Links 10/20/19

Paris zoo exhibits the world’s weirdest living thing TreeHugger

Ode to skimming TLS

Consider the Hedgehog London Review of Books

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Snowden in the Labyrinth NYRB


NO laughing matter! Hong Kong activists wear Joker and Winnie-the-Pooh masks as they form human chains in defiance of ban on face coverings Daily Mail

China bans exports of black clothing to Hong Kong amid protests; all mailings to city ‘severely investigated’, courier firm worker says SCMP

Money trumps morality for foreign brands in China Asia Times

Petrol bomb thrown into Yau Ma Tei MTR station and tear gas fired as protesters create trail of destruction in Kowloon SCMP

Lawmakers express “deep concern” over Blizzard’s Hong Kong protest response Ars Technica

Exclusive: Huawei in early talks with U.S. firms to license 5G platform – Huawei executive Reuters

Class Warfare

The Dangerous Push For More Technology In Schools International Business Times

Senators propose near-total ban on worker noncompete agreements Ars Technica

We Found Over 700 Doctors Who Were Paid More Than a Million Dollars by Drug and Medical Device Companies ProPublica

Google affiliate begins drone deliveries in Virginia town AP

‘Go back to work’: outcry over deaths on Amazon’s warehouse floor Guardian

German banks supervisor warns of new cycle of deregulation FT


Election ends the way it began as the closest in recent memory CBC


Piñera declares emergency in Santiago de Chile after violent metro fare protests The Santiago Times


Ministers resign after third day of protests in Lebanon Al Jazeera

I don’t blame the Lebanese rioters setting Beirut alight – they are hungry, poor and furious Independent. Robert Fisk.

PEPE ESCOBAR: The Road to Damascus: How the Syria War was Won Consortium News

Assad Is Now Syria’s Best-Case Scenario Foreign Policy. Stephen Walt.

Trump Transition

The US airstrike on its former headquarters is a terrible symbol of American failure in Syria Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

What rural Ohio makes of Turkey-Syria crisis BBC

What Liberals Miss About Trump Country Jacobin

Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash The Hill


Catalan premier fails to condemn violence, requests talks with PM El Pais

With European backing, the world is on the brink of the first approved Ebola vaccine Stat

Clerics issue fatwas to end Pakistan polio vaccine panic The Australian. Note the penultimate sentence about the CIA.


2020 The Democrats on criminal justice Marshall Project

Pete Buttigieg Is the Past TruthDig

The Centrism of Elizabeth Warren Counterpunch

This MSNBC Clip Is Everything Ugly About Russia Smears Caitlin Johnstone

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Backs Bernie Sanders at Packed NYC Rally Common Dreams

38 people cited for violations in Clinton email probe AP

737 MAX

Boeing wants it to fly, but travelers fear the 737 MAX Agence France Presse

Qantas completes test of longest non-stop passenger flight BBC


The Slowdown is Real and We Need More than Brave Faces and Silly Alibis to Fix Things The Wire

As PMC crisis erodes trust in system, clients of other banks wonder if they should withdraw deposits Scroll

India’s solar and wind boom is fizzling MIT Technology Review


Brexit: the limit of tolerance

Boris Johnson sends unsigned request to Brussels for Brexit delay Guardian

Brexit chaos as DUP twists the knife over ‘betrayal’ while Johnson tells EU extension request is ‘Parliament’s letter, not my letter’ Irish Independent

Boris Johnson news – live: PM ‘behaving like a spoilt brat’ after sending unsigned letters to EU asking for extension Independent

Fight against Heathrow expansion on verge of victory, says McDonnell Guardian

Antidote du Jour (timotheus):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “The US airstrike on its former headquarters is a terrible symbol of American failure in Syria”

    I was going to comment that the reason that the US bombed that place was to avoid repeat films appearing of Russian reporters walking through US bases in Syria and reading messages meant for Russian like this one-–whiskey–vodka-russians-finds-messages-addressed-to-them-at-abandoned-us-base-in-syria—videos/

    But Patrick Cockburn mentioned that ‘It was this same Lafargue cement plant, close to the Euphrates, that was bombed by two US F-I5 jets last week after being hastily abandoned by US forces, to destroy stores of ammunition that had been left behind.’ that struck a memory. I knew that this cement plant was used as a base by US and French Special Forces in the fight against the Syrian Army, errrr, ISIS that is. Sorry about that. But I knew that there was more.
    When ISIS had control of that region they supplied ISIS with cement for their tunnels and fortifications and were guilty of all sorts of dodgy deals. And as a surprise fact, Hillary Clinton was a Director of this company back in the early 90s and did legal work for them in the 80s. When Lafarge got fined $1.8 billion by the EPA, President Bill Clinton got it reduced to 600 thousand dollars. Here is more stuff on this mob-

    1. Oh

      They probably bombed it also because there were a lot of incriminating documents left behind.
      Why am not surprised that Hilly was the Director of this front company for the CIA?

    2. Monty

      Is The Rev Kev being groomed by the Soviet KGB as an asset to corrupt the hearts and minds of Naked Capitalism readers by using interesting facts and topical comments? Will those commie fiends stop at nothing!?!

          1. ambrit

            You can register in America and request the registration be forwarded to the American Satrap in your “Five Eyes Republic.”

    3. Olga

      My first thought was “I wonder what US victory in Syria would look like?”
      And the second was how can anyone be surprised at the US hasty and messy retreat? An orderly departure could hardly have happened, given that there is disagreement over leaving in DC, and that DT was bucking the establishment via his tweets.
      But there is a good recounting at the M o A, from which it seems fairly clear that the entire recent operation in Syria was negotiated by all parties – and over a few months. I’d think that – looking at the win-win-win-win results – details must have been agreed to by the US, Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Russia. Otherwise, it could have turned into a bloody mess. Not as picturesque as a helicopter over an embassy roof, but still telling.

    4. VietnamVet

      The truth is the USA, UK, Saudi Arabia and Israel are without effective governments. This is the intentional consequence of the rise of the corporate supra-state that controls everything for a profit. Clearly the Empire has lost the Syrian War; at best, the Swamp will keep trying to carve out pieces but it’s pointless. Occupying territory illegally that an effective national army wants back is untenable. Likewise moving the troops and contractors to western Iraq. Shiite militias assisted the Houthis taking out Saudi Arabia oil production. Sooner or later they will force Americans out. Similarly, the Houthi attack emphasizes the vulnerability of Israel and the Gulf oil supply. The bottom line is continuing the endless wars is insanely counterproductive. Sooner or later, if kept going, the wars will come home and split apart the USA and the United Kingdom. Peace is the only way out, the only way to keep the nations whole, and the only way human beings can survive on earth.

  2. Brooklin Bridge

    Correction: Apparantly, Boeing is open to the idea of a name change (per CFO), not proposing it (yet) as per Trump’s suggestion.

  3. pretzelattack

    tulsi also failed to deny being a yeti. so they think hypothetical russian assets would have qualms about lying? did aldrich ames come clean when the cia initially gave him lie detector tests? if she had denied it they would just claim she was lying. the only response they would accept from her is an admission of being a russian asset.

      1. Loneprotester

        Love it! I’m patiently waiting for somebody to turn Hillary into a newt so that she will shut up.

        1. xkeyscored

          Some newts make small squeaking or chirping sounds, but they’re not vocalizations. They’re usually caused by the caudate forcing air from their lungs, such as they would with a snap sideways for food, or when trying to escape a predator (actual or imagined).
          Maybe turn her (back) into a slime mold instead?

          1. jsn

            I like Caitlin Johnstone’s formulation, “Hillary Clinton knew very well that everyone would understand who she was talking about, but the fact that the target of her smear responded directly is being spun by her flying monkeys as something weird and suspicious instead of something perfectly normal and appropriate.”

            A tub water should solve this problem.

    1. Cuibono

      Salem witch hunts come to mind.
      Some things never change…
      By the way, know what the old meaning of witch was?

      1. ambrit

        Lot’s of reconstructed “old meanings.”
        It originally was non gender constrained.
        I like bewitched, which is similar in meaning to ‘Glamour,’ etc.
        Language is wonderful, literally so.

  4. nomial

    I thought the first oilwell in america was drilled at Sarnia in Canada, the pennsylvanian well was the first in the USA

  5. The Rev Kev

    “The Centrism of Elizabeth Warren”

    There is a reason for this. You use to have the Democrats on the left and the Republicans on the right. Warren was all in for Republicans back then though if asked today will say “Nah!” Since then the Republican have gone over to the far right and the Democrats have consequently moved to the right to follow them. And when they did, there was Warren in place waiting for them.

