Links 8/18/2020

How to cook rice: in Asia, it’s no laughing matter SCMP

NASA official may face criminal investigation for contact with Boeing Ars Technica

CyberCom scrambles after lieutenant accidentally deletes Alaska DuffelBlog

Remote workers want to re-create those watercooler moments, virtually MIT Technology Review

How Tipu Sultan and Haidar Ali inspired America’s founding fathers in their quest for freedom Scroll Not something I learned in my high school history books.

Assault on the Rainforest Continues in the Shadow of the Pandemic Der Spiegel

Half-million California homes, businesses could lose power AP

New rolling blackouts could hit millions in California tonight; Newsom calls crisis ‘unacceptable’ LA Times

‘Insanely hot’: Death Valley records world temperature record Al Jazeera

Lebanon faces humanitarian emergency after blast The Lancet


After the Pandemic: the Future of Culture, Sports, and Entertainment Foreign Policy

Pandemic now driven by 20s, 30s, 40s group, many asymptomatic: WHO Reuters

Unmade in America MIT Technology Review

‘Horrifying’ data glitch skews key Iowa coronavirus metrics AP

Male Leadership Malpractice Project Syndicate

Govt expert group reviews 3 Covid vaccines in clinical trial stage in India The Print

UNC-Chapel Hill moves all classes online after 130 more students infected with COVID-19 Charlotte Observer. I have a niece who recently returned to the Chapel Hill campus; she is a sophomore.

Ruby Princess: New South Wales premier apologises over cruise ship outbreak BBC


Seven months later, what we know about Covid-19 — and the pressing questions that remain Stat

Covid-19 Vaccine Push Lacks a Key Ingredient: Trust BloombergQuint

Class Warfare

States Seek $26.4 Billion From Drug Companies in Opioid Litigation’ WSJ

Con Air’ Is Spreading COVID-19 All Over the Federal Prison System Marshall Project

Obama and the Beach House Loopholes ProPublica


Turns Out Michelle Obama’s Obesity Campaign Was A Flabby Flop The American Conservative

Get Ready for a Teacher Shortage Like We’ve Never Seen Before NYT What is wrong with this country? I speak as the proud daughter of two teachers — one educated due to the GI bill, the other the first in her family to graduate from high school, let alone college, and the sister of a current teacher.

Trump Transition

Appeals court lets emoluments case against Trump continue CNN

Dems Urged to Support Possible Pardon by Trump for Snowden Consortium News

Police State Watch

The NYPD Is Withholding Evidence From Investigations Into Police Abuse ProPublica

United States Postal Service

Voters sue Postal Service and Trump over changes ahead of election Politico

Postal Crisis Has States Looking for Alternatives to Mail-In Ballots NYT

Democrats plan emergency hearing on Postal Service ‘sabotage’ as Republicans allege ‘conspiracy theory’ WaPo


State Panel to Investigate Complaints of Calpers Investment Conflict WSJ

The Crucifixion of Ben Meng Institutional Investor

After CalPERS Investment Chief’s Abrupt Departure, Trustees Talk Next Steps NYT The writer of the Dealbook account appears to have imbibed the CalPERS version of events.

Food Security

Chinese President Calls for Thrift, Ending Food Waste TreeHugger

Struggling Farmers Work With Overwhelmed Food Banks to Stay Afloat Pew

A Level Fiasco

‘You stupid boy’: Boris ticks Private Williamson off over exams U-turn Guardian

Democrats in Disarray



The Democratic Renewal Foreign Affairs. Ben Rhodes.

Ocasio-Cortez Welcomes Help From Anti-Trump Republicans in Defeating President—But Rejects Kasich’s Attempt to Define Party Common Dreams

Michelle Obama makes impassioned plea and Republicans boost Biden: Key moments from the convention Politico. As good a MSM round-up as any. I’m not going to overburden today’s links with too many examples of Democrats attempting to sell their snake oil – by making this all about Trump and eschewing any mention of remedies or policy. Well done! If there’s lots of interest otherwise among the commentariat, please feel free to suggest your own links

A Chaotic Night of Mixed Messages Kicks Off the Virtual Democratic National Convention (Column) Variety. Since this was conceived as an entertainment, rather than as politics, it makes sense to evaluate its success on entertainment terms.

I was an elementary schoolgirl at the time, not a football fan, but an avid reader of Heidi – and may have been one of the only people in America who was pleased at the time that they cut to Heidi when they did. But I well remember my father – a keen sports fan, although more baseball than football – didn’t see things the same way.


China’s rail shipments to Europe set records as demand surges for Chinese goods amid coronavirus SCMP

The decoupling of the US and China has only just begun FT


The Decline in Power of the Oil States Counterpunch Patrick Cockburn


Le mystère du vraquier en question (L’express mauritius Colonel Smithers :”Further to the article linked …, unfortunately in French, more and more questions are being asked, including why the ship was taking a longer route, coming into Mauritian waters and coming in without local authorisation. In addition, the ship was not designed, authorised and insured to carry this sort of cargo and sail on this sort of route.

The local Meteorological Office and a former maritime policeman, to be fair at some risk to themselves due to the vindictiveness of the ruling families, have debunked the PM’s assertion that the weather was too bad to enable action immediately after the accident and for the local authorities to board the ship and question the crew.

The doctor who reported a life raft and other material from the ship stranded on the beach to the police and, to her surprise, a quick clean up by the police and no request for a statement has come out again with questions. Again, at some personal risk….”


Ces données météorologiques qui contredisent le GM Colonel Smithers : “The article linked …details the local Meteorological Office and a former maritime policeman contradicting the government line that nothing could be done to avoid the leak and board the vessel to question the crew due to bad weather that lasted over a week.”


Antidote du Jour (via)::

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here:

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  1. Colonel Smithers

    Many thanks, JL-S, for the Mauritius links

    One thing not being aired yet is whether legal action could be taken against the PM and his clique for malfeasance in public administration. The island has a hybrid legal system, a mix of Napoleonic Code and English common law.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I only wish I could do something more than include relevant Links! One feels so helpless at times like these.

    2. ambrit

      Any support for the theory concerning smuggling from the ship to shore?
      Your comment about the pettiness and vindictiveness of the local “ruling” family cliques reminded us strongly of small town Southern politics. (Terran Humans are the same wherever you go.)
      No conspiracy needed. Simple stupidity can acount for this disaster. It’s is very like the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska back in 1989.
      Stay safe Mon Colonel!

  2. zagonostra

    >Political “Convention?”

    I didn’t watch the DemCon last night. It wasn’t a political convention by any traditional meaning of that term. I don’t have television, just internet. I don’t even know what “television” means anymore. So I’m looking forward to reading some of the comments here on it.

    I remember growing up, my dad, who spoke very little English and understood even less, being an emigrant from Italy, used to always watch the Conventions with great enjoyment. I also would watch – you have no choice when there is just one T.V. and 3 channels and they are all covering the same story. The funny glasses, ballons, funny hats, patriotic music, the overweight ladies, and the red, white, and blue backdropping it all. It was pure spectacle. But that spectacle had a function and as I matriculated through college I learned more about the back room dealings and how the party machinery worked or didn’t work. Now? Well, I don’t know…

    What I do know is that popularly elected officials that represent the mass of folks and the well-being of the country as a Unity doesn’t work anymore. Politics in the the digitized world where the means of communication are controlled and monopolized may not be possible anymore. If there are two candidates running for the President equally detested and repulsive, ipso facto, the Republic is dead, and as the saying goes, we are on the edge of the in between.

  3. BobW

    How to cook rice. Boiling in covered pot on stove-top method, the one thing I was taught was not to lift the lid to check it. Makes it a little hard to tell when it’s done, but it does make it “puffy” and not sticky. When it begins to sound different, it’s close to being done.

    1. Oh

      There are different methods to cook rice. The Chinese, Indians and most Asian countries have used rice as their staple in their diet for centuries. Yet, they all differ in how they cook rice. The poor people in India cook it in a pot over a fire and drain the starchy liquid into another vessel to use as gruel. The video by the Singapore fella was amusing and it also showed how people differ in their cooking methods!

      1. Ignacio

        I cook rice in so many ways being the simplest a 15 minutes boil. But you can cook it in pans as large as a paella, pots, pressure cookers. Pre-fried, or not basmati round rice… One of the best recipes I have tried is mexican. Rice fried and boiled in garlic and fresh mashed tomatoes. Just great. Rice gets the flavours on the liquid you use to boil very well so there are infinite ways to prepare it.

        1. skippy

          Gallo Pinto with home made Salsa Lizano …

          Always make a big pan on the occasional Sunday and take some over to neighbors, English bloke, French guy, and whatever Australian mongrel on the street polish it off.

          The Larrikin in me wonders if I should accompany it with a main of ‘Chicken of the Trees’ …

        2. hunkerdown

          Family pilaf: In the pressure cooker, along with vegetables and seasoning to taste, add dollops of bulk pork sausage, about 1/2 the rice weight. The result is fast, cheap, tasty, and sticks to the ribs well for a long day or night.

      2. lordkoos

        These different countries and cultures cook rice differently partly because they use different strains of rice. Cooking Haiga rice isn’t the same as cooking Basmati or Sushi rice for example.

    2. curlydan

      everyone in the world should have a rice cooker. I’m a rice cooker proselytizer and will buy one for friends/relatives. It will also steam vegetables well.

      Half of whatever meal is perfectly ready in 20 minutes!

      1. c_heale

        We used to have one, but when it broke we used the Korean cooking pot and we’ve never considered buying a rice cooker again. Most people here do use then though.

      2. GettingTheBannedBack

        I worry about the teflon coating, so have never replaced my old one. Couldn’t find one without teflon.

