Links 11/10/19

Drunk Birds Displaying Strange Behaviour In Reykjavik The Reykjavik Grapevine

Bad dog? Think twice before yelling, experts say Science

Fed can no longer ignore the economic ‘shocks’ of climate change, Brainard says MarketWatch (Re Silc).

The Rise of Nationalism After the Fall of the Berlin Wall George Soros, Project Syndicate


Brexit: The long hard road to a future relationship RTE

Brexit: horns of a dilemma EU Referendum

John Bercow: ‘I do not believe Jeremy Corbyn is anti-Semitic’ GQ-UK

Spain votes in repeat general election amid Catalonia tensions Agence France Presse

Mexican government says it is concerned about situation in Bolivia Reuters. See also here, here, and here.

No Evidence That Bolivian Election Results Were Affected by Irregularities or Fraud, Statistical Analysis Shows CEPR

Latin Americans Are Furious NYT. “Latin America has never gotten over its attraction to authoritarianism.”


Saudi Aramco to offer retail investors 0.5% of shares in IPO FT

Pentagon Claims US Authority to Shoot Any Syrian Govt Official Who Tries to Take Control of Syrian Oil Common Dreams


Hong Kong’s financial edge stems from “one country, two systems”: financial chief Xinhua

Mainland Chinese Sneak Into Hong Kong’s Protests—to Support the Cause WSJ

* * *

The real China according to a Canadian Frank Li, Econintersect. Case for the defense.


Ayodhya verdict: Indian top court gives holy site to Hindus BBC

Spyware Maker NSO Promises Reform but Keeps Snooping NYT


This Is No Ordinary Impeachment Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine. I’m so old I can remember Obots going gaga when Sullivan endorsed their candidate in 2008….

The Rule of Law or CIA Coup? Scott Horton,

Defending Trump: The Republican Playbook WSJ

State Department Freed Ukraine Money Before Trump Says He Did Bloomberg

House Republicans add Hunter Biden, whistleblower to impeachment hearing witness wish list The Hill

The Whistleblower Complaint Has Largely Been Corroborated. Here’s How. NPR

Public Document Clearinghouse: Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Just Security

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton gets book deal: report The Hill. Ka-ching.

Why Is Christopher Steele Still a Thing? Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone. More to the point, what’s holding up Steele’s book deal?

Trump Transition

Interior proposes coveted deal to ex-client of agency head AP. Ugly.

One Big Thing the Dems Get Wrong About Warren John Harris, Politico, of which Harris is a co-founder. This isn’t really about Warren. Read to the end: “[A] fair appraisal of the past generation has to acknowledge that bipartisan assumptions in the Washington governing class and establishment media are at least partially complicit in some of the largest policy debacles of the past generation (bogus assumptions before the Iraq War, the 2008 financial meltdown).” So, yeah, a legitimacy crisis, and well-deserved, too.


Bloomberg to pass on Iowa, NH, focus on Super Tuesday states Bloomberg. Awesome. Bloomberg is (1) telling those voters he’ll only enter the race if they give the “wrong” answer, and (2) giving his opponents three months in which to define him to voters. I think I’m gonna enjoy this.

Michael Bloomberg’s Ego Is an Agent of Socialist Change Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

Bernie Sanders, AOC argue for ‘Green New Deal’ at Des Moines summit Des Moines Register

Suspect accused of stabbing Baby Trump balloon Tuscaloosa News. Then sets up GoFundMe for legal fees. Naturally.

Powerful Coalition Pushes Back on Anti-Tech Fervor NYT

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

‘Will you come and help?’ Father of Julian Assange on campaign to free his son Irish Examiner

The Lingering Trauma of Stasi Surveillance The Atlantic (Re Silc). “Hey Alexa, what is the Stasi?” (The Lives of Others is a really good film on this topic.)

Boeing 737 MAX

Why the Boeing 737 will never take the place of the 757 The Points Guy

After Lion Air crash, Boeing doubled down on faulty 737 MAX assumptions Seattle Times., New evidence.

Health Care

The broken Medicare-for-all financing debate The Week

Blow to Amazon as Seattle socialist looks to have triumphed in key vote Guardian

Class Warfare

Richest 1% of Americans Close to Surpassing Wealth of Middle Class Bloomberg

Have billionaires accumulated their wealth illegitimately? Economist. “But in America rent-seeking industries made one in five billionaires and explain a third of total billionaire wealth.”

UBS defends billionaires as the best corporate leaders FT

Copper Workers Strike to Stop Concessionary Trend Labor Notes

Instacart Cuts Bonus Pay After Gig Workers Go on Strike The Daily Beast

Is ‘OK Boomer’ the ‘New N-Word,’ or Are Millennials Still Destroying Everything? FAIR. I really do have to read Hate, Inc.

The Blogger Behind “AI Weirdness” Thinks Today’s AI Is Dumb and Dangerous IEEE Spectrum (DL).

The ‘Three-Body Problem’ Has Perplexed Astronomers Since Newton Formulated It. A.I. Just Cracked It in Under a Second. LiveScience

An Oral History Of Blade Runner’s 2019 Los Angeles, Because The Future Has Arrived LAist

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Danny

    Sudden concern for the people of Bolivia, and Chile. Agonized hand wringing in the halls of American power.

    “Bolivia’s Lithium resources are estimated to be at the level of 9 million tons (United States Geological Survey), highest in the world as per individual country and 22% of the world’s total. This is significantly more than the second- and third-placed Chile and Argentina, which hold 18% and 16% of the global total resources respectively. The Bolivian government claims that it has 70% of the world’s lithium reserves…

    Without Lithium, there are few electric car and alternate energy storage battery options. Lithium is the new oil.

    What timing, such a coincidence.

      1. anon in so cal

        Center for Economic Policy Research:

        Mark Weisbrot

        “Well it’s officially a military coup now in Bolivia. And, as usual, backed by the United States government. Without the US-dominated OAS, & a lot of terrible and even false reporting, it probably wouldn’t have happened.”

        Ben Norton is predicting Morales will be assassinated.

        “Sources are telling me they are afraid that Bolivia’s elected President Evo Morales might be killed tonight in the right-wing coup.

        This is a full-fronted imperialist attack on democracy. It is a blatant attempt to recolonize Latin America and overthrow all efforts at progress.”

  2. rob

    putting the trump impeachment in context, means this is a “witch-hunt”. Maybe this will alter the usage of the term “trumped up charges”?
    After all:
    Nixon and kissinger sabotaged the paris peace talks in 1968, which derailed a solid chance for ending the vietnam war that year, instead of when it eventually did in 1975…which means for those following years americans died and war was waged because (at the time) un-elected americans were playing games for election-eering purposes..So all the peoples lives who were ruined in those years by that war should have a gripe

    The un -elected reagan and his team used the hostages in iran as a device by dealing with the hostage takers that the hostages shouldn’t be released before the 1980 election… the same time they were caught stealing the debate points of the carter team to use in the pre-election debate . Their “october surprises”
    might as well throw in the iran -contra stuff from during the reagan years where they were caught illegally funding wars and arming factions, while allowing hunfdreds of tons of cocaine to be smuggled in tot he US through air force bases and c-130’s loaded with coke going thru mena arkansas while clinton was there…
    or the savings and loan scandal where the bush family were involved in many ways and was detailed in the book by pete brewton,”the MAfia, the CIA, and george bush” about the crimes associated with that saga… which included bin ladens and gw bushes buddy jim bath.
    And what about the false case made for the invasion of iraq. There were thousands killed thousands maimed, millions effected, trillions wasted… and who is on that case now?
    What about the fact that the twin towers were blown up. All THREE of them.
    Look at the case made by the architects and engineers for 9/11 truth…

    look up agents robert wright and john vincent from chicago fbi office who were investigating the one day 9/11 terrorists and their money man yasin al-qadi from 1998 -2000… and was told by the fbi leadership to “let sleeping dogs lie”, and was one of the fbi investigations that were de-railed so that the 9/11 terrorists would be able to make the 9/11 “pre-text” a reality…Yasin al-qadi and his company p-tech…. and the access they had to above top secret critical computer systems of most branches of the american intelligence/security sector…
    never mind all the real election interference the supreme court considers isn’t the job of the judiciary to be involved with which really is effecting elections.. and money is speech, and millions are thrown from the voter rolls by conservative groups since starting in the days of pat buchanan, and other holy rollers and still keeping millions of would be voters out of the voting booths…

    but in context… trump, for as vile of a person he is. for all of the corruption in him making money off the office…..
    lets pretend his call asking for some dirt…. is a big deal…. bigger than all the things we ignore every day…
    This is the bizzarr0 -world

    1. Mike

      Thank you- often overlooked in all the media attention is the “beyond 5 minutes ago” history of this nation and its ruling ideology we call government. Probably why so many people gave up on political solutions and stayed away from stating opinion one way or another, including voting. The practices and assumptions of elite origin do indeed invade and color all citizen response, sadly.

      It seems we are in the narrowing part of the information funnel, and those realizing it are scrambling for foothold. It seems to be a smooth surface – too smooth for foothold?

    2. The Historian

      I’m sorry but comments like this one trigger my gag reflex. I don’t want to sound like I am picking on you personally because this sort of thinking has made me avoid almost all the comments on articles about the impeachment hearings.

      What I hear being said over and over is that we should tolerate all of Trump’s abuses towards this country’s people and all of his corruption because, you know, others did it first or did it worse. So leave Trump alone and let the all of the abuse and corruption continue! And then what? Do we again tolerate the next president’s greed and corruption too, because, you know, Trump did it?

      YES, we should have gone after the others but we didn’t. We were either to dumb or to blind to see what was happening at the time. But isn’t there a point where we all have to say that this kind of power abuse and corruption has got to stop? Trump may only be the straw that broke the camel’s back, but he may be the starting point that we need. Perhaps the Deep State will be our next project?

      Isn’t it time to say that we don’t care how dirty our house has gotten from our past neglect, that we must start somewhere to clean it up?

      1. flora

        And then what? Do we again tolerate the next president’s greed and corruption too, because, you know, Trump did it?

        I think if the next pres is an establishment ‘Clinton’ or a ‘Bush’, then of course the msm will look the other way and say nothing if even worse is done. I recall the msm railing how horrible were W’s undeclared wars, tax cuts, attempt to privatize SS, patriot act, etc. Then O, and his SoS Hills, did the same things and the msm said, um, something something, they meant well, something. The Os and the Bushs are best buds now, and the msm is delighted.

        1. flora

          I remember high school where the unpopular or unpowerful families kids would get punished harshly for the same things the cool kids got away with all the time. Punishing the powerless kids let the HS teachers and admin show they were upholding rules and norms, without risking any repercussions from powerful families Some poor and unpopular kids got blamed for everything.

      2. inode_buddha

        If there was a way to get rid of Trump *and* the DNC simultaneously, I would agree. The game is filthy because the players are filthy. But for the Democrats to act all aggrieved and moralistic about it is just a tad too far — they have no moral ground to stand on, and therefore shouldn’t be pushing the impeachment button. Instead, somebody else should push it, and so far that hasn’t happened. IMHO the Democrats should just shut up and take it. Preferable with a smile. After all, they had no problem dishing it out in previous administrations.

