Links 1/20/2020

Large African herbivores have helped to repair their environment Nature

A century ago, Pennsylvania stood almost entirely stripped of trees Pittsburgh City Paper

Huge dust storms in Australia hit central New South Wales Guardian. Next, locusts. Followed by bankers and private equity.

BlackRock gets praise for coal divestment. What it really needs is regulation Ann Pettifor, Guardian (UserFriendly). As opposed to dismemberment?

The $119 Billion Sea Wall That Could Defend New York … or Not NYT

U.S. appeals court tosses children’s climate lawsuit Science. For more on Juliana v. United States, see NC (2019, 2017, 2015).

The index providers are quietly building up enormous powers FT. “The new gatekeepers of capital.” Important.

How An Exotic Investment Product Sold In Korea Could Create Havoc In The U.S. Options Market Bloomberg

Ready, steady, review: Five questions for the ECB Reuters


Rethinking The U.S. Role In The Middle East The American Conservative (Re Silc).

Blundering into War Patrick Cockburn, LRB. Much food for thought.

Iran War would be only one letter different from Iraq War Duffel Blog

Iraqi Oil Field Halts as Reform-Driven Protests Escalate Bloomberg

Head Of Leading Think Tank Suggests Deportation Of Anti-War Iranian Americans The Iranian

The US might finally unveil deal of the century, in the run-up to Israel’s election The National. From the UAE. Read in conjunction with the post from The Polemecist, under “Impeachment.”


China reports another death from Wuhan virus and infections in other cities as WHO warns of human transmission South China Morning Post. During the Lunar New Year, the largest human migration in the world with 400 million Chinese taking the train.

Cluster of pneumonia cases caused by a novel coronavirus, Wuhan, China (PDF) European Center for Disease Prevention and Control

Estimating the potential total number of novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases in Wuhan City, China MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Imperial College. Here also is the page on “2019-nCoV” at (which seems to be the PPRuNe of the infectious disease community).


Why Modi’s Thugs Attacked My University Project Syndicate

Assessing the sustainability of post-Green Revolution cereals in India PNAS. “In India, diversifying crop production to include more coarse cereals, such as millets and sorghum, can make food supply more nutritious, reduce resource demand and greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance climate resilience without reducing calorie production or requiring more land.”


Impeachment: What Lies Beneath? The Polemicist (CL). From December, still germane. In fact, today’s must-read.

Are the Democrats Ready for Trump’s Impeachment Trial? The New Yorker

The drama and protagonists: A guide to Trump’s impeachment trial FT

New Cold War

As Protests in South America Surged, So Did Russian Trolls on Twitter, U.S. Finds NYT. I can’t even.

Kansas City radio station agrees to broadcast Russian-owned ‘propaganda’ program Kansas City Star

The lost boys of Ukraine: How the war abroad beckoned American white supremacists Triad City Beat

Hyper Over Russian Hypersonics Consortium News

Trump Transition

National Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women’s March photo The Hill

Labor Department limits news outlets’ use of embargoed data AP

USPS 5-year business plan: ‘Innovate faster,’ cut costs to remain solvent Federal News Network


The Democrats’ Best Choices For President: Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren Editorial Board, NYT. Maybe if the ratings are good enough, the Times will commission a second season where they actually make a choice? (I’ll put on my yellow waders for this ridiculousness in a post later today.)

The New York Times’ Made-for-TV Endorsement Missed the Mark (Column) Variety.

* * *

Jayapal defended Warren’s #MedicareForAll rollout, let us remember:

Bernie Sanders Says He Hopes Americans ‘Look at the Totality Of A Candidate,’ Not Their Gender, Amid Feud with Warren Newsweek. The predictable hysteria from the usual sources followed. Two words: “President Palin.” I mean, come on, man. How can this be controversial? And the reporting on this was a little… odd:


Bloomberg really butchered this; it’s exactly like putting out a hot take that’s wrong, and then issuing a correction (which nobody reads) after the wrong take propagates. That happened here. I can only hope that the cause was lack of professionalism, and not malice.

CNN Reveals Bernie Sanders Running For President Of Country With History Of Sexism The Onion

Why they hate Bernie’s supporters Carl Beijer. Proles taking liberties with the narrative. Can’t have that.

Sanders is right: Biden is vulnerable to Trump on Social Security WaPo

Remember When Obama and Biden Tried to Cut Social Security by $230 Billion? Benjamin Studebaker. I do, as does any other sentient creature who’s been following politics in any detail over the last few decades, including, one assumes, a segment of the White House press corps.

* * *

Why Do Trump Supporters Support Trump? Anand Giridharadas, NYT (Re Silc). What do the drums say, Anand?

The Truth About the Trump Economy Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate

Trump Administration is “woke” to the student-loan crisis: What can it do in 2020? Condemned to Debt (UserFriendly).

How five members of Joe Biden’s family got rich through his connections NY Post

Tulsi Gabbard Endorses Legalizing Drugs Forbes

Puerto Rico

Puerto Ricans discovered a warehouse full of unused food, water, and supplies from Hurricane Maria, resulting in the firing of the island’s emergency manager Business Insider (KW).

Guillotine Watch

How Western advisers helped an autocrat’s daughter amass and shield a fortune Quartz

Class Warfare

Injuries at Fresno’s Amazon warehouse double California’s industry average Fresno Bee

Windowless underground sleeping pods could rent from $1K/month NY Post

‘She’ll tackle any voiceover – just not Scar’: Moment Prince Harry tells Lion King director Jon Favreau his wife is available for work – as Meghan jokes ‘That’s really why we’re here – to pitch!’ Daily Mail (J-LS).

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Festival of large herbivores!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. upstater

    Boeing 737-800 NG…

    How Boeing’s Responsibility in a Deadly Crash ‘Got Buried’

    “On the morning of Feb. 25, 2009, Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 approached Amsterdam” … it crashed

    Dr. Dekker chastised Boeing for designing the autothrottle to rely on just one of two sensors measuring altitude. That decision, he wrote, left “a single-failure pathway in place,” raising the risk that a single error could lead to catastrophe.

    This problem was apparently recognized years before. Regulatory capture.

  2. christofay

    I’m having a hard time flashing optimism at the workplace when I feel it’s puke in my mouth Mondays. It’s Monday night Taiwan time.

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    Democratic Party motivations for impeachment–

    One thing is clear: the motivation can’t be to remove Trump from office. Considering that we are already at the beginning of the 2020 Presidential primary season and Republicans are fully set up to re-nominate Trump, Republican Senators voting to remove Trump from office are basically voting to cede the 2020 election and dissolve the Republican Party. It might be difficult to find 22 Republican Senators willing to do that.

  4. Wukchumni

    Are the Democrats Ready for Trump’s Impeachment Trial? The New Yorker
    Nancy Pelosi was on Bill Maher, and he was dismissive that anything would come of it in the Senate, and playing Nancy with her comments, she mentioned twice that the President was impeached forever, and that the stigma will never go away.

    Is that all there is?

    12 minutes could be longer than most peoples Pelosi potential, but persevere. It gets pretty treacly towards the end when Nancy tells us “its for the children”.

    Now as far as the Senate goes, what if the evangs therein pulled a coup d’gawd and allowed the impeachment to run its course with Trump being turfed out, allowing one of their kind to call the shots. The ersatz dogmatist was good for the far right, he pulled off damn near everything they wanted, so of what use is he now, especially with his newly won nutter status leading the assassination bureau to gory.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “A century ago, Pennsylvania stood almost entirely stripped of trees”

    Very unexpected this story. The forests would be different to what the the colonist knew in the 17th & 18th centuries and in fact the article mentions that more hard wood trees have been planted. But with this re-forestation, I wonder if an effort was made to re-intrude the animals that use to call Pennsylvania’s woods home. I suppose that would include deer, beavers, wolves, etc. and they must have had an effect of how Pennsylvania use to look.

    1. BlakeFelix

      Ya, as a Pennsylvania resident, we very successfully reintroduced white tail deer and turkeys, with a managed hunting season. We have a fair number of beavers running around, I know our pond has some. Many people consider the deer and beaver pests, which the deer are as they eat my garden every year. I should IMO turn the tables and eat the deer, but I can’t bring myself to shoot one. Our beavers don’t bother anyone but do build a dam and manage the level of the pond to suit themselves. The deer also interact with cars in unfortunate ways. No wolves to my knowledge near me, but coyotes and fishers and porcupines and raccoons and possums in abundance. Although the coyotes, fishers, and porcupines are pretty sneaky. Decent number of bears around, black bears so mostly harmless except to bird feeders.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        They (whoever they is) have reintroduced elk to Virginny a few years back to fill the gap white tailed deer cant. There are over 200 running around the Southwestern part of the state.

        1. Darius

          The eastern, nominate subspecies was driven to extinction along with the exterminated trees. Reintroduced elk are a smaller, western subspecies.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      There are many, many places that people think are ‘natural’ forest that are really regrowths from massive deforestation from medieval times to the to mid 20th Centuries. Its often forgotten that early European farmer settlers in the US farmed very intensively – too intensively for the land, before moving on to Mid-West and beyond after exhausting the soil (and the Native Americans before them managed farms far more intensively than used to be thought). The same goes for a surprising amount of forests in Europe, Asia and even South and Central America.

      1. Carolinian

        There’s very little old growth left in the eastern United States. The fertile valleys were cleared first and eventually they even started stripping the hillsides as in the Great Smokies. In the end the US Forest service was created in response to the unregulated cutting.

        1. Wukchumni

          Aside from a small number of Giant Sequoias logged @ Atwell Mill, the old growth forest behind me is largely intact as there was no way to transport wood easily from the mountains to the valley below @ the time Sequoia was made the 2nd National Park in 1890.

          Lake Tahoe is interesting, in that the entire eastern (Nevada) side was denuded of trees for the mines in Virginia City of Comstock Lode fame, while the harder to get to California side not nearly so much.

          A proximity thing in the 1860’s, I suppose.

          1. Carolinian

            When Michael Mann set out to remake The Last of the Mohicans he chose western North Carolina to represent upstate New York as the latter had been so heavily denuded of old growth. There was plenty of logging in North Carolina too of course, but our trees grow faster and there are fewer twee resorts. In fact the Lake Lure area, where some of Mohicans was filmed, also subbed for the Catskills in scenes from Dirty Dancing.

            Now of course the New Yorkers are moving down here so we are getting plenty of our own twee resorts. The Asheville of Thomas Wolfe’s impoverished childhood is becoming rather deluxe.

      2. The Historian

        There’s a great book on that subject: “Ecological Imperialism”, by Alfred Crosby. It is an interesting read about how Europeans decimated foreign environments and replaced them with the plants and animals they were used to in Europe.

        1. richard

          I agree it’s a great book!
          I read a book to my 2nd graders every year called Alien Invaders, about how non-native species can devastatingly transform an environment. Having read Crosby’s book allows me to historicize this process for kids with European settlement of the Americas.

        2. The Rev Kev

          That last sentiment must have been plenty strong with them. When the first paintings were done in Oz, they were painted as idyllic English pastures and an effort was made to make the country look like “back home”. But eventually people adjusted and paintings started going to England showing the landscape as it actually was which must have been a shock to a lot of people as it seemed so alien.

          1. witters

            Actually Rev, the early painters got it pretty much right. See Bill Gammage, “The Largest Estate on Earth.”

      3. Krystyn Walentka

        They just recently “discovered” an old growth near Port Townsend, WA, which is great becasue it means it cannot be destroyed (harvested).,67123

        For a forest stand to be considered “old growth” it must contain trees that are at least 170 years old.

        Donato’s forest assessment shows that trees in the Cape George stand have been determined to be 120 to 170 years old.

        Because it has been listed as old growth, the parcel will not be harvested.

      4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It happened in (the Central Plain part of) China long ago as well. when one notes the shift from bronze burial offerings to more modest ceramic ones some time during the Han dynasty, if not earlier, as the former required extensive mining, as well as the disappearing of animals like elephants and bears (the former in bronze from the Shang dynasty, and the latter in jade) over the last two millennia, during to hunting and habitat destruction.

    3. Amfortas the hippie

      i’ve never been…but representations of rural Pennsylvania have always appealed to me(if it didn’t get so derned cold)
      what bubbles up right now is parts of “the Happening”, which takes place in Arundel county(sp-2).
      i didn’t expect this story, either.
      as for the same phenomenon in places i have been, east texas, north of houston was historically extensively logged…just about every pasture with a cow in it used to be piney woods…and the extant piney woods are to a great extent second, third and fourth growth. this is largely unknown, even to long time locals.

      here in the Nw hill country, when white folks arrived(in this case, German Idealists), they found scrub forested hills, open, park like valleys and dense forests along the rivers and creeks.
      the difference, today, is mesquite(came in the dung of spanish cattle) and “cedar”(= a juniper=”cedar fever” that you WILL get if you live here long enough) and prickly pear all through what used to be sparsely wooded prairie….primarily through the suppression of seasonal wildfire. one can hear the oldest farmers/ranchers/settler-scions talk about watching this happen…even as their practices helped it along immensely.
      so…historical geography? historical ecogeography?
      whatever…it’s innerestin, and has implications to todays land-use, etc.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Hey Amf, you were talking about how wide spread prickly pear is near you. Have they tried the moth Cactoblastis cactorum from South America at all? We had prickly pear in Oz and it was a massive problem. Then they brought in this moth in 1925 and it proceeded to massacre the prickly pears. Farmers were so grateful that they actually built a monument to this moth-

        1. John Zelnicker

          @The Rev Kev
          January 20, 2020 at 9:14 am

          Thanks, Rev, for my history lesson for today.

          I have always thought that the monument to the boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) in Enterprise, Alabama, was the only monument to an insect.

          The cotton farmers were grateful that the nemesis of the cotton plant had taught them to rotate crops and diversify their crops.

          “As a tribute to how something disastrous can be a catalyst for change, and a reminder of how the people of Enterprise adjusted in the face of adversity, the monument was dedicated on December 11, 1919 at the intersection of College and Main Street, the heart of the town’s business district.”

