Links 10/25/19

Search continues for the Alabama sturgeon, one of the rarest fish on earth AL.com. From an excellent series, but how I loathe the elimination of real newspaper names in favor of bland, state-based URLs. How I prefer even the utilitarian “Birmingham News”!

After This Fungus Turns Ants Into Zombies, Their Bodies Explode NYT (GF).

Cyber Attack Hits Prominent Hedge Fund, Endowment, and Foundation Institutional Investor

WeWork’s sparsely populated China offices drain company’s cash FT

Kincade Fire: PG&E tower near ignition point of Sonoma County wildfire was not shut off, had broken equipment ABC7

‘Evil economics’: William Barber condemns proposed plastics facility in Cancer Alley Guardian

The Permian Basin Is Facing Its Biggest Threat Yet Bloomberg

Thirst turns to anger as Australia’s mighty river runs dry Reuters

The myth of green growth FT

Brexit

Brexit: will you, won’t you…? EU Referendum

Boris Johnson rolls the Brexit dice again and Boris Johnson’s Brexit man Politico

Brexit: “Do or die” The Interpreter. Or, alternatively, do and die.

Most voters think risk of violence against MPs is ‘price worth paying’ over Brexit Guardian (Vlad: “If you sow wind….”).

Bolivia elections: Morales officially declared winner BBC

Around the World, Protesters Take to the Streets Foreign Policy

Syraqistan

Exclusive: U.S. Has Plan to Send Tanks and Troops to ‘Secure’ Syria Oil Fields Amid Withdrawal Newsweek

Israel and Gulf States Are Going Public With Their Relationship Bloomberg

Russia to present own Persian Gulf security doctrine till yearend Tehran Times

The Putin-Erdogan Deal Poses a Challenge to the West Bloomberg

Iraqi Kurds turn to Zoroastrianism as faith, identity entwine France24

India

Kashmir is seething — and somebody needs to step in before it’s too late The Independent

China?

U.S. Fears Mass Boycott as Chinese Turn to Homegrown Brands Bloomberg

Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak had no idea millions in his accounts came from 1MDB, defence argues South China Morning Post

New Cold War

Zombie NATO Expansion Stumbles On The American Conservative (Re Silc).

How Vodka Became a Currency in Russia Atlas Obscura

Impeachment

The Codevilla Tapes Tablet. A very, very interesting interview — you can skip past the lengthy intro — with an old school national security mandarin, Angelo Codevilla. Here is an important nugget:

INTERVIEWER: I have some close personal friends who are more on the left, and I said to them: OK. Where’s the evidence? Who did what when to whom? Where are the quids and where are the quos? What’s going on here? And all they could say is, “Well, the investigation is going on.”

Whose fault is this?

[CODEVILLA:] The fault here is not of Democrats on the left. The fault here is of Donald Trump and his friends who have refused to enforce the most basic laws here. The most obvious one is Section 798, (18 U.S. Code), the simple comment statute. Now anybody in the intelligence business knows that this is the live wire of security law. It is a strict liability statute. It states that any revelation, regardless of circumstance or intent, any revelation period, of anything having to do with U.S. communications intelligence is punishable by the 10 and 10. Ten years in the slammer, and $10,000 fine. Per count.

Now the folks who went to The Washington Post and The New York Times in November and December of 2016 and peddled this story of the intelligence community’s conclusion that Trump and the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia, these people ipso facto violated §798.

Considering these matters are highly classified, and that the number of the people involved is necessarily very small, identifying them is child’s play. But no effort to do that has been made.

I’m not a lawyer, but Codevilla seems like an authoritative source (e.g., “directly involved in the drafting of the original FISA law in 1978”).

Justice Dept. Is Said to Open Criminal Inquiry Into Its Own Russia Investigation NYT. Before, Durham didn’t have subpoena power. Now he does.

The Blob Strikes Back The National Interest

Trump Transition

The CBO Just Handed Us Two Trillion Dollars J.W. Mason. The CBO played a fantastically destructive role in the health care debate of 2009-2010, since the CBO, by definition, cannot measure national accounts. So even though #MedicareForAll saves the country hundreds of billions, it “scores” poorly. No doubt the “pay for” crowd, which sadly but not unexpectedly includes Elizabeth Warren, will leverage that leverage that in favor of their preferred policy option, for which the bottom line is preserving the existence of private health insurance.

Team Trump Admits Holding Back Billions For Puerto Rico Disaster Recovery DC Report

William Barr: Anti-Terror Tactics Can Help Thwart Mass Shooters HuffPo

Hawley to Introduce Bill to Move Federal Agencies out of Washington D.C. to Economically Stagnant Areas National Review

Controversial copyright bill inches closer to becoming law as House approves Ars Technica

2020

Warren faces tough choices on funding ‘Medicare for all’ The Hill. “Government faces tough choices in funding F-35,” wrote no editor, ever.

Economists rush to help Sen. Elizabeth Warren solve Medicare-for-all tax puzzle WaPo. At this point we recall this chart, which I have suitably annotated:

Are Our Brains Wired to Reject Medicare for All? David Corn, Mother Jones. Every time I think we’ve reached peak liberalism, Clara Jeffreys proves me wrong. Redeploying Corn from the RussiaRussiaRussia desk to the #MedicareForAll desk is a master-stroke (and shows what the liberal Democrat hive mind perceives as the real threat).

Bernie Sanders Vows to Revive Criminal Prosecutions of CEOs for Unfair Trade Practices The Intercept (nippersmom). Even the horrid Bush administration prosecuted Enron executives. But [genuflects] Obama? Not so much.

Who Revolts? Empirically Revisiting the Social Origins of Democracy The Journal of Politics. Important in the Sanders v. Warren controversy.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Joe Rogan Experience #1368 – Edward Snowden YouTube

Snowden reconsidered Gilbert Doctorow

Imperial Collapse Watch

OK, the collapse of the British Empire, but still. Thread:

Black Injustice Tipping Point

A Health Care Algorithm Offered Less Care to Black Patients Wired

An Undeserved Gift The Bitter Southerner. Okra.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch) Teardown iFixit. Microsoft (!) makes a real move toward right-to-repair. “[W]e take a stab with our opening tool at the seam between the upper and lower case, and … it comes right apart! With nary a speck of unsightly glue in sight! … Just like that, the whole top cover assembly lifts away! This is a magical moment.”

Book Review: Against the Grain Slate Star Codex

Antidote du jour (via):

Nice marmot!

Bonus antidote:

Stay in your lane…

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.

190 comments

    1. urblintz

      A link posted yesterday might offer some small consolation: https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/23/just-6-of-u-s-adults-on-twitter-account-for-73-of-political-tweets-and-they-disapprove-of-trump/

      “A small number of prolific U.S. Twitter users create the majority of tweets, and that extends to Twitter discussions around politics, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center out today. Building on an earlier study, which discovered that 10% of users created 80% of tweets from U.S. adults, the organization today says that just 6% of U.S. adults on Twitter account for 73% of tweets about national politics.”

      Reply
      1. Jason Boxman

        I never bother with Twitter. Unless you’re someone that has a platform by virtue of already having a following, you’re just blowing bits into the abyss and wasting your life. Why bother?

        Reply
        1. Winston Smith

          I think you can have a bit of fun if you are selective and minimize your exposure…I like the Pres supervillain account.

          Reply
          1. Lord Koos

            I kind of enjoy twitter because you can comment directly to various journalists, economists, etc. Of course whether or not they read such comments is another story…

            Reply
        2. Olga

          I do not twitter/tweet, but am still intrigued by its use by the prez basically to avoid ‘handlers’ and communicate directly with the populace. No US prez has had such a power. Seems sorta revolutionary to me.

          Reply
            1. Olga

              True, although I’d imagine more prep work went into those chats. The tweets, in comparison, seem quite spontaneous, with little opportunity for censorship (for better or worse, depending on one’s perspective).

              Reply
                1. wilroncanada

                  Trump stream of consciousness. Vocabulary one one hundredth of William Burroughs. Naked lunch for five-year-olds.

                  Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > 10% of users created 80% of tweets

        This is a power curve, which is normal online. A very small percentage of readers comments, and and even smaller percentage of that fraction go on to write blogs of their own.

        Reply
    2. polecat

      Ah … the screechy Bluebird of Unhappiness ..

      Hopefully, a digital avian destined to a maggoty demise ! .. along with Ghoolag, Face eater, and the like.
      They are Not of the Body -They are but Poison !

      Reply
    3. Susan the Other

      …and OK, I seriously love these antidotes. The fierce beaver ready to go to the mat with the coyote. I can’t tell if it’s a male or female, or even if it might be a woodchuck – but it’s definitely all-in on the hapless coyote. And followed by the regal, lovely tall moose, mother to two lovely children – and we? We stop! We are truly wonderful beings. Rejoice.