    1. urblintz

      Exactly… Warren remained a Republican throughout the onslaught of Reaganism (therefore overtly approving of it, imho) and only became a Democrat when Clinton repackaged Reaganism, called it the “third way” (or Rubinomics), abandoned New Deal liberalism and continued the race to the bottom line which has defined the Democrats ever since.

      1. Harold

        I think she thought it would be better for her career as a corporate lawyer to register as a Republican. Reagan was very popular.

        1. Isotope_C14

          Yes, that’s the kind of leadership needed to defeat Trump!

          I always respect follower-leaders.

          And so does the electorate…

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      My only dissent from your comment is that in my take on history, it was the Democratic Party, upon the sage advice of the Democratic Leadership Council, that kept moving to the right in an order to capture more donors and those elusive Republican suburban women. The Republican Party, in order to distinguish itself from the Democrats, would then move further right from its previous position to the point that we now have a hard right party and a crazy right party.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The GOP was always crazy. Its just with each of their victories, they need new ones. They aren’t moving because Team Blue has moved. Its who they are. A few of the Republicans who don’t fit in anymore such as Charlie Crist or are ticked they aren’t relevant (Joe Scarborough) may have found a temporary resting spot with Team Blue, but the GOP have always been dedicated to creating hell on Earth at least since April 1865 (some hyperbole). The only reason a Republican has voted for progressive legislation is they were afraid of being tossed by the electorate.

        1. xkeyscored

          The only reason a Republican has voted for progressive legislation is they were afraid of being tossed by the electorate.

          Ditto many Democrats?

        2. neo-realist

          I can’t recall a republican voting for progressive legislation, at least not recently; arguably past exceptions such as Lowell Weicker and Edward Brooke, but the recent ones, nahh.

          1. anon in so cal

            Was some legislation that some republicans, such as Nixon, introduced quasi-progressive by today’s standards? Did N introduce OSHA and the EPA?


            “In April 1970, Senator Jacob Javits (R-NY) introduced a bill to extend Medicare to all—retaining existing Medicare cost sharing and coverage limits—developed after consultation with Governor Nelson Rockefeller (R-NY) and former Johnson administration HEW Secretary Wilbur Cohen.”

            Reading the fine print may show these are not progressive. IDK


            1. neo-realist

              Right, I forgot about Javits. He had the gall to run as a independent in the NY State general election Senate contest between Holtzman and D’Amato, even though he was dying from ALS, and may have cost Holtzman the election.

              Rocky was a mixed bag–help create those punitive drug laws with penny ante possession getting people long sentences, mostly black and brown people. However, he helped develop state higher education for the betterment of opportunity for working class and lower middle class new yorkers.

              1. mpalomar

                “He had the gall to run as a independent in the NY State general election Senate contest between Holtzman and D’Amato, ”
                Yes, I was in NYC at the time and it was crushing. D’Amato was so awful and Holtzman seemed so much better. Surely Javits cost her the election and then they named a convention center after him on the West Side.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Link to a thoughtful article by D. Stockman on the effects of the Dems abandoning all opposition to war and to the CIA. And a special callout on The Atlantic Council, the organization that now decides what news Facebook users may see. Funded by anti-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs, the lovely Saudis, and the UAE:


            Clowns to the left of us (AIPAC), jokers to the right (AC), here I am, stuck in the middle with you

    3. tegnost

      I think the jacobin article was very good on this alleged divide. Confirms my backwoods conversations with the hoi polloi that trump won with potential sanders voters, and also that the liberal set who think they can win with cross over wealthy republicans (ie warren voters) are delusional.

    4. VietnamVet

      Elizabeth Warren is progressive; tax the rich, jail corporate criminals. I will vote for her if she becomes the democratic candidate unlike Joe Biden who spearheaded the restart of the Cold War. I likely will vote for Tulsi Gabbard in the primary to register my anti-forever-war vote. Warren’s problem is similar to Barrack Obama’s. In her climb out of Oklahoma she shed her past. She hasn’t shown the pluck to counter punch against Donald Trump if he outlasts the coup attempts to make it to the November 2020 election. He will highlight her every contradiction.

        1. The Rev Kev

          But will she appeal to all those elusive Republican suburban women that the Democrats are forever chasing? She probably will appeal to Clinton women voters.

        2. neo-realist

          The thing that gives me pause on calling her a corporatist sellout is that Wall Street is threatening to put their money on Trump if they get Warren or Sanders in the general election. Unlike Obama, Warren hasn’t been collecting bank from the likes of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Lest you believe she will make a last minute pivot to cool the establishment opposition.

  6. Jesper

    About: What Liberals Miss About Trump Country
    What might also be missed about voters are the Trump-voters in the heart of DNC-land, the people in DNC-land who voted for Trump or simply decided not to vote for the DNC-candidate do not seem to get much attention.
    As it happens the DNC-supporters in Trump-county might possibly also feel a bit overlooked.
    I suppose due to the system then the swing-states are what matters so why bother with the large minority view anywhere?
    Ignoring the large minority works until it doesn’t – when there is a big surprise (to some/many) of losing the ignored but safe voters. If/when it happens then blame the agitators, domestic and/or foreign, for disrupting the working system. And please don’t ask for whom the system worked, the important thing is that the system worked.
    & lets not forget that voting for a disrupting candidate is not supposed to happen in this wonderful system, that is (or at least should be?) against the (unwritten) rules/laws as believed by the beneficiaries of the system. Public shame on people who are not voting as their betters know they should :-(

    1. Pat

      I am so ashamed that I can’t help baring my soul to all and sundry about why I vote as I do. Confession is good especially when it recruits other sinners especially those who will fail repeatedly like me. I still am driven to vote in a manner contrary to the will of my supposed betters and must repent over and over.

    2. Dan

      You inspired me to write a counter example. The people who complain loudest about the lack of affordable housing, medical care and crime around here, are the very ones who voted for their own destruction, sort of like the Trump voters who vote against public benefits or favor corporate destruction of their livelihood.

      Example: Originally from New York, an old lady drives a Prius with faded Obama stickers, kept on as a mark of pride. She’s being priced out of her apartment she moved to in Marin, North Berkeley or San Jose, which she fled to from San Francisco a couple decades ago. This after she got mugged several times and was afraid to ride, or allow her child to ride, public transit in the city whose pro-‘street people’, give criminals a fifth chance, demand diversity, “values”, she voted for over and over as represented by D.A. Kamala Harris and local pols, mostly from out of town, like her.

      Now she’s desperate to find an inexpensive rose-arbored cottage in someone’s backyard, or “will even settle for a charming garage to live in”, so she “won’t have to leave the {new} community that she loves.” Fat chance. The tech boom means rents are sky high. The opposite economic pincher, whatever official, or unofficial, low income housing there is has been taken or driven up in rental price, by the ‘migrant’ families that she advocated for as she voted for whatever and whomever the Democrats told her.

      Her daughter, bereft of any patriarchal, moralistic values, probably is working to support some low life and his family–if she’s not strung out on drugs and living on the street in San Francisco.

      Soon the old lady will end up in some less expensive conservative backwater where she will string up her Tibetan prayer flags, rant against Trump, and help vote in new local “progressives” who will demand more diversity, putting ‘migrants’ ahead of her for local clinics and housing. With the new statewide rent control law, it’s unlikely there will likely any new apartments built. As state gas taxes soar and her Prius battery dies, she will be trapped, but will she continue voting for the same people as she did in San Francisco and her next stop. And the beat goes on.

      1. kiwi

        I don’t know where you get the notion that Trump voters favor “corporate destruction of their livelihood” or even that they vote against public benefits.

        You seem to forget that dems happily attacked social security and medical benefits and had nothing to say but “get over it,” when it came to the wholesale transfer of industries (and jobs) out of the US.

        1. Dan

          Just paraphrasing the tone of the original cited article Kiwi. I agree with you 100%.

          Here’s a solution to NAFTA that the president could impose via executive order:

          “No dollars can be spent on any foreign product when there is a U.S. produced alternate.”

          1. Adam Eran

            OK, just a slight quibble. It’s “public dollars,” not “tax dollars.” The federal government does not spend tax dollars.

            1. Dan

              ?? Tax dollars come in as taxes. I guess there’s other public money spent like sales of bonds…is that what you mean?

              Reading this site for a week is like a year of school.

  7. Winston Smith

    The Canadian federal election will be close if polls are to be believed with voters understandably unenthusiastic about either Trudeau or Scheer. One of Scheer’s low moments occurred when his dual american citizenship was revealed and he stated that “no one asked” about it. It then turned out that he had freely criticized the past Governor General (Michaelle Jean) and Liberal party leader Stephane Dion for holding dual canadian-french citizenship: Scheer hypocrisy. The one thing denying liberals a majority is the rise of the useless Bloc Quebecois.