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          like the juniper(“cedar”), prickly pear is native…but lack of fire has allowed it to get way out of hand.
          millions of acres of mesquite/pear(and turkey pear, algerita, etc etc—literally everything out here has a thorn on it).
          it’s a big problem, but i’d have to study that moth pretty hard before i’d in any way advocate it’s introduction.
          pear is a superimportant habitat/refugia for a giant swath of local wildlife.
          the standard…and only cost effective… way to be a predator for prickly pear is mechanical control(dozer or bobcat), then spot application of some herbicide. every sliver of a pad will take root and start the colonisation all over again.(I’m in this second phase this year, emphasis on “spot”, as in targeted…for a few areas on our place)
          this clonal aspect(pretty much every “plant” you see is really one plant, for miles) makes such introductions worrisome…for the same reason that monocrop wheat, etc is not robust.
          brush control would be a perfect candidate for a WPA/CCC….and including it in a platform would open a lot of eyes in more than half of rural texas: it’s expensive to do yourself, especially if you’re trying to be sensitive about herbicides and general destruction.It’s also very far off from the vast majority’s radar, as a problem that needs addressing.
          it would be even cooler, if replanting trees and native grasses followed along behind the removal teams.
          if done right, it could have enormous follow on effects, from land use to soil health to aquifer recharge(might even see the little creeks run, again)

          1. Oregoncharles

            Nobody is eating the prickly pear? Opuntia is a delicacy – though I don’t think I’ve tried it myself. Ranchers are also known to burn off the thorns and feed it to livestock, but that’s probably a desperation measure.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              that’s only for bad drought.
              maybe people would eat them*, but these are the kind with spines, and those tiny, almost invisible thread thorns.
              you can burn them off, but once you get a thread stuck in your throat once….lol
              when i make jelly/wine/syrup from the tuna’s, i burn them on a campfire and then filter the juice.

              the edible kind are “edible” because they’re spineless(insert team blue joke), and when folks come up from the south(mexico), they bring pads with them to plant.
              both barrios are full of them.
              been on my list to obtain some cutting from folks i know in the barrios, because nopales are very nutritious and tasty.
              and it’s not like they’re difficult to grow.

              * folks around here are super conservative with food,lol.
              first kitchen i opened…one old lady “what’s this white stuff”(jack cheese—“but cheese is yella”)…old man “there’s oak leaves in this soup!”(gumbo—bay leaves)
              took me a long time, and a lot of effort, to get them trying new things…thornless new things,lol.

              1. coboarts

                I’ve been keeping a prickly with me for years. I found the original where we moved when my parents bought their dream home east of San Diego in ’69. For whatever reason, I just wanted to take care of it. Last summer I saw the corrupted remains of the original, still there but hurtin’ bad. One place I had it my wife ordered it out. I didn’t oblige quickly enough, so she took a steak knife and whittled it down to nothing – Cambodian raised in the sticks. I’ve got it back up again, but I just like it and so do the birds.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > every “plant” you see is really one plant, for miles

            When you take the mycelial mat into account, this may be true for trees, as well (depending on your definition of “one plant”).

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              aye. i love the mycelial network…nervous system of Gaia.
              the prickly pears(Opuntia, spp) are clones.
              one can take a pad(really the stem. the leaves are actually the spines), cut off a 1/2 square inch chunk of it, and lay that little bit on some sand. barring animal intervention…and assuming the extreme minimum of “timely rain”, that 1/2″ will take root and become a prickly pear, genetically identical to the original.
              the pads that drop or get knocked off on the hilltops curve up into a boat shape when it rains…and float down the gullies to spread their kind.
              a neat adaptation, but still.
              as i clear certain areas of the farm of the opuntia overgrowth, i put what i dig up into several future hedgerows…besides extreme emergency food, it’s really the best human-centered us for them.
              lots of non-human critters like them, though.

      2. inode_buddha

        I live about 2 hrs north of the PA line. Its doing pretty good, as far as nature goes. Like here, its all maple, elm, and beech trees, some pine. Deer, coyotes, fox, beaver, woodchucks, etc etc. Ducks n geese. Raccoons. The deer will eat your crops *and* your garden, if they don’t hit your car. Good sizes ones too. It’s 13F (-11C) outside, but at least the wind died down. Think I’ll stay in today.

        1. xkeyscored

          Deer hit your car? Surely you mean your car hit a deer, or are the deer there unusually aggressive?

          1. inode_buddha

            I had one run right into the side of it last year. Since then, I have no problem eating them. Maybe it thought I was gonna move out of the way or something. Nope. BTW this was in a heavily populated, light industrial area on a state road.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              90% of accidents in my county are single vehicle. probably half of those are deer running out at the last minute.(rest is falling asleep)
              that’s why all the trucks have big, honking grill guards.
              suv or car is no match.

              1. inode_buddha

                This one head butted my truck right over the rear wheel, dented it in. The idiot got up and ran off a few seconds later, but I’m still pissed. If I was driving the jeep that day, I bet he wouldn’t have even left a scratch (the jeep is one of the older ones… yj with a brush guard)

              2. John

                I know a woman who was in the passenger seat who was blinded by the glass of the windshield breaking when the deer and car collided.

                1. Wukchumni

                  I watched an old dear in Glendale, Ca. accidentally maneuver her car into the opposing fast lane, and by the time she realized her mistake, had to veer off the road into somebody’s yard, hitting a tree towards the end of the saga which unfolded in front of me, about 200 feet ahead.

                2. xkeyscored

                  No doubt your automobile experiences will be vastly enhanced when all those irresponsible deer are extinct or in zoos. Happy driving. Cars deserve to live! Down with life!

                  1. John

                    Don’t know why you are judging what I wrote so harshly regarding wildlife’s right to exist.

                    Just pointing out that people get injured in these collisions too. Not just car damage.

                    1. inode_buddha

                      He probably thinks deer are an endangered species or something when in fact its just the opposite. But then I have long since concluded that there are people here on NC who believe we should all be living in mud-brick city-states and singing kumbaya.

                    2. ambrit

                      I_b: “mud brick city states” = dirt poor?
                      I’ll bet a lot of the ultra-ecophiles never imagine that they could be among the myriads who perish to achieve that “sustainable ecology” they dream of. (It might be inevitable, I dunno.)
                      All I know is that everything dies, sooner or later.

                    3. xkeyscored

                      Replying to John, and others in this thread.
                      I wasn’t just thinking of you, but of the comments in the thread. Cars typically drive at well over 20 mph, a dangerous speed if you ask me considering their weight, even more dangerous on roads shared with wildlife, pedestrians or cyclists. It’s hardly surprising that wildlife, not just deer, as well as people, get injured and killed.
                      I should perhaps mention I have a lifelong antipathy to automobiles. They may be necessary in some circumstances, but racing around hitting things is one of the very reasons I loathe them overall. So don’t take it too personally! I think for many reasons we need a new approach to transportation.
                      (I also fear we may all be living in mud brick dwellings in a few generations, with cars being a major factor in that via global warming and environmental collapse.)

                    4. mpalomar

                      “there are people here on NC who believe we should all be living in mud-brick city-states and singing kumbaya.”

                      -It’s not an either/or. I am appalled at the slaughter of wildlife on the roads and though I drive an automobile (carefully) I despise them and the harm they do. Humans, (in general, not you) particularly those living off an agri industry world, have little contact with, what shall we call it? nature? and have lost contact with the sentient awareness of their ecological co residents.
                      There’s a long stretch of a new highway next province over in New Brunswick fenced to keep critters off the road, passage tunnels crossing under the highway, benefits everyone and should be done more.

                    5. aletheia33

                      read this (link included above, not sure it will be shown in this comment; will return to check) and discover a joyous way of life.

                      if you are able to suspend prior assumptions for a minute or two.

                      thank you xkeyscored and mpalomar.

                3. Oregoncharles

                  I was in precisely that position when a buck jumped onto our car, hitting the passenger side window, then rolled off and died. I had my head down reading the map, so no glass in my eyes, but i had to keep the map there because glass dribbled down all the way home, several hours. Fortunately, my wife, the driver, could still see out.

                  Yes, sometimes they jump right at your car. Panic, I assume.

          2. The Historian

            No, we have that happen a lot in states with sizeable deer populations. Deer aren’t very good at estimating how far a car is from them and when they get spooked, they run, usually into the roads, so we get a lot of instances where a deer will run right into a car on the highways. If you drive in Montana at dusk or dawn, you get used to scanning the sides of the roads as well as looking down the road when you drive, because those are the times you will most likely see deer by the roads.

            1. xkeyscored

              To put it another way, drivers aren’t very good about estimating how dangerously they’re driving. I’ve never been a deer, at least in this current life, but I’ve been a pedestrian and a cyclist, often on small country roads. Drivers take it as their inalienable right to drive at speeds that would kill me if I didn’t take evasive action, like getting off the road as I hear them approach. I guess they’re about to take corners on the wrong side of the road, and I’m all too often right.
              Frankly, I’m disturbed to find so many commenters blaming the deer, as if they’ve no right to be there. Would you be happier to see their habitats concreted over and replaced with freeways?

              1. inode_buddha

                40 mph in a 40 zone in fair weather on a 4-lane with nobody else around at 5 AM is dangerous?

                I absolutely *do* have the right to do that since I vote and my taxes help pay for that road. There is no cycling lane in that particular stretch, but there *is* a sidewalk, so you can use that.

                Really, just DEAL WITH IT

                1. Monty

                  It’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk (pavement) in the UK, most journeys are < 10 miles and the deer live in parks, so it's difficult to understand for them.

                  1. inode_buddha

                    Ah, OK if that’s the case I can see why xkeyscored might not understand the situation in the US is a bit different… my bad. Around here animals such as deer live wherever they want to, etc. and cycling is largely unregulated. The EU/UK life is largely impractical/impossible for most of the US simply due to the sheer size of it.

                    1. Amfortas the hippie

                      the two weeks after “opening day” of deer season around here, and the deer congregate along the highways…generally nice grass there, too.
                      other heavy times for deer are full moons.
                      i dislike driving at night, any way(what has happened to headlights!?), add deer and it’s pretty hairy out here.
                      so if i must drive at night, i’m a grandmother.
                      everyone else? not so much.
                      speed limit’s 75; people go much faster….great distances involved.
                      it’s quite tragic to drive anywhere on a given morning. just carnage.
                      and highways are well known to be barriers to the movements of smaller/slower things, like frogs and turtles, even to the extent that species begin to differentiate on either side.
                      i’ve hit two deer in 25 years(meat was unsalvageable on one(guts popped(!)), and unfindable on the other(ran off to likely die in the bush)

                      and i should reiterate what others have pointed to: deer are not rare animals…humans killed off most of their natural predators/population checks…and without hunting, we’d all be overrun with cervids, which would have follow-on effects throughout the surrounding food-web.

                    2. drumlin woodchuckles

                      xkeyscored needs to visit America and celebrate life by kicking a bobcat. Then he could have a real nature experience.

                    3. mpalomar

                      “i should reiterate what others have pointed to: deer are not rare animals…humans killed off most of their natural predators/population checks…and without hunting, we’d all be overrun with cervids, which would have follow-on effects throughout the surrounding food-web.”
                      Yes relevant point there, the deer imbalance is caused by a far more consequential human imbalance. I never can entirely except the speciesism perspective but sometimes I almost prefer the cervids And yet the damn things keep jumping into the sides of our cars and causing havoc.

                2. xkeyscored

                  40 mph on a country road with no sidewalk and plenty of turns and hedges is dangerous. You can’t see what’s a couple of seconds ahead. Maybe you don’t drive dangerously, but enough people do. I’ve had several close calls in the wee hours.
                  I’ve often fantasised about dealing with it with an RPG or similar, but in practice, I have helped when drunken idiots have piled into a tree (probably at a lot more than 40). Two survived, one of whom almost certainly wouldn’t have if I’d taken that attitude – “YOU DEAL WITH IT.”
                  My attitude remains that cars are inherently dangerous, and it’s up to drivers to minimise the danger to others.

                  1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

                    In Ireland, particularly County Kerry I soon stopped attempting to have nice walks along narrow winding roads without much of a verge after having to literally dive into a hedge on 2 occasions.

                    Sometimes it’s bad enough in a car to the extent that driving in the dark was better due to being able to make out approaching headlights. I also didn’t enjoy the morning spectacle of roadkill comprising of rabbits, foxes & badgers with the odd cat.

                    I hit a cat once in an urban area that flashed in front of me which then dived into a hedge & had disappeared by the time I had stopped & walked back to check on it – it was very depressing.

              2. Riverboat Grambler

                I’ve been driving along winding country roads and had deer run headlong into the side of my car; that deer hit me, not the other way around. Deer are panicky and stupid when it comes to roads. As others have said, in certain rural parts of the country you learn to watch for deer on the side of the road constantly, especially at night. They are a hazard when driving. There’s nothing wring with pointing this out; it certainly doesn’t imply anyone wants to bulldoze all deer habitats for the sake of parking lots.

                1. aletheia33

                  children, old people, wheelchair-bound or otherwise disabled people, pedestrians at night, people riding bicycles are all hazards when driving.
                  DEAL WITH IT.
                  after all, running into another human being could actually kill you if you are not super careful.
                  it is suggested that to protect yourself, you should make sure that your car is highly visible at enough distance away that people can clearly see your car while there is still enough time for them to get out of its way before it hits them.
                  this is for your own protection and to enable you to continue to be able to reach your destination in the amount of time you are used to budgeting for it.
                  because we all have very important places to go and things to do, and, for one thing, if traffic were ever made to move any slower, our economy would be toast.
                  oh, wait . . .

                  1. inode_buddha

                    Well, thanks for telling me how dangerous I am. Even when doing the posted limit on a non-shared road, with daytime headlights at 5 AM, going to a job which was 30 miles away. Because I refuse to live in the ghetto and catch cancer from the chemical plant there.

                    I guess I just go around hitting things on purpose don’t I?

                    You know, I grew up doing farm labor. Don’t tell me about nature, I already know.

                    And I am SO sick and tired of being demonized by euros and ecos on this site… all for just trying to live my life.

