Links 12/13/19

No, Scott Morrison, my husband does NOT want to be fighting fires this summer! Smarter than Crows (sscegt).

UN summit ‘parallel universe’ to climate emergency: NGOs Agence France Presse

Chaos at UN Climate Conference as Governments Refuse to Act The Wire

At COP 25, corporate climate movement grows exponentially as new companies announce plans to align with a 1.5°C future (press release) United Nations Global Compact

Koizumi admits to Japan’s coal addiction, but offers no way out Nikkei Asian Review

Drought, Heat, and Victoria Falls: A Climate Story with a Twist Weather Underground

A Dark River Nearly 1,000 Miles Long May Be Flowing Beneath Greenland’s Ice LiveScience

Repo and swaps markets point to further volatility FT

Wanted: Libor Replacement for Europe’s $1.1 Trillion Loan Market Bloomberg

Brexit

Brexit: election 2019 EU Referendum

Labour loses the working class (!):

Alert reader JB sends this image of the UK’s paper ballots being counted:

But tabulated digitally?

Boris Johnson’s sweeping victory is a disaster for the country, but he cannot deliver on his false promises. Here’s how to survive and resist because his nemesis will come. Byline Times

Nicola Sturgeon: Boris Johnson does not have a mandate” to take Scotland out of the EU The Herald. Gauntlet thrown.

DUP losing seats and Westminster influence RTE

Jo Swinson steps down as UK Lib Dem leader Politico

Who will replace Jeremy Corbyn? Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey are favourites to be NEXT leader of Labour amid battle between Corbynites and centrists for soul of the party Daily Mail. A battle that should have been joined as soon as Corbyn assumed the leadership, IMNSHO.

Scorching hot take (1):

Scorching hot take (2):

Scorching hot take (3):

A Rising Movement Is Challenging Mexico’s Corporatized Unions Truthout

Syraqistan

Obama And The War On Yemen The American Conservative (Re Silc).

India

Indian military deployed and internet shut down as protests rage against citizenship bill CNN

On Data Privacy, India Charts Its Own Path NYT (J-LS).

China?

Is Violence in Hong Kong’s Protests Turning off Moderates? China File

A Whiff of Tear Gas LRB

China steps up push to avoid growing old while still poor FT

Chinese-built dam projects failing on environmental standards, green group International Rivers warns South China Morning Post

NOAA Warns of Risks in a Warming Arctic Maritime Executive

As the Arctic melts, China and Russia struggle for control Wired

New Cold War

Zelensky lacks potential to hack through Gordian knot of Ukrainian conflict — analyst TASS

Hostages of Normandy Process: Ukraine as a Systemic International Problem Valdai Discussion Club

One dead in fire on Russia’s sole aircraft carrier Agence France Presse

Impeachment

Nadler: Ends session; tells lawmakers to ‘search their conscience’ before vote USA Today. Voting Friday. That’s today!

Senate Republicans look to hold short impeachment trial despite Trump’s desire for an aggressive defense WaPo. “The emerging Senate GOP plan would provide sufficient time, possibly two weeks, for both the House impeachment managers and Trump’s attorneys to make their arguments before a vote on the president’s fate, according to 13 senators and aides familiar with the discussions.” So, another damp squib?

Impeachment: Understanding the Dems’ Simple-is-Better Strategy Politico

Trump Transition

Lawmakers strike spending deal to avert shutdown The Hill

People Are Flushing Toilets 10 Times, 15 Times McSweeny’s (ChiGal).

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The Inspector General’s Report on 2016 FBI Spying Reveals a Scandal of Historic Magnitude: Not Only for the FBI but Also the U.S. Media Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

What Horowitz Actually Debunked WSJ

True, Mr. Horowitz asserted no “documentary or testimonial evidence” of anti-Trump bias inside the borders of this investigation. But one has to be obtuse to read this report and not see its authors are incredulous at the idea that the only explanation possible is incompetence and misjudgment on an unimaginable scale by trained FBI professionals. As Mr. Horowitz puts it with almost bemused understatement, “We did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or problems we identified.”

Sports Desk

Manfred: Negotiations With MiLB A “Tale of Two Cities” Baseball America

Class Warfare

A 5,000-Year-Old Plan to Erase Debts Is Now a Hot Topic in America Bloomberg. With a shout-out to Michael Hudson’s And Forgive Them Their Debts (see review at NC here).

McDonald’s Wins High-Stakes Labor Battle With Help From White House Bloomberg

What to Know About Your Rights to Unionize TeenVogue

AI and Economic Productivity: Expect Evolution, Not Revolution IEEE Spectrum

Does tapping your can of beer really keep it from fizzing all over you? Phys.org. Science is popping!

Antidote du jour (via):

(Kaeli Swift’s @corvidresearch is a fun account, almost as fun as corvids themselves.)

Bonus antidote (dk):

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.

120 comments

  1. zagonostra

    >IG Report

    Seems like the MSM, specifically MSNBC, and Glenn Greenwald’s take-away from the IG report are from different planets.

    If it does not bother you to learn that the FBI repeatedly and deliberately deceived the FISA court into granting it permission to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign, then it is virtually certain that you are either someone with no principles, someone who cares only about partisan advantage and nothing about basic civil liberties and the rule of law, or both. There is simply no way for anyone of good faith to read this IG Report and reach any conclusion other than that this is yet another instance of the FBI abusing its power in severe ways to subvert and undermine U.S. democracy. If you don’t care about that, what do you care about?

    But the revelations of the IG Report are not merely a massive FBI scandal. They are also a massive media scandal, because they reveal that so much of what the U.S. media has authoritatively claimed about all of these matters for more than two years is completely false.

    https://theintercept.com/2019/12/12/the-inspector-generals-report-on-2016-fb-i-spying-reveals-a-scandal-of-historic-magnitude-not-only-for-the-fbi-but-also-the-u-s-media/

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      In line with all the institutionalized prevarication that drives what seems to be the inevitable vector of things like the FBI, here’s a conservative look at a key element of the “fear, uncertainty, doubt” strategy of the Borg: “ Threat Inflation Poisons Our Foreign Policy, https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/threat-inflation-poisons-our-foreign-policy/

      Bomber gap, Missile gap, Window of Vulnerability, Soviet Hordes on the Plains of Eastern Europe, Dominoes, IranIranIran, RussiaRussiaRussia, We have always been at war with Eastasia…

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        Goes back at least to 1636 when the Massachusets Bay Colony with the Saybrook Colony, the Naragansett, and Mohigans, fought a war with the Pequot and eliminated them as an impediment to English colonization of southern New England. They exaggerated the threat from the Pequot to get support.

