Links 11/12/19

2 race horses euthanized and 1 left injured at famed California track CBS. :-( . Follows death of Mongolian Groom at the Breeders’ Cup a week ago. This story ran last week, before the latest deaths: Advocates step up efforts for horse racing reform bill after more deaths The Hill

Cornhole Is a Pro Sport Now Outside Online (resilc)

Arctic blast set to spread across the U.S. in record cold snap Axois. Down here, we are forecast to have a 42 degree drop in 24 hours, from 67 degrees at 3:00 PM yesterday to 25 degrees today. Brr!

Scientists find eternal Nile to be more ancient than previously thought PhysOrg (Chuck L)

New catalyst efficiently produces hydrogen from seawater PhysOrg (David L)

Trade

The world’s largest trade deal could be signed in 2020 — and the US isn’t in it CNBC

Trump Expected to Delay Tariffs on Imported BMWs and Other European Cars Bloomberg

Brexit

Farage’s ‘unilateral’ Leave alliance doesn’t guarantee the Tories a majority Spectator

Labour MPs press Corbyn to cooperate with Remain parties after Farage stands down candidates Independent

Bolivia Coup

Bolivia crisis: Evo Morales accepts political asylum in Mexico BBC

Why Is Evo Morales Suddenly No Longer President of Bolivia? Foreign Policy. Lambert:

1) Everybody in the line of succession after Morales resigned. So they withdrew from the political process (uh oh) and there’s also no way to form a legitimate replacement government

2) Voting machines suck:

There was terrible IT protocol, including the unexplained use of an unauthorized server located abroad to handle part of the data transmission with the vote count.

3) Everybody is EXTREMELY concerned that the word “coup” not be used. But to my simple mind, if the military tells you to go, and you go, it’s a coup. It may be softer than the coups Bolivia is used to, but a coup it is. (I wonder if domestic political considerations have anything to do with proscribing “coup”).

4) Everybody is treating OAS as if were an independent entity like the UN, bless its heart. But it’s a creature of the US.

Bolivia’s Evo Morales forced out by coup WSWS

What Happened in Bolivia’s 2019 Vote Count? The Role of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission CEPR

Just so you have another perspective. However, even though this individual does not appear to be a plant (and a lot pop up on Twitter at times like this), both Lambert and I note that claims like “This is not political” = “This is highly political.”

Dispute over water fuelled attack on LeBarón family by farmers’ group Mexico Daily (Anthony L)

New Cold War

The Inevitable Finale Of The Nord Stream 2 Saga OilPrice

Syraqistan

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Remains a Hard Sell Stratfor (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Microsoft Vows To ‘Honor’ California’s Sweeping Privacy Law Across Entire US ars technica

Imperial Collapse Watch

Most Veterans Don’t Think Afghanistan And Iraq Are Worth It – Task & Purpose. Resilc: “The rest are delusional, like buying a bad car and not admitting it because it’s yours.”

When ‘High Body Count’ Was an American War Policy American Conservative

‘Democracy Doesn’t Come in a Box’ New York Times (resilc)

HARPER: NEOCONS STILL PROMOTE PERMANENT REVOLUTION Sic Semper Tyrannis (JTM)

The Blob: Still Chasing After Pax Americana American Conservative (resilc)

Trump Transition

Judge dismisses lawsuit from President Trump aimed at preventing the release of his tax returns Associated Press

EPA To Limit Science Used To Write Public Health Rules New York Times

Donald Trump Jr walks out of Triggered book launch after heckling – from supporters Guardian (resilc)

Neil Young says US citizenship ‘delayed over marijuana’ BBC (David L)

Impeachment

House Democrats, former Bolton aide ask judge to block Mulvaney from joining lawsuit against impeachment subpoena The Hill

Former U.S. top diplomat Rice concerned by shadow diplomacy on Ukraine Reuters. Resilc: “War criminal has deep concern, film at 11.”

Article Analysis:Trump’s Ignored Police “Surge” Threat Nina Illingworth

Is Whistleblower Aid a Charity Fraud? by Larry C Johnson Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

2020

Desperate DNC Throws Bloomberg Against the Wall, Sees if He Sticks BEET PRESS (UserFriendly)

From a last week, hat tip Chuck L. Be sure to read the entire thread. How soon will these toads hop out of his mouth?

Sanders couldn’t stop laughing at report of Bezos asking Bloomberg about presidential run. Slate (furzy)

Jamie Dimon doubles down on his defense of billionaires after Warren spat — saying ‘vilify Nazis’ instead Business Insider. JP Morgan is #1 in the US wealth management business.

‘I’m Full Tulsi’: Inside Tulsi Gabbard’s Wild Bid to Make Trouble in 2020 Vice (resilc)

Democrats challenge election laws in battleground states The Hill

Krystal Ball exposes SJW hypocrisy on historic black election YouTube (UserFriendly)

Walgreens may get scooped up in the largest private equity deal in history, report says ABC. Aargh….

American robots lose jobs to Asian robots as Adidas shifts manufacturing New York Post. Resilc: “Is this like spy vs spy in Nad magazine?”

Big Business Is Overcharging You $5,000 a Year New York Times

Alan Greenspan says there’s ‘no point’ for central banks to issue digital currency CNBC

Guillotine Watch

World’s most expensive watch sells for £24.2m in charity auction Guardian (BC)

World’s Rich Readying for Major Stock Sell-Off, UBS Wealth Says Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Class Reproduction in America Revisited Policy Tensor (UserFriendly). Important.

Death by Oligarchy Chris Hedges, TruthDig

Wage Theft Is the Multibillion-Dollar Crime Almost No One Is Prosecuting GQ (resilc)

In the Looming Shadow of Civil War CounterPunch (resilc). I don’t buy the civil war meme. First, Americans with their bourgeois orientation are not big on taking to the street. Second, our Civil War was entered into by opposing states who split pretty tidily along geographical lines. Our supposedly blue states, if you look at a map of vote split by county, are actually blue cities that vote-wise dominate geographically red states. This is true even of California. Those blue cities are not contiguous. Mark Blyth’s observation, “The Hamptons are not a defensible position” applies here too. However, that does not mean we can’t or won’t see a marked rise in not well organized violence.

Antidote du jour. Daily Mail (see story!) via Timotheus:

And a bonus video (bob). Haha, reminds me of the raucous birds in Sydney that would wake me up, no tweety birds down under…but this one even more so. You MUST listen to the end!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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190 comments

    1. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for that link, Olga. Yesterday I made a smart alec comment how the protesters would be saying that they are being forced to be violent. And then at the beginning of this article is an activist saying: “It is the government that forces us to take on the streets and to break the laws.” Sigh!

      Reply
      1. Olga

        This reminds me of something I wanted to point out – Joey (born USA) and the interviewer discuss attacks on children of those, who disagree with the protesters. I noticed that a similar tactic was employed in Bolivia – i.e., attacks of families and homes of MAS officials. This seems kinda new to me – and certainly particularly brutal (and effective).
        But yes, Joey – I think – reveals much more than she intends. The interviewer did not give her a pass.

        Reply
        1. Plenue

          Oh come now. You yourself have written about how political violence has a poor track record.

          The black clad edgelords smashing things and setting stuff on fire in Hong Kong are as useless (at best, counterproductive at worst) as our own blac block and antifa losers. They’re explicitly trying to provoke a violent response from the authorities, who have in fact been extremely restrained compared to the hammer they could be bringing down.

          The much larger numbers of peaceful protestors who have the support of a significant part of the population are where my sympathies lie, not these idiot children.

          Reply
    2. JacobiteInTraining

      If there is one thing I look forward to with great anticipation come the jackpot and collapse of centralized authority (aside from some delicately seasoned long pork, when possible)

      …it is the final death and burial of the word ‘snowflake’.

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        Yes,,and I did a double take when Olga used “snowflake” to refer to a link where these “snowflakes” were being violent. I mean… wtf does snowflake mean then? Whatever you want, like any other mindless insult, I guess. So we’re at Peak Snowflake and hopefully it will end.

        Reply
      2. Lambert Strether

        > the final death and burial of the word ‘snowflake’.

        I believe the liberal Democrat equivalent is to lament the lack of “adults in the room.”

        All the infantilization tropes can’t be buried fast enough for me.

        Reply
        1. Plenue

          I disagree. I agree with the sentiments of lamenting a lack of ‘adults in the room’, but I don’t at all agree with liberals in their definition of adult, which to them is at best a moderate. Infantile is exactly how I’m increasingly coming to view conservatism as a whole. Infantile and bullying, though I know you don’t like to project things like ‘bully’ onto politics.

          Reply
        2. Procopius

          And the infantile names supposed to be witty. I actually saw a post calling President Vladimir Putin “pooty-poot-poot.” I want to see all the obscure names, like “Wilmer” (Bernie Sanders) and Tangerine (Trump) go away, or at least be followed by the actual name of the person being insulted.