    1. mpalomar

      Useless? Perhaps.
      Here’s how the Bloc describes themselves on their web page.

      “The Bloc Quebecois promote Quebec branching off from Canada and getting sovereignty. The Bloc Quebecois believe in the following: Quebec Nationalism, Quebec Sovereignties and Social Democracy. They are also Pro Environmentalist, same sex marriage, abortion rights, legalization of assisted suicide and the abolition of the Canadian Senate. The Bloc sits on the left side of the political spectrum, somewhere in between the NDP ( New Democratic Party) and the Green Party.”

      1. Winston Smith

        I object to the idea that a party that purports to be “federal” is strictly concerned with Quebec issues. As for the ideology of Quebec independence, Quebeckers had two shots at independence with democratic referenda that failed to yield a simple 50+1% vote for separation. That being said I do broadly agree with their social agenda.

        1. mpalomar

          “That being said I do broadly agree with their social agenda.”
          -Well that’s it, they haven’t delivered sovereignty but they’re a bargaining chip and also participating in the left discourse in Quebec and ultimately in Canada.
          Oddly I’ve heard some in Quebec may vote Bloc because of Singh and his head gear, How’s that for distinct culture?
          I’m never sure what to think but perhaps they are not completely useless. I did ask my wife who is from Quebec City whether she thought they were useless; she did.
          Me and probably about 1% of Nova Scotians are voting Green, perhaps that is the definition of useless.

          1. Winston Smith

            Perhaps I was a bit careless with the word “useless”, my point being that if you want to be a federal party, you should not be bound to a single province at the exclusion of all others.

            Nova Scotia, would love to go back! I even had fantastic weather driving through Cape Breton.

        1. Max Peck

          “America” is synonymous with the United States. “North America” includes Canada, Mexico, etc.

          Waiting for another pedant to come along and claim that the “United States” is ambiguous and could refer to Mexico (Estados Unidos Mexicanos!!)

            1. JBird4049

              What are we here? Twelve? Deprecating almost an entire nation for not using one’s own approved vernacular? One can disagree on what are the proper use and definitions of words without using such words as ignorant or provincial.

              In English, even before independence the residents of the United States of America were sometimes referred to as Americans, if not colonials or colonists, unless someone is referring to a particular colony like Virginia or New York. It is not some new provincial usage.

              My pet peeve. Only ignorant USians call themselves Americans.

              Really? That is a bold statement.

              Everyone I have every talked to would have found this ignorant American really very weird, if I used USians while talking or writing. Also every textbook, novel, newspaper, magazine, and most blog posts and comments has almost exclusively used American and not terms like USians. This also includes every college class I have been in. I am not Canadian, nor Mexican, nor Guatemalan, nor Peruvian, or USian, but American although you could call me Californian.

              I could be wrong, and maybe it is somehow unfair, wrong, or ‘provincial,” but most people living in the United States of America would be confused if one used America as a synonym for the Americas, or refused to use America for the United States of America, unless, perhaps they were talking as members of a very narrow class of people.

              You’ve revealed yourself to be a provincial American. Congratulations

              Well, yes if one was speaking to the majority of Americans, one would use the Americas, not America or American, not USian. Understanding vernacular is a very good thing to know with an international commentariat. So accepting America for the Americas as a possibility is good. Disagreeing is also normal, but insults just piss people off.

              1. Yves Smith

                You have proven the point. To paraphrase Dune, “I present a general garment and you say it is made to order?”

                And on top of that, you are the one who is being childish and compounding that by making the strategic error of attacking on a site moderator.

                This site, as I pointed out repeatedly during the fundraiser, has a substantial non-US readership. Many people in the Americas outside the US take quiet umbrage at “Americans” appropriating “America” for their sole use (see the comment below about the Canadian border guard, for instance). The fact that you don’t know that and/or don’t care speaks volumes.

                It is one thing to recognize that we do this out of convenience and laziness, assuming we are speaking only to our own, quite another to treat is as proper. I admit I do that myself regularly but acknowledge it isn’t the best way to do things. Defending it is quite another matter.

                1. JBird4049

                  I criticized what I perceive as an unfortunate use of language. One can claim that an extremely common use of a word is ignorant or provincial, but indirectly declaring that might equals right is not an explanation or defense. It is a threat. If a use of a word is not liked that is fine, but one should not be insulting about it.

                  Again I ask, just why are most of the three hundred and thirty million Americans ignorant and provincial when calling themselves Americans or when they might not not realize that “America” might be synonymous with “the Americas?”

                  It’s been common use for three hundred years. Just about every book, article, or person I have read or talked to has used Americans for the people and the Americas for the continents; are all those writers, teachers, classmates, and family, most of whom are college educated and often well traveled using the same vernacular as I do, all yahoos? What evidence can I be giving showing this? Not a difference in usage by a relatively small group of people, which is what I think this is of those in the United States, but of the majority of Americans now, and going back centuries.

                  It would also be nice to suggest what we should call ourselves, if what we use is so gauche, and please not USians. Sounds like an alien race in Science Fiction. This is not like the growing use of the plural like they for he. “They ran.” instead of “He ran.” Not is this about the proper use of the words lay, laid, laid, and laying or lie, lay, lain, and lying, which so many including me can not seem to do. I can cite the dictionary, remember my English teachers over the decades with their frustrated requests, and read examples in most of books. And most of us fumblers know that we are fumbling. Not so over the words we are talking about.

                  1. wilroncanada

                    I call you folk “USites” for the same reason that one might call Parisians “Parisites”, and with a similar mocking tone.

                    1. JBird4049

                      If I referred to Parisians as Parasites, they would probably be annoyed by that. It is like the use by some petty Republicans of the “Democrat Party” instead of the proper “Democratic Party,” which they do to be annoying.

                      Saying USians to describe Americans is like some “liberal” Americans use ‘Mericans to describe their stereotype of the Deplorables. What is the point? Or for me to use “Repugs” for Republicans?

              2. xkeyscored

                Not so long ago, it was claimed to be correct to refer a person in general as he/him. Perhaps we should respect centuries of tradition in that respect too?

                1. JBird4049

                  He/him still is the standard in more formal writing, which I will probably use in my masters thesis in some decade. IIRC they/them has been used informally for singular neutral for centuries also.

                  I think that there were some neutral pronouns that were for people, but they went out of fashion after the Norman invasion. I have felt like digging out all the useful bits of English that has been dropped over the centuries and using them just to be a contrarian.

            2. Synapsid


              This is getting old. A few weeks ago I gave a list of the word for citizens of the US in half a dozen modern languages and every one of them is a derivative of “American.”

              Blame the English. Florio’s translation of Montaigne’s Essais came out in 1603 and Montaigne used “Americans” for the inhabitants of North America encountered by Europeans but once the English had established colonies in North America the colonists would have been the American colonists and the paring-down of usage characteristic of the language would yield Americans as a term for them, available for use after independence from Britain.

              There is some history to be considered.

              1. xkeyscored

                I travelled briefly in Peru many years ago, and I was very quickly told how much they objected to the term American to refer only to yanquis/estados unidienses/norte americanos. They were very keen to point out to me that they had had no role in the war on Vietnam, etc.

      1. BobW

        Years ago when crossing into Canada, the Canadian border guard asked for my country of origin. When I said “America” he was not pleased.

          1. Oregoncharles

            Which is also grammatically correct – it’s the noun, “of America” is a modifier. Oddly vague name for a country, though.

        1. Jessica

          Yes, Canada is sensitive about this and not without reason. In Japanese, for example, America usually means the USA but sometimes means North America.
          My minimal experience in Latin America is that there America meant Latin America and the US and Canada were Norteamerica.

  8. pretzelattack

    just saw this at the whiskey bar

    More nonsense from Hillary:

    Hillary Clinton @HillaryClinton – 00:06 UTC · Oct 19, 2019
    When I was a little girl, I wrote to NASA and told them I dreamed of being an astronaut.
    They wrote back and said they weren’t taking girls.
    A new generation of little girls watched today’s historic spacewalk. May their dreams of reaching the stars have no bounds.