                    1. ambrit

                      Not just demonized, but financialized by the economic transnational elites.
                      I will react to obloquy tossed at me from time to time, but often, when detached from the emotional content of the communication, I view it as a “learning experience.” That knife cuts both ways I have discovered.
                      Stay warm up there near the Pole!

                    2. aletheia33

                      dear buddha, i am sorry, my comment was not directed at you personally.
                      i too am just trying to get by, looking forward to aging in poverty.
                      just trying to get by, as i walk down a street with no sidewalk, shakier than i used to be and afraid.
                      i never realized until i was deprived of “wheels” last year how much i always took automobilism for granted and how impossible it was for me to literally put myself in the shoes of people who do not own cars.
                      i certainly knew that our whole economy and society is built around the automobile, with its lethal weight and toxicity and illusion of superhuman power, but i did not fully understand how deeply engrained, unhealthy, unnecessary, and costly that dependency truly is.
                      i experience being car free now with my actual feet and body, i feel alive in a way i never expected even as i walk in fear of drivers killing me, and i wish for you that some day you will be able to experience it too (without the fear part).
                      all best wishes and i am very grateful that some people on the road in cars are as careful and considerate as you. i will salute you with a smile and a wave as you pass me slowly and considerately, and i know you will salute me back, knowing our truest interests are the same.

                    3. smoker

                      I feel you. If I didn’t have a car, there’s no way I would have been able to keep two loved ones at least temporarily safe from a horrid fate, let alone the fact that as an EDUCATED renter, I am, very soon, facing likely homelessness myself and utterly clueless as to those who’d like to even ban the homeless shelter of their own cars (apparently the only asset that renters are allowed equity in for their huge investment in – UNLIKE HOUSING), particularly in places where there are no shelters available for years – PERIOD.

                      I have no clue how some of these people are able to take care of loved ones they feel responsible for without vehicles, nor where they shelter when impoverished.

                  2. Riverboat Grambler

                    What are you on about?

                    I do “DEAL WITH” road hazards. What in my comment implied otherwise?

                    You guys realize that there are rural areas where literally everything is like twenty minutes apart, right? That’s why people have cars. It’s kind of necessary to do almost anything. “DEAL WITH IT.”

                    For the record, although I grew up in a rural area and owned a car (gasp!) I currently live in a city, don’t own a car, and walk/bike everywhere. And guess what? Around here, bikers have far worse reputations for recklessness than people in cars.

            2. Tom Doak

              Northern lower Michigan, where I have lived now for thirty years, has a huge deer population, and they are indeed road hazards.

              I didn’t grow up here and am not a hunter, as the majority of the locals are. Last year hunting season culled 360,000 deer, slightly fewer than the year before.

              1. newcatty

                Another factor in how hard it is to navigate some rural or mountainous roads in some places. In two states, AZ and CO I have, or a good friend, has almost been in awful accidents while driving our cars. Both involved bycyclists using the shoulders of narrow roads. My friend was driving on a narrow, rural road in Nortern CO. FWIW, bycyclists are numerous and, not all, arrogrant about their “right to use the roads”. Almost any bycyclist is in their cool uniforms while riding the roads. They often ride two or three abreast on the road. My friend, a very cautious and experienced driver, was coming home on the road to our small town. As usual, she knew to watch for cyclists and, yes, deer! So, she came up to a group of cyclists, two were side by side with one on the road and the other on the shoulder. More are stretched out behind the front two. She did as usual, turned to avoid the lead two…no oncoming traffic on the two lane road. Yikes!! A deer came up the slight rise from the other lane right in front of her. Does she run into deer or cyclists? In split second thinking, she rammed on the gas pedal and just missed deer and humans. She pulled over to an open spot as soon as she found one under a tree. Said she sat there shaking and stunned for awhile. Oh, the cyclists rode by and ignored her.

                I used to ride a very narrow and winding road to my workplace in southern AZ. It was only access to it. Sometimes barely room on two lane road to safely navigate the twists and turns. Like CO, cyclists in AZ are often arrogant and self obsessed. A couple times, I held my breath that I could pass them on road and that no oncoming traffic was coming my way.

                To state my opinion: nothing against bycyclists. Sharing the road is one thing, but reckless, selfish and dangerous behaviors are not safe for anyone.

                1. JBird4049

                  It is not the method people are using to go about, but how they are treating it. Many are either obsessed with their “rights” or just stupid. Drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians, whatever.

                  I have nearly been run off the freeway by people on their phones and nearly killed pedestrians who have walked across multi lane roads without looking going either against the light or between cars.

                  It is not mistakes in judgement or momentary lapse of attention, but ignoring everything around them as if nothing will hurt them. Arrogance.

                  1. aletheia 33

                    with one difference in terms of actual method–in a car, the level of lethal danger that a small mistake in judgment or momentary lapse of attention gives rise to is far greater.

                    human mind/bodies, with their power amplified many times by the power of engines, researchers have noticed, function quite differently from when they are without such a massive power boost.

                    when you really think about that often-observed fact, it is both intriguing and frightening.

                    generally, it does seem that along with the relentless progress to the all-pervasiveness of automobilism, it has been very convenient, not to mention lucrative, for the powers that be, in their very human way, to not perceive the problematic implications of this phenomenon.

                    hence the disaster of humans’ reckless alienation from one another and from the reality of their own limited power and human nature, the concomitant poisoning of the planet with fossil fuel combustion, and the current recognition that we seem to be incapable, as a species, no matter how compelling the need, of renouncing our delusion of omnipotence.

            3. rowlf

              Deer also refuse to follow DOT guidelines for reflective safety vest use around roads. As an alternative I am trying to come up with a way to change deer DNA so they are reflective, as this will make road travel safer and help those with low incomes deer jack with less costly equipment.

              The 200 square mile county I live in averages about 500 deer/vehicle collisions a year. I have either a pretty good deer radar sense or good luck as so far I have had some close calls but no hits. Since I think the math isn’t in my favor I drive very carefully at dusk, night and dawn.

              1. Wukchumni

                Around 30 or so black bears have been hit by cars and killed here in the past 5 years. They’re similar to deer i’d guess, in a ‘gee what is that 4,000 pound thing coming at me @ 45 mph doing?”.

                1. rowlf

                  The deer here in the southeast US are antler challenged. I want the whole fur coat to reflect so I have time to slow down safely.

                  Someone has to look out for the low information vaulters. (sorry)

            4. smoker

              Generally speaking, one thing that always prevented many deer/animal car collisions was keep those damn HIGH BEAM HEADLIGHTS off unless absolutely necessary, because they blind living humans and animals (and they are extremely dangerous when driving through fog). Most people were wise about using them, is what I noticed for decades (I’m in my sixties). Now, unfortunately, headlights on vehicles, particularly large ones like SUVs. manufactured for the last over a decade have not been regulated for their blinding effects, despite countless complaints over those years.

    4. Arizona Slim

      Pennsylvania native here.

      Ya wanna know how to make us REALLY mad? Cut down a perfectly healthy tree, that’s how.

      You can take a tree-hugging Pennsylvanian out of the Keystone State, but you will never remove that tree-hugging part of us.

      1. Lee

        There are exceptions. During my misspent youth in the ’70s, I made good money for a couple of years clearing acres of the non-native eucalyptus from the SF east bay hills. They had been planted to replace the native redwoods and other species that were cut for timber in the 19th century. Absent koalas and/or proper management they take over, get humongously large very quickly, and nothing else grows beneath them. What was not done was stump removal or poisoning. The stumps sprouted a new crop of trees that, again without proper management, provided the principal fuel for the 1991 east bay firestorm.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Actually most were planted in a scheme to make money by harvesting them to make paper, but oops the promoter picked the wrong variety of eucalypt, the variety he picked turned out to be useless for paper, his scheme went belly-up, but the trees remained, and flourished

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        And Upper Peninsula Michigan around the same time. I think this cutting down of our forests moved East to West. The trees in Washington State were cut some time in the 1970s I think. It was a shock for me to drive the coast route from San Diego toward Seattle as a young adult and remember that same road when I went to the World’s Fair in Seattle with my grandparents in the late 1960s as a young teen.

        1. Wukchumni

          We noticed ‘Potemkin Tree Villages’ in Oregon, where you couldn’t see the clearcut sections, as the road went through an uncut swath big enough where you couldn’t see out of it @ 65 mph.

    5. lyman alpha blob

      It’s true in much of the Northeastern US. Vermont was also mostly denuded by the late 19th century but a lot of the forest has grown back. My folks’ house is on 80 acres of what 50-60 years ago used to be cleared pasture but is now forested again. Wild turkeys and moose are now regular visitors and I never saw these as a kid. Still waiting for the catamounts to return though.

      Some of the reforestation is due to better logging practices but some is also due to the destruction of small family farms in recent decades.

      1. bob

        They were clear-cut twice, at least. Early 19th, then later 19th early 20th. The 20th century brought some conservation steps, but logging was still big. Smaller clear cuts, but with the same effects.

        Charcoal was one of the biggest uses of these trees, especially in areas far removed from any market. Most iron mines and/or processing facilities were built where lots of trees were available for this fuel. That was the determining factor of their placement.

    6. John

      Almost none of the forest east of the Mississippi is virgin. Much of New York and New England was also clear cut until coal replaced wood as fuel and timber for industrial use was more profitably found in the west.

      1. Oregoncharles

        There is a small stand of virgin eastern hardwood forest in Spring Mill State Park, in southwest Indiana. The same park has caves, sink holes, and a “pioneer village” of salvaged buildings gathered around a working grist mill driven by water out of the caves. Wonderful place, only an hour or two from where I grew up, but I only learned about it when we held a family reunion there.

  6. zagonostra

    >The assassination of MLK

    So few people know or have digested the fact that MLK was assassinated by their own government. It is a fact that is not subject to obfuscation for those with eyes to see. It was proven in the court of law by Willam Pepper, a name that even fewer people recognize.

    Pepper, an attorney who represented the King family in the 1999 trial that found U.S. officials of the federal (in particular, the FBI and Army Intelligence), state, and local governments [were] responsible for King’s assassination.

    Pepper’s decades-long investigation, not only refutes the government’s case against James Earl Ray, but definitively proves that King was killed by a government conspiracy led by the FBI, Army Intelligence, and Memphis Police, assisted by southern Mafia figures. He is right to assert that “we have probably acquired more detailed knowledge about this political assassination than we have ever had about any previous historical event.” This makes the silence around this case even more shocking. This shock is accentuated when one is reminded (or told for the first time) that in 1999 a Memphis jury, after a thirty day trial and over seventy witnesses, found the U.S. government guilty in the killing of MLK. The King family had brought the suit and William Pepper represented them. They were grateful that the truth was confirmed, but saddened by the way the findings were buried once again by a media in cahoots with the government.

  7. Dalepues

    My next door neighbors are Republicans, but even they have noticed the liberal media bias against Sen Sanders. They have also said many times that Sanders was cheated in the 2016 democrat primary and that he would have crushed Trump. They believe Sanders would win the upcoming election as well. They have their fingers crossed for a Warren candidacy.

    1. John Beech

      I concur because ‘this’ Republican would have voted for Bernie in 2016 and feels so strongly, I switched registration to vote my support for him in the primaries (centraL-FL). And if he wins the Democrats’ nomination, I’ll follow through and cast my vote for him come November – to the dismay of my friends who largely vote Republican. Make no mistake, I still like what Donald Trump has managed to get done. It’s just that he’s let me down on the one promise I held onto, which is make medical care better. Instead I’m just being screwed even worse! And I’m so tired of it I hope Sanders’ win will translate into a win in the Senate and he can get his agenda through. We’ll see what the rest of the country decides because our Senators aren’t in play in FL until 2022 and 2024.

    2. John k

      Dnc and it’s donors think 2016 was a qualified success… yes trump won, but they got job 1 done, they kept a progressive from winning.
      They had to cheat to do it, and promised in the court case to do that again if necessary.

    3. flora

      and…. after Warren stabs Sanders in the back she now tries to ride his coattails…. nice…. /s

      ‘ “DES MOINES — Elizabeth Warren hit Joe Biden for his past stances on changing Social Security and expressed solidarity with Bernie Sanders on the issue as the two liberal senators seek to move past their recent feud.

      ‘ “Bernie Sanders and I established the ‘Expand Social Security Caucus’ in the Senate,” Warren said in a quick interview as she hopped into her car outside a candidate forum in Iowa. “As a senator, Joe Biden had a very different position on Social Security, and I think everyone’s records on Social Security are important in this election.” ‘

      1. Jeff W

        I think every attempt by Elizabeth Warren to “express solidarity” with Bernie Sanders will only serve to remind people of what Warren is like. (I kind of wish she had said “My friend, the lying misogynist, Bernie Sanders and I established the ‘Expand Social Security Caucus’” but, when you’re engaged in a quick interview, hopping into a car, you necessarily have to be brief.)

    4. bob

      I think their should be a push to have republicans in blue states register as dems to vote bernie in the primary and really piss the media off.

  8. bwilli123

    Re Impeachment: What Lies Beneath? The Polemicist. From one of the article’s comments.

    …”So why are the D’s following this course? The short answer is, “it’s all about money.”
    They already went all in with Russiagate. When it flopped, TV ratings plunged. Condition Red! Next they got the Ukraine phone call. A quite flimsy case, but it was better than zero case. Revive the lucrative scam. Full steam ahead.
    You see, this is for-profit politics. If you look at it in terms of furthering the public interest or even getting elected, it makes no sense. If you look at it as maintaining quarter-to-quarter cash flow, it makes perfect sense. Keep the viewers “engaged,” ie whipped up into an emotional state via a bogus drama.”…

    So is there a site that tracks party donor contributions in any detail? It would be interesting, for example to see what specific causes large donors are motivated to support, and how this varies over time. A big money equivalent of the political polling of ordinary voters.

