlsef worthy of debate, if that was being ignored.

      1. wilroncanada

        In Haiti, a good, but very poor, colony of the US, very recently there was rioting against the corruption of the government. In that instance, the police responded with tear gas and, and, live ammunition. Several killed apparently. It didn’t happen though, because most major media were reporting on Hong Kong peaceful protestors–throwing firebombs and other things, being sometimes roughed up and arrested by brutal police,
        In Honduras, another peaceful country under US “sponsorship” similar things happened recently, except they didn’t happen because major media didn’t report them. The media were too busy not being in Hong Kong, but reporting everything truthful there.

    2. Titus

      Have much respect for your views Rev, but picking NYC is not the best city PD to compare. It has the largest police force in the world, @36k not counting metro, subway, etc., and a few years back one guy simply threatening a cop was shot 55 times and he was alone and unarmed. Historically riots in the US have been by the poor in poor places doing harm to the poor. The police it would appear have let these sorts of riots play themselves out. As in who cares what poor people do to each other. The other sort that comes to mind is union riots where overwhelming and deadly force has been used. Then we have Kent State type of affairs. Very likely any attempt by the people to assert themselves against the government if violent would result to speak plainly in killing as many people as necessary until it was stopped. I now, I’ve done FOIA and read contingency plans.

      As to the issue I’ve been amazed at China’s response to date. I do believe anyone including a cop has a right to defend their person and life.

      1. The Rev Kev

        @Titus – Hi, I only chose New York as it is the home of the newspaper that had the article – the New York Times. But I was also thinking of New York because of that incident in 2012 when New York police, in shooting dead a gunman, also shot nine innocent bystanders. If the gunman had done that, it would have been called a mass shooting-

  7. Winston Smith

    Trudeau and the not so new NAFTA. In this case, he did the right thing: take a step back and let Freeland be the leader in those trade negotiations. His rise and his election as prime minister crowned a series of gambles: the boxing match against a veteran and black belt, running in Papineau where his background was by no means an advantage (both as a Trudeau and a son of privilege), and finally in the federal election where with the liberals third in the polls he pulled the liberals to the left of the NDP. All three of those gambles could reasonably have been expected to fail. That being said, the India picture was the beginning of the end in a string a disillusioning events.

    1. divadab

      Well maybe it’s time for a Conservative minority government. In minority they can;t sell off more of the family jewels as they did in majority – the Wheat Board, for example, which to the Tory geniuses was “bad” because owned by the Canadian government, but made “good” when sold to the Saudi government.

      Ideological nitwits – government ownership is bad when Canadians own it but ok if foreign governments own Canadian assets.

      1. JEHR

        The Wheat Board was sold to the Saudi government? I’m sure that is not what you mean. What do you mean?

      2. Winston Smith

        Can’t really see a conservative minority govt. Liberal minority more likely but as low as people’s opinion of Trudeau are, I don’t think they trust Mr Scheer.

  8. a different chris

    The problem with fixing the Pirates was summed up by George Carlin a long time ago: “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it”.

    Kovacevic calls out Greenberg, Burkle and sundry for help, but they are “in the club”. Nice enough to talk to, they certainly would like to see a better Pirates team, but they aren’t going to upset the quite delicious Richy-rich apple cart for this.

    Billionaires are not really “like you and me, just richer”. They are paranoid people who fear the possibility of other billionaires ganging up on them, and thus they don’t want to normalize that particular behavior themselves. “Dead girl or live boy” is the minimum threshold.

    Reigning in the rich is the first priority of a democratic political system. Peduto is useless. We need an AOC-clone for mayor if anything is going to be done.

    PS: note the socialism-for-the-rich of the entire professional sports world….

    1. Wukchumni

      You could have switched out Pittsburgh Pirates-with Buffalo Bills, and the article wouldn’t have read any differently.

      The only consistency both teams have, is losing*.

      * disclaimer: although currently 3-1, this long suffering Bills fan knows better than to pin any hopes on hope that they can keep it up

      1. eg

        Take it from this Pat’s fan who was there this Sunday last — the Bills’ defense is legit. Nobody will want any part of them come playoff time; less so in bad weather, and least so in the hostile environs of New Era Field!

        1. ewmayer

          Yeah, they made Brady have his worst day in many years – Buffalo just happened to run into an even better defense, the same one that I felt should have collectively been named MVP of the last Super Bowl.

          As a long-suffering grew-up-in-NE-Ohio sports fan, I both commiserate with Wuk and also look forward to Cleveland visiting undefeated SF next Monday night – hope springs infernal, or something. :)

          1. Wukchumni

            The Browns & Bills are very similar teams, whose glory days were in the mid 60’s, but what have you done for me lately?

