Links 1/13/2020

Nation’s defense contractors promise no attack against US will go unprofitable Duffel Blog

‘Techlash’ Hits College Campuses NYT

History of Mel Brooks: Both Parts Jewish Review of Books

Cashmere country: the perils of making the world’s finest fabric Guardian

‘Help me!’ A young girl’s sign in car window isn’t what it seems, California cops say Sac Bee

New Lithium-Oxygen Battery Could One Day Power Electric Cars NBC UserFriendly: “They could…. if you thought the problem with Lithium Ion Batteries was they weren’t explosive enough.”

Federal court stops longline fishing to protect turtles off California coast LA Times

The tortoise whose rampant sex drive helped save his species is finally retiring WaPo

Before you hit ‘share’ on that cute animal photo, consider the harm it can cause The Conversation

On the Waterfronts The Baffler

Taal volcano eruption forces thousands to seek safer ground in the Philippines WaPo

An Airline Required a Woman to Take a Pregnancy Test to Fly to This U.S. Island WSJ

Class Warfare

The 1% are much more satisfied with their lives than everyone else, survey finds WaPo (Dr. Kevin)

More States Are Reconsidering Medicaid Work Requirements TruthOut

City knew ferries have been for the rich since day one, documents reveal NY Post

Against meal kits Salon. Common sense – do people really need to be told this? Isn’t it self-evident? I can understand the allure of takeaway, but….this is ridiculous. And people pay for this ‘service’?

Reporting Recipe: How to Investigate Professors’ Conflicts of Interest ProPublica. I don’t expect readers to rush out and do any reporting, but the questions asked in this article are useful to consider when evaluating the evidence offered by experts cited in any  context.

Health Care

For Her Head Cold, Insurer Coughed Up $25,865 Kaiser Health News

High Drug Prices? Pharma Startup Thinks It Has the Right Medicine WSJ

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Google search data used by pharma giant to bombard users with ads for addictive opioids ABC (Australia) (MCC)

Wild West: Firms interpret California’s privacy law as they see fit Politico

737 MAX

Blackout Bug: Boeing 737 cockpit screens go blank if pilots land on specific runways The Register (chuck l)

Syraqistan

A Dangerous New Era in the Middle East Der Spiegel

Iran: Mass protests call for leaders to resign Deutsche Welle

“Iran Must Begin Acting Like A Normal Nation,” Says Totally Normal Nation Caitlin Johnstone

Trump’s Iran adventure has Japan over a barrel Asia Times (The Rev Kev)

Heads of Libya’s warring sides to hold talks in Russia Al Jazeera

Macron meets with African leaders to boost fight against jihadists in Sahel France 24

Megxit

Prince Charles has Duchy Originals – who’s to say Harry and Meghan can’t have their own global enterprise? Independent

Turkey

Erdogan’s dream, Istanbul’s nightmare Qantara

Australia Apocalypse

Australia fires: Aboriginal planners say the bush ‘needs to burn’ BBC

Australia’s fires have pumped out more emissions than 100 nations combined MIT Technology Review

Australia fires: PM admits mistakes in handling of crisis BBC

Even for an air pollution historian like me, these past weeks have been a shock The Conversation

India

Iran Crisis: India-US Defence Pacts May Limit Ability to Say ‘No’ to Military Assistance The Wire

The Limits of Hindutva Jacobin

Nehru’s idea of India is under attack from the nationalist right FT

India Is Abandoning Fundamental Rights, Say US Human Rights Lawyers The Wire

Startups cutting employee costs Economic Times

Trump Transition

Rand Paul says Trump keeps appointing advisers who “love Dick Cheney’s position” Axios

Democrats scramble to rein in Trump’s Iran war powers The Hill

EPA’s Superfund program, a Trump priority, is in shambles Grist

Waste Watch

How do I choose a more climate-friendly phone? Grist

2020

As 2020 Race Heats Up Ahead of Primaries and Caucuses, Sanders Surrogate Argues Biden ‘Has Repeatedly Betrayed Black Voters’ Common Dreams

How Bernie Sanders would upend America’s global role WaPo (UserFriendly)

Joe Biden’s Vote for War NYT (KC)

Warren, Sanders campaigns spar in rare show of discord between progressive Democratic contenders Reuters

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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191 comments

  1. xkeyscored

    “Iran: Mass protests call for leaders to resign” – Deutsche Welle
    The BBC telly’s been leading today with the massive anti-government protests sweeping Iran, with demonstrators tearing down and defacing pictures of Soleimani and so on.
    Yet the pictures accompanying this propaganda (as I see it) tell another story. Compared to the undeniably enormous crowds we saw for Soleimani’s funeral, these ‘crowds’ look small and sparse; though the camera does its best to fill the screen with them, there’s empty streets a few metres back.
    The photos in the Deutsche Welle article give the same impression, and they claim “About 3,000 people took part in protests at Azadi Square in western Tehran.” Compare that with “Hundreds of thousands of mourners gathered for the funeral of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani,” from the same news outlet a few days earlier, and compare the photos. (Spoiler alert: no comparison.)

    Reply
      1. rusti

        I’ll give the same link I gave in yesterday’s comments since I was a bit late out of the gate and Skynet seems to have a personal grudge against me. The statement issued by the students demonstrating in Amir Kabir University in Iran.

        From what I can gather there is a tremendous amount of resentment among the liberal educated classes about how the Grand Satan is always used as an excuse for domestic repression by corrupt thugs of the IRGC. The violent deaths of a plane full of people fitting the educated liberal demographic was a huge shock and embarrassment and felt like a tipping point for many of them, but they realize that the neocons don’t have their best interests in mind (for the most part, there are some dumb or desperate enough to think otherwise). It seems like they are in a tough spot because the powers that be have smashed anything resembling an organized, viable opposition. The MEK (Mojahedin-e Khalq) is an absolute joke with zero domestic support that only idiot Gulf monarchies and American Intelligence could consider viable.

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          Sounds like we should leave Iran alone and maybe things will get better. And I have no doubt that many young people are frustrated, but 3000 demonstrators do not a regime overthrow make–not in a country of 70 million.

          There are certain subjects on which our news media can absolutely not be trusted and Iran is one of them. By overplaying the protests they are simply pushing the Pompeo line.

          Reply
          1. xkeyscored

            Even if 3000 could overthrow the government, it’s by no means clear that the next one would be to the USA’s liking. From the students’ statement rusti linked to:
            “Today, we are surrounded by “evil” from every quarter. … During the past few years, America’s presence in the Middle East has produced nothing but increasing insecurity and chaos. Our approach towards that aggressive power is quite clear. … The problem is compounded by the fact that outside the borders of the country, with the financial and media assistance of powerful states, some corrupt and totally dependent opposition groups have been formed. Yes, today, we are surrounded by evil from every direction.”

            Reply
          2. mpalomar

            “3000 does not a regime overthrow make.”
            – Kermit R or his present iteration might pull it off, though of course US interests in Iran are not as robust as they once were; represented by a Swiss envoy since, well er that little event 40 years back.

            The UK ambassador, as senior but subservient partner stand-in has been diligently fomenting. The media coverage as far as I can tell, paywalled and disencabled, has been abysmal. How is it that the US doesn’t own the lion’s share of this tragedy?

            Reply
          3. Joseph

            Conspicuously absent from the Deutsche Welle article is any mention of US sanctions that have devastated Iran’s economy and accelerated inflation since the Americans pulled out of the JCPOA in 2018. Protests over economic hardship, instability, and skyrocketing fuel prices fomented by US sanctions are absent from the mainstream discourse about “supporting” the Iranian people.

            Should the US have the unilateral power to impose sanctions on sovereign countries? Don’t imagine we will be having that discussion on a mainstream news channel anytime soon.

            Reply
      2. timbers

        When was a kid, I recall TV movies about J Edgar Hoover, showing what a…shall we day…very unnaturally bad person he was.

        When I became older, it seemed not uncommon knowledge among the better informed who followed politics, that the CIA had assets stationed in newsrooms throughout the world including Europe. Mostly to fight communism.

        When the the Soviet Union fell, I guess we assumed the assets went away, their job done. But they were probably just re-purposed and augmented.

        Today, if you try to tell a Team Blue person how the CIA and FBI controls the corporate media and what we see on the press, they look at you as if you had 2 heads and usually call you a conspiracy theorists. The FBI and CIA are now heroes again.