    1. Lee

      Being lald up with a cold, I just re-watched The Wire, in which corrupt politics for profit, deaths of despair primarily among African Americans, and other contemporary social ills are dominant themes. This series was produced from 2002 through 2008. All these years of hope and change later, things are pretty much the same as they were then depicted. My native optimism pushes me toward the belief that It’s just more obvious to more people now than it was then, that we’re inching along toward greater collective clarity.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      There was some interesting speculation in that article, especially as it was written before the assassination of Sulemani. The short version of the argument is that the Dems are impeaching Trump because Israel wants a war with Iran that they aren’t willing it fight themselves, and they need someone other than a buffoon in charge of the US in order to gain public approval for it.

      But that still doesn’t really explain why the articles of impeachment put forth by the House are so weak, and deliberately so it would seem. If you really want to get rid of the guy to help out Israel, why not offer up something with a little more substance that the Republican Senators and the public could get behind. Could be they found there is nothing both of those groups could agree on. For example I could see the public favoring impeachment for fomenting coups in foreign countries, but not the Senate.

      So you may be right – it’s just simple venality with some cravenness and gormlessness thrown in for good measure. No need for a conspiracy when widespread incompetence is staring you in the face.

      1. GF

        But that still doesn’t really explain why the articles of impeachment put forth by the House are so weak, and deliberately so it would seem.

        IIRC Trump blocked access to all pertinent witnesses and documents that would result in his conviction if allowed to be used in the House impeachment investigation. And the Dems didn’t want to wait months to get at them through the courts. It’s hard to make a case when the evidence stays out of “court”. Even if Mitch allows witnesses, Trump will block any from his circle, using executive privilege as the excuse.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Everything related to this Ukraine nonsense is weak, witnesses or not. Trump blocking witnesses is just another lame excuse from the Democrat party. If we all had a dollar for every time the Democrat party has said they would have done the right thing if only it weren’t for those dastardly Republicans we wouldn’t have to worry about Joe Biden slashing social security.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Trump blocked access to all pertinent witnesses and documents that would result in his conviction if allowed to be used in the House impeachment investigation. And the Dems didn’t want to wait months to get at them through the courts.

          The Democrats don’t want to wait for months. So? I mean, they were building this supposedly air-tight case on Russia with Mueller for three solid years, and then finally get it together with another (Slavic) country entirely, and then we’re whinging about a compressed calendar? Really?

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Over the past four years, the democrats have turned being diametrically opposed to Trump into a religion. They have become working class hating, warmongering, cia / fbi loving, open borders apostles in service of their new creed.

        They even vilified Trump for assassinating Suleimani.

        If Trump decides to go to war with Iran, they’d have to oppose it. If the dems want war with Iran, they’ll have to get rid of Trump before he gives them what they want.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Another specific objection contends that the benefits being sought were not, or not just, personal, that there was and is a legitimate US national interest in investigating corruption in Ukraine as well as possible Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. Joe Biden’s (and his son’s) actions in 2016 with a Ukrainian energy company was not being questioned because he was an election opponent—which he was not, is not, and may never be—but because, as Vice President and overseer of American policy in Ukraine at the time, he was an officer of the United States government.

      The possibility of Biden being a political opponent in 2020 cannot exempt examining his very questionable actions as a Vice-President in 2014-16…….

      I thank the author of this piece wholeheartedly for this. If there is Ukrainian “dirt” to be dug up on the bidens, and biden himself has admitted there is, the people have the right to know. How this is even in dispute is beyond me.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Liberal Democrats seem to have this weird conception that the elected officials should be “above politics.” Again, Lincoln planned grand strategy with Grant in 1863 with the 1864 election firmly in mind. Was that his “personal interest”? It turned out not to be (Ford’s Theatre) but the personal advantage and the good of the country were fully mixed. Isn’t that what we want in an elected official?

        Needless to say, conceiving of a President “above politics” opens the door to a lot of unfortunate authoritarian tendencies. The President may not be a Jed Bartlet, after all.

    4. flora

      That article is a very good read. The articles are incredibly weak. As a political play only for US politics it doesn’t make much sense. But these are politicians we’re talking about, so who knows.

      Interesting that Soleimani’s death and the corresponding Iranian rocket ‘warning response’ had everyone suddenly running away quick from the idea of all-out war with Iran, even Bibi distanced himself from it calling it American craziness.

      Thanks for the link.

      1. Monty

        This weak, unpopular impeachment makes a lot of sense if their current internal polling shows Sanders winning the Presidency. Can’t have that!

    5. VietnamVet

      The Democrats switched to the Dark Side. A clue is their argument that Donald Trump held up money needed by Ukraine in their war against Russian Aggression. A term for this is regulatory capture. Democrats are simply doing the bidding of the manufacturer of Javelin antitank missiles (the Military-Industrial Complex). Also, the investigation of corruption in the Obama/Biden Administration needed to be halted permanently.

      The Shiite militia assassinations and Iran’s missile attack on the American base in Iraq has turned the tables on corporate Democrats. It is clear that the USA cannot invade Iran or even conduct an airstrike without the corresponding destruction to American assets and Middle East oil facilities. The only way out of WWIII that started 12 days ago is a peace treaty and withdrawal. No major Democrat candidate dares point this out. After the globalist war party’s alienation of working Americans and trumped up impeachment charges, Orange Julius will keep his crown this November no matter how stupid or old.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Huge dust storms in Australia hit central New South Wales”

    Let’s see. Massive towering columns of dust in Dubbo in NSW, fields of hail in Canberra replacing the choking smoke from the fires, rain & hail pounding Victoria, flooding in SE Queensland, severe thunderstorms in Melbourne. Must be Monday.

    1. Wukchumni

      It’d be a perfect time to play Scotty from Marketing for a fool, as Aussie seems ripe for rapture with all these acts of God etc., so here’s what you do…

      Carefully lay out clumps of a person’s clothing, shoes, etc. on the sidewalk before he’s going to be there make sure there’s around seven piles strewn, and when he arrives have a passerby exclaim, I don’t know what happened to my friend Fred, all of the sudden he disappeared.

      Make sure you get the PM’s reaction on video, when he realizes he’s been left behind.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Australia’s dust storms join China’s yellow dust and come climate predictions suggest dust storms will be a feature of life in the American SouthWest — I recall reading that Lubbock, Texas already sees dust storms.

      I still remember my grandparents telling me what it was like for them during the Dust Bowl — stories a lot like the vignettes featured at the start of the movie “Intergalactic”. One of the women in those vignettes sounds just like one of my great aunts.

        1. Wukchumni

          I heard that an eating establishment in Az tried to sponsor them, but got turned down, otherwise you’d be calling them ‘Hootersboobs’

      1. Bill Carson

        I grew up in Lubbock, Texas, and I can tell you that there were plenty of dust storms in the 70’s and 80’s.

        1. curlydan

          I’m a former Lubbock boy, too! After walking home from school, I often could feel the crunch of the dusty grit in my mouth. And on two occasions on the highways of the High Plains, the bus driver or my mom had to pull us over to wait out a dust storm because we literally could not see more than 10 feet in front or behind us.

          Dust storms exist, but they’re just not as prolonged as the Dust Bowl. But if somewhere new is experiencing them, I do not envy that place.

          1. tegnost

            you can find my picture in an early ’70’s yearbook from Mackenzie jr. high, and I still have a number of family members there. As I recall all the trees on the hub of the caprock were telephone poles. The worst storm was a dust storm that turned into an ice storm. A half an inch of frozen mud everywhere.

      2. Wukchumni

        My mom grew up on the farm in Okotoks, Alberta, now a commuter city to Calgary, but not much there then.

        She remembered dust storms originating from the Dust Bowl in the 30’s and one in particular in that it was so bad a group of 10 Indians asked her dad if they could spend the night in their barn, which he allowed.

      3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        At Fort Bliss, Day 4 or 5, a dust storm rolled over the Franklin Mts. It was one of the more awesome nature spectacles Ive seen. All dark brown, maroon, and black and Lightning Strikes. One minute its over the mountains, the next its over the dining facility.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          we get what i take to be minor dust storms here every few years(back when there was a normal, that is)
          i’ve experienced 2 of them.
          eerie, end of the world looking…doom exacerbated by positively charged ions(whence the lightening often associated with them)
          we get crazy windstorms pretty regularly—early spring, late fall, and late winter. 40 mph steady, often for 2-3 days, with gusts up to 60.
          usually out of the west…north in winter.
          if it happens to be super dry, all that dirt gets airborn…especially if the hay people happen to have just plowed their fields.
          that wind is bad enough, by itself—nervous-making…rattlings and crashes that you never determine the source of,lol.
          with fine dust added, it’s worse.
          gets in everywhere and in everything.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Yawn? This is hysterical. The NYT even noted Klobuchar’s reputation and still didn’t pick Warren or Biden out right. Other than “all of them”, I can’t imagine a better representation of the NYT.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If you want a laugh, look at the following. The Young Turks talk about when Bernie met the New York Times Board a week ago and includes a short clip of Bernie talking to them. When he is talking truth to power and telling them what he thinks, the looks on some of their faces is priceless-

        1. David Carl Grimes

          Is there a clip of just that interview snippet? I tried to download it from Twitter but couldn’t. Maybe there’s a clip of it in Youtube but I can’t seem to find it.

        2. Ignacio

          Great clip. Indeed, watching the facial expressions of the Very Serious People @ the NYT being lectured by Sanders on why and how populism works is priceless.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        The NYT editorial board proudly endorses Donald Trump and the Democratic nominee. On one hand the President seems like he has brain worms and actually may be Don Jr in disguise, but on the other hand, he knows where the toilets that work in the White House. Do we want a President flushing 12 or 13 times during a crisis? -NYT editorial board in the near future before the 2020 election

        1. David Carl Grimes

          I think NYT editorial board will endorse Donald Trump before they ever endorse Bernie Sanders. Because Bernie is an existential threat to the oligarchy.

          1. John A

            The NYT would endorse Putin, and give him a waiver on where he was born, before they would endorse Bernie.

          2. John

            Of course. We are way past out of time to address the crisis on all fronts that we are facing. But the NYTimes editorial board is still playing the game, “my life is damn good and my 401K is great”.

            More and more I believe it won’t be a slow slide downhill but shocking catastrophes (environmental, economic, social) leading to overnight collapse of the capitalist world. The only one most of us know.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              So today we are supposed to endure one candidate, who happens to own a massive publishing network (Bloomberg), printing disinformation about another candidate (Sanders gay smear transcript), and the FEC is nowhere to be found on the issue?

              And the natural selection of candidates, leaving only those who have actually won votes to contest the primary as it evolves, is short-circuited by these money creatures (Bloomberg, Steyer) since they can stay in the spotlight absent any actual voters ever supporting them.

              Then 2020 is merely a transitional election, the last gasp of a politics that reflects in any way the wishes of the voters. Instead we have the office of the President of the United States itself simply openly for sale to the highest bidder. Yes yes yes it was functionally always that, but there were always layers between money and politics and some rules to be followed. Now someone can simply purchase the country, no questions asked.

              Let’s just list the friggin thing on eBay fer chrissakes:

              For Sale: centrally-located country with arable land, navigable river systems, and functional transport corridors. Needs TLC but has great bones and many period features. Potential to be used as-is for slave labor camp or renovated for resale to overseas buyers.

              1. xkeyscored

                eBay does have an Under $10 category. Might be worth a shot. Must be someone gullible out there.

              2. inode_buddha

                Sadly, the eBay ad is far too accurate. I think the Chinese and Japanese own major parts of the country though, and may have some say in the sale.

          3. Donald

            In other countries, like Bolivia for instance, they prefer outright fascism to a leftist populist. They would openly support a Bolivian Trump over a Bolivian Bernie.

      3. petal

        The LMIAL house residents are probably dancing(“Amy for America!”). Lambert will need to double up his yellow waders for this one. Just tried to read it. Had to stop. Good lord. Were they drinking when they wrote this? Or attempting to emulate The Onion?

        1. Wukchumni

          UFC 47

          Midwest Nice vs Not Exactly Marquess of Queensberry Rules.

          2 stiffs go in, 1 comes out.

          Opening round: Amy smiles as she says something unflattering behind Donald’s back, while wielding what seems to be the top of a casserole dish to ward off an expected comeback destroying what little confidence she has left. as Donald implies that she’d be better placed in one of those 10,000 lakes if you know what I mean and I think you do.

      4. John

        NYT on Klobuchar And this is all in addition to pushing for a robust public option in health care

        United HealthCare would love that as all the sickest of the country would be funneled to the “robust public option” and they would make billions more in profits insuring the healthiest.

      5. ChiGal in Carolina

        I think it’s great they didn’t endorse Biden. And splitting such influence as they have between TWO candidates, one of whom has no followers?

        This is the best thing that could’ve happened to Bernie imho.

        1. Pavel

          This is basically my take on it as well.

          I suspect this was the NYT’s reasoning:

          1) #NeverBernie [most important]
          2) Biden is too old and corrupted and semi-senile
          3) Warren is acceptable but has “Pocahontas” and other credibility issues… so:
          4) Let’s throw a bone to Klobuchar as well and get bonus points for being Woke

          I see Liz is already hyping the fact that two women got the NYT endorsement. But how happy can she be that the effect is diluted?

          I follow US (and UK) politics obsessively but I confess I can’t name a single thing that Klobuchar actually stands for, unless it is “trying to be the most irritating and smug candidate” on the debate stage. Perhaps the NYT editorial would enlighten me but I am so fed up with their bias I don’t want to give them the click.

          1. Efmo

            I think it came down to identity politics, other than the elderly and Jewish identities, obviItaly. Maybe the New York Times is anti-Semitic. Hmmmm…

          2. lyman alpha blob

            …the most irritating and smug candidate…

            But her overbearing, needlessly repetitive, focus-grouped hand gestures are just so…. endearing? I mean who wouldn’t like being hectored by a school marm for 4-8 years? The fact that she points her finger so much just means she cares about you, she wants YOU – just like Uncle Sam!

            Kidding aside, I rarely watch any of what passes for a presidential debate these days, much preferring to check the NC liveblog if I feel the need to know. But I did tune in briefly to the last one and it was Klochubar’s wild gesticulations that made me turn it off after less than 10 minutes. She is clearly a phony who shouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone.