      Reply
  1. vlade

    @Lambert – Indeed. the poem has
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die.

    The “do or die” is actually from Burns and his ode to Robert the Bruce
    Lay the proud usurpers low!
    Tyrants fall in every foe!
    Liberty’s in every blow!
    Let us do or die!

    (where the Tyrants, userpers etc. are English for avoidance of doubt)

    And I believe Tennyson has used “do and die” very knowingly of Burn’s poem.

    So either Johnson was knowingly quoting Burns with the irony of all of it, or he’s one of the many who actually never read The Charge of the Light Brigade. Which has also lines like:

    Was there a man dismayed?
    Not though the soldier knew
    Someone had blundered.
    —-
    Charging an army, while
    All the world wondered.
    —-
    So if it is an appropriate poem for today, it’s more about the UK people than their government.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      That last line of that poem had an unfortunate result during WW2. The US Navy sent coded messages to each other and they padded both ends of the message with text to make it harder to crack. I will let Wikepedia take up the story of what happened during the Battle off Samar in 1944-

      “When the Seventh Fleet’s escort carriers found themselves under attack from the Center Force, Halsey began to receive a succession of desperate calls from Kinkaid asking for immediate assistance off Samar. For over two hours Halsey turned a deaf ear to these calls. Then, shortly after 10:00 hours,a message was received from Admiral Nimitz: “Where is repeat where is Task Force 34? The world wonders”. The tail end of this message, The world wonders, was intended as padding designed to confuse enemy decoders, but was mistakenly left in the message when it was handed to Halsey. The urgent inquiry had seemingly become a stinging rebuke. The fiery Halsey threw his hat on the deck of the bridge and began cursing. Finally Halsey’s Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Robert “Mick” Carney, confronted him, telling Halsey “Stop it! What the hell’s the matter with you? Pull yourself together.”

      Reply
    2. marieann

      The “do or die” is actually from Burns and his ode to Robert the Bruce
      “Lay the proud usurpers low!
      Tyrants fall in every foe!
      Liberty’s in every blow!
      Let us do or die!”

      and so I started singing it…this was one we learned in school.
      Thanks

      Reply
    3. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

      Robert Burns:

      Search the BBC (radio 4 podcasts, In Our Time) and you will find a nice programme about Rabbie from this very week. What a card!

      nb Was very good to his brother.

      Pip-pip!

      Reply
        1. xkeyscored

          Why should that matter? Who says he can’t be the legitimate elected president of two countries? Only Russian bots and trolls. Morales stole the election, simple.

          Reply
          1. Foy

            You misunderstand me.

            Guaido fought the Venezuelan election against Maduro, not the Bolivan election. You were talking about Boliva not Venezuela. Guaido didn’t go up against Morales in Boliva. I think you are talking about the wrong country.

            Reply
            1. Ignacio

              The problem with Evo Morales, for whom I have mixed thougths, is the same as happened with Hugo Chavez, which is promoting cult of personality beneath their indigenous and social thougths. They are vulnerable to autocratic ways of governing including some electoral manipulation. This is not to say they are unique on electoral manipulation but use less sophisticated methods than others and can be easily traced.

              Reply
  2. Eudora Welty

    While visiting mom in Milwaukee, I attended a panel discussion about the 2020 Democratic convention.

    Most notable point, to me, was that the zip code 53206 (economically disadvantaged with highest incarceration rate) is adjacent to the convention site. There was discussion about whether the 53206 can be correctified within the next 9 months.

    I was impressed that the people on the panel spoke realistically about Milwaukee’s racial disparities and the fact that this can’t be papered over when 12,000 journalists descend on the city in July.

    Also, it was said that the fact that Wisconsin is seen as a swing state was the main factor in selecting Milwaukee over Miami & the other finalist for DNC 2020.

    It actually is very exciting to have Milwaukee on such a large stage. I am thinking of volunteering, but I am still mad that the DNC deprived Bernie of a prime-time speaking spot in 2016.

    Reply
    1. Eudora Welty

      On my way to the panel discussion, I actually drove along the southern border of 53206. I saw vacant commercial buildings, one after the other, with churches, beauty shops, and economic development/ social development organizations scattered. (I rarely see economic development & social development non-profits in more affluent neighborhoods – blaming the poor for red-lining & Jim Crow, etc).

      I remember commuting to college in the late 1970s & seeing the same type of economic war-zone, block after block. I was left speechless about why hadn’t the Great Society led to more vibrant inner-city neighborhoods.

      It’s a condemnation of our whole society & I am glad Milwaukee will be unable to paper it over in time for DNC 2020.

      Reply
    2. jefemt

      Never Forget:
      Remember Trump’s Empty Podium early summer 2016, while Bernie gave The Speech of a Lifetime prior to the DNC convention.
      Never forgive the MSM, or DNC, for not covering Bernie’s speech, instead showing The Empty Podium for over an hour.

      “If voting mattered, it would be illegal”. Man, that sticks in my aching overstuffed craw

      Reply
  3. Bill Smith

    Zombie NATO Expansion Stumbles On

    Game Theorists: Russia invades Lithuania and only Lithuania. How many of NATO’s members do something other than talk? Does Norway initiate military action on its shared border with Russia? What does Macedonia contribute?

    Reply
  4. FreeMarketApologist

    Cyber Attack Hits Prominent Hedge Fund, Endowment, and Foundation

    It’s a good warning to everybody to be highly aware of incoming email, and not just blindly respond to what looks like a hasty request from a senior manager, but this is hardly news.

    My firm (a global investment bank) receives these all the time [*1]. Yes, the attacks are targeted (that’s why they often work), but Kansas University, CFT, and Arena Investors aren’t particularly special in being singled out.

    [*1] The majority are filtered out by our spam detection software.

    Reply
    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      I’ve worked at places where we’ve run internal phishing tests regularly. It’s always interesting to see who falls for it and who doesn’t. Of course, it was more interesting to me to note the company didn’t actually do anything about the results (including the person in finance who responded to a fake request for Amazon gift cards by actually buying them before realizing this was a phishing test.) But they could go to the board and say they did it. Security theater, at it’s finest.

      Reply
      1. T

        Same. But if some sent a link that was supposed to be video if someone biting a horse on the neck, I’d click. Not sure how a person could bite a horse on the neck. Solid slab of muscle with tight skin.

        Going to try it tonight.

        Reply
      2. FreeMarketApologist

        Our firm tracks and publishes the results (not quite publicly naming names), and targets additional training for the problem individuals/departments, so more than just theatre.

        Reply
  5. Steve H.

    > Who Revolts? Empirically Revisiting the Social Origins of Democracy

    “the relationship between industrial worker campaigns and democratization is very robust, whereas the evidence is mixed for middle-class campaigns.”
    “We focus here on Industrial Workers and Urban Middle Classes. The former refers to labor employed in manufacturing and mining.”

    fred.stlouisfed.org/series/USAPEFANA
    fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CES1021210001

    Links indicate that the effective democratization sector is only a third of what it was since the Powell Memorandum was issued.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      hence the divide and conquer on steroids since about that time(that’s about when weyrich, et al. met in the lobby of the HoJo in St Louis to scribble out the Plan on a napkin that became the Culture War(weaponising xtianity to reinvigorate the moribund then-party of the elite))
      combined with easy credit(for some), and ample opportunity for virtue/status signalling(fed pcp by Madison Ave/cheap shit from our former plant in china)…and I’ll include the myriad sports rivalries that even i have witnessed come to blows…on and on and on…
      anything to keep us’n’s from seeing ourselves in each other, finding common grievances and complaints…let alone possible agreement…especially agreement/awareness of who is actually doing the screwing, here.
      since especially 08, it looks like all those spinning plates are starting to wobble and lose momentum…which is why we have mr trump,lol.
      SOP says to expect another “catastrophic break…like a new pearl harbor….”
      this time, from the South, i reckon.

      poked around in Toynbee this AM(abridged version)…seems we’re well into the Dominant Elite Phase, at the late stage where they’ve become obsolete and bereft of creativity…enough so that the proletariat(in and out) is starting to notice.

      Reply
      1. Steve H.

        I have some concerns about Toynbee’s perspective, based on quotes from Charles Murray’s WSJ article “Prole Models”:

        > the dominant elite in a society succumbs to “vulgarity and barbarism in manners” by “merging itself in its own proletariats.”