            Both squads seem on the improve, and it’s cheaper than having to go to a psychiatrist to spill your guts every Sunday in the fall.

      1. inode_buddha

        Its entirely appropriate, why should my taxes go to their new playing field, when they get to privately own it?

        That is why I prefer NASCAR, *all* of their operations are entirely self-funded thru ticket and vending sales.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “The Guy Who Wrote the Book on Impeachment Says Trump Clears the Bar for Removal from Office”

    Frank O. Bowman wrote the book on impeaching? Damn. And here I was thinking that it was James Madison who drafted the US Constitution (that included the Article Two section on impeachment) that wrote it. My bad.

    1. Carolinian

      It’s clickbait as the man who wrote the book doesn’t have all the facts and therefore his opinion no better than, oh say, mine.This part is fine

      The framers were saying people should be impeachable for roughly the same kind of things that the British were impeached for in the past. And they were putting an open-ended term into the Constitution, because human ingenuity doesn’t extend to an absolutely comprehensive list of all the ways in which someone in the future, an official, might misuse authority.

      But then he goes on to describe Trump’s behavior based on distorted news accounts. So it’s really the same shoot first ask questions later rhetoric we are getting from the Dems (and Bowman is a self confessed Dem). Needless to say if abuse of authority is grounds for removal then quite a few American presidents should have gotten the boot. Given that the Constitutional definition is so amorphous then the real bar to be cleared should be overwhelming public agreement that impeachable offenses have been committed.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      Read the article.. this sounds like a “Got your government out if my Medicare” proposal. The article talks about “increasing choice” for seniors in Medicare. Not leftist at all, in fact more redeat for the base.

    2. polecat

      There’s that political dipole thingy coming out of the shadows again. Phase-shift set to stun !

    3. Carey

      Trump appears to be calling for more ‘Medicare “Advantage”‘, that is, more privatization, benefitting the few.

      Archer at has done some good writing on this topic,
      and I expect to have a good link on the weekend.

  10. dearieme

    New Studies Warn of Cataclysmic Solar Superstorms

    As a scare story this has two defects.

    (i) It lacks the element of “mankind is to blame – repent your sins or you will all burn in hell”.

    (ii) It may be scientifically sound.

    Really they need to study the Global Warming biz. Especially if they hope to sell Indulgences.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      The Scientific American article is reporting on a recent research article published open access by AGU100 It appeared in “a Space Weather special collection to accompany the recent Chapman Conference on “Scientific Challenges Pertaining to Space Weather Forecasting Including Extremes” that was held February 11-15 in Pasadena, California.” None of these reports and research articles are scare stories. If you are looking for the scare story version you should read the novel “One Second After” by William R. Forstchen. If you want “mankind is to blame” — there were moves in Congress around the time of the 2012 near miss by a Major Solar flare to fund a hardening of critical infrastructure like the GRID which would be adversely affected by a Major Solar flare. Of course no funding could be found to pay for the hardening. As I recall both NASA and even the Heritage Foundation pushed for and continues to push for “… state regulators and power companies to secure our electrical grid now, in order to mitigate the severity and duration of the effects of an electromagnetic pulse.” [“Electromagnetic Pulse Would Devastate Our Power Grid …”, Dec 2018, []

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        NOTE! Replace the %5D at the tail of the link above with a closing ] . I try to put links into my comments as plain text because of the way hyperlink labels can mask the actual link they execute. — fixed it — the edit function showed up at the last moment.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I just added season one of Revolution to my Netflix queue. Thanks! I read there were plans to turn “One Second After” into a movie — but I don’t think anything’s come of it yet.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The realities of Climate Chaos and its implications may be a little difficult to accept — regardless of the evidence. It is a tragic way to end our ‘Progress’ juggernaut.

      Worry over whether humans caused and continue to cause the Climate Chaos is something of a red herring although it does lend pathos and irony. Even if it were of purely ‘natural’ origins, Climate Chaos and its effects remain truly horrible to contemplate. As for the Science — I think that is no longer in question. Yes there is Big Business eyeing profit opportunities in Climate Chaos but scientists wanting to study the problem are hardly the players you should be concerned about. [– Are the indulgences of your comment a reference to Carbon Trading or some other Neoliberal scheme for making a buck off Climate Chaos?]

  11. s.n.