        And everything in America is good, and right.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          “Assets” from the Cold War era would be retired or dead by now. The question is whether the PROGRAM continues; as you say, there’s no reason to think it didn’t. Given what we see on the MSM, it seems almost certain.

          Reply
      3. anon in so cal

        Gina Haspel initiated CIA “train and assist” activities in Iran following the CIA’s Operation Dark Prince, which commenced 2017.

        Reply
    1. pjay

      Yes. Sadly, in an article ostensibly about such a tragic subject, there are a lot of laughs — particularly any time a Western official is quoted (from Trump on down). The humanitarian concern for the Iranian people is quite touching.

      Reply
      1. xkeyscored

        As far as BBC radio and TV humanitarian concern, they almost ignored the 82 Iranian dead until today, focusing instead almost entirely on the 63 Canadians, with plenty of interviews with relatives and statements from Trudeau and so on. It took these massive anti-government protests to shift their perspective eastwards.

        Reply
          1. Felix_47

            Almost all middle class and educated Iranians are either out or getting ready to get out. Like Afghanistan and Pakistan it is a wholesale Exodus to the west.

            Reply
            1. steelyman

              All educated Iranians are out or on their way out?

              So all those Iranian ballistic missiles and their domestic nuclear power program was/is created, built, and maintained by Russians? North Koreans? Chinese? Maybe Ukrainian dissidents?

              All the drones built and deployed by Iran (reverse engineered or otherwise) were the result of what? Legacy tech from the era of the last Shah?

              Reply
    2. anon in so cal

      Trump’s options in Iran:

      “A rekindled anti-US insurgency in Iraq, and various forms of ambiguous/deniable retaliation for the murder of Gen. Soleimani throughout the region and the world, will force Trump up the escalation ladder. Iran, and the larger eject-the-US-from-the-Mideast project, will not back down, though they may occasionally stage tactical retreats for appearance’s sake. The only way Trump could “win” would be by completely destroying Iran. Even if Russia and China allowed that, an unlikely prospect, Trump or any US president who “won” that kind of war would be remembered as the worst war criminal in world history, and the US would lose all its soft power and with it its empire…..

      …So Trump or whoever follows him will eventually face a choice: Accept defeat and withdraw all American bases and forces in the region; or continue up an escalation ladder that inexorably leads to World War III. The higher up the ladder he goes, the harder it will be to jump off….”

      https://www.unz.com/kbarrett/trumps-killing-of-soleimani-new-worst-mistake-in-us-history/

      Reply
    3. Jon Cloke

      Perhaps Iran should do what Reagan did after the USS Vincennes shot down that Iranian air-liner in the Gulf in 1988 – say it was a tragedy but defend the action on security grounds, then promote the man in charge of the missile battery and give him a medal..

      Reply
  2. Darius

    Warren dutifully takes a high profile role in the establishment effort to take down Sanders. She’s a boot licker. Another Obama. I dislike her more every day.

    Reply
    1. voteforno6

      Nah, it’s just some political gamesmanship. This sort of thing goes on in every campaign. The only people that get really spun up about that sort of thing are those that are already heavily invested in the campaign. Some in the media might try to make more of it than is warranted, but they’ll eventually get distracted by some other shiny object (which tends to happen a lot during the Age of Trump).

      Reply
      1. Grant

        I think it says a lot about her. Bernie wouldn’t do nonsense like that and she knows she is being disingenuous in what she is doing. It does reflect on her character, and saying that others in this corrupt and broken political system do something similar doesn’t justify her behavior any more than saying it was okay that she took money from large donors just months before announcing her is okay because others do it.

        Her comment and the letter she sent to her supporters is pathetic and while the average American might not realize what is going on, we are aware and do.

        Reply
      1. neo-realist

        I would say HW Bush 3.0. I don’t think she’s the doctrinaire conservative that W was. Nor do I believe that she could get away with being one on the democratic side in the wake of stronger progressive activism that won’t be seduced into acquiesce as Obama was able to get away with for 8 years previously.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Disagree, the workings of DC are so byzantine that she could just rule in full Saint Obama mode: “we’re working toward…” and “we’re reaching across the aisle…” and “we’re transitioning…”, with the net effect of simply maintaining the horrible corrupt deciduous status quo. She can make Obama-esque flowery speeches full of populist code words while meantime pushing the next iterations of the TPP, regime change wars, privacy destruction, financial evisceration, and the plebes would be none the wiser. She is not there to be the vanguard of the proletariat, she is there to slow down the vanguard of the proletariat, and honestly there is no reason for her candidacy other than this.

          This is a monumental fight and epic power struggle on the grandest possible scale and we need a bruised up savvy street fighter not a basically nice lady appeaser. When she was lecturing at Harvard nobody ever stood up and screamed in her face “I think you’re stupid and wrong and ugly and I’m going to smash you!” so she freezes whenever there’s even a heckler in the audience, what would she possibly do when confronted by actual power. To wit: she doesn’t know how to fight, she only knows how to lecture and argue, and to her power is something you accrue for your intellect, not something you gain by grabbing an arm twisting it off and then gnawing triumphantly on the bloody stump.

          You get that killer fighting instinct by what’s in your heart not what’s in your brain. Lady is a friggin ex-Republican and the current Senator from Raytheon fer chrissakes, in case you wonder what’s in her heart. Bernie/Tulsi/Yang if we want a change, Liz and the rest of the field if we’re happy being chumps *yet again* and are willing to just go gently into that good night.

          Reply
    2. T

      Best part was how she apparently made zero effort to verify the reporting. Went straight to a accusations of trashing. High road, all the way, every time, I guess.
      (And a familiar confidence in her supporters disinterest in what was allegedly said and preference for being “attacked.”)

      Reply
    3. Arizona Slim

      Several years ago, I read her autobiography, A Fighting Chance. I don’t know if she wanted me to draw the conclusion that I did, but here it is:

      I didn’t think that she was presidential. Senatorial, oh, yes. Absolutely. But she didn’t have that transcendent, big picture type of worldview that one would expect from a President of the United States.

      Reply
      1. Parithea

        …she didn’t have that transcendent, big picture type of worldview

        Thank God we have Joe Biden as a backup. Making the world safe for billionaires, one campaign contribution at a time.

        Reply
      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        This has always been the problem with Warren. She’s kind of like a local level Republican. When given and I do mean given all information or areas in her field of interest, she can be expected to do the right thing and even take a leadership role, but if its not of immediate interest to her, she kind of reverts to a banal by msm standards right wing talking point.

        Her initial take on Solemani assassination was disgusting and fits with most of her FP reactions. She knows Biden is a POS because she was involved with bankruptcy law and saw it perverted by Biden’s ilk first hand.

        Reply
      3. The Rev Kev

        ‘…she didn’t have that transcendent, big picture type of worldview that one would expect from a President of the United States.’

        When George Bush became President, he did not even own a passport. And he was proud of that fact, as was the set that he hung around with. But become President he did.

        Reply
    4. WheresOurTeddy

      people show you who they are.

      this was a flail, and a bad one.

      she would get beat by Trump, likely badly. You know in your gut it’s true.

      Reply
    5. HotFlash

      Dr Warren is clutching her pearls over an accurate summary of her record, politely expressed? I am sure President Trump will be more gentlemanly in his campaign if she is the nominee. I mean, what does Bernie think this is, roller derby? /s

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        …the Warren Omission has proven that she was the lone shooter-hitting herself in the foot

        p.s.

        My first boss had a bullet hole mark coming in and one going out on his upper right thigh-just below the skin, from when he was way too quick in emulating a tv hero on some 50’s western who was fast with a piece

        Reply
  3. cnchal

    > Before you hit ‘share’ on that cute animal photo, consider the harm it can cause The Conversation

    I am shocked, shocked, I tell you, that this article totally misses the point of sharing photos. The harm that sharing photos does is cumulative, with every image hosted in the idiotic cloud, consuming ever moar electricity keeping those zeros and ones alive, to be stored, retreived and displayed on demand.

    Data centers are a form of social disease, growing faster than the most aggressive cancer, gobbling up ever moar power at an exponenetially increasing rate, and instead of getting cheap power subsidized by the peasants, because they use so much, they should be paying triple retail, to discourage this gluttonous use of electricity, similar to sin taxes on booze and smokes.