      3. Robert Valiant

        Long ago, I was a middle school administrator in Seattle. Children (boys, usually) who got caught doing something naughty almost always used the “Yeah – but that other kid did something even worse, and you never did anything about it!” defense. Almost always. The parents of the naughty children almost always backed them up in this defense. Almost always.

        Donald Trump is the most accurately representative president in our nation’s history, even though a smallish fraction of eligible voters put him in office. How could we possibly kick him out?

      4. tegnost

        It’s not so much “leave trump alone” as it is “who are you trying to kid”
        Trumps petty crimes pale in comparison.
        Paraphrasing, What I hear being said over and over again is that we should tolerate the horrible governance reflected in the obama administration because trump is worse.
        bank bailouts
        o care
        Obviously this is a very short and off the top of my head list.
        Please indicate a corollary for each of those things in the current administration.
        The more effective evil lost, lucky for some of us…
        Yes, there was a point where we had to say that the power abuse and corruption has to stop.
        It was Nov 8 2016

        1. urblintz

          “What I hear being said over and over again is that we should tolerate the horrible governance reflected in the obama administration because trump is worse.”


          1. jrs

            only not tolerating that would require going back in time, and I rather doubt the viability of time travel.

        2. Knot Galt

          Trade Wars w/ China
          Two Supreme Court Corporate apologists
          Supporting the Saudis/Erogdan in support of the TRUMP Brand
          Supporting a rentier economy
          O care unabated/made worse

          No. We’re duped again. Trump is a high price to pay to undo Obama/Hillary. Yes, there was a point where we had to say that the power abuse and corruption has to stop. It was with Bernie.

      5. John Merryman

        I think the underlaying point wasn’t stated clearly enough. That the primary reason Trump is targeted for impeachment, isn’t about his many character flaws, but that he has been a monkey wrench in the banking/military industrial stranglehold on this country.

        1. danpaco

          Please explain that wrench to me. From my vantage point it’s the same ends with a different message. Tax cuts for the wealthy and the corps, arms sales to all. The only difference is there hasn’t been a new advertised theatre of war for the last 3 years just a shuffling of existing pieces. The US never changes.

          1. jsn

            Simply put: no new wars.

            Don’t undersell it, this is the gravest possible offense to what the US establishment has become, it’s “degrowth” for the MIC/Blob.

            That is the impeachable offense that shines through the fog of horrors our empire clouds the world with. Put the litany of horrors onto the charge sheet and I’m all in: impeach the whole rotten system. Not gonna happen.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Trump, like Tulsi, throws a wrench by publicly asking the unaskable: should we even be making these wars in the first place?

              How unbelievable that the Overton has moved so far that we get creatures like suburban Joy Behar, who is simply parroting the received wisdom that yes, of course! we need to keep killing in a completely indiscriminate manner, everywhere and always, absolutely eviscerating our finances, in preference to all of the basic everyday needs of our people.

              Radio silence by the rest of the Dem field on the subject of PEACE NOW. Sloppy Joe: Of course we need MEW (Maximum Everywhere War), just like Madame Antoinette Clinton intended. Bernie: Completely buys into the new Cold War with Russia. The Senator From Raytheon Liz: well advised in this regard by Madame Albright (killing 500,000 Iragi children was “worth it”).

              Absolutely unbelievable that the Dems have completely ceded the PEACE NOW playing field, and along the way become a reliable subsidiary of the CIA, even when they want to overturn the results of a presidential election.

              (Somebody please change the channel, I seem to have landed on somebody’s simulation of the worst of all possible worlds)

              1. jrs

                No I think we should mostly make soft coups … next …

                (Trump, not Tulsi, don’t know what her policy would be)

            2. GF

              jsn – Why is “no new wars” the big point for excusing Trump for his corrupt self dealing? Has he closed any of our 400 – 800 military “bases” around the world? NO, in fact more have been added since he came to power. Has he stopped any of the 7 – 14 active wars that the USA currently is engaged in around the world? NO. Has he reduced the military budget to force a reduction is war making? NO – he has increased it dramatically. Your argument makes no sense.

              1. Chris Cosmos

                From my POV Trump has done a lot by not initiating full-scale wars and, instead, pretended to be “strong” and spending a shitload of money to assuage the MIC. Trumps foreign policy removes most of the pretence of saving the world and begins to show the chumps the real nature of the con. This is why the fake left hates Trump so much because he represents reality.

                1. danpaco

                  The use of special ops and private contractors for their logistical support has done nothing but turn the theatre of war underground. Shock and awe is so 2003. No need to invade any specific country anymore when the whole world is your battlefield. Thank you war on terrorism!

        2. JCC

          The “monkey wrench” as I see it is that Trump says out loud to the American Public in no uncertain terms what it is we are doing overseas.

          Leading politicians are supposed to couch the reasons in platitudes like “We are fighting for Democracy and The American Way, and unfortunately displacing and/or killing hundreds of thousands are the eggs that must be broken in order to bring the omelet of Freedom and Light of America to the World.”

          Trump just says, “We’re not leaving and we’re taking their oil.”

          Although that is the American Way, you are not supposed to say it out loud. It makes us “look” bad.

          So he has to go.

          I can’t stand Trump and hate his domestic policies and actions, but that is not why the D.C. Dems and Repubs don’t like him, or they wouldn’t keep passing his legislation and putting in his S.C. Judges.

        3. Knot Galt

          It’s not because of MIC except blood thirsty generals? Trump has successfully redirected Americas direct participation in war to Indirect. Why send our own when we can sell arms to SA and Turkey; not to mention the rest of the world? I think one reason the economy has not tanked is because our military spending has certainly not decreased in the slightest.

      6. mpalomar

        “YES, we should have gone after the others but we didn’t. We were either to dumb or to blind…Perhaps the Deep State will be our next project? ”

        As noted above the impeachment process (along with the political process) when employed is obfuscatory, the great crimes of state, the war crimes, the illegal wars, the foreign political assasinations and coups, the complicity with corporate interests engaged in crimes against humanity, pass largely unremarked.

        The deep state is turning their foreign regime change into a domestic agenda that Sheldon Wolin and others have warned about. Exactly who is this ‘we’ that is saying, “this kind of power abuse and corruption has got to stop?” It appears orchestrated by elements in the security state in concert with the Democratic party. Once domestic regime change becomes part of the political process the republic is no more. Many have suggested that this is so already.

        Combined and perhaps inseparable from the political clout of money the undermining of democracy proceeds without acknowledgement and governing is further subverted if Trump is ousted outside the electoral process; we can expect to see more of it. The praetorian guard is taking charge.

        1. kiwi

          All you mention is what bothers me the most.

          I’m so glad Trump became president because his presidency has laid bare for all to see the way non-elected deep staters undermine and collaborate with whatever politicians to undermine the Constitution. It is quite the scene to behold.

          (not that this activity wasn’t suspected in the past; it’s just more obvious now)

          1. jsn

            Smedley Butler said “War is a Racket.”

            To tegnost’s catalogue of horrors, Trump has added a recidivist ecocide and nothing more.

            What makes him “impeachable” is not the catalogue of horrors he’s assumed as his own, with that one singular and important addition, it’s that he’s interfering with the “Racket”: no new wars (yet, between Bolsonaro, Morales and Maduro, the racketeers are lining up some good old fashioned Monroe Doctrine militarism to tempt any reprobate racist).

          2. Amfortas the hippie

            I’ve been saying this since trump won the gop primary…he’s the embodiment of the apokalypse…literally, the “rending of the veil” in the temple, that obscures what the priests are up to.
            as far as i can tell, this is his ONLY redeeming quality.
            like you and others say, many many of us have suspected, if not known, that “the republic is no more”>
            the majority of the evidence I’ve run across…in real life…has pointed directly at this…backed up by our numerous cassandras(Wolin, Ruppert, C.W.Mills, et alia).
            now, even with the veil in tatters, the dogwhistle chewed up and spat out, the “deep state” on national television, and all manner of comfortable illusions bleeding on the kitchen table, there’s still a whole lot of people(proportional with their level of comfort) who refuse to see it…it’s too much.
            there’s a generational aspect to this denial, too…in addition to the comfort level aspect….as much as we don’t want to go there(see: current pshaw brigades laughing at “ok boomer”)
            this, i reckon, is simply because the older one is, the more likely that you have at least vestiges of more prosperous times to lay upon…from pensions to paid off property to stock portfolios from prior to when the casino took full control. age is also a factor in where one gets one’s news/cultural reinforcement(see: msm viewership demographics…or even the ads, which clearly indicate target audience)
            people (like my folks) are averse to admitting that it’s all gone to hell.
            it was always gonna be hard to overcome the Mindf&ck…and it was always gonna be hard to undo the global empire of american capital(or whateverthehell this thing is we’re pointing at,lol)
            political organising didn’t work…the machine was always three steps ahead to control the narrative, coopt the message or denigrate the messengers…
            i guess it takes a boorish billionaire with malignant narcissism walking through the raindrops into power to do the deed.
            that’s sad…but here we are.
            the question remains, what’s gonna happen next…and what can us little people do about it..locally, nationally and globally…if anything.
            I long ago adopted the Archdruid’s advice…”collapse first, beat the rush”.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              > ok boomer

              I ought to be stunned, but I am not, that when we have a candidate running, literally, against “the billionaire class,” and based on a morality of solidarity expressed by catch-phrases like “not me, us” and “I’m willing to fight for someone I don’t know,” that people — some of them Sanders supporters! — are willing, nay eager, to pick a piece of dirty candy off the street like “ok boomer” and lick it, with evident pleasure. “ok boomer” might as well have been designed in a lab by Hate, Inc. — it was, after all, first propagated by the New York Times — as indeed generational analysis might as well have been.

              It’s anti-solidarity (“to the ice floes with them”), impoverished analytically (do we really believe that people are have political power because they are old?), it splits the vote, if you’re a Sanders supporter who cares about that, and it contradicts everything Sanders is saying, if you’re a Sanders supporter and that matters to you. It’s entirely vicious and reprehensible, just as much as “millennial” is.

              Yes, I agree with all the sociology you so well describe. I did not choose my birth date, and I’m luckier than many, less lucky than some. But it’s perverse and idiotic to infer that my political views, or any view, are a straight readout of my age, any more than they are a readout of skin color (Obama) or gender (Margaret Thatcher).

              1. Yves Smith

                Also Sanders is of the “greatest generation” born before 1945….as is Bloomberg and Biden (and Rubin and Greenspan). So even the generational analysis sucks.

              2. Amfortas the hippie

                “designed in a lab by Hate, Inc. ”

                everything you say is true.
                and my anthropological observations, near and far, fit right in with all of it.
                “they” take an existing bone of contention(see: abortion, before 1972 and after. compare) and blow it up into a war on X…or a war between x and y.
                this perfidious manipulation of the zeitgeist doesn’t undo the original bone of contention…it’s just that the original is a minor part in a much greater picture.
                “they” get us to focus on the minor bit, and ignore the grand vista.
                in my tiny test bed/county…which i do tend to generalise up to an analog for the whole country…younger people than i have noticed(without prompting) that 3 “boomers”* own 1/3 of the businesses around here, and another 4 own great swaths of the rentable property.