            1. Carey

              Klobucharge’s attempts to keep a smile always pasted on her face during the last ‘debate’ were certainly endearing to me.

              no me gusta

          3. jrs

            1 and 2 yes, 3 and 4 maybe they prefer Klobuchar, but since based on polls Klobuchar has almost no chance of winning the primary, pick someone who seems from polls like they might have a chance of being somewhat competitive in the primary, just to still be relevant to the primary at all. (Whether they are competitive in the general is another matter).

            After all just picking Klobuchar would be rather like you or me voting Green party in the general (i’ve done it). It would be “throwing your vote away”, this choosing someone who has little chance of winning. NYT doesn’t want to throw their vote away!!!

            Next up they endorse ranked choice voting, so we can vote for multiple people. :) Nah, really, that won’t happen.

          4. Geo

            Even as most smug candidate Klobuchar doesn’t lead the pack. Mayor Pete easily has that category locked.

        2. Matthew

          One of the things that helped Trump wipe the floor with the rest of the 2016 clown car is that the rest of the candidates had just enough self-awareness that they couldn’t sell their party’s terrible policies convincingly. I’m not naturally an optimist, but this is starting to seem like a repeat of that.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            “…just enough self-awareness that they couldn’t sell their party’s terrible policies convincingly.”

            yer gettin into the Deep Teaching, there.
            another manifestation of the legitimacy crises…it’ll take a shameless liar, or a shameless truth-teller.
            all that focus-grouped, anodyne thin gruel nonsense doesn’t appear to be working, to me, out on the sidewalk.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Really nice turn of phrase, Am: anodyne thin gruel nonsense

              mes compliments monsieur

    2. ptb

      I get that the paper’s sponsors fear Sanders and will never endorse him, but they’re now in effect also abandoning the electability line too, as they’re not endorsing Biden either. Trump must be happy.

      1. John

        Anyone with a brain knows that Biden is a ticking time bomb with his past and his son’s past. He’s going to blow up in the Democrats’ faces before the election.
        If he is the D delegate Trump is the winner on Nov 3rd.

        1. Pat

          If any one of the candidates other than Sanders is the Democratic nominee (and nothing major happens in the next 10 months meaning war or gigantic natural disaster) Trump will be being sworn in again next January. And Sanders will be blamed again because he didn’t bend a knee commit hari kari at the first debate.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Think about The Benjamins, NYT would have previously had a few tete-a-tetes with billionaire donors to find out where they could reliably count on the flow of the most grift/ad dollars. Policies aside, Bernie is an unreliable vessel for such flows so they had to pick another. They would have picked up the signal from Sloppy Joe’s poor fund raising to think he would be a disappointing customer/ad sponsor. Ditto Mayo Pete, who is a regional, not national, ad-spender. Liz has taken a hit recently but has now run as fast as she can from progressivism (no donor $$ there) and they’re guaranteed to get the woke click-throughs with the whole “vote for me because I’m a woman” schtick. But gotta keep it a horse race, can’t have the primary drama ending too early, so keep another horse in the running (Klobuchar), one who is levitated entirely by the media anyway.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            like i read somewhere(prolly in a link from here)…what would be Neera’s purpose during a Bernie administration?
            or the NYT,WaPo, Third Way, CAP, etc?
            like my grandad said, “tits on a boar”.

            could they fundraise and get hired as bobbleheads if the message was only “we can’t have nice things”…but without all the pablum and handwaving and virtue signalling?
            if the actual voters don’t listen to them, what are they for?
            i’m sort of excited to find out.

    3. Michael

      Yawn meaning I just woke up here in SD ;=}

      “”…the events of the past few years have shaken the confidence of even the most committed institutionalists. We are not veering away from the values we espouse, but we are rattled by the weakness of the institutions that we trusted to undergird those values.””

      Was that a quick look in the mirror before heading out? Naww!

    4. anon in so cal

      The same NYT that denounced talk of “sh*t-hole” countries but now refers to “basket-case” countries “south of the Rio Grande…”

      Also, the NYT combined their endorsement with flogging more U.S. military action in Libya and Syria….

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      Another perfectly good English word–“endorsement”–rendered completely meaningless in service of political expediency.

      A Fox News host put it this way (while twirling her hair valley girl style):

      “Who you got in the Super Bowl? The Chiefs and the 49ers.”

    6. Krystyn Walentka

      “May the best woman win!” (Except for Tulsi.)

      What. Ever. Watching the fake seriousness and rationality on the NYTs peoples faces as Bernie ripped them a new one was both awesome and disgusting to watch.

      And they were CONCERNED Bernie was too much like Trump! Trump WON the election!

      Will never click another NYTs link again.

      1. inode_buddha

        You know what I want to see? I want to see AOC run for Prez and win. And all these feminists who had to see a woman in office before they die, will collectively freak out and try to say that AOC is not a woman. I dearly hope and pray that she *does* run for Prez and wins, the country sorely need it.

      2. xkeyscored

        Good to hear from you, Krystyn.
        I had wondered if your new lifestyle would deprive us of your comments. Keep on truckin’!

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          I get NYT & Guardian ads on FB, of which the top comments are hilarious in an extremely derogatory way.

    7. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      So everyones bashing the NYTs, but i wanna take a moment and celebrate that one brave soul who voted for Bernie. I say Bernie gives him a shout out at his rallies.

      1. chuck roast

        Bernie is too nice. Many of us have had job interviews where we knew 5-minutes in that the interviewers had absolutely no interest and were simply going through the motions. Bernie surely picked-up on disdain of the golfers, but he apparently persevered.
        Amazing. Imagine a president who is too nice.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Sanders will go anywhere to deliver his message. At least for the very online, he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams with his Times interview. Again:

          He knew he would never get their endorsement.

  10. Ignim Brites

    “Impeachment: What Lies Beneath?” Isn’t there an election in Israel in March? That tends to cut against the speculation in this article.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Do we in the public remember that? Re: Clinton and Gingrich.

      I thought we learned that after the fact. I remember Monaghan’s drivel but I don’t remember Bill at the time.

      1. Pat

        That is my recollection as well. The deal was on the table but suddenly it was all about a stain on a blue dress.and that deal got thrown out. We didn’t find out for years that we had every reason to thank the Republicans for going all in.

        1. pjay

          This is correct. I was actually doing academic work on economic policy at the time and was not aware of what was going on in real time (of course I was very much an outsider). The behind-the-scenes machinations began to be revealed by insiders a few years later, as I recall. So I should have worded my statement accordingly.

    2. John

      Cutting Social security and any other handy “welfare state” programs allows taxes to be cut further or the defense budget to be increased even more. Either of these is desirable from the point of view of business and their “running dogs” now in office. Why you ask? Cutting taxes reduces costs and increases profits. More ‘defense spending’ means opportunities for trickle down through the military industrial complex to business men. Ancillary effect, campaign contributions and other valuable perquisites to office holders, think tank denizens, et al. Since we live in the era of the profit squeeze, every little bit helps

    3. Jeff W

      As Benjamin Studebaker puts it, in that piece linked to above:

      It’s a pattern of behavior–establishment Democrats like Obama and Biden tell us over and over that if we don’t vote for them, the Republicans will cut Social Security. But when they are in office, these Democrats offer to negotiate bipartisan deals with the Republicans, and in those deals they offer to do precisely the things they promised to prevent. The result is a long line of bad deals that hurt the country–the Budget Control Act of 2011, financial deregulation in 1999, welfare reform in 1996, the crime bill of 1994, the list goes on. When they’re in power, the Republicans struggle to sell these policies, because the American people don’t trust them with social programs. But when establishment Democrats are willing to make cuts, their friends in the media play along nicely, and all sorts of horrors get through congress.

      [Links in original]

    1. Arizona Slim

      I watched that video clip with the sound turned off. The looks on the NYT-ers faces? Yup, I was laughing, all right.

      Could we start a fundraiser to buy the NYT-ers a clue?

  11. The Rev Kev

    “How Western advisers helped an autocrat’s daughter amass and shield a fortune”

    Actually this is par for the course. Nicholas Shaxson in his book “Treasure Islands” talks about how western business people educate presidents and the like in regions like Africa on how to set up secret bank accounts, how to loot an economy, where and how to invest it, etc.

    I was looking at the Wikipedia page for Isabel dos Santos and I realized that she is quit intelligent. At one stage she was studying electrical engineering at King’s College in London and all that grifting she has done represents a lot of hard work. So the big crime here is that she used her position as daughter of Angola’s President to further her fortunes.

    And Chelsea Clinton used her position as daughter of President Bill Clinton & SecState Hillary Clinton to get $9 million as a board member for IAC/InterActiveCorp over the past few years among other gigs. And the difference is?

    1. Wukchumni

      Musical interlude:

      I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea by Elvis Costello

      My skiing cadre was talking about the moolah Chelsea has been racking in for being the child of what passes for our royalty, and somebody mentioned Amy Carter, and nobody could remember anything about her recently. I looked her up and she’s lived a quiet life out of the limelight, and out of the money.

      In an age of extremes such as ours, not so out of the ordinary.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Excellent point about Amy Carter. The Carters seem to have some of the same country common sense as Wendell Berry, and that has preserved them from the Clintons’ fate. Wealth and celebrity drive mad all but the most grounded, and the most grounded avoid wealth and celebrity like the plagues they are.

    2. Off The Street

      There is an echo, of sorts, of those themes in Peter Schweizer’s book(s), although you have to be willing to hold your nose through numerous passages of his apologiae and glossing.

    3. Oh

      Or Biden’s son enriching himself through Daddy’s connections.
      Or Pelosi’s husband getting all the sweetheart contracts.

        1. ambrit

          No. “The Orange One” is the Knave.
          So, the Knave steals the Queen’s ‘place.’
          Propriety is offended. “We are not amused.”
          And the Aces, the lowest of the low, are wild.

            1. ambrit

              I seem to be holding a “Dead Meme’s Hand,” Aces and straights.
              Evil K-navel. He’ll ‘jump’ anything, for a price. Especially ‘Orange’ sellers down at the Globe. (It’s all theatre anyway.)

                1. ambrit

                  There is significant grass roots support for it, from my admittedly anecdotal evidence. My sources for this run the gamut from High Born to Low Born, and in-between.
                  A lot of people are now focusing on the medicinal aspects of the plant and not so much the “moral hazard” dimension.
                  There are a lot of dope smoking necks here. The ‘habit’ was always portrayed as a “lower class” habit, but is prevalent among the ‘aspirational’ classes. I also have heard some speculative mentions of the money making opportunities. Neo-liberalism has already stripped any pretense to ‘morality’ out of capitalism. Now on to the rest of the social continuum.

    4. ObjectiveFunction

      And surprise, she instantly grasps for the “They Only Hate Me Cuz Woman of Color!” immunity card.

      Jakarta Post (where they know from kleptocrats):

      Dos Santos took to Twitter to refute the claims, launching a salvo of around 30 tweets in Portuguese and English… “My fortune is built on my character, my intelligence, education, capacity for work, perseverance,” she wrote.

      She also blasted “the racism and prejudice” of SIC-Expresso, a Portuguese TV station and newspaper, and member of the ICIJ, “that recall the colonial era when an African could never be considered equal to a European”.

      McKinsey / BCG / Big 4 PMC bashing is fine sport (and couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of PMC dilettantes), but at this scale of fraud it’s like focusing on the remoras while largely ignoring the shark.

      While I don’t have time at present to dig deep into the docs, I note the linked ICIJ news stories seem to be missing a few major pins on the free carry equity string diagram. Especially wrt the Angola state oil sector, which let’s face it, makes the cheesy Roger Moore Bond diamond stuff look like peanuts:

      Puma Energy -> Trafigura -> Claude Dauphin (deceased) -> Glencore -> Marc Rich (Clinton BFF, deceased)

      At a guess, the reason for this gap is that ICIJ’s key sources in Angola are the new rulers, who have a vested interest in demolishing the Santos dynasty while preserving the honeypot for their own use.

      The keys go up an’ down, the music goes roun’ an’ roun’, an’ it comes out…. heeyah

  12. Watt4Bob

    WRT the ‘Trump economy’

    Folks at the bottom of the economic ladder, have, like the proverbial boiling frogs, experienced the decline of their life prospects as a very slow-moving trend that was almost imperceptible as it robbed them, and their progeny of the mythical ‘American dream‘.

    In that light, IMO, it is unreasonable to expect Trump supporters to perceive, much less understand, that Trump’s impact on their economic well being continues and amplifies that downward trend.

    A significant portion of Trump supporters seem thrilled with the notion amplified by the MSM, that Trump is disrupting the status quo, and paired with the wide-spread confusion of the stock market with the wider economy’s health, there is enough ‘evidence‘ to underpin their expectation, their ‘hope‘ of an eventual uptick in their material well being.

    We can’t expect the realization that Trump’s promises are, and always have been empty political posturing, to arrive any faster than the realization that Obama’s promise of change was in fact totally empty.

    Americans have long been suckers for “pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by” and the people who currently believe, without any evidence, that Trump is working for them are no more deluded, maybe less so, than the people who thought, and continue to think that Obama and the democrats tried to bring about substantive change.

    1. marym

      As a 2008 hope-and-change believer who took a while to see Obama’s false promises, I’m sympathetic and depressed with how long it can take to recognize empty promises, but there are some differences between Obama and Trump defenders.

      Stock defenses of the Obama years included “He got us out of the worst recession since the great depression and gave everyone health care” (people really said stuff like this!); comparisons to policies that weren’t “as bad as Bush” (no massive ground war); and some pride in his having an administration that “looked like” the US and an inclusive rhetoric. False and counter-productive as these excuses were, they did have some relationship to what people perceived as the promises.

      Trump didn’t campaign on the stock market. He campaigned for infrastructure, healthcare, dealing with the opioid epidemic, ending the forever wars, and the idpolitics of othering and exclusion. On the material side, for most of these “hopes” there’s no Trump equivalent to Obama’s ACA or compliance with the (Bush) Iraq SOFA to claim some accomplishment toward fulfilling these hopes, or even any attempt to do so.