    Reply
  4. Ignacio

    RE: New Lithium-Oxygen Battery Could One Day Power Electric Cars NBC UserFriendly: “They could…. if you thought the problem with Lithium Ion Batteries was they weren’t explosive enough.”

    Much closer to market are Lithium-Sulphur batteries whose energy density is 4XLi-Ion, thus, far more appropiate for cars than Li-Ion. To my knowledge the problem of heating and short circuits of Li-ion batteries during charging/discharging does not apply to Lithium-Sulphur (know nothing about those Lithium-Oxygen in the article). So far the problem of Li-Sulphur has been stability but there have been developed various strategies to improve it. One of these solutions has been developed by an Australian University and it is an easy one (PCT/AU 2019/051239). It describes a very simple method that increases the stability of the cathode (which breaks with high loads because of big changes in electrolyte volume.

    Reply
    1. Karla

      Also, buy a used or reconditioned phone. I’ve had to replace my flip phone twice whe the keys wore out. There are places that sell them cheap.

      Search “buy used flip phones”

      Another bonus, being smaller, they fit into a nickel metal belt holster that prevents the cell phone radiation from entering your ovaries, kidneys or testicles, as in when you carry a tuned on phone in your pocket.

      Cell signals from your phone, seeking the nearest cell tower every few seconds will go through a house wall at a distance. You think your skin and the sheath of your organs is a better shield?

      Reply
      1. inode_buddha

        I don’t get it, this is basic physics. The wiring in your house emits far more than your phone ever will. Even with the distance, its still far more.

        Reply
        1. mpalomar

          I’m agnostic on this but innately suspicious of even the wiring in my house; there have been some questions raised.

          Interestingly, the California Dept of Public health has issued guidelines warning against radiation shielding devices because, “these products may force a phone to work harder and emit more RF energy in order to stay connected”

          Reply
        2. ambrit

          The critical issue is the wavelengths of the radiations. The American version of 5G is problematic because it utilizes a one millimetre wavelength. That wavelength is supposed to ‘interact’ with organic materials ‘dynamically.’ (The microwave oven effect.)
          Something from a pro industry source also hedges it’s bets concerning the subject, at the end of the article. Interesting times ahead!
          See: https://spectrum.ieee.org/news-from-around-ieee/the-institute/ieee-member-news/will-5g-be-bad-for-our-health

          Reply
  5. The Rev Kev

    “New Lithium-Oxygen Battery Could One Day Power Electric Cars NBC”

    ‘if you thought the problem with Lithium Ion Batteries was they weren’t explosive enough’

    I can just see the NBC headline for an article this time next year-

    “New Nitro-Glycerine Battery Could One Day Power Electric Cars”

    Reply
  6. Tom Stone

    The Biden campaign needs to make a bold move to keep their lead in the race from disappearing.
    My suggestion may seem unusual, but think it through, Meghan Markle as his running mate.
    She’s clearly as well qualified for the Job as Trump, as a “C list” actress in Hollywood she’s had plenty of experience dealing with “Handsy” old men.
    As a woman of color she checks all of the boxes to be the perfect IdPol candidate.

    She’s got the name recognition and her spouse Hairy is a prince among men, literally.
    And both the press and DC Hostesses would swoon at the very thought.
    What could go wrong?

    Reply
  7. Toshiro_Mifune

    Re: Megxit – I have to admit to being completely nonplussed by this. Prince Harry and his wife want to drop out of the business of being a Royal and market tchotchkes under their name. Oh, and move to LA. Do I have that right? Is there a reason why I, or anyone, should care about this? Any I missing something ?

    Reply
    1. Monty

      Being a Royal isn’t a job in a business you pick and choose, it is supposedly a duty given to you by God. That’s why they get the big bucks and palaces. As nonsensical as that may be to some, that is the role they officially serve in GB.

      Is it fair to bootstrap your fame and fortune using the public purse, and then attempt to keep the perks, but jettison your responsibility, when you can’t be bothered to carry out that duty? I suppose my interest is, will justice be served?

      Reply
      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        when you can’t be bothered to carry out that duty?
        What actually are the duties they’re supposed to be doing? I’m asking honestly as I have no idea.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          They go to community center openings and such.

          It’s not a hard job, but it’s their one job in exchange for fabulous wealth. Basically, Harry and Meghan are trying to keep the perks and reduce their activities to what the want to do. If they really needed more step back (Harry is sixth in line, and Charles has siblings as well) he could abdicate.

          Having a non UK citizen try to peddle UK tourism for entirely personal benefit without participating in the game is a bit much.

          Reply
          1. xkeyscored

            A non UK citizen? I’d assumed she automatically became a UK citizen on marrying Hairy, almost-princesses being able to fast-track or simply skip the usual processes, so I had to pursue that. According to the Daily Mail, you’re completely right, and she isn’t:
            Meghan Markle’s escape to Canada could affect her application to become a British citizen under Home Office rules
            “Meghan would need to prove she has not spent more than 270 days outside UK in three years leading up to day her application is formally lodged
            She is believed to have started application process after her engagement to Prince Harry in November 2017
            Last night, immigration lawyers said the Home Office had ‘absolute discretion’
            A royal aide said there was no change to the Duchess’s British application”

            Reply
            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Bringing in an outsider is a big deal especially if the outsider doesn’t want to play the game.

              Its entirely different to shake up the Royal family in the manner of Diana by demanding they do more of what they claim to do.

              Reply
            2. John A

              Re UK citizenship, the royals certainly had the rules about spouse visas waived. When a non UK citizen gets engaged to a Brit and has no more than a tourist or student visa, they have to leave the UK and apply for a spouse visa and right to remain after marriage etc. In the meantime, the applicant is not allowed to work in Britain. That conveniently never happened in Meghan’s case. They got engaged, and she immediately became part of the ribbon cutting circus until the fairytale princess marriage.

              Reply
          2. Toshiro_Mifune

            Having a non UK citizen try to peddle UK tourism for entirely personal benefit without participating in the game is a bit much

            Ok, I guess I kind of understand that then. Thanks…. But didn’t that other Princess… what was her name… the redhead… Sarah Ferguson!* She did Weight Watchers commercials. Isn’t that the same thing? She was clearly getting commercial work based on the royal name.

            * – Ok, she was a Duchess, not a Princess. I’m sure theres some sort of difference there. Not sure what. Maybe +1 to Saving Throws or something.

            Reply
            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              The case here is whether she stopped performing her agreed upon functions. She was the Duchess of Pork after all. She served as tabloid fodder.

              Reply
                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  I’m an old fashioned “small r” republican and think the solution to monarchies simply getting rid of all the members, but how far are we away from the women in these kinds of groups being little more than brood mares?

                  Liz has been Queen for a long time, but if her uncle didn’t resign, she would be nothing more than a producer of back up heirs. Posing for a few newspapers here and there and visiting sick kids is a real step up.

                  Reply
            2. John A

              Ferguson was divorced by the time she got involved in her various get rich quick schemes and no longer part of the royal setup. Sadly her schemes were consistent failures and she was/is forever having to be bailed out either by her ex-husband (ie the queen, her husband has no income as such) or more famously by the late suicided Epstein who gave her millions in ‘loans’. Obviously, Ferguson was far too old to fit in Epstein’s erotic fantasies, but it would certainly have given the late pedofile even more leverage over her ex-husband. It is probably one of the Harry and Meghan trump cards to say beware a ferguson 2.0 in ms M Markle.

              Reply
      2. bob

        “Is it fair to bootstrap your fame and fortune using the public purse, and then attempt to keep the perks, but jettison your responsibility, when you can’t be bothered to carry out that duty?”

        Are you talking about a princess or a banker?

        Reply
      3. inode_buddha

        “Is it fair to bootstrap your fame and fortune using the public purse, and then attempt to keep the perks, but jettison your responsibility, when you can’t be bothered to carry out that duty? I suppose my interest is, will justice be served?”

        Why not? US corporations do this every day, and they are people too!

        Reply
      4. fdr-fan

        Simple solution: Appoint them Duke and Duchess of Vancouver, or Prince and Princess of Canada. Then they can negotiate their duties with the Canadian government, which will include movies. (Vancouver has a lot of film industry.)

        Reply
              1. Wukchumni

                I prefer a ‘no vault divorce’ if they flee to the Gulag Hockeypelago, which might just seem like a prison sentence.