        Does this fit with your understanding of Toynbee? I find it heartily elitist. Turchin’s “intraelite competition” seems a more accurate model of elite disintegration to me.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          ” its own proletariats” might describe the 10%—“enabler class”, “professional managerial class”…or even “Courtiers”.

          as for “vulgarity and barbarism in manners”…a casual glance at the top…even excluding trump as the most glaring example…reveals a-moral, hyperselfish entitlement, prone to projecting their own sins on those below(“deplorables” comes to mind…but we could find plenty of examples on both “sides”)…then there’s the 80-some years of skulduggery and rapine, under the cover of “spreading democracy” and “defending freedom”, abroad…while making certain that the lower orders domestically don’t get any ideas.
          I enjoyed turchin, too…read him a year or more after i read toynbee(i got the 12 volume version through interlibrary loan–took a year of being early to work and breaktimes)
          but i like the latter’s taxonomy of civilisation a lot better.
          creative minority=>dominant minority, resting on their laurels, and feeling like their owed the loyalty of the hoi polloi: sounds a lot like our current ruling class.
          I think his “life cycle” is a fascinating lens.(and for such a giant tome, it was surprisingly readable…more so than the abridged version, in fact)

          and…I have some concerns about charles murray’s perspectives,lol
          to say nothing of that of the WSJ.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            correction: i’ve only read turchin online(the cliodynamics guy)
            but now i’m too medicated and filled with words to remember the guy i did read after toynbee,lol.
            recent-ish historian(-ish)..same sort of outlook as jared diamond, and a doomer fave like him.(it’s gonna bother me like a miley cyrus song stuck in my head)

            i HAVE enjoyed turchin(now that i know,lol) but take some issue with the reductionist approach to the humanities…reminds me of Hari Seldon and Psychohistory. i think there’s too much chaos in each of us…and therefore en masse.

            Reply
              1. Steve H.

                medicated and filled with words…

                I read Tainter, too, and for some reason he didn’t really stick. He really ought to, he hits a bunch of my buttons. There are a couple of nuances- complexity theory doesn’t quite capture intra-elite competition, and his rational, self-interested elites don’t quite have the genocidal tendencies that Shakespeare was more understanding of.

                o hey, I just found a note that Tainter reviewed a Turchin book. off to fill with more words…

                Reply
                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  intraelite competition, for me, is just assumed…it’s there in Gibbon, and in a lot of the source material(even in the more fawning/partisan, like Seutonius). it’s certaily been there with the usian elites…factions fighting with factions, often almost invisible to the lower orders.
                  I take all grand narratives with a grain or three of salt,lol, but i still end up with a shaker-full.
                  as for our own aristocracy, it’s been hard to overcome that assumption…beginning with the Right…of a monolithic Elite(and indeed, a monolithic islam, left,queerdom etc)…it seems to be just how most people order their mental maps of the world….with ample help from “thought leaders” and talking heads.
                  it’s raised my hackles for a long while when some right winger equates a clintonite with the “far left”…but it takes pages to enumerate the actual divisions and their histories.
                  most people don’t have the time or the wherewithal to spend on nuances like that.

                  Reply
      2. ewmayer

        Note that there are 2 Arnold Toynbees worth reading – the historian had an economist uncle – and IMO all the great economists in history have been first and foremost historians – of the same name (and after whom the historian was likely named, having been born several years after the death of the uncle) who died quite young, but not before writing his pioneering work The Industrial Revolution (1884).

        Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “Hawley to Introduce Bill to Move Federal Agencies out of Washington D.C. to Economically Stagnant Areas”

    This could be a very good idea this. I can see it now. The Department of Defense will be relocated to Kabul in Afghanistan. The Environmental protection Agency would be relocated to Louisiana – in “Cancer Alley”. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency would be reset up Puerto Rico. That should work.

    Reply
    1. Marlin

      As a German, I was totally confused as a child, when I learned, that in other countries most of the federal state institutions are in the capital. There was some consolidation after reunification, but we still have e.g.
      – the Bundesbank in Frankfurt,
      – the constitutional court in Karlsruhe,
      – the federal statistics office in Wiesbaden,
      – various parts of the federal government still remain in Bonn,
      – there are various smaller federal organizations around the country.

      Reply
    2. Chris

      I’d like to see the Capitol relocate to Nebraska or some place similar as part of the GND. Would be smart and stimulate the economy.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Is the BLM getting much scrutiny now? In some ways it makes sense to move the BLM west where their activities are. The real objection seems to be from the bureaucrats who don’t want to move to Grand Junction

        Reply
        1. The Historian

          I think the main complaint is that the BLM is being moved away from the center of power and from its ability to protect itself politically. This effectively says to BLM’s enemies – and there are many, especially people like the Kochs who want BLM land – that it is now open season on the BLM.

          Reply
          1. Carolinian

            The BLM has never been that enthusiastic a guardian of the western commons. And those who don’t believe in public lands at all will likely take their fight to Congress–still in DC.

            Reply
            1. The Historian

              I would agree with you – the BLM hasn’t been the best protector of public lands, but what alternatives are there? There was a vote in Montana in 2014 for the State of Montana to take over BLM land. The State of Montana could never afford to maintain all that land so they would have to sell off a lot of it. The ranchers realized that they would have to bid against billionaires and would never be able to afford that land they desired so they voted to let BLM maintain it. At least, BLM lets them use it.

              And I agree with you, the fight will be in DC and the BLM won’t be there for the day to day battles to protect itself. There are still BLM staff who strongly want to keep control of those lands.

              Lesson 105 on how Government works. If you have senior staffers creating problems and it would be too hard to fire them for political or other reasons, send them to the hinterlands. Then you can ignore them.

              Reply
        2. Off The Street

          How are those lobbyists supposed to entertain BLM people away from the DC restaurant scene? Alternatively, there should be an opportunity to dine out in those new Grand Junction bistros springing up to serve a growing population of eastern refugees and their hangers-on.

          Reply
          1. Olga

            Well, that’s just it… the DC burbs became fat thanks to all those consultant/contractor padded salaries. With this plan, they’d have to scatter all over, following the appropriate agency (an they cld only work for one). Talk about economic development!

            Reply
          2. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

            Entertaining BLM people away from the DC restaurant scene?:

            Call GravyTrainEats

            Pip-Pip!

            Reply
    3. inode_buddha

      Nah, there’s several city blocks worth of Superfund available for sale within walking distance from me. Remember Love Canal? *perfect* for the EPA. And a few miles away, the bulldozed remains of the old Union Carbide plant…

      Reply
    4. Lord Koos

      I bet federal workers will be super excited to relocate to the hinterlands. This is likely a way for conservatives to further fragment and weaken what little government oversight and regulation still remain.

      Reply
  7. Steve H.

    > Book Review: Against the Grain

    !

    Reads like a too-simple explanation, but dang. Reflected the power of “Firefly” and its philosophy.

    “Po-tay-toes! Boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew. Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish.” – Sam Gamgee.

    Reply
  8. DJG

    Gilbert Doctorow: It may simply have been a bad interview by MSNBC (quelle surprise!).

    Notable quote from Doctorow’s analysis: “He is willfully ignorant, turns a blind eye to the possibility that the FBI, the domestic buddies of the CIA, and the overarching NSA might be practicing malfeasance, might be violating the U.S. Constitution and depriving the American public of their liberties in other dimensions, outside his purview as technologist.”

    I listened to a good portion of the Joe Rogan interview with Snowden. He doesn’t come off as arrogant or “narcissistic” (I’m always suspicious of Americans, of all people, worried about those Other Narcissists). What is notable about Snowden, and I’m not sure that it is the “engineer’s mind” that Doctorow likes, is that he speaks in extremely long, complicatedly structured sentences. I was struck right away by his delivery. Few other people seem to be able to explain so much (maybe too much) “on their feet.” Or: It may be that his generation simply is that verbal–too verbal, I’d argue. But narcissism? Can we get past the psychobabble?

    The irony here is all the talk of Crazy Hillary after the recent Stein, Gabbard, and other tweets and statements. “I can beat him again.” She isn’t crazy. She’s professionally incompetent. She is morally unmoored. She’s a criminal. Do we have to evoke Herr Doktor Freud to indict her?

    Returning to Snowden, some of the reason he would return is that he comes from a thoroughly American family–a grandfather was an admiral. So he believes himself more representative of the American character than his adversaries. That isn’t an unreasonable proposition–so long as the rest of us think that the American character remains something more than a combo of gossip, grifter, swindler, plus Tartuffe, although there are so many of these too-clever-by-half types wandering around these days that it may be that Snowden is an anachronism.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      Yeah the Doctorow piece was underwhelming. In addition to your complaints, I have my regular issue with that same “turns a blind eye” quote.

      Snowden doesn’t have to be Deep Thought, doesn’t have to answer the questions of Life the Universe and Everything. He has his area of interest/expertise and he certainly doesn’t have to satisfy Doctorow’s criteria for speaking on what is a massive subject. Accusing him of “turning a blind eye” is the same as accusing my cat of ignoring what’s on TV. It isn’t deliberate, he’s a cat and TV simply doesn’t register* in his world.