        Reply
    2. pjay

      This is a very detailed must-read on the IG Report. Greenwald makes very clear that its contents are absolutely contrary to MSM propaganda spin — and also to Horowitz’ own wishy-washy summary. It does make you wonder why Horowitz chose to frame the Report the way he did.

      It is stunning when you or I can actually *read the report* and see with our own eyes that the MSM is lying — and it *doesn’t matter*!

      Reply
    3. Andrew Thomas

      It is an old lawyer’s adage, and completely true, that any not-incompetent DA can get a Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich. Given the level of “no, I won’t approve this” from FISA courts since their inception, it would not be incorrect to say that a FISA court will approve an investigation of a ham sandwich. FBI incompetence/arrogance in gilding the lily on this is, far more likely than not, typical of its modus operandi. No one in power, including Bill Barr, really wants anything like the standards his faux outrage suggests in this particular, peculiar case applied to anybody else.
      Take care of yourself and your family down there, Glenn. They need you, and so does everyone else. Whether they know it or not.

      Reply
    1. xkeyscored

      I think it was one of the Bushes who said the USA was addicted to oil. At the time, the standard recommendation for addicts was to quit, or go to jail. Bush never explained why the USA would do neither. Has Koizumi?

      Reply
    2. anon in so cal

      And to India? Carmichael, etc. Environmentally catastrophic both for Australia and for India.

      “An Indian billionaire is forging ahead with a massive coal mine in Australia that activists say will be a disaster for the environment. Gautam Adani said Tuesday that he had given the “green light” to his firm’s $12 billion coal project in Australia’s northeastern Queensland state.

      “This is the largest single investment by an Indian corporation in Australia, and I believe others will follow with investments and trade deals,” Adani said in a statement.

      The Adani Group is also building a 240-mile railway line and an airstrip at the mine, which it says will create at least 10,000 new jobs.”

      https://money.cnn.com/2017/06/06/news/economy/coal-mine-australia-india-adani/index.html

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/15/climate/coal-adani-india-australia.html

      Reply
    3. Ignim Brites

      Of course Japan is addicted to coal. Anyone remember that little event called Fukushima? Do we need an HBO docudrama on that too.

      Reply
  2. Craig H.

    With all due respect to Larry the Cat the FTSE shot right up this morning. Was there a British equivalent of Paul Krugman who went to print with a financial catastrophe announcement?

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Having already linked to a piece in Teen Vogue about that thing, I couldn’t being myself to link to that story, much as it illuminates the zeitgeist:

      Deleuze and Guattari also speak in this connection of the surrealist painter and sometimes Freud-admirer Salvador Dali, who may go on at length about THE rhinoceros horn; he has not for all of that left neurosis behind. But when he starts comparing goosebumps to a field of rhinoceros horns, we get the feeling that the atmosphere has changed and we are now in the presence of madness…. the little bumps ‘become’ horns, and the horns, little [Almighty Signifiers] (A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia.

      Too much, basically.

      Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    “No, Scott Morrison, my husband does NOT want to be fighting fires this summer!”

    It is not so much as neoliberal leaders such as Scott Morrison are mean but that they are stupid. Literally stupid. The volunteer firefighters are busting their hump in dangerous conditions when the temperatures are already in the 40s (well over 100 Fahrenheit) and all Morrison can do is dismiss their efforts by saying that that is what they want to be doing with their lives. Now here is some stuff they he could have been doing which in another space-time reality is called “leadership”.
    He could have made funds available to buy all the volunteers firefighters proper breathing masks. He could have tapped the military for volunteers willing to help out fighting fires and evacuating people. Certainly they have the equipment that could prove of use. He could have also asked the military to send canteen units to provide food, drinks and maybe even cots for the firefighters when taking a break. He has done none of that.
    I am assuming that it is because he is a neoliberal that he is so clueless. Neoliberals are more comfortable when dealing with contractors instead of volunteers because they have no idea what motivates the later. They would rather spend hundreds of millions setting up private organizations so that contracts can be given to “mates” with a kick-back down the track. For them privatization is what it is all about no matter what the cost to the public purse.

    Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        It has nothing to do with stupid and everything to do with selfish. The results of “smart” neoliberals are at least equally devastating to the common people.

        Reply
        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Periodically I rerun this ancient William Gibson quote from Count Zero:

          “A wilson,” Bobby put in, feeling left out and no longer as important.

          The Finn looked at him, blankly. “A what?”

          “A wilson, a f*ck-up. It’s hotdogger talk, I guess…” Did it again. Sh*t.

          The Finn gave him a very strange look. “Jesus. That’s your word for it, huh? Christ I know the guy…”

          “Who?”

          “Bodine Wilson,” he said. “First guy I ever knew wound up as a figure of speech.”

          “Was he stupid?” Bobby asked, immediately regretting it.

          “Stupid? Sh*t, no, he was smart as hell.” The Finn stubbed his cigarette out in a cracked ceramic Campari ashtray. “Just a total f*ck-up, was all.”

          See The Blob, health care policy, mainstream economics departments, etc., etc., etc.

          Adding, I’m not sure why Gibson picked that name; I’m hoping from progressive icon Woodrow Wilson, who was indeed a wilson.

          Reply
    1. skippy

      I read that when it first came out, reminiscent of Abbots PM “I care” trip up to the Queensland coast after cyclone Marcia only to cop a gob full from some of the locals.

      Reply
  4. Wukchumni

    A 5,000-Year-Old Plan to Erase Debts Is Now a Hot Topic in America Bloomberg.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    When there was no money way back when, erasing debts made sense, but that’s not what’s gonna get the job done.

    Wiping out debts leaves the .01% in even bigger charge of things.

    96% of all transactions in the USA and probably similar in the rest of the 1st world are all done via the ether, what you want to do is erase all of the electronic assets, wipe em’ out.

    Not only does this even the playing field, none of the oil producers are going to want to pump go-juice out of the ground if there isn’t any reward.

    The caveat being that a few billion people will be dead in a relatively short time if you do this.

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      Jubilees did not erase commercial debts, only personal ones. I believe that massively changes the balance of benefit in favor of the common person.

      Besides, money is nothing more than a permission slip.

      Reply
      1. skippy

        Problem is you have a dynamic baked in to contracts which necessitates the same outcome again and again and again.