      3. TheHoarseWhisperer

        Rice cooker. One of the greatest cooking inventions of all time. If it is good enough for the Japanese, it is good enough for me – a moderate rice consumer with some challenges in the cooking department.

    3. jonboinAR

      For awhile I used eat rice boiled in a saucepan all the time. I could tell when it was done by the light toasty odor it gave off. I read somewhere that some Japanese master chef or something said a good rice cooker knows when it’s done by the smell it gives off. I thought “Yeah, I’m like a samurai rice cooker. I’m like a, uh, something-or-other. Yeah.” And I was -good, at cooking rice. I didn’t eat rice for awhile. I tried to cook it that way and stuck it right to the pan.

  4. allan

    Key phrase of the night, from Kasich’s speech:

    … I’m sure there are Republicans and independents who couldn’t imagine crossing over to support a Democrat. They fear Joe may turn sharp left and leave them behind. I don’t believe that, because I know the measure of the man, he’s reasonable, faithful, respectful, and you know no one pushes Joe around. …

    So, by the contrapositive, being of the `sharp left’ implies that you’re either
    not reasonable, not faithful or not respectful. Good to know. Thanks, Tom Perez, for all that you do.

    More seriously, as strong a signal as you need to know that deals have been made and nothing will change.

    1. Oh

      Money will move Biden and only money! He has no respect for people and is unreasonable. He only respects his monied buddies. What a low life!

      1. Pelham


        So we have a choice between 12 years of Biden- and Harris-managed national decline of the all too familiar neoliberal coloration or 4 more years of Trump. That would probably be followed by something different, if the Dems finally learn their lesson. They might not, but I can’t see any other way at the ballot box to get the message across.

    2. skippy

      “So, by the contrapositive, being of the `sharp left’ implies that you’re” – a ***stealer*** of opportunity [freedom [tm] too win or lose].

    3. GettingTheBannedBack

      The government of national unity is gathering steam. Biden will be its temporary leader. “Moderate” Dems and Republicans will coalesce around the national unity push, and only fringe dwellers will be left.
      Fringe dwellers: Trump voting Republicans, Sanders voters, any “progressives” left after the election, greens voters etc. Hopelessly split and powerless.

      Obama tried very hard to be the first to run a party of national unity on behalf of donors, but he failed. This time the donors have done their spade work over 4 years and there will be very little resistance to the Biden led government of national unity.

      Politics will be a civilised pastime, where division will be seen as evidence of Trumpian and Sandersistan boorishness. There will be no further need of street campaigns like BLM, nor of #MeToo divisiveness. Gentlemen/ladies will decide policies well before votes are taken. Voting will be a rubber stamp except for the few stupid and discredited fringe renegades.

      The civilised guardians of society are taking the reins, funded by billionaire cartels and amplified by the commercial media as their civic duty. Government from now on will be run by the educated and intelligent, free of racial, sexist, and all other biases. They will keep the people safe from uneducated, racist, sexist, homophobic, unpatriotic and traitorous troglodytes. There will be no more illegal election results like the one in 2016.
      The new government custodians are currently making their wishes clear at the Dem convention. They are out and proud and untouchable.
      Obama and his wife will remain as the courtier mouthpieces for the donors working towards a de-facto one party state. God Save the King.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        What would happen if all the out-of-power Stormtrumpers and all the out-of-power Sanderistas all uniformly wore MAGA hats ad all the MAGA hats all uniformly had “campaign buttons” on them with pictures of Trump, Sanders and Marx?

        “Make America Great Again with Trump, Sanders and Marx”. Would National Unitists laugh or get scared?

        1. GettingTheBannedBack

          It would be a very amusing diversion for them dw imo.
          Sort of like dogs getting scammed by phishing emails, or a Malaysian comic taking the mickey out of BBC fried rice.

  5. Tom Stone

    I have to agree that the harsh treatment of Ben Meng has been unconscionable.
    If senior executives aren’t allowed to commit felonies with impunity how are you going to attract badly needed talent?

  6. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

    In 2017, after I visited Iran, I went on an Iranian food jag, and learned to cook rice Iranian style, with a tahdiq. That’s the way I’ve cooked rice ever since.

    You first parboil the rice. Drain it, but do not cool it down. Make your tahdiq. And then add he parboiled rice, which you cover and steam without checking ’til ready. A bit nerve-wracking until one learns the correct technique and timing. But oh, so delicious!

    If you want more precise directions, try Yasmin Khan’s account in Saffron Tales, a great Iranian cookbook.

    1. Martin Oline

      Thank you. I looked it up and see I can make it with Turmeric, so I will try it in a couple of days. Saffron Tales is $37 at B&N and isn’t at my local library. I will be watching the remainder table.
      This last to readers: No I am not going to Amazon, but thanks for (not) suggesting it. There are 42 on ABE Books.

        1. Martin Oline

          Usually you will receive an ex-library book, with food scraps. You get what you pay for.

          1. c_heale

            If a book is exlibrary then it has to be indicated in the condition of the book before purchase. I’ve ordered quite a few books from both ABE and Betterworld, and some were exlibrary (which I knew when I ordered) but none ever had food scraps in them. How often did you have this problem?

              1. petal

                Martin, I just looked on, and they have copies. I’ve had good luck purchasing from there. Stuff has been in excellent condition.

          2. polecat

            But remember this – Jeffery gets what YOU pay for!

            ‘Cheap’ & ‘Convenience’ rule the day .. for now.

          3. A.C. Wilson

            The messy pages in a used cookbook are indications of the previous owner’s favorite recipes, and therefore good clues for the new owner.

            1. Late Introvert

              Good point! I’m always dismayed how the pages of my fave recipes in the Deborah Madison “Vegetarian Cooking For All” book are so stained and messy. But now I see that is a good thing.

              Recommended. She taught me how to make soup.

              1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

                A great cookbook! If you like it, check out two earlier ones she wrote, IIRC, The Greens Cookbook and The Savory Way. Also Local Flavors. Made me appreciate just how delicious good vegetarian cooking could be.

        2. Tvc15

          Thank you Jerri-Lynn and Carla! My wife has Saffron Tales coming from Better World Books for her birthday. $31.

          1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

            I hope you’re not disappointed. I’m a bit cookbook aficionado, and when I decided to learn to cook Iranian food, I bought several books. This one was by far the best – even though some of the others were also quite good. But Saffron Tales has everything you’d want it to have, and her recipes are reliable – just follow the directions and voila – great food! The only thing is you will need to make a small investment in some basic Iranian ingredients, such as pomegranate molasses. Which you can find at the grocery. A couple of the others you may need to order from Kalustyan’s or some such outlet. But trust me. And if you do not know this cuisine, you’re in for a treat.

            1. Olga

              I hung out with a large Iranian family for years… when talking (and cooking) Iranian rice, cannot forget about tahdiq – which is that crispy layer at the bottom. There are several ways of making it –
              Iranian rice is the best rice (Costco sells saffron reasonably); generally, Iranian food should get much more recognition – it is delicious.

              1. JTMcPhee

                Good thing that the cuisine has migrated outside the borders of a nation that seems headed for annihilation at the hands of the Empire and its most loyal adherents…

                “It’s on the internet, it will live forever!”

            2. Basil Pesto

              I first learnt about tahdig rice in ‘The Jewish Cookbook’ by Koenig which has a number of Persian-Jewish recipes (and many other superb recipes besides – including Aloo Makala, slowly deep-fried chat potatoes from the Jews of Calcutta which has forever changed how I look at chips/fries – they’re outstanding). I’ve not yet made it but I am very much into it conceptually. Pomegranate molasses is one of the great condiments too. You can make it at home with pomegranate juice, incidentally, but it’s not hard to find here so I’ve never bothered.

              I got my first rice cooker last year and it’s legit life changing. I proselytise for them too. Oven baking is also a foolproof way to cook rice. Honestly I pretty much do every way except stovetop at this point (unless it’s risotto style, or a one-pot with many ingredients like mejadra – I understand a rice cooker can do that but I prefer to follow recipe instructions)

        3. A.C. Wilson

          Better World Books supports a number of literacy charities. Amazon and ABE support the richest person in the world..

        4. drumlin woodchuckles

          When did Amazon buy ABE? Did Amazon strangle and attrit ABE into selling itself to Amazon?

    2. Toshiro_Mifune

      I went on an Iranian food jag, and learned to cook rice Iranian style

      I learned the Japanese method… a Zojirushi rice cooker.

      1. Bob

        Here’s how to cook rice.

        first get a sauce pan with a lid.

        Then add butter or some sort of cooking oil. Sundried tomatoes in oil works well too

        Fry the uncooked rice grains.

        Listen to the rice fry.

        When it starts to crackle and pop add water.

        Turn off heat and go for a run say 30 to 45 min.

        And the rice is done.

    3. jef

      Here is how several hundred million people around the world cook rice.
      Scoop up some water from a puddle if lucky enough to have a puddle nearby, put in rice, stoke fire by adding some plastic chunks, preferably blue and thick, boil until done.

      1. c_heale

        I have a lot of difficulty believing this. Maybe you can provide some examples of this happening.

  7. allan

    Re: If you’re similarly stunned,

    Missing from that list of venta-billionaires for some reason is Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife
    (undoubtedly the nicest person of the bunch).
    I’ve seen elsewhere but now can’t find it that she went from $36 billion to $60 billion.

    On another note, just the CARES Act-induced increase in the wealth of two members
    the Harvard Class of 1977 (OK, one dropped out) was about as big as Harvard’s endowment.
    Maybe there’s a fundraising opportunity there.