      1. Watt4Bob

        Yes, and I suppose the lack of reaction to the obvious failure of the promise of “bringing back manufacturing jobs” could be explained as the lower income portion of his base thinking that those jobs might be returning for someone, somewhere?

        Or, He’s trying, but there’s a lot of democratic opposition?

        My Mom is probably happy that at least the democrats are hysterically upset, and that must be good for something.

        1. Monty

          Exactly. The election pitch will be “Imagine what we could have done if the liberal media, liberal judges and liberal congress hadn’t been trying to derail and undermine our country every step of the way.”.

          p.s. search “Trump 2020” on amazon and tell me what you think about his chances of getting reelected.

      1. anonymous

        Yes, here I am again. I have participated in many Iowa caucuses, and a caucus is horrible in comparison to a primary. However, the new rules are a bit of an improvement. The last time around, at my 2016 Democratic caucus, people were checked into what quickly became a very overcrowded school cafeteria. Although the official entrance was staffed, the exit doors could not be locked from the inside (for emergency exiting), and during the boring and lengthy process of checking everyone in through the official entrance and then handling party business before the voting, there was a lot of in and out through the exit doors – people opening the doors to let in friends and spouses who had come late or wanted to avoid the line in front, people going to their cars for something and returning, etc. By the time of the vote, which was a head count, who knew who really belonged in the room? The group was much too large to expect recognition of one’s neighbors to suffice to confirm voter legitimacy. In fact, a group of several visitors was being counted when someone from the group said that they were not from the area and were only there to observe. A head count is difficult, anyway, and caucus locations vary in how carefully it is done and confirmed. Handing out presidential preference cards at check-in at least identifies who in the room should be voting and allows for an accurate confirmation before sending the data in or a better recount at a later time. A recount had been done for 2016, but it could only be a check of possibly inaccurate reported head counts and the math used to assign delegates to those counts – garbage in, garbage out. (I will be a precinct captain for Bernie this year, and his precinct captains will be watching the counting and will be immediately sending the counts to the campaign. I assume the other candidates will do the same. We were also told that the Sanders campaign will send additional people to monitor the larger precincts.) 
        The virtual caucuses were to be a vote by cell phone at prescheduled times, devised because the national party wanted the caucus to be more inclusive. After the virtual caucuses had been all worked out, they were scrapped because the national party felt that they could not be secure from hacking. The Iowa Democratic Party decided to use satellite locations, instead, to allow more voters to participate. 
        Iowa Democratic Party caucus rules:
        The Iowa Democratic Party website has more details, including the satellite locations. Also, there is a feature to check in online, which should help with the entrance lines.

        1. Martin Oline

          Thank you for your update. I was very worried about the virtual caucus. The story I read was from February last year and your information post-dates that. Do you know about the undecided voters and whether they will be locked in to that choice as I had heard? That also seems to be a section that is ripe for manipulation by the party hierarchy.
          From the sound of the numbers at the 2016 caucus attendance in your precinct, you must live in West Des Moines or Iowa City.

          1. anonymous

            The rules say that only groups that don’t meet the threshold for a delegate will be allowed to realign. I am to attend the final caucus training Thursday night, where I will ask about undecided voters and report back to you. I live in Cedar Rapids. In my precinct, there were many more people in 2016 than in 2008, but I haven’t looked at whether precinct lines were redrawn in the interim. We moved since the last presidential election, and I will be in a different precinct this time. There have been very few undecideds at the particular caucuses that I have attended.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              How will the satellite locations be monitored? After all, the Democratic loyalists have form, and Sanders should assume the election theft attempts will be made.

              1. ambrit

                I opined over on another thread that areal drones equipped with face recognition technology at all caucus sites could keep accurate lists of caucus goers to defeat multiple voting. As for the counting of votes, well, that’ll take a ‘robust’ ground game. Even though Iowa caucus goers “like nice,” I fear that a little ‘rough and tumble’ will be necessary.
                I predict that this year will be a very physically violent election.

              2. anonymous

                The Iowa Democratic Party caucus rules document says that the State Chair will appoint, for each satellite caucus location, a satellite caucus chair, who will be responsible for running the caucus according to Iowa Democratic Party caucus rules, reporting the results, and submitting relevant paperwork. I also found a press release ( that says that each satellite location will have a trained captain, so the party must be conducting training for the satellite chairs, as the party is for the precinct chairs. At the next Sanders caucus training, I will ask what the campaign is doing to monitor satellite locations. My guess would be that the campaign will use supporters in attendance (just as for the rest of the precinct caucuses) for the in-state satellites, and could use either supporters attending a satellite to vote, or supporters local to the satellite location, but not IA caucus voters, as monitors for out-of-state satellites. Bernie’s reporting app will do the calculation for viability based on the total number of attendees and the number of delegates for the precinct (the number of delegates assigned to a precinct is determined by Democratic turnout in the most recent presidential and gubernatorial elections, not by the turnout on that caucus night, so that number is known in advance); his volunteers need to calculate delegate allocation to check the caucus chair’s math. At the last caucus training, we were told that his precinct captains (or at least his most committed volunteers) should be chosen as the delegates, as they have the greatest chance of showing up and remaining until the voting is finished at the county convention (to be followed by district and state conventions).

        2. katiebird

          As a Kansas voter, I’ve been to many caucuses myself. Some have been pure nightmare. In 2008 my caucus had over 1000 people show up for a caucus in a venue that could only hold 120 people. We had a blizzard that night (caucus was held on a weekday night for some reason) …. it was horrible.

          2016 was better. Again well over a thousand. But it was held in a high school. So after checking in, we all went out to the football field to line up in row of 50 or so and counted. Sanders won dramatically.

          This year we are having some sort of primary (thanks, flora!) but I just found out about it and don’t know how it will work.

          That is very strange. I haven’t seen anything about it in the local news.

          1. curlydan

            My 2016 Kansas caucus was a nightmare. 2 hour wait in line to get into the facility (a pressurized domed gym with only a turnstile door in or out). After a time, the caucus procedures broke down since the line in was so slow. A “voter” eventually signed his/her name to a yellow legal pad corresponding to the candidate of choice. Then the voter could leave, BUT only 50 people could leave at a time because the only good exit was the emergency exit that could be opened only 30 seconds at a time to prevent the dome from collapsing. So every 4-5 minutes, the door opened for 30 seconds, and 50 people rushed out. On my way out, I videoed at least 300 people who still needed to get in.

            Lord, give us a primary in Kansas!

            1. katiebird

              We’ve got it, I guess. With early voting too. Yours sounds as bad as our 2008. I think caucuses should be against the law

        3. sleepy

          I have attended many caucuses and am a Sanders precinct worker this go around.

          I agree that caucuses are a mess. Getting the right count of overall voters plus the right count of voters for particular candidates has always taken at least 30 minutes, with correction after correction including the mathematical calculations. It really is like herding cats.

          At least this year, unlike in the past, the state dem party will release actual vote totals in addition to delegate totals. In the past the dems only released how many delegates each candidate won. The repubs have always released vote totals.

  13. Amfortas the hippie

    the thing on “Coarse Grains” in India got me all excited.
    (wife knows that to woo me, all she need do is ask a question about economics or small agriculture.)
    Millet is my go-to late summer cover crop…so far, merely providing the geese something to do when it’s real hot(and encouraging them to forage/trample in the by then spent garden beds) and providing a straw cover for winter soil building/sheet composting.
    (I also do buckwheat that time of year—both like hot and dry)
    haven’t had the time…at the right time(frelling cancer!)…to institute anything but rudimentary seed saving for these…let alone incorporating them into our diet…but that’s part of the Plan. Grasshopper plague has also been a major problem, lo these last 3 years.
    Right now, in late january, the hairy and crown vetch are coming up through the straw and leaves and such…also edible, and a big part of the human diet in antiquity(especially the romans in the provinces)

    I’m reluctant to use sorghum to too great an extent, because that’s the number 1 hay crop around here…all hybrids, with traits unsuitable for my purposes…if i could reliably keep the molasses gene,lol…but it gets washed out by the hay gene, apparently.bees love both.

    1. JacobiteInTraining

      Ya ever heard of something called ‘kernza’?

      I read some articles on it last summer and it is apparently a perennial grain crop, with really deep roots. It seemed like something that would be really neat to try starting in the ‘lawn’ of my mountain retreat, just to see if it would be happy enough to survive the winter/wet season, and in addition to loosening up the soil somewhat might provide some perennial grains to boot. I mean, not like I would be able to make many loaves of bread with the space I have available….but what the heck, right?

      I checked in with multiple peeps at ‘The Lands Institute’ and elsewhere who had advertised at the time for seeds but got either no response, or a ‘we have none to sell at this time’. :(

      Although my ‘lawn’ is really just an excuse to get a small amount of exercise with the mechanical mower, and the quickest thing I could think of to broadcast and hide the ugly rocky/muddy patch of ground. (i have a ton of other places in and around that are filled with bumble bee and insect-attracting flowers, so that angle is pretty well covered already)

      Ive long been planning to replace ‘the lawn’ altogether with…..something. Preferably both perennial and edible.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        ive wanted to trial it, but $$ and time and not far enough along on the infrastructure progression, yet.
        IIRC, it doesn’t like our heat, being developed for more northerly climes.
        there’s a good reason folks grow (regular, annual) wheat in the wintertime around here.
        i would like to include oats in the winter cover mix…perhaps this year.

        1. JacobiteInTraining

          Well, I guess I may have to just do some regular wheat then.

          I’m reminded of when I was a little kid….had a cartoon book of Doonesbury and Zonker had his little wheat patch growing around Walden Puddle. I always wanted to do that, even at 12 years old… :)

    1. xkeyscored

      I haven’t read that article, but I don’t have a good feeling about this one. It’s Chinese New Year on Saturday, and hundreds of millions of Chinese will be, or already are, travelling around, and it sounds like Chinese authorities are under-estimating or misreporting the numbers infected.
      From CNN two hours ago:
      The outbreak has spread to Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzen, hundreds of miles from Wuhan, where the virus first surfaced last month.
      Thailand has also reported two cases, while Japan and South Korea reported one each, taking the global total to 222.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “The $119 Billion Sea Wall That Could Defend New York … or Not”

    I think that people are under a mistaken viewpoint here. The Sea Wall would not be there to defend New York from flooding. It would be built to enrich a bunch of rich investors and private equity firms. You would probably find that after it was built that a fair amount of those walls was actually made up of a mixture of cement and corn flakes.

    1. John

      I watched a documentary made after Sandy that explained why it would be next to impossible to defend NYC from the rising seas with sea walls. I can’t find that one but this one shows some of the issues.

      Sinking Cities

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        been one on the table in Galveston/Houston for a decade, too.
        makes for very strange allies in the region(vietnamese and league of the south types….whom never agree on anything)
        it would ruin Bolivar, and probably damage the fishing, etc
        but gotta protect the oil…all the tank farms and pipe cities along 225 are a couple of feet above sea level, at best, from Texas City all the way up into the Port of Houston, itself, and really all around the greater Galveston Bay.
        even if you hate oil and gas and chemical companies(i sure do), a direct hit by a largeish hurricane would destroy all that, and spill all kinds of ugly all over the area.
        they’ve been real lucky, so far, as far as the direction of the wind, etc, driving storm surge, etc…as well as the precise position and trajectory of a given storm..
        few degrees off, and the wave comes right up into downtown houston, bringing benzine and toluene and a million others with it.
        I’d prefer an apollo project to hurry up and figure alternatives, so all that pipe and crap can be dismantled.
        seawalls work so far as they go(galveston’s famous SW has been an engineering miracle), but in the end it’s more like Xerxes flogging the sea.

        1. inode_buddha

          I’ve never understood why we can’t learn from the Dutch, who have been keeping their country dry from flooding for hundreds of years. Maybe too much pride perhaps?

          1. urblintz

            IIRC, the Dutch were invited to help solve Miami’s problem but they had no answer for the limestone issue… don’t know if their genius might be applied to nyc but it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t be or have already been consulted.

            1. inode_buddha

              AFAIK nobody has asked them about NYC, although to be fair I’m 400 miles away from NYC (thank god for mercies small and large)

          2. Watt4Bob

            IIRC, The Dutch learned a lot from New Orleans.

            Which brings up the question, was willful lack of maintenance of pumping stations partially responsable for the severity of Katrina damage?

            There’s strong evidence that the PTB used Katrina to enforce something like urban renewal on NOL.

            1. ambrit

              The pumping stations in Metairie were kept manned and running during Katrina and helped that suburb of New Orleans weather the storm in decent condition. The ‘underground’ “word” was that the pumping stations in Orleans Parish were abandoned by their crews. Even the local police bugged out before the hurricane hit.
              The relevant section of the Corps of Engineers report:
              The main infrastructure failure during Katrina was the collapse of parts of the flood walls and levees surrounding the City of New Orleans. Those failures can be traced back to corruption in the processes surrounding the building and regulation of the levees in the 1950s. Those levees were disasters waiting to happen for fifty years.
              That the PTB used the “Katrina Experience” as an excuse to implement ‘urban renewal,’ aka gentrification, is basically an example of opportunism. A large chunk of the formerly New Orleans poorer population is still in exile in Houston. Most of the crooks stayed in New Orleans.
              ‘Outsiders’ have to understand that New Orleans is a place where corruption in it’s many guises flourishes and is even paid respect.

              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                I was going to offer a link to a post called The Ballad Of Finis Shelnutt on the Rigorous Intuition 2.0 blog. But whoever administers the internet connection here in the hotel has filter-blocked Rigorous Intuition 2.0 and denied entry to it. They must consider it too politically controversial for happy hotel guests.

                It is part of a whole bunch of posts under the category topic called “Katrina”.
                They are all worth reading.

      2. Carolinian

        Sinking Cities

        That’s an excellent series that appeared here on PBS. They talk about the Thames barrier which sort of works but with side effects. It sounds like doing the same for New York would be vastly more complicated. New Yorkers may have to just get used to wearing Lambert’s yellow waders.

          1. newcatty

            And, the current residents of Venice, Italy could bring their experience to the “New Venice-on- the- Hudson “. They would not have to be considered “climate refugees”, but consultants, experts, and gondola instructors.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Saw and learned from that documentary as well…the Big U in New York.