        In this day in age one would think we could avoid the initial fundamental reasons necessitating such undertakings. Capital is always positioned to front run everything, owning the rights to establishing what constitutes legal contracts at inception affords it.

        Sorta like some imaginary force manipulating the unwashed to constantly punch themselves in the head, and utilizing it to vindicate capitals authority and rights.

        Reply
        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Capital is always positioned to front run everything

          That is an extremely acute observation. And by “everything” is meant everything, including that which has not (yet) been monetized. Makes you wonder why our climate policy is as it is, and why only “youth movements” led by charismatic children are permitted to “oppose” it.

          Reply
    2. skippy

      I suggest you read ‘5000 years of Debt’ Wuk, money in the physical form is just the anchor point or representation of social contracts.

      This also reflected in anthropology all across the globe, the physical form can change in a very short period of time, say jade for gold in South America.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I read it, kinda interesting and eye opening occasionally, although a lot of reliance on the world before coined money, that’s when the jubilees happened, not since.

        One critique i’d have with the book, is it doesn’t differentiate between ancient debt and modern debt, the latter is predicated upon economic growth kind of wiping out debts by constant inflation rendering the money worth less over time. It’s a slow grind, but we’ve gone from a Nickel candy bar when I was a kid, to 75 Cents now, gas from a Quarter a gallon to nearly $4 per gallon, that sort of thing.

        Reply
        1. skippy

          See the comment below, your footing is completely grounded in an environmental bias that seems connected to an income or work related factor and not based on the knowledge present at this time.

          Just the fact that golds value in antiquity was based on the equal weight of wheat rubbishes the notion that gold has some intrinsic value all of its own above any other consideration. Same goes for the whole money is a work around barter theory at a sovereign level, not that theory is responsible for wars or the enslavement of others to facilitate capitals agenda.

          Would the conquistadors arrive at your abode …

          Reply
    3. Plenue

      “When there was no money way back when”

      Money. Is. Credit.

      Do you have any idea how maddeningly frustrating you are? You’re a broken record; no matter how many times people try to explain the nature of money to you, you just ignore it. You can claim you read Graeber’s ‘occasionally eye opening’ book, but frankly at this point I simply don’t believe you.

      In addition to Graeber, Michael Hudson has been extensively featured by NC. Hudson literally knows what he’s talking about. I’m generally not big on citing credentials, but Hudson is head of Harvard’s International Scholars Conference on Ancient Near Eastern Economies. He is an expert in the origin of money and debt management, and has the cuneiform tablets to prove his case.

      Your understanding of money is wrong, it just is.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Looking back @ my orders, I bought Debt: The First 5,000 Years the same day in 2011 as I acquired The Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke The World and as I only buy books to judge them by their cover, the former is a bit dull, edge to the latter, which also has 30 more pages, giving it almost doorstop status, but not quite, you really need one of Robert Caro’s LBJ tomes to pull that off.

        I found The Lords of Finance to be a much superior book relating very much to now, not a few thousand years ago, as it sets the table for money backed by nothing, where we are presently. Recommended!

        Reply
        1. skippy

          “Offsetting this, however—and this is the third major distinction to be drawn with the 1920s and 30s—has been the admirable response to the 2008 crisis by central bankers and treasury chiefs. Without their unprecedented moves to ‘inject gigantic amounts of liquidity into the credit market and provide capital to banks’, there is little doubt that the world financial system ‘would have collapsed as dramatically as it did in the 1930s’. This time round, the lords of finance have ‘staved off a catastrophe’—in the words of Time magazine: saved the world. A less complacent reading, however, would suggest that, far from being happily different, the strategy of today’s central bankers has been all too comparable to that of Norman, Strong et al: propping up a broken financial system, itself a product of deeper underlying problems in the real economy. Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve, Mervyn King at the Bank of England and Jean-Claude Trichet at the ecb all shared a penchant for ‘light-touch’ regulation of the hypertrophied financial sector. Greenspan deliberately encouraged the inflation of the us housing bubble, and its spread into sub-prime territory, after the dot.com bust. Bernanke and King ensured that Wall Street and the City of London would dictate the ‘solutions’ to the crisis. All are now pushing for pro-cyclical austerity measures; none have questioned the fundamental design of the banking system. Like Norman, King aimed to keep the pound strong, boosting London’s role in international finance but destroying domestic manufacturing.” – snip

          https://newleftreview.org/issues/II65/articles/tom-mertes-war-crash-slump

          Yeah the same book that lauds the heads of the Fed from the 90s on wards is more relevant than a painstakingly resourced 5000 years of debt – really?

          Reply
        2. skippy

          Additionally I have no idea what your suggesting about not backed by anything, gold was backed by law and not some religious super powers.

          If you have not already I also recommend boning up on the free banking period that proceeds the creation of the Fed.

          You might also consider that the Fed has had basically 3 iterations since its inception, hence ascribing all ills on it without factoring the changes and how they correlate to broader sociopolitical factors is right up there with aliens built the pyramids. Monetarism was thoroughly refuted which gave way to quasi monetarism, yet none of this barley touches any of the broader economic factors which contributes to falling rights or life itself.

          Additionally try Yves book for a more expansive view.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            If you have not already I also recommend boning up on the free banking period that proceeds the creation of the Fed.

            A Nation of Counterfeiters by Stephen Mihm is a fine read on what are known to modern day collectors as ‘Broken Banknotes’ and back in their pre Civil War era, were commonly known as ‘Wildcat Notes’.

            We were never on a pure gold standard for the only currency exchangeable for all that glitters was Gold Certificate banknotes, the dominant money out there being National Currency. Over 13,000 different banks issued their own banknotes from the 1860’s to the 1930’s.

            There were also a half a dozen different other types of banknotes issued as well, United States Notes, Legal Tender Notes, etc.

            Reply
  5. John Beech

    I, for one, am glad the vote in the UK is done. And I hope they move with diligence to wrap things up. All the doomsayers will look stupid when the next banking crisis hits Europe and the UK isn’t on the hook for Italy. Well done, Johnson.

    As for USA’s problems, Horowitz had the opportunity and wiffed.

    Last point, Epstein was killed.

    Reply
    1. c_heale

      Things can’t be just wrapped up because no one can trade on just WTO terms. In any banking crisis the UK is likely to be disproportionately affected due to the size of of its banking sector.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        My understanding is that UK’s banking sector will get considerably smaller. That’s both a penalty and, longer term, likely an advantage of Brexit.