  8. Martin Oline

    President Trump said on Monday that he plans to pardon someone “very, very important” on Tuesday, but would not go into details about who it is. Speaking to reporters on Air Force One while on his way back to Washington from a tour of battleground states in the Midwest, Trump dropped the news about the upcoming pardon – saying only that it wouldn’t be former NSA staffer Snowden or Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
    It’s still early in the day. Let’s get a bidding war going. I’m betting on Julian Assange!
    From the Conservative Treehouse today:
    “It doesn’t take a deep researcher to see the aligned Deep State motive to control Julian Assange because the Mueller report was dependent on Russia cybercrimes, and that narrative is contingent on the Russia DNC hack story which Julian Assange disputes. Julian Assange is the only person with direct knowledge of how Wikileaks gained custody of the DNC emails; and Assange has claimed he has evidence it was not from a hack.”

    1. Ramon

      Martin Oline. One of the very depressing facts of life is that most people think Julian is a rapist thanks to Obama/Biden. Much that I would be thrilled if it was Assange but what does Trump get out of it? In my feverish imagination a pile of smoking guns aimed at Obama, Biden and HRC, but back to reality, what’s in it for him, showboating?

      1. Martin Oline

        Assange destroys the “Russians did it” narrative. So if it isn’t Assange, then who gets the pardon?

        1. The Rev Kev

          Maybe he will leave the name & date blank and write in his own name just as he leaves Office.

              1. ambrit

                In Hollywood that is known as a “Non-Event.”
                The class of ‘Non-Event’ includes almost everything printed or ‘broadcast’ on the ‘Entertainment Media.’
                Trump’s ‘Showman’ roots are showing.

                1. Anthony G Stegman

                  A brilliant move by Trump will be to pardon Snowden in October. The Democrats will throw a hissy fit.

                  1. hunkerdown

                    Heh, sure. Trouble is, the Democrat Party has the intelligence community over-represented within its ranks. Ten minutes thence, the NSA is commandeering some random mail server to send live cam ads to twenty thousand people and a couple of big ZIP files to cleared contacts at neocon think tanks, and along to their MSM customer service representatives and thence on full court blast.

                    Speaking of. Richard Haass controlling foreign policy in a Biden administration? Hard pass.

                    1. wilroncanada

                      How about a certain woman from China who hasn’t been charged with anything yet, but has been held in Canada for 2 to 3 years now, in limbo, while the US has stalled while shouting and screaming about the nasty Chinese business people who are of course just fronts for the government itself. Unlike the PRIVATE US corporations whose business is almost completely US government largess, or are really fronts for the CIA and one of the twenty-odd other US government agencies.
                      He wouldn’t do that, would he?

          1. JTMcPhee

            Obama pardoned and commuted the sentences of 1,927 people. Here’s a short list of pardons:

            None of them quite measures up to Clinton’s parting shot, pardoning Marc Rich on his last day in office:

            Marc Rich (born Marcell David Reich; December 18, 1934 – June 26, 2013) was an international commodities trader, hedge fund manager, financier, and businessman.[5] He founded the commodities company Glencore, and was later indicted in the United States on federal charges of tax evasion and making oil deals with Iran during the Iran hostage crisis. He was in Switzerland at the time of the indictment and never returned to the United States.[6] He received a widely criticised presidential pardon from U.S. President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001, Clinton’s last day in office; Rich had made large donations in his lifetime to the Democratic Party and Israeli organizations.

            It’s all just water under the bridge. Rule of law, my a$$.

    2. fajensen

      As I see it, Assange cannot do anything for Donald Trump and Donald Trump only ever invests in someone who can do something useful for him Now, he would never invest in the ‘brewers spent grain’, people who were destroyed helping him, – not even ‘repay’ past favors to him. He is a singularity of a kind!

      1. Altandmain

        There is one thing he could do. Win over a few Bernie voters.

        A few in the Midwest could be very important. Trump is not smart enough to realize it, but if he pardoned Snowden and Assange, it might win a handful of voters. Not many, but enough to make a difference when the Midwest races are that close.

      1. hunkerdown

        It is well accepted that pardons can operate prospectively as well as retrospectively with regard to any conceivable enforcement action, and I’m curious why Richard Nixon’s been telling you otherwise. :)

        1. Oh

          “For all crimes he committed or may have committed” – From Gerald Ford in his pardon of Nixon speech.

      2. sleepy

        You do not have to be convicted of a crime prior to a pardon. You can be pardoned for any offenses you may have committed.

        Nixon was pardoned by Ford for past acts even though he had not been indicted or charged with any crime.

      3. Bruno

        Assange has not been convicted of anything in a US court; how can he be pardoned?

        Nixon wasn’t even charged with any crime.

      1. newcatty

        Yes, Ghislaine. Poor thing is undergoing cruel and unusual punishment in, gasp, a jail cell in America! It’s so awful she is asking to be transferred to General Population. Perhaps she thinks it could be that it will be like wearing Orange as a new black. She could make friends and be protected. After all, she was just doing her job. It was a lot of work to run Epstein’s households and recruit suitable young women who would benefit from his patronage and philanthropic support to further their education or find employment in the “fashion and modeling” industries. Ghislaine, their new friend. Saving them from lives of poverty, or abuse, or loneliness.

        1. lordkoos

          From what I hear, inmates do not take kindly to people who are accused of child abuse/molestation — Ms Maxwell might find herself in some interesting situations if she is not being kept separate from the general population.

    3. Procopius

      Julian Assange is the only person with direct knowledge of how Wikileaks gained custody of the DNC emails; and Assange has claimed he has evidence it was not from a hack.

      This is not correct. At least former ambassador Craig Murray has claimed to know who delivered the emails to WikiLeaks, that he met that person, and his story sounded plausible at the time. I would think there are at least a couple of WikiLeaks staffers who also know, perhaps directly.

  9. RZ

    Sarah Millers Twitter made me laugh for some reason, a confirmation that everything is as demented as I imagine?
    Every American Citizen is owed a shot at being a Billionaire. No one is going to spoil that game by making life hard for Billionaires. (and you won’t get campaign finance if you want to change the system politically)
    In the mean time on with daily life.

    1. a different chris

      >by making life hard for Billionaires.

      That is an interesting thing, how could you ever even make make life “hard” for a billionaire? – excluding personal losses, or facing the fact that you birthed Paris Hilton….

      OTOH, why is life anything but *hard* for a billionaire? I mean we hear about “hard work is so necessary for success” so that level of compensation should imply continuous work at insane levels with little or no sleep or vacation time (and few baths, pace Edison).

      And we hear about how there are always “competitors” striving to “drink your milkshake” — so how do you even remain a billionaire if you allow yourself to take an occasional a day off?

      It’s all BS, of course.

      1. fwe'zy

        It makes total sense. There is plenty of continuous work at insane levels with little or no sleep or vacation time for billionaires’ workers.

    2. Geo

      Even though all markers of life quality are plummeting we all have *access* to billions so the system is working. Just gotta learn to code and all will work itself out.

  10. timbers

    Rice FWI:

    Rice can have too much arsenic, not good for health obviously. Chemicals/insecticides used on rice in most locations world wide contained arsenic until they were banned, but arsenic will remain in soil for our lifetimes and beyond.

    Some places never used arsenic laced insecticides, like California and parts of India.

    I buy Lundberg Basmati rice in bulk – 25 lb bag. Organic or non organic available. It’s grown in California and tests show it has the lowest arsenic levels of those tested. There are other rices that also test with lower levels, generally Indian if I recall. I chose Lundberg because it’s easy to buy in bulk and was the lowest.

    White rice has much less arsenic than brown regardless where it is grown.

    1. Olga

      In Japan, I heard that Japanese in particular (somehow) use arsenic, which is why they apparently had high levels of stomach cancer. This was a while back – maybe they’ve reconsidered.

      1. timbers

        Didn’t say never…point being arsenic wasn’t banned nation wide until much later than your comment implies for California.

      2. timbers

        I mean I did say never but the point being your post indicated my point by implying California banned arsenic earlier… which is the point…

    2. chuck roast

      At one point in my mis-spent life I worked on a potato farm in southern New England. When the potatoes were ready for harvest, the farmer would spray the entire field with a wash arsenic to kill the plants. With the plants dead, the potato harvester simply had to work the rows as the potatoes would fall right off the vine into the accompanying truck. We ate ’em anyway…no biggie…we were poor as church mice.

      1. Procopius

        … the potatoes would fall right off the vine …

        Funny, I always thought potatoes were a root vegetable, but I’ve never visited a potato farm.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      How much of this arsenic is natural organic arsenic just naturally part of the riceland soil? And mobilized by the oxygen-deprivation of that soil by steady flooding with water to grow the rice in?

      If that is part of the problem and the source, how much arsenic gets into “upland rice” grown on non-soggy non-paddy land? Has anyone ever compared “upland rice” arsenic levels to “paddy rice” arsenic levels?

      And do riceland soils in different parts of the world have different inherent levels of natural organic arsenic?
      And if so, do they produce rices with different arsenic levels?

  11. Stephen V.

    (I feel like Lambert: “Paper ballots. Counted in…)
    Schools! Antigen / Saliva testing. Daily. At home– for Teachers, staff, and kids. Results in 10 minutes.
    Looks like the NBA is doing this.

  12. Krystyn Podgajski

    Interesting times here in Chapel Hill. Plenty of people finally seeing exactly who is on the Broad of Governors at that “Liberal” college because of the whole “open up no matter what” debacle. Pretty much all Republicans and lobbyists (kind of like the DNC convention). The townies want the students gone, that has been made clear. I only really care about the people who had no choice in the matter who are now at risk because of bad decisions from the Voters, BOG, Parents, and the Students.

    1. Late Introvert


      I live in a college town as well, Iowa City. They’re all showing up these past two weeks. The President of the University is a former IBM Executive. The Board of Regents are Big Ag.

      Governor Trumpette Reynolds has been covering up the virus numbers while setting 15% infection rates before the schools can go online only.