          Reply
  1. Olga

    And P Escobar o n Lula’s release, and challenges ahead:
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/11/article/released-lula-in-for-greatest-fight-of-his-life/

    Methinks he better watch his back:
    “When I visited Brasilia last August, several informed sources confirmed that the majority of the Brazilian Supreme Court is bought and paid for. After all, they de facto legitimized all the absurdities that have been taking place in Brazil since 2014. The absurdities were part of a hyper-complex, slow-motion, rolling hybrid war coup that, under the cloak of a corruption investigation, led to the dismantling of industrial national champions such as Petrobras; the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff on spurious charges; and the jailing of Lula, the work of judge, jury and executioner Sergio Moro, now Bolsonaro’s justice minister, who was completely unmasked by The Intercept’s revelations.”

    Reply
    1. Mike

      Could not say it better – now that he is out of custody, any nut can shoot him or run him down, and the state and its Supreme Court could not possibly be held responsible. It is a shame that Leftists must now confine themselves or be a target.

      Reply
      1. Summer

        “It is a shame that Leftists must now confine themselves or be a target.”
        Or maybe the problem is that they’ve done that for far too long.

        Reply
    2. Lambert Strether

      > the dismantling of industrial national champions such as Petrobras

      I wonder if the (proposed) sale of Embraer to Boeing, as well us (in my understanding) the sale of Amazonia to Cargill, fit into this framework.

      Compradors and fascists tend to overlap. Who knew?

      Reply
    3. Procopius

      Thanks for that link. For some reason I had not included Asia Times in my bookmarks, but I appreciate Pepe Escobar’s reporting.

      Reply
  2. The Rev Kev

    “Brexit”

    Couldn’t let this pass without mentioning. Alexander Downer, the ex-Australian High Commissioner to the UK, has pushed his way into the UK election. He was saying that if Corbyn becomes Prime Minister then the UK would have to be scaled back from the Five Eyes as basically he would be a traitor to the west. Also investments would have to be reduced. If his name sounds familiar, it is because his meeting with George Papadopoulos in London back in 2016 was what gave the excuse for the FBI to open an investigation of Russia and Trump and his associates. The whole thing was a set up so in my eyes that makes him as good as a card-carrying spook-

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/12/alexander-downer-says-australia-should-reduce-uk-intelligence-sharing-if-corbyn-wins

    Reply
    1. Summer

      And of course, while they withheld intelligence, in the event Corbyn won, there would be a variety of attacks and they’d point the finger and say “He can’t keep “us” safe…”

      Reply
      1. pricklyone

        Of course, that implies some value to the “intel” , in preventing attacks.
        But yes, they will always speak out of both sides of mouth…

        Reply
      1. Norm de plume

        Downer will be remembered as a hopeless party leader, an airheaded aristocratic fop and also for some quality gaffes, along with the foray into international espionage that Kev covers above.

        But for me his name will live in infamy for his sinister role in the Timor Leste/Woodside scandal, where as Foreign Minister he presided over the bugging by our intelligence agency ASIO of the Timorese government on behalf of Woodside Petroleum, and then joined the Woodside Board post politics.

        We know of this because a brave and conscientious whistleblower reported it. Both that whistleblower (Witness K) and his principled lawyer Bernard Collaery now face jail time for these revelations.

        https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/aug/10/witness-k-and-the-outrageous-spy-scandal-that-failed-to-shame-australia

        His illustrious forebear, South Australian Premier John Downer late in the 19th century gave no f’s either about pesky brown people who get in the way of white man profit. The atrocities committed and not prosecuted under his watch are legion, and they are only the ones we know about:

        https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2009/november/1330478364/tony-roberts/brutal-truth

        Reply
  3. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Dispute over water fuelled attack on LeBarón family by farmers’ group Mexico Daily (Anthony L)

    You had to know that there was way more to this story than, “Vicious drug cartel mistakes blonde women and infants for rival cartel members and ambushes and kills them in the middle of nowhere.”

    Reply
    1. Kevin

      too true!!…you have to wait a day or two for the real story these days. Most people don’t have that kind of time….

      Reply
    2. Steve from CT

      The LeBaron family was infamous in SLC in the 50’s and 60’s. The family oldster ran a polygamous gang that engaged in criminal activities including, it was alleged but not proven, murder. I grew up in Utah during that time but only learned about them for secret anti-mormon sources. Nothing they do inMexico would be surprising.

      Reply
    3. Eduardo

      The family’s ranch was attacked last year by neighboring farmers who claimed that illegal water wells had been drilled on the property.

      An update to the story:

      Suspects have been arrested in connection with the massacre of nine members of the LeBarón family in Sonora last week, Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo said on Monday, but declined to reveal the name of the criminal organization to which the alleged perpetrators belong.

      https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/suspects-arrested-in-lebaron-massacre/

      It may be awhile (or never) before we know what actually happened or who is responsible.

      Reply
  4. Wukchumni

    World’s most expensive watch sells for £24.2m in charity auction Guardian
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The quartz watch that comes with a Happy Meal tells the same exact time, for what it’s worth.

    Reply
    1. Louis Fyne

      some people collect watches like high art. And mechanically, they are pretty impressive devices (obviously not $30 million worth)

      But it if makes things any better, reportedly 100% of the proceeds from that auction went to a muscular dystrophy research charity (charities that direct research grant money (versus the NSF-NIH, etc) grinds my gears…but that’s another ball of wax.)

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        There’s very few signalling devices for men of means to show off attached to them, exclusivity being their bailiwick of a piece of the sharing economy, as for now nobody owns the hours.

        A $30 million watch is uber complicated with as many functions as can mechanically be fit into it & tells time simultaneously in Monte Carlo, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Rome, and Gstaad.

        Reply
  5. Wandering mind

    I continue to try and have a clearer understanding of what is happening in Bolivia. And the “coup” vs. “triumph of democracy” dichotomy does not give a full enough picture, IMO.

    I will defer to Ben Norton for an analysis of “Macho Camacho,” the right-wing leader from Santa Cruz.

    Norton shows the connection between the Bolivian right wing and foreign fascists is long-standing. And that Carlos Mesa, the second place candidate, has been in communication with the U.S. state department going back to at least 2009.

    The right wing in Bolivia has been trying to get rid of Morales beginning with the day he was first elected in 2005.

    They tried to secede from Bolivia.

    They tried to block the adoption of the new constitution.

    They tried to defeat him in three prior presidential elections.

    If you read Norton’s article, you will see allegations that they intended to assassinate him.

    So, why were they able to accomplish in 2019 what they could not accomplish in the prior 14 years?

    For the answer to that question, you need to look at sources outside of the Grayzone, Telesur, the New York Times, etc.

    Here, for example, is some background from Pablo Solon, Evo’s former UN Ambassador and climate negotiator.

    Among other things, he points out that the Army was reluctant to suppress the protests because, when they did so in 2003, some senior military personnel were later sent to prison. Evo was president when that happened.

    Another analysis (this one in Spanish) from a columnist in La Paz, points out that Evo and his party did not take advantage of their opportunity to undo neo-liberal labor rules. In particular, he says that there was no effort to improve working conditions for workers in small and micro businesses and no effort to help workers in the informal sector. There were a favored few who received material benefits from the government, but no general reforms.

    So, yes, the right wing is kicking down doors and have no real respect for democracy. If the likes of Camacho come to power I cannot see how life will improve for the average Bolivian. But the door which the right wing broke down was weakened by the failures of Evo’s government and his refusal to respect the vote in 2016, when the people of Bolivia told him not to run again.

    Reply
    1. RabidGandhi

      I too thought they wouldn’t “accomplish in 2019 what they could not accomplish in the prior 14 years”. I was monumentally wrong. The key was the police and military. Morales had transferred several key responsibilities from the police to the military, clearly leaning on the latter at the former’s expense. When push came to shove and the opposition executed its plan, right-wing thugs terrorised high level officials and their supporters (burning houses, kidnapping relatives) all whilst the police and military stood by or even pitched in.

      This explains the chain of resignations at the top level. The coup leaders had an organised plan to blackmail the top 4 in chain of command into quitting, and they were able to put it into action by getting the police and military on side.

      And to your coup/democracy point, the one thing I want for Kwanzaa is for us to quit defining the words “coup” and “dictator” based on whether we like the leader of the country in question. Armed groups forced the entire constitutional order out of power. That’s a coup, and it applies to wherever that situation is, be it Bolivia, Chile, Hong Kong, Victorville, Neptune… A good leader can take power in a coup, a bad leader can be democratic, and a democratic leader can be a constant human rights violator. Let’s stop mutilating these terms.

      Reply
      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I know nothing about what’s been going on in Bolivia — but it sure looks and smells like a coup just took place. I am curious to hear your take on this last sentence in the WSWS link. I understand how anything described in the WSWS article supports this assessment of Morales.