    EXCLUSIVE: The Jeddah station and Hariri firm’s role in it

    Saudi Arabia’s high-speed railway linking the holy cities of Mecca and Medina took 10 years to build and cost more than $16 billion. It was meant to be a triumph of design and engineering but on Sunday, less than a year after carrying its first paying passengers, the line was shut down when one of its stations caught fire….

    A large part of the station’s concourse was severely damaged and the entire 450-km Haramain line is expected to stay out of action for at least a month….

    The cause of the blaze is still unknown but it’s clear from the way it spread that the roof had been constructed without adequate fire resistance. It’s also clear from photos and videos that laminated roofing panels were at the root of the problem.

    The main contractor on the Jeddah station project was the now-bankrupt Saudi Oger company headed by Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri. Instead of buying the roof panels from a specialist firm, as contractors on some of the other stations did, Saudi Oger decided to make them itself….

    1. xkeyscored

      – The cause of the blaze is still unknown

      True up to a point, but it’s funny how it coincided with an “alleged” Yemeni Armed Forces routing of the Saudis around Najran in Saudi Arabia.
      (I say up to a point because the cause may be completely known to some, who’d prefer to conceal it!)

    2. Dan

      From what? Bottom of the refining barrel tar?
      The amount of black smoke from that fire was incredible. I first thought an oil pipeline running under the station had been ruptured.

  12. zagonostra

    Mintpressnews is doing some really important journalism. Below is an article on how Julian Assange was being live streamed 24/7 and the tangled corruption that is at the core of the rot that bedevils this country…

    The administration’s direct involvement in an illegal, livestream surveillance operation of a publisher, journalist, and political prisoner who at the time had never been charged with a single crime is beyond shocking and reveals just how corrupt that administration is and how critical the situation has become for press and media workers around the world.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine Peace Talks Get Breakthrough as Kyiv Accepts Compromise”

    From what I have read, it will only be local elections at first and guaranteed that none of the Ukrainian parties will not get a look in. Not after five years of daily shelling their territory. It will be under the supervision of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe but there is no faith in them in the Donbass. They have been in the Donbass for years and too many times they look the other way when the Ukrainians bombard them or there are attacks just after OSCE troops check out a Donbass site.
    Another big obstacle is that President Zelensky will have to get a law passed to allow this going through but he will face fierce opposition in Parliament by right-wingers who will only settle for complete victory over the Donbass. Zelensky has also insisted that Kiev should control the border with Russia in the East but this is a non-starter. It would be like if in 1863 the Confederacy was in negotiations with the Union but the Union would only allow elections in the Confederacy if they had total control of Confederacy borders and ports.
    I suspect that Putin is letting this go through as he know that it will demonstrate to the EU that the Ukraine cannot be counted on to secure peace and without peace, the EU will not be able to lift Russian sanctions and start securing contracts with the Russian Federation once again. I would be very curious to know how much money the EU has poured into the Ukraine over the past five years with little to show for it.

  14. Krystyn Walentka

    On Brexit: Maybe better if I stop reading the news altogether and live in a hut somewhere…

    Acute psychotic illness triggered by Brexit Referendum

    The doctor describes the case of a middle aged man, brought to hospital by paramedics in an acute psychotic state, three weeks after the June 2016 Referendum result on the UK’s departure from the EU.

    He was confused and very agitated, with disordered thoughts and speech. He heard voices and was delusional. And he was paranoid, believing people were spying on him and planning to kill him, and that radio/TV discussions were targeted at him.

    His wife explained that since the Referendum result he had found it increasingly difficult to come to terms with the nature of political events around him. He became increasingly worried about racially motivated incidents and found it difficult to sleep, she said.

    In this case, the man had had a psychotic episode 13 years earlier, which had been related to work stress. This had been much less severe and he had recovered within a few days, but it suggests that he may already have been psychologically vulnerable, he says.

      1. Skip Intro

        Apparently the man has made a partial recovery and indeed, recently became prime minister.

  15. none

    Sanders has halted campaigning til futher notice after being hospitalized with chest pains. They found a blockage in an artery and he had 2 stents put in.

    “Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits,” senior campaign advisor Jeff Weaver said in a statement. “He will be resting up over the next few days. We are canceling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates.”

    1. ambrit

      I had two coronary artery stents put in a few years ago. Full rest for a week to begin recovery. Then graduated return to “normal” activities, with a personal medico around all the time, since he usually lives in a high stress environment.
      This is over a year out from the general election. He’ll have time to recover his personal momentum.
      The campaign now has to capitalize on this gift from heaven. The prime sponsor of M4A and beyond has a personal brush with mortality. Instant credibility!
      I wish him well, for all our sakes.

  16. Watt4Bob

    The beginnings of transfer of aerospace tech to China actually began under Bush 1.