          And floating or amphibious houses. They may be the future.

          Nothing in that film about underwater mega-cities though, even as some of us humans (those are called visionaries…perhaps) look towards colonizing Mars.

          1. ambrit

            Finding enough water in it’s liquid state on Mars will be the big problem. More reasonably, consider Cities Underground as the basic template. More rationally, bombarding some part of Mars with ice chunks harvested from the asteroid belt over a few hundred years to re-build a sea on the surface of the Red Planet is the best scheme. That and the Big Rain project on Venus are the two most feasible concepts for Terraforming I can think of.
            Humans will probably survive on Earth in some form or another. Whether or not Civilization can survive the next few hundred years on the surface of the Wet World is the big question.

    2. jefemt

      One of the opening chapters in “The world Without Us” covers NYC/ Manhattan. Better hope for no long duration power outages, ever!

      Use ‘the money’ to move folks off the coast instead. Laissez faire free-marketers will be at the head of the line asking the Gubmint to save their property/livelihood.

      Gaaaa! (Think Howard Dean scream for proper inflection)

      1. inode_buddha

        You too? I’m sure they will expect us peasants to pay homage. Not like they already aren’t stealing all that hydro electric power.

        1. Pat

          Just for the record unless the expanding cost of the Medicaid expansion has changed things recently, NYC pays more in taxes to NY State than they get back. As a resident of the city, I say you’re welcome.

          Not for nothing, but that sea wall sounds like the Star Wars defense, a cool idea that is highly unlikely to do what they say it will but will certainly cost every NYer regardless of where they reside in the state far too much money.

  15. Joshua Ellinger

    Reading MLK’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail and saw:

    I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

    1. skk

      yes, Excellent. And in that context – the link “What do the drums say” was excellent. Harold Cruse’s 1967 “Crisis of The Negro Intellectual”, which I read in the late ’70s really helped me “get it” – in the UK. The link “What do the drums say” updates that and introduces me to a new intellectual that I wasn’t familiar with.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > a new intellectual that I wasn’t familiar with

        Adolph Reed is great. Reed also called his shot on Obama in 1996 [“I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!”]:

        “In Chicago, for instance, we’ve gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices; one of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable do-good credentials and vacuous-to-repressive neoliberal politics, has won a state senate seat on a base mainly in the liberal foundation and development worlds. His fundamentally bootstrap line was softened by a patina of the rhetoric of authentic community, talk about meeting in kitchens, small-scale solutions to social problems, and the predictable elevation of process over program — the point where identity politics converges with old-fashioned middle-class reform in favoring form over substance. I suspect that his ilk is the wave of the future in U.S. black politics, as in Haiti and wherever else the International Monetary Fund has sway.”

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      This reminds me of the Chinese saying: ” Kill the chicken to scare the monkey”. Only in this case: ” Chastise the chicken to warn the monkey”.

      Why would I introduce that saying? Because I remember reading somewhere somewhen that this Letter From Birmingham Jail was full of coded messages targetting the Southern Black Leadership Elite for its support of quiet accommodationism to segregation. And that the Southern Black Elites ( clergy and otherwise) knew very well that they were really being co-named along with everyone else overtly named in the letter.

      I don’t know how reality-based that interpretation is, but I know I remember having read it.

    3. Dan

      An excellent description of our first “black” (well, half “black”) president.

      In fact, MLK may just as well be describing what authors at Black Agenda Report and elsewhere call the “Black Misleadership Class” in its entirety.

      1. pjay

        In the same vein:

        Here is a useful short introduction to the speech. The concluding paragraph seems quite relevant today for some reason:

        “The immediate response to King’s speech was largely negative. Both the Washington Post and New York Times published editorials criticizing the speech, with the Post noting that King’s speech had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, to his country, and to his people” through a simplistic and flawed view of the situation (“A Tragedy,” 6 April 1967). Similarly, both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Ralph Bunche accused King of linking two disparate issues, Vietnam and civil rights. Despite public criticism, King continued to attack the Vietnam War on both moral and economic grounds.”

        He sacrificed a lot to speak truth to power.

        (Note: posted a version of this earlier but it never appeared. My apologies if it eventually pops up.)

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Why they hate Bernie’s supporters”

    Maybe because his supporters are the only ones in the race that are actually excited and enthused about his ideas and beliefs? A bit of jealousy at work here perhaps?

    1. xkeyscored

      “Sanders has endured, at least in part, because every one of these attacks has been met with overwhelming resistance by his supporters.” (emphasis in original)
      And that, to my mind, is one of the greatest dangers of most of the other candidates becoming president. Supposing, just supposing, Birren or Waden try something that inconveniences Wall Street, or the war machine. Who are their supporters, if not these very same people and institutions?
      If a president is to implement anything approaching radical policies that change anything for the better, they’re going to need massive popular support, because we can surely rely on there being highly organised opposition from the usual quarters.

      1. Carla

        This is such a critically important point that it needs to be stated over and over again. I hope that Sanders surrogates such as Nina Turner and K****r Mike follow this blog and will break this out and repeat it:

        “If a president is to implement anything approaching radical policies that change anything for the better, they’re going to need massive popular support, because we can surely rely on there being highly organized opposition from the usual quarters.”

        Massive popular support. Rinse and repeat.

        (Bernie: “Not me. Us.”)

  17. Mike Allen

    If someone has as link to the full Sanders/ NYT video from Dec. 2, would they mind posting it? I’m only finding snippets online. Thank you.

  18. Wukchumni

    Injuries at Fresno’s Amazon warehouse double California’s industry average Fresno Bee
    Beating up on Fresno is easier than taking candy from a baby, so i’ll preface things by concluding they have a nice airport which makes for the quickest getaway, and I have a sneaky suspicion larger cities back east send down & out denizens on a 1-way bus ride there, backed by nothing other than a hunch in regards to Fresno vs Visalia from an observation standpoint.

    There’s vast amounts of homeless in Fresno, vs some here and there in Visalia.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      This article is not beating up on Fresno. It is beating up at the Amazon warehouse which happens to be in Fresno. To accuse the article of beating up “on” Fresno QUA Fresno is an attempt at diversionism . . . an attempt which fails.

      It is diversionist issue-clouding meant to protect Amazon and apologiafy on behalf of all the people who help cause that “twice the normal rate of warehouse worker injury” every time they by something from Amazon. It is a bunch of very underhanded pro-Amazon hasbara.

  19. FriarTuck

    RE: The drama and protagonists: A guide to Trump’s impeachment trial FT

    What, the term dramatis personae a bit too on the nose, FT? Had to go for the meaning but not the subtext of theater, huh. I bet they’re loving it.

  20. xkeyscored

    “National Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women’s March photo”

    we blurred references to the President’s name on some posters, so as not to engage in current political controversy,” Archives spokeswoman Miriam Kleiman said
    If they didn’t want to engage in such controversy, why on earth did they cover the march in the first place? They could find some reasonably non-controversial topic like changing trends in the way the number 7 is written, and archive that, couldn’t they?

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Sounds like Soviet-era photograph-alterization in the service of historical falsification to me. Was it regular
      Archive workers who did that? Or newly installed embeds of some kind?

      1. xkeyscored

        It appears to be the former.
        The Archives said the decision to obscure certain words was made as an exhibit featuring the march was being developed. It said the archivist, David Ferriero, who was appointed by former President Obama in 2009 and who was involved in the talks, supported the decision.
        “As a non-partisan, non-political federal agency, we blurred references to the President’s name on some posters, so as not to engage in current political controversy,” Archives spokeswoman Miriam Kleiman said in a statement to The Washington Post.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That is NOT how historians are supposed to work. They are suppose to record and analyze history – not edit it to suit contemporary trends.

      1. RMO

        That reminds me – I recently clicked Youtube link (about driving, nothing overtly political about the video) and prominently displayed below it were the words “funded in whole or in part by the government of China” RT carried the notification that it was “RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government” A PBS video just said: “PBS is an American public broadcast network” The BBC? “BBC is a British public broadcasting service” Same phrase used on CBC videos too. Such a subtle little difference between the chosen words, no? /s

  21. xkeyscored

    “Windowless underground sleeping pods could rent from $1K/month”
    Now many years ago, when I was younger, we used to call these things coffins, and I know you’ll find this hard to believe, and you’ll think I’m definitely going senile, but we’d wait for people to die before sticking them inside.

    1. inode_buddha

      If I had 1k a month to spend on housing I would buy a house with it. Plenty available for a lot less than that even. Pocket the difference, which can be considerable.

    2. huxleywell

      What Lies Beneath–title of a new Netflix dystopia, where “crawl-ins” sleep off their soma in coffins, which they rent by the hour.

    3. richard

      i also flashed on prison cells
      which is the most generous i could be with this horrible idea
      i think the developer should have to live there too

  22. Jason Boxman

    Hilarious how the Times (apparently doesn’t?) endorse two candidates. One that is psychologically abusive to her staff. And another that’s a former Republican that takes extreme liberties with the truth, if isn’t an outright serial liar.

    Or they could have endorsed the candidate that’s actually trying to bring the working class together. And on MLK day no less.

    Oh well, missed opportunities.

    1. John

      Speaking of psychologically abusive, can’t normal people tell she isn’t a likable person?

      I get the worst feeling watching her speak.

      1. Bill Carson

        How is she any different from Hillary? In her policies, not just the way she makes people feel.

      2. Carey

        >Speaking of psychologically abusive, can’t normal people tell she isn’t a likable person? I get the worst feeling watching her speak.

        Yes, and yes.

    2. jrs

      If they had endorsed Sanders, then I’d start to suspect Sanders had sold out, I mean if there is anything that should raise one’s suspicions a little, it’s an endorsement from the very voice of the establishment.

      And of course sometimes their news reporting is decent, but nonetheless they are the voice of the establishment, they serve war and wall street.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        aye! their non-endorsement of Bernie IS an endorsement for Bernie.
        Like the truism: if thom friedman is for it, i’d prolly hate it.
        what a world…

      2. Geo

        Exactly. Their dismissal of Sanders is the best endorsement. Funny that if they had any self awareness and truly wanted to tank his campaign they’d have endorsed him and branded him with the stink of establishment acceptance.

        Dems seem perfectly happy having their popular majority through metropolitan districts. As someone who has spent his entire adult life in NYC and LA (but grew up rural) its a regular occurrence that I have to explain what life is like in those forbidden flyover places that are as alien to cosmopolitan peeps as the darkest depths of the ocean. Granted, there’s a good reason I prefer life in these places to rural America. Since leaving small town life behind Ive had no instances of violent threats from homophobes, get to enjoy multicultural social circles, and much greater access inspiring art and culture. But, those are particular to my own needs and desires, and I’m not blind to the deep flaws in the professed idiology and economic disparity baked into the politics of our cities.

  23. Wukchumni

    I avoid skiing on holidays, it’s tantamount to slow torture in the midst of 50% more weekend, long lift lines, short tempers, and too many people sharing the same playing field. There’s a number of ‘blackout dates’ on my Ikon season pass that encompasses 41 resorts I can use it at, and it’s kind of amusing that one of the ‘blackout’ dates is MLK weekend.

    p.s. Skiing/snowboarding has remained stubbornly WASP, the biggest change being one hears more foreign accents now.

    p.p.s. Nobody and I mean nobody wore a helmet when skiing in the 70’s, and now you’ll just see a few sans on the slopes, the conversion rate going from 0% to 99%. It all came about in the 90’s when one of the Kennedy clan cashed it in soon after Sonny Bono would’ve pined for a better outcome, no doubt.

    The forecast on the day Bono died:

    ‘Cloudy in the morning, and Sonny in the trees in the afternoon’

    1. Christopher Clarke

      Have you tried skiing in areas where there aren’t lifts? It usually thins out the crowds, even during holidays.

  24. Wukchumni

    I’m constantly being bombarded on the radio with ads of companies that will get you out of your time-share*, as if it were some cursed thing of your past or a disease to be excised.

    A friend was relating to me in regards to his late mother’s time-share @ Lawrence Welk Resort Village near San Diego, and after she passed away, he was researching resale values, and there was a number priced @ $1,000, as it comes with the burden of having to pay yearly improvement assessments. In a age of real estate going gangbusters, it went bust.

    Anybody have any time-share tales to tell?

    * FD: my ‘time-shares’ are campsites occupied somewhere in the back of beyond, the only assessment being to leave it tidy for the next sojourners stay, along with the custom of leaving a small amount of wood for the next campfire.

    1. Geo

      Never personally partook in Timeshare’s but have known many who have. Most underutilize them. Seems to be like gym memberships: purchased with good intent but in the end it’s about the aspiration more than reality.

  25. diptherio

    Windowless underground sleeping pods could rent from $1K/month NY Post

    Um…you mean coffins, don’t you?

    1. Off The Street

      Rising sea levels mean the end of those crawl-space rentals.
      New marketing opportunity in underwater pods?

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Some people who were illegally renting through Airbnb in our town tried to have a zoning change put through that would allow them to legally rent out their garage or other out buildings disconnected from their main residence. Thankfully it was shot down. One of the arguments put forth in favor was that allowing people to rent garages as apartments would reduce rents. The scary thing is that I think that the people arguing for the zoning change really believe this to be true, despite all evidence to the contrary. The coffin guy has probably convinced himself he’s doing people a favor too. How long before we see a cardboard box “start up” promising to alleviate homelessness one $100 box at a time (financing available!) ?

    3. jrs

      Hey some people actually want to prepare for climate change mitigation. We will all be living underground soon …

      Yang will give you $1000 a month to relocate to lower ground.

      1. ambrit

        Nailed it! Then, beings who prefer the “coffin experience” are rightfully referred to as cryptids.

  26. pjay

    In remembrance of Martin Luther King:

    Here is a useful short introduction to the speech. The concluding paragraph seems quite relevant today for some reason:

    “The immediate response to King’s speech was largely negative. Both the Washington Post and New York Times published editorials criticizing the speech, with the Post noting that King’s speech had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, to his country, and to his people” through a simplistic and flawed view of the situation (“A Tragedy,” 6 April 1967). Similarly, both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Ralph Bunche accused King of linking two disparate issues, Vietnam and civil rights. Despite public criticism, King continued to attack the Vietnam War on both moral and economic grounds.”