        “As demonstrated by its continued subservience to the demands of imperialism and its institutions like the OAS, any future role played by Morales, MAS and their apologists will be aimed at providing a democratic cover to the reality that Bolivian economic and political life are dominated by the US and European financial aristocracies and its military puppets in Bolivia, while there is no section of the Bolivian ruling class capable of fighting imperialism.”

        Reply
        1. RabidGandhi

          1. It says more about the WSWS style, which always dismisses any leaders not in their own microstrain of Trotskyism.

          2. Before all this happened, I was going to post a comment on the de-dollarisation of Bolivia, which has been nothing short of phenomenal under Morales. For example, in 2005, just 15% of bank deposits and 7% of loans in Bolivia were in local currency; those numbers are now at 99% and 87% respectively. This was achieved by anti-Washington Consensus policies such as issuing bonds in local currency instead of taking on foreign debt, nationalisation of the country’s natural gas, a financial transactions tax, major housing and energy subsidies… So their comment about being “dominated by US and European financial aristocracies and its military puppets in Bolivia…” is misguided.

          I like the WSWS, but they have a template for articles that stipulates deeming any one not in their party a Washington stooge.

          Reply
          1. Jeremy Grimm

            Thanks! Your comment was very helpful. I’m never quite sure what to make of WSWS. If I understand you correctly, you confirm my vague impressions that the WSWS is often fighting some very old battles only their membership recalls or cares about.

            Reply
      2. Stormcrow

        From Before the “Coup”
        Evo Morales Wins Bolivia’s Election, but Fraud Allegations Tarnish the Victory
        NACLA , Late October 2019

        While Morales’s symbolic impact as modern Latin America’s first Indigenous president cannot be understated, his tenure has been accompanied by a steady concentration of power. “Evo is the element that permits ideological, identity and practical unification in the MAS,” Fernando Mayorga, a Bolivian political scientist, explained.

        Morales’s style of governing comes from the vertical peasant and trade union structures where he got his beginnings in the late 1980s. These tend to be top-down and male-dominated, as well as heavily shaped by patronage relationships, although the grassroots do occasionally push leadership aside.

        MAS party activists are cognizant of the leadership challenges the party faces. “Renewing leadership is absolutely necessary,” Vice President García Linera said. “We made a big mistake in not training new leaders earlier.”

        The economic challenges ahead are significant. Bolivia currently facing a growing budget deficit, declining international reserves, an increase in public debt with still-low international prices for commodities, as well as a currency held artificially high against the dollar.

        “The next government will be unstable, precarious, and with no clear mandate,” Mayorga said. “Without a majority in Congress, and an unfavorable economic situation, any government is going to be hard pressed to move their priorities forward.”

        https://nacla.org/news/2019/10/24/evo-morales-wins-bolivia-declares-victory-protest-fraud

        Reply
      3. Carolinian

        So whither Bolivia? Any closer to the scene info?

        Meanwhile here at the hegemon Trump has supposedly said “give Rubio whatever he wants” re Venezuela and perhaps now Bolivia. It’s ironic that Trump is being threatened with impeachment for inviting foreign intervention when our entire foreign policy seems to act at the behest of exiled oligarchs of one stripe or another.

        Reply
      4. JohnnyGL

        Wandering mind and RabidGandhi,

        Thanks to both of you for these comments.

        The question of ‘was it a coup or not?’ isn’t the right one. “Why did it succeed now?” is the right one.

        That’s interesting detail you’ve provided there. I thought Bolivia looked like perhaps the most secure and successful of the original crop of ‘pink tide’ countries. I guess not.

        Hugo Chavez must be laughing from beyond the grave somewhere. I’d venture he’s thinking:

        “My comrades, Lula, Evo, Rafael…none of you understand that it’s not enough to redistribute money and help the poor. All of you have done well on this front. But, your mistake was that you have to ensure that you change the POWER structure and organize people and institutions to defend the changes you’ve made. Otherwise, they just roll over you when the chance comes along.”

        Suddenly, Chavez’s legacy looks more secure than anyone else’s in South America. After all, the guy tried to launch a coup, himself! It seems he knew why the coup failed and learned.

        Of course, the west is all too happy to smash the country to bits to win it back, but Chavez’s successor, for all his faults (and they’re legion) is still in place and Juan Guaido is still in charge of little more than the embassy in DC.

        Separately, it seems the coup-plotters that the USG found in Bolivia weren’t as idiotic as the raging incompetents like Guiado in Venezuela.

        Reply
        1. Drake

          The question of ‘was it a coup or not?’ isn’t the right one. “Why did it succeed now?” is the right one.

          I think this is the right take. There’s always the dark cloud of interference and intervention hanging over these countries, both domestic and foreign. It’s usually more interesting to know why it finally manages to succeed after years of failure, something I’m very much still trying to figure out.

          As far as I can tell this came as a complete surprise to the US foreign policy and intelligence communities, just like the Arab Spring, 9/11, the fall of the Soviet Union, etc. These folks are oblivious at the best of times, and the current clown show is well short of the typical level of buffoonery. But they’ll be first in line to take credit for it.

          Reply
    2. MRLost

      After the “change in government” in Egypt wherein Morsi was replaced by (former) General al-Sisi, there was a super brief push to call it a coup. After all, a freely elected civilian president was removed from power by the army and replaced by a high ranking military guy. Sounds a lot like a coup to me.

      BUT (and this is super important) it’s against US law to send foreign aid to a country whose government has been replaced via a coup. However, Egypt is the second largest recipient of US foreign aid after Israel. This aid is how President Carter bought off Sadat and Begin at the Camp David accord. No way the US could stop the money going to Egypt because the Egyptian army is who receives that US aid and they would not weather the loss of that aid very well at all. Besides, how else can the US control Egypt if not through the money we give the Egyptian army?

      https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwj8h5r–eTlAhUiUt8KHXtdCWoQFjAAegQIAxAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fnews%2Fworldviews%2Fwp%2F2013%2F07%2F03%2Flaw-says-the-u-s-is-required-to-cut-aid-after-coups-will-it%2F&usg=AOvVaw12aF4eMY0kBbPJzO7xpawa

      (Sorry about this link. I googled something like “coup and US law” and got this WaPo link but I can’t get to the actual article cuz I don’t pay WaPo their subscription fee so this link is copied directly from google. My bad.)

      So this completely changed the US definition of a coup from what one would normally consider as a description of a change in government forced by the military to a definition that considers as most important who got replaced. If a more left wing government is replaced by a more right wing government, then it’s not a coup. (Thank you Obama!)

      I expect the Bolivian army receives a hefty chunk of change from the US for the purpose of combating the drug trade. Wouldn’t want to threaten that x-fer of funds.

      Reply
      1. anon in so cal

        So, it’s illegal for the US to have provided foreign aid to Ukraine, at least prior to Zelensky, since Poroshenko was installed via the Obama Biden Nuland Soros coup.

        Reply
      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        US: “We insist on democratic elections in Egypt!”

        Egypt: “OK, we just elected The Muslim Brotherhood”

        Obama, Hilary: “Wrong answer, that’s not the kind of democracy we had in mind, you get General al-Sisi instead”

        Reply
      3. The Rev Kev

        This happens second hand too apparently. Egypt sent in tanks to deal with the extremists in the Sinai back in 2010 which broke an agreement with Israel. But Israel whistled a tune and looked the other way while they did their work.
        Now Netanyahu has come up with this bs story of how it was he that made the Egyptians leave the Sinai. He said that he gave them 10 days to leave the Sinai (so that they could finish their attacks) and if they did not, he would get the US to cut their aid. Dog? Meet Tail.

        Reply
    3. diptherio

      Here’s another analysis that claims this coup is a largely self-inflicted wound:

      This sad outcome has precedents that go back, in a short version, to the march in defense of the Isiboro-Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS) in 2011. After that massive action, the government began to divide the organizations that convened the march.

      Morales and García Linera maintained excellent relations with the business class as they created a coup against the National Council of Ayllus and Markas of Qullasuyu (CONAMAQ) and the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia (CIDOB), two historic Indigenous organizations. They sent in the police, kicked out legitimate leaders, and then sent in new leaders that close to the government under police protection.

      In June of 2012, the CIDOB denounced “government meddling with the aim of manipulating, dividing and affecting the organic and representative organizations of the Indigenous peoples of Bolivia.” One group of dissidents, with support from the government, refused to recognize the authorities and convened an “expanded commission” to elect new authorities.

      In December of 2013, a group of dissidents linked to the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) within the CONAMAQ took over their offices, and beat and removed those who were there, with help from the police. They remained there so as to impede access by the legitimate authorities who wished to recuperate their headquarters. The communiqué of the CONAMAQ said that the coup against them was so that the organization would “approve all of the policies against the Indigenous movement and the Bolivian people without anyone saying anything.”

      https://towardfreedom.org/front-page-feature/bolivia-the-extreme-right-takes-advantage-of-a-popular-uprising/

      Reply
  6. Steve H.