    Oregon Designer @Easycure – 6:40 UTC · Oct 19, 2019
    You were born in 1947, NASA wasn’t formed until 1958 and we didn’t have an astronaut in space until until 1962 when you were 15 years old.
    You didn’t write a letter to NASA when you were a little girl and you should definitely stop drunk tweeting.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Funny that. No matter what the subject is, for Hillary it is always about her and cashing in on the publicity value. She once met Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and told him that her mother named her after him because of his feat. The only problem is that Hillary was born in 1947 and Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay did not climb Mount Everest until 1953. Do’h!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think her behavior towards a few of Bill’s victims and the GOP’s general nature has caused it to be overlooked, but by any measure, Hillary has routinely been publicly humiliated by Bill. She’s probably become a full blown pathological liar.

        1. Dan

          With the added seasoning of
          denial of reality,
          and Lew Gehrig’s Disease.

          Plus, her daughter dumped daddy’s religion.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            The body politic has a cancer, instead of a painful and risky operation to excise it they have said “oh I’d rather have a facelift instead”.

            As we know, a tumor gets its blood supply from the host, grows, and eventually the body wins in the end when both it and the tumor die.

            So The Harridan From Chappaqua is choosing scorched earth. Apres moi le deluge

            1. foghorn longhorn

              …“oh I’d rather have a facelift instead”….
              Nancy said “make mine a triple”.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      I think Oregon Designer is being a little hard on the old gal.

      Coming under terrorist fire on a tarmac in Iraq would’ve messed with anyone’s memory.

      1. ambrit

        Hold it! Wasn’t that on the tarmac in Bosnia?
        And where did she get those campaign medals? The Army Navy Surplus store?

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Hold it! Wasn’t that on the tarmac in Bosnia?

          Could be. Could also be a distinction without a difference. Hard to keep track.

          1. Fíréan

            Easy to keep track because itś well documented and archived throughout the internet.
            She made the so called recollection at a speech in Washington during the 2008 campaign Her reference was to a visit to Bosnia in 1996, the purpose of which was to bolster her foreign policy experience as First Lady. Her daughter Chelsea accompanied her. Clinton later blamed tiredness on the discrepancy between events as recorded on video and her false recollection of landing under sniper attack.

            Today , 20 0ctober 2019, she has more with which to be concerned .

            “State Dept. Find 588 Violations, 38 People ‘Culpable’ in Violations In Clinton Server Investigation “

            1. ambrit

              But notice that these “violators” will be small fry. Is HRH the Queen of the Undead on the list?

      1. epynonymous

        To be fair, the program Wonderful World of Disney started the moon craze in 1954 if I remember. She might have really done that.

        1. dcrane

          yes, she could have written when she was 12 or so. There are far more significant potential criticisms of Hillary.

          1. pretzelattack

            i think it was partly the timing of the tweet, shortly after lying and smearing another woman, tulsi gabbard, as a traitor and russian spy, she veers back to id pol. what is she actually committed to besides keeping her brand alive and running again?

          2. mnm

            Hillary & daughter are presently making the rounds for the book they “cowrote” about strong women, while #QueenofWarmongers smears Tulsi & Jill Stein. I couldn’t stop laughing reading many of the comments on her twitspace!

            1. The Rev Kev

              RT just came out with an article that describes Hillary’s attacks as being divisive for the Democrats. It also mentions the radio silence of Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders sadly. In that article, one person made the appeal to Bernie

              Sharmine Narwani
              ‏Verified account @snarwani

              Remember when @TulsiGabbard resigned as Vice Chair of the DNC to endorse @BernieSanders in 2016? It was such a huge coup for him, Bernie made a whole campaign ad featuring Tulsi. Time to return the favor, Senator Sanders.


              She has a point. As well, I rang both the US and Russian Embassies and they confirmed for me that Tulsi Gabbard is a serving officer in the US military and not the Russian military.

              1. xkeyscored

                They would say that, wouldn’t they. Did you record the Russians’ response for Clinton to use as evidence of Gabbard’s guilt?

        1. tegnost

          I don’t know, from my experience with the 2016 election where I had ceded to the hillary crowd and was just … so… ready for it to be over… and it’s still not over.
          Endeavor to Persevere!

          1. Fíréan

            “Super Choose-Day ” coming up next week following the absurdity of “Super Saturday ” .
            Yet seriously what ever happens before or at october 31, Brexit is not over until the transition period has expired and all trade deals and the like negotiated and agreed.

            “Brexiters always thought and talked of the negotiations as being about future terms, specifically future trade terms, with the EU. Whereas from the beginning, and anyway entailed by the Article 50 process, the EU saw the negotiations as being about withdrawal terms and only when these were agreed could future terms negotiations begin.

            Moreover, Brexiters usually talked, and still often talk, as if a trade deal can be completed as part of withdrawal or at least be ready for “the day after”. Theresa May herself seems only to have recognized the legal impossibility of this (the EU can’t do a trade deal with a country that is still a member state) . . . ”

            Quoted from the excellent blog by Chris Grey – 17 oct. 2019


            1. Oregoncharles

              “(the EU can’t do a trade deal with a country that is still a member state) . . . ”
              Actually, that’s kind of silly; or more precisely, it’s a POLITICAL position – granted, it’s probably part of their famous rules (which, umm, don’t apply to Germany). Of course they could make a trade deal with a country that is departing, which would apply once it isn’t a member. They just won’t. The same rule, IIRC, says that Britain can’t negotiate trade deals on the same basis with other countries. That might have been a good subject for civil disobedience. However, their administrative capacity seems to have been hardly up to negotiating withdrawal, so maybe not.

              (That comment about Germany: again IIRC, Germany, some time back, violated the same budget rules that were later applied so stringently to Greece and Italy, ;but with no consequences.)

              1. Yves Smith

                No, that is absolutely not correct. Don’t make shit up.

                This is not a political matter. The treaties that govern the EU explicitly prohibit any EU member from making independent agreements on trade. That could not be more clear.

                The reason the EU functions is it is rule-driven, otherwise the whole enterprise would have fallen apart long ago. That is further reinforced by the EU operating on a civil law basis, where far more is spelled out in codes than in the Anglopshere common law system.

    1. mpalomar

      “Brexit: Johnson sends unsigned letter asking for delay, and second arguing against it”

      -Kind of like crossing your fingers behind your back while making a promise; good to see Boris maintaining tradition.

    2. ChrisPacific

      So he has apparently both requested the extension (for the purpose of compliance with the Benn Act) and not requested the extension (for the purpose of evaluating his promise never to do so).

      That’s definitely well into Bill Clinton “meaning of ‘is'” territory.

  9. xkeyscored

    Clerics issue fatwas to end Pakistan polio vaccine panic The Australian. Note the penultimate sentence about the CIA.
    I knew about the CIA co-opting health workers in Pakistan.
    I found the previous sentence more revealing of The Australian’s mindset: “Missteps by the West have also fuelled conspiracy theories.”
    So conspiracy theories now include what the authors admit to be true, namely that “The CIA used a fake vaccination program to help to hunt Osama bin Laden in Pakistan” (next and penultimate sentence)?

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘The Australian’ is the establishment newspaper here in Oz. Sorta like how the ‘Washington Post’ is for America. It is owned by Rupert Murdoch which says it all.

    1. tegnost

      stents are pretty common, and quite effective, ask my dad, I think it’s been about 15 years at least

      1. pricklyone

        My mother just passed away at 96. She had a mild attack, like Bernie’s, 20 years ago, had stents placed, and never had any heart related illness again.
        This has become routine, one of the only REAL advances in medicine over the last few decades.
        Sticking with Bernie.

    2. .Tom

      Seems not at all crazy to me. Perfectly reasonable, in fact. Bernie’s heart is much improved after the surgery. At the same time the medics took a look and saw that the rest of his heart was in good shape. So he was back on the trail in a couple of days and seems stronger than before. That newly improved Sanders heart should be good for another couple of decades.

      1. GERMO

        We Sanders supporters should cite the Mick Jagger example more often — running for president is probably somewhat less strenuous than fronting the Rolling Stones. Of course Bernie is a whole two years older than Mick tho…

      2. mnm

        Not too be rude. but I have met many around Clinton’s age & weight who are not doing well at all due to lack of $ & insurance, really shows how one can live to old age no matter how decrepit they are physically if they have $. Yeah, I guess I am not nice.

    3. mnm

      I am presently working at a hospital in an affluent community which shall not be named. I was nervous cause I will admit I am biased against the rich, but most are quite nice. Anyway, there are 70-90 in better health than 50-70 in working-middle class communities. We do need medicare4all. Bernie will keep on ticking, having purpose sustains you.

  10. Henry Moon Pie

    Technology in schools—

    We’ve moved past folding, bending and mutilating to radiating and hypnotizing students.

    Wendell Berry makes a good point in Life Is a Miracle:

    To trust “progress” or our putative “genius” to solve all the problems that we create is worse than bad science; it is bad religion.