        Your first sentence seems to be the consensus, but it puzzles me. Trade has gone on, sometimes very intensive, for thousands of years – without benefit of “trade agreements” OR the WTO. Those came quite recently, part of the giant scam called “globalization.” I’m very suspicious of their necessity; they appear to mostly benefit imperial corporations.

        That said, they might be necessary now BECAUSE of the consensus, and especially because the aforesaid corporations, which have been allowed to capture the economy, won’t operate without their protection. And of course, the EU is a main vehicle of globalization – and Britain’s most important trade “partner.”

        Full disclosure: this is the issue that drew me into politics; specifically, the battle AGAINST the WTO – which did have the effect of limiting its reach. I’m extremely prejudiced against trade agreements, as I indicated above; and I think there is such a thing as too much trade, and no such thing as Ricardo’s “comparative advantage”. Absolute advantage, based on geography, yes. But as the original theory indicated, comparative advantage depends on both capital and labor being relatively immobile between countries, the opposite of our present situation. Bizarrely, Ricardo is now used to justify freedom of movement for capital – indicating either incompetence or dishonesty.

        Reply
        1. skippy

          The U.S. and the U.K. were the primary drivers of globalist neoliberalism, the U.K.s cake and eat it too inclusion into the single market had more to do with the neoliberal light ordoliberalism than than the E.U. as a construct – Hayek did write two books.

          I would also point out the dominance of U.S. economists in being awarded Nobel prizes, let alone dominate the WTO, IMF, and other anagram institutions during the entire neoliberal pogrom.

          Currant attitudes about not getting bang for buck, shades of U.N. bill back in the day, seems an epic case of Chutzpah.

          Reply
  6. Carolinian

    Following Larison’s link in TAC, the full quote

    “I don’t think it’s appropriate or fair to say that the Obama administration has to take responsibility for what the Trump administration has done,” said Ned Price, a former White House spokesman now with the group National Security Action.[…]

    “It’s undeniable, as we have said, that the Obama administration’s approach did not succeed at limiting and ultimately ending the conflict in Yemen,” said Price. “You won’t find anyone who isn’t heartbroken at the tragedy that has unfolded there.

    Shoot and cry? Good to know that he’s heartbroken though. Hand him a tissue.

    Larison doesn’t bother to point out that Obama admin policies also wrecked Libya and Syria. More tissues. Obama did at least admit that the former (pushed by Hillary) was a mistake. The press have acted to keep his actions in the latter in a deep fog.

    Reply
    1. Ignim Brites

      To bring Syria and Libya into the discussion of failed Obama foreign policy initiatives is to bring the entire regime change strategy into question. Admittedly the Syria and Yemen initiatives are much more part of an anti-Iranian strategy. Where the public is on that is unclear.

      Reply
      1. Deltron

        Fair to say it’s unclear where the public stands on a number of foreign policy issues, or whether the public even comprehends the issues (e.g., Yemen)…and it’s also unclear whether political decision makers care all too much about public perception as to relates to foreign policy…that is, unless/until there are public demonstrations or backlash that the media simply can’t ignore.

        Reply
  7. Jessica

    1) As an outsider, I wonder if Remainers seeing working class Brexiters as fools at best, racists at worst, and showing no interest in what they really wanted played a role in the election disaster.
    2) With Bloomberg already in the Democratic Party primaries in order to prepare an independent run in November if Bernie Sanders gets the nomination, there is a major lesson for Bernie to learn from Corbyn being too soft on the Blairite sabotage.

    Reply
    1. diptherio

      I’m in no position to have an opinion, but this from a Fin (or Swede maybe, I can’t remember) living in the UK sounded awfully familiar:

      The biggest predictor for swing towards Tories was not Brexit vote, but the share of workers in low-skilled jobs.

      Labour used to be based on two basic ways of organising – unions, that gave higher wages and coops, that gave cheaper goods and services. These tangible economic benefits attracted those on low-income.

      Karl Marx book clubs, seminars and podcasts about “Body Politics And Neoliberalism” and demonstrations like “Cops Off Campuses” attract uni folks who overanalyse and underorganise.

      https://social.coop/@LeoSammallahti/103300902192320503

      Reply
    2. Carla

      It’s Democrat voters who need to learn the lesson. The Democrat party works for their funders, not for us. They will do what their funders want, and their funders would much rather lose an election than allow Bernie to be president.

      I hope against hope that when Bernie is blocked from the nomination, he will run as a third party candidate.

      Reply
      1. inode_buddha

        I hope against hope that when Bernie is blocked from the nomination, he will run as a third party candidate.

        You and me both. I hope he runs in the general regardless of the nomination, and gets a overwhelming mahjority even if everyone has to write in.

        I want to see the look on the media’s faces as they all do a collective Karl Rove Meltdown.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          My understanding is that they don’t apply to the Presidential race, which is pre-empted by federal law.

          The practical problem is that it’s a bit late to start – but of course, he has a huge campaign organization and name recognition already.
          \
          Based on 2016, he isn’t interested.

          Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        I would focus on the power relations rather than the formal structures. If Sanders is blocked from the nomination, I would expect the Democrat Party to be fractured — that is, its contradiction between PMC and working class resolved by splitting it in two — and for a permanent and open left electoral presence of national scale to emerge. Because of ballot issues, I’m leery of trying to game out a third party run (and Sanders did sign that loyalty oath (though I assume he was wary enough to have his lawyers look at it to see what freedom of action he really had*)).

        * Adding, I wonder what would happen if the Vermont Democrat Party kicked him out**. Would he then be free of the oath? Text of the pledge: Article VI of the Article VI of the Call for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, mentioned in the Pledge. I’ve read both, and I’m not sure if the case where a candidate who runs, in good faith, as a Democrat, and is then kicked out of the Party, is handled. Maybe some clever lawyer can look at this?

        * By which I mean, “kicked him out,” quote unquote.

        Reply
  8. tegnost

    Re:Labor unrest in mexico…
    Do I sense a connection to the USMCA (NAFTA2.0)
    tens of thousands of workers from the infamous maquiladora sector decided to strike in response to attempts by their employers to dodge raising their wages in accordance with the new law. Maquiladoras are large factories most commonly found in the northern parts of Mexico that produce and export goods into the United States, generally tariff-free. They are dominated by U.S. and other multinational corporations and over the last 40 years have become a central component of global supply chains. They are also known for rampant labor violations.