    > Class Reproduction in America Revisited

    > “Absolute Annual Income Variability”

    Right there. I’ve read about future discounting in ghettos, when trying to get to college looks like a bad roi if your chances of survival are insufficient. But ‘variability’ has a different tinge than ‘uncertainty’ does, by leaving an even chance of hope. When income split from trending with GDP in the early 1970’s, people still thought income would outpace interest, and credit card debt blew up. Median income is middle class, and educational economics indoctrinates optimism (see ‘groaf’). Obama’s “HOPE” campaign won marketing awards, but Fortune foreclosed, with his help. Massively entropic.

    > An important reproductive mechanism is assortative mating.

    “See. The word Festival. In the Onomasticon it carries the meaning ‘opportunity for reproduction.’ We talk of School House, but the book says, ‘Protection of Genetic Potential.’ We say True Game. The book says ‘Population control.’” [Sherri Tepper]

    Reply
  7. Wukchumni

    In the Looming Shadow of Civil War CounterPunch
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    As luck has it, the Califederates in the red bastions control most of the state’s freshwater sources, as they occupy the aqua.

    Would the denizens of the Central Valley Bible Belt heed the call to arms, if brought forth by the Devin & Kevin show?

    Its so different here than the rest of the state, want a CCW permit in SoCal or SF, good luck.

    L.A. has issued a whole 197 of them, S.F. maybe 10?

    In Tulare County, 10,000 have one.

    Reply
    1. Ford Prefect

      To have a civil war, the two parties need to know they have a war. I don’t think the urban areas know they are in a war.

      Maybe the rural areas will invade the cities. That may be forced anyway as the trade wars push farmers out of business so they have to look for jobs in the cities.

      Reply
      1. Drake

        All they need to do is not send food (and oil and gas and for that matter water) to the cities. The Ashokan Reservoir is in red country. Cities have very long supply lines for pretty much everything.

        Reply
    2. Anon

      Be aware that the water used on crops is not the same as the water you get from your faucet. Urban (potable) water use is but ~11% of total water consumed. Agriculture uses ~77% of all water consumed in California. (Industrial use consumes the rest.)

      And this ignores the consumption of Colorado River water that Southern California consumes.

      Reply
  8. dearieme

    Arctic blast set to spread across the U.S. in record cold snap

    It’s just a new Little Ice Age starting – nothing to be especially worried about. Get your skates out and head for the Thames.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      In the link below, there’s the start of a glacier in the upper picture, an area known as ‘Bearskin Patch’, for it’s sheltered from the Sun on a fairly extreme north facing slope. It’s always the last thing to melt out, and is usually gone by September, but not this year and nobody that i’ve talked to can remember the last time it didn’t go away before winter. Usually looks like a bearskin rug, now resembles more of a toilet.

      And forget about mister freeze here in Balmyfornia, it was 65 degrees @ 7,000 feet the other day.

      http://www.mk-webcam.net/

      Reply
    2. Louis Fyne

      Reportedly no sunspot activity which supposedly correlated to past cold spells. Some (reasonable?) predictions for a very cold winter.

      Many climate change activists have railed at sunspot-watchers as denialist loons.

      I don’t see why both sides can’t be right—-no sunspots gives Earth a temp. reprieve while CO2 is rising.

      nasa’s sunspot watcher: https://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/sunspots/

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        This winter happened during a similar time of lack of sunspots as now, although the little ice age was going on, as opposed to the little heat age now.

        The Great Frost, as it was known in England, or Le Grand Hiver (“The Great Winter”), as it was known in France, was an extraordinarily cold winter in Europe in late 1708 and early 1709, and was the coldest European winter during the past 500 years. The severe cold occurred during the time of low sunspot activity known as the Maunder Minimum.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Frost_of_1709

        Reply
      2. Off The Street

        Maunder Minimum article provides information about prior sunspot activity lulls including ~1645 to 1720. Read as well about the Grindelwald Fluctuation and the Medieval Climate Anomaly. With names like those, one could imagine some espionage thriller!

        Reply
    3. Oregoncharles

      It’s almost 60 degrees here. These Arctic blasts, driven by wobbles in the Jet Stream, are quite selective. They seem to hit the East more than the Left Coast, but we can get it, too.

      Global cooking destabilizes the weather.

      Reply
  9. Misty Flip

    Evo Morales argued in the highest Bolivian court that his country’s constitutional term limits were the result of “American imperialism”. It was the president’s opinion that the new 2009 constitution meant Evo Morales could run for two more terms because his previous two terms did not count. Bolivians disagreed. Talk of a coup undermines the agency of Bolivians to recognize chauvinism for what it is.

    Reply
    1. Quentin

      And just who are those Bolivians, in your judgment? The Supreme Court? Like Floridians voted for Gore in 2000 and SCOTUS installed Bush. Morales had agreed to new elections with the 7,000,000,000 or so people living outside of Bolivia coming to monitor the election No deal, instead the Military (= the People of Bolivia, seemingly in your opinion) let him march before them siting lined up on a podium as he resigned and left the room. A deal not even Evo Morales could resist. Why didn’t the opposition and military to have rerun so ‘the people of Bolivia’, as put it, could definitely reject Morales out in the open.

      Electronic voting sucks. They had it here in the Netherlands and, after it was deemed potentially unreliable, open to fraud, they returned marked paper ballots. By the way, everyone here has to officially identify themselves (driver’s license, passport, ?) to be checked against the register of voters which each district has at the voting station. I don’t understand why USA-ians are very often voter ID.

      Reply
      1. Olga

        Voter IDs is a much more complex issue in the US. Holland is a small nation, mostly homogeneous (I know, lots of immigrants, but still). Getting an ID in the US is more difficult – particularly for the poor, rural populations, and minorities. Some states instituted tough ID laws and then cut the places, where one could get it. Or added fees. in some states, repubs are on record as to what the real purpose was – i.e., making voting more difficult for those in the basket of deplorables.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Saw one case of a lady in her nineties that was refused ID because she did not tick all the boxes. Did I mention that she was black and poor?

          Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      I wanna turn the wheel!”
      “Me too!”
      “I wanna be next!”

      To me, every argument for term limits sounds like an argument for careerism and aristocracy.

      Reply
    3. Wandering mind

      I agree. Not everyone who protested is controlled or fooled by the CIA and the Bolivian right.

      There were miners from Potosi and members of the Bolivian Workers Center (COB) who protested the election result. Busloads of people from Potosi (including miners), Tarija and Sucre went to La Paz to protest.

      Reply
      1. Grant

        Leftist movements (which doesn’t often include miners in Bolivia, I know their role in the past with the MNR and previous revolutions, like the one in 52) in Bolivia have had a tense relationship with the Morales government. I would suggest reading Benjamin Dangl on this. But protesting and challenging the state is not the same thing as supporting a right wing coup. Yes, not everyone involved in challenging the state is involved in a CIA plot, but the US media, US intelligence agencies and the Bolivian right will also use those protests to justify what they are doing and to justify the US once again supporting a coup, openly. Like the recent nonsense in Venezuela with Guaido and the support of the coup in the early 2000’s against Chavez, I fully expect the NY Times and the dominant US media to help with the propaganda the best they can.

        And I have to ask, with all of the far right elements in Latin America that have horrific records on democracy, freedom of the press, human rights and elections, funny that this is again treated as uniquely undemocratic on some level, even without any evidence of widespread voter tampering. Like, have there been no problems with violence against journalists, politicians, union organizers and activists, as well as elections, in Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, and Brazil in recent years, among many other countries in the region? In the US, do we allow international observers in to monitor our elections? Is the system not horribly corrupt? Do we not have voter suppression? Are there not often pretty large irregularities (read Palast on this)? Does the Democratic Party not do a wide range of things internally to candidates on the left? Like, what happened in California and New York in 2016? Do people not protest here? Are there not large gaps between what people want on policy versus what the state does?But, somehow, this particular situation justifies a coup? Come on, let’s have uniform logic and standards. This is a coup and anyone trying to justify it is no better or different than Pompeo and Bolton.

        Reply
    4. Joe Well

      Even if Morales having a second term were not legitimate, and it is, he would still rightfully serve out this current term, not resign under military pressure, which is a coup. And what about the Vice President?

      You sound like a typical elite using IDPol to justify their crimes.

      Reply
    5. Grant

      To argue that the whiter, far wealthier Bolivians largely behind the coup have good intensions is ridiculous. As if they have these high minded and principled objections to Morales, come on now. Let’s not ignore the last half century of Bolivian politics or the historical trajectory that got us here, or the US’s role in stuff like this. In the Media Luna a few years ago they were trying to actually leave the country and coups backed by these interests are nothing new in Bolivia. The NED, the CIA, USAID, the International Republican Institute, they all have their hands in destabilizing the country. Bolivians just voted for him in an election that no proven mass irregularities have occurred. How many countries don’t have term limits that are actual democracies?