  11. xkeyscored

    Snowden in the Labyrinth NYRB
    I haven’t read the book, but this stood out for me in this article: “he’s consistently amazed that more people don’t feel as he does about the intelligence community’s crimes.
    Personally, I frequently wonder how people can join the CIA or NSA or US military, and only later discover they’re working for criminals. I’ve read the likes of Smedley Butler in the hope of finding answers to this question, but none seem very satisfactory to me.

    1. Wyoming

      Well in my case I knew next to nothing about all that extraneous stuff when I was young and thought I was dedicating my life to serving and protecting my country and fellow citizens. In the neighborhood I grew up in virtually every adult male was a veteran of WWII (one of my cousins was awarded a MOH at Iwo Jima, my mom’s first husband was at Omaha Beach, her brother was on the Lexington when it was sunk at the Battle of the Coral Sea) or Korea, and a great many of the older brothers of my friends, a number of my cousins, and brothers-in-law were in Vietnam. It is hard to live in such an environment and not think that way. What young man (person) does not want to measure up to that?

      Today? I am pretty cynical about motivations and all that. You volunteer with what you ‘know’ and you learn what you ‘don’t know’ if you survive, or not, as the case may be. That is life.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        it was that way with stepdad(shot in a rice paddy in the back T-5, i think)…he went to viet nam to protect his little brothers, and to fight for his country(in that order)…and the contradictions finally got to be too much after 9-11 and lil george. the handful of times he’s spoken about this new awareness(always accompanied by lots of alcohol) it was frelling heartbreaking…the betrayal, and the “sacrifice for bullshit”(51 years in a wheelchair)…against people “who were just peasants and no threat to us”. i can barely imagine what that’s like.
        for all his reluctance to “go there”, however, he’s been as vocal and forceful as I have(the red headed hippie stepchild) to the boys about the military….and even to their friends. he advises doing just about anything BUT that.

        1. xkeyscored

          Thank you for those comments, Wyoming and Amfortas.
          I still wonder how any US citizen could imagine peasants on the other side of the world were a threat to the USA. Was the brainwashing really that successful?

          1. Jessica

            At first, people didn’t think of them as peasants. They were communists.
            And there was still the after-glow from the US single-handedly* defeating the genocidal Nazis.
            *Of course, it was the Soviets who did 80% of the heavy lifting, but few in the US knew that then. Not sure how many do now.

            1. xkeyscored

              But why didn’t people think of them as rice growing peasants? Wasn’t it obvious?
              Of course, demonising the enemy is a common propaganda tactic, the more so in times of war. But why do people fall for it?
              As for the evils of Nazism, I don’t think they were mentioned as reasons for entering WWII. More of a justification after the fact, though a very persuasive one, I agree.
              I’m still left wondering, as I have been for decades, but thank you for your reply.

  12. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: We Found Over 700 Doctors Who Were Paid More Than a Million Dollars by Drug and Medical Device Companies ProPublica

    ProPublica and a number of researchers have examined the types of drugs that prompt the highest payments. Ross, of Yale, and a colleague published an analysis in the British Medical Journal in 2017 that found that the “top promoted drugs were less likely than top selling and top prescribed drugs to be effective, safe, affordable, novel, and represent a genuine advance in treating a disease.”

    “Our findings suggest that pharmaceutical promotion should be met with healthy skepticism,” the analysis concludes.

    If you watch any TV, you will recognize many of the drugs on the most-heavily-promoted list as also most heavily advertised, complete with catchy little jingles. When I read the name of the drug “ozempic.” for example, the ditty “Oh, Oh, Oh ozempic” immediately popped into my head. Couldn’t tell you what it’s for, but I sure remember the name.

    Pretty nifty trick–“educate” patients to ask for a drug and doctors to prescribe it. Why bother with effectiveness or safety when you’ve got Bernays.

    Next time somebody asks Bernie how we’re going to “pay for ” M4A, he should probably say that we should start by ending drug advertising to bigly “bend the cost curve.” Since networks depend so heavily on drug advertising for revenue, it would probably take care of the fake news problem too.

    Might even affect the cost / benefit calculation.

    1. wilroncanada

      That’s what President Trump means by “home”. The Green Zone cottage in the country.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        pantera, blasted through an old guitar amp, will rid the underside of one’s trailer house of skunks.
        3 days, in daylight only(skunks sleep in daytime), and i watched them leave.

        (of course, one could live trap them with peanut butter…but then what? this was my mom’s answer at the time,lol)

        1. JCC

          I have found that Pink Floyd’s “Time” works very well (extra loud) on possums in the same situation. It might work on Cougars, too :-)

        2. JBird4049

          Any suggestions for the skunks looking for love? I have arrived a few times at home and there’s a small tangle of skunks near the door. It’s always O’Dark-thirty with everyone asleep, and the idiots aren’t leaving until they finish “business” or get so nervous with me around that they eventually move.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            lol. there’s really nothing you can do, there. use the back door, or a window?
            save for the smell, and the penchant for spraying it everywhere at the slightest provocation, i rather like skunks….they eat lots and lots of grasshoppers, and generally mind their own business…and very quietly at that.
            letting a family of possums live under the house seems to deter skunks from moving in(and possums eat ticks, and are immune to rattlesnake venom(and eat them)).

    1. meeps

      That’s funny. The key to that story, however, is that everything Metallica did after 1988, including that song, was so bad it scared even their old fans away. ;-)

  13. Susan the Other

    Thanks for Pepe Escobar on Syria and the Kurds. Consortium News. The Road to Damascus. Some good history and some interesting excerpts from recent history. It most definitely has been a chaotic mess. One thing was cleared up for me and that is that the Saudis and the Turks had a sort-of alliance against Syria, so that must be why bin Sawbones felt safe murdering Kashoggi in Turkey. Which allows other explanations to seep into the possibilities – like Kashoggi was set up by somebody else. I still think the underlying bone of contention for the ME is more oil and pipelines to the Mediterranean than politics and religion. Under pretense of nationalism, Erdogan tried to horn in on some of the territory needed for a pipeline from Iran (via Iraq) – at least the map looks like that. And gee, the Kurds were making a last stand right there, smak dab in the way. And etc. Pepe gives good info but he leaves out too much. Like the conflict was rife politically from WW1 on as the Western powers where in there stirring it up all along. (And Pepe, there was a publicized Pentagon plan to change the governments of 7 ME countries already in the works during Obama’s administration; probably the little George plan. Wesley Clark.)

    1. xkeyscored

      Re Khashoggi: can any lawyerly commenters clear this nagging question up?

      Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Embassy, which I thought was Saudi territory under international law. If that is the case, where is the crime, since so far as I know a crime in KSA is whatever the king or bone Sawman says?

    2. Olga

      As for WWI – PE does mention the Sykes-Picot agreement, which – having been initiated about a year after WWI started – tells us all we need to know about UK’s imperial hubris (and French, to a lesser degree). In 1915, it was not at all clear that UK would be among the winning parties, and yet that did not stop its power brokers from carving up the ME. So many messes we are dealing with today have roots in the ‘enlightened’ rule of UK over too many parts of the world.

      1. mpalomar

        Sykes was one of those odd Brits, dilletante imperialists, who arranged, largely on his own, midst the fog of war, the UKs and ultimately the Anglo American path to disaster in the ME as the Ottoman’s world fell apart.

        1. Olga

          Sykes may have been a dilettante, but implying that he somehow acted on his own is just not accurate. Already in 1907, PM Henry Campbell-Bannerman commissioned a report on how to ‘manage’ ME, once the Ottomans were out of the picture. There is an interesting passage there on the dangers to the B empire if all Arabs in the area united. The Balfour declaration (really, just a letter) is another proof that UK’s establishment firmly supported meddling in the region.

          1. xkeyscored

            Yes. I always understood WWI to have been all about European elites fighting for control of the world. It would have been odd for the Brits to leave their post-war plans to a solitary dilettante.

          2. mpalomar

            Library book or I’d check, I may be wrong but it was implied that he was cutting deals more or less on his own initiative. Once out in the field (he only made a coupe of trips during the period), communications were limited and promises were made .

            Of course Sykes was following the gist of the imperial project but the division, borders, etc. were drawn on envelopes so to speak, or at least that is what was suggested in the book, which I think chronicled the disenchantment of TE Lawrence, another somewhat free agent imperial intriguer in the region.

            1. Olga

              The Peace to End all Peace by Fromkin is a good primer on the WWI machinations, part. in the ME region.