    From the NYT, via

    The Precursor

    A Lobbying Effort To Persuade Bush

    China’s drive to obtain a steady stream of satellite technology from the United States preceded the Clinton Administration’s arrival in Washington.

    In 1990, just a year after the killings at Tiananmen Square, officials from China Aerospace and the Chinese Government approached Mr. Lilley, the American Ambassador, pressing for President Bush to waive restrictions enacted in the aftermath of Tiananmen that barred China from launching American satellites.

    “They hit me very hard,” Mr. Lilley recalled recently. “It was a prestige national program. It was putting China on the map as the big space country of the 21st century.”

    Mr. Bush, who became America’s first permanent representative in Communist China in 1974, granted a waiver that allowed a launching on one of China’s Long March rockets. In 1992, a number of Senators–including Al Gore, then still a Senator from Tennessee–wrote to the Bush Administration warning that China was using the launchings to “gain foreign aerospace technology that would be otherwise unavailable to it.”

    In the last days of the 1992 Presidential campaign, Mr. Gore made the waivers an issue, contending that President Bush “has permitted five additional American-built satellites to be launched by the Chinese.”

    IIRC, due to the Challenger space shuttle disaster, and the subsequent grounding of the space shuttle fleet, the US had a back-log of communications satellites waiting to go into space and no way to get them there.

    With many $billions at stake, communications interests lobbied for permission to allow the Chinese access to US tech that allow them to fill the gap.

    As I recall, James Baker, (the Carlyle group) testified to congress that rockets were after all, only trucks transporting stuff into space…

    By the time Clinton took over, much like NAFTA, the whole issue of allowing China the use of space tech developed in the US was well on its way due, like everything else, to making money for multi-national corporations.

      1. Prufrock

        I agree. Burnout helps no one, and I’ll continue donating regardless. I don’t think the breakneck pace at this point will make a difference.

      2. anon in so cal

        During the debates, his face gets red. Makes me nervous think hypertension may be the reason.

        Somewhere, I remember reading his LDL was high, also.

        1. anon in so cal

          Bernie Sanders getting (or got) a stent.

          Does this mean coronary artery blockage?

          —from Krystal Ball on Twitter

          1. Mark Gisleson

            Just learned today that Ball was involved with the consulting group that fundraised the hell out of Randy Ironstache Bryce’s campaign who then got hammered by Paul Ryan. Having worked that CD the previous cycle, I was never able to reconcile the consultants’ strategies with anything related to winning that particular CD and in fact still believe Randy’s campaign union was just a ploy to keep the consultants from getting ALL the money.

            I would like to learn more about what Krystal Ball is really up to as lately she has posted some very inflammatory stuff calling for angrier rhetoric that seems very out of step with Bernie, and very weird coming from a ‘former’ media person.

        2. Diane

          I think the red face for Bernie in the last debate was fabricated by by the camera men. If you look at the larger pictures that show all of the candidates on the screen his face is no redder than anyone else. It looks red only when Bernie is the only one on the screen

      3. nippersmom

        The ABC report was surprisingly fair- like an actual news story.

        I hope Bernie has a speedy convalescence- for all our sakes.

      4. NotTimothyGeithner

        Campaigns are beat. They show pictures of Presidents aging, but its the campaigning, even if they get off on it. When I worked on campaigns, I was basically beat through Christmas. Sleep and eating are problems.

        He needs to go back to the rallies. They are easier than the town halls. Keep him separate from the people.

    1. Wukchumni

      I think there’s an ulterior motive, as Bernie was supposed to be in Fresno today, realized what a waste it would be trying to persuade the MAGA masses there, a pain, if you will.

    2. lordkoos

      I’ve been wondering how Bernie could keep up the pace of his campaigning as it has been intense. Not good news as it will be another talking point for his many critics.

      1. Geo

        True. But could also be a good talking point to illustrate the importance of quality healthcare reform. Point out his fortune at having Senate health coverage and how all Americans should get the same coverage as our elected reps…? Just an idea on how to turn what many will use against him into a positive.

        1. Carey

          Sirota’s ‘Bern Notice’ is making this point today, pointing out the cost of a stent in USA USA v the rest of the world. Good work, Mr. Sirota!