      They are going to do to students and teachers what they did to:

      slaughter house workers
      nursing home residents

      The problem for them is they will have a much harder time covering it up and lying about it, but they intend to stick to that plan until they can’t anymore. Then new lies will be used.

    2. Yves Smith


      Your listed e-mail address doesn’t seem to be working. I wanted to ping you about something offline. Could you please e-mail me at

  13. farragut

    Bizarre times, indeed. Anyone else find themselves relying on Variety and Teen Vogue for cogent, incisive commentary on politics & policy?

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘Cogent, incisive commentary on politics & policy?’

      Obviously they cannot have employed too many graduates from the Columbia School of Journalism then.

      1. farragut

        Adding insult to injury, D’Addario is Variety’s Chief TV Critic

        (altho you were close…D’Addario graduated from Columbia in 2010 with a double major in American studies & English–probably better equipping him to the task at hand).

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          But who better than a tv critic to assess what’s been designed as a tv spectacle? Not a job for one of the boys on the bus, I think. Seriously. I found the perspective to be interesting and thought it would spark some interesting comments.

          1. farragut

            I’m in complete agreement, JLS. I found the article to be well-written and the observations accurate. Hope he continues to write about the sad state of politics going forward.

          2. Dr. John Carpenter

            I prefer looking at US politics as if it is pro-wrestling. If nothing else, the introduction of the word “kayfabe” into my vocabulary has made that a worthwhile venture.

          3. Dr. John Carpenter

            Also, I suspect that piece will be the best I read on the DemCon. Thanks for posting it. Much more insightful and useful than what the boys on the bus are coughing up.

    2. Glen

      Cardi B did a pretty good interview of Biden. Well, much much better than you would see on MSNBC, but that is setting the bar on the floor, and then driving a truck over it so that it’s pounded into the ground.

      1. Zagonostra

        She asked a question on M4A 4 times and didn’t respond once. At least she asked. Wouldn’t ir be something if there where real journalist not letting the worm off the hook?

      2. lordkoos

        The Biden campaign seems to be very interested in wooing black and Republican voters while ignoring the left and in general, people under 40.

        I guess they must know what they’re doing. /sarc

    3. KFritz

      Since DemCon has nothing to do with the selection of candidates, by default its function is to convince voters to choose the Democratic candidates. Its a sales-promotion event. How well the Dems present themselves is (again) a default commentary on their strategy and state of mind. I think D’Addario’s commentary is making this point and implying that it speaks badly of The Party. He is an expert on the media.

      Plus, the reporting from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter is almost always accurate…and well written. Their people know how to write (and fact-check) better than most of the MSM, and their editors also seem to do their job well.

  14. David

    Those who feel that perhaps Lebanon hasn’t suffered enough recently have been keenly awaiting the verdict of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, set up to prosecute those held responsible for the 2005 murder of former Lebanese PM Rafic Hariri among other things. The verdict was originally planned for earlier this month, but the 4 August explosion forced a postponement. The verdict – against four Hezbollah members – is coming out today. So far, the Tribunal has apparently announced that there is insufficient evidence to show that either the Syrian government, or the Hezbollah leadership, as such, were behind the killing of Hariri and 21 others. So far there are no details of the verdict on the four (I’ll post a link if I see anything later) but the lack of evidence of Hezbollah/Syrian institutional involvement will come as a relief to those who feared that one more political crisis might push the country over the brink. The case, if I remember correctly, was largely constructed around mobile phone records, so it was always going to be tough to prove the involvement of higher authority.
    The STL has a very comprehensive website for those interested.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I heard about it again on the news tonight and the whole thing sounded like a rum set up. A mixture of Lebanese and international law which sounds like you could select whichever procedure you want to get the verdict that you want. The Lebanese had to help fund it and like so many things of a dodgy legal status, it is being held in the Netherlands. That bombing was 15 years ago and they have been accusing different groups of this crime, depending on who it was politically convenient to accuse. A whole generation has been growing up in Lebanon for whom the bombing was ages ago and in any case, they are too busy dealing with a bigger explosion to wind themselves up about what is getting to be old history. As far as I am concerned, this is just what the Germans would call “Theaterspiel.”

      1. Olga

        As far as I am concerned, this is just what the Germans would call “Theaterspiel.”
        Exactly… meaningless verdict and likely highly manipulated.
        This person is very good on Lebanon:
        “The Lebanese political system, which was set up by the French colonial power after World War I, when Britain and France divided the spoils of war in the Arab East between them, was designed by Paris to maintain Maronite political supremacy.

        A complicated system of sectarian distribution of posts and power according to an arithmetic formula was intended to keep the system squarely in the hands of the Maronite elite, while giving token representation to Muslims behind a democratic façade.
        But demographic changes, to the advantage of Muslims, clashed early on with the French arithmetic formula and that contributed to internal turmoil and civil strife, first in 1958 and then in a full-blown, protracted war in 1975. (In Lebanon, internal sectarian conflicts always have external dimensions, because since the 19th century, European powers forced on the Ottoman Empire a system of foreign sponsorships of Christian and Druze sects in the Arab East.)”
        The article has a handy map from 1935, showing the various minorities.

  15. Dr. John Carpenter

    Couldn’t agree with Greenwald more, but sadly, I think too many people (*cough* AOC *cough*) just aren’t going to get it. The Democrats are asking these people to be there, not the other way around. These Republicans aren’t being invited into the DNC’s big tent in spite of what they stand for, but because of what they stand for. And unlike the vote blue, no matter who “progressives’, they expect concessions before they grant their support, not after.

    1. a different chris

      >(*cough* AOC *cough*) just aren’t going to get it.

      ??? Sounds like she gets it totally: “Oh God,” she said. “In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are.”

      This is dead on: because of what they stand for

      1. Pat

        It may not work, but Democrats with a media voice who speak out and rejecting the idea of a full invitation MAY, just may, help provide that pressure that we keep hearing about. First it means rejecting the idea that we all have to shut up to “unite”. I give her credit for not shutting up.

        You and I may not believe it will work, but it still allows for chinks in the edifice that can wear it down

    2. Geo

      Curious what you would have someone like AOC do in these current times? Stating that Kasich “fights against women’s rights” and “doesn’t get to say who is or isn’t representative of the Dem party” seems to be a smart way to remind the base that these new “allies” are not here for our benefit but to salvage their own careers after wrecking their party.

      Should she turn Independent like Bernie was for so long and be relegated to the congressional broom closet for the next few decades like he was? Or, is it wiser to use her status inside the halls of power to try and steer the party even just a little bit left?

      I totally understand the distain for the Dem Party (renounced my own Dem affiliation the day after voting for Sanders in this primary and only signed up to vote for him in 2016 after being an indie for a decade prior). But, power works differently inside the halls of politics than it does for us outside. If she, and those like her, were to just leave the Dems then they (and we) would have no power in either party. What would they be then – just a third party made up of three or four people?

      I could be totally wrong (often I am) but that’s my read of it.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Personally, I’d be willing to try growing a third party made up of three or four people than beating my head against the walls trying to move the Dems left when they’re making it very clear they have no intention of moving. She can say Kasich doesn’t get to say who represents the Democrats, but let’s pull out the stopwatch and see who got more time to speak. I do understand the idea of working from within the party, but I see no evidence this approach is working or will ever work.

        I don’t claim to have the answers either. It just seems to me like there’s too much go along to get along which never ends up going anywhere.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Kill it with fire (DNC). Even Orange fire if necessary.

        The castration of Bernie removes any shred. The muzzling of AOC. The selection of an IdPol cop who even with the most billionaires setting her up (47) could not even make it through the first primaries.

        The absolute cluster that was Iowa. The clown show of candidates, smug Midwestern office lady, gay CIA McKinsey kid, strident angry librarian who said a trans child should select the next SecState, serial molester nasty short Wall St. oligarch, spineless white skateboarder guy trying to speak Spanish. And lost Uncle Joe, fourth in Iowa, brains running out his ear, 1% the last time he ran for prez.

        And now we get the Black-tocracy mailing it in to the plebes with recorded blurbs, what Marianne Williamson called “a commercial for Marriott”, can’t even be bothered to give a rousing speech, how could you when your global top-down and bottom-up platform and message is “I’m not that guy over there!” No need to say what you are then, because you can’t.

        And the gallery of misfits they will install as the cabinet. Second stringers, retreads, failures, and tired has-beens from a forgotten era. They want to run the same neo-con, neolib program as before but this time on autopilot, with addled Grandpa and a blackface owner of two XX chromosomes at the front to sell it to you.

        In sum: this is what they think of you and your so-called country. They have extended their arm towards you, made a fist, and folded down every finger except the middle one.

          1. Late Introvert

            The Dem Rats family blogged Bernie over. I was there at the Iowa Caucuses, I saw it with my own eyes.

            That was where it all went down. And Bernie didn’t fight back. I understand. It takes lawyers, and who wants that shit? I sure do not.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Didn’t watch the extravaganza myself. The Chicago White Sox hit 6 HOME RUNS in their 7-2 win over Detroit last night, and watching the game seemed more worthwhile than listening to michelle count the ways that Trump is very, very bad or bernie sell out those who trusted him.

      But the pair on Rising this morning reserved their most strident critiques for john kasich who apparently said, “Nobody pushes joe around.”

      They interpreted this as a message to those who might, inexplicably, vote for biden in the hope that he can be “pushed left” by the likes of AOC or bernie or any of their progressive supporters AFTER they put him in office because it ain’t gonna happen.

      As Saagar put it, when they tell you, believe them.

  16. Anon II, First of Its Name

    Random thought re: the Democratic convention–didn’t Hillary already show pretty decisively that running on an “I am not Trump” platform doesn’t mean much?

    Maybe the anti-Trump side is so big this time around that Biden can win on the same platform (certainly the never-Trumpers are much more violent in their opposition, but presumably they can only vote once–and that’s if they are lucky), but it’s a pretty silly thing to chance, in my opinion.