            2. xkeyscored

              I believe Lawrence’s recommendations were ignored, while Sykes’ were implemented. Why was that?

              1. JBird4049

                I am going by memory on a subject that I am extremely rusty on. That said:

                Most of it was the desire for more colonies. The British and the French wanted control because it guaranteed access to Middle East’s oil as well as the general resource extraction including labor and markets, ports in the Eastern Mediterranean, and control of the Suez Canal and add additional overland routes to India and perhaps Asia proper.

                IIRC the head of the House of Saud at time with Lawrence to create an independent self governing pan-Arab polity with Jewish settlements in Palestine. The plan gave everyone what they needed with everyone agreeing except to it except the French. They wanted it all their way. The British then backed off because of French and anyways under the Sykes-Picot Agreement they too would get everything thing that they wanted, not just what was needed. They tried to mollify the Saudi with some “modifications” to previous agreement even though the locals were already doing the planning needed for original Arab-British-French agreement. It was turned down.

                The sad part is that the first plan was already a thing, but not quite signed. Aside from the various Arabs, the Jews, and everyone else living in the Middle East disliking Sykes-Picot, the British and French plus their handpicked local rulers were happy.

                Just imagine the possibilities of not having all the wars, coups, invasions, and the many ethnic cleansings that might have been avoided. No guarantees, but Sykes-Picot Agreement splintered the various populations and enabled the imposing of corrupt, autocratic regimes, which arguably could said to still be ruling the various countries a century later.

    3. mpalomar

      “The underlying bone of contention for the ME is more oil and pipelines to the Mediterranean than politics and religion”
      – A toxic mix perhaps? Far too often the pipelines and hydrocarbons are unacknowledged as part of the calculus but religion, ethnicity and nationalism are important levers of manipulation when a little regime change or nation building is in order.

  14. chuckster

    It’s been 48 hours since Hillary found a Russian asset on the Democratic debate stage. I am still waiting to hear any response at all from Biden, Bernie and Liz about their reaction to that discovery. I intend to vote in the presidential primary and a lot of my decision will be based on how they respond. Please tell me because silence assume assent.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I think I would prefer to hear nothing further from or about Hillary. Her comment was well met by its target. What more need be said? Hillary and any further of her ravings should be shunned from any broadcast or repetition and met with stunned silence or helped through the tender mercies of an emergency team from her nearest State psychiatric hospital.

      1. ambrit

        The problem with that theory is that it does not take cognizance of the fact that the country is self destruction alongside her. This makes her the right candidate at the right time.

        1. Dan

          Nevertheless, as unlikely as it was for Trump to be elected president, it is just as unlikely for Gabbard to be elected president.

          Assume Bernie drops out for health reasons and something happens to Warren. It is possible.

          Here’s an interesting fantasy: Trump has been playing a long game against the deep state and runs with Tulsi. America would vote for that?

          1. ambrit

            The America I live in would. There is no law that i have ever heard of that requires the President and Vice President to be from the same political party. In the very beginning of America, those two would almost certainly be from opposing political parties. (The runner up in the Presidential contest became Vice President.)
            Also, in the line of succession, the choices are determined by the holders of certain positions in the government, not their political affiliations.
            So, today, if Trump and Pence were sidelined, Pelosi, a Democrat, (in name only,) would become President.

      2. Acacia

        Yes, and in that spirit I hope the DNC exercises their “right” to choose HRC in the smoky back room.

        Let them throw everyone else under the bus, let her run again against Trump, and let’s watch the whole edifice crash and burn, followed by millions of heads exploding on social media.

        I can’t think of a more enjoyable finish to the corrupt clown car party.

        After all, it’s clear that the only way they’re going to learn anything is through a crushingly ignominious defeat.

    2. Beniamino

      Nina Turner has spoken out about this a couple of times, presumably with Bernie’s approval, but he should really take this opportunity to distance himself from the hardcore Russiagate crazies. He’s always been way too deferential to Hillary Clinton though.

    3. Mo's Bike Shop

      Please tell me because silence assume assent.

      What does this have to do with M4A, or debt, or opioids?

      A response means oxygen for Clinton and the Hill Folk and another 24 hours of pure demagoguery. Hillary can make stuff up all day–she may have finally actually learned a thing from Donald there. Silence means you’ve paid attention to how the Clinton Machine has worked for the last 30 years.

      Can we use this to stop her at the convention, because she broke the Rules about party comity in the Primaries? Ha, ha, ha.

    4. ChrisPacific

      The first response comes from Buttigieg, of all people, who avoids any direct criticism but says that statements like that should be backed by evidence (which is indirectly critical, since Hillary very seldom deigns to do so).

      I was a little surprised that Gabbard chose to launch the nukes, but she doesn’t really have anything to lose by doing so. She is (correctly, in my opinion) positioning it as a reaction by the endless war faction against anybody that dares advocate for peace. I suspect that will resonate with a number of deplorables and voters from forgotten flyover states, especially the ones who have attended funerals recently.

      1. mnm

        I listen to & read many blogs by the deplorables, guess I am deplorable, and they always liked Tulsi’s stance on forever wars.

            1. marym

              If you’re trying to provide a link to a particular tweet, click on the timestamp of the tweet (the one next to the username in a list of tweets, or the one at the bottom of the fully displayed tweet) and copy the resulting url.

              I think if you delete the “mobile” it will default to mobile format for people using a mobile device but the default doesn’t work the other way around.

            2. mnm

              I just got kicked off twitter! I have been attacking people who are attacking Tulsi (yes, I am bored today), but it wasn’t till I said that AIPAC & Israel have more influence over our politicians than Russia that my account immediately got closed unless I provided that stupid site with my phone#, no thanks. I had to give Tulsi $ just for her nerve!

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Tulsi should go after Hillary for questioning Gabbard’s service. I don’t go for this support the troops garbage, but every veterans’ group should demand every Hillary endorser go on the record.

        All Hillary ever did was be a do nothing Senator, collect a check as the head of loss passport society (State since 1948) and live in a big house on the government’s dime. She came out of the hole she was in to do this.

        Spitting on the troops after Vietnam is a myth, but this is what Hillary just did, not only on generic U.S. troops but ones who served in a war based on lies she voted for her. When people show you their true face…

        1. xkeyscored

          All Hillary ever did was …
          If only. She played a major role in the war on Libya, just for starters.

  15. ChrisAtRU

    A must read for today (H/T Steven Ziliak of Roosevelt University): Deidre McCloskey lets fly on the “Nobel” prize winners for economics. Excerpts:

    “But Ziliak and Teather-Posadas make also the, shall we say,
    blindingly obvious point that we know already that a child who cannot see
    will not be able to read the alphabet, not to speak of hundreds of Chinese
    characters. The experiment is, to use a technical word, stupid. It’s like the
    joke about the experiment to test whether parachutes work. Throw ten
    people with parachutes out of an airplane at 5,000 feet. Then throw ten
    without. Science satisfied.”

    “The Nobel committee seems to have lost touch with actual science,
    which does not make a fetish out of method, which closely watches its ethics,
    and which is guided by actual, non-stupid curiosities.”


    1. xkeyscored

      Another exerpt from McCloskey : “when in 1776 the Blessed Adam Smith crushed the case for illiberalism, the poor were enriched. By 3,000 percent.”
      Would NC’s readers agree?

      1. lyman alpha blob

        No, although I do agree that the experiment described is stupid. And rather cruel – how do those Chinese kids who didn’t get glasses, but could have, feel about this “experiment” they got to be part of?

        “Illiberalism” for this author seems to mean “not capitalism”. Smith wasn’t out to crush “illiberalism” – he was merely describing what he saw in action and not always in favorable terms.

        If you measure everything in monetary terms, then perhaps you can make the case that all the poor rural people coerced to work in urban factories were “enriched” because the factory owners deigned to pay them some pittance whereas left to themselves they didn’t draw a salary at all, but not everything should be measured in monetary terms, which is a lesson most economists have failed to learn.

        1. inode_buddha

          “If you measure everything in monetary terms, then perhaps you can make the case that all the poor rural people coerced to work in urban factories were “enriched” because the factory owners deigned to pay them some pittance whereas left to themselves they didn’t draw a salary at all, but not everything should be measured in monetary terms, which is a lesson most economists have failed to learn.”

          Most so-called capitalists need to learn this too. And factory owners (thinking of the Enclosure Laws in Dickensian England). And pretty much ALL of the USA.

          Stated another way, “They know the cost of everything and the value of nothing”. IIRC there was a movie some years ago in which some high-powered Wall-St. type guy offered another guy a million bucks for a night with his wife.