      Reply
    6. José Carlos

      The old “agency” canard, as if “Bolivians” are any more monolithic than any other national group. I suppose the indigenous Bolivians marching in support of Evo have the wrong kind of agency, only those Bolivians (mostly white, European descendent) whose interests align with those of the US and of international capital should be granted agency.

      Reply
    7. Eclair

      Presidents of such countries should take a lesson from the US (and other South American countries, as well.) FDR may have wrangled a third term (but didn’t live to complete it), other holders of that office have, when there terms are complete, simply handed the office over to their son (John Adams, George H.W. Bush), grandson, (the Harrisons), cousin (the Roosevelts; James Madison and Zachery Taylor), or wife (well, Clinton tried.) The hangers-on, supporters, the money and power surrounding a president, goes on, yea, even to the second or third, (or fourth) generation.

      Reply
      1. Efmo

        FDR died very early in his 4th term (back then inaugurations were in March, I believe & he died in April 1945.) So he only served 3 full terms, but had started his 4th.

        Reply
  10. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Federica Pelzel bloomberg tweets

    There is zero constituency for a bloomberg presidency. Less than zero. So you have to wonder what this is all about.

    Since the bloomberg “announcement,” the talking heads on msnbs have been busy needling Trump with a graphic about the “wealth disparity” between the two billionaires–bloomberg $52 billion, Trump $3.2 billion, “maybe less.”

    They claim to know that Trump is very “wealth competitive.” Maybe it’s a psyop to drive him over the gold-plated edge that only billionaires walk.

    Reply
    1. Monty

      If you got $250,000 dollars every day since Christopher Columbus first arrived in the USA, you still wouldn’t have as much money as Bloomberg!

      Reply
  11. Anonymous Coward

    Wow, the twitter comments to that Weigel tweet about Tulsi are a rather grotesque echo chamber of Brockian puppets and bots all feeding the Clinton true believers. Hard to tell which is which. Seriously! Thank you for contrasting with the Vice piece.

    With 6% in yesterday’s NH poll, she’s now on the cusp of the Dec debate.

    Reply
    1. Danny

      What you forgot to say is that “The Top Tier Candidate,” Kamala Harris,
      is barely scrapping 1%.

      It feels like there’s a hidden chamber of joy somewhere behind the heart when you see your enemies go down.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous Coward

        Yes, bit of Schaenfreude there in that.

        Does make sense that Tulsi would appeal to the independent-minded voters of the Granite State, while at the same time the same voters would say “Bye Felicia” to Kamala, who pulled up stakes and went all-in on Iowa.

        Reply
  12. Ignacio

    1) The lyrabird was born in 1975 and played martians, I swear!
    2) Election results in Spain: bad news, extreme rigth is third parlamentarian force. Good news PSOE and Podemos finally poised to reach an agreement! Hallelujah!
    3) Bolivia: yes it is a coup, and I see it very difficult that new elections could lead to a true legitimate government being it conditional on a coup. This is sad.

    Reply
      1. Collapsar

        Hollywood could cut way back on their sound effects budget by just splicing some of that bird’s songs into their movies. It sounded like it was mimicking a space battle with laser blasters towards the end.

        Reply
        1. Old Jake

          Someone was watching several scifi flicks while the bird was nearby. What a range of vocalizations, if I wasn’t watching it at the time I would never have believed it. What a showoff.

          Reply
    1. chuck roast

      I understood everything that the Lyrabird said…he was predicting the future. I’d share with you, but it is too scary.

      Reply
        1. bob

          He also had a good sound for re-loading when the laser was running out. Sounded like an old camera drive. Lots of camera sounds mixed in there, he must have had lots of them pointed at him. Not surprised, he puts on a hell of a show.

          Reply
        2. Drake

          It was even better the way it covered itself with its tail while making it. It was like it had put its shields up.

          Gotta keep these birds out of the arcade.

          Reply
  13. zagonostra

    >Chris Hedges “Death by Oligarch”

    Every time I read Hedges it’s as if I’m listening to Casandra. I read, comprehend, agree ,for the most part, and then go back to doing what I need to do to ensure I can get by to the next day.

    The oligarchs, who spent $1 billion in 2016 to deny Sanders the Democratic Party nomination and try to put Hillary Clinton in the White House, learned nothing from the debacle. If they can’t shove Joe Biden down our throats, how about Pete Buttigieg or Michael Bloomberg? And should Warren or Sanders miraculously become the Democratic candidate, which the oligarchs are working hard to prevent, they will reluctantly back Trump. Trump may be vulgar, corrupt and inept, he may have turned the United States into an international pariah, but he slavishly serves the financial interests of the oligarchs.

    Oligarchs, freed from outside oversight and regulation, wantonly pillage the political and economic institutions that sustain them. They run up huge government deficits by slashing taxes on the rich. This forces an underfunded government to borrow from the banks, further enriching the oligarchs, and impose punishing austerity programs on the public. They privatize traditional government services, including utilities, intelligence gathering, large parts of the military, the police, the prison system and schools to make billions in profits. They create complex financial mechanisms that ensure usurious interest rates on mortgages, personal and student loans. They legalize accounting fraud and suppress wages to keep the public trapped in a crippling debt peonage. They loot trillions in taxpayer money when their speculative bubbles burst.

    Reply
    1. CoryP

      I was going to criticize his preaching the same sermon every week but then I guess he has to if we haven’t gotten off our butts yet. Sigh I guess I should actually read The Rebel on his recommendation.

      Reply
      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I hope I can be far away when people get off their butts. I have read that the American Civil War was so bloody because the Colonels and Generals running the battlefield were slow to grasp the lethality of the weapons available at time continued to use battle tactics from earlier wars. That seems like a reasonable assessment of General Haig’s tactics at the Battle of the Somme. I regard Chris Hedges calls for mass peaceful marches as ‘quaint’.

        The kind of protest tactics used in the past will not be effective against the opposing forces of the State armored, armed, and trained to put down those kinds of protest along with the mass violent riots of the past. Direct confrontation of overwhelming force — whether that confrontation begins as a peaceful march or devolves into a violent riot — is as foolish as charging a machine gun on foot across 500 yards of mud. And acts of terrorism that cause death or bodily injury are as effective as trying to kill wasps by hitting their nest with a stick. Without the invention of new tactics for protest I feel much relieved that people haven’t gotten off their butts.

        Reply
        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          Charging across the mud was what an Ulster regiment did during one of the mass turkey shoots of the Somme, thereby ignoring the usual cunning plan of walking across. They took their objective but due to being isolated were forced to retreat.

          The French on the whole fared better due to re-inventing the platoon.

          Reply
          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I lack the background to make other than general comments on battle tactics of past or present — other than to suggest they were unimaginative and ineffective. My main point is that Chris Hedges and most protesters are fighting with old tactics which would prove ineffective and ‘costly’. Without the invention of new tactics for protest the protests will achieve little or nothing and result in a great deal of bloodshed and destruction.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              I believe we will have to go all the way back to the Dynamiters of the Gilded Age to begin to shift the power balance. The original unionist dynamiters restricted themselves to owner’s property and avoided harming innocents and company goons alike. That gave them a low level moral advantage that resonated with the public. The public then did not join various owner instigated anti-union movements. An early manifestation of the phenomenon that Mao described as “…being like a fish in the sea.” The destruction, when it does happen, should be strategic.

              Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “When ‘High Body Count’ Was an American War Policy”

    I have a lot of respect for Nick Turse and the work that he has done but surely he knows that body counts were resurrected during the Occupation of Iraq. The Pentagon tried to resist using them for a very long time but in the end they resorted to body counts as a way of of trying to represent “progress”.

    Reply
  15. DJG

    This article was high up on The Guardian’s site yesterday and has been swiftly demoted way down, closely to those essays in which English people ruminate about their sexuality (who knew?). Be prepared for the mad scene:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/11/uk-government-delay-of-russia-report-is-shaming-says-clinton

    So now the U.K. government has gone full Rooskies under the bed, and Clinton, who cannot stop interfering, is shooting off her mouth. I waded through this article, and all I can say is that she is toxic and stupid. Plain stupid.

    I also note that a disproportionate amount of the efforts of U.S. feminism has been devoted to this toxic woman. Which is truly a misstep, sort of like hoping to revive the Roman Republic by supporting Caligula.

    Reply
    1. Drake

      I also note that a disproportionate amount of the efforts of U.S. feminism has been devoted to this toxic woman. Which is truly a misstep, sort of like hoping to revive the Roman Republic by supporting Caligula.