    1. km

      To be fair, HRC lost to Trump in 2016, when Trump was still an outsider and a bit of a blank slate.

      Trump has since been in office for almost four years, so there’s no longer a “roll the dice and let’s see what we get” quality to the man. We rolled the dice and what we got was appalling, a meaner, more dysfunctional version of Dubya.

      Of course, Obama governed as a slightly more articulate version of Dubya.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Trump more or less enjoyed the GOP coalition without the messiness of being a Mormon or John McCain. Much has been made about Obama to Trump voters in destroyed communities, but Trump wasn’t so much a roll of the dice as a normative Republican with none of the baggage Republicans really don’t like. Even then the numbers that voted for McCain, Romney, and Trump are virtually identical.

        To a large extent, Romney’s Mormon speech was genuine as Evangelicals had problems with his religion. If Obama wasn’t black, Romney’s numbers would have been much worse. As far as Trump being a clear and public cad, I mean again he is a normative Republican. John Kasich was a FoxNews Host and O’Reilly guest host.

        1. Geo

          Exactly. The only reason I’ve been able to see for why these never-Trumpers hate him so much is that they don’t like their reflection in the mirror. Oh, and he sometimes wants to withdraw a few troops from a quagmire. The gravest sin of them all!

  17. diptherio


    Electoral Power does not equal political power. See Gilens and Page, 2014. So yeah, maybe if all us poors decided to take the day off of work to stand in line for hours and hours to vote, we could have some effect on who gets to lord it over us for the next four years, but that wouldn’t give us any more sway over the policies they enact than the middle class voters who do most of the voting now, have — which is to say none.

    This, to me, looks like just one more way to blame the victim and to (willfully?) misunderstand how our political system actually works.

    1. Adam1

      Yeah, it seems as if the assumptions is these poor people don’t know they can vote. I think it’s more that they have no reasons to spend hours in line waiting to vote because there isn’t anyone worth that kind of time to vote for. If you want more poor people to vote you need more working class people on the ballot who will know and push for policies that will give poor people a reason to be at the polls.

      1. hunkerdown

        Well, you also have to commit to protecting the voters from the parties, picking and choosing which votes they want to collect and which precincts they want to under-resource. Any government that does not fully submit itself to the people’s will is a traitor to them.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Half-million California homes, businesses could lose power ”

    California has the fifth largest economy in the world. Within its borders it has the technical expertise of Silicon Valley to draw upon. There are one hundred and sixty five billionaires that call California home. It is a power base for one of the two major political parties in America. An eight of the population of the United States lives within its borders. It is the world’s fifth-largest supplier of food. The capacity to fix this problem is there then and there is a simple solution. When there is a power cut then every district should share the loss. The financial districts, Silicon Valley, the wealthy suburbs – everywhere. When those places share the inconvenience of losing a steady power supply, then magically solutions will be found to fix California’s power problems.

    1. Olga

      To be fair, their energy policy is quite progressive (emphasis on solar, batteries). There is a major heat wave. More at
      “The situation is the result of “a perfect storm of events,” Seth Hilton, partner at Stoel Rives, said, including the heatwave, insufficient procurement of resources to deal with these situations, changing system needs — in part due to increasing amounts of solar and other flexible resources on the system — and a reduction in imports that CAISO could rely on.”

      1. periol

        This hasn’t happened since Enron, despite worse heat waves and higher power draws. There is something going on behind the scenes here, perhaps not to the level of Enron, but something is fishy nonetheless.

        1. periol

          A follow-up link that backs up what I’m saying:

          But the rolling blackouts on those days left some of the state’s energy experts bewildered. They said that the utilities had plenty of power available and that the blackouts weren’t necessary. The grid’s capacity may be tested in coming days as temperatures are forecast to reach into the triple digits again in some places.

          “They set it up like this is a historic event,” said Bill Powers, a San Diego engineer who provides expert testimony on utility matters before the state’s regulators. “This should not have triggered blackouts.”

          The California Independent System Operator, the nonprofit entity that controls the flow of electricity for 80 percent of California, said it acted after three power plants shut down and wind power production dropped. It also cited a lack of access to electricity from out-of-state sources.

    2. Clive

      I’ve been having a good old chuckle at Navin Gruesome’s Twitter feed on how to “handle” the PG&E outages in California. I’m not sure where he went to school, but science and engineering obviously weren’t his strongest points.

      Amongst his many handy hints to avoid that full-on immersive third-world country experience was that the lucky citizens of the Golden State should set their thermostats to 78F. Navin’s grasp of building science is a little sketchy because, in the 100F+ heatwave, your typical A/C will have to run continuously in your typical poorly insulated US building code home (not much insulation, huge picture windows, front doors opening directly into living spaces with no vestibule and the like) simply to maintain that temperature.

      He also neglects to mention that, with the constant threat of rolling blackouts, residents can perhaps be forgiven for setting the thermostat to 60F to pre-cool the space, ready for when the power goes out and you’re trying to get some sleep. This merely adds to the problem.

      Dear residents of California: I’m prepared to make you a deal. You take Boris Johnson off our hands, we’ll take Mr. Gruesome. Now, how can you refuse an offer like that? Still not convinced? Well, ask yourselves that, even if the thought of Boris sounds bad, how much worse can it get?

  19. Dalepues

    Can’t they agree to leave anything alone? Why is it that the Republicans hate the P.O. so much? Friends came over the other day for a beer. First thing I heard was the P.O. has just got to go, it’s losing billions of dollars. ?- No, I risk answering, it isn’t losing anything. It isn’t a business, it’s a public service, even provided for in the Constitution (I looked it up and showed them.).You wouldn’t say the Interstate system is losing money would you? or do you think we should set up toll booths on all the entrance ramps, nation wide, to pay for it? The Interstate isn’t mentioned in the Constitution….

    But really, the P.O.? I love it, it’s one of those things that makes me feel good about being an American. I know that sounds corny but it’s true. I like the smell of the P.O.; I like the uniforms they wear; I like the funny little trucks they drive with the steering wheel on the wrong side. I give my letter carrier a Christmas present every year.I don’t know why but I have extra respect for the letter carriers. Maybe it’s their motto, “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail….” I know that I can depend on the P.O. to deliver a letter to my sister in Seattle, from my mailbox in Mobile, without fail.

    1. furies

      I agree.

      Everyday gets worse and worse for dystopian narrative.

      Hope the PO pulls thru. Many of the rest of us won’t.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Not just Republicans hate the Post Office. As for the Republicans, the GOP has pushed a faux-victim/grievance ideology in the sense the GOP is under attack by modernity. Its absurd, but its the case.

      Since there is no genuine grievance situation or at least systemic problem, the victims (I know) of this GOP messaging have to find slights. For many of White Flight Republicans such as John Kasich, the Post Office is the only place they might see a non-white face.

      The other side is government hasn’t been working under both parties, so when Democrats say the dumb dumbs don’t understand how great Team Blue is, it doesn’t really get through.

      1. ambrit

        When the Democrat wing of the Property Party calls their former base “dumb dumbs,” you know the end is nigh.
        Considering that many of the Democrat Party aligned PMCs live out in the suburbs, the term “White Flight” becomes evidently an equal opportunity formulation.
        When you look at the demographic constitution of the suburbs, one sees that the “White” part of the term “White Flight” is a misnomer. It really is an “Upper / Middle Class Flight.”

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It might be an upper classes flight, but the “woke” PMC aren’t exactly woke in real life.

          This might be the single greatest piece of satire of this millennium mixed in within the confines of a wretched movie, but The dream of Team Blue Karens

    3. jef

      All you need to understand about the pressure on the USPS is that they make more deliveries in 16 days than UPS, Fedex, and Amazon does in a year…combined. DO you see the potential $$$$$$$$$$$ now?

      1. Olga

        I bet Bezos wants to privatise it. And it is an old strategy – degrade the service, until people themselves call for its elimination. Works every time.

        1. Cuibono

          I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.


    4. Katniss Everdeen

      Why is it that the Republicans hate the P.O. so much?

      Not just actual republicans, but those who pretend to be “democrats” yet “govern” like republicans.

      From 2013:

      Rubio [not marco] said he hopes that President Barack Obama, who recently announced executive orders on gun control, might consider taking similar executive action to save the Postal Service, rather than waiting on Congress.

      It would be a “sad irony” if the Postal Service, a booster of minority prospects since the Civil War, should unravel under the first black president, he said.

      And concerning the current flap over Trump’s maniacal destruction of the post office as an election strategy, here is Saagar Enjeti’s “Radar” from this morning on that very issue. It’s titled Russiagate 2.0, and it’s a good one.

    5. Glen

      The USPS is going broke because of the requirement to PREFUND the retirement system. They are required to fund retirement for people not even born yet:

      The Republicans have worked for decades to break the USPS. The Democrats could have fixed this, but don’t care enough to do anything (because too many Democrats like Biden have the exact same goals). Ultimately, the Republicans will get what they want, they will privatize the post office – service will get really shitty and very expensive.

      This is starting to look like when the USSR collapsed. The Federal government has decided to let the states go broke. Our oligarchs will move in and privatize all sorts of services which we took for granted: roads, fire, cops, EMT, schools, etc. In general, things will get shitty and expensive, not because they have to but that is the stated goal of private corporations, maximize profit which generally means minimize service.