    Clearly the end of life as we know it starts with $5 a day labor in mexico and $15/hr at McDonalds. To the barricades! On a related note, there are some ridiculously rich mexican nationals in my mom’s tony so cal neighborhood, and they all (gringos and chilangos alike) hire ridiculously poor people to perform their menial labor. The neo’s of each stripe will only be happy when the US, indeed the entire globe (open borders is a corporate wet dream, not a “progressive” one) is like mexico

    Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      “On a related note, there are some ridiculously rich mexican nationals in my mom’s tony so cal neighborhood, and they all (gringos and chilangos alike) hire ridiculously poor people to perform their menial labor.”

      Yup, no one loves to hire and abuse immigrants more than the immigrants that came 20 years prior. I’ve noticed this, also. They very quickly adapt to the idea that their improved standard of living relies on employment and exploitation of those beneath them.

      You’ll notice their own memory of how ‘hard they worked’ and how ‘few opportunities’ they were given gets more dramatic with the passing years.

      This is how a new ‘comprador’ class gets groomed. There’s a niche for more ‘Americanized’ immigrants to act as a liaison to bridge the gap between white people and new arrivals. Their new status relies on a constant stream of new arrivals which require them to broker the relationship with the new wave of cheap labor.

      Reply
      1. RMO

        We had to get up at 1:00 AM, four hours before we went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, clean the lake then work 48 hours a day, 14 days a week AND pay mill owner for permission to come to work – and when we got home out Dad would kill us and dance about on our grave singing hallelujah.

        Reply
  9. Wukchumni

    SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS, Calif. (AP) — Buzzing chainsaws are interrupted by the frequent crash of breaking branches as crews fell towering trees and clear tangled brush in the densely forested Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco.

    Their goal: To protect communities such as Redwood Estates, where giant redwoods loom over the houses of tech workers who live in the wooded community just 20 miles from the heart of Silicon Valley. With California’s increasingly warm, dry and overgrown landscape, wildfire has become a perpetual danger.

    Among the most important tools the state has against fires is to mimic their effects: thinning trees and brush by hand to reduce the amount of vegetation that would become fuel in a fire, and using controlled burns to keep undergrowth and shrub lands in check.

    Yet officials say efforts to make areas such as this road corridor in Northern California more fire safe are undercut by property owners who refuse to let fire crews work on their property. Offered the choice between clearing vegetation-choked areas or retaining greenery that acts as a shield against the din of the nearby highway, a small minority opted for privacy over safety or said they’d do the work themselves.

    That means patches of low-lying shrubs and some thickets of trees will remain when the job wraps up next year. As a result, future fires will retain potential avenues to spread into residential areas and threaten people and property.

    “It’s a chink in the armor,” said Ed Orre, division chief with Cal Fire, the state’s firefighting and fire prevention agency. “If that property catches fire, then you get a chain-reaction, domino effect… It compromises the effectiveness of the entire project.”

    https://www.bakersfield.com/ap/news/forest-thinning-to-stop-wildfires-as-strong-as-weakest-link/article_5c003c5a-3343-533f-bddb-9bd168db2a0e.html

    Reply
  10. xkeyscored

    Does tapping your can of beer really keep it from fizzing all over you? Phys.org.
    I’d never heard of this (the answer appears to be no), but I have heard that in Australia, people will dig a hole a foot or so deep, place their cans in it, add some petrol and light it – and, a few minutes later, their beer is cool!
    Does anyone know
    a) is this true, and
    b) if so, what physical processes are at work here?

    Reply
    1. EricT

      Mythbusters had a show featured around cooling your beer down the fastest.
      (With this myth quickly busted, Adam and Jamie tested other cooling methods. A carbon dioxide fire extinguisher was able to cool a six pack to a satisfactory temperature in approximately 3 minutes. In terms of practicality, though, one’s best bet is to use icy salt water, which cooled the beer to an ideal temperature in 5 minutes. Barring that, normal ice water was next fastest at 15 minutes. The other methods tested (the freezer, ice only, and the refrigerator) did not cool the beer rapidly enough to warrant their use in a spur-of-the-moment event.)

      Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      A British ex-pat friend told me in Africa back in the pre-electric day, bartenders would get cocktails cold by putting them in a tight container with a 2 or 3 foot small rope attached and swing it over your head a bunch.

      FD: I’ve never tried this and typically rely on ice or the fridge to cool my beverages.

      Reply
    3. Tomonthebeach

      After reading the article, I concluded that physicists do no understand fizzicks LOL. Perhaps they do not know how to tap a can.

      As a child, I dropped a can of coke on the floor from waist high. As it rolled across the kitchen floor, I knew that opening it would be like christening an oceanliner – all-foam; no coke; no big mess. A playmate grabbed the can, using her thumb and middle finger, she snapped the top of the can smartly dead-center. She then opened the can and poured out the contents without a hint of excess fizz. Wow! I have since repeated the feat numerous times myself over many decades and it has always worked – no explosive shower of fizzy soda. Perhaps the experimental design applied in this study was flawed.

      As for beer, I only tried it once, on a Budweiser, and it worked. Not sure if it would work on all beers as they have a more dense content. I normally drink bottled beers like Leffe and Dogfishhead. I expect that the different container mitigates the fizzy-physics of can snaps. :-)

      Reply
  11. Summer

    Re: Byline Times / Johnson victory / how to survive

    “By 2013, Vladimir Putin was already planning how to break up the EU and had started up his troll farms…”

    Hey, has anyone ever asked Russia to join the EU? Why not give it a shot?

    Reply
      1. Trent

        Putin would have to be out of the picture for that to happen. The leaders in the west do not like him because from what I’ve read he put an end to the looting they were doing to Russia in the 90’s. Funny I was paging thru a copy of the economist I still have from December 2007 and they was an article stating that even though Dimitri medved was taking over for Putin, as long as Putin was still a part of the government it was bad for the world, Russia and democracy.

        Reply
        1. RMO

          At one point Russia did ask about joining NATO – the fact they were ignored is telling. Gotta have an enemy in order to justify things.

          Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The EU.

      Continents, I recall reading this here recently, artificial constructs or based on arbitration divisions. Even based on what is commonly known, there have been always questions about whether Russia orTurkey, among others perhaps, are an Asian or a European country.

      If Asian, then perhaps the EU is not a place to be.

      But why exclude Asian or African countries from the EU? Why not include them? Why not let Thailand, say, join?