                Reply
        1. xkeyscored

          I was thinking they’d be ideal as the new Shah and Princess of Persia. What could possibly make Iranians happier and freer than a return to monarchy, and real, British monarchy at that? All it takes is a proclamation by President Trump, and Queen Elizabeth’s consent, but the latter could just be announced if she refused, he’d just call her Fake News.

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            That could work that. When Greece became independent in the early 19th century, they had no royalty. So they imported a branch from Denmark to be their royal family. And Prince Phillip is from this branch.

            Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Shatner has a ranch here, but is seldom seen.

            If I ever ran into him (which I haven’t yet) I thought i’d hit him up with a TJ Hooker question just to be different before a segue into 60’s Star Trek.

            His spread has an apple orchard and a grove of around a couple dozen 40 year old Giant Sequoias growing where they shouldn’t be, almost a mile lower than their usual haunts up high.

            Reply
        1. flora

          ha! Thanks for the link. Another example of ‘the market’ efficiently allocating resources for the benefit of all. The neoliberals were right! (Pay no attention to the rising deaths from despair.) /s

          Reply
        2. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          As an Englishman I ignore the antics of the Royal Family but I don’t have anything against them & I imagine that although being fortunate with the birth lottery, the die is cast when they are born & they are stuck with it. Occasional reports that I chance on like the Queen paying it seems as low wages as possible & I think it was William calling for the return of National Service annoy me but other than that I have no idea what Meg looks like but I do know who Harry does look like & it isn’t his Dad. I can’t help but feel a little sorry for the old girl as tries to control her dysfunctional family dynasty.

          Here’s an English ” Deplorable ” version from the Royale Family :

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6FU0cgg9ko

          Reply
      1. Jokerstein

        Reminds me of the putative headline in Jan 2017:

        Unemployed black family evicted from public housing to make way for white billionaire.

        Reply
    2. a different chris

      I was of a bent that fell just short – in the “who even cares” sort of way of a pox on both their houses, but… via Atrios

      https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ellievhall/meghan-markle-kate-middleton-double-standards-royal

      …this is family blogging ridiculous. If she was my daughter I would have burned down half the Royal properties by now, and I *love* English history. Which may not be entirely fair to The Queen, as the crap is coming from the papers and not the Palace itself. But maybe they should have, you know, noticed and said something? I mean their entire being is about what shows up in the papers, they apparently control which papers are allowed “access”, so how did this BS get by – so not sure it isn’t “fair” to knock the Queen.

      No love for the couple but this is just beyond it.

      Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    “How Bernie Sanders would upend America’s global role”

    To be honest, I am not sure that he would. Bernie’s interests are mostly about reforms that he wants to do in America itself with not so much care with what happens overseas. He wants to change America at home. You can see this when he signed up for Russiagate and also supported Trump trying to take Venezuala. So let’s try the following scenario.

    Against fierce opposition by the DNC – oh, and the Republicans too I suppose – Bernie becomes the 46th President of the United States. So before he even gets to sit in the big chair, he is in trouble. The Republicans are dredging up trips that he made to Russia as well as his wife’s presidency of Burlington College. Any old dirt will do and it doesn’t even have to be true.

    But then Bernie finds that the Democrats are trying to undercut him as well and make him resign. When he suggests legislation that he wants to pass, it is the Democrats more than the Republicans sandbagging him. So at this point the “real” government of the US goes to him and says that if he gives them a free hand overseas, then a lot of this opposition to his legislation would stand down and he could pass a few laws. Quid pro quo

    Of course they would repeal those laws as soon as Bernie is gone but they would not mention that bit. And unfortunately I think that this is the most likely scenario. The only way he could shortcut this would be to form a Bernie’s Army that would hold individual legislator’s feet to the fire but that is assuming that he gets the top job.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The President is Caesar. He can cut the Gordian knot. Let Mark Warner stand In a room of wounded veterans with Sanders and explain how a balanced budget Is more important than social security.

      It’s not a game of reasonable discussion. Mark Antony’s funeral oration is how to play the game.

      Heck, I wouldn’t even give them the chance to say no. I would go to the districts and thank the Team Blue types for their support and ask thank the crowd to applaud them. Obama couldn’t do this because of his values and his desire to be a petty tyrant a day to enjoy the trappings of Caesar. He had no real vision or purpose.

      One freshman congresswoman defeated the entire NY Team Blue establishment and the richest man in the world on Amazon because she was with the crowd and could direct it and bring it organizational capacity. Fighting Republicans is different as they have a different base and will require careful targeting and campaigns, but Team Blue types will be rolled. Republicans voters are going to attack them regardless.

      Reply
      1. Hepativore

        To be fair, even if Sanders reforms are mostly focused on America, his foreign policy outlook is still markedly better than any of the other mainstream politicians in either party. Plus, it might have indirect, but strong positive effect on the rest of the world if he finds a way to reign in the national security state and the permanent war doctrine.

        Still, previous administrations have shown that their ability to enact things by executive order has few restrictions. We have had people permanently held without trial, tortured, war declared, spied on, etc. all through executive order by W. Bush, Obama, and Trump. I am not sure if the legal limits of a presidential executive order have ever been officially defined by any court. It seems that either presidents have largely ignored any restrictions on their executive order powers or they have a ridiculous amount of latitude under the ability. Sanders might have to take the “brute force” route and enact many of his policies in a similar fashion. I doubt it would make his political enemies hate him any more than they already do.

        As for Sanders’ idea that he would endorse primaries against anybody who tried to block him, it will be interesting to see how that plays out. I am not sure if even the president has enough power to cause enough political momentum to unseat many incumbents that have been in their seats for several consecutive terms.

        Still, Rev Kev, you hit on a potential problem that I have been worried about as well. Even if Sanders takes office and manages to implement much of his policies, we had better make sure that we get a worthy successor that is willing to fight hard and dirty as both Democrats and Republicans will immediately try and roll back and destroy any gains that we have made during the Sanders years once he leaves office.

        Both parties have destroyed the New Deal in the decades after FDR, and they will certainly try and do it again in post-Sanders administrations.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          As for Sanders’ idea that he would endorse primaries against anybody who tried to block him

          The strength of incumbency is more about organizational capacity. Unlike Obama moving against Charlie Rangel, Sanders will most likely be going after Congress critters who do very little for their district and have poor voting records.

          Team Blue types use the rotating villain strategy and then “Obama’s got this” followed by “Republicans are mean.” I mentioned Marc Anthony’s speech in Julius Caesar because its not about playing a game. You simply introduce their record to the crowd and name names. Do not let them hide.

          Cries of unity and demands from “Centrists” not to be “negative” when pointing out a candidate’s record are meant to hide those records. Booker was still deluded enough to think he could run for President, but after he received criticism for his pro-Big pharma vote he’s been half way decent.

          Reply
    2. Tomonthebeach

      No candidate is perfect, but morally-speaking, it would be interesting to see another POTUS with a functioning moral compass – and – who has the benefit of Carter’s history.

      No argument that the ghost of McCarthy is Bernie’s sword of Damocles. For the past century, the US government and its public education system have conflated communism with socialism. We forget that capitalist titans used that in an attempt to suppress labor unions, and in fact, still does. We let Hitler’s genie out of the bottle because we wrongly thought he would take care of Stalin’s commie regime for us.

      Not sure what strategy might wake Americans up to the fact that the entire EU is more socialist that the USA and has far less poverty – especially medical poverty – and greater access to higher education.

      Reply
    3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Surely the Repubs would immediately trot out that course of action so assiduously laid out for them by the Dems: impeach.

      They would easily find a phone call Bernie made that they could say “threatened national security” (by continuing the policy of his predecessor) or “undermined long-standing U.S. policy” (which apparently is now the responsibility of the FBI, CIA, and State Department).

      (Hey did Nancy ever get her mitts on that Mueller report stuff? You know, the transcripts of the calls from Putin to Trump telling him what to do next?)

      Reply
  9. jfleni

    SUVs are way worse for the planet than anyone previously thought.

    NOT just for the planet, SLOB uvs are bad for everything, traffic, horrible injuries, especially for trying to get to work, etc. Why then is
    the mad rush for public transit EVERYWHERE, the shi#box junkers
    can’t even come close!

    Reply
    1. Krystyn Walentka

      I have been looking for a car or van to live in and I am amazed at the amount of huge SUVs women who tote around babies and groceries want to sell me that get 12mpg highway. It is a huge image thing in the PNW being a logging community. But sheesh, we have paved all the roads people and it barely snows here!