                “Boomer”* is not their word, btw. more nebulous terms are used, as with all this talk. these 45 and below people i’m eavesdropping on and talking to, don’t have the language for econ, politics…beyond the crudest football metaphors…or even the bill of rights…because it wasn’t taught in government class for 30 years, here. but they do understand that they have been screwed, and that the screwers are generally of a certain age: { etc}
                one fights with the army one has, and all

                “a straight readout of my age”
                like “yer white and male and therefore privileged, and must grovel”,lol, experience with nightsticks be damned
                we’re surrounded and penetrated by such things…and, as i said, often without the shared language(and that thought structure behind, and enabled by, that language) to talk about these things….let alone on the fly, in passing, because everyone is overwhelmed.
                but i can take that inchoate awareness of a feature of our political economy, derived from their anecdotal and generationally framed observations, and…given a proverbial campfire and some beer and isolation from the herd…. fill in the blanks.
                since i’m competing head to head with global media conglomerates and all the rest, I figger this is sufficient.

                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  “Also Sanders is of the “greatest generation”
                  and there’s apparently such a thing as socialism for the rich and powerful. zygoticide is immoral, but daisy cutters are not.
                  the mindf&ck has never required consistency…and in fact, i reckon that the uncomfortable myriad of cognitive dissonances so produced is essential to the project’s success.

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    Is Sanders a member of the greatest generation? Usually you are talking about people who fought in WW2 but Sanders was born just a few months before Pearl Harbour so kinda young. Was there ever a name assigned this generation?

      7. rob

        My thought isn’t that we ought to “let trump be”….. because the others were so bad. My thought is people need to get real,as to what our problems are. To puff up this story as if it is important enough to be the first offense donald trump should be impeached for, is crazy. And really lame.
        Donald should be demonized for selling out the air and water standards. for putting children in harms way; knowingly and repeatedly.
        HE OUGHT TO BE IMPEACHED FOR LYING>>> all the time… He ought to be impeached because everything he says and does is an indignity to the office of the president. He ought to be held accountable for all the things he feels he has immunity from as president. His lack of understanding that the executive is merely a CO-EQUAL branch of gov’t…
        I think , because donald the chump, is such a freaking buffoon, he ought to be impeached the first time he steps his toes over some actual legal line , the prosecutor can muster…. I am not AGAINST impeaching trump.
        What I am against is the media having a field day and pretending that this is good fodder for the next number of months until the election can distract everyone’s attention from anything real..
        I am against people being placated by these horse and pony shows,as if they are “heading in the right direction”. That is just intellectual lazyness, and really ,that type of “here is a crumb” to feast on type of mentality is subversive to an actual understanding of things that are worth fighting for.
        Things like monetary reform,as was tried by kucinich in the 112th congress,HR2990 “the need act”, to remove the free lunch the bankers and wall st have had for the last 100 years.
        or an actual truth and reconciliation movement.. reconciling the past. what really happened… including what the people who did it thought they were doing it for, even though history shows people amidst the levers of power are as apt to be misguided as anyone else…

        I only meant in my original comment that these “crimes”, are infractions… the real “crimes” are still running our world everyday.
        Evil is the banality of business as usual.

        1. The Historian

          Thank you Rob, for clarifying!

          I agree that there are other, more serious, things that Trump should have faced impeachment on – such as the emoluments clause – but obviously those things hit too close to home.

          And I agree with you that this is fodder to distract, i.e., sort of Superbowl for politics where everyone gets to rah-rah for his side while ignoring what it is that his side is actually doing.

          I see this as a present day Marius-Sulla battle – neither side was in it for Rome and both sides were equally complicit in bringing down the Roman Republic. What Romans should have done is go after the weaker one first and then when that one was gone, muster its forces against the other. But they didn’t – they just chose sides and paved the way for their own destruction. I don’t know how long the Roman Republic would have lasted, but I am sure it would have lasted much longer if the Roman people had an inkling that neither Marius nor Sulla had their best interests at heart and that they needed to take power away from both of them.

          1. notabanker

            but obviously those things hit too close to home.

            So let’s continue to ignore the real problem and set yet another precedent by allowing the FBI, CIA and DNC to oust a sitting President because he’s not with their program?

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              but L vs R and Dr vs R are the language we have. to try to talk about the higher level of politics( where d and r are sports teams, owned by the same people who hate us,lol)… with the person on the street is a tall order.
              see campfire and beer reference above.

              the greatest contribution from bernie is re-introducing the language…not in obscure corners of the internet, or bookshelves in headshops, or around my campfire…but on live tv…where it can’t be ignored.
              during the obama years, talking about “single payer”, let alone “socialised medicine”, was near impossible. all and sundry “knew” that hillary clinton was the embodiment of socialism.
              one’s interlocutors didn’t know what the words meant, but—and this is important—thought that they did know what the words meant.
              would we have bernie in the place he’s at without the destruction and disruption and rich-adolescent chaos of trump? “saying the quiet part out loud”?
              if so, it’s a major own-goal for the power elite who engineered his entry into politics.

              1. ambrit

                I would quibble about “the power elite” engineering Trumps entry into politics.
                Insofar as the Clinton/DNC “Pied Piper” strategy led up to Trump becoming President, it falls upon the Clinton clique to explain how they so badly misread the public mood. In basic terms, the Clintons are ‘Arrivistes.’ They are not old money or status people. As such, they would not be considered “one of us” by the extant Power Elites. Which merges nicely into the fact that Trump is likewise not considered “One of Us” by the Republican Establishment. This whole episode in American politics, arguably starting with the election of a *horrors!* actor as President in 1980 reminds me of the Andrew Jackson period in American History. A regional oligarch, masquerading as a populist, shifts the old guard out of power in Washington. Afterward came the acceleration of the Industrialization of America and enhanced internal mercantilism. To extend my metaphor past it’s breaking point, Trump likewise heralds a major shift in the fabric of American socio-economics. The de-industrialization of America is almost complete, and I expect a rapid shift to an internal Jackpotism.
                To counter those burdened with TDS, I say, Trump is a symptom, not a cause, of today’s malaise.
                Thus endeth ye rant.

                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  definitely a shift in the winds.
                  and a giant legitimacy crisis(crises)…i don’t think that the anger and disgust i see out here for both parties… and the whole enterprise, really…registers in any of the media…msm, alternative, or socmed…or in the more trustworthy pollsters and surveyors(i like Pew, until i see reason to do otherwise)
                  to the extent that my specimens are aware of politics at all, it’s with disdain and reluctant endurance. like entering the dentists office for a root canal. an essential “Ughh.”

                  “and I expect a rapid shift to an internal Jackpotism.”
                  i’ve expected this for 20 years or more.
                  eventually, all the pretending will butt up against mother nature, and vanish.
                  will it be a fracking bust, rippling out into the rest of the faux economy?
                  or an idiotic invasion of iran? semi-permanent inundation of prime coastal real estate, also rippling through the tranches and bundles and other esoteric chicanery?
                  or any number of other ridiculous things that make sense to the people who run the show?
                  i still find it pretty remarkable that wall street remains relatively unchanged after their 2008 clusterf&&k…just BAU…no firebombs, or hacksawed bronze bulls…as if it’s “please continue as if nothing happened”.
                  and i can find nothing to indicate with any clarity what happened to all those folks mailing in their keys, or just squatting in their foreclosed homes, while the banks obfuscated and hmmed and hawwed about title and responsibility,lol.
                  for all this wealth of data at our fingertips, there’s still gaping holes of blind blackness.
                  like you say, Clintonland is “new money”…but what does that mean?
                  does it matter?
                  what is the shape of the world at that level?
                  there’s too much lacunae where it really matters.

              2. inode_buddha

                The sports team analogy works very well, when you remind people that Both teams in the Superbowel get their paychecks from the NFL regardless of the outcome.

      8. kiwi

        What “abuses toward this country’s people” and what “corruption?”

        Your side keeps flinging around these words ad nauseum with no evidence.

        And please don’t list the refusal to release tax returns as an abuse or corruption. Tax returns are not going to reveal anything. There are no lines in the returns that list “money laundered,” or “income from campaign funds used for illicit purposes.” Oh, and making money through business is not a crime.

        Please don’t list an NDA (nondisclosure agreement) as an abuse; these types of agreements are routinely used in all manner of settings.

        Please don’t cite your twisted interpretation of regulations in order to find a crime; there are long-held meanings of regulations with case law that clarifies what situations and what evidence is considered probative of violations.

        Please don’t cite his businesses as some sort of crime; Trump had those before he became president.

        1. marym

          Most comments at NC that are critical of Trump, including this thread, are also critical of his predecessors, Rep and Dem, and of both HRC’s record and the potential if she’d won the election. It’s rare, imo, that any of us defend them at all, let alone claiming there’s “no evidence” for assorted evils attributed to them.

          Trump’s presidency has consisted almost entirely of self-dealing (link), hurting people (link), and dismantling the bureaucratic and regulatory framework of government, the latter seemingly without a care in the world about what if anything replaces it. He’s a shock agent of the shock doctrine.

          It’s useful to “whatabout” the other “side” on some issues, to understand the history and systemic nature of violence and injustice inflicted by the few against the many. It’s also useful to argue what the most effective response should be or whether any given action is a crime, or impeachable, or simply worthy of shining a light and offering criticism and alternatives.

          It’s not useful to accuse critics on one “side” as being by definition on the other. Nor is it useful to assume Trump is well-motivated but for the “deep state” any more than it ever was to assume Obama was well-motivated but for the Republicans.

          1. kiwi

            The numbers of people ‘hurt’ by wars started/continued by recent presidents (Obama, Bush, Clinton) alone would far exceed the numbers of people ‘hurt’ by Trump.

            The numbers of people ‘hurt’ by Trump is miniscule compared to the numbers of people hurt by the recent financial crises alone.

            The numbers of people ‘hurt’ by Trump is miniscule compared to the numbers of blacks jailed because of Clinton’s crime bill.

            The numbers of people ‘hurt’ by Trump is miniscule compared to the numbers of people hurt by democratic supported neo-liberal policies that sent jobs overseas.

            The numbers of people ‘hurt’ by Trump is miniscule compared to the numbers of people hurt by HB1 programs, immigration, and poorly controlled borders.

            Each of the above groups I cited above would easily outnumber any number you could possibly cite (factually, not some fantastical number).

            So, apparently, you are unable to count, or your goal posts change depending entirely on your whimsy.

            And please provide a list of the dismantled bureaucracies and regulatory frameworks.

            Just because you say something over and over and over does not make it true.

      9. timbers

        This plays out as:

        You’re not upset about the bad stuff Trump is doing – you’re upset that Hillary isn’t the one who got to do it. Like when the Dems got upset at Trump immigration polices but were fine with Obama’s far worse.

        I know that is not what you are saying, but when I raised the issues of the crimes Obama was doing amongst my Dem friends, I was almost always told “stop watching FOX News.”