      Reply
  12. Jessica

    Who will replace Jeremy Corbyn? Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey are favourites to be NEXT leader of Labour amid battle between Corbynites and centrists for soul of the party Daily Mail.
    “A battle that should have been joined as soon as Corbyn assumed the leadership, IMNSHO.” (Lambert, I assume)

    Boy do I find myself wishing that Bernie had had it out with the neoliberal faction of the Democratic Party in 2016. He was nice to them and in return Clinton lies about him and Bloomberg is running in the primaries to pave the way for an independent run if Bernie gets the nomination.

    Reply
      1. MK

        Ahhhh, but consider that all doomberg really needs to do is prevent Bernie (or Liz) from getting 50.1% on the first ballot. After that, the “super”delagates get their say, and that’s really all Mike is looking for. Keeping Bernie & Liz out of the final race next year.

        Still fun to watch him have to burn hundreds of millions, if not billions, just for that. OTOH, he could just ‘gift’ a thousand dollars to each D registered voter and probably get more votes than he will now. (Is that legal if there is no quid pro quo??)

        Reply
        1. Louis Fyne

          Keeping the current estate tax-capital gains tax-no financial trading tax would be win enough for Mike.

          Though I’m sure Bloomberg would be happy to be named ambassador to the UK or France

          Reply
      2. Louis Fyne

        to be cynical/Machiavellian—it’s a feature, not a bug.

        Bloomberg’s strategy isn’t to win—-just be a kamikaze pilot who prevents a win by Sanders or Warren.

        your mileage may vary. (or of course, Mike is really that out-of-touch and arrogant to think that he’ll waltz to the White House on the back of a massive ad buy)

        Reply
        1. Jessica

          An experiment to see what the algo does and doesn’t allow:
          And if he doesn’t block a Sanders nomination, Bloomberg can grab any old some excuse then pivot to an independent run. Whatever he says, it will be amplified by the media.
          He does not even need to run in all 50 states. Only the ones Bernie might carry.
          Sigh. May I be wrong about this.

          Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Boy do I find myself wishing that Bernie had had it out with the neoliberal faction of the Democratic Party in 2016

      I think Sanders likes to win. I don’t think he had the organization to do that in 2016.

      Reply
  13. JohnnyGL

    Glenn Greenwald’s piece should be considered a must-read.

    He puts it all together, wraps it up and puts a bow on the litany of 4th amendment destruction that took place.

    The fake news media is faker than you thought. Federal bureaucracy is more rotten than you thought.

    Reply
    1. trent

      “The fake news media is faker than you thought. Federal bureaucracy is more rotten than you thought.”

      Actually no, though I’ve been called too cynical. Seems to me just assume they are lying and you’ll be proven right almost 100% of the time. Its worked the past ten years. Justice, honor, love, compassion, these are all just magic we are taught about thru movies and so forth. You grow up and realize its a fairy tale. If everything is a cycle, then just assume we are at the very bottom of the honesty or honor cycle.

      Reply
      1. notabanker

        I’m with you. I can’t watch cable “news” for more than 2 minutes without moving on in disgust. It’s not even subtle choosing of stories to report anymore. It’s just an infinite stream of talking heads telling you what you should believe. 100% pure propaganda.

        Reply
    2. JP

      I always thought of the deep state as the dept. of agriculture and the FBI/CIA as the police state. The police state along with the pentagon are secret societies. They have enormous power, therefore absolutely potentially corrupt. Trump claims to be injured by these agencies but, as with the media, he will be happy to appropriate them, not bring them to heel.

      We can all be aghast at the police state doing what it was designed to do but if you think they were evil to want to take out Trump, wait until you see what they can accomplish when there is a sixth rightwing supreme justice to avert the coming socialist take over.

      Reply
  14. anon in so cal

    Paul Embry (Firefighter, Trade Unionist) “My first thoughts for @UnHerd on the election:

    https://twitter.com/PaulEmbery/status/1205469523538825218?s=20

    “So there we have it. It turns out that the British working-class was not, in the end, willing to throw its weight behind a London-centric, youth-obsessed, middle-class party that preached the gospels of liberal cosmopolitanism and class war. Who’d have thought it?

    Well, me for a start. And plenty of others who had been loyal to the party over many years and desperately wanted to see a Labour government, only to be dismissed as ‘reactionaries’ who held a ‘nostalgic’ view of the working-class.

    It barely needs saying that these election results are an utter catastrophe for Labour. For the party to have failed to dislodge the Tories after nearly a decade of austerity and three years of political chaos is bad enough. But for the so-called Red Wall to have crumbled so spectacularly underlines the sheer scale of the failure. Bolsover, Blyth Valley, Leigh, Redcar, Don Valley, Sedgefield, Burnley, Great Grimsby, Wrexham — just a few of the long-time Labour strongholds in traditional working-class areas which have fallen to the Tories.

    Labour’s meltdown in these places will come as no surprise to anyone who was paying attention and wasn’t blinded by ideology or fanaticism. Some of us had long warned that working-class voters across post-industrial and small-town Britain were becoming increasingly alienated from the party. But we were banging our heads against a brick wall. When many in the party were bathing in the afterglow of the 2017 general election, we tried to remind them that not only had Labour, in fact, lost that election, there had been a swing to the Tories in many of the party’s heartland seats.

    We sounded the alarm bells again earlier this year when, in the local and European elections, Labour haemorrhaged support in several working-class communities across the north and Midlands.
    But the woke liberals and Toytown revolutionaries who now dominate the party didn’t listen to us. They truly thought that ‘one more heave’ would bring victory. They believed that constantly hammering on about economic inequality would be enough to get Labour over the line. In doing so, they made a major miscalculation: they failed to grasp that working-class voters desire something more than just economic security; they want cultural security too.

    They want politicians to respect their way of life, and their sense of place and belonging; to elevate real-world concepts such as work, family and community over nebulous constructs like ‘diversity’, ‘equality’ and ‘inclusivity’. By immersing itself in the destructive creed of identity politics and championing policies such as open borders, Labour placed itself on a completely different wavelength to millions across provincial Britain without whose support it simply could not win power. In the end, Labour was losing a cultural war that it didn’t even realise it was fighting.”

    https://unherd.com/2019/12/is-this-the-end-for-labour/

    Reply
      1. diptherio

        Not sure what kids you’re quoting…College Republicans, maybe? The “kids” I ride with reserve some of their mockery for woke liberals, but that particular catch phrase started out with Milo Y, ya know, and is current popular mostly with Ben Shapiro viewers.