        2. xkeyscored

          I also wonder at the historical idealism of it, with Smith’s writings apparently causing this supposed enrichment. I think urbanisation, industrialisation and the rise of capitalism probably had more to do with the changed circumstances of the poor than anyone’s ideas.

    2. Berit Bryn-Jensen

      No Nobel committee awards the economic prize. The Swedish CB’s Prize in Economic Science honouring Alfred Nobel… PR honouring Sveriges Riksbank

  16. Tom Stone

    What a wonderful Kerfuffle, The Dems are outdoing themselves.
    “Politics is show business for ugly people” seems more apt by the day.
    It’s great theater but I keep in mind that the DNC chooses the Nominee and while I’m sure they will do so in a manner that is as fair and evenhanded as it was in 2016 I doubt the process will be as transparent.
    Their criteria for choosing the Nominee are none of your business or mine, a stance affirmed by the Courts.
    Enjoy the show, the bizarre, absurd and grotesque have made appearances and it will soon be time for the macabre.

    1. chuckster

      And yet Bernie keeps insisting that he’ll run as a “Democrat” every four years expecting a different outcome. His heart seems fine; beginning to worry about the brain though.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        The thing is if you win the Democrat party nomination, you get on the ballot in all 50 states. Run as an independent with no party affiliation, and you need to fight for ballot access 50 separate times against both major party establishments who are determined that you not get on the ballot.

        And even if you run as a candidate for a different political party there is no guarantee of being on the ballot. IIRC even the Green party candidate, to use just one example as they are arguably the most established 3rd party, doesn’t automatically get on the ballot every year in all states because state parties have set up all kinds of different thresholds needed to get ballot access. I believe the Greens on my state lost ballot access for a time although they eventually got it back. That does not happen with candidates from the two major parties.

        1. inode_buddha

          “Run as an independent with no party affiliation, and you need to fight for ballot access 50 separate times against both major party establishments who are determined that you not get on the ballot.”

          True, but they are determined that you will not get on the ballot anyway. So what’s the difference? I see it as a false choice.

        2. chuckster

          And yet Ross Perot did it twice – in 4 years. Just think of the farm team a Third Party would have by now if Bernie had gone a different route than placing all his hopes on the beneficence of the Democrats.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            Very true, and the two major parties learned their lesson about allowing interlopers into the game. I’d thought the League of Women Voters still ran the debates back in 1992, but when I looked it up I found out they’d already been pushed aside in 1988. I did find this though:

            In 1992, Reform Party candidate Ross Perot had a seven percent rating in the polls before the presidential debates. On election day, Perot had 19 percent of the vote, the largest-ever jump for a presidential candidate [source: PBS]. Proving himself a risk to the other candidates, the Dole and Clinton campaigns excluded him from the presidential debates through the CPD when he ran again in 1996. Perot later sued the major television networks for failing to grant him equal time, but since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) changed the provision in 1975, Perot lost his suits [source: FCC].

            To your point though, Sanders after 2016 did become the kind of high profile politician who could have led the charge to form a legitimate 3rd party, and by legitimate I mean one with enough clout to actually contend for the presidency rather than just hope to make a decent enough showing to stay on the ballot for the next election cycle. I’m just not sure that Sanders has a big enough ego for that type of job. And with the election of AOC and others in the wake of his presidential campaign, it’s hard to fault him for thinking that maybe he could change the existing party enough to get something positive done.

          2. Isotope_C14

            That would be ignoring the modern day vote rigging through fractional accounting, and simply flipping the votes at a computer.


            Yes, yes, in the People’s Republic of Madison, the people voted:

            1:3 – Trump vs. Hillary
            1:3 – Stein vs. Johnson (Where is Aleppo)

            No offense, but Perot didn’t have “electronic voting” to deal with.

            Doesn’t it seem that the ratios are inverted somehow?

            I’m not a statistician, but logic is pretty straightforward.

      2. Cuibono

        I suspect you are worried more about his success to date at shifting the window of popular discourse a bit to the left.

    2. notabanktoadie

      Their criteria for choosing the Nominee are none of your business or mine, a stance affirmed by the Courts. Tom Stone

      Then neither should political parties have any standing before the law with regard to the general election either since they can no longer claim to represent any significant number of potential voters?

      I suspect the implications of that are good as far as 3rd, 4th, etc. parties are concerned and for election reform in general.

      In other words, the knife should cut both ways.

  17. barrisj

    One wonders if the entire “Doral/G7” business wasn’t a delicious bit of rat-f**king engineered by Trump. As Raúl Ilargi suggests, the last three days generated a ton of media coverage for Trump’s golf course/resort, free advertising in a sense, and the alacrity with which Trump walked back the notion certainly suggests to me that this was a colossal cosmic joke, roping in the MSM, bloggers, and the entirety of the Democratic Party. Now, precipitously, they all of them are left with no story, and no cause cèlébre…again.

  18. pricklyone

    My young lady put me on the right track in 2011, that’s 2011. She said watching one of the many MSNBC appearances of Bernie Sanders, before he upset their scheme:
    “I wish HE would run for President!!”.
    Yes in that period, Bernie was an asset for that crowd. Got me to take a harder look.
    I sure wish she could have stayed around to see it…RIP 2015…

  19. Olga

    Piñera declares emergency in Santiago de Chile after violent metro fare protests The Santiago Times
    This stood out in the article:
    “Chile is usually named as a show case of business friendly atmosphere and correct macroeconomic policies, and as such is a privileged member of the OECD. But it also figures at the bottom of the list in that organization when it comes to education, health and social services ratings.”
    Do we need to know more?

    1. anon in so cal

      Didn’t Bill Clinton think the Chilean model would be good for the US? He was impressed by Klein’s views, expressed here:

      “In a way, the principles America helped export so successfully to Chile through a group of free market economists needed to be reaffirmed through an emblematic reform. I felt that the Chilean solution to the impending Social Security crisis could be applied in the USA.”

  20. Jeffrey Radice

    If you can watch one thing about politics today, make it this. Max Blumenthal articulates exactly what is going on with the schism in the Democratic Party that Hillary just picked the scab off of.

    By going after Tulsi in such a hamfisted manner, via HRC’s baseless claim of a Russian “asset”, they’ve crossed a line in the popular consciousness (one would hope) and united a lot of factions outside the mainstream (most of whom don’t vote, certainly not in Dem primaries). It will be interesting to see if it reflects in Tulsi’s polls. Tim Black thinks it will give her a huge boost.

    For sure 100% that this was a trial run for what’s coming at Bernard next. Obviously! Bernie will not be able to stay silent on this much longer. He’ll be cornered on it much like Mayor Pete was by Jake Tapper this morning. Pete gave his most slipper McKinsey try to evade taking a position. Says everything you need to know about Pete.

          1. ambrit

            This could be spun as another version of the Hollywood saying: “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”

        1. Shonde

          My favorite reply thus far to Tulsi’s tweet:

          “We need a well-defined economic and fiscal policy platform. Message me if you want some suggestions. I have a degree from the University of Chicago.”

          A reply most all NC commenters will be sure to appreciate. Definitely my laugh for the day.

          1. skippy

            On your suggestion I had a peek and liked the handle of one commenter: Neoliberalism is Woke Conservatism.

        2. xkeyscored

          I find her lack of mentioning GOP corruption an omission.
          if you stand up to the rich and powerful elite, and the war machine
          I am running for President to take the Democratic Party, and our country, back from the corrupt elite
          Let’s root out the corruption in our party and our country
          Join me to end the war machine’s stranglehold over our leaders
          [my own transcription]

          Sounds to me like she’s very clearly against corruption in whichever party.

          1. skippy

            Unless its publicly stated I won’t assume anything, she only named Hillary whilst being quite subjective about everyone else.

            I could quite easily suggest that her rhetoric is only a power play to take out Hillary [wounded beast long in tooth] and Co. After that washes its anyone guess.

            I thought Obama would have been educational.

    1. Acacia

      HRC’s “Russian asset” claim recalls Richard Hofstadter’s “paranoid style in American politics“. This is a “style” in which:

      Style has more to do with the way in which ideas are believed and advocated than with the truth or falsity of their content.

      Hofstadter was talking about the right wing of the early 1960s (e.g., claims that Eisenhower was an “agent of the Communist conspiracy”), but he used the phrase “paranoid style” because he felt it was “a style of mind that is far from new and that is not necessarily right-wing.” Following Daniel Bell, he saw it as the expression of a sense of dispossession by one political faction (i.e., dispossessed of their power over the nation), and their determination to repossess it, thus preventing “the final destructive act of subversion”. Finally, Hofstadter read it as a symptom of particular social interests finding themselves shut out of the political process.