      *Of course a long time ago when TVs consisted of vacuum tubes, the cat of my childhood liked to sleep on it.

      Reply
    2. Oh

      I’m impressed by Edward Snowden. He’s able to articulate well and his delivery is smooth. He doesn’t hem and haw or do the y;know. A bright young man who is an asset to this country. It’s disgusting that the Deep State hates him and wants to get him.

      Reply
    3. DonCoyote

      +1

      I listened to all of Snowden on Rogan over the last few days (but have not yet watched the MSNBC interview Doctorow links, and may never–I don’t think MSNBC is worth an hour of my time), and I got almost the opposite impression that Doctorow apparently came away with. Snowden said yes, he would come and stand trial in the US, but only if they agree to certain conditions that he expects them never to agree to (e.g. letting him call himself a whisteblower and explain why he did it–he refers more than once to the Hale case, also an NSA contractor being prosecuted under the Esponiage act).

      Many good quotes in that interview, here is one that probably many NC readers know, but that makes me think Doctorow is wrong about Snowden:

      “At that moment, I realize these guys don’t care about the law. These guys don’t care about the constitution. These guys don’t care about the American people. They care about the continuity of government. They care about the state, right? This is something that people have lost. We hear this phrase over and over again, national security, national security, national security. We’re meant to interpret that to mean public safety. National security is a very different thing from public safety. National security is a thing that in previous generations we referred to as state security. National security was a term that came out of the Bush administration to run cover for the fact that we were elevating a new secret police across the country.”

      Reply
      1. xkeyscored

        Would you recommend watching the Rogan thing?
        I saw it highly recommended somewhere, maybe here on NC, but it’s nearly three hours long, and I’m already quite familiar with Snowden. Is there anything radically new or important here?

        Reply
        1. R Zarate

          Listen to it on Podcast as you do your commute/tasks/cooking/things. Well worth listening to, not a lot I didn’t know but reassuring to hear him, a rare, articulate, intelligent speaker covering such important topics.
          I hope he is up to something useful otherwise it is very wasteful of a good man leaving him in exile.

          Reply
          1. xkeyscored

            Thank you. It is interesting to hear him ramble – I’m getting a lot more insight into him, his motivations and his changes in attitude, and the ways of the secret bureaucracy – but on double speed while doing other stuff.

            Reply
          2. DonCoyote

            +1

            I haven’t read Permanent Record, so I couldn’t comment on how duplicative it is with that. You could probably skip through much of the first hour or so where he goes over the details of what and how he did that you probably already know. But yes, I do think it is worth hearing. He has a nice discussion with Joe at the end about mobile security and a key court case on why we don’t own our own data now.

            And then there’s this quote (like Lambert, Snowden is a meliorist):

            “Every day that we stay silent about all the injustices we see, the world gets worse, things get worse. And yeah, it’s risky. Yeah, it’s uncomfortable. But that’s why we do it, because if we don’t, no one else will. All those years I was sitting hoping for someone else to come forward and no one did, that’s because I was waiting for a hero. But there are no heroes. There’s only heroic decisions. You are never further than one decision away from making a difference. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a big difference, doesn’t matter if it was a small difference because you don’t have to save the world by yourself. In fact, you can’t. All you have to do is lay down one brick. All you have to do is make things a little bit better in a small way so the other people can lay their brick on top of that or beside that. And together, step by step, day by day, year by year, we build the foundation of something better, but yeah, it’s not going to be safe.”

            Reply
            1. Foy

              Just saw your comment DonC after I posted my comment and see that you beat me to that quote. Good stuff! And the comment that you could skip the first hour. Agreed. Woops!

              Reply
        2. Foy

          I watched the whole thing. You could skip the first hour as that is where he gives the whole background to his childhood, upbringing, family history and liking for computers which lead to him joining the intelligence community. I’ve read his book Permanent Record and the first hour or so covers the same thing as his book does in the first few chapters. Snowden feels this is very important to how he came to be and the driver of his later actions. But the intelligence community discussions really get underway after the first hour. He is discussing a complex subject after all.

          I found the interview interview intriguing and fascinating. I didn’t find him narcissistic, but he is clearly confident in his own thoughts and does speak long sentences and maybe this can come across as arrogant. But he has been to place not many have been and seen the world from a different perspective and is trying to explain that perspective. Joe Rogan was great because as an interviewer he let his subject speak rather than interrupting all the time, which I think made the interview.

          This clip starting at 2:22:14 or thereabouts [link at the timestamp below] for 3 mins is worth listening to… “there are no heroes, only heroic decisions….if you eliminate all risks from your life what you are actually doing is eliminating all possibilities from your life…you’ve tried to collapse the universe of outcomes [in order to protect yourself] but what you’ve lost is freedom and the ability to act because you are afraid”

          https://youtu.be/efs3QRr8LWw?t=8474

          Reply
  9. bob

    AL.com NJ.com oregonlive.com mlive.com and many others that look exactly the same are all local media owned by the newhouse cartel. A monopoly that never gets any attention.

    Reply
    1. Off The Street

      There was a media mini-golden age of sorts before the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine. That event helped trigger industry consolidation, aided and abetted by some helpful legislation, rulings and the odd lobbying effort and campaign contribution, either in cash or in kind. Now there are too many vested interests wanting to preserve their own status quo, and willingly to pay handsomely or otherwise take alternative steps for that.

      The strategic play was to seize the high ground to become a mixed metaphor gatekeeper of the airwaves and/or the printed news world. Consolidation left precious little variety for those seeking mainline sources, so bread and circuses all around. Internet outlets have seen huge growth but accompanied by concerns about trending toward a post-truth environment.

      On a more positive note, NC continues to be a beacon of truth and independent thought. :)

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        Done by Lovable Bill Clinton and his merry men (and women). One reason I dislike the New Democrat/Blue Dog/Third Way Democrats. I love NC and am sorry the surge in the Thai Baht (or precipitous drop in the US dollar) left me unable to contribute in the most recent campaign.

        Reply
  10. Matthew G. Saroff

    I have come to the conclusion that algorythms that discriminate against minorities are a feature, not a bug.

    It’s a a feature of things like Airbnb rental listings and Facebook employment and rental ads, and the claims of this not being intentional are highly suspect.

    Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “The Putin-Erdogan Deal Poses a Challenge to the West”: ‘The Kremlin offers authoritarians a brokerage service based on cynical principles of mutual gain rather than values and allegiances.’

    It is known as diplomacy and even the Jihadists respect the Russians here. Mostly because they know that if they break an agreement, the Russians will kill them – but with no ill feelings though. The Russians will talk with anyone and their negotiating teams must be superb based on their results. It seems to be based on strict pragmatism whereas too many western diplomats are merely ideologues that attempt to create their own “reality”.
    And what “values and allegiances” is Bloomberg talking about here? The value of occupying a country’s resources so that it cannot feed or rebuild itself properly? Or are the allegiances like the ones with the Kurds (several times) or even the Montagnards of Vietnam? When a country breaks faith too many times and is regarded as being agreement-incapable, it does come back to bite you. Two immediate examples come to mind. If Washington had kept past agreements made, then there would be several hundred more POWS that would have returned home after Vietnam and North Korea would most likely have been a solved problem a long time ago.

    Reply
    1. xkeyscored

      based on cynical principles of mutual gain rather than values and allegiances” = based on win-win rather than accept our ideology and hegemony or face the consequences.

      Reply
      1. Olga

        You gotta love both Bloomberg and Bershidsky, bless their hearts, little dears. In their world, “mutual gain” must be based on “cynical principles” (I guess, as long as they do not promote US interests, ‘cynical’ applies), and peacemaking is relegated to ‘brokerage services.’
        I guess, it’s been soooo long, since the last time US discussed peace with anyone, that not even journalists recognise it, when confronted with it.

        Reply
    2. ewmayer

      “based on cynical principles of mutual gain” — Funny how in a western so-called free-market-capitalistic context the very same kind of proposition is spun as “globalization will lift all boats” and other similar stuff & nonsense. I guess cooperation for mutual advantage is only considered cynical when the Deplorable Rooskies do it.

      Reply
  12. In the Year 2525

    Re: 18 USC 798 and “strict liability”. This is a criminal statute, so “strict liability”, where the threshold of intent [mens rea] is undefined within a criminal statute, has been interpreted by the courts to require “recklessness”. Codevilla is confusing “strict liability” with “absolute liability”, which is a standard applicable to only the most minor infractions, such as a speeding ticket. Further, the Trump campaign’s coordination with Russia was not sourced via SIGINT but rather an intoxicated admission by Papadopoulos.

