Links 12/26/19

Bank robbery suspect threw stolen money and wished everyone a ‘Merry Christmas,’ witness said CNN. Hero.

In Asia Pacific the climate crisis is happening now, not in the future CNN

Cattle have stopped breeding, koalas die of thirst: A vet’s hellish diary of climate change Sidney Morning Herald

Notre Dame rector: Fragile cathedral might not be saved AP


UK at ‘end of queue’ for data deal with Brussels FT

UK must pay for it! Varadkar REFUSES to help Boris with Brexit bridge in huge blow to PM Express

Latest Bid by France’s Macron to Quell Protests Over Neoliberal Pension Scheme Fails as Strikes Continue Common Dreams. Again, miserably inadequate mainstream coverage.

France strike leaves transport disrupted on Christmas Eve New Europe. The last paragraph should be the lead, on this and other stories.

Tutu revolt – French ballet dancers mount artful protest Agence France Presse


No Demonstrator Fatigue Yet in Hong Kong Asia Sentinel

Selfish rioters have ruined Christmas: Carrie Lam RTHK

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Corporate defaults in China surge in 2019 to record high $18.6bn FT

Worthless Product from China Factories and the Reasons for That China Law Blog. The flip side of the coin above.

China envoy warns EU against curbs on companies FT

China Cancels ‘Hukou’ Requirements for Cities of Under 3 Million Sixth Tone. Big news!

Why Japan Is Obsessed With Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas Smithsonian

Jomon revival Japan Times

Malaysia imposes anti-dumping duties on China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam steel imports Reuters


How Trump Can Reach a New Iran Deal The National Interest

Iraq 2020: What will happen to the protest movement? Middle East Eye

Iraq: New election law paves way for more independent candidates Deutsche Welle

The Afghanistan Papers – TTG Sic Semper Tyrannis

Bolivia’s coup Le Monde Diplomatique

Bolivian Free Territory of Chapare Ousted the Coup Regime, Braces for Bloody Re-invasion Orinoco Tribune. Not quite sure of the provenance on this one…


Citizenship Act protests: 16 people killed in Uttar Pradesh, 131 arrested in just one district

Why Hindutva is a pariah in world opinion Indian Punchline


The Articles of Impeachment Should Have Been These Instead Ted Rall. But they aren’t, so from this point forward, all that is impeachable is what’s in Pelosi’s two articles. Good job!

Why DER SPIEGEL Stands Behind Its Magnitsky Reporting Der Spiegel

Trump Transition

The Ballad of Don and Nancy Politico


California voters could no longer be registered with their prefered political party KSBY. Important!

U.S. Cybercom contemplates information warfare to counter Russian interference in 2020 election WaPo. Let’s skip the next few rounds of moral panics, bite the bullet, and just have the intelligence community officially certify the election results. That’s where all this is heading. Or the military–

Election officials learn military mindset ahead of 2020 vote AP. The militarism is beyond belief. And you know this is all in bad faith, because there’s no mention of hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public. Grifters gotta grift.

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Joe Biden releases doctor’s letter revealing 77-year-old has atrial fibrillation, takes heart, cholesterol and acid reflux medication – but is ‘healthy, vigorous’ and fit to be president Daily Mail

How Bernie Sanders Learned to Love Campaigning in California NYT

The ‘Bernie Blackout’ Is Just Getting Ridiculous Now Truthdig

How the Democratic Party Learned to Wage Class Warfare The New Republic. ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

McConnell flexes reelection muscle with $1B gift for Kentucky The Hill

The Medium Is the Mistake NYRB. Review of Taibbi’s Hate, Inc.

Health Care

Crisis Looms in Antibiotics as Drug Makers Go Bankrupt NYT. Well, they can use fish antibiotics. The magic of the marketplace!

U.S. diabetes patients turn to ‘black market’ for medications, supplies Reuters

What It Looks Like When a Hospital We Investigated Erases $11.9 Million in Medical Debt Pro Publica (Re Silc).

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Mysterious drones flying nighttime patterns over northeast Colorado leave local law enforcement stumped Denver Post

Realignment and Legitimacy

In aftermath of Ukraine crisis, a climate of mistrust and threats WaPo. “But the jarring developments over the past three months have also exposed the extent to which the national security establishment and the values that have traditionally guided American foreign policy are facing an extraordinary trial of their own under Trump’s presidency.” “Traditionally” is doing more work there than any mere adverb should ever be called upon to do.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Ramsey Orta filmed the killing of Eric Garner, so the police punished him The Verge

Guillotine Watch

“OxySacklers” angry that Tufts removed family name from campus Ars Technica (Re Silc). “Contrary to basic notions of fairness.”

Class Warfare

How the rich plan to rule a burning planet Red Flag. Jackpot!

Property owner asks homeless Oakland mothers to leave vacant house San Francisco Chronicle (MoBee). “The real estate investment firm Wedgewood said it is partnering with the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Shelter 37 to provide training and job opportunities to at-risk Oakland residents and potentially sell the property at 2928 Magnolia St. to a first-time homebuyer.” Uh huh [nods vigorously]. More on the NGO from Boots Riley here (and here).

Wheeling Island’s Keeper of the Bees Belt Magazine

Why drink is the secret to humanity’s success FT. From 2018, still germane.

Antidote du jour (original; via):

Bonus antidote, drama at an elephant sanctuary. Thread:

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.