      But I am doing my part combining the gas guzzling (19/27MPG?) Minivan I might buy today(!) into my house and mostly parking in in the woods with a few sleeping bags for heat. Offsetting my carbon foot print and all that. But again, I have no choice in the matter. Involuntary CO2 reduction? Is that the plan of austerity? I guess killing us all will result in reduced CO2 as well, so maybe that is why I cannot get mental health care anywhere as well.

      But I will be moving out of a drafty Victorian slumlord house that has been coasting me $150 a month to heat a single room, not kidding.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        What a country. Krystyn please know that your situation has registered with at least one person, who commits to fighting with everything he’s got to make more people understand just where we are in our basic duties as a nation to take care of its citizens. One person at a time

        Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        You sound unusually sane; maybe that’s your real problem.

        Do you mind telling us what part of the PNW you’re in? Services might be better in western Oregon. At least here, counties are responsible for mental health care. Don’t know about Washington.

        It’s going to be cold (for here) this week; take care.

        Reply
        1. Krystyn Walentka

          Thank you OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL !

          Oregoncharles, I live in Port Townsend, but I do not care for services anymore mostly because I fall in a doughnut hole. I was a pretty successful network engineer before my nervous system started frying up on me so my disability payments are usually too high(!) for me to qualify for much.

          But I am ok living in a van because it gives me an agency I rarely have. Plus I feel like sleeping in a place with zero 50hz EMFs (household wiring) I feel a lot better. I have a place for the next few weeks but then I am driving down to AZ/CA for the warmth.

          Reply
  10. a different chris

    > It is a powerful authoritarian nation with frightening global ambitions.

    I guess… but isn’t this the same country that built the 3 biggest sailing ships like, well ever, sailed them around for a short time but then said “family blog it” and deliberately burned them all? The same country that built a wall you can see from space?

    I don’t say that isn’t true for the current leaders, but even the most charismatic leader can’t change culture, he can only use it as a lever. So what are these “ambitions” and are they ones that you can bring 1.2 billion people along with?

    Shorter me: sounds like Western projection, as usual.

    Reply
    1. Turing Test

      It’s the same country that is constantly telling its own citizens that it is their destiny to replace the US as the global hegemonic power, just as (in the officially sanctioned version of history) the US replaced Britain. The CPC believes that the promise of imminent glory is a good way to buy political acquiescence from the masses.

      It’s also a country with a deeply ingrained sense of cultural chauvinism. The superiority of Chinese civilization is widely regarded as self evident in China, and indeed many Chinese assume this belief is widely shared by foreigners, and that Chinese leadership is therefore widely desired.

      If you want some insight into contemporary China I suggest seeing Ip Man 4. Good movie, but (spoiler alert) the Americans are portrayed as bigoted, racist, bullies.

      Reply
      1. Massinissa

        I don’t consider it a good movie per se, but I think Wolf Warrior 2, which is pretty much a straight up propaganda film but also the most financially successful domestic Chinese film ever at the time of its release, is the most instructive of the dominant chinese mindset that the CCP encourages. China is depicted as a benevolent entity that protects and aids Africans and other minorities whereas Americans are violent racist bullies. Probably similar to Ip Man 4, but probably with absolutely no pretense of being anything but a Ra Ra propaganda film, but from China rather than Hollywood. I assume Ip Man 4 at least pretends to be an actual movie.

        If you can’t watch the actual film, the youtube channel Renegade Cut has a very concise leftist analytical breakdown of the propaganda in the film.

        Reply
      2. Procopius

        It’s the same country that is constantly telling its own citizens that it is their destiny to replace the US as the global hegemonic power, just as (in the officially sanctioned version of history) the US replaced Britain

        Gosh, that’s amazing. Which Chinese newspapers do you read? Do you get them mailed to you? Where did you learn Chinese? Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokku, Deo Chiao, or what other dialects? When I was at the Yale Institute of Far Eastern Languages I used to see the mimeographed translations (excerpts) from the Chinese newspapers and magazines; are those what you use? Do you trust them?

        You do know that Ip Man 4 is fiction, don’t you?

        Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      No, for once, it isn’t. There are:

      (1) The entire west of “China” isn’t Chinese; it’s conquered territory, pure Empire. Granted, it’s at least adjacent; but then, most empires have been.
      (2) The claim to the ENTIRE South China Sea is based on a literally Imperial map and makes no sense – in fact the maritime World Court has rejected it, with no effect.
      (3) The “Belt and Road” initiative, which is pure influence projection – modeled directly on American policy. (The original Silk Road was a trade route through multiple jurisdictions, not an Imperial policy.)

      Obviously there has long been a countervailing isolationist tendency in Chinese culture; but then, there was in the US, too.

      Reply
    3. Plenue

      “but isn’t this the same country that built the 3 biggest sailing ships like, well ever, sailed them around for a short time but then said “family blog it” and deliberately burned them all?”

      Since the Ming haven’t been in charge of China in almost 400 years, no.

      Also the Great Wall (which can’t be seen from space) is currently in the middle of China, not on its edges.

      Reply
      1. witters

        And it seems that the point of the Wall may have been more to keep people in than out.

        But go to China! It is a big place. And, yes, it seems that it has become a popular target for virtue-signalling from those in the neoliberal heartlands..

        Reply
  11. diptherio

    Link for the Wire story entitled “Iran Crisis: India US Defense….” is missing the initial ‘h’ in the url. Correct link is here.

    Reply
  12. The Rev Kev

    “Blackout Bug: Boeing 737 cockpit screens go blank if pilots land on specific runways”

    Mike Pompeo is probably looking into this. You would have it that every time a Boeing airliner went to land in a country that Washington did not like such as Russia, Cuba, Iran, etc all the cockpit screens would go blank. I guess that Boeing outsourcing their code-writing to the Dod-Gee Brothers corporation of Bangalore, India was not such a good investment after all.

    Reply
    1. xkeyscored

      Like the infamous MCAS and its sensors, such a system might be prone to rather consequential mistakes, especially given the constant real-time stream of updates and patches necessary for The Algorithm to have a clue which countries are in sufficient disfavour at any moment. No, it’s plainly Iran and China, who hate anything coming from the west.

      Reply
    2. Brian (another one they call)

      I have a suggestion for Boeing. Since you are now pretty much finished without a miracle, why don’t you consider giving a little back. Take about 100 of your currently useless 737 max and turn them into fire fighting machines. No, make it 500 of them. Do something useful for a change like charging the fleeing Mule for screwing up your company! Sorry, your whole board of directors for many years would have to go down with him in a RICO indictment that would take every asset of the company and personal fortunes as it was being nationalized. Who bribed you into opening a manufacturing plant in South Carolina?
      AS a company, you basically screwed thousands out of sheer greed. You fight to restore a thanksgiving turkey to flying status by what, bribing everyone in DC? Now that we know, why in the hell would we ever set foot on one of your planes again?

      Reply
  13. diptherio

    Re: For Her Head Cold, Insurer Coughed Up $25,865

    The most shocking part of this story to me was that BCBS ponied up anything at all for an out-of-network provider. Now I’m wondering if I even understand what out-of-network means. I had assumed that services provided by out-of-network providers are not covered by insurance companies, hence all the horror stories of ambulances taking people to the “wrong” hospital, resulting in the patient being on the hook for the entirety of the bill. But apparently that’s not how it works. I guess she must be on a PPO plan, as opposed to an HMO…?

    https://www.bcbsm.com/index/health-insurance-help/faqs/topics/how-health-insurance-works/difference-between-in-network-out-of-network-benefits.html

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      One of the things that bothers me about “having insurance” is how it will pay for inappropriate care, no questions asked.

      I witnessed this very thing in the summer of 2019. My elderly mother, who was clearly dying, was hospitalized and then sent to a nursing home.

      The goal: Rehabilitation. Yes, you read that right. This nursing home was going to get my mother to the point where she could go home.

      At the time, Mom weighed only 77 pounds and was refusing food and drink. If anything, she should have been discharged from the hospital to the hospice that was right across the street.

      After her second hospitalization in less than a month, Mom was discharged to that hospice. Where she died five days later.

      Since then, I’ve seen a barrage of Medicare mailings. And I’m amazed at all the tests that were run on this woman who was clearly dying. Medicare paid for them all, no questions asked.