  17. JTMcPhee

    Imperial Collapse Watch for today:

    AIR FORCE NOTES: General not allowed to take emotional support mistress on deployment

    From yesterday, also, a bit of history on recent ‘procurement follies/wealth transfer’ relating to camouflage uniforms for the Troops we Support. Seems it cost $5 billion to design and procure the “pixelated Uniform Camouflage Pattern (UCP)” battle dress (we Vietnam-era Troops mostly wore Army OD “fatigues” or if you were part of the sexy crowd, “jungle fatigues.”) the Troops have worn for the past 5 years, which is now being discarded in favor of the new, improved Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP), which all the Troops are now required to obtain and wear as of October 1. The article reads like a Duffel Blog entry, lampooning the military’s boondoggle in turning over one multi-billion-dollar jumble sale pile after another looking for the perfect camouflage and combination of pockets and flaps and pen holders.

    1. xkeyscored

      As of Oct. 1, all soldiers are required to possess and wear the green-and-brown Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform, or OCP.

      And how exactly does green-and-brown work out in say the Arctic? (Could issue polar bears with cutting-edge polarized sunglasses as a start, I suppose. Must be a few billion for somebody in developing them.)

      1. dearieme

        Indeed. Would one even want identical camouflage in (i) the fields and woods of temperate climates, (ii) deserts, (iii) jungles? What should one wear for urban warfare?

    2. The Rev Kev

      That uniform article also mentions the blue camouflage Navy Working Uniform Type I being dropped. Good! The sailors joked that if you fell into the water that it would camouflage you perfectly but what was not joked about was the fact that those Navy uniforms, if they caught fire, would melt onto the sailor’s skins and would burn until the last of the uniform was gone. In wartime, those uniforms would have turned those sailors into human torches if their ship was hit-

  18. dearieme

    What’s this I see about Sanders falling ill with heart problems?

    I didn’t like the way he kowtowed to Hellary last time but I’ve always seen his real problem as being his age, especially for a man seeking two terms.

    Of Biden I’m not clear whether his worst problem is his age or his character. Character, I suppose: I wouldn’t vote for him if he were fifty.

    So the Law Squaw it will be, presumably. Pity; La Gabbard seems made of far better stuff. And the Law Squaw is no spring chicken either. Still, she’s probably the sort of scrawny bird who will last a long time.

    1. Hepativore

      Unfortunately, Tulsi Gabbard is now backing away from Medicare-For-All as well, leaving Sanders the only candidate at this point who officially supports it. I would not count on anything like that from Warren who is still trying to be as ambiguous as possible on many of her positions so that she can turn to wherever the political wind is blowing without alienating the DNC leadership.

    2. Geo

      “I didn’t like the way he kowtowed to Hellary last time but I’ve always seen his real problem as being his age, especially for a man seeking two terms.”

      Oddly, the centrists accuse him of destroying Clinton’s election. Seems he was in a lose/lose position. He had promised he’d endorse the primary winner and he did. How is that kowtowing? Should he have pulled a Ralph Nader and been forever banished to the fringes, or played the game and continue building a movement like he has the past three years?

      As for his age: Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Should she step down?
      Jimmy Carter? Should he stop building houses? Dick Cheney had a heart attack every other day or something and is still actively ruining the world. Martin Scorsese? The guy just made a three-plus hour epic that’s being heralded as his best work at 76. Should he stop directing movies? I’ll gladly take a half-term of Sanders over eight years of the youthful vigor of Buttigieg or Beto. Heck, I’d rather one second of a Bernie presidency over the rest of the field.

      Do I wish Sanders was younger? Yes. But it’s not his fault it took him 50 years to finally break through to the mainstream. And, it’s not like we have another younger candidate that is fighting for us like he will.

    3. Massinissa

      Yes, shes the sort of bird who will last a long time and continually sell out during that time.

      One term of Sanders would probably be more influential than two terms of Warren. She just seems too liable of being coopted by neoliberals.

    4. Yves Smith

      This is not on. Falls in the “You are really asking for it” category of Makes the Site Look Bad.

      Do not every try anything remotely like that again.

    1. xkeyscored

      “But installing it [a safety improvement proposed by the whistleblower] in the MAX would likely have meant 737 pilots needed extra training in flight simulators. Running thousands of pilots through simulator sessions would have delayed the jet’s entry into service and added substantial costs for Boeing’s airline customers, damaging the MAX’s competitive edge against the rival Airbus A320neo.”

      As many of us have suspected in relation to the MCAS itself..

  19. Wukchumni

    New Studies Warn of Cataclysmic Solar Superstorms Scientific American
    A fascinating article, and i’d never heard of the 1921 solar storm heretofore…

    The 1859 Carrington Event has always intrigued me, as the implications for electricity were laid bare by the only people using it @ the time, telegraph operators. Their machines went haywire.

    Were it to happen again, it would literally stop the world in it’s considerable tracks, not a bad thing really.