      1. pasha

        the 2006 accountability act passed on a voice vote in a lame-duck republican congress.

        in february 2020 the house passed the u.s.p.s. fairness act, repealing most of the 2006 pension and healthcare pre-payment provisions. this bill has been sitting in the senate hopper — along with 400 other house bills — because mitch won’t allow a vote on them. this is all on the senate republicans

        1. Parker Dooley

          “The [accountability] bill was introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Tom Davis, a Republican from Virginia, and cosponsored by Republican John M. McHugh of New York and Democrats Henry Waxman of California and Danny K. Davis of Illinois.[2] The bill was approved during the lame duck session of the 109th Congress, and approved without objection via voice vote”. (from Wikipedia — emphasis mine)

      2. Procopius

        Actually, the USPS is going broke because The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 put limits on their ability to raise the price of first-class mail. The requirement to pre-fund 75 years of their pension liabilities 100% is onerous, but if they could raise the price of stamps they might have a chance. According to the USPS Inspector General’s web site, “The Postal Service is now permitted to make annual price changes after limited review by the Postal Regulatory Commission, but the average increase for each class of mail cannot be greater than the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).”

  20. Tomonthebeach

    We have heard for a century that California is too big to govern. I think such assertions miss the point. California is not too big to govern, but it is too big to manage. California cannot even run its civil service retirement system without chronic corruption.

    Since before ENRON, California has led the world in mismanaged electrical power services. Even chronic massive wildfires cannot animate simple things like cutting back vegetation from power lines. A few months ago, an old buddy sent me a photo of a wood power pole being dropped into the woods behind his house by helicopter because it was too dense to truck in a replacement for a rotted one. I thought; (A) a wood pole in a wildfire-prone wooded area, and (B) dropped in by helo because the vegetation was too dense? What is wrong with that picture? In my state of Florida, power poles are (A) metal or concrete-clad aluminum, and (B) placed far away from vegetation even when run through a swamp. We still have wildfires now and then, but Florida Power and Light is rarely a factor. I guess the financial losses due to wildfires and power outages do not justify investing in chain saws.

    Of course, when California is not burning, it is dying of thirst, or its crops are failing, or it is suffering landslides, smog, or flooding, or just being caught in eternal highway gridlock. Those chronic problems have less to do with legislation that they do with inadequate management of utilities. The end result of California’s utility mismanagement is wealth-crushing taxes, obscene costs of living, and constant infrastructure collapse. One has to wonder when or even if California is going to realize that it is too big to effectively manage and thus is too big to succeed.

    1. a different chris

      >In my state of Florida

      sorry, but… not exactly the poster child for doing things properly…

      >wealth-crushing taxes

      How many billionaires live in California again?

      >it is dying of thirst, or its crops are failing, or it is suffering landslides, smog, or flooding, or just being caught in eternal highway gridlock.

      Four of those six are pretty accurately characterized as “Acts Of God”. I think Hurricane Andrew did a number on Florida, is that somebody’s fault?

    2. Grant

      “The end result of California’s utility mismanagement is wealth-crushing taxes”

      Have you heard of Prop 13? Lots of unearned land rent goes completely untaxed, and it has utterly decimated schools in the state, where I live. That in turn requires other form of taxes to go up, unless the state wants to be run in a right wing fashion like the south. I am sorry, but I am done with people from the South talking about how to run things well. The South is not only poor, but a large portion of its economy is federal government transfers. If Mississippi, as right wing a state as you can find, was cut off from federal aid, the standard of living there would be comparable for many people to what you would find in developing countries. In some parts of the South, as the UN recently found in places like Alabama, that is already the case. You could look at the horror show that is Texas in many regards as well.

      But, anyone talking about taxes or regressive taxes in California should start their conversation with Prop 13, which was funded and pushed by the far right in the 70s. If you taxed land rent, you could lower other taxes if you wanted to, and overall tax revenues wouldn’t change. Given the locational value of land in the state, the weather, etc., it could go a long way towards actually improving the fiscal situation, and California went from an approximately 7 billion dollar surplus in late 2019 to a 54 billion dollar deficit in half a year. Since it, unlike the federal government, cannot create the currency its residents use, kind of a problem.

      It is supporting public banking (AB 857 and AB 310), which can help. But, I worry about who would control the public banks. And the state’s dominant political party is, like the national party, corrupt and works to undermine candidates on the left. Fact is that the entire country is breaking down, and if California is in trouble, you know that the corrupt, inequitable states in the south aren’t in great shape either. Your state has seen a collapse in tax revenue as well, and your governor is a clown. Newsom isn’t great, but I would rather be here than where you are. No thanks.

    3. Maritimer

      If “California is …too big to manage.” then what about the Earth at 7.8 billion? Sure makes all those Complexity experts and pundits look like the prediction winners. Endless problems mounting and mounting as we move along the Tech Curve constantly “improving” everything.

      One might want to personally go long Simplicity.

    4. chuck roast

      California will always be (family blogged). Rain-mudslides/floods/drought/fire…wash, rinse, repeat. Check out City of Quartz by Mike Davis. The book that sent Cali real estate boosters to the moon.

    1. Pat

      I was left wondering where the author saw warring between management and the Board?
      And what they thought the roles of both are?

      But I forgot for a moment that this is written for the people making the investments not the institutions And their members supplying the money to be invested.

      1. EoH

        Indeed. With one or two exceptions, Ms. Frost has her board wrapped around her finger. While that’s the position in which most private sector CEOs want their boards, public institutions have different legal obligations, notwithstanding the neoliberal drive to operate them as if they were for profit companies.

        Ben Meng’s problem does not seem to be a lack of professional experience or technical skill. Neither is it that the media has treated him in the manner Romans treated seditious natives. His problem seems to be a Frostian ignorance of or disdain for his professional and legal obligations.

  21. Futurebroketeacher

    Read the NYT article on teachers fleeing the profession like rats off a sinking ship and saw an ad for a degree in criminal justice. LOL!

    I’m about to start my teaching practicum and I can’t believe the district I’m working in hasn’t closed down. I’m in the high risk category and I’m not even getting paid! In fact, I’m paying my school for the opportunity to work in classroom. This country is so royally screwed.

    1. jr

      My sister is waiting to see what gasket blows when PS. 666 reopens soon. Or doesn’t. Or does halfway. Someone told her classes of 10 max. She seemed to think that was manageable. I told her to take her dual applied/theoretical masters degrees and 20 years of teaching experience, from brain trauma to spectrum to inner city impoverished, and get the hell out any which way. Nothing about any reopening is going to go as proposed, that’s for certain.

      1. Wukchumni

        Went on a hike to the East Fork Grove of Giant Sequoias yesterday with my newly retired 7th grade science teacher friend, and I couldn’t believe how completely dysfunctional his school has become, with his loss being replaced by a 30 something year old teacher now pressed into doing his work along with his previous classes, and the younger teacher talking very seriously about leaving as well, he’s just had it.

        It’s a clear win in the future for home schooling, as teachers self-rapture themselves, and no amount of cajoling will bring them back anytime soon.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Michelle Obama makes impassioned plea and Republicans boost Biden: Key moments from the convention”

    Saw a part of her speech and forgive me but she seemed a smug cow. She was listing all the terrible things that Trump had done but as I was listening, I realized that her old man had done exactly the same when he was the President. And you know that she knows it but ignores it. I only hope that she does not end up becoming the “conscience” of the Democrat party. You would never be rid of her then.

    As for the “Ruby Princess: New South Wales premier apologizes over cruise ship outbreak” article, the inquiry showed that there was about five government departments all involved but it was the New South Wales Health Department that gave the go-ahead for all those passengers to disembark. This, in spite of the fact that they had dozens of active cases aboard and one was so sick that he had to be stretchered off that boat. It was a clusterf***. But it looks like nobody will lose their jobs over this. The Premier may have apologized but this isn’t Japan so a simple apology does not cut it. If all these governments have been preparing pandemic plans for years now like they claim, I have seen no sign of them but have seen plans come up with on an ad-hoc basis. In other words, the governments never planned for such an eventuality like other countries such as South Korea did. Idjuts!

    1. Pat

      Of course she did. She has been a smug cow since they left the White House and the money started rolling in. Go back and watch any of the press tour for her book. You know the one with the pretentious smug title “Becoming”.

    2. EoH

      Ms. Obama seems to have no monopoly on smugness. Name a modern president, other than Jimmy Carter, who has not “cashed in” after leaving public office. It’s an international phenomenon. Tony Blair, for example, leads a herd of longhorn cashers in.

      You may not like Barack Obama or the Democratic Party. Fair enough. But the president Michelle Obama was criticizing has trouble getting out of bed before noon, spends more time putting on make-up than she does, and spends more taxpayer money playing golf than most of his predecessors put together. That behavior and priorities would seem to merit criticism, not least in the middle of a pandemic.

      1. hunkerdown

        “He’s not loyal to the bourgeois aristocrat lifestyle and that embarrasses us” is more of an argument to depose the PMC and bourgeois liberalism than the President. Not a single PMC is worth dying for.

        1. EoH

          If you’re talking about Donald Trump, he is a member of the bourgeoisie masquerading as an aristocrat. If Lifestyles of the Nouveau Riche and Infamous did not exist, he would have invented it.

          As for the utility of replacing him, I would have thought his executive abilities were apparent after his fifth bankruptcy, or perhaps the 170,000th death owing to Covid-19. More mundanely, one might mention the rapid demise of his “university,” his wine, steaks, airline, and supposed private charitable foundation.

          1. Pat

            Most of which was well known when he ran the first time, yet the Democrats ran someone so arrogant, entitled and incompetent she refused to campaign in states she needed in order to win. You know in a system two centuries old.

            Most of the Democratic Party gladly accepted his money, some went to his wedding(s). Hell our current Vice Presidential nominee happily took his money. As for the current Presidential nominee he hung out in his basement for most of the start of this pandemic showing even less leadership than the person you are raging about.

            Neither Biden/Harris or Trump/Pence should be anywhere near the Presidency. The lying tweeter in heavy pancake or the lying plagiarist in heavy pancake, Jesus what a choice. The only bright spot is that currently there is no one named Bush, Clinton or Obama on the ticket or announced as part of the administration.