      Reply
        1. Arizona Slim

          Thank you, Monty. Sorry to hear that your family had a similar experience with your grandmother.

          I was very impressed with the care that Mom got in the hospice. The staff was attentive, but not pushy.

          IMHO, the entire health care system should be like that. Attentive, but not pushy.

          Reply
      1. Janie

        So many are given treatment when there is no hope of a cure. Its an awful process for all. As to paying, if it’s coded properly, i.e., procedures and diagnoses are internally consistent, it gets paid.

        Reply
    2. xkeyscored

      Why do I keep getting the impression that you’re absolutely not meant to understand how your so-called health system works in the USA? (Except of course if you’re really filthy rich, then it’s very simple – you can afford it.)

      Reply
      1. Krystyn Walentka

        Some of us really sick and disabled people, like me, just do not pay our medical bills. When you have nothing you got nothing to loose. My friends freak when they see me just throw away the bills. I figure when they cure me, or at least have an interest in curing me, I will start paying them.

        I have recently stopped going to the doctors though and ride out my mental storms in solitude. They pass, and I consider them spiritual experiences now, or messages about my environment. Hey, they sold me their paradigm, figured I would make my own.

        Reply
      2. Wukchumni

        If our nationwide health system was a car dealership, a new Chevy Suburban would cost $81k in Portland, $199k in Chicago, $119k in Los Angeles, $222k in Miami and $234k in NYC, despite being the very same car.

        Oh, and you don’t get to test drive it, just by showing up @ the dealership, you are obliged to buy one sight unseen at whatever high interest rate is foisted on you.

        Reply
        1. xkeyscored

          Can I ask, did you just make up those numbers, or are they based on the realities of health care costs in different parts of the US? And if the latter, do you have a link? I hadn’t realised the madness had regional variations.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Wish I could tell you I went deep and researched prices of regional hernias et al, but the numbers just seemed right, and really tied the emergency room together.

            Reply
            1. xkeyscored

              Thanks for the reply. For those of us fortunate enough to be outside observers, these things are far from obvious. The entire system seems so fudged up, nothing would surprise me.

              Reply
    3. Katniss Everdeen

      If a plan has “out-of-network benefits,” it will pay the provider what it would pay for the “in-network” service. The problem comes when the out-of-network provider refuses to accept that amount and charges the patient the difference.

      But the real issue as far as I’m concerned is how a physician or other provider who is advertised as “in-network” by the insurance company is “permitted” to use common “out-of-network” auxiliary services, especially when “in-network” services are available. If you’re selling a patient a network, then make it a goddamn network where everyone plays by the same rules. It’s pretty hard not to conclude that these “in-networks” are using the label as a loss leader to profiteer on the back end.

      My hat’s off to the patient who reported the physician to the state and the insurance company. Good for her. But the truth is, she never would have known about this if her doctor’s office hadn’t effed up and had the $25,000 check sent to her instead of them, and then freaked out about getting it back. She would have just paid her $25 and $9.61 copays and gone on her merry way, possibly as one of those “160 million americans” who “love” their private health insurance and don’t want it taken away from them by that commie socialist Bernie Sanders.

      Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        PS. Where does anyone think that $25,000 payment came from anyway? It certainly didn’t come out of insurance company profits which are as massive as they’ve ever been and only getting bigger. “Unfortunately,” bcbs didn’t even bother to flag it. It came out of the $1200 per month premiums that millions of american families of four are paying for “healthcare” insurance policies that they never see a dime from because the policies have $12,000 annual deductibles.

        But Bernie’s the “socialist.”

        Reply
        1. Monty

          “bill shows that the lab service was provided by Manhattan Gastroenterology, which has the same phone number and locations as her doctor’s office”…

          It seems like a clear case of fraud to me. I would be surprised if “Manhattan Gastroenterology” even had a lab. They probably just forward it on to the normal place that does the tests for $600. Hopefully this scrutiny will result in severe penalties for those behind the scheme.

          By a coincidence the doctors involved are both Iranian ex-pats. Maybe it is part of an Iranian cyber warfare strategy to bankrupt the US one swab at a time? /s

          Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “Macron meets with African leaders to boost fight against jihadists in Sahel”

    I don’t know why Macron is sore because so many Africans despise the French. Just because France crushes any forces that cross their financial interests in former French colonies is just a little dispute between friends, non? And that France led the way to destroy Libya because Qaddafi wanted to break this grip is something most have forgotten by now. Oh, and the black slave markets there now too I suppose.

    Even though the Germans have over a thousand troops in Mali, Macron twice demand far more troops to defend French interest in Africa because ‘terrorism’. Both times they knocked him back as did the rest of the EU. I guess that trying to bring in NATO direct was a non-starter of an idea. So now all he is left with is local forces who for some reason are not so keen to die for France. Maybe he can give the Wagner Group a ring.

    Reply
    1. Ignacio

      Unfortunately, jihadists in the Sahel are a BIG problem becoming BIGGER (Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Fasso, Niger, Chad, Libia, Nigeria, now even reaching Cameroon if I recall correctly a recent incident) despite efforts by tribal militias, national troops, French & German troops and some logistic help from Italy Germany or Spain they have recently expanded operations geographycally (noticeably Burkina Fasso) and the Mali-centered groups try to cooperate with Lybia-centered groups and Nigerian jihadists (Boko Haram). Their activities result in massacres, population displacements, further regional dis-integration and of course they are also a menace for strategic assets like Natl Gas in Argelia but also try to take control of commerce (smuggling more properly) and the movement of people, and agricultural production means. Given the movement of migrants through the Sahel, they are an obvious source of terrorists reaching Europe and I may be mistaken but I think this is the main driver of european intervention. I woudn’t be very cynical on this and at least for what I have talked with Senegalese migrants (these guys speak some languages, are very polite and it is really educative to talk with them) they are very much worried with jihaddists.

      Reply
      1. David

        Yes that’s it. The French never wanted to be in Mali anyway, but were hustled into it by weak governments in the Sahel that were incapable of dealing with the increasing Islamist threat, and to some extent pressure from the large Malian community in France. The Sahel is a more promising area for the Islamic State to operate than Iraq/Syria (large open spaces and weak governments), a better recruiting area (Tunisians were the largest national component in ISIS) and much closer to Europe. The French have been arguing, not unreasonably, that this is a problem for Europe as a whole, but they are still effectively the only ones doing the actual fighting.

        Reply
        1. xkeyscored

          I think there’s a good dollop of truth in what you say, but might Mali’s gold and other reserves have something to do with it too? From a one-click Google search:
          The Ministry of Mines estimates 800 tons of gold deposits, 2 million tons of iron ore, 5,000 tons of uranium, 20 million tons of manganese, 4 million tons of lithium, and 10 million tons of limestone.Jul 14, 2019
          Mali – Mining & Minerals | export.gov

          Reply
    1. Bugs Bunny

      Nomination for best photo caption in a serious article:

      “Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann, seen here in a beanie”

      Reply
    2. Arizona Slim

      WeWork: A control fraud if there ever was one.

      Paraphrasing William K. Black’s definition of the term, which he coined, a control fraud is when one or more people gain control of a company for the purpose of looting it.

      Reply
  15. Olga

    “Iran Must Begin Acting Like A Normal Nation,” Says Totally Normal Nation Caitlin Johnstone

    Sure hope Russia and China are paying attention. If Iran falls, they are next.
    I guess “normal” is now synonym for subservient.
    And as for Matt Stoller’s tweet about “It is a powerful authoritarian nation with frightening global ambitions,” isn’t that exactly what the US is? Lady Hypocrisy is blushing in the corner…

    Reply
  16. roxy

    Against meal kits, Salon. Finally someone says it. And the article doesn’t even mention the wasteful packaging. I’ve seen those blue boxes piled up on the ground next to, not even in, dumpsters. Recycle? Gee I can’t even put my trash in a barrel.

    Reply
    1. cnchal

      Not one lick of irony in the article. Work damn hard, have no time to shop, must work harder to pay for someone else to shop and box my food, so I can cook it myself. Never mind the continuous consumption of electricity long after the meal has met the waste station, info stored as zeros and ones recording for posterity what was eaten, and when it was eaten. All so an AI algorithm can plow through the digital detrius for the gold nugget of the perfect time to pitch you toilet paper.