    Of course, it would precipitate a huge die-off, were we to go back to the future.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Buchanan is an odd duck. On the whole, he’s pretty awful – but he occasionallly says very percepive things. And he’s an indicator for a whole branch of our politics that’s been pretty submerged lately.

      Links aren’t necessarily endorsements.

      1. Geo

        Agreed. He’s actually really worth reading. Not because I agree with him on much of anything but because he was really a thought leader for the current incarnation of the GOP. Like a smart version of Trump. Very anti-intervention, suspicious of the “deep state” and bankers, entertaining at times but also a raging bigot with a lot of terrible ideas.

        It’s good to read the opinions of those we don’t agree with. Helps challenge our own opinions so we can be sure we’re not holding them “just because” while also educating us on where “the other side” is coming from. Leads to better conversations instead of tribal arguments.

      2. Carey

        Yes- this is one of the best things about NC / WC: that it’s not a single, partisan, POV; thinking for
        oneself is encouraged.

  20. Mattski

    Bernie illness underscores what we already know: We need a movement not a ‘savior from on high,’ as the Marseillaise puts it.

    There was always an element of risk–calculated, to be sure–in running as a Democrat and not tucking into the work of starting a new party.

    1. s.n.

      not a ‘savior from on high,’ as the Marseillaise puts it.

      ‘condescending saviours’ as the Internationale puts it

    2. Oregoncharles

      ” the work of starting a new party” has already been done – and Bernie was offered the nomination, several cycles ago (before 2016). No link – this is literally insider information. He refused, leading my informant to conclude he liked being in the Senate – and working with the Dems.


      1. Mattski

        Yeah, this is not a secret. (I wish we could get NC to do some analysis.) The guy is old, as today’s news underlines. He may well like being in the Senate. And he has made many moves I disagreed with over the years. But I don’t think it follows that he likes working with the DNC! And that doesn’t change the project. I will be unhappy if he doesn’t swing support behind the Movement for a People’s Party in the event he loses (though I struggle with the way these things are named).

    3. jrs

      starting a new party will literally get nowhere, perhaps it’s a strategy that might work in a one party state, where 3rd parties aren’t so much of a spoiler though (like California). It’s possibly a left 3rd party running against the Dems in local elections, might work in such a situation. But nationally, no, it won’t. 3rd parties will be spoilers.

      But yes we need much more than a savior. I’m scared that any movement will end, not if Bernie is ill, I wish him a long healthy life, but even if he is just fine and healthy, but merely isn’t the chosen Dem candidate.

      1. Mattski

        I disagree. It’s a long road, and absolutely does need to start with local developments. But it has to happen. I’ve been listening to progressive Dems say they were going to take over the party since 1980.

        Such a party doesn’t have to win immediately to point the way to change. At this stage we don’t even have people articulating our options. When I heard Bernie call Maduro a tyrant the other night, I blanched.

  21. Carolinian

    Thanks for the Foreign Affairs backgrounder on Hong Kong which seems to largely follow Pepe Escobar’s view that the Chinese are going to wait it out. The article says the Chinese believe the protests lack enough popular support for a full scale revolt and if that did happen they would move in militarily and not worry about what the West thinks–their belief being that the US is already in a stance of opposition anyway.

    So if the article is accurate we know what the Chinese expect to happen. What about the protestors?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What about the protestors?

      What about people who comment worldwide?

      First, the protestors – if that is the case, they have a tough decision regarding definitioon – what is considered full scale revolt? Are mass protests considered a full scale revolt?

      As for commenters worldwide – what do they think about any move militarily?

      1. Oregoncharles

        In this case, I don’t think “commenters” matter much. But the protesters’ end game does.

  22. dcblogger

    In most circumstances, presenting information in as intelligible a form as possible is what we are trained for. But the shock I felt hearing half an hour of unfiltered meanderings from the president of the United States made me wonder whether the editing does our readers a disservice.

    I’ve read so many stories about his bluster and boasting and ill-founded attacks, I’ve listened to speeches and hours of analysis, and yet I was still taken back by just how disjointed and meandering the unedited president could sound. Here he was trying to land the message that he had delivered at least something towards one of his biggest campaign promises and sounding like a construction manager with some long-winded and badly improvised sales lines.

  23. Pelham

    Re Zuckerberg’s leaked memo castigating Warren: I wonder whether the leak was intentional. Given the fact that Silicon Valley is quietly raising a lot of money for Warren, perhaps the leak is designed to lend her some credibility on repeated — but quite possibly insincere — pledges to crack down and break up the digital giants.