    He sacrificed a lot to speak truth to power.

    1. Yves Smith

      I am using them as yet another negotiating case study. They thought they held better cards than they did. Ooops.

      Without their HRH, as Lambert put it, they are wasting assets. So not to worry, they’ll be fading from public view soon enough. Just not soon enough for our collective taste.

  27. Wukchumni

    Remember When Obama and Biden Tried to Cut Social Security by $230 Billion? Benjamin Studebaker.
    Only 1399 days, 16 hours, 56 minutes and 2 seconds till my first SS check, but I can wait.

  28. Synoia

    USPS 5-year business plan: ‘Innovate faster,’ cut costs to remain solvent

    Did they also include funding retirement accounts for future employees not yet born?

    And their new intergalactic parcel service for the new Intergalactic division of Amazon? (Which involves dual use USPS truck as delivering both Amazon Parcels and US DOD Missiles accurately to the precise current location of the named recipient?)

    1. RMO

      I dread the possibility of the USPS being starved to death in order to allow it to be chopped up and sold off at a discount to UPS/FEDEX/AMAZON etc. It would be terrible all around for many people. Personally it would leave me at a loss as to what to do when I need anything shipped from the US to me in Canada. The only shipping option that consistently goes smoothly (and is less expensive especially regarding border costs) is USPS. The rest of them have regularly messed things up royally and charged a lot of money to do so when I’ve been forced to go with them because a supplier insists on UPS or FedEx for shipping.

      The “innovate faster” reminds me of Zap Brannigan’s frustrated shout to his troops who were being slaughtered because of his criminally stupid battle plan “Stop dying you cowards!” Just as inspirational, and just as helpful.

  29. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: ‘She’ll tackle any voiceover – just not Scar’: Moment Prince Harry tells Lion King director Jon Favreau his wife is available for work – as Meghan jokes ‘That’s really why we’re here – to pitch!’ Daily Mail (J-LS).

    Harry’s pimping his wife out for voiceover work is certainly not a very attractive look.

    The couple is supposedly “passionate” about mental health. Maybe meghan can become the voice of whatever new and improved SSRI big pharma is cooking up. I’m sure she could read the list of horrible side effects just as fast as anybody else with a little practice.

  30. Synoia

    Large African herbivores have helped to repair their environment

    I recommend Gorongosa as the Best Game Park I’v ever visited. We saw Lions sleeping, and got chased by a Mother Elephant with Calf.

    The Beaches in Biera were uncrowded and clean.

  31. curlydan

    On the USPS plan. Here is a piece of their 5 year assessment:
    “The combination of unfavorable market dynamics, legal restrictions on price increases and cost reductions, an expanding universal service requirement, and growing employee pension and health benefit funding requirements have put the Postal Service in an unsustainable financial condition Since 2007, we have suffered 13 years of consecutive net losses totaling $77.8 billion, with an $8.8 billion net loss in 2019 alone Of those losses, $54.8 billion were directly attributable to Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund (PSRHBF) lump sum payments that were due between 2007 and 2016.”

    How in the [bleep] can the Postmaster General call the USPS “an independent entity of the executive branch” where “the Postal Service today operates like a large business”? What independent business has “legal restrictions on price increases” and huge and virtually unheard of forward paying (75 year) pension obligations?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      this right here has made me mad since they did it…and madder still that the run of the mill folks around me remain stubbornly ignorant of what’s being done to Ben Franklin’s Baby.
      the rub is that the “I hate gooberment(except for DoD)” people get to point at the USPS at some point and say, “See? Public Stuff don’t work!”

      1. inode_buddha

        Aye. It makes me want to scream like Howard Dean. You can always point to the war in the stanbox and say “See? That doesn’t work either!” and then watch their eyes bug out. Since when is the DoD not Public?

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i sent a korean era superpatriot(always a flag to hand to literally wave around!) into spittle flecked conniptions once by laying out how the beloved military was a socialist endeavor.
          public schools didnt impress him(“privatize them all!”)….talking about public roads got his groaning acceptance.
          but the military?
          i was on a roll that day…in the zone…and had set the argument up so that he couldn’t go anywhere.
          except to call public ownership something else that sounded a lot like public ownership.
          and he knew it,lol.
          i made sure to leave in a group of people that afternoon.

          1. MichaelSF

            My b-i-l is a retired Navy captain (and Annapolis grad, and I think his father was career Navy during WW2/Korea) and he’s quite willing to admit to spending much of his life since childhood as the beneficiary of a socialist organization.

    2. anon y'mouse

      the only way i can figure out their similarity to big business is by reading reviews of former and current employees. that is where they seem to occupy another “worst of both worlds” slot–all of the hours instability and work overload, very few of the perks unless one is an Anointed. and getting to be an Anointed is almost impossible.

      it’s pretty enlightening. i call it my “qualitative research”

    3. cnchal

      Your questions do not begin to scratch the surface of the disfunction within the postal system.

      For instance, what business has an obligation to visit a mailbox six days per week, wherever that mailbox happens to be. Now seven days is the goal, with priority on servicing Amazon and focusing on a “painless” return policy, cementing a gluttonous system into place. A thirty percemt return rate is ridiculous and idiotic, There should be punishment for such waste.

      Kevin Kosar, vice president of research partnerships at the R Street Institute, told Federal News Network that the plan revisits some ideas like adding digital features into USPS mail products, but also focuses on a new concept of the Postal Service trying to “pivot its parcel system to focus more heavily on the wants and needs of consumers and small shippers, as opposed to big retailers.”
      . . .
      Current limits on USPS’s business model include a price cap on mail products linked to the Consumer Price Index, a mandate to deliver to every address six days a week and a mandate to pre-fund the health benefits of future postal retirees.
      . . .
      To overhaul its customer experience, the USPS plan looks beyond the agency’s 26,000 brick-and-mortar post offices, and looks at providing digital services “that enhance the value of our physical delivery services.”

      That includes “flexible and frictionless” package returns from every home and expanding seven-day-a-week parcel delivery service to ensure retailers like Amazon can continue to guarantee two-day delivery.

      In an effort to generate mail and additional packages, USPS has proposed expanding self-service package returns to allow customers to print labels even when they aren’t provided with shipments.

      “Consumers can visit a local Post Office and scan the QR code on a phone to receive a label or even notify the office that a return package is ready for pickup. These innovations remove the customer friction point of bringing the package to a store or shipper to return it,” the plan states.

      The claim on price caps is an outright lie. This coming Sunday USPS is applying dimensional weight to all packages, and handing out 300 to 400% rate increases to anyone that ships something large and light, effectively raising the price of shipping to infinity.

      You see, the scam of dim weight was only avoidable by shipping with USPS and now USPS has joined the scam. The price increases by USPS are so stratospheric that UPS and FedEx can increase their current prices by almost 50% and still be under USPS. It’s a shit show, for USPS, and being Amazon’s bitch so they can guarantee two day delivery with super cheap shipping, really has to sting. The Post Office plan is insane bullshit. Digital enhancements of “real” goods being delivered is bureaucratic nonsense.

      Here is what the Post Office Plan results will be. Moar waste. Moar collusion and price fixing, Moar favoritism for Amazon. Moar lies from the top.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Other sovereign currencies are debt-based and I personally think The Clever Sons of Helvetia are ahead of the curve again by making their currency equity-based. Their central bank is one of the largest holders of Apple stock, etc.

      Because we live in an age where lenders receive nothing, *zero*, in return for extending credit…and purveyors of debt-based currencies believe this is sustainable, how again?

      In this context, giving the holders of the scrip partial ownership of discounted enterprise cash flows (stocks) makes sense.

  32. Carey

    KloMentum and Warren for the NYT, eh?

    Yeah, they want to lose: lots of short-term bucks, there.

    “The Hamptons are not..”

  33. Piper

    Stiglitz article–“One reason for declining life expectancy in America is what Anne Case and Nobel laureate economist Angus Deaton call deaths of despair, caused by alcohol, drug overdoses, and suicide. In 2017 (the most recent year for which good data are available), such deaths stood at almost four times their 1999 level.”

    A lack of national health care and an unjust economy for the privileged people is behind much of that. However, the majority of the elderly today were possibly affected by the 1960s which has taken its toll on their health, wealth and their spirit. They were “only” 50 to 60 in 1999. 20 years later it’s caught up to them.

    Blowing weed every day, taking drugs, risky living and rejection of conventional norms, have taken their toll. The 70 year old guy with hair down to the waist, wearing the faded rock band adulatory outfit, with lung cancer from smoking joints, and mere tobacco, who lives in a car, if lucky enough to still own one, bad teeth, etc, are the fault of not only a lack of national health care and a more just economy, but also his (or her) bad choices in life exacerbated by the moral relativism of the 1960s that has caught up with them, more so than earlier generations. As a comparison, as far from the corruption and negative lifelong role models of the 1960s, what’s the health, happiness and suicide rate of elderly Mormons today?

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Sorry, but I know no one that wants to be an elderly Mormon. Even if they threw in a private planet.

    2. Geo

      Personally, I’d rather have a short rockstar life than a long Mormon-esque life. To each their own. :)

      Seriously though, I had a near death experience in my late 20’s that was illuminating. While I obviously didn’t want to die I also, in that moment, had no regrets about the life I’d had to that point. That realization has stuck with me and to this day all choices I make are based on that experience: if I die tomorrow will I regret the choice I made today. It’s a terrible strategy for long term planning but it’s worked out so far. I wish our system was better suited to allow/encourage all to live their lives in a fulfilling way. As it is now the choice comes with huge compromises in stability. I’ve just embraced my “starving artist” lifestyle and am grateful that occasionally I get paid to do what I love.

      1. Monty

        A middle aged man goes to the doctor and asks, “Doctor, how long will I live?”. The doctor asks, “Do you take drugs, smoke, drink, eat rich food or have a lot of sexual partners?” and the man replies, “No!”. The doctor looks at him in the eye and says, “Well why do you care then?”

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      “Blowing weed every day, taking drugs, risky living and rejection of conventional norms, have taken their toll. The 70 year old guy with hair down to the waist, wearing the faded rock band adulatory outfit, with lung cancer from smoking joints”

      Hey, I resemble that remark except for the cancer part. ;)

    1. Daryl

      It’s not clear to me what Trump’s impeachment has to do with Biden’s electability.

      I mean, unless Trump’s impeachment is a political move that has nothing to do with what he’s actually done? But the Democrats would never do something like that.

  34. Jokerstein

    Am I the only person who noticed this from the NYT endorsement piece?

    Senator Warren is a gifted storyteller.

    No Shinola, Sherlock, no Shinola!!!

    1. Carey

      So was Mister Obama, and many remember that about him, in particular.
      Pocahontas isn’t getting elected, though (and Team Dem are fine with that, IMO).

      Four More Years for Our Corporate Dems to fundraise off of Big T!

  35. Wukchumni

    My direct flight from Fresno to Davos got diverted to Richmond, and luckily the signs i’d prepared to use in protest against well-heeled greed in Switzerland: “We Will Not Comply” sold like hotcakes in Virginia.

  36. The Rev Kev

    “The lost boys of Ukraine: How the war abroad beckoned American white supremacists”

    Back in the 1980s the US encouraged, financed, trained & equipped Jihadists in Afghanistan to get back that the Soviet Union for Vietnam. Twenty years later these same Jihadist gave the US 9/11 and nothing but twenty years of fighting around half the planet since. Forgetting the fact that the US is still encouraging, financing, training & equipping Jihadists, they are now doing the same for what amounts to national socialists in eastern Europe.

    That movement in the Ukraine, based in the west of it, not only wants to eliminate Russian-Ukrainians but also Polish-Ukrainians and Hungarian-Ukrainians based on an aggressive, expansionist, white-power ideology. It is acting as a magnet to like-minded people around the world and quite a few have gone there to receive combat training and ideological indoctrination. That NZ shooter was briefly there. So in about twenty years time, how will this play out in Europe both politically and in terms of security?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t think Sirota picked the best video, which is unfortunate, since Biden has a forty year trail of this, much of it on C-SPAN. “…you best not miss.”

  37. allan

    Devin Nunes’ Ukraine lies are a betrayal. Voters in his district deserve better [Sacramento Bee]

    … Devin Nunes has betrayed the truth, betrayed the trust of voters and, quite possibly, betrayed our country. We don’t know exactly where this new evidence will lead, or what fate has in store for Nunes, but we do know this: The people of California’s 22nd congressional district deserve better.

    Nunes has six defamation lawsuits going (including the cow), so what’s one more?

  38. Amfortas the hippie

    feels like a warning shot from Versailles…”get in line, or we won’t support Bernie in the General”

    FTA:”Biden’s campaign insists that it has worked for months to engage and mobilize young people and college students. “Joe Biden is best positioned to beat Donald Trump because of his broad, diverse coalition, which includes support from younger voters,” says TJ Ducklo, Biden’s national press secretary. Biden also polls better among black voters than both Sanders and Warren do. And a Sanders or Warren nomination presents its own risks for Democrats. Although a progressive might be more appealing to a particular segment of Americans, they might also turn off other voters. In the 2018 midterm elections, when Democrats flipped 41 House seats from red to blue, the majority of the party’s winning candidates were more moderate. Candidates endorsed by lefty groups such as Our Revolution and Justice Democrats had much less success. Lanae Erickson, a senior vice president at Third Way, a center-left think tank, cited those gains as a reason to stick with a more moderate presidential candidate this year. “Why would we think we can throw persuasion out the window in 2020?” she said. “We should probably think about running that same playbook.””

    “a center-left-think tank”
    and an admission that, for them, it’s still 2016, and nothing has changed, and the AI in the basement at Hillaryworld still has the best predictive ability.
    “if we just word the message correctly…”
    coupled with the NYT “endorsement” and the side-eye/OMG! video…and especially with the clip yesterday of NYT edbored coming right out with Bernie=Trump…to his face, even…
    is Jill Stein running this time?

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