      There’s a lot of this. Look through the comments in Dave Weigel’s tweet about Gabbard if you want to get really nauseous. It’s almost exclusively “Clinton didn’t even mention her by name, and the Russian agent had to respond to it! Must have been Putin’s idea…”.

      Reply
      1. Monty

        I get the impression there is rather a large number of people employed to sit at computers day and night churning out establishment talking points and excuses. The neoliberal hasbara squad. Once you see it like this, you realize there is no point trying to engage or reason with them, they are paid to say this stuff, and probably don’t even believe it themselves. Just leave them to it, like you say they are mostly preaching to the choir.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          A lot of these pro-Clinton commenters are not neoliberal hasbara squadmembers employed by anybody. A lot of them are fanatically devoted Jonestown Clinties. They are doing it for free out of worshipful love for their Warrior Priestess Leader.

          I remember predicting a little more than a year ago that the millions upon millions of Bitter Clinters would become a deadly threat and a looming menace to American civic and social survival. Their ” Goldwater Girl” style neo-McCarthyism and anti-Russianitic racism are bearing me out.

          Reply
        2. Carey

          Agree, and you’ll find them on the darnest places on the web.
          Their job seems primarily to keep the comfortable class firmly
          in the fold, IMO.

          Reply
  16. John Beech

    When I was five years old I’d regularly go with my great grandmother to the hippodrome because she owned horses (but according to my mother, because she liked to bet). Anyway, I once remember a horse being put down after breaking a leg (she was an earthy woman and didn’t shield me). The vet did it with humane killer (fires a shot in the forehead) and it was done in a moment after which they rolled it onto a sling and hauled it off with a tractor. The point being, horses as fodder at the races isn’t new. However, the recently woke are horrified and recoiling because they’ve never been exposed to the realities of life. Folks, if you think what man does to animals is bad, have you ever been to a professional fight to see man pitted against man? Anyway, in addition to attending horse races, I was taken to see bull fighting, wrestling, and man-on-man in the ring (with gloves because I’m not all that old). Grandfather even took me to cock fights and I’m no worse off for it. And as a youth, I played football (and love it to this day). Frankly, those who would stop circuses, animal exhibits, and other ‘cruelty’ to animals should maybe save themselves for the many, many forms of it practiced by man on man and find release in saving people, first. A good start is on Sunday’s when tithing because the church is on the front lines. Then again, I’d be willing to bet a milkshake these newly woke also don’t attend church. As for stopping man and animals as entertainment, good luck with that!

    Reply
      1. inode_buddha

        Sounds quite plausible to me, so I’m inclined to think that no, it isn’t satire. It corresponds nicely with my own experiences, that those who value animals lives often don’t value humans at all, nor do they contribute towards improving the human condition. This is why I now advocate performing abortions with guns;- just in the interest of being logically and morally consistent. After all, the foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of tiny minds, and all that.

        Reply
        1. Arizona Slim

          You have the same turn of mind that I do, inode_buddha. And, if you ever come to Tucson, I’ll buy you a drink of your choosing. Adult beverage or all-ages beverage? It’s up to you.

          Reply
          1. Duck1

            John Beech has been commenting for a while and presents a point of view worth looking at, even if disagreeing with aspects of it. I don’t share the experiences he talks about, which is why I am interested in hearing them. You can always skip the comment if you like.

            Reply
        2. ambrit

          Love the Emerson reference. That was an aware person. I have his collected works and dip into it from time to time.
          I get the abortion dilemma. I have always said that I would restrict abortion when free, universal, and unrestricted birth control was provided to women of any age.

          Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      When we went to the Breeders Cup @ Santa Anita around 3 years ago, we got talking to a serious horseplayer, who was about my age, and were reminiscing about days of olde, when the jockey colony @ the great race place in the late 70’s resembled the ’27 Yankees ‘Murderers’ Row’ (ok, tactless that) in talent, and the horseflesh was also top notch, damn near every race would have a full field of a dozen, with say 5-10 added entries should one of the starters be scratched.

      He had been @ Hollywood Park the last day of racing there, and told me that after the last race, it was as if it was any other close of a day @ the track, no goodbyes or anything on the p.a., after 75 years of being there.

      Everybody knew the score with that, in that it was going to be turned into an NFL stadium cum shopping mall.

      Why are these thoroughbred deaths happening pretty much @ Santa Anita and much lesser elsewhere in the country?

      Everybody knows the score about the value of the land in Arcadia, were it to be turned into something else.

      Reply
    2. mpalomar

      “and I’m no worse off for it.”
      If you say so, though before you fully commit to this premise, perhaps reconsider how conditioning determines our eventual moral and ethical view of the world. PTSD etc.

      Reply
      1. Brian (another one they call)

        Thanks John B. You have given ample evidence on your behalf. It reminds me of Mr. A. Bunker, an ancient symbol for misunderstanding and confusion. Please do not try to eat me, for I will certainly resist.

        Reply
    3. Danny

      To anyone who thinks horse racing or boxing is barbaric;
      Ever been to a kosher or halal slaughterhouse?

      Factory scale vivisection in action, based on religion, BTW.
      Location? Minnesota.

      The only thing more cruel is torturing dogs to death to tenderize the meat with adrenalin, as they do in China.

      Repudiate all of it, no matter how it is presented, as culture, tradition or sport.

      Reply
      1. Monty

        I think you will find that the way US hog farms do their business is pretty despicable too! One part of the process is to submerge the live animals into boiling water, so the agonizing pain and panic causes all their hair to fall out. Muslims and Jews don’t even eat pork, so you can’t blame them for this one.

        Reply
      2. Olga

        I do agree that horse racing (boxing, too) is barbaric and needs to stop. Has anyone asked the horse whether it wants to run, so that that some fat person can make money and more money?

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Jockeys sometimes have to ‘flip’ (not in a real estate parlance, i’ll assure you) in order to make racing weight. Calling a grown man that weighs 106 pounds ‘fat’ is making the rest of us look downright obese.

          Its nearly as dangerous for the riders as it is for the horses, although rarely does a human need to be put down-post injury.

          I can tell you the first time I was ever @ Santa Anita, only in that a very popular jockey died that day, 44 years ago.

          https://www.nytimes.com/1975/01/19/archives/pineda-top-jockey-killed-in-startinggate-mishap.html

          Reply
          1. Olga

            I was precisely not talking about the jockeys … they have to be slim, but they are not the ones making the big money. Surely, we can agree on that. I was picturing some fat owner of the horse with a cigar and a glass of whiskey, cheering the poor, exhausted horse on. It is a barbaric something (not sport) that abuses animals for human pleasure and greed. Sorry…

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              From what i’ve seen in my time of watching them go round in the ovals office…

              There were tax breaks for owning thoroughbreds decades ago, and that went away, and so did any impetus to own them. Races often have 5 or 6 horses, as there aren’t enough people that want to spend an extravagant amount of money in training & stable fees, in owning a horse.

              The average owner of the most common class of race horse has title to a nag which is up for sale every time it enters a race, and almost always never gets sold.

              This is what’s called a ‘claiming race’ and in the lower echelon on horse racing in California, you can buy a race horse for around $3,000, @ Santa Anita the minimum is more like $10,000 as it’s the big leagues.

              Nobody is making big money, it’s a dying sport.

              Reply
                1. Wukchumni

                  The absolute top end of horse racing has owners that perhaps were the underbidder on a $48 million 1962 Ferrari, or maybe they bought a painting for $72 million they thought ‘was a steal’ at that price.

                  6 or so out 9 races at the track in the USA are claiming races, and to board and train a thoroughbred @ the track, it’s around $25k a year.

                  How would you like to buy a unreliable used sports car for $12,500, and have to put double that into it per annum for upkeep?

                  That’s why there’s a shortage of horses for races, they can’t find enough fools to play the game.

                  Reply
            2. a different chris

              No owners make money on horses really at all, especially compared to whatever rent-seeking day job they happen to have. They do it because when it is going well, it is admittedly a lot of fun. It’s also prestigious for those who like to see their name in the lights. I just know it’s something rich people do, but it is not for income.

              The top-level trainers (Bob Baffert, sp?) do very well. But they should, they are the professionals in this.

              Reply
              1. mpalomar

                A nice hobby and tax write off for the wealthy. Breeding and stud services must have some money in it.
                Ah well, the sport of kings.

                Anyone see They shoot Horses Don’t They??
                Surprisingly, little to do with horses but I recall it a fairly good movie.