      Reading HRC’s attack against Tulsi Gabbard as the most current example of a long-standing “paranoid style” in American political discourse, perhaps we could say that it’s not so much the first foreboding of a coming smoky back-room deal, with HRC emerging from the shadows as the DNC nominee, but is perhaps more the final death rattle of her faction, as the DNC gropes toward the post-Clintonista era. I hope the latter, at least.

  21. Oregoncharles

    I’ve held a hummingbird in my hand. It was, literally, a dark and stormy night in early Spring at the Oregon Coast when something alive hit the window and landed on the ledge. It was small enough that I assumed it was a big insect – but when I picked it up, its heart was beating. Quite a surprise, and a dilemma: what to do with it? I finally decided to release it on the lee side of the house – if it needed shelter, it could find it there, I hoped.

  22. petal

    Cory Booker is at Dartmouth tonight. Doors at 630. Almost no advance notice of it, and when I searched with DDG, there’s nothing. Just happened to see something on a Vermont station’s web site. I’ll see what I can find in the press tomorrow and post it. I had to work my day job yesterday, along with one of my side hustles all weekend, and I’m tired so not going to go. If it was Warren I’d sacrifice my evening to go observe, but it’s this slimeball, so no dice. I think my bathroom needs cleaning. Cheers, kids.

  23. Daryl

    > Senators propose near-total ban on worker noncompete agreements Ars Technica

    It’s nice to see a proactive and actually good piece of legislation come forward. I’m sure it will go nowhere, but it’s nice.

  24. Daryl

    > China bans exports of black clothing to Hong Kong amid protests; all mailings to city ‘severely investigated’, courier firm worker says SCMP

    Every move the Chinese gov’t makes seems like increasingly desperate flailing.

    I wonder where this is all headed.

    1. Carl

      Hong Kong looks like a tar pit for the Chinese government. No question why they’re hesitant to jump on in with their military. The unity of the population is something to behold. On a related note, anybody else astounded at the number of protests around the world these days? HK, Lebanon, Catalonia, Chile, Ecuador, I’m sure there are a couple I missed. The world’s on fire…

      1. The Rev Kev

        Was thinking the same last night. If the world economy goes south, then you would have real trouble everywhere, especially if countries adopted measures demanded by the IMF.

      2. ambrit

        If the world economy does “go South” soon, then the CCP won’t have to worry about the economic fallout from a full on crushing of dissent in Hong Kong. Think Tiananmen Square 2.0.

  25. Anon

    RE: What Liberals don’t understand about the Trump voter

    But what journalists venturing into Trump country miss is that people’s values reflect the actual choices available to them.

    Yes, the presidential choice was a Faustian bargain, at best. But these people didn’t arrive out of thin air. One was escorted in by her Party. The Other destroyed his Party by appealing to the greed of some, racism of others, and political naivete’ of most.

    Presidential elections are weighted toward states with smaller populations AND a “winner take all” electoral vote system which in 2016 allowed 77,000 voters in three states to have an out-sized impact on the election. Change to proportional voting and empower ALL voters equally! We then won’t have this nebulous discussion of the “Trump voter”.

    What defines most voters is the small consideration given to the many consequences of their choices. For example, Kentucky: a poor state that elects Republicans to state and federal office. Those politicians are at the forefront of tax-breaks-for-the-rich and cutting government spending. Nothing like kicking yourself with your choices when your down!

  26. smoker

    Re: Google affiliate begins drone deliveries in Virginia town
    ‘Go back to work’: outcry over deaths on Amazon’s warehouse floor

    Sociopathic Megalomaniacs that they are, Sergey Brin, Larry Page (Google/Alphabet), and Jeff Bezos (Amazon) should have been (at a minimum) Committed™ decades ago; which speaks volumes as to whom the US Powers that be determine to be dangerously antisocial and Mentally Ill™.

    Personally, I would add Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, et al, along with the DOD/CIA, et al Leaders – and thier US/CA/WA Executive/Congressional Office aiders and abettors who so heavily subsidized and revolving doored all of thier Companies, to that list of those who should have been highly confined so as not to harm billions.

  27. David Carl Grimes

    So You Make $100,000? It Still Might Not Be Enough to Buy a Home.
    A record number of six-figure-income families rent, as student debt and meager savings cloud their financial future

    Downpayments are too high. Home Prices are too high. Too many investors bought to rent, pushing up prices. A downpayment is now worth a year or more of income.

  28. Plenue

    >Lawmakers express “deep concern” over Blizzard’s Hong Kong protest response Ars Technica

    From Blizzard’s perspective their actions were entirely rational and justified. China is too big a market to risk getting shut out of.

    It’s always fun to watch capitalism bow to oppression because it’s profitable. So much for all that ‘only the free market can save us from the Road to Serfdom’ nonsense.

  29. Summer

    Re: Catalonia

    Not to be toyed with. Caught up on some Spanish Civil War history and was blown away how anarchists held Barcelona for a bit during that time…

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      If that still interests you, Homage to Catalonia is George Orwell’s amazing and often beautiful account of his experiences in Barcelona and its environs during that time. One of my favorite quotes from that book:

      But it (the revolution) lasted long enough to have its effect upon anyone who experienced it. However much one cursed at the time, one realized afterwards that one had been in contact with something strange and valuable. One had been in a community where hope was more normal than apathy or cynicism, where the word “comrade” stood for comradeship and not, as in most countries, for humbug. One had breathed the air of equality.

  30. KFritz

    One readers opinion. “Ode to Skimming” is badly written and a singular example of unintentional irony.

  31. Cripes

    This morning on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd manages to discuss the leading Democratic nominees without mentioning Sanders. He talks about Biden, Warren, Buttagieg, and only manages to ask Mayor Pete what he thinks of Hillary’s smear of Tulsi Gabbard. The mealy-mouthed “veteran” can’t muster even the slightest criticism of the Warmonger Queen, with some incoherent dodge about focusing on “what’s important.”
    Some nameless sycophantic guest of his blathers on about how trusty Old Joe will be the one everyone gathers around after they stop pushing their pet policies. What a collection of douchebags.
    I think a lot of commenters are correct about Sanders needing to stand up against this kind of crap, to have a breakout moment that will force the media to cover his campaign. Or they’ll bury Bernie with a media blackout.
    Maybe he’s keeping powder dry for a more opportune moment, but it better come and soon, the primaries aren’t far away and the general is getting closer in media time.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Sometimes, I feel this way:

        I just want to sit here on the shelf
        And watch you finish off the place by yourself
        Please let me do what I wanna
        I’ll just lay around the house and smoke marijuana

        “Oh Mommy (I Ain’t No Commie)” Brewer & Shipley

  32. smoker

    Re: Senators propose near-total ban on worker noncompete agreements [A noncompete ban has served Silicon Valley well. Should it apply nationwide?]

    But supporters of broader reforms have a powerful counterexample: California. For decades, the Golden State has had the nation’s strictest laws against noncompetes, effectively banning the practice. Despite that—or maybe because of it—the state has become a powerful center for high-tech innovation.

    Huh? No fricking mention of the enormous Golden California™, Silicon Valley wage rigging scandal which took place despite the strict laws of the Golden State™. What the hell good are noncompete restrictions written so loosely, or ‘regulated’ so corruptly that companies are still able to blatantly wage rig. From January 2014, just half of a decade ago:

    The Techtopus: How Silicon Valley’s most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers’ wages

    And speaking of decades, so very sick of decades of reading how well regulated California is, particularly from thousands of miles away authors (the author is in DC), and particularly when the authors are both very young, and clearly appear to have no knowledge whatsoever of the countless Golden State Regulatory Failures in terms of actually protecting lives and the environment. Look at that California Gini index (Inequality Index), and those of its counties, is that really a healthily regulated state of affairs in the employment realm, seriously?

    1. metannoya

      Thanks Baby Gerald, that’s my antidote for today. shock n’ jealousy for the other campaigns. never did believe those polls. the only thing left to say is: hand marked paper ballots, hand counted in public.

  33. Cripes

    He’s been packing in 25000+ crowds since 2016 and it barely makes the news. And when it does they managed to characterize them as a small bunch of devoted followers. Despite the fact the so-called leading candidates can barely fill a room with two or three hundred people, media is largely successful in marginalizing the strongest candidate.

    Basically there’s a statistical Dead Heat in these heavily skewed polls between Biden Warren and Sanders. Sanders leads in fundraising Sanders leads in money in the bank and Sanders very likely leads among young people that don’t have landline phones, but that doesn’t matter cuz he’s “too old”


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