  24. Wukchumni

    A B-17 from the Collings Foundation crashed in Connecticut today with at least a couple dead.

    We flew on a Collings Foundation B-17 about 20 years ago from Burbank, heading out to the ocean and back through Ventura and the San Fernando Valley.

    I couldn’t believe how cold it was @ 5,000 feet with open side gun ports, and aluminum skin a bit more thick than a beer can, imagine what it must’ve been like @ 30,000 feet with flak and fighter planes shooting at you?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I can’t remember which plane it was, but my old neighbor’s grandfather was a gunner in one the WW2 bombers. He would go on about the cold. He was from Virginia.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        My grandpa flew out of the Aleutian isles on the Empire Express as a gunner on the bottom of the plane.

        Never talked about anything with us Grandkids but my Uncle told me two stories that made my hair stand on end.

    2. ambrit

      That’s a real shame. I walked through that airplane and the companion B-24 several years ago on a stop at a local airport here in the Deep South. I believe that it was their one and only B-17.
      There are other flying B-17s, but not many.
      That B-24 now. That’s the only flying example of that airframe anywhere today.

  25. Pat

    Having been around a couple of people who had stents put in, I fully expect to see Sanders at the next debate and to be campaigning again in no time. Certainly not as non stop as he was, but heck his schedule left most of his opponents in the dust.

    Now what’s this I hear about the GOP trying to dump Trump for Haley? Is Nikki spreading rumors again…

  26. Oregoncharles

    In case you don’t already have this: (sorry about that URL – local paper, and I don’t know where to cut it off.)

    This is always a problem with candidates his age (I’m 74): medical issues and death are so much likelier than when you’re younger. Of course, ALL the top 4 are past 70. Makes the VP especially important (Gabbard?).

    And I wonder about something: What if a nominee dies on the campaign trail? It’s notoriously stressful – this was a big factor for Hillary 3 years ago. Bernie seems to be quite the Energizer bunny, but there’s a limit, which it looks like he just found. And Trump seems to be far healthier than he deserves – too mean to die, sort of thing.

    1. xkeyscored

      I wholeheartedly wish Bernie a speedy and complete recovery. He was one ray of light in the last electoral panto.
      But they do say that health issues are potentially major election issues, and a dodgy ticker is easily portrayed as cause for concern The Prez could die at a crucial moment. Should Bernie perhaps consider backing Tulsi instead of running (and persuading her M4A’s not a bad idea)?
      Like Hepativore above, I don’t trust Warren ‘who is still trying to be as ambiguous as possible on many of her positions so that she can turn to wherever the political wind is blowing’ – very well put.

      1. dearieme

        Are you suggesting that Warren is just a less corrupt, less vile Hellary?

        I offer her that slogan if she’d like it.

      2. nippersmom

        A stent is placed in an artery. It is not suggestive of a “dodgy ticker”, but of plaque build-up in the vascular system. 1.8 million stents are placed every year, most in people younger than Sanders. This is not indicative of an overall or life-threatening health issue.

        1. xkeyscored

          I didn’t mean to suggest Bernie has a dodgy ticker.
          I’m thinking of how it will be spun when the dirt is being flung, and I think the flinging will get very dirty indeed if it looks like he has a chance. Anonymous (sorry, Russian) memes on everyone’s Factblock feed showing President Sanders being wheeled around on a heart-lung machine while chaos reigns? I genuinely wouldn’t be in the least surprised; I think that would be the least of it.
          Serious health problems have long been thought undesirable in a new leader. My suggestion that Bernie consider retiring was in no way frivolous. Though he has shown he can overturn conventional political wisdom before, I’m afraid he would not win a presidential race if he ran, because of this. And if he ran against Trump, who would win if Sanders lost?

        2. Anonymous

          I’m Bernie’s age and had two stents placed 7 years ago. I’m still hiking and running. I still hope to help elect him as our new president. But I fear that this health issue has considerably lessened his chances of being nominated. I hope I’m wrong.

      3. John k

        Tulsi has no chance… and if she has changed on m4a, I wouldn’t support. Better for state or defense.
        Bernie likely to recover soon, I’d so decent chance with Biden falling, IMO Bernie bears Liz, not so worried about the supers.
        But if he doesn’t recover, I would reluctantly support warren as the only lesser evil worth getting off the couch for.

    2. jrs

      The thing is 71 (Warren’s age) is actually not that old in a woman, women outlive and are healthier into an older age than men are, plenty of women are physically and mentally healthy all though their 70s, so it’s not a bad bet in terms of a health bet. 79 in Sanders is a risk.