                Reply
            3. newcatty

              Thank you Olga. I, for one, thought your allusion to a “fat person make money and more money” was obviously not the Jockeys. Also, regarding comments above that compare racing horses ( if the opinion that forcing horses to run at their top speed and alll that is involved in enabling the horse to do that is often cruel and ,yes, barbarous) to the horrors of how hogs, chickens and cattle are slaughtered is a great example of false equivalency. Indeed, there are lots of examples of cruelty and immoral treatment of animals on the planet. Since when is i fine to “advocate” or rationale the awful treatment of a certain animal ( in this case horses) because humans are cruel in other cases? Also, yes, humans watch boxing and physically harming sports. Again, if humans participate, even as observer’s, in seeing other humans beat up or injure other humans this does not excuse animal cruelty. This is one way I think we will become the truly compassionate people we can be as a society. Advocate for cruelty and selfish behavior to stop…against animals and humans. Football players ending “playing ” with brain injuries. Same with many boxers. Horses dropping dead or having “to be put down”. Really… just “the cost of business” or “collateral loss'”?

              When I was a child I ( totally paraphrasing here) I saw as a child, I spoke as a child…I am not a voice for vegetarian, BTW, for what it’s worth. I do advocate for despicable factory farms to be ended, humane treatment of all farm animals, humane slaughter of animals for food, ( we only buy organic animal products from a small selection at grocery stores). If the product is too expensive for us…OK. We are eating a lot more vegetarian meals.

              I was called an “anti-racing “…like it was a noun. Yep, that’s me. I will accept the charge. Even, though to clarify, this is when I spoke out against the Greyhound dog racing business. All good dogs ( racing Greyhounds) at end of their exciting lives as useful products go to loving adoptive homes. Right? OK, now.

              Reply
  17. Frank Little

    The fact that it’s been hard to form a new government without Morales could be due in part to opposition leaders attacking other elected officials from Morales’ MAS party in the days leading up to his resignation. From the BBC on November 7:

    The mayor of a small town in Bolivia has been attacked by opposition protesters who dragged her through the streets barefoot, covered her in red paint and forcibly cut her hair … The protesters accused Mayor Arce of having bussed in supporters of the president to try and break a blockade they had set up and blamed her for the reported deaths, one of which was later confirmed.

    Amid shouts of “murderess, murderess” masked men dragged her through the streets barefoot to the bridge. There, they made her kneel down, cut her hair and doused her in red paint. They also forced her to sign a resignation letter.

    Reply
    1. newcatty

      A woman being dragged…A woman being “doused” in red paint…A woman having her hair forceably cut…A woman forceably being told to sign a document by cowards with masks. Does any of this behavior remind us of history? Red paint…scarlet letters. Weren’t women forced to have their hair cut in some country in Europe for being ” sympathizers “to the enemy. Women forced “to kneel down” to men…countless cases of sexual disrespect or abuse. Women being left with signed documents, such as employment contracts or agreements that ensure they are being paid less than men for same work in employment. Or, often, ending up in poverty, or near poverty, in divorce settlements ( usually in cases with a spouse who has the ability to outlawed the wife).

      Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “Scientists find eternal Nile to be more ancient than previously thought”

    This is a really great article this. Utterly fascinating. If the Nile had gone west instead like it was suppose to, then that would have meant no ancient Egyptian civilization and Egypt would have remained a barren desert like the Sahara. I wonder how that would have changed world history.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      >I wonder how that would have changed world history.

      Just wanted to be annoying (ok I don’t want to be annoying but can’t help myself): We all, me regularly, use this phrase, but you don’t *change* history. Every time I say/type that I’m like “oops”. The future unfolds differently than it would have with different inputs, but the resulting history is, you know, static.* I guess it’s just one of those phrases that don’t make sense when you look at them but everybody understands it so there you are.

      *of course our understanding changes, but that’s not the same thing.

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        I remember the first time I heard the phrase : Its all geography . One way or the other…A river flows through it.

        Reply
    2. ambrit

      For that matter, the old mouth of the Nile offshore under the present Mediterranean Sea. Are there remains of any significant civilization there? (Early urban communities preferred shoreline sites for cities for numerous reasons. Just look at where a lot of today’s major metropolises are?

      Reply
    3. Lambert Strether

      > Egypt would have remained a barren desert like the Sahara

      Apparently, the Sahara is 7 million years old and formed by tectonic activity. Tantalizingly however:

      Such increases in moisture limit how far the Sahara can spread and can even spark times of a “green Sahara”, when the sparse desert is replaced by abundant lakes, plants and animals.

      Reply
  19. Dalepues

    Short article from El Tiempo of Colombia on the political upheaval occurring throughout Latin America.
    It’s in Spanish of course, but the big words readers here will be familiar with since the English vocabulary is more than 50% derived from Latin. The photograph of a demonstration in Chile is stunning. I have made a hasty translation of the second paragraph.

    “Inequality, economic stagnation, fissures in weaker democracies, distrust of state institutions, the absence of policies that improve the distribution of income and quality of life are some of the reasons causing the upheavals in the region, which in recent years has also strongly felt the effects of falling oil prices and the U.S. and Chin trade war”

    Reply
  20. Joe Well

    I am in Argentina atm. The local media are treating it as a coup, as is the president elect.

    NATOland is its own bubble.

    Reply
  21. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Walgreens may get scooped up in the largest private equity deal in history, report says ABC. Aargh….

    I never shop there, so I can’t say that I’ll miss Walgreens when pe goes all ToysRUs on them. Walmart is cheaper, far more convenient and has decent produce. I once tried to get a prescription filled at Walgreens and it took DAYS. At Walmart it takes an hour. So much for core competency.

    But the blight is really gonna be a problem. Those damn stores are on every corner in every burg and hamlet across the land.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      There’s a Walgreens within easy walking distance of the Arizona Slim Ranch. In all of the times I’ve been there, I’ve never seen more than a handful of people in the store. And it’s a big store.

      If that place goes under, it will suffer the same fate as the gas station that preceded it.

      Reply
    2. Danny

      That’s scary.
      CVS is a horrible alternative that forces long waits, mixes up prescriptions, hires rude elder abusing foreigners over Americans, and that is basically a cross between a ghetto liquor outlet, with magnetized locking caps on bottles, a 7-11 for “food” and a Sears store with little decent merchandise, but at outrageous prices.

      And that is in a wealthy area. I shudder to think what they are like in poorer areas.

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I’ve avoided CVSs in favor of the old Rite Aid (seedy but good prices, very well run pharmacy) which Walgreens largely acquired. Some Rite Aid stores still stand. I found the Walgreens I’ve visited to be even seedier than the Rite Aids. For instance, down here, Walgreens shuttered a Rite Aid they acquired (in a safe area) and kept the one open that regularly has robbery attempts in its parking lot. WTF?

        The CVSs look better but they are really badly run. Oh, but don’t look down….in NYC, the CVSs had better lights and signage than the Rite Aids, but disgustingly dirty carpeting, while the Rite Aids had old but clean linoleum.

        At CVS all over the place, never enough people at checkout, including regularly no people at checkout, to try to get you to use the self-checkout. Also poor about restocking.

        A PE acquisition of Walgreens will allow everyone to get worse.

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          Our Rite Aid is being converted into a Panera Bread. Walgreens is across the street.

          There was a bit of a pharmacy glut at one point. Even the Walmart and Ingles grocery stores have them.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            I noticed the proliferation of Rx in the City of Angels, where it wasn’t uncommon to see pharmacies on corner lots @ intersections with lights where gas stations used to be, with many of them situated at odd angles on the lots so as to use every scintilla of square feet.

            Reply
          2. Another Scott

            My local Rite-Aid closed after the merger. I remember when it was a Brooks and opened 24/7. It was my favorite of the chains, with Walgreens far and away the worst. CVS has steadily gone down hill as well. There used to be 4 pharmacies in my city, which was briefly 5 between when the Walgreens opened and one of the independent ones closed. It’s now down to 3, with a CVS, Walgreens and one independent one left.

            Reply
        2. Danny

          “down here, Walgreens shuttered a Rite Aid they acquired (in a safe area) and kept the one open that regularly has robbery attempts in its parking lot. WTF?”

          Same thing happened hereabouts. Commercial real estate is a conundrum. i.e. “Why don’t vacant stores just lower rents” etc.

          Speculation:
          The safe area real estate was worth more and probably could be sold to help pay for takeover? No one would buy the real estate in the bad area?

          The Bad parking lot might be layout and easy escape routes, rather than a bad area.

          If indeed it is a bad area, it is probably socially acceptable and preferable for customers to go to the dangerous store, configured and hardened against shoplifters, than to have them come from the dangerous store to a better neighborhood, which would theoretically bring crime and shoplifting to the “good store” area.

          Customers going to a store in a bad neighborhood might help raise the value of the store property there. Whatever, it’s certainly about money, and not improving anything for anyone, except shareholders and execs.

          Walgreen’s five worst:
          https://sfist.com/2012/02/08/san_franciscos_five_worst_walgreens/

          Remember Rexall? That was a nice chain.

          Reply
          1. Lord Koos

            I once was advised by a doctor to never fill prescriptions at Walgreens. He mentioned that they were one of the most expensive places to get prescribed drugs, while at the same time they have the purchasing power to get the best wholesale prices.