      Reply
      1. Arizona Slim

        Back in her high school teaching days, my mother had this interesting way of relaxing. After a day of dealing with stressed-out adolescents, administrators, colleagues, and the traffic on the way to and from school, she would come home and …

        … cook.

        And, wouldn’t you know, she got pretty good at it. To the point where an invitation to the Slim Family dinner table was quite the thing.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          I grew up thinking everybody ate breaded dumpling plums which were boiled in water for around 10 minutes, and then served with a very light dusting of powdered sugar, and that yes, many parts of the cow are edible including the brain & tongue, and about the only thing worse than eating some Bessie’s cabeza was opening the fridge and seeing it beforehand wrapped in cellophane on a slab.

          Don’t get me started on gizzards, nature’s rubber substitute.

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            Back during World War II my mother (Home Economics degree, but she did not enjoy housework) experimented with some of the “less expensive” cuts and parts that the Department of Agriculture was recommending (also you didn’t have to use the red ration stamps for them). Cows tongue was OK, and we continued eating that occasionally afterward. If she tried brains (sweetbreads) or lungs she managed to camouflage it so we didn’t recognize it. The one time she fed us rabbit did not go well.

            Reply
  17. Jason Boxman

    fwiw, I don’t really follow brexit, but it seems to be at a phase where my employer sent out a company-wide email discussing the implications following 31 January, so it must be close to end-game finally. (This never happened before.)

    Reply
  18. a different chris

    OMG did Rand Paul just re-animate the dead “it’s not the Czar, it’s the Cossaks” argument? Somebody buy him a history book.

    I just discovered that he’s a Western Pa native. Apologies to all, well except for those in Kentucky. In that case, it’s “neener, neener, you got him now we don’t hahahaha”. That happy moment unfortunately lasted only as long as it took to remember the Santorum of people we did and do have representing us. Sigh.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      Another Western PA native here. Don’t get me started on Santorum. Just don’t.

      I can almost hear my mother, rising from the dead to say what she thinks of Santorum. And it isn’t suitable for this family blog.

      Reply
  19. NotTimothyGeithner

    And Corey Booker’s years of effort to please the monied interests have amounted to dropping out…

    Maybe he can reinvent himself as a self help guru.

    Reply
  20. Synoia

    How do I choose a more climate-friendly phone?

    1. By choosing to keep the one you already have.
    2. By choosing to buy a used phone.
    3. By choosing not to have a phone at all.

    Reply
    1. polecat

      Question : WWst.GD ??

      Answer : Have her papa impersonate a young sjGWw … whilst CONdescendingly twittering choice # 3 on the device of HIS choosing.

      Reply
      1. xkeyscored

        Also means you can be sure it’s actually OFF if you don’t feel like being tracked, just by removing the battery. I gather phones with user-inaccessible batteries are always half-on.

        Reply
  21. Synoia

    The 1% are much more satisfied with their lives than everyone else, survey finds…

    Rand Paul says Trump keeps appointing advisers who “love Dick Cheney’s position”

    Seems coupled.

    What exactly is Dick Cheney’s position, when not satisfied by consuming Peasant?

    Reply
  22. Karla

    “More States Are Reconsidering Medicaid Work Requirements”

    How American Citizens Finance $18.5 Billion In Health Care For Unauthorized Immigrants
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2018/02/26/how-american-citizens-finance-health-care-for-undocumented-immigrants/

    “They only come here to work” OK, so what’s wrong with requiring them to work if they able bodied? Or, they are 25 or younger? Not talking old disabled grandmothers here.
    https://www.npr.org/2019/07/10/740147546/california-first-state-to-offer-health-benefits-to-adult-undocumented-immigrants

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      First: if they came here to work then they will work and why do we need to pay bureaucrats to confirm that? Seems like a stupid expense. I’m of course very sure you don’t think the proper “position” is that dark people are to do hard work and white people to supervise them doing so, do you? Because I wouldn’t have to squint to hard to see it that way.

      Second: If that’s too hard to explain, simply state what is your healthcare position exactly if somebody comes here to work and on his first week on the job he gets his hand smashed to pieces?

      Third: compare and contrast your answer to same situation, but instead of being injured it turns out he has brought a communicable disease with him?

      Reply
    2. marym

      The point of the linked post was that the work requirements aren’t “making them work,” just hurting or potentially hurting people for reasons including lack of available jobs, red tape, or or costing the states more in implementation and legal costs. The states currently attempting to impose work requirements don’t provided Medicaid to undocumented immigrants.

      From KFF:

      Most Medicaid adults are already working; among those who are not working, most report potential barriers to work (Figure 1)…The remaining seven percent of Medicaid adults report that they are retired, unable to find work, or not working for another reason. This small group of Medicaid adult enrollees could be the primary group targeted under Medicaid work requirement policies.

      What are the potential implications of Medicaid work and reporting requirements?
      People who remain eligible for coverage could lose coverage as a result of work and reporting requirements.

      Work requirements may not result in increased employment or employer-based health coverage.

      Loss of coverage could have negative implications for a person’s ability to work and can also increase uncompensated care for providers.

      Link

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        Also, according to the linked post, it turns out that the work requirements result in a lot more people being denied coverage than was expected. Also, it seems that they did not seriously consider just how many bureaucrats would be needed to enforce these ukases, and how expensive it would be. In addition, they did not really think through the situation that there simply were no jobs to be had — the shortage of workers is a myth/lie, or else they’d raise wages instead of offering moving costs or signing bonuses.

        Reply
    3. Grant

      Those immigrants pay various types of taxes but cannot often access benefits and their cheap and exploited labor make domestic businesses a ton of money. The fruits and vegetables you buy at the store wouldn’t be so cheap if their wages weren’t so low. I would also appreciate one person that makes those arguments factor in what the US has done to the countries they are fleeing. What we have done to Central America and Mexico, especially in the post-WWII era, is deeply immoral. To think that we don’t owe people fleeing the region and Mexico much of anything is an abdication of moral responsibility. Let’s be clear, if an agricultural worker gets exposed to harmful pollutants and gets cancer, and they wait too long, they may come in to the ER and get expensive care that could have been avoided by detecting it early. The costs are largely going to be socialized one way or another, the question is whether the socialization is logical, humane and efficient. But if you are okay with people dying in these situations, what can I say?

      Beyond that, I do in fact have a huge problem with requiring work benefits when it comes to getting what I regard to be a human right. If that is the argument, lets have work requirements too if someone wants to send their kids to a public school, uses a fire department or a public park, or has unrealistic expectations, like not having lead in the water that they drink. Let’s just complete the neoliberal Balkanization of modern America and be done with this modern society thing.

      Reply
      1. Karla

        Only 6% of illegals work in agriculture. Ten cents more for a head of lettuce, well worth it re school overcrowding, lower rents, cheaper used cars, etc. Higher pay for legal immigrants picking crops means higher tax collections and less cash payments.

        The other 94% in the building trades, services etc. Often paid in cash, so no taxes, plus huge amounts of their pay sent out of the country and our communities.

        Reply
        1. marym

          Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy – 2017
          https://itep.org/wp-content/uploads/immigration2017.pdf

          “Like other people living and working in the United States, undocumented immigrants pay state and local taxes. They pay sales and excise taxes when they purchase goods and services (for example, on utilities, clothing and gasoline). They pay property taxes directly on their homes or indirectly as renters. Many undocumented immigrants also pay state income taxes…

          Collectively, undocumented immigrants in the United States pay an estimated total of $11.74 billion in state and local taxes a year (see Table 1 for state-by-state estimates). This includes more than $7 billion in sales and excise taxes, $3.6 billion in property taxes, and $1.1 billion in personal income taxes.”

          Reply
    4. dcblogger

      there is such a thing as unemployment, so work requirements do not make sense. Furthermore food stamps generate $1.60 in economic activity for every $1 spent, so any cuts to food stamps is a cut to jobs. How many retail clerks, warehouse workers, truck drivers, etc. do you want to see lose their jobs?

      Reply
      1. xkeyscored

        And I’m sure they’ll find another carrier handy for maintaining global peace and stability, so perhaps this error will soon be rectified.