      But yea we need a younger field of decent candidates one of these days.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I cut off the link text in your comment at the ‘#’:
      [] and pulled up “Bernie Sanders undergoes heart procedure …”]

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I cut off the link text in your comment at the ‘?’:
      [] to get the article on the high cost of stents in the U.S.

      Perhaps someone who knows the HTML or whatever coding is at work in some of these links could explain what the extra ‘stuff’ is all about. I noticed a lot of links from one source to another seem to tack on the extra stuff to track where an access originated.

      1. ambrit

        I’ve been told by serious computer nerds that the extra lexicage is used for tracking purposes.

  27. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “China: How science made a superpower” — I read this commentary from Nature as something of a cry for help from the Western Scientific Community. It is hard not to recall the ways science made the U.S. a superpower. Now U.S. Science, and the Education system have been indentured to Business Interests.

    1. xkeyscored

      How did you read it as that? (Or did you mean that the Western Scientific Community is crying for help, not that China is? The author appears to be Chinese.)
      I read it more as a timeline of China’s ascendancy, largely propelled by significant government direction of their economy which is officially anathema to US neolibs.

      “After the death of Chairman Mao in 1976, the emphasis on science and technology bounced back. In 1978, Deng Xiaoping formally launched a policy known as ‘Four Modernizations’, which placed a renewed focus on agriculture, industry, national defence, and science and technology. By then, the universities and CAS had reopened, and their leaderships were eager to get cracking.
      In the decades since, the Chinese economy has outwardly come to resemble that of a capitalist country. But the top-down approach forged in the Mao years is still clear. It created a centralized educational and institutional infrastructure for science, which has made it easy to direct strategic investment quickly. The robotics industry, for example, one of the key components of China’s plan to move into high-tech manufacturing by 2025, is based in the northeast of the country because of the proximity to the CAS robotics research centre in Shenyang. Other areas of strength, such as materials science and engineering, also built on the previous era’s interests in overcoming resource shortages and environmental challenges.”

      1. The Rev Kev

        And to think that once American prowess in engineering was so renowned that a TV series was made around this theme – MacGyver

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        The commentary did indeed present a timeline of China’s ascendancy. But why was this fairly lengthy commentary on China’s ascendancy published in Nature? That was how I read further motives into this commentary. It takes no great leap to perceive the obverse of China’s ascendancy in the decline in Western science.

  28. Alex morfesis

    The intercept claiming Democrats of F Street were pro slavery ? Why that might lead us to the idea of Red Shirt Democrats who killed a few black soldiers on July 4, 1876…$ortakinda the centennial of us in deep pen dance…or that this coming xristfur karamba day, is the night before the 130th anniversary of the scotus Jim Crow laws being ruled on….

    reality, what a precept

    1. Plenue

      “$ortakinda the centennial of us in deep pen dance…or that this coming xristfur karamba day”

      I genuinely don’t know what you’re trying to say here.

      1. Alex morfesis

        July 4th , 1876 across the river from augusta georgia, the “southern” democrats began theit attack on “civil” rights and the end of slavery by killing black American soldiers by attacking a US Army fort…they not only never apologized, they gloated, calling themselves “red shirt democrats” loudly and proudly….the Augusta history museum at 560 Reynolds Street, on the other side of the river overlooks the site of the massacre…

        In deep pen dance day…july the 4th

        Xristophur karamba…christopher columbus…october 14th is a Monday…october 15th, 1889 was the day jim crow was “legalized by scotus…130 years ago this month

  29. Plenue

    >Humanity’s emissions ‘100-times greater’ than volcanoes

    Welp, there goes another denialist talking point. Not that they’ll notice, I’m sure.

  30. Oregoncharles

    “How Bill Clinton and American Financiers Armed China” –
    Why is Bill Clinton not in prison? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question.

    The article is very good, as well as harrowing. It’s nostalgic for me, in a way; Slick Willy was the last Democrat I voted for, and his globalization policies were one of the main reasons. That was the issue that brought me into politics. I wasn’t even aware of some of the details Stoller brings out, along with his engineer correspondent; but I knew Clinton was selling out the US economy. Even

    A caveat: the Chinese have some very smart people; they would have gotten to where they are eventually, because ultimately it’s all just physics and chemistry and publicly available. The McDonnell-Douglas machine tools and other technology transfers merely speeded up the process. The real damage was in systematically shipping US industry overseas. (At a party, I talked with a guy whose business was packing up NW timber industry plants and shipping them overseas. My son was directly involved in sending the ship repair industry in Portland overseas – thereby exporting his own job. Some of this is personal.)

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