            1. EoH

              Most of which New Yorkers knew well. You’ll recall how Donald Trump heavily manipulates the press – which seems happy to be manipulated – and throws non-disclosure agreements around like empty bottles of hairspray.

              Biden camps out in his basement? I try not to take journalistic shorthand literally. Then, there’s that you could play tennis in his basement. Personally, I’m happy he’s not dumb enough to shake hands and hug babies in the middle of a pandemic.

              Trump, however, races around his bubble: the White House, his golf courses, the White House, his golf courses. When he does go outside, say, to Oklahoma City, he leaves a trail of Covid-19 tears. Ask Herman Cain and Gov. Stitt.

              I’m happy to disagree about the merits of various politicians. Few regard Trump as competent. And Biden was not my first choice. But my adopting a pox on both their houses attitude will not move us a foot toward a fairer or more progressive country.

            2. JP

              A little arrogant and entitled but she would have been a very competent neolib warmonger. Yes her campaign was incompetent but compared to Biden her mind is a steel trap. Unfortunately she has no social vision. Her politics are all about management of power.

              I agree we are bereft of anyone of stature necessary to lead us to a better future. But our culture is based on team identity not value assessment. Bernie would have been a lurch in the right direction but in spite of my vote he probably would not have won the election.

              1. lordkoos

                Bernie was much liked by a broad swath of Americans, and I have no doubt he could have crushed Trump if he’d had the opportunity.

          2. hunkerdown

            Never said he didn’t. But the working class has chosen to start by taking down the Democrat Party’s right wing first, the one that deliberately, knowingly, and maliciously enables every toxic neoliberal policy that has come into law in the USA, and the one that fights every left-wing candidate that tries to enter the party.

            You’re advocating that we allow the neoliberal party which has, knowingly and maliciously, prevented us from choosing leftist candidates. Because it’s more important that we starve, so that your grand larp and your inflated sense of importance as a PMC can continue on the stolen production of others.


            1. EoH

              I am advocating nothing of the kind. I’m following Chomsky, whose opinion is that leftists rarely vote for a candidate: they vote against the worst one. Then they work like hell to make the winner adopt as many of their policies as possible. Wash, rinse, repeat. There is no silver bullet, just a lot of virtual stakes requiring that lots of people go out and hunt.

              1. pasha

                “work like hell to make the winner adopt as many of their policies as possible.”

                precisely! bernie, and to some extent warren, have moved the overton window considerably left from where it was five years. i heard a commitment last night to lower medicare age to 60 last night as a first step. raising taxes on corporations and billionaires is probable. transaction taxes on the stock exchange are also a real possibility. and if we can work like hell to accomplish that, success can feed on success

  23. martell

    Scenes from the ongoing Portland event:

    Apparently, the fellow who’s on the receiving end of that kick to the head had been trying to help a trans woman whom protestors had been harassing. When he intervened, they turned on him. He then fled in his F150. They gave chase, and, after he crashed, dragged him from the truck and kicked him unconscious. As with Ken and Karen, this seems too strange to be true, but that’s the story as reported by multiple sources.

    1. a different chris

      >had been trying to help a trans woman whom protestors had been harassing.

      You need a different link because that story says nothing like that at all?

      The pair had been loudly arguing with each other about 7 p.m. when the woman grabbed a gas canister from the man and took off in a separate car, said Pape, who works at Church. The man went back to his white Ford truck, which was parked nearby, and proceeded to drink several bottles of Miller High Life he had stashed away over the next half hour.

      At one point, the man got into a verbal altercation with another person on Northeast Sandy and pulled out a hatchet from his truck, Pape said. He also yelled several racist slurs at the person, according to Pape.

      1. martell

        I have an additional link with the requested information in moderation. In the meantime (or sometime thereafter), there’s more. Leaders of Moms United for Black Lives (not to be confused with Wall of Moms) confirm that a group of “protest attendees” was responsible for the assault and that this group has been a regular source of similar problems. Here’s the story in full:

      2. Carolinian

        True the story doesn’t say anything like that but also doesn’t suggest that he was doing anything to cause the nonviolent protestors to beat him unconscious. He had a fight with an acquaintance in front of a bar, got drunk and then crashed his truck into a pole. True drunk driving near crowds isn’t a good thing but dragging someone out of their truck and beating them suggests the actions of the very group the crowd is supposed to be protesting.

        1. Carolinian

          NC nailing it down! Naturally the Democracy Dies in Darkness site doesn’t mention the Moms United complaint about violent elements.

          Could be he had fight with acquaintance, drove off, then encoutered trans woman, then was assaulted.

        2. Laputan

          Hard to pin down anything factual other than that flying cheap shot to the guy’s face. From the looks of it he was guilty of being blitzed in the wrong place at the wrong time.

          If anybody at the protests deserves to be lit up, it’s these losers LARPing as “security.” This reminds me of that story in which a similar group of self-deputized posers at CHAZ (or was it CHOP? or CHUD?) outright murdered a 16 year-old kid after he was seen cruising in their turf in a stolen jeep. I guess since he was homeless and no angel, nobody seemed to care that he and his 14 year old friend were basically used as target practice. Nor about the tact that the LARPers were filmed pocketing shell casings and tampering with other evidence before the police arrived.

          I’m certainly loath to make strange bedfellows with race-baiting rags like the Daily Caller, but they’re the only outlets that acknowledge the existence of these goons. It’s like the MSM can’t be bothered because in their absolutist, binary blinders, the left equivalent of the Proud Boys can only be a corrective force for good, instead of some keyed up turds looking for trouble.

          1. martell

            Here’s the best compilation of relevant video I could find:


            Don’t know how long it will remain up and I know nothing about the source. It’s edited, but a lot of what was said can be heard and (warning) has not been bleeped out.

            The “LARPing” assailant has been identified. I believe the victim has already been released from hospital.

  24. Butch In Waukegan

    Striking a balance between dollars and death. Another half a**ed Covid policy, this time from Democratic Chicago. Popular (and crowded) tourist attraction Navy Pier will be closed . . . after Labor Day.

  25. jr

    Re: The Impossibly Inherent Evil of the Utterly Constructed yet Innate Male Identity Matrix

    “These qualities are at the root of the policy mistakes that have driven up the pandemic-related death toll in all three countries.”

    Really? At the “root” of things? A plant with her concept of a root would struggle mightily indeed. So, bad breeding is responsible for the disasters? Too much machismo? Too much football watching as a kid, not enough arts and crafts? Too much cave man in Trumps identity matrix? No doubt a Hillary type is what is needed to steer us straight. Thank goodness Doh! Joe will have the graceful touch of Harris to guide his trembling paws.

    (Funny how everything is constructed, everything is premised on Rainbow clouds of impressions, but then we have all these innate qualities like the inherent superiority of a matriarchy or how “lived experience” is the only form of truth or how dressing up in a starched, stiff Oxford is expressing one’s “true self.” Just saying. And I say this as someone who thinks a matriarchy is worth a shot.)

    Does she not see that this is merely a “Through the Looking Glass” version of the Great Man theory of historical development? A few sops thrown to notions of Wonder Bread social justice but zero analysis of the political economy that gave rise to such malignancies. Meh.

    “Brute force cannot stop a virus. Nor can deception, manipulation, bullying, or coercion. As other countries (many with woman leaders) have shown, the only way to defeat COVID-19 is through community involvement, cooperation, and social solidarity. It is no accident that the world’s biggest COVID-19 losers have taken a different path.”

    Neither can diversity seminars and social styro-justice platitudes. Why should it matter, in this context, whether the leadership of a COVID sane nation is male or female? Are female leaders somehow a guarantee of a better response? Is there something inherently better about a female leader? Is that what she actually means by the phrase “many with woman leaders”? She seems on the verge of saying so. But how can that be? Everything is in a constant state of flux, there are no polarities, everything is just shifting blobs of tension and power. How could we possibly know women are inherently better when we can’t even define what a woman is? Or when we can’t define what defining is?

    I realize I say a lot of things about Critical Theory and it’s devotees and it occurred to me that I don’t have a very strong background in it. I certainly hope I haven’t misrepresented any of it’s ideas. If so, I urge anyone reading who wishes to correct my take on things to please do so. I would genuinely appreciate it.

    If you are an actual proponent of Critical Theory and are versed in it’s intricacies, please step forward as well. I know you are out there beyond the edge of the firelight. Don’t be shy. I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Then I’m going to eat them.

    1. hunkerdown

      The social function of the bourgeoisie under liberalism is to “improve” society. That’s exactly what they’re doing, playing pretend with their inner four-year-olds. Doesn’t seem like such a great order of society, by that light.

    2. Count Zero

      I can’t see her account of the mismanagement of the current pandemic by political leaders in USA, India and Brazil owes much to so-called “critical theory”. It is a forceful and contentious argument but pretty much jargon-free. And apart from that little remark in the last paragraph about women leaders, it doesn’t really push a feminist agenda — though I suppose it is implicit. You may disagree with her assessment — I don’t think I do — but “critical theory” and feminism don’t seem to have much to do with it. The record of these three political figures is pretty disastrous — and you could throw in an equally incompetent fourth, Boris Johnson.

      1. jr

        I have to disagree, with her own words she placed identity at the “root” of the problem. Both individual identities vis a vis Trump et all and against macho male identity writ large. No questions as to why or from where such a pantheon of degenerates has arisen. No material analysis other than “Things are unfair!” Doubtless what is needed is more development or micro-loans. No connections made between the people in charge and the people who put them there. Arguing that these specific men are jerks and then, by implying that more women=more good, all men are at least somewhat jerkish, is pure identity packing p-nut thinking. I certainly didn’t see feminism per say in what she said.