        So, I’ve learned from personal experience that Dems are basically the same as Republicans. Republicans believed their tribal leaders when they said “WMD in Iraq” while many Dems didn’t fall for it. Today, Dems believe their tribal leaders when they say “Russia attacked us.”

        Same thing. No difference. Dems = Republicans, Republicans = Dems.

      10. lyman alpha blob

        What you hear is not what is being said.

        What is being said is that impeaching Trump for a triviality normalizes all the past illegal actions by other presidents. It says that bombing other nations, assassinating US citizens, taking bribes to your personal Foundation, etc, etc is all just AOK but making a phone call to a clown in another country is a step too far, or at least it is if you’re not part of the Beltway in-crowd.

        If the Dems wanted to impeach him for something legitimate that would draw a line in the sand for future presidents, they could impeach him for fomenting a coup in Venezuela and they would be right to do so. But that might mess up new BFF Bolton’s new book deal and break lots of other rice bowls, so that isn’t going to happen.

      11. Carolinian

        We were either to dumb or to blind to see

        Nonsense. People saw, knew. Impeaching Trump is not a blow for the “rule of law” but tribal warfare. When Nixon said he was being attacked for what previous presidents had done he had a bit of a point. Did overthrowing Nixon make our executives more careful and less corrupt? Hardly.

        1. Elizabeth

          Yes, and what about George W. Bush’s war crime of invading Iraq? Pelosi said that “impeachment is off the table” because the Dems didn’t want to “ruin their chances” for the next election. It seems to me that impeachment is used as a selective political tool. The Dems could have gone after Trump for the violation of the Emoluments Clause – but they didn’t. I don’t believe “we were too dumb or too blind” to see what’s been going on. The corruption/wars/ has been going on for a very long time. It’s clear that the Dems/Repubs want the same thing when it comes to that.

        2. danpaco

          Impeachment is just another tool in trying to delegitimize whoever happens to be the president. This is what the political class has done my entire adult life.
          Bill Clinton, impeached
          GW Bush, something was probably cooking with regards to the Florida recount but then 9/11 happens. Cant impeach a wartime president!
          Obama, Squeeky clean, damn! He’s not from here. Where is his birth certificate. Can’t impeach the president on policies we all agree on, extra judicial killings, drone warfare, etc…
          Trump, back to the good old days…. Only this time its the Deep State thats the boogy man instead of felatio.

      12. Plenue

        “Trump may only be the straw that broke the camel’s back, but he may be the starting point that we need. Perhaps the Deep State will be our next project?”

        Ludicrously naive. If Trump is impeached, not only will the spies not be held accountable, they’ll emerge stronger than ever. They’re the driving force behind this.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Simply the regime change engine finally turning its attention domestically, Americans have been completely AOK with our spies toppling governments across the length and breadth of the globe and of history, time for us to take some of our very own medicine. Maybe a few targeted drone strikes at the Milwaukee Convention so “the wrong guy/gal” never reaches the podium? Has worked a treat for us in the alphabet soup of other countries so why not right at home. Payback is a bitch.

      13. Susan the Other

        When I witnessed Clinton cave in on Yugoslavia and send in the bombers; when little George cooked up OBL and went to Afghanistan/Iraq without any resistance; when Obama got a preemptive Nobel peace prize and forthwith backed France and the UK in Libya and facilitated going into Syria; when Obama wasn’t satisfied with that and created the Soros funded coup in Ukraine; and when Trump won in spite of calling McCain out and Bush for the biggest mistake in history (going into the ME full force except for nukes) and made himself a sitting duck for the “Intelligence Community” (what a euphemism)… and then when Trump did get in deep with the deep state who should come along to “protect the office of the president” but Billy Barr. Republican bulldog and friend of little George. The only reason Trump hasn’t already been railroaded is because if they can do it to Trump they can do it retroactively to Obama and Bush and Clinton – all of whom deserve it more than Trump. This is an enormous can of worms that will leapfrog with vengeance from one administration to another. Do we want a president who is so crippled he might as well not campaign at all?

      14. witters

        Historian, your gag makes me gag. As I said yesterday:

        The trouble is that “selective prosecution” presupposes “selective non-prosecution” and that both imply “selective justice” which, of course, simply poisons the wells of justice itself, for what determines the selection or non-selection is sheer, justice destroying, power.

        Sure you can pick your side, but there’s no justice in that.

      15. anon in so cal

        Trump’s corruption pales in comparison to Hillary Clinton’s. HRC essentially sold the US State Dept to donors to the Clinton Foundation. Check out the Thompson Timeline for a detailed chronology of the donations, quid pro quo at State, etc.

        It’s possible to loathe Trump but still be vehemently against impeachment. There are no high crimes and misdemeanors on which to base impeachment. The CIA and the Obama DOJ engineered this ongoing coup attempt starting way before election 2016. In the eyes of the permanent war state, Trump’s crime was to campaign on better relations with Russia. Ukrainegate and Impeachment are continuations of Russiagate. Check out the main protagonists in the impeachment charade. Most are Obama-era holdovers with a vehemently anti-Russia stance, such as Fiona Hill and Valdman. Check out John Helmer’s website and The Saker for background on these scary individuals.

    3. xkeyscored

      Nixon and kissinger sabotaged the paris peace talks in 1968, which derailed a solid chance for ending the vietnam war that year, instead of when it eventually did in 1975…which means for those following years americans died and war was waged …
      Those ‘americans’ who died were soldiers. They were part of a war against countries on the other side of the world which had not attacked the USA, and had no intention or means to do so. They should not have been there in the first place.
      The Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laos dead far outnumbered Americans, and most were civilians, in their own countries, with no choice in the matter.
      Why do the deaths of a few thousand imperialist agents upset you enough to get mentioned first thing, while the millions of dead Indochinese get ignored as usual?

      1. Pat

        Maybe because those “imperialist agents” were supposed to be represented by those who used their deaths for personal gain. Not to mention that most of them were pawns caught in a system where the choices were military, prison and a felony record or illegal immigration to a foreign country. It is easy to forget we did not have a professional army back then but one largely made up of poor mooks whose number was quite literally up.

      2. rob

        I don’t actually count the deaths of the americans as a greater tragedy than that of the people who were unfortunate enough to be born above /near resources being stolen by force.
        I think one of the main things the world needs is a truth and reconciliation movement. The crimes of people against people… are far and wide. for all of written history they have never been absent. and currently, the names change, the faces, the ethnicities aggrieved…the regions… but the world over; at all times.. by all actors with the power to do so…. crimes against humanity are ongoing. right now ..
        But again… everything important can be ignored by being consumed with the horse and pony show now before us..
        as a person born in the united states, I hate the establishment of this country. They are aligned/related to the elites, worldwide,by blood,money and custom… IMO everyone everywhere ought to be upset at ALL the powers that be. We are just stuck on different sides of artificial divisions.
        And we will stay here because we are all “too smart” to be anywhere else.

        1. xkeyscored

          If you don’t count American deaths as a greater tragedy, why do you specifically mention them first thing, while maybe expressing some concern for the far greater numbers of Indochinese dead with “So all the peoples lives who were ruined in those years by that war should have a gripe”?

          1. rob

            the reason I don’t go on about all the devastation of lives around the world the american foreign policy machine has been/is guilty of… is really just there there are too many crimes to list.

            I specifically wrote about the american dead and wounded in that period, only because it is a specific situation. One of many aspects.
            I don’t mean to exclude the crimes against the vietnamese,laotians,or cambodians in any way.. or the fact that the delay caused by nixon and kissenger to what would be the eventual withdrawal of american forces didn’t extend the suffering of all people. But those people are not the people who were voting for nixon, or believe to this day, that a conflict in indo-china was justified…. by the whole fear of communism BS that propagandized people of the time just like the “war on terror” propagandizes people now.
            I do think the entire action of the american gov’t was wrong from 1954 on. The american policy was really only concerned with getting what the french lost: oil,rubber and tin… for trans-national interests

            I do think that it is part of the “colonial expression” of countries be they; the US,britian,france,japan,china,USSR,etc…. to stick their guns where they don’t belong…. in the name of commerce…and trade…. ie resource exploitation…
            Like smedley butler said…
            The dollar goes abroad to earn more than 6%, the flag follows the dollar, the marines follow the flag…. and we get what we have had…
            I understand the american side of the story is just that ; one side, of many..That is not belittling any other side.

      3. Amfortas the hippie

        because those imperialist agents are my stepdad, and your neighbor, and they were fooled/confused/befuddled and blinded by high ideals spoon fed to them from the cradle.
        even after almost 35 years of patient evangelising, my stepdad(paralyzed in da nang in 68) has difficulty admitting to himself that it was for bullshit.
        and not for “freedom”.
        that’s a hard thing, and we should be as patient and understanding of them as we are with the rest of the bewildered herd.
        be they racist, sexist, homophobic or whatever.
        maybe even the lower levels of the “managerials”…although that often seems like a tough and bitter nut to chew.
        they must be led, not dragged, out of the damned cave.

        1. xkeyscored

          Agreed, patience and understanding are valuable qualities. But going along with the official narrative that the only problem with the wars on Indochina was dead US citizens severely stretches my patience and understanding.

        2. xkeyscored

          I’ve known several US veterans who’ve come to work in Indochina as a way of trying to make some kind of amends for what they were doing here in the 60s and 70s. Most of them are as troubled as I am by their homeland’s constant harping on the 60,000 dead US soldiers, while relegating the millions of dead here to an afterthought if they’re considered at all.

    4. Summer

      And at the end of the day, this impeachment, like Nixon’s, is about beltway infighting more than high crimes committed against the people of a nation(s).
      I couldn’t care less than if Biden and Trump ripped out what was left of each other’s hair.

    5. Alex morfesis

      Ummm-meryka is now and has always been a pyrate nation….and any decent reading of its continued attempts to present itself over the last 243 years as a fair, reasonable, prim and proper people has always led to a good laugh. Impeachment in the constitution was always meant to be political and there is not one president who did not commit some high crime or mister-meanr while in office or to get into office.

      Not being cynical….simply statement of fact….time to accept we are a grown up country, with all the bells and whistles and warts….

      It is who we are….it is who we have always been…it is who we will always be…

      Thankfully we are the cleanest dirty shirt in the basket in a world polluted by kings, queens, mamonites and warlocks….

      Sorry to kill the fairy tale….oh…and santa claus is fake….although the tooth fairy is real…that one is true…

    6. Tomonthebeach

      You just made a case for Impeaching Trump regardless of the relative immorality of the charges compared to Nixon & Reagan. The sooner you get corrupt officials out of office, the greater the likelihood of a less evil and dangerous world.

    1. Jeff W

      Adweek here:

      WSJ dropped its first widespread brand campaign on Nov. 4 in an effort to attract new subscribers by encouraging them to “read yourself better.” As part of that effort, WSJ’s paywall will be lifted, and readers can view an unlimited number of articles on the site for three days, from Nov. 9-11.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Former National Security Adviser John Bolton gets book deal: report”

    If you were one to believe in clandestine relationships, getting a book deal for a Washington insider is almost a way of making a payment for ‘services rendered’. Sort of like the way Trump is being accused of as in a quid pro quo. You wonder if they even really write these books or make us of a ghost writer. Do the Obamas, for example, really deserve $65 million in advance for their book deal?
    The other way for pay-offs is making speeches such as when Bill Clinton was paid $500,00 for a single speech in Moscow. Someone could map out all these book deals and speeches, which corporations make these payments, and who is in a position of power to authorize such payments. But I doubt that such a study would ever be done.