        Reply
    1. MK

      Reading your comments, you could apply the same to the US 2016 election. The new neo-liberal Democrat party no longer appeals to the working stiffs in PA, MI, WI, MN, etc. No surprise to those of us living amongst the non-elite.

      Reply
  15. anon in so cal

    Things not looking good: going after The Canary, etc.:

    Neil Clark: “This is very chilling. A Tory government appointed ‘Tsar’ to instigate an investigation into a leading left-wing, pro-Corbyn website under the guise of countering ‘antisemitism.”

    Lord John Mann: “I can this morning announce that as government advisor on antisemitism that I will be instigating an investigation this January into the role of the Canary and other websites in the growth of antisemitism in the United Kingdom.”

    Reply
    1. Harvey

      Of course they are. News outlets that expose the looting of of western countries will be shut down. The NHS will gradually become like the US health system. In the interests of efficiency of course.

      No western country will elect a social democrat government from now on. The oligarchs and their net of military and intelligence operatives have put laws in place to make oligarchs and their security detail untouchable, no matter what laws they break. And they know it.

      For example, in Australia, the land of beaches and sunshine and barbeques, people can now be disappeared. Who’d have thunk it?

      Reply
  16. Wukchumni

    I’d mentioned yesterday, how i’d noticed there was a compassion gap when it came to the homeless. There’s growing frustration over our ‘untouchables’.

    They came to take the homeless to a concentration camp, but I didn’t know any of them and the fact is most of them lived in utter squalor and seemed more of a vector for disease.

    Then they came for those deep in arrears to put them in a debtors concentration camp, but I didn’t know any of them, and they should have been more careful with their finances.

    Then they came for those with thoughts that could be considered out of the mainstream according to their views. I should have known better.

    From President Donald Trump down, there is also a growing sense of compassion fatigue — that despite a lot of government effort, good will and money, homelessness isn’t improving much and is leading to a decline in quality of life in big cities, for people with and without homes.

    A new report by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty Law found that since 2016, 187 cities had passed ordinances outlawing sleeping in cars, sleeping in public, camping in public or other behaviors of the homeless. While Imperial Beach was not mentioned in the report, it recently toughened its rules on homelessness.

    Meanwhile, dozens of local jurisdictions in Western states have signed onto or written their own amicus briefs backing the city of Boise, Idaho, in its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals that found a city law banning sleeping in public when no shelter was available was so cruel as to be unconstitutional. The briefs argue that the ruling creates a right to shelter that governments can’t afford and encourages behavior by homeless people that has led to parts of cities becoming squalid threats to public health.

    A turning point came in September when Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas — whom Gov. Gavin Newsom had appointed to co-chair a state homelessness task force — was the decisive vote to support Boise’s appeal. “I’m simply fed up,” he said in a statement. “The status quo [of large homeless camps] is untenable.” Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer filed a brief backing the appeal without approval from the mayor and council there. San Diego County supervisors also supported the effort, but San Diego city officials did not.

    https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/editorials/story/2019-12-11/homelessness-frustration-san-diego-boise-appeal

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      Of course, no “root cause analysis.” Just round them up and push them out.

      Why are millions homeless, again? “I love the smell of brioche in the morning. It smells like Success!”

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        The root cause would seem to be stagnated salaries since the 90’s, combined with skyrocketing real estate resulting in onerous home ownership possibilities for many, combined with rents that eat up more than you make.

        Ok, got that.

        The one given that counties can count to keep on keeping on is property tax, nobody that owns a home blows that off, and it’s a metric ton of money in the Golden State.

        You can sense a ‘there goes the neighborhood’ feel to many an avenue where the portable peed-à-terre spec domiciles have almsteaded next to Bob & Betty Bitchin’.

        Reply
    2. Steve H.

      I was the opening speaker at last night’s “Help A Hoosier”, which is an annual talent show for people who are homeless and/or in recovery. The emcees gave the number of homeless in our city at a little under 400, roughly about a half-percent of our local population. About a tenth of them were in the audience.

      The first contestant read a poem he’d written, including a scene at what I called Overdose Park, of college students coming down, looking for Adderall (“I’ve got a test tomorrow”). The people there clearly felt lucky and supportive of each other, an elite of untouchables. They know damn well they’re a moment away from collapse, in a town with great resources for them. All of them got something makes it hard for them, beyond circumstance and addiction. I talked to the poet about doing instant poems at the street fairs, there are booths set up, but he was embarrassed ’cause he can’t spell. Three of twelve performers did not show up.

      The weasel word in the article you post is ‘government’. Local government has to cope with this- San Diego has about the same percent of population as we do, but for them that makes an eight thousand person town as an unregulated zone within their area of responsibility. Local residents have to cope with more crime, and businesses have it hard with homeless in the doorway. On a local strategic level, this town sells hope – our two main industries are higher education and medical care. Hopelessness is inimical.

      ‘Government’ should be extended to a Federal level, since it was Reagan that wiped out the mental hospitals. That put people on the street, add in the Sackler scheme, top it with Obama and the foreclosure crisis, and you have pitted the desperate against the near-desperate. This is an unsolvable problem at a local level, maybe at a state level. In fact, Ridley-Thomas uses an extraordinarily precise term; “untenable” derives from the same root as ‘tenant’, with a meaning of keep, hold, fit for habitation. That’s the root issue.

      Reply
  17. Mike

    Re: Johnson victory, Brexit, and Social Democrats of the World

    1) Clowns, Comedians, Crackpots are now being thrown into the pot of namby-pamby liberalism to see what comes of the explosion. Common voters are done with nuance, and have voted for that which will blow things up while keeping a thin veneer of normalcy.

    2) Brexit will, and now, according to voters, should be completely wrapped up ASAP. If carried to Boris’s ultimate conclusion, Britain and what is left of the UK will be totally integrated with USA to stamp out any possibility of Left inclusion in government, let alone victory to control government.

    3) Social Democracy has, since 1914, shown its true colors as decisively full of betrayers of the working class, and undecisive when it is not a class issue. They should be washed away in Europe within 5 years. Blair and Blairites will win the battle to make Labour the Democratic Party, and Europe will continue down the road of austerity (unless you have an offshore account or two).

    To prognosticate the parallels for the USA, if we think Bernie will have any chance of winning within the DP, he will be Dealey Plaza’d before his term is out. Further, any moderate stance against this onslaught from the Right will be crushed. We have entered a “which side are you on?” time, a time of decision that will cost us something – peace of mind and normalcy included.

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      Then the people must hold hostages to make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s the only language the aristocracy understands: loss aversion.