    As far as I know, no corrobarative info pursuant to “communication intelligence” was leaked to the press. And if it had, due diligence would be an affirmative defense to mitigate any recklessness, a rabbit hole US law enforcement is shy to pursue given the chance an appellate decision would likely reverse in favor of the 1st Amendment and torpedo the leak deterrence utility. Hence, Reality Winner’s and John Kiriakou’s plea deals. [Kiriakou’s could have beat his rap but for the identities he revealed to back up his story unrelated to the above statute.]

    Finally, had the Trump Admin pursued the collusion leaks, discovery would reveal a lot of uncomfortable facts. In late 2019, we now know the repetitive pattern of criminal behavior for which Trump is desperate to rely on to win elections.

    Reply
    1. ewmayer

      ” the Trump campaign’s coordination with Russia was not sourced via SIGINT but rather an intoxicated admission by Papadopoulos” — we read a quite different version of the tale over at Sic Semper Tyrannis:

      Papadopolous was targeted by British and U.S. intelligence starting in late December 2015, when he is offered out of the blue a job with the London Centre of International Law and Practice Limited (LCILP) , which has all the hallmarks of a British intelligence front. It is Joseph Mifsud, working for LCILP, who introduces the idea of meeting Putin following a lunch with George in London.

      And it is Mifsud who raises the possibility of getting dirt on Hillary. During Papadopolous’ next meeting with Mifsud, George writes that Mifsud:

      leaned across the table in a conspiratorial manner. The Russians have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, he tells me. “Emails of Clinton,” he says. “They have thousands of emails.”

      More than three weeks before the alleged Russian hack of the DNC, Mifsud is peddling the story that the Russians have Clinton’s emails. Conspiracy?

      Reply
    2. Procopius

      Oh. I thought Codevilla was explaining why no persuasive evidence was ever presented for the claim that the Russians hacked the DNC computer.

      Reply
  13. The Historian

    Re: The Codevilla Tapes.
    That was a very interesting interview, one I probably would never come upon in my own surfing! Thank you!

    But I think the question and answer next after Lambert’s example is the most telling:

    “But doesn’t that failure in turn point to what is, to some extent, the root of this entire drama, which is that Donald Trump seems unfamiliar with and temperamentally at odds with the executive function that he has now assumed?
    That’s certainly true. But you have to go beyond Donald Trump, to Republican power holders in general. These people far more than Donald Trump would be inclined to forbear for the sake of comity with the ruling class. And what kind of comity are we talking about? We’re talking about social comity. Because if you follow the law in this case, you end up putting former directors of CIA, FBI etcetera behind bars. They, and a whole bunch of their subordinates. Maybe a dozen people here would end up behind bars.”
    Not to mention members of Trump’s own family. People in glass houses.

    Reply
    1. Tom Stone

      Historian, does not such a public repudiation of the “Rule of Law” concern you?
      An attempted putsch seems like no small matter to me.

      Reply
      1. R Zarate

        One could think of the Borgias, or a Mexican standoff.
        Having followed this as closely as I can I’m relieved that the matter is now criminal, a step forward. However with all the insights provided by Snowden, Assange and compatriots it is plain that there will be a bloody fight to the end.
        Something DJT might be good at.
        Waiting in expectation but with limited hope.

        Reply
    2. jsn

      Three comments.

      One is that I suspect Barr may be preparing prosecutions along the lines Codevilla proposes to coincide with the run up to the election.

      The second is that when Bill Clinton was confronted with insubordination by a midshipman on his first visit to an aircraft carrier after he was elected, he should have turned and ripped the stripes off the Admiral who was escorting him.

      Finally, he probably didn’t because he’d already awoken with the horse head of what happened to Kennedy next to him by that point.

      Reply
    1. zagonostra

      The link below, which I just visited for the first time, claims to have proof that YouTube “fixed” search results when Tulsi responded back to recent HRC smears. It claims that there is proof that this is not due to some algorithms but through purposeful human intervention.

      Large infobusiness conglomerates are who we should be focused on if we were truly concerned about elections being manipulated.

      I also recall Eric Schmidt, being actively involved in HRC’s 2016 election run.

      Russiagate, Ukrainegate, are the largest misdirection ever perpetuated in my life time and it’s disheartening to see friends completely duped by it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOByUDv1ftQ

      Reply
    2. xkeyscored

      From what I read here and there, Gabbard’s gaining the upper hand among US soldiers and veterans, not just those of us who always loathed Clinton.

      Reply
    3. John k

      More than waned, IMO bc of Tulsi’s hard response, it’s counter productive.
      My wife and I each gave her $20, first time. Hopefully it’s prompted many others, maybe fox viewers.
      Would like to see her one of the final four.

      Reply
    4. Lydia Maria Child

      listening to an idiot like Hannity ramble on and try to cover up his own party’s criminal war-mongering in that clip almost made me vomit. fox is utter trash. find a better source.

      Reply
  14. Mel

    A question re Cailtin Johnstone. For the last few days, links like https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/10/links-10-25-19.html have been returning blank pages, with zero bytes of content. The home page from https://caitlinjohnstone.com/ looks normal.
    Using ping to get the IP address gives me

    PING caitlinjohnstone.com (66.198.240.60) 56(84) bytes of data.
    64 bytes from a2ss49.a2hosting.com (66.198.240.60): icmp_seq=1 ttl=48 time=659 ms
    64 bytes from a2ss49.a2hosting.com (66.198.240.60): icmp_seq=2 ttl=48 time=659 ms
    64 bytes from a2ss49.a2hosting.com (66.198.240.60): icmp_seq=3 ttl=48 time=899 ms

    etc.

    whois on the IP address gives

    whois 66.198.240.60

    #
    # ARIN WHOIS data and services are subject to the Terms of Use
    # available at: https://www.arin.net/resources/registry/whois/tou/
    #
    # If you see inaccuracies in the results, please report at
    # https://www.arin.net/resources/registry/whois/inaccuracy_reporting/
    #
    # Copyright 1997-2019, American Registry for Internet Numbers, Ltd.
    #

    NetRange: 66.198.240.0 – 66.198.255.255
    CIDR: 66.198.240.0/20
    NetName: INTERNET-BLK-A2HOS-11
    NetHandle: NET-66-198-240-0-1
    Parent: NET66 (NET-66-0-0-0-0)
    NetType: Direct Assignment
    OriginAS: AS55293
    Organization: A2 Hosting, Inc. (A2HOS)
    RegDate: 2008-02-19
    Updated: 2017-07-11
    Ref: https://rdap.arin.net/registry/ip/66.198.240.0

    OrgName: A2 Hosting, Inc.
    OrgId: A2HOS
    Address: P.O. Box 2998
    City: Ann Arbor
    StateProv: MI
    PostalCode: 48106
    Country: US
    RegDate: 2004-03-16
    Updated: 2017-06-06
    Comment: http://www.a2hosting.com
    Ref: https://rdap.arin.net/registry/entity/A2HOS

    OrgNOCHandle: NETWO8213-ARIN
    OrgNOCName: Network Operations
    OrgNOCPhone: +1-734-222-4678
    OrgNOCEmail: noc@a2hosting.com
    OrgNOCRef: https://rdap.arin.net/registry/entity/NETWO8213-ARIN

    OrgAbuseHandle: NETWO5169-ARIN
    OrgAbuseName: Network Operations
    OrgAbusePhone: +1-734-222-4678
    OrgAbuseEmail: abuse@a2hosting.com
    OrgAbuseRef: https://rdap.arin.net/registry/entity/NETWO5169-ARIN

    OrgTechHandle: CUNDI1-ARIN
    OrgTechName: Cundiff, David
    OrgTechPhone: +1-734-222-4678
    OrgTechEmail: dcundiff@a2hosting.com
    OrgTechRef: https://rdap.arin.net/registry/entity/CUNDI1-ARIN

    OrgTechHandle: NETWO8213-ARIN
    OrgTechName: Network Operations
    OrgTechPhone: +1-734-222-4678
    OrgTechEmail: noc@a2hosting.com
    OrgTechRef: https://rdap.arin.net/registry/entity/NETWO8213-ARIN

    #
    # ARIN WHOIS data and services are subject to the Terms of Use
    # available at: https://www.arin.net/resources/registry/whois/tou/
    #
    # If you see inaccuracies in the results, please report at
    # https://www.arin.net/resources/registry/whois/inaccuracy_reporting/
    #
    # Copyright 1997-2019, American Registry for Internet Numbers, Ltd.
    #

    Does this square with what the rest of you are seeing?

    Reply
      1. Mel

        Quite strange. wget — a program to fetch information from the Internet given a URL — brings in a large chunk of HTML which seems to contain her readers’ comments, and probably the article as well. The HTML style makes it tough to read with the human eye.
        Firefox still claims it’s a zero-content page. Something in my local Firefox configuration, I suppose.

        Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    Re James Felton’s tweet about his friend in the army having a problem with his horse-

    This officer sounds like a Colonel Blimp. Colonel Blimp was a British cartoon character that was drawn by cartoonist David Low who claimed that he developed him after overhearing two military men in a Turkish bath declare that cavalry officers should be entitled to wear their spurs inside tanks.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonel_Blimp

    Reply
    1. xkeyscored

      So that they could be the pr!cks in a cock fight to establish who’s the nastier creature? (see yesterday’s Antidote: Raven: “My beautiful rooster, Spike. Check out his spurs. He’s a very nasty creature.”)

      Reply
  16. urblintz

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/10/25/the-dnc-versus-democracy/

    “As I suggested repeatedly in 2015, if the establishment Democrats really want crush Mr. Sanders and the political movement that supports him, let him win the Democratic primary, win the general election against Donald Trump, and then undermine his program to ‘prove’ that socialism doesn’t work. This would take the evil Trump out of the mix, give Democrats the White House, and the corporate Democrats could spend the next five decades pretending to be the party that voters want. I’m holding my breath starting right now.”

    Reply
    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      I always thought this was the move they’d pull, if they were smart about it. However, it seems they’re more petty than smart and can’t even allow a lame duck Sanders into office. I still could see this happening with Warren. She checks more of their IDpol boxes and, despite the bluster, isn’t really a threat to TPTB. All they’d need to do is to continue to push her as a “progressive” and then “I told you so” when nothing changes.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        It’s the Iron Law of (Decadent) Institutions: they care far more about their positions WITHIN the party, and their salaries, than they do about the Party’s position in governance. In fact, they’d rather not have to actually govern. Winning elections is fun, but then the real work starts.

        Reply
    2. John k

      Not a good ploy.
      Pres has gratitude power… jail bankers, anti trust, trade, foreign policy, c in c. Fire side chats.
      Lots he could do that would make him very popular… threat to campaign against will bring reluctant support, a la trump.
      More immediate would be replacing neolib dnc, cleaning out intelligence, breaking many rice bowls.

      Reply
    3. Amfortas the hippie

      a link in that article leads to this let them eat cake circle-j: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/22/us/politics/democratic-candidates-2020.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

      sanders is not even mentioned…but looms large anyway, with sherrod brown intoning that killing private insurance spells doom for the dems.
      totally out of touch with the mess they’ve helped make.
      i would think that the blinders would itch after a time…to say nothing of bumping into things.
      but i suppose one can get used to just about anything….especially if it’s well compensated.

      Reply
  17. Will Shetterly

    Buried in the “black justice” story is an admission this is about class, not race: “Because black people tend to have lower incomes than white people, an algorithm concerned only with costs sees them as lower risk than white patients”

    Reply
  18. epynonymous

    Re: Who Revolts

    My own reading of the American Revolution says that things really get started when the practical owners rub up against their ‘social betters’ ‘absentee landlords’ and ‘bureaucrats.’

    Poor people stay poor after the revolution. Just like #resistance is a calling card for the comfortably outraged,it is a disjunction between the top of society and the very top of society that causes most revolutions. I mean, between medical bankruptcies and the ‘justice system’ it’s clear that oppressing the masses is very doable. They’ll even still vote Republican is sufficiently cajoled…

    Revolutions take ideologies, physical resources, and more. Even if they didn’t, revolutions are *vulnerable* to these same.

    Simon Bolivar, George Washington, Oliver Cromwell, the Jacobins… and even Lenin once you include the interference of the Hapsburgs against the Romanovs.

    Not so sure about Che and Castro, but I extend my analysis to the fall of the USSR (although that last one seems to have been supported by the US. Glasnost and all that. Further evidence – both Trump and Gorbachev did PizzaHut ads…) The break-aways of the Ukraine and Crimea seem to support this upper-middle management analysis too.

    There’s actually a fun DOS game about the fall of the Soviet Union I can highly recommend. (you need a DOS emulator, like DOS-BOX to play it. The game can be downloaded at several sites, like myabandonware.com

    It’s called Crisis in the Kremlin. The goal is simply to hold onto power in the USSR from 85′ to say 92′. Here’s some starter tips, choose a hard-line government face and while making reformist policies. It’ll protect you from the left to the right. Also, when making hard choices with your budget (a big part of the game) don’t cut the intelligence services. For some reason, doing that gets you unseated *really* fast!

    Reply
    1. Massinissa

      Theres a version of Crisis in the Kremlin on Steam. Pretty much the same thing with some small updates. Only costs $5 so even if you only play it for a few hours its easily affordable.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Sooo misogynistic obviously to question Warren’s popularity! :)

        Very much looking forward to reading your report of your visit. It should be very interesting.

        Reply
      2. Bugs Bunny

        Thanks for going, petal.

        Seems this is the talking point the media want to work to death:

        “In an interview before the event, Warren declined to answer questions about how she would fund Medicare for All, a plan that would expand the government health insurance program and get rid of commercial insurance. But she said a plan for how she would pay for it is coming “soon.””

        I’d be very impressed if she finally replied to this nonsense with a concise explanation of how the dollar and federal budgets really work, e.g. MMT.

        One can hope.

        Reply
    1. zagonostra

      She also did not defend Tulsi when questioned on what she thought about HRC’s smear on Tulsi being a Putin puppet. In fact I don’t think I ever saw her look at a questioner with such vitriol or respond with such discomfort. Another reason to not trust her.

      Warren is spineless, if you can’t defend Tulsi in this context, she’ll certainly not defend majority of people’s interest over the elite’s interest.

      I couldn’t find the clip anywhere except at the 3:10 minute mark at below Fox clip.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY0zPuq2Avs

      Reply
      1. petal

        I may be way off the mark here, but there’s a worry in my gut that she is out for herself. It has wiggled its way into my brain since yesterday. Hard to explain. Hidden, patient ruthlessness to make sure she comes out on top-for herself. Not for the country, or her fellow citizens, or working people. It’s for her. She is and has been willing to climb that greasy pole. I am having difficulty describing it. Don’t let the folksy schoolmarm act fool you. I think Hillary couldn’t fake it well enough and refused to put in the patient effort. This one, I have a feeling, may be(and has been) able to. She has had something to prove for a long time-that she is good enough/better than others. I will let this roll around in my head for a while and maybe later I can better put it into words. Maybe it’s she wants to be #1, for the sake of being #1, and she’s been willing to be patient and bide her time. She wants to win, to say she won, to be the 1st woman President. Nobody else would have that then but her. There’s more at play here than helping her fellow citizens and country. She will do what she needs to do to be at the top of the pile. She is not stupid. Not by a long shot.

        Reply
        1. Tim

          I think she’s still got a chip on her shoulder about having her Senate office stuck in the mobile home in the quad of the Russel Senate Office building during her first term. It was actually significantly worse digs than the Senate offices on the basement level in my opinion.

          Reply
        2. Carey

          I think the sense of Warren that petal mentions can be seen in the video
          found by Fern and posted in yesterday’s (?) Water Cooler, when Warren was
          speaking at a Federalist Society function. Her folksy bit is not in evidence
          there; she’s more like a calculating pirahna, IMO; and, most importantly, *not* for the benefit of most of the citizenry.

          Reply
          1. petal

            Just a note, I have not watched that video or any others of hers. Yesterday was my first time watching/seeing her in any capacity. Picked up on a lot of little things. Had been completely ignoring her up until yesterday. That was my first real exposure.

            Reply
  19. Jason Boxman

    On the Sanders ground game, I got a text yesterday from the campaign (an actual person, not the mass texts that go out for fundraising); they’re organizing a canvassing in NH with a bus pickup for those in the Boston area. I generally ignore campaign texts, so I can’t say how often this happens, but I wanted to mention it anyway.

    Reply
    1. Lord Koos

      I volunteered to do some canvassing for Sanders in 2016 and I still get texts from local volunteers wanting various kinds of help. My impression is that Sanders’ campaign is doing a lot of important work on the ground. Although I consider myself an independent, I’m registered as a Democrat, and I haven’t heard a thing from other candidates’ organizations.

      Reply
      1. Skip Intro

        The campaign organized volunteer phonebanks with the goal of doing 1million calls in 10 days. They hit 1.3 million. This is the secret weapon, and it gives the campaign great polling info, helps supporters register to vote and volunteer, and engages and presumably transforms non-voters. By changing the turnout, the campaign makes the turnout models used to weight polls even more incorrect, even assuming the polls were intended to be predictive rather than performative!

        Reply
  20. JohnnyGL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Omcz0lcvFt0

    Bernie on Jimmy Kimmel.