    1. Anonymous 2

      British Prime Ministers have in recent times been able to negotiate very lucrative book deals when they stand down – often with a firm of publishers owned by Murdoch. Strange is it not?

      1. dearieme

        Very recent times – there’s not much sign that Thatch was rolling in money after her time as PM. I don’t know that Major or Brown made much either.

        So really it’s Blair and perhaps Blair-lite.

        1. Monty

          Perhaps, if she had just pulled herself up by her bootstraps and worked a bit harder, she too could have been a billionaire!

      1. inode_buddha

        I dunno about that, but what sticks out in my mind is the time when Hillary, as Secretary of State, approved billions in arms sales to the Saudis while the Saudi family was making hundreds of millions in “contributions” to the Clinton Foundation. Didn’t hear a peep about that in the press, that I recall.

        These are the same people that want to impeach Trump.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “This Is No Ordinary Impeachment”

    If you want the CliffsNotes version of this story so as not to waste the time reading it, it says:

    “Orange Man Bad!”

    1. JTMcPhee

      I would characterize that article as “a tissue of lies and insinuendoes, stuffed with FUD.” Sullivan is well practiced in this kind of stuff. One hopes the Mockingbird pays him well for his efforts.

    2. flora

      Considering what happened to Seymour Hersh’s ability to get published in any US media outlet, I wonder if all this genuflected before the “trump bad” alter is from fear of being blacklisted. During the McCarthy hearings hundreds of writers, actors, director, university profs and others were blacklisted and could not get work. In many cases their careers were destroyed.

      A writer’s knee jerk insertion of ‘Trump bad’ in otherwise logically consistent reports about some non-Trump specific item – items that past US admins were equally or worse involved – sure looks like fear to me, inserted lest the writer be thought a ‘trump sympathizer’.

  5. doug

    Then sets up GoFundMe for legal fees. Naturally.

    I am now trying to imagine an alternative history if the watergate burglers could have set up a ‘go fund me’?

    1. Plenue

      After he massacred a thousand Indian civilians, the Morning Post newspaper in Britain ran a fundraiser for Reginald Dyer that raised 26,000 pounds.

      1. ambrit

        And that was back when a pound was worth real money.
        The writer Harry Turtledove had a short story where Germany won WW2 and where Model was the Occupation governor of India for the Reich. He crosses swords with Ghandi. The outcome is quite different from our Timeline. Turtledove explains why this difference of outcomes, in the story arc.

  6. Craig H.

    > The Rise of Nationalism After the Fall of the Berlin Wall George Soros

    I should like to think that the nadir was reached in 2016, with the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum and the election of US President Donald Trump, but the jury is out.

    While Soros et al remain at the top of the food chain I am pretty sure there is a lot lower nadir to get at for the rest of us.

    Is he still persona non grata in Hungary or have they made up?

    1. jo6pac

      Hungary, No they haven’t and would likely be arrested if he should go there. I was very happy when they threw out all NGO including his open society propaganda machine. He’s just another NED.

    2. Susan the Other

      I’d like to apply Yanis Varoufakis’ analysis of the fascist takeover of the National Socialists in Germany to what Soros is saying. He’s saying nationalism is bad because it always goes hand in hand with protectionism, fascism and war. And it therefore disrupts trade and his lucrative perch as a global extractor. YV said that the Nat. Socialists in Germany after WWI were too innocent and were easily co-opted by the militarist fascists. Germany had been gearing up for decades to have a navy that could defeat Great Britain and serve to achieve a German empire – and losing WW1 didn’t stop their ambitions – it just slowed them down. But is that really applicable to the pullback today to nationalism and sovereignty to protect countries and societies from the ravages of internationalists like Georgie S.? I think it’s a stretch. Nationalism can be as benign as it’s objective. It’s probably pure hypocrisy of Soros to make this insinuation because his beloved neoliberalism seems itself to have been fully co-opted by a new fascism of internationalists. What goes around comes around. YV goes so far as to say that our new billionaire class is “feudal” and doesn’t have the rational connections of direct politics to mitigate the inequalities. Let Soros address that one.

      1. dearieme

        Neither Kaiser Bill nor Hitler were nationalists – they were imperialists, like Napoleon. Nationalists would include such people as Bismarck or Garibaldi and Cavour.

        The problem for the democratic politicians in France and Britain in the thirties was to decide whether Hitler was a Napoleon or a Bismarck. Only with the invasion of rump Czechoslovakia did he prove to be a Napoleon. They didn’t have the advantage of hindsight.

        1. Massinissa

          Sorry, but I’m pretty sure that it is indeed possible to be both at once. You sound like you’re getting into No-True-Scotsman territory here.

    3. The Rev Kev

      A bit rich on George Soros’s part to complain about nationalism. He has spent the past few decades spending billions on organizations to destabilize governments around the world. You can’t keep track of all the NGO’s, programs to ‘educate’ journalist, etc. that he has on tab. There are so many. And because of this destabilization, people in those countries have looked for some stability and one of the few groups to do so are Nationalists. His own country of Hungary is a perfect example of what happened so it is no wonder he is on a hit list there. Nationalism is the reaction to destabilization. And now he has a whinge about them.

  7. bob

    Is ‘OK Boomer’ the ‘New N-Word,’ or Are Millennials Still Destroying Everything? FAIR. I really do have to read Hate, Inc.

    This guy is a huge dork. Here’s the local story on him and his stodgy outburst. An 18th rate local DJ who still tries to look like he’s cool AND hip. Says edgy things too!

    When repackaging the standard status quo ante as radical ends, there might be something left. Until then, we get this guy and his super cool hair.

    1. Carolinian

      Since we Boomers really are running the show I don’t think we need to be quite so defensive about “zoomer” resentment–if it exists. The generation that said “don’t trust anyone over 30” was probably right then and the sentiment is probably right today.

      1. Chris Cosmos

        Generational labels are even more bullshit when it comes to politics than racial labels. They are interesting from a sociological/cultural POV. Political culture is almost exclusively about class. If you can make some money or get power for me I’ll use you no matter how old you are if you can’t then you can just FO. That’s politics in a nutshell.

        1. Carolinian

          So the notion that older people vote more than younger people, have more conservative views as a rule, etc…..all baloney? Of course these categories are imprecise and even gross generalizations but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some significance worth talking about.

          1. Summer

            If we expound on that point, then the “millennials” they cherry-pick for their coverage are the ones that are going to be more likely to hold conservative views, especially econonomically, when they get older.

            1. Massinissa

              “coverage are the ones that are going to be more likely to hold conservative views, especially econonomically, when they get older.”

              I’m not too sure about that though. That is assuming the trends in the past continue into the future. The reason past generations ended up being more conservative at the end of their lives is that, at the end of the day, society pretty much worked for them. They were able to get a job, get a home, have kids if they want them. Alot of Millenials are struggling to do any of those things.

              If the societal system doesn’t work out for them, I don’t see why they would want to perpetuate that system in their old age, when they may be even worse off than they are now when they have little property, little savings and few kids to support them.

              I realize at the end of writing this that I may have misunderstood your point entirely, but I’m going to leave this as it is just in case. I very well may have misunderstood what you were trying to say.

              1. Summer

                “Alot of Millenials are struggling to do any of those things.”

                And to clarify again, I’m talking about the ones who will continue to struggle with those things as they age, and those aren’t ones the marketers or establishment press are fretting about.

                Just like the “boomers” they discuss aren’t representative of all over 55 people.

                And if you want to talk about generational squeezes along the marketers frame of reference, Gen X got squeezed.

                1. inode_buddha

                  “And if you want to talk about generational squeezes along the marketers frame of reference, Gen X got squeezed.”

                  Yes, and we hate *both* the boomers and the millenials. “Squeezed” would be an understatement, putting it politely.

                  1. Summer

                    I wouldn’t say there is “hate.”

                    Just that when they nake all these generstional divide claims and leave an entire adult generation out, it’s just because it will show all the policy failures have been on hyper drive long before the term “millennial” hit the scene, rehashing many of the exact same astological natal chart-like characteristics they used on the “boomers” in the sixties and “Gen X” later.

                    1. inode_buddha

                      OK, we *hate* ignoring the policy failures that began screwing most of us over back in the 80’s. And the complete dishonesty that papers it over.

                2. Ralph Reed

                  “Gen X” was just a way to market MDMA while Mossad and the former KGB had a long American holiday. Notice the strengthening of the FDA and prison reform thanks to cannibis federalism.

      2. Summer

        “Millenials” in the political and establishment press are seldom a reference to all people in that age demographic that is purely a marketing creation.

      3. smoker

        Huh? We™ Boomers, really? Oh my. The last I read, a very long list of Amoral Technocrat Billionaires – who are now surveilling everyone – became billionaires mostly in their twenties, or just past thirty. Classifying one’s trustworthiness, by adult age is mind boggling.

        Further, what I never see discussed in the anti Boomer™ conversations is the absolute realty that many Boomers™, just like younger generations, were unable to ever afford a home themselves, and are now at far more threat of homelessness due to an increasingly vicious age discrimination; particularly: minorities; single females; many single males; and late stage boomers who had the misfortune to be hit by so many crippling recessions and the ever devastating age discrimination (now even effecting those over thirty (thanks Obama!). I’ve heard no candidate addressing that whatsoever, even when they are older than Boomers™, won’t be voting for any of them either.

      4. lambert strether

        > Since we boomers really are running the show

        No, we are not. That’s a totally unserious statement. And IMNSHO it’s not a coincidence that the Times spread this meme now, or that others are amplifying it.

        “Not me, us”*

        * Certain restrictions apply.

      5. Yves Smith

        Boomers are not running the show. Plenty of “Greatest Generation” in the mix, starting with Nancy Pelosi and DiFi. And if you think Zuckerberg doesn’t have more power than 100,000 random Boomers, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

        It’s as if you’ve embraced high school as your model of the world, where freshmen eventually become seniors and get to run all the clubs.

        1. Carolinian

          Well Trump is a boomer and he is running the show, at least theoretically. I realize I’m in the minority by defending all this “generationalism.” But then I come from a generation that very much believed in “talkn’ about my generation.” The obsession with a young/old divide isn’t exactly new. Back then you had your Archie Bunker and you had your Meathead.

          1. smoker

            The obsession with a young/old divide isn’t exactly new.

            You’re right, it’s likely centuries old, so why imply the Boomers™ exclusively own groaning at parents and elders, and use a television show as an example when television sets weren’t popularized till after World War Two’s Boomers™ were being born?

            The difference now is that it is being used to brutal effect, to ignore – and effectively punish – millions of vulnerable and impoverished Boomers™ in a manner which seems unprecedented to me. Glad you apparently evaded that crush, many of us have not, and will more than likely end up homeless or dead at a very young age, when considering advanced medicine, as a consequence.