            Reply
          2. Yves Smith Post author

            No, the Walgreens really is in a bad area, surrounded by pawn shops. In the cheap gas station I go to about a half mile further away, I am regularly panhandled while pumping gas. But as a New Yorker, I’m not worried about safety there. Too many people always there for anything to happen.

            The Rite Aid they shuttered, a mere mile away, was across the street from a very well trafficked Publix (as in middle income) and elevated a bit, so aside from better location, also great sight lines.

            And this isn’t a matter of “bad people coming to the Rite Aid.” That was never an issue before and there is zero reason to think the muggers are customers.

            Reply
        3. kara

          Having gone on an huge acquisition spree ( with some difficulty in digesting), Caremark (pharmacy benefits manager), Aetna(health insurance) and Target pharmacies(to reduce competition), CVS has accumulated considerable debt. As a consequence, they scrimp on employee hours. At my local CVS, a 24 hour pharmacy was converted to 17 and then to 14.This despite an increasing population, which would suggest a need for more employees. Hence the increasing wait times.
          I always use a human cashier to help keep their jobs, despite some wait.
          The CEO is payed well.
          Costco is another good pharmacy with lower costs, shorter wait times, and happier employees.

          Reply
              1. Yves Smith Post author

                I’m sorry, you have a VERY different relationship to time than I do. It is a 20-30 minute drive each way, when ten minutes is a lot of time for me. I don’t want to go again through how I have no personal life (last purely social thing I did was July 4, 2016) and have to manage my time ruthlessly.

                Reply
    3. marieann

      In our part of Canada it’s Shopper Drug Mart, everyone has a horror story about their prescription services…..they have just been bought out by a grocery store. I find their service declining and their pharmacists getting dumber.
      I have started going to a private drug store….the prescriptions are the same price but the prices of supplies are higher…I still support them all I can though to keep them in business

      Reply
  22. Craig H.

    > Neil Young says US citizenship ‘delayed over marijuana’

    According to the story Donald the Fat plays Rockin in the Free World at his rallies.

    Is this true? Has anybody been to a Donald the Fat rally and heard it? I’m pretty sure the thousand points of light and the kinder gentler machine gun hand are not patriotic sloganeering. This must be like sarcasm in internet text.

    Reply
    1. Lee

      Most ironically, Ronald Reagan’s campaign used Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. They must not have acquainted themselves with the lyrics.

      Also, I can attest to Neil Young’s moral turpitude: I got high with him at a jam session in 1970 in Dogtown. Although, admittedly, the recollection is a bit hazy.

      Reply
    2. Bugs Bunny

      Just for informational purposes and not as a promotion – Neil Young and Crazyhorse just released an album and it is frankly, great.

      If you want to contribute to good music, albeit for an already pretty rich but very talented guy, get it.

      Reply
    3. jrs

      Or playing it is Trump’s FU to Neil Young and his lefty views (helps it happens to be a very catchy song), because the right does get off on owning liberals and the left afterall. And if it annoys ‘ol Neil so much the better. He can’t be pleased, but lost the copyright war I guess. Culture war forever.

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Bad memories of another, at the time, oh so cool president’s theme song…We should not have been fooled…Orwellian. Clinton’s agenda: Yesterday was gone, hallelujah, now we create the (our ) the future!

        Reply
    1. Susan the Other

      So is Greenspan. I think he’s getting his crypto and his digital mixed up. Or do some schemes for sovereign digital actually lessen sovereign capabilities? Simply facilitating efficient digital payments shouldn’t be a problem for sovereign currencies. And Sovereign Crypto is a contradiction in terms – but Greenspan didn’t get into it. I wonder if he has lost his marbles.

      Reply
  23. HotFlash

    Resilc: “Is this like spy vs spy in Nad magazine?”

    No, Antonio Prohías’ wonderful Spy vs Spy was in Mad, not Hustler.

    Reply
  24. Eduardo

    American robots lose jobs to Asian robots as Adidas shifts manufacturing
    That’s a shame. Maybe the American robots could learn to code?

    Reply
  25. Bugs Bunny

    Re: Microsoft and CA privacy law – this I take seriously and believe. There are decent powers within MS and they do want to do the right thing. There is a constant battle though.

    Thank the Lord Gates has very little power any more.

    I did Lord Gates there. Freud.

    Reply
  26. notabanktoadie

    re Alan Greenspan says there’s ‘no point’ for central banks to issue digital currency :

    I agree; just allow everyone who desires one to have an inherently risk-free debit/checking account at the Central Bank itself AND abolish all other privileges for depository institutions so as to eliminate any unjust incentive for the non-bank private sector to use bank deposits rather than their own Nation’s fiat in account form.

    Reply
  27. ewmayer

    List of headlines in my Reuters daily roundup e-mail today — A litany of ImpeachImpeachImpeach and RussaiRussiaRussia yammering, apparently written by paid establishment shills lacking the word “alleged” in their lexicon:

    As impeachment probe starts new phase, Trump promises another transcript

    U.S. Supreme Court to hear Trump bid to end safeguards for immigrant ‘Dreamers’

    Explainer: What to expect from the televised Trump impeachment hearings this week

    Factbox: What rules will the House use in televised impeachment hearings?

    As longtime Trump adviser Stone’s trial resumes, pivotal witness looms

    ‘Shameful’ of UK not to publish report on Russian meddling, says Hillary Clinton

    ‘Necessary procedure’ – Britain says of Russia meddling report delay

    Former U.S. President Carter hospitalized in Atlanta for bleeding on the brain

    Democrats release new batch of testimony from Trump impeachment inquiry

    White House’s Mulvaney to sue over House impeachment subpoenas

    Gods, what a pathetic fvcking circus – but for those pushing it, a golden ticket to avoid having to talk about actual policies that matter to the 90%.

    Reply
  28. Lord Koos

    Microsoft and privacy… I’ll believe it when they strip out the spyware from Windows 10. Complying by being transparent about their spyware isn’t the same as not spying. Most people will continue to use Microsoft’s OS because they have few alternatives.

    Reply
  29. matsb

    In Swedish mainstream press one can read the following: “Morales ran for re-election for the third time, despite having been denied this in a 2016 referendum. Instead of letting someone else from his movement take over, he clung to power.” (Dagens Nyheter today) Why am I not seeing any mention of a referendum elsewhere? Or maybe more to the point: Is this referendum thing real?

    Reply
    1. CarlH

      I was under the impression that Dagens Nyheter has a decidedly neo liberal slant. I am trying to learn Swedish right now and have kept DN open in a tab recently just to have something fun to translate and that was the vibe I got. Is this how Swedes see DN? Sorry for the unrelated question and wish I had an answer to yours.

      Reply
      1. matsb

        I suppose most Swedish people think DN is sort of neutral and factual. I’d say DN follows NYTimes pretty closely in what it choses to write about and how when it comes to international news. It also publishes articles from that paper every now and then. And it has even opened its pages to John Brennan! I´m happy I have NC.

        Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      Yes, there was a referendum, but now I don’t remember where I saw it.

      Unfortunately, Morales and MAS made themselves vulnerable by not setting up a successor, by defying the term limits law, and according to one article, by failing to help labor when they could have. Doesn’t make it any less of a coup.

      Reply
    3. The Historian

      Yes, the referendum thing is real.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Bolivian_constitutional_referendum

      By ignoring the wishes of his people, Morales set himself up for the resulting coup.

      Read what wandering mind has posted here in the last few days. So far I can verify through other sources just about everything he is saying, which to me, makes him very credible.

      What I am seeing in the press, MSM and others, is a definite spinning of what is happening in Bolivia to suit their own worldviews. Rarely does the referendum get mentioned.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether

        The referendum, which Morales narrowly lost, was real. Morales should not have appealed to the Supreme Court when he wanted to run for a third term; it was, after all, his own Constitution!

        Comparing Morales to Chavez, Chavez (a) organized the succession (Maduro) and (b) controlled the cops and the military. Morales failed to do both. Perhaps Morales thought that his economic performance (very, very good by Western standards) was enough to insulate him from assault. But I’ve also read that his extractavist policies alienated a portion of his base (not getting to the Amazon fires fast enough e.g.), which put him within reach of his enemies. (His vote share decreased with each election.) So, (c) never lose touch with your base!

        Reply
  30. CarlH

    The Lyrebird antidote is amazing and hit the spot this afternoon. I imagined for a moment how terrifying it would be if you were camping with some friends in the woods and tripping at night sitting around a campfire having fun, laughing, and generally carrying on, when one of these Lyrebirds suddenly starts up is routine somewhere out in the darkness. You would think you were under alien attack.

    Reply
  31. Robert McGregor

    “Most Veterans Don’t Think Afghanistan And Iraq Are Worth It”

    That’s not the point. If you’re a military contractor, it’s been very worth it.

    Reply

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