    More of this kind of thing, please.
    1) He makes the case for Medicare for All in very clear, concrete terms for people in a very conversational style, not coming across as wonky or needlessly complex.
    2) the relaxed, light-hearted appearance makes it hard to red-bait and portray him as a scary socialist who’s foaming at the mouth to expropriate your property. It’s quite clear that he’s just a nice, well-meaning guy who wants to make life better for all Americans.

    Reply
    1. Dan

      The Key Phrase I think he must say whenever M4A is part of the conversation:

      “Medicare for all taxes will be far lower than the cumulative costs of health insurance, co-pays, out of network and other expenses.”

      Other side issues that no one seems to explore re M4A:

      Employers will be able to raise pay and salaries because they won’t have to buy insurance plans plans to attract employees.

      Employees won’t have to remain shackled to a job they may hate to keep health insurance.

      Small businesses will thus make more profits, as will corporations.

      IF the Democrats actually nominate him, he can drop the SJW blather and thus will attract more voters who opted for Trump last time.

      Reply
      1. inode_buddha

        Except, employers won’t raise salaries and wages if their costs go down. That is a schoolboy fantasy.

        What they will do, and have done in the past, is pocket the difference for themselves while continuing to bash socialism and the evils of big government.

        This has happened repeatedly in the last 40 years.

        Reply
        1. a different chris

          Yes and in my normal dispirited moments I would also expect that.

          But: this is qualitatively different. Portable healthcare means job mobility so MegaCorp will be able to “pocket the difference” until MassiveCorp wants their employees. Then it’s a whole new ballgame.

          Reply
            1. Amfortas the hippie

              “I don’t think the job market for most people is that tight, at all”

              …but it could be…that’s the point.
              are there reliable numbers(snort) on how many folks put up with their job only because of healthcare?
              who, if they had universal healthcare, would walk right out the door?
              i know lots of people like that.
              hell, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if this wasn’t the reason that the megacorps of the world are against M4A. it would seem like pretty good business sense to support it…but it will empower workers, and we can’t have that.

              Reply
              1. Lord Koos

                I have often thought the same thing, it’s one more way to keep people chained to their job. I have a friend who commutes 100 miles to Seattle every other week to work for the WA state ferry service. He was offered a job in town (his wife works here) but the benefits didn’t match up to what he had in Seattle. If M4A happened, he’d likely quite in a heartbeat to spend more time with his kids.

                Reply
        2. Pat

          Which is why one of my requirements for MFA is that the cost of the required insurance premium be given to the employees as salary and said salary will be the base for the position. I know no one has had the audacity to do that, but after years of seeing benefit cost added to the take home portion of employee “salaries” to bash the high cost of union labor I figure for once it should actually this form of salary computation should really be used to the workers’ benefit.

          Reply
  21. Carolinian

    Re new copyright law–more Congressional stupid

    In addition to creating an easily exploitable system, the EFF writes, the CASE Act diverges from existing law by assigning a financial value to unregistered works and allowing suits to claim financial damages for those as well.

    Or, as EFF senior legislative counsel Ernesto Falcon explained in a blog post this week:

    Under current law, when I take a photo of my kids and someone shares it without my permission, the most I can sue them for is nearly always $0. The CASE Act is a radical departure from this sensible rule. If it passes, sharing most of what you see online—photos, videos, writings, and other works—means risking crippling liability.

    The DMCA is an earlier example of an impractical law that has been widely ignored as the internet changes the ground rules. Those Hollywood studios always had the option of not putting their works into electronic form and thereby–mostly–keeping them from copyists clutches. Similarly if you don’t want someone using your kid pictures you can keep them off the internet. Creating a giant legal edifice to try to make things like they used to be is catnip for lawyers and shysters–likely a nightmare for the rest of us.

    Reply
  22. urblintz

    Stab from the past…not specifically relevant to today’s links but something we should never lose sight of… the timing was impeccable:

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/07/14/u-s-repeals-propaganda-ban-spreads-government-made-news-to-americans/

    “For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government’s mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. That came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts. So what just happened? Until this month, a vast ocean of U.S. programming produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks could only be viewed or listened to at broadcast quality in foreign countries. The programming [is] viewed in more than 100 countries in 61 languages. The restriction of these broadcasts was [lifted with] the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, which passed as part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. But if anyone needed a reminder of the dangers of domestic propaganda efforts, the past 12 months provided ample reasons. Last year, two USA Today journalists were ensnared in a propaganda campaign after reporting about millions of dollars in back taxes owed by the Pentagon’s top propaganda contractor in Afghanistan. The firm [created] phony websites and Twitter accounts to smear the journalists anonymously.”

    Reply
    1. xkeyscored

      I never knew that, and, cynical as I am, I’m actually quite amazed. US citizens were protected from the crapropaganda they pay to have broadcast to the rest of the world?
      Let me know when they task the US military with regime change where it’s most needed.

      Reply
  23. The Rev Kev

    “Exclusive: U.S. Has Plan to Send Tanks and Troops to ‘Secure’ Syria Oil Fields Amid Withdrawal”

    Lots of interesting developments here. It seems that Trump did this because he was shown a map of where Syria’s oil was by Retired General Jack Keane – a Fox News analyst – and Senator Lindsey Graham. Also, Senator Lindsey Graham as well as some European nations are demanding that an international force be sent to be on the frontier with Turkey and Syria. Graham actually said “It is important that the international community police this Safe Zone – not Assad, not Russia, not Turkey. This can be accomplished by America providing airpower to an international force, but not committing troops on the ground to control the Safe Zone.” But no way would either Syria or Turkey be crazy enough to accept such an idea.
    Meanwhile the Kurds are still trying to have their cake and to eat it. The US is suggesting that the Kurds come down and help the US occupy those oi fields. The Kurds live in the north and the oil fields are all Arabic in population who do not take kindly to Kurdish interlopers. It may even trigger a guerilla campaign against them and the Kurds would have to leave their homelands more vulnerable to possible Turkish attack. Basically, they want the Russian and the Syrian Army to guard their border, don’t want to give up the land that they have illegally occupied, but still want to make deals with the US who just sold them down the river. Charlie Brown? Meet Lucy’s football.

    https://www.fort-russ.com/2019/10/western-press-and-politicians-hyperventilate-over-russo-turkish-syria-settlement/

    Reply
    1. Tomonthebeach

      It seems that once again Commander-in-Chief Bonespurs has managed to take a bad tactic and turn it into a worse strategy.

      An additional problem to the one Rev Kev describes relates to the question of against what enemy are US forces protecting the oil fields? It is Syria’s oil. Does Syria not decide about such matters? Thus, the US proposal that The Rev Kev has already has pointed out to be military quicksand might not make the US exactly welcome among Syrians. What do the Russians do if the Syrians try to oust the US to take over their own oil assets? Russia is a Syrian ally – the US is not.

      Reply
  24. Craig H.

    > Joe Rogan Experience #1368 – Edward Snowden YouTube

    I have not watched but if anybody has a time stamp for Rogan asking him why any person with ethical concerns would join up to an organization of thug-criminals I would be very interested in that part.

    Reply
    1. UserFriendly

      Time stamp, no, but the answer was along the lines of;
      ‘My whole family worked for the government (court clerk mom, i don’t remember dad), at that time I still thought of the government as all that was right and true and good; city on a hill and all that’

      Reply
      1. Craig H.

        Thank you.

        The guy who Darth Vader strangled on the bridge of the death star may have had a similar origin story. He seemed like a good soldier.

        Reply
      2. xkeyscored

        Would you recommend watching it? I’m already quite familiar with Snowden, and at nearly three hours, I’m not inclined to watch this, even at double speed, unless it contains something new or important.
        (I know this is almost a repeat of a previous comment; I’m seriously hoping for an answer!)

        Reply
      3. Lost in OR

        After semi-failing to become a good bot in HS he worked as a computer programmer for a woman whose husband was NSA. Through them he accumulated certifications and clearances that eased his way into the NSA.

        Make no mistake about it, in early adulthood he was a good American. He was 18 when 9/11 happened and drank the coolaid. It’s interesting to think about when and how in life we figure out that we don’t fit the mold.

        I appreciated Doctorow’s point that Snowden disses Putin and Russia in spite of the fact that they are the only entities able to stand up to the continued malfeasance of the NSA and cohorts.

        The Rogan show seemed rambling to me, I made it through about 15 minutes. Just say NO! to MSNBC.

        Reply
    2. Randy G

      Craig H. — Assuming your request is sardonic but in fairness to Snowden it is worth remembering that he comes from a very conservative background totally enmeshed in the ‘worldview’ that the MIC and the U.S national security state are the ‘good guys’.

      Oliver Stone offers a sympathetic portrait of someone who swallows hook, line and sinker the post-9/11 narrative. Very much worth watching if you have not seen the film. Snowden enlisted in Army Special Forces after 9/11 but injured himself so badly in training that the avenue was closed to him, and he entered the “intelligence community”.