            The glib, insistently repeated condolence of that anti Boomer™stereotype, in these particular, unprecedented times of MASS COMMUNICATION, which many times feels like MASS HATRED, when someone is already overwhelmed with woes, yet being demonized at the same time, is horrifying.

            (By the way, according to the US Census Bureau (according to wiki), Trump was born at the tail end of the US Silent Generation™, which succeeded the Greatest Generation™ and ended at Mid 1946.)

      6. Summer

        I thought I was finished. But one more point.

        There is a direct link between youth and/or student movements and organizations and the incremental change they often complain about.
        If a movement is hung up on how young its members are, it runs out of steam as they surely age.
        Thus if fighting for _______ (fill in the blank) is left to the only the young, incremental, easily walked back “change” is the result.
        It’s incremental because hopes are always pinned on the people who haven’t arrived yet…

      7. The Rev Kev

        Man, I remember the days growing up when it was us against the ‘greatest generation’. Just dig into the old “All in the Family” clips on YouTube to see Archie Bunker battle Michael “the Meathead” Stivic to see this dynamic at work. Good times.
        Irony alert. When you see how Rob Reiner turned out – the actor that played Michael Stivic – and his political beliefs, you realize that Archie Bunker was right. He is a meathead. Damn, just after posting this I see that Carolinian has mentioned them as well.

      8. drumlin woodchuckles

        ” Since we Boomers are running the show” . . . “We”? White man? What show are you running?
        Do you really identify with the handful of rich and powerful showrunners because they are your age?
        That’s like poor black people identifying with the rich and powerful Obama because he is their color.

  8. Carolinian

    Interesting link on the making of Bladerunner. While some of us think that Bladerunner 2049 is better as a movie, it’s also a total homage to the brilliant art direction of the original. One could point out that downtown L.A. is not quite so cleaned up as the interviewees suggest now that it is home to the homeless. Perhaps that class stratification of the film just needs a little more time.

    And, stuck this one in the wrong Links this morning

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      One comment from this collection of incoherent and wandering interviews caught my attention:
      “Mead: I’m surprised — now we’re getting into edgy subjects — but I’m surprised that we’ve lost the rationality that I thought would be sustained. And I don’t know what’s responsible for that, what the factors are, but we no longer live in a rational social structure. And that impacts literally everything.”
      [Of course Mead’s further elaboration of this statement did little to clarify for me exactly what was meant. The reference to “social media” and “re-created the tribal, or the group mystique” and so on does not equate to “lost the rationality” for me — and I suppose it isn’t intended as a clarification of the preceding statement.]

      Overall the quality of thinking captured in these interviews leaves me wondering how these people manage to create movies. The movie making process which comes across from these interviews sounds chaotic and insane. Combining the process for making a movie like Blade Runner in the 1980s with the Hollywood Management of today I can only wonder that any decent movies come out of Hollywood.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        For myself Scott’s best films were both born out of chaos ” Alien ” & ” Blade Runner “, which is not my experience of film work these days. Working on GoT is very controlled & the Art directors besides mainly being assholes, if they possess any originality certainly don’t show it. As for the Guvnor thing when a director makes an appearance it is as if the Queen has turned up for English crew, not so much for the Northern Irish locals.

        There is also a huge amount of waste which was not the case with the 2 films above & IMO one of the reasons those films were so good is that they had to make the best of what they had. Also there was improvisation which is often how a work of art progresses, rather than being strictly controlled from the start. I believe it can make a project something that can grow into something much better, but likely in most cases the opposite is also true. I also agree that the FX was better as was IMO the lighting. One thing that I often do is keep note of how many frames in a film could stand on their own as a memorable screen capture & 2019 is full of them.

        I was gifted both BR’s on blu-ray & watched them back to back & I do think 2049 is a great film but 2019 which I have watched many times is for me a love thing. I like it’s darkness which with the much better quality of the blu-ray, I was able to discover much more that was previously hidden in those dark corners. It’s eclecticism & an atmosphere that for me reeks of dirt & decay I also like & in comparison 2049 seems to me to be extremely clean cut. I suppose that the first was crafted while the 2nd was produced with the former somehow through it’s chaotic birth, notably through Rutger’s soliloquy, resulting in at least for me a large piece of magic.

        Eye of the beholder & all of that.

    2. lambert strether

      I saw both movies one after the other on a long-haul, and I thought the art direction of 2049 was different and brilliant. The opening scene on the farm? Wow!

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I also saw both movies several times and have both DVDs. I agree with your assessment of the art direction in 2049 as different and brilliant. But other than that — in my opinion — the plot and story of 2049 was weak, and the Corporate villain was completely over-the-top, added little to the plot, and his actions were gratuitous — at best. The most interesting part of the plot for me was the relationship between the ‘hero’ and his computer generated ‘girl friend’.

        The plot driver — replicant reproduction — was especially hard to buy. I know movies reside in a different reality but even so I found it hard to believe that ‘eyes’ were easy to make but reproductive organs for replicants remained an enigma.

    3. Darius

      Like the original, 2049 had a dominant motif of pervasive Asian culture on the West Coast. Yet, in my recollection, the only Asian actor was a minor character. I was stunned by the parade of white faces while ads in Chinese of Japanese are playing in the background. Plenty of Asian actors in Hollywood are not considered “star material.” Typically for Hollywood, 2049 erased them. I don’t normally push weaponized wokeness, but as the movie wore on, I just couldn’t get past the glaring lack of Asian actors. Pretty much ruined what otherwise was a good movie. Hollywood has a real allergy to Asian actors except for Yoda-like roles or hyper sexualized powerless women. Yes. I am Asian and this stuff bugs me.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Fed can no longer ignore the economic ‘shocks’ of climate change, Brainard says”

    Probably find that under Trump, they will still be denying climate change. Seems to part of the job description if you want to be a western leader or institution. In Ireland Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Prime Minister, said: “One thing we definitely face as a result of climate change is a warmer winter. We’re already experiencing warmer winters and that actually means using less energy because it’s warmer and people need less heating and it also means fewer deaths as a result of cold weather.” He got roasted for that of course but it could not change what he said.
    Meanwhile in Australia we are having ferocious bushfires and the season for them has been extended. One firefighter said: “When I started with this business, our seasons, especially in this region, would maybe run four good months. Now we start in April and we go almost to Christmas.” But our Prime Minister refuses to consider this being due to climate change and won’t countenance the thought. Here is an article on an Aussie fire chief, currently in California, talking about Australia and California’s fire fighting problems-

    Humanity now finds itself standing over a tin can at the end of a cul de sac.

      1. skippy

        Now that the sun is up its quite smokey here in the Centenary area next to the Brisbane river.

        Wonder how some will be thinking post last election wrt Labour losing Queensland due to the coal industry employees and towns concerns over livelihood, and with it the national election.

          1. Wukchumni

            We take great umbrage with your PM usurping our standard 3 word remedy in the aftermath of another mass murder by guns.

            That said, good luck to you and yours in your battle with bushfires. It seems weird to be running concurrent with you in that regard, here in California.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Not good. Used to be that a whole bunch of our “firies” would go over and lend a hand fighting your fires but I think that those days have come to an end. The fire season overlaps now so that it is no longer possible to send them over anymore.
              I’ll just post an article that I did last night but the link was broken. Here is the correct one about this-


    1. dcrane

      Go Tulsi. As long as Sanders continues to fail to absorb her message, she’ll keep getting donations from me.

      1. John k

        My fond hope is that he wants to withdraw from foreign wars and bases but is focused on what is moving the needle with voters; note tulsis message is not resonating.
        Taking on mil ind means more enemies, he’s got enough of those on his plate.
        We won’t get clues to his real thinking until he gets the nom and picks running mate, and even here he’s got to focus on the next race, the general. Winning is everything. Who helps, who can help carry the swings? Must win Rust belt and And/or Fl.
        Cabinet picks are when we know for sure, just as we knew when Obama let Goldman pick his.
        Trump has helpfully started the fight with deep, msm and military on withdrawing.

      2. richard

        as long as she rips it up with some of the worst people in usa (harris and the clinton machine) she’ll have the occasional $ from me. Hint to Gabbard: I liked “Queen of Warmongers” very much. Maybe some more royalty/aristocracy based invective? You could call Biden the Duke of Endless Debt. Baron No Bankruptcy For You! Pelosi is Countess Pay-Go. Buttiegig seems a lower court functionary, Lord of Privy Billionaire Donors.
        m4a tulsi goddammit

  10. tegnost

    The scott horton was a welcome foil to the andrew sullivan. Citations for proof rather than warmed over opinions from msdnc. Guilty until proven otherwise, but even then still guilty, obviously…
    six ways from sunday and all…
    Greenwald on Sullivan…note that his is from 2013
    FTA’s conclusion…
    I used to wonder how people like Sullivan and other Americans and westerners, who continuously justify any manner of violence and militarism by their own side, could possibly spend so much time pointing to others and depicting them – those people over there – as the embodiment of violence and savage aggression. But at some point I realized that it’s precisely because they continuously justify so much violence and aggression from their side that they have such a boundless compulsion to depict others as the Uniquely Primitive and Violent Evil. That’s how they absolve themselves. It’s how they distract themselves from the reality of what they support and what their governments do in the world. And it’s why few things produce quite as much personal resentment and anger than demanding that they first gaze into a mirror before issuing these absolutist denunciations about others.

    I’d say that rhymes with the current dust up and explains it pretty well

  11. José Carlos

    NYT again with the racist, colonialist attitudes. Latin Americans just inherently attracted to authoritarianism, that’s why the US liberal-capitalist utopia of unimpeded privatization keeps running into problems. Reminds me to the US recent racist and imperialist piece on the Lebanon protests, where the subhead, subsequently changed, was “the ME could use a decent country for once”. Or again their recent article on Haiti, blaming their problems on decades of “misrule and corruption”, nothing to do with decades of Western and since Woodrow Wilson at least specifically US imperialism.

    1. Ignacio

      Lambert selected the most infortunate phrase of the article, but the paternalistic tone has to be properly attributed to the author of the article Jorge Ramos, from Univisión, not the NYT. He was born in Mexico but now a US citizen.

      1. José Carlos

        I agree that Jorge Ramos is the source of the particular ugliness of that article, but as my other examples show the NYT is no stranger to racist and imperialist attitudes in its publications.

        1. Danny

          Jorge Ramos has long been suspected as a CIA asset.

          Latin America not Democratic? The top down hierarchy of the Inca and Aztec empires, (kill the leader and you destroy it, as Pizaro and Cortes did),
          The Spanish based Viceregalty, Caudillismo at home, as in Porfirio Diaz, Peron and Pinochet, and most importantly,
          the Catholic Church running things– and being the largest slave owners in the world– as were Jerry Brown’s Jesuits in Brazil, funny how they never got “reformed”, and what you get is not “Democratic” and probably never will be.

          Throwing Haiti into “Latin America” is B.S., they were run by the French and had a whole different racial, legal, linguistic and cultural input. They’ve been on their own since the whites were exiled early in the XIX Century.