        Reply
      2. newcatty

        The fact that “they pay one Gerald Ford class air carrier for people to receive health care…” is appealing to the emotional reaction that many people have to the billions of dollars spent by and on the MIC. It’s repugnant and against any genuine desire to end the endless wars around the planet. The point is that the problems with the “broken US immigration policies ” and related issues, like how to provide health care to unauthorized immigrants, is a symptom of the broken government in this country. IIRC, there was a statement by someone ( think it was Fonda) who said it’s not the size of government that is important; it is who the government works for that counts. ( Paraphrasing perhaps). How many of say, ” legal immigrants” and citizens who work in factories, warehouses and retail work would benefit from M4A? How many “unauthorized immigrants” would benefit from being in the US with some kind of regulated green card, work permit type policy that they could work out of the shadows. How much is Big AG, grocery corporations, “food ” processors, marketing cartels, etc. Profiting off of exploiting the lessor social economic classes in this country?
        Food stamps are a necessary band aide for the wounds of hunger. But, the underlying causes, of why people in the US are even needing to be on food stamps or end up in ERs for their “healthcare” are hidden through the inequalities of our society and the ID politics that divide and conquer the people. I think people are becoming more awake across the country to the propaganda smoke and mirrors.

        Reply
      3. wilroncanada

        Daryl – 1:32PM
        Given the self-destructive info on the navy lately, should it be called the Edsel Ford Class?

        Reply
    5. JBird4049

      ***“They only come here to work” OK, so what’s wrong with requiring them to work if they able bodied? Or, they are 25 or younger? Not talking old disabled grandmothers here.***

      Work requirements are too easily used to prevent needed healthcare.

      First, depending on the area, getting work can be difficult and getting work that might work with one’s disability as well can be almost impossible.

      Secondly, it is also used a method to create categories that can be labeled as the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor with the former often desperately trying to thread all the often changing, and sometimes increasingly difficult to follow, requirements and the latter just discarded because of requirements specifically designed to discard them regardless of actually need.

      People here illegally should not be here, and should be deported, but let’s not confuse work with healthcare. If someone needs care while here give them the care that they need. It is only the humane thing to do and I do not want to hear about money being the reason for human suffering especially as a toothache or a broken leg or even an insulin prescription, is so easy. Too many people already suffer and die for the crime of being poor.

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Regarding the fact that many ” illegals” who work in the building trades and are service workers are paid in cash , and so therefore not paying any income taxes, is a valid point. Just to add to that point, many citizens, legal immigrants also are paid in cash. I just had a conversation with a person who is related to people in that circle of “under the table workers”. This person, who is retired, related how his relatives, and their circle of friends and coworkers, are unabashedly proud of their ” playing the system “. Most own houses, or cabins. Some rent. None are homeless. All have one, or more, great vehicles. Most are aware ,or know a friend who is, of how to keep up with the local and state regulations on how to qualify for “assistance”. Many do not officially marry….can qualify for more aid for their children, as single moms or dads. The guy’s relatives usually moan and scoff at “big government” ( see no hypocrisy in that statement), ridicule “liberals”, love the military ( have kids in the “service”),and voted for guess who. The guy said that his relatives always seem to have money for clothing, new tech, ” short trips”, eating out often ( not fast food) , and kid and grown up toys. He chuckled, they always never bat an eye when he picks up the check. He grimaced, though, when he talked of other relatives in same age cohort, who work at jobs with “real” paychecks, pay taxes, and are just making it week to week working long hours. These relatives don’t qualify for SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, school lunch programs, waived fees for school or sports activities, etc. He just shook his head. He said something like I never, ever want truly poor people to go hungry or without medical care. But, things just are not right with the way things are now in this country. He smiled, as he bought a holiday grocery bag for the local food pantry.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          Just because someone plays the system does not mean that someone else has to suffer because of it. Someone always wants to be a player, always has and always will. We all know how the wealthy play the system for ungodly amounts of money often adding great wealth to an already great amount of wealth.

          We also can see all the people suffering, many because they did play by the rules. There are millions of these people and adding more requirements just makes things worse for them. As for the many people here illegally, they should be tossed out on their collective ears, because they have been surreptitiously drawn in to replace Americans, break unions, and drive down wages. This has led to the Orange One’s ascension.

          But their countries have been economically devastating for the benefit of American corporations, which has forced millions to flee to the United States. Let’s repeat this. Entire countries have had their governments overthrown, corrupt oligarchies installed, and the economy destroyed to increase the profitability of corporations and Wall Street.

          So adding evermore rules to “catch” rule breakers is a fool’s game and often only done for political reasons. It also creates fun things like ICE’s kiddie camps.

          Reply
  23. dcblogger

    Soleimani was the author of growing Iranian influence in the region – Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. In Iraq, he was supported by Hashd al Shaabi and Kataib Hezbullah. Their leaders were iconic figures too. Soleimani was a regional hero in not only helping defeat Daesh (ISIS), Al Qaeda and Jabhat al Nusra, but also placing the US, Israeli, Saudi combine on the defensive. He did this by building local forces in all the countries under his influence. He had paid special attention to Iraq, particularly after the appearance of the Islamic State in Mosul in 2014, from where it began to hurtle down towards Baghdad with the explicit purpose of affecting regime change in the Iraqi capital. This, in effect, meant the removal of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, whom the Americans labelled as a “fundamentalist” as he was augmenting Shia influence in Iraq at the expense of Sunnis who, though a minority, wielded great influence as Saddam Hussain’s Ba’athist Revolutionary Guards, Army, Intelligence and bureaucracy.
    https://www.thefridaytimes.com/soleimanis-murder-build-up-to-a-terrible-crescendo-in-west-asia/

    Reply
  24. a different chris

    Ah, I found this which confirms either the idiocy or the “we’re not doing what you think we are doing” rot of the Democratic Party:

    Despite Mr Biden performing poorly in Iowa and New Hampshire, he remains the frontrunner in the Democratic race due to his commanding leads in southern states, such as Texas and South Carolina, which vote later in the contest.

    States Mr Biden will not win in 2020. So either they are a stub party of California and New York and really don’t want the Presidency, or they are so stupid it defies belief. I don’t want to “disenfranchise” black South Carolina voters any more than anybody else, but please show me a way that you get the Presidency without shoving them off on an ice floe. The best you can do is have some hope of re-gaining the strength to go out and rescue them again at some point.

    Losing doesn’t solve anything.

    Reply
    1. inode_buddha

      So either they are a stub party of California and New York and really don’t want the Presidency, or they are so stupid it defies belief.

      Why not both?

      Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Part of the problem is its the same stupid people who are going to vote for Biden in other states. A lack of organization has helped keep regressives in power.

      Reply
  25. JTMcPhee

    Techlash article (NYT, of course) includes the Big Lie bitlet about Facebook supposedly “influencing” the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The “proof” is to a self- referential NYT disinformation link — https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/17/technology/indictment-russian-tech-facebook.html

    Yah, so it’s like there will be an infusion of fresh young idealistic people that will change corporate culture (sic) from within. That’s like believing that a dose of probiotic bacteria will reconstitute the gut biome and cure sepsis or cancer…

    Reply
  26. VietnamVet

    There is a good report from CNN on the aftermath of the Iranian ballistic missile strike in Iraq.
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/13/middleeast/iran-strike-al-asad-base-iraq-exclusive-intl/index.html

    Fifty years ago we were much more blasé. Absolutely no hugging. It wasn’t like we were overrun by the NVA. The wounded were medevaced out never to return. The aftereffects remain. Last week waiting for WWIII to start, the subconscious and body acted out from dread of the next attack.

    The Empire will try to divide the Shiites but assassinating their militia’s representative to the Baghdad government is the exact opposite of the right thing to do. The occupation is pointless. There are no allies left except Israel. The assassination was so stupid that it is guaranteed that the next SNAFU will be even worse. The Gulf States must now make peace with Iran or lose their oil and natural gas income. There aren’t many options left for the USA; withdrawal or a world war. It is frightening that none of the major Democratic Presidential Candidates have pointed this out; instead, they are dog-cat-fighting over identity politics.

    Reply
  27. KFritz

    Re CCPA

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Privacy Badger”–an anti-tracking tool–found 8, yes 8, potential trackers associated with the website that’s built to list data brokers!

    Memo to AG Becerra: WTF?!?!

    Reply
  28. Carolinian

    Re WaPo/Trump/Pelosi–Trump really needs to go. He does a lunatic thing and then accuses anyone who doesn’t fully go along of being a traitor. His claims that the Iraqis–who didn’t ask for their country to be devastated by the US–must pay if they want us to go are also quite off the wall. Sanders is looking better and better.

    Reply

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