2:00PM Water