          Want Democracy? Then become part of a country based on the Enlightenment in all its glory, Britain, Germany and the USA., at least until 1913.

          1. ambrit

            More than anything else, smallpox, bought by the invaders, did the yeoman’s work of conquering the Aztec and Inca empires. That one experience demoralized the population as well as decimated it, indeed, multi decimated it. Spain itself was no hotbed of republicanism at that time. Still, after the example of the American republic was established, South Americans rose up against the Empire of Spain and threw off those shackles. History is not so cut and dried, it is only written that way.

            1. Summer

              How “incidental” was the spread of disease after the Europeans experience with the devastation of the plague?
              Just wondering how much in-depth research has been done around that question.

              1. JBird4049

                In the Sixteenth Century, it probably was very accidental. Smallpox can be infectious for weeks and the journey across the Atlantic to the Americas was roughly a month then.

                Europe was on gigantic disease factory, with very little knowledge of just how diseases spread or how to treat them. Smallpox itself was maybe the single greatest killer infectious disease in the Twentieth Century with an estimated 300-500 million dead. This in a century of modern medicine, and an increasingly vaccinated population.

                1. ambrit

                  We conveniently forget just how recent is effective disease prophylaxis.
                  Many argue that this medical breakthrough is responsible for today’s explosive population growth. The corollary theory for returning the planet to “sustainability” is hidden in plain sight.

                  1. Wukchumni

                    Here, 150 years ago Measles met stone age immunity systems and was decisive in battle, killing off 85-90% of the Yokuts nation of widely scattered sub-tribes in 1868-69.

                    The white settlers were horrified that the Native Americans were dying en masse and the one thing the Wukchumni did differently from said settlers, was they all had sweat lodges by the river, so every last one was burnt down, thinking that the structures must have something to do with it.

                  2. polecat

                    Don’t forget that Malaria & Yellow Fever did their part in the game of New World Annihilation. There’s a reason for the Mosquito Coast being named as it was … it wasn’t due to Smallpox. Those two diseases did more lasting damage overall.

                2. The Rev Kev

                  I was reading an contemporary history of colonial Virginia and they came right and said that they deliberately infected blankets with smallpox to give to the Indians.
                  Of course after the disease took hold and cut swathes through the native population, they went all teary describing their sufferings as if they forgot who exactly was responsible for it all.

                  1. Wukchumni

                    Cholera killed 5 out of 67 men in William Swain’s company of 49’ers headed west 170 years ago. And according to his diary entries in “The World Rushed In” his family back home wrote him that it was rampant all over the USA. They encountered practically no Native Americans in the first half of their sojourn, as the Indians were hep to white man’s disease and stayed far away.

                    Poor sanitation and crowded together conditions were largely the culprit, which could happen here quite easily in one of our teeming Neo-Hoovervilles, where squalor gathers.

                  2. Paradan

                    Virginia was about 100 years after the initial epidemic swept through. By the time the English were setting up colonies, North America was in a post apocalyptic state. Just the same the blanket thing was a horrible crime, but it was the first contacts in the Caribbean that wiped out 60-90% of North and South America. If the Spanish had been the nicest guys in the world, it still would have happened.

                    1. JBird4049

                      After the initial mass deaths, the local populations would recover somewhat, which is why it took centuries for the British-American colonies to push aside the natives. It dd take those initial colonies over 250 years to reach the Great Plains. Only by adding the immigration of more Europeans did that really happen. Add that epidemics killed great numbers of both populations and less unevenly after the initial epidemics. Any survivors would have had some resistance to give to their descendants. So using such weapons would eventually likely get both sides dead. Why use them?

                      As much as I dislike the near genocide of the natives by the Europeans, I tend to dismiss many of the claims of biological warfare.

                3. Summer

                  Nobody was really sure about all of the effects of the atomic bomb or if the effects were treatable before it was dropped. They were just sure it would kill.

                  1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                    Fun fact: before the first Trinity test the best scientific minds did the calcs and determined that there were 3 chances in one million that the explosion would ignite all of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.

                    Decision: Light the fuse boys!

                4. Summer

                  Biological warfare, despite its danger for backfire, goes back to antiquity.

                  So using disease to wipe out the population would not have been a new idea.

    2. Wukchumni

      If anyplace in the world was poised to gain from the rest of the world blowing itself up real good in WW2, Latin America seemed like a good bet, as it was intact.

      Why did it go nowhere fast, the whole kit & caboodle?

      Nearly every country in Latin America has had hyperinflation since WW2, some with many bouts of it. (don’t cry for me Argentina, the truth is I never get sick of your financial antics)

  12. Summer

    Latin Americans Are Furious NYT. “Latin America has never gotten over its attraction to authoritarianism.”

    I feel trolled by this unrepentant BS. There also is a history of US establishment favorites in the region being vile, murderous, authoritarian scum.
    The person who wrote this, for just one of many examples, left out the dictator Pinochet. Glaring omissions abound in this claptrap from the NYT. If you’re going to talk about dictators talk about them all – even the ones that were the US govts authoritarian sock puppets.

    Toss this BS.

    1. José Carlos

      The author, Jorge Ramos, Univision’s Jake Tapper, can always be counted on for erasures of and apologies for US imperialism while denouncing only the governments who are to one degree or another resisting Washington’s hegemony.

      1. Summer

        They get away with it because people have to have learned, often outside of what passes for an “education” system at all levels in the USA, what is left out of their op-eds, news, and opinion pieces.

      2. Summer

        At any rate, whatever side of the political fence anyone is on, the issues affecting North, Central, and South America and relationships among the countries in these areas, should be of more pressing concern than, just for example, Syria or Afghanistan.

        1. Danny

          Agreed. All U.S. troops should be withdrawn from the Middle East and Africa and small percentage of them stationed on the Mexican border.

          This would eliminate cheap labor immigration, disempower the cartels and would force real steps toward something approaching Democracy in Mexico and Central America, “Mexcentralmerica” as they could no longer export their surplus population to the U.S. and would have to promote real reforms at home, or perish politically.

          1. ambrit

            ‘Festung Amerika’ would not work. The end game of that idea would be a host of mini ‘Festungs’ littering the American landscape. Dismantling the ‘Regime Change’ apparatus here in America would have a chance.

              1. ambrit

                The department in question was renamed from the War Department to the Defense Department back in 1949. Prior to the full efflorescence of the American Empire, people were somewhat more forthcoming about the real purposes of government departments.

    1. Massinissa

      That entire website makes me gag. The entire thing is RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA. I hadn’t realized that its gotten to the point where there are websites that are just 100% that, no coverage of anything else.

      1. urblintz

        the team:

        Max Bergmann
        Co-Founder and Director

        Max Bergmann is the director of the Moscow Project and a senior fellow at American Progress, where he focuses on European security and U.S.-Russia policy. From 2011 to 2017, he served in the U.S. Department of State in a number of different positions, including as a member of the secretary of state’s policy planning staff, where he focused on political-military affairs and nonproliferation; special assistant to the undersecretary for arms control and international security; speechwriter to then-Secretary of State John Kerry; and senior adviser to the assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs. Prior to serving in the State Department, he worked at American Progress as a military and nonproliferation policy analyst and at the National Security Network as the deputy policy director. Bergmann received his master’s degree from the London School of Economics in comparative politics and his bachelor’s degree from Bates College. [that would be Center for American Progress, i.e. Neera Tanden:

        Morgan Finkelstein
        Press Secretary

        Morgan Finkelstein is the press secretary for the Moscow Project. She previously ran rapid response communications for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign in Pennsylvania and was a spokeswoman for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Prior to that, Finkelstein was press secretary for the Democratic Party of Virginia during the 2014 and 2015 election cycles and legislative sessions. Finkelstein also spent nearly two years on the road with former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden as a member of the White House’s advance team, coordinating press logistics and production elements all over the world.

  13. RubyDog

    Blow to Amazon as Seattle socialist looks to have triumphed

    Local Seattleite here. I thinks it’s clear that the “Amazon money” effect was a net negative for the candidates they backed, as it was seen around here as a clumsy attempt to buy an election. They likely helped Kshama Sawant get reelected, because she was vulnerable prior to the election. Fair or unfair, she has a reputation as a bit of a bomb thrower, burning rather than building bridges, with many questioning her effectiveness in bringing about actual progressive change. However, she’s young and new in politics, and on the right side of most issues, so hopefully will improve on the tactical side over time.

    Running against corporate big money power is of course what the Sanders/Warren wing of the Dems are doing, and it remains to be seen how that will play in parts of the country that are not “librul Seattle”. Assuming one of them becomes the nominee, there is going to be a ton of money poured into making sure they don’t win, and probably in lot more sophisticated ways than the ham handed Amazon approach.
    Will the anti corporate messaging work in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, where the election will be decided again?

    1. remmer

      Sawant’s victory shows what a huge obstacle campaign finance reform faces. Seattle enacted the best of the reforms available to us now — public funding vouchers given to registered voters — and Sawant has used the voucher program before. But this time she opted out so she could raise more money to combat the $2.4 million that Amazon and more than 40 other corporations (Boeing, Starbucks, Lyft, Expedia . . .) poured into the race through Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy, a pro-business PAC. Her victory shows that big money doesn’t always win, but it can undermine serious reform. Just as Michael Bloomberg did by vastly outspending his publicly funded opponents to win three consecutive mayoral elections in NYC. Justice Kagan is right: Bezos, Bloomberg, Amazon, etc. are all protected by the conservative First Amendment theory adopted by the Supreme Court.

      1. JBird4049

        “Conservative First Amendment adopted by the Supreme Court” is anything but conservative. The Nine used an unorthodox interpretation of speech that is extremely friendly to the monied interest. This is what those interests wanted. All it took was several decades of funding think tanks and politicians who would accept such balderdash.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          There could not exist a more fundamental observation of a turn of events that led us precisely to the awful place we are in right now.

          As soon as Money equaled Speech we were sunk

        2. polecat

          The Supremes ??

          They ARE ring wraiths, after all …. neither living, nor dead. Always willing to stick a morgul blade into the backs of the plebicite …. for a tattered black robe and a cheap buck !

  14. Summer

    Bloomberg is lingering on the sidelines so that if “the blob” and billionaires favorites don’t get the nod, he’s prepared to do the dirty work himself.
    Now I can only imagine that if he does enter the race and “the blobs” and billionaires new favorite still doesn’t capture the imagination of the populace, there could be a wholesale house cleaning of pundits and servants in the media who couldn’t get their tired, regressive agenda supported.

      1. Summer

        If it did happen, it’s all hypothetical, you don’t think that’s a scenario for the establishment replacing the current propaganda regime?

        1. barefoot charley

          Two reasons I don’t think so: most important, the party shills earn their pay and prestige by repeating rich men’s falsehoods. They will never revert to serving deplorables for votes. They hardly know how to drink their beer!

          We can anticipate an eventual paradigm shift, where different models enable new thinking. But “scientists agree” that paradigms don’t shift until the last emeritus professor drops dead. Bernie may not last that long :^(

          1. Summer

            Oh, I wasn’t thinking “party shills would serve the deplorables,” only that if they no longer are effective enough that they will be dismissed and replaced by Shills 10.0

            I suppose they would continue to write book about and to one another.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Who reports to whom?