      Reply
    2. Yves Smith

      UK can’t be integrated into the US. They will be made to open their country to US ag products and let US PE firms take over NHS functions, but there’s not much they could sell that we would buy.

      Reply
  18. Wukchumni

    Was the antidote, the rare Corbyd now extinct from politics, down and out, etc.

    p.s.

    Loved the mice & mien photo, looked like Ali & Frazier in the 9th round.

    Reply
    1. polecat

      True that. Or to use a different metaphor : Labor as encased in Corbynite for the immediate long term as the T-Hutts have a field day.

      Reply
  19. Wukchumni

    Nadler: Ends session; tells lawmakers to ‘search their conscience’ before vote USA Today.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Man is devoured by the reproaches of his conscience.”

    Švejk

    Reply
  20. Wukchumni

    Garçon, I’ll have the special: tossed word salad with Russian dressing please, and can we move this table so it’s not so close to the restrooms?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    People Are Flushing Toilets 10 Times, 15 Times McSweeny’s

    Reply
  21. Danny

    Labour loses the working classes…

    Laborers are sick of wage, benefits and other competition from Labour sponsored immigration perhaps?

    Reply
    1. Jokerstein

      Indeed – Blair deliberately and openly initiated a tide of immigration that has hurt, is still hurting, and will continue to hurt the laboring classes. In addition, these classes tend to be very strong nationalists, so *xenophobia is on the rise too.

      *Interesting language, Greek. It’s the only language where the word for foreigner is the same as the word for guest, xenos. As in xenophobia – fear and hatred of guests.

      Michael Flanders

      Reply
  22. polecat

    Since there appears to be no shortage of heavy crude & poultry, there is no reason not to apply a most unsoothing salve to those so deserved of such application.
    … of course, they could All be tossed into that pit in La Brea .. from what I can grok, it’s in need of moar fossils.

    Reply
  23. mrsyk

    A black crow from the UK this morning indeed. US 2020 take note. The successful torpedoing of Corbyn by the intelligence community and their MSM servants will be replayed in spades here. The donor class and their political establishment lackeys will never allow a Sanders presidency. I can see no record of Bloomberg having taken the “Loyalty Pledge”. Hillary is poised to jump in, and if that blows up Bloomberg will run as an independent. Add in voter suppression and digital balloting and it’s a stiff headwind for sure.

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      > Bloomberg will run as an independent

      He can campaign as a pumpkin-spice latte from now until 2024, but he ain’t getting on the ballot in the 46 states whose sore-loser laws would prohibit him from running in the general under a different banner than he filed for in the primary. There’s the extremely improbable possibility he might throw his weight around and bust those laws in enough states to matter, which wouldn’t be the absolute worst outcome going forward for us, which is why it’s extremely improbable.

      Reply
    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The successful torpedoing of Corbyn by the intelligence community and their MSM servants will be replayed in spades here.

      I think the left very much needs not to act like Clintonites and blame outside forces and fail to engage in self-reflection/self-criticism. It is true that the press, the intelligence agencies, and back-stabbing Blairites all opposed Corbyn, and that their anti-semitism smear was particularly vile and damaging (and has now hopped the Atlantic).

      However, IMNSHO the primary cause of the Labour debacle was a fundamental contradiction in Labour’s base: Half — I’m daubing a very crude picture here, corrections welcome — were London-based PMC or PMC-aspirational Remainers, who for several years vociferously tried to cancel the other half of Labour’s base, “Red Wall” Leavers, for being racist and stupid*. The result was that those Red Wall voters who couldn’t bring themselves to vote Tory stayed home, with results that we see.

      That contradiction was there for Corbyn, as party leader, to solve. Corbyn tried to paper over that contradiction instead of dealing with it (all the more tragic because Corbyn was, IIRC, a Leaver based on his view of the EU as a neoliberal moloch). IMNSHO (caveats as above), a stripped-down, lean and mean, working-class focused and driven Labour Party, if created immediately upon Corbyn’s ascension, would have been far more effective electorally and politically than the Labour Party of today. Defenestrate all the Blairites as the class enemies they are with open party warfare; seize the Leave banner from Tories while promising an end to austerity and saving the NHS, repeat, repeat, repeat, organize, organize, organize, and at least you end up with a Labour Party that’s a force**. Instead, “this pudding has no theme.” Where do the Blairites go? Let them poison the Tories or the LibDems? Where does the PMC go? They have no place to go. So enough of them would hold their noses and vote Labour.

      Instead, Corbyn — a genuinely good person, makes his own jam from his allotment — gets smeared as an anti-Semite, wrecks an entire political Party, and hands a weapon to every Trump and Biden in the world. That’s what you get for playing nice….

      NOTE * The parallels to the Democrat Party are obvious — assuming I’m not projecting.

      NOTE ** To be fair, Blair, I am sure, decapitated Labour’s ability to organize. Corbyn would have had to hand over a lot of power to bright, ambitious, inexperienced young persons who understand their interests and wouldn’t know where a Starbucks is. “You must do it, Catullus, you must do it. You must do it whether it can be done or not.

      Reply
  24. Roy G

    Re: UK election results, how appropriate it happened on the eve of the release of London Calling by The Clash. One can only imagine what Joe Strummer would say about the current state of affairs.

    Sadly, we don’t have many musicians these days willing to speak truth to power, or give voice to the dispossessed.

    Reply
  25. The Rev Kev

    “Zelensky lacks potential to hack through Gordian knot of Ukrainian conflict — analyst”

    It is not so much that Zelensky is finding it hard to find a negotiated peace but it is impossible because of the ultra-right elements that have established themselves ever since the putsch. Also, it is not so much that he might be voted out over this issue but that he might be actually killed by these elements – elements like the Azov Regiments who refuse to take his orders. From what I have read, the Ukrainian military do not have the wherewithal to actually conquer the Donbass regions. And if they tried to invade and it looked like they might do it, then guaranteed that the Russian military would do mass air and artillery strikes to obliterate the Ukrainian formations.

    But it is not the Donbass military that is a threat to the Ukraine but formations like the Azov Regiments themselves. That is why that two of the seven brigades of the elite Airmobile Forces are stationed close to Kiev while the rest are scattered around the country – to form an internal security force against these extremist formations. The Ukrainian Army has no love for these hard-right formations in any case and several time there have been firefights between them and the regualr military on the Donbass front. Unless something major changes, the best Zelensky can hope for is the status quo.

    Reply

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