        I agree it was jargon free, it was free of a lot of things, but maybe that’s even more worrying. She might not be self aware enough to know she is spouting CT multi-chromatic mind farts. I worry that that this epistemology denying lunacy is becoming the epistemology of choice.

        1. hunkerdown

          Neoliberal epistemology: “Nihilism is for the little people. Make sure they get it good and hard!”

          Antidote: render your television irreparably inoperable.

          1. jr

            That and the F’ing internet…except for NC and email of course. I’m really coming around to that guy who was saying that here a few weeks back.

    3. Amfortas the hippie

      ahem….Margaret Thatcher….Sarah Palin…Mary Fallin…Joanie Ernst…and hell, Madame Bathory…..and that Qanon woman who the gop seems so upset about…she has the required parts…why aren’t Team Blue rallying behind her?
      The lack of a third leg doesn’t automatically confer virtue…in the same way that dark skin, or red hair, or blue eyes, or even an extra toe or two has no inherent, automatic, correlation with the “content of their character”.
      Woke and Metoo..while originally great ideas, were captured by the operators of the Machine for nefarious ends.(much like Intersectionality)
      The Upper Crustean Rabble didn’t notice, because it’s just like sports….and nobody wants to rub elbows with “those people”, any way.

      1. Count Zero

        Agree completely. I survived the Thatcher reign of terror in England. Neither skin pigmentation nor sex confers either virtue or wickedness.

    4. Laputan

      I found the link to be not much more than a catchy headline. If you take a look at what she identifies as “maleness”, it looks to be just a surrogate for “bad”:

      Trump, Bolsonaro, and Modi are all known for their arrogance, bluster, and rejection of criticism.

      I can definitely think of one woman to whom I could assign those same qualities. Perhaps if she wasn’t so arrogant in her defiance of criticism, she wouldn’t have taken a couple states for granted and her presidential bid wouldn’t have failed so ignominiously?

      They have all shown a demagogic ability to inspire faith in a divisive persona that both repels many and attracts the quasi-religious devotion of many others.

      Ummmhmmm…I too remember the PUMAs, keep going.

      They have all diligently served the interests of their friends and constituents above all.

      How is this different from just about every politician ever?

      And they have all displayed serial contempt for the truth, using distraction, diversion, and outright lies to advance their preferred narratives and maintain their popularity.

      See above.

      I’m not one to play the victim as a male, but could you imagine substituting any other demographic (other than white) in the headline with the same reductive stereotype, implying that to be whatever essentially means being an a-hole? If it was “Black Leadership Malpractice” woke Twitter would be trying to cancel the internet right now.

      1. jr

        Cheers and I meant it too. I just don’t assume its automatically better because it’s a matriarchy

    1. allan

      Time for another round of (repriced) stock options.

      Some years ago a political scientist at Johns Hopkins wrote a book titled,
      The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-administrative University.

      One could write a similar book,
      The Fall of the Workers: The Rise of the All-C-Suite Corporation.

  26. zagonostra

    >What Cardi B’s interview with Joe Biden tells us about Joe Biden – CNN

    CNN is so full of S%it. There conclusion from the interview was:

    But if the Elle interview signaled anything, it was that we shouldn’t expect to see Biden on the sidelines in the weeks and months ahead.

    Completely ignoring the content of the interview. I saw on the Rising that Cardi B (don’t really know who she is) referred to M4A 4 times in the “interview” and 4 times Biden ignored the question. Jeeze! So CNN’s take is forget policy and content all is Form, repeat with me all is Form, all is Form….America has become the zombie nation.

  27. Donald

    I’m curious–did Michelle Obama mention support for the war in Yemen as something terrible that Trump has done? Because it is one of the worst things he has done.

    Of course, it’s also what Obama did.

  28. Geo

    “One of the hottest air temperatures recorded anywhere on the planet in at least a century, and possibly ever, was reached at Death Valley in California’s Mojave Desert where it soared to 54.4 Celsius (130 Fahrenheit).”

    I’m not an expert but if I’m pretty sure the earth has had higher temperatures before. May have been 4.5 Billion years ago. But it was definitely hotter than that before.

    1. Grant

      The planet used to be covered by lava, was at one point getting bombarded from proto-planets, asteroids and comets. So yeah, it was hotter on the surface at some point, but it also gets hotter over time because of the growth of the sun. In billions of years, it will be too hot for all life, save microbes. That means that carbon in the atmosphere is going to be worse now, all other things being equal, than it would have been a billion years ago. I think it was referring to a recorded temperature, by humans. It is going to get worse because of global warming, not that either party cares to do much about it.

      1. Tom Bradford

        I think the contributor’s suggestion was that the earth has been warmer in ‘recent’ times but that life on earth nevertheless flourished.

        This appears to be true – ie the cretacious thermal maximum approx 90 million years ago:-

        I’d offer that humanity could exist quite happily in such a climate – indeed it sounds rather Edenish – although in nothing like the numbers and ‘advanced’ technical excesses we ‘enjoy’ today.

    2. Billy

      Yeah, but nobody “recorded it.” Want to do something about global warming;
      Sell or scrap your car.
      Unplug your air conditioner,
      kill your furnace and your water heater,
      make your own solar hot water system,
      plant a garden and some carbon absorbing trees,
      and most importantly, turn off your computer forever,
      to and including ordering anything online.
      Do you know how much carbon is emitted by advertising server farm energy consumption?????

      1. hunkerdown

        It would be much more cost-effective to destroy oligarchs’ mansions with their oligarchs in them.

        The only possible reason to propose an individual solution to a systemic problem is because the proposer, personally, corruptly gains from the situation. Are you sure you want to wear that shoe? It’s nothing but an attempt at self-soothing by externalizing one’s pressures onto the environment. That is, the whole argument is exactly equivalent to public masturbation, as if not more fatal to public decency and young minds, and every bit as reprehensible and worthy of exclusion from society.

        1. Maritimer

          “The only possible reason to propose an individual solution to a systemic problem is because the proposer, personally, corruptly gains from the situation. ”

          One example of this in my jurisdiction is The Resource Recycling Racket. Instead of getting the corporations to limit the amounts of packaging and other garbage they produce, the politicians throw the problem down on the individual. Thus, in my rural area, huge diesel trucks (probably $200,000 a pop) cruise the long semi-deserted backroads for bins half full of lemon peels and coffee grounds (easily composted in backyards) and bags full of Stupormarket and other packaging. No density so per mile this is incredibly expensive and wasteful. But, too difficult to control the garbage at source! All paid for with taxes.

          This is a general trend of the New World Order: You, Human, are the problem! Yes, we will solve your stupid living problems but it will cost you and you must obey, obey, obey! (Does anyone hear: Pandemic!)

    3. heresy101

      About twenty years ago in July, I visited my parents who had retired in Yuma Arizona. The temperature was 125F. It was very hot, but not as hot as one would expect. My father said said not to worry about it being so hot because “it was dry heat”!

  29. Jim Hannan

    I had figured Kamala Harris to play Arya Stark against the King of the White Whiners, but now I’m thinking it’s going to be Michelle Obama.

  30. EoH

    About the Mauritius oil spill: ” In addition, the ship was not designed, authorised and insured to carry this sort of cargo and sail on this sort of route.”

    Owners often have legal structures that isolate each ship into a separate legal entity. Each entity has just enough capital to operate. Its funding comes and goes through service agreements. These are designed for cash management, liability, and tax “planning” purposes, as much as to meet operational needs.

    It would be useful for these ship owners to step up and pay whatever the agreed costs and penalties are. But if the owners – who usually operate through a company separate from the one(s) that owns and operates the ship – sent this vessel out with a cargo it was not designed to carry, on a route along which it was not designed to travel, and thereby voided its insurance, then the owners are on the hook without insurance proceeds to look to. This one will be painful all round.

  31. Wukchumni

    Rotisserie League notes:

    The best natural way to avoid the big heat is to go underground or get high, and there aren’t many caves in cities typically, but you could make one with a 20 or 40 foot long TEU container and some heavy equipment to dig & build a crypt, and cover it over in dirt, with door & air access to make it comfortable.

    It seems over the top now, but wait for the 122 degree days with a shaky grid or no grid, and you’ll be happy you did.

  32. EoH

    According to Amanda Cantrell’s The Crucifixion of Ben Meng, Meng was ousted by a combination of everything from “anti-Chinese bias” to an out-of-control media storm. Her article seems to be a circling of the wagons around a colleague who should still be doing great things at CalPERS.

    Meng’s disclosure violations were faux pas that could have been dealt with internally, had not Yves Smith’s NC and other media stepped in. In Cantrell’s version, Ms. Frost’s hands were tied, once the media storm blew in, and she had to reluctantly force Meng’s resignation. If true, the latter would merely demonstrate Ms. Frost’s cowardice, not her strength of character.

    Ms. Cantrell has missed her calling. Hollywood beckons.

    1. Senator-Elect

      The II article is astonishingly naive. So many things wrong with it. Subjective headline, the single anonymous sympathetic-to-Meng source and the failure to draw a coherent narrative–it’s all a series of unfortunate events. But worst of all is its kid-glove treatment of these extremly highly paid executives’ self-inflicted, unforced errors. Meng is not a high school kid who forgot his homework. Frost is not a field trip chaperone. Together, these two made over a million dollars a year to manage billions in hard-earned pensions. This is serious stuff, yet the article reads like a tale of woe. Truly misleading, pathetic writing.

  33. drumlin woodchuckles

    So . . . Democrats plan hearings on Postal Service sabotage, eh?

    What if a few off-script Democrats were to go rogue and extend the concept of sabotage to that forced-75-years-out-pre-retirement funding law? Pray a few off-script Democrats do go rogue that way, otherwise the Mother Of All Sabotage will never be investigated in these hearings.

    1. pasha

      as i noted above, the house passed a law repealing pre-funding, this february. the senate refuses to vote on it

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