              We tend to think the shills report to the billionaires, The Dems, or Repubs.

              But it may actually be inverted now: the Dems and Repubs report to the shills (media).

              That’s certainly how it played out in the recent coup in Australia, Rupert Murdoch came to town and told the party how it would go and that they would be selecting a new leader now. The PM Malcolm Turnbull was out the next day.

  15. dearieme

    I can remember when people scorned the geriatrics who ran the USSR before Gorbie.

    I suppose it’s different for the USA in the age of Trump, Sanders, Biden, Hellary, Bloomberg, and Warren.

    After the adolescent narcissism of Slick Willie, W, and O, maybe the ancients don’t look so absurd. Maybe gerento-narcissism is preferable.

    1. Carolinian

      Perhaps the problem has more to do with age than specific generations. During Vietnam times the country was run by “gerento-narcissists” whose memories were still dominated by WW2. The Cold War was seen as a necessary continuation of that “good war.” Now we have older politicians who can’t seem to get over the Cold War and think Russia is still the menace. Even Sanders isn’t good on Russia. I do believe that age, or if you will generation, is very much a factor.

    2. The Rev Kev

      There was a difference. All the geriatrics who ran the USSR served in WW2 when Russia was pushed to the brink. They all lost friends and family members and never forgot their lesson of what war was all about with all its horrors. During the Cold War they took particular care to make sure that it never turned into a hot war which is why we are still here and did not all die during the Cuban Crisis in ’62.
      Compare that to the geriatrics that run the US and you find people that not only never served in a war but took active steps to go nowhere near a battlefield. I think that George Bush Snr was the last to serve in a war. George Bush jr. defended the skies of Texas against the Viet Cong Air Force, Clinton went to Oxford, Ronald Reagan made films in Hollywood, Trump had sore feet, Cheney had ‘other priorities’, Obama was busy making private backhand deals in Chicago. All keen to start wars but all made sure that they never had to serve.

      1. JBird4049

        Which what makes people like Tulsi Gabbard stand out; like their politics, or not, volunteering to serve in war, let alone being in combat, is unusual nowadays.

  16. lyman alpha blob

    I’ve tried making a comment with a link to a certain website in it 3 times now and all have gone poof. No “in moderation” message or anything, just gone. Is that because of the site I’m trying to link to? Fine if it is, just wanted to know so I can stop trying to post it.

  17. Summer

    The Blogger Behind “AI Weirdness” Thinks Today’s AI Is Dumb and Dangerous IEEE Spectrum (DL).

    “She aims to illustrate the serious limitations of today’s AI, and to counteract the prevailing narrative that describes AI as well on its way to superintelligence and complete human domination. “The danger of AI is not that it’s too smart,” Shane writes in her new book, “but that it’s not smart enough.”

    Money isn’t being dumped into AI because it will be just like humans, it’s being dumped into AI because it just needs to be “not smart enough” to ask questions or be accountable. If it doesn’t function to the level of being beneficial to humanity is not the concern, it just has to be functional enough to checkmate humanity. The level of frustration any automation may bring to a populace is of no concern to the people throwing the most money at it…

    They just need people to be stupid enough to think it’s smarter.

  18. Summer

    “Wessel says there’s serious weight behind a financial institution as large and respected as the Fed weighing in on this issue. “The Fed board of governors in DC has 402 PhD economists,” he says. “Doing something like this does raise the visibility of the issue. It adds to the seriousness: Sober people are taking climate change seriously.”

    I didn’t realize anybody describing the environmental destruction all around them without a PhD in economics is the equivalent of a drunkard.

      1. dearieme

        Because their experience in an economy adds up to what? Lots of experience starting up firms, have they, or even just managing factories, farms, trade unions, shops, or offices? Have they spent lots of their careers in jobs that expose them to market forces, or government regulation, or …

    1. richard

      so the people who noticed it happening 30-40 years ago (by which i don’t mean the “exxon related/headed to the hague” crew; i mean scientists acting in our common interest) must have been like super drunk, reeling around the room, wearing lampshades, blowing kisses to each other like fat friars, wobbling as they sit atop casks of wine…
      Yep, that’s pretty much how i remember climate science 20 years ago anyway.
      So yeah, the bankers and such definitely had to wait a long time for our big noisy climate party to wind down, and take the wax out of their ears to block the party noises that sounded like screaming. They definitely haven’t been lining their pockets and lying about the situation in private and public all this time. And now they’re ready to act? Thanks, Mother Jones!

  19. Summer

    RE: Bloomberg/Ego…NyMag

    “Former Attorney General Eric Holder is also considering a late entrance to the 2020 race. And while Holder isn’t as wildly out of sync with the Democratic base as Bloomberg, he also has no obvious advantage over the existing center-left candidates. If Booker and Harris haven’t connected, why would a slapdash Holder campaign hit the mark?”

    What a message from an allegedly progressive wing of the press. In effect saying, “Holder, you’re just another black and the black slots are filled.” Otherwise, why not just leave it at “He has no obvious advantage over the existing center-left candidates”?

    Holder does have the advantage of having served in the administration of a Centrist-In-Chief.

    1. John k

      So a black biden.
      A mirror that did nothing for blacks like biden did nothing for any part of the working class. Biden and holder… what a ticket…
      And both are eager, even frantic, servers of wealth and corps… why on earth would Bezos urge Bloomberg to enter when he can just buy the lot? Must be the big money have polls that tell them a progressive has a real chance of winning! OMG… Maybe donald not so bad… he is one of us, after all… did cut taxes…
      Time to panic… if mike doesn’t take off gates is right, have to back Donald…

      1. Summer

        I’m not supporting Holder, just saying he is a “centrist” as many of the others besides Harris and Booker.

        And as an after thought, just spitballing on another hypothetical…I think Booker has a radical side and if he were to magically rise in the polls to the level of front runner every other candidate, including Trump, would start campaigning with their spouses and children chained to them at the hip.

  20. Carla

    Re: this quote from the DesMoines Register:

    “When it comes to a Green New Deal, it’s always, always a question of how we’re going to pay for it,” Ocasio-Cortez said, being drowned out by a standing ovation. “… As if we’re not paying for it right now, with half the Midwest under water, as if Hurricane Katrina and Maria didn’t happen, as if sea levels weren’t rising, as if California wasn’t on fire. How do we pay for that?”

    Seems to me that it’s the same thing with healthcare: it’s always a question of how we’re going to pay for it… as if we’re not paying for it right now, with millions of Americans lacking needed are, life expectancy falling, and we’re paying twice as much per capita for this criminally negligent performance as the countries who cover everyone with excellent results.

    How are we going to pay for NOT doing it? In the case of both climate change AND Medicare for All, THAT is the question, folks.

    1. Geo

      I think the issue is the framing of the question: “How are WE going to pay for it?”

      As you (and AOC) said, WE are already paying for it. The problem is THEY don’t want to pay for it. THEY being the ones profiting off the current system. WE always have the ability to pay for wars, tax cuts for the rich, bank bailouts, corporate welfare, and anything else that makes “THEM” richer. GND and M4A both, by design, do not make THEM richer so THEY keep telling us WE “can’t afford it”.

  21. Misty Flip

    Staatssicherheitsdienst and social undermining of “the enemy class”, assaulting the soul, was rationalized by the claim that a society cannot punish the authorities because there were no laws against the psychological extinction of dissidents. It is the “law” that is failing you, not the authoritarian. Which is a cosmic joke, being able to erode a democratic state by tweaking the definition of fundamental rule of law, claiming systematically mistreating everyone “is” justice. If everyone is disappointed, then equilibrium is achieved. The corruption is universal, so this corruption must be fine. Perpetual disappointment really does take the wind out of a political movement’s sails.

  22. RubyDog

    The real China according to a Canadian

    Western media does tend to only report negative things about China, so it’s good to counter that from their perspective, however, often what happens is they simply go too far in the opposite direction, making comparisons that always portray China in a good light, and the West in a negative light. It’s always a challenge to look behind the propaganda and find some truths.

    One frequently repeated purported “fact” is that “China has the longest continuous civilization in human history.”

    This is a lazy, ahistorical trope that is repeated by both Chinese and Western commenters as though it is an unquestioned truth. The reality is that China has a long, complex and fascinating history, replete with conflicts, wars, consolidation and breakup of powers, shifting borders, alliances, multiple ethnic groups that take and lose power repeatedly. Doesn’t sound very different from Western history, does it? The main thing that differentiates this from the West, is it all takes places within a geographic land mass bordered by ocean, mountains and deserts, compared to Western history which evolved around the broader Mediterranean area. Label that land mass “China”, which is actually a fairly recent concept in history, and you come up with a “continuous civilization”. It makes equal sense to say the West has a continuous civilization for 7000 years since Mesopotamia, with the predominant power center of any given time shifting from one place to another.

    For another perspective on the myth of “5000 years of Chinese History” –

    This is an excerpt from an excellent book by John Ross – “You Don’t Know China”, Twenty two enduring myths debunked.

    1. Wukchumni

      Myth 23: In my experience, i’m never hungry again 20 minutes after finishing Chinese food for lunch or dinner.

      There are a few good dishes that come to mind-overall for me though its dreary tucker as evidenced by the lack of Russian eateries one runs into anywhere in the world-as opposed to Chinese cuisine which is everywhere, but one thing that always terrified me in regards to the Cold War, what if the Russkies won and forced a food doctrine on us?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Funny that you should mention that. When you are there with a family it is supposed to be pretty good. But be warned. The article that I read by this French guy with a Russian girlfriend said that you are expected to dig in and eat all that they serve you so probably a good idea to wear trousers without a belt. The tables groan under the weight of all that food. This guy went on to say that it was only when he was able to finish a bottle of vodka with his future father-in-law that he was finally accepted by him as being able to take care of his daughter.

        1. eg

          I am reliably informed that the ostentatiously prodigious consumption of vodka among Russians is a performance aided in part by artfully camouflaged spillage — govern yourself accordingly should you find yourself participating …

    2. witters

      Well, think about the Chinese language and its history. Think too of the enduring – and co-opting – logic of imperial administration. Its not “doesn’t sound very different from Western history” (though that is itself an interesting remark…)

      1. RubyDog

        To be sure, there are important differences between Chinese history and the West, and you’ve hit on a couple of key ones. I did not mean to gloss over that reality. However, if you follow both closely over a long period of time, there are remarkable parallels as well, after all, it”s Human history, and humans behave in repeatedly predictable ways, no matter where in the world you look.

  23. Wukchumni

    Saw my 4th bruin of the year, a 2 second encounter-if that long. Came around a corner, it saw me and exit stage right it went.

    A jet black model, about 175 pounds.

  24. Ignacio

    Spain votes in repeat general election amid Catalonia tensions Agence France Presse.
    Results: a puzzle again, but a puzzle in which the xenophobe party has climbed to third position. Probably has more to do with fed up feeling than true racism in many cases.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      I posted the same link hours earlier and it appeared to post, but an hour or so later had been erased.

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