      Yasha Levine savages Snowden in his book ‘Surveillance Valley’ — rather unjustly, I think — for being a libertarian, a technocrat, and a person quite contemptuous of social and economic justice. Levine is not wrong, but it’s a petty portrayal of a very courageous individual in an otherwise excellent book.
      Snowden would never have been allowed access to those positions in the CIA, NSA, & Booz Allen if he had been an anti-war crusader or a Bernie Bro! It was precisely being a conservative ‘true believer’, akin to Daniel Ellsberg, that got Snowden access and promotions. Combined, of course, with his demonstrable brilliance with computers.

      Snowden’s real break with the ‘National Security Apparatus’ stems from his rather naive belief that the CIA and NSA were true defenders of an American Republic built on the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The shock realization that it was all cynical and false was the catalyst that drove him to act.

      Snowden is quite young and although I personally disagree with many of his libertarian economic and social views, I still admire his intelligence and especially his courage. I think he was quite lucky that the Russians intervened and saved him from a fate as brutal and totalitarian as what Assange is suffering at the hands of his ‘free and enlightened’ British captors. Impossible to predict Snowden’s future but I rather think the National Security State would rather see him ‘Epsteined’ or ‘Assanged’ than rehabilitated.

      He’s taken extraordinary risks before but I would be very cautious wandering far from Mother Russia.

      Reply
      1. Olga

        That’s a good point… the freedom-loving west is slowly, but surely, killing Assange… while the evil russkies are letting a US whistle blower thrive. Hypocrisy has lost all meaning.

        Reply
    3. xkeyscored

      re Craig H.
      I’ve been listening to it on double speed while doing other stuff, and finding it unexpectedly interesting as it answers exactly that question. However, it’s the whole thing that answers the question of why he joined a bunch of thugs in the first place, lots of rambling anecdotal stuff about his background and changes in his views and how the secret bureaucracy works, so no timestamp in particular.
      One thing that maybe answers your question is he says he lacked scepticism back then. Sounds honest.

      Reply
  25. xkeyscored

    re: horse biting – Imperial Collapse Watch

    “He got in trouble because technically the horse outranked him.”
    Am I to take it that higher ranks in the British Army are allowed to discipline lower ranks by biting them?

    Reply
  26. Dan

    Candidate support among selected occupations is a gold mine of inference.

    Bernie is tops among those in the working class and the majority of voters who would elect him president if the Democrats prefer his nomination over political suicide.

    Looking over to Loserville on the right of the chart, Kamala Harris’ highest, but still miserable, scores are among;

    Lawyers, Physicians and Surgeons, CEOs and Clergy, the most rarefied, overpaid and out of touch professions in America.

    To that, based on local observations of her supporters in the Bay Area, I would add, Mercedes dealers and mechanics, social justice activist working for contingency cash reparations for slavery, people whose maids got their NPR tote bags and Symphony Gold Circle Socialites who are on Willie Brown’s Holiday Card List.

    Warren? Scolding librarians, She’s one of them!, college professors, Tesla dealers and mechanics, reporters, a.k.a. stenographers to power, and of course economists.
    Who do astrologers favor?

    Reply
    1. Bernalkid

      Trying to think up some wag response, looked up yin yang and found this:
      The Yin, or the dark side, is associated with everything hard, negative, cold, wet, and feminine. The Yang, or the light side, is associated with things soft, positive, warm, dry, and masculine.
      Seems opposite to western notions of masculine/feminine.
      Guess I failed Hippie 101 back in the 70’s.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Not sure where that came from, but it’s mostly familar, except Yin being hard, and Yang being soft.

        To add, I understand Yin is associated with the square shape, and Yang round. This, I got from my Chado class, and I think the reason is, in ancient Chyinese cosmology, the heaven is round, Yang, while the ground (or earth) is square, Yin (from theri observation that the rain and the sun from above fertilize the field below).

        I had thought the opposite – that Yin was round. And that was wrong.

        (Sorry, no Wikipedia quotes – have not found this stuff there…yet).

        Reply
    2. Ranger Rick

      Is the “lol” annotation in reference to the level of support from economists, or the fact that economists are the last row on the table, indicating that they are the “most educated”? LOL indeed.

      Reply
      1. RMO

        Indeed. Apparently economists are even more educated than college professors… professors who would be the ones who educated the economists… wait, what?

        Reply
  27. Bernalkid

    Good to see congress reaching across the aisle to approve NATO expansion to Balkan mini-states and to advance the onerous new copyright reform. After the wet sloppy kisses, they retreat back to the phony war of impeachment and TDS with wallets and purses open for their ever grateful clients.

    Reply
  28. Summer

    RE: “In this, something of a chicken-and-egg situation seems to be developing. The European Council is waiting to see whether there will be a general election before it decides on the extension, while Corbyn wants to know what the Council decides before he makes his mind up about an election…”

    There are some EU Council members that want to give an extension only if there is some assurance Brexit will be reversed, but they don’t want that to sound like that is the condition for extension – otherwise they are ready to get on with it.
    Is that their dilemma in a nutshell?

    Then there may be some council members ready to get on with it for various reasons, but they really can’t say what those reasons are.

    The “deal” does not only belong to Johnson (or May before him).

    Reply
    1. JP

      When reasonable people are confronted with facts that contradict their convictions they change their mind. Time for an election.

      Reply
    1. jrs

      It still seems a strategically bad decision, she is not going to fight to re-win an *incumbent* seat (!) but is going to try to get the presidency? Alright if she wins the nomination, I eat my words.

      PAC money doesn’t necessarily get you a win against true grassroots support, witness Biden, desperate, sad, and falling fast, breaking his own vows not to and taking more and more PAC money just because all that existing corporate cash and he’s flaying around.

      She has probably failed to build up that support (?) or if not why not fight for it. But it might be that trying to build grassroots support among Dems, by appealing primarily to Reps (the better angels of their nature for sure, not the worst parts of their nature a Trump appeals to, but still there is the partisan angle) doesn’t really work. It alienates too many on the left and liberal side (some of whom ought to be a very solid component of your base) and doesn’t win enough back to make up for it.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Psychologically, this seems like ‘crossing the Rubicon’ – there is no going back.

        In Caeasr’s case, the soldiers had to fight harder than otherwise.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          “There is no going back.” This would be true if Gabbard stays a Democrat. However, I can see her switching Party affiliations and accepting a post in the second Trump administration. Say, as head of the VA.
          How diverse is Hawaii politically? Is it a one party state, or can it be ‘turned’ either way? If she was a good Representative for her district in Congress, I can also see her running as a Republican against the DNC candidate. Scott did something similar in Florida I believe.
          American politics is moving firmly into a period of ferment.

          Reply
          1. jrs

            She’d be a good head of the VA, but anyone who thinks taking a job with the Trump administration is remotely stable uh … yea not a stable employer. If the need ever comes to throw you under the bus, you’ll be gone.

            And even though she’d be more than qualified for the position and doing it would require no real sellout, nor any real power to alter anything other than veterans services which do need improvement, if it was with Trump, the Trump stink, it would rub off on her for ever after.

            The thing about Republicans and running for Congress, is they are probably going to want you actually voting with them (although not much of that in a divided congress).

            Reply
    2. Carey

      Another odd decision from Gabbard. Fitting her facts together requires steadily more
      dissonance. I like what she says on USA USA’s Perma-Wars, but I get an odd feeling
      about her, otherwise. Maybe I’m entirely wrong.

      One POV.

      Reply
  29. ewmayer

    Re. the Reuters photo essay “Thirst turns to anger as Australia’s mighty river runs dry” —
    As in California, this snip appears to capture the part of the problem not related to global warming – large-scale growing of crops needing massive irrigation:

    Drought is weighing on economic growth, and the dire conditions have prompted Australia, a major wheat exporter, to import the grain for the first time in 12 years.

    By way of contrast, minerals-exporting involves depletion of nonrenewable resources, but at least people don’t rely on the minerals for eating, drinking and washing!

    Reply
  30. ewmayer

    “U.S. Fears Mass Boycott as Chinese Turn to Homegrown Brands | Bloomberg” — It’s interesting to interchange the 2 country names in this headline and consider the economic implications of each case.

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      Not really possible. For many years, I tried to boycott Chinese goods, because of both Tibet and globalization. l did make an exception for tea – figured they’re entitled. But gradually, I had to give up on more and more items, esp. given that I’m not rich. Leather gloves, for instance; I go through multi pairs a year. For a while I could find them from Pakistan or India, but not lately. Then there are all the electronic bits that are so essential to modern life. At least cars aren’t from there.

      So the reverse isn’t happening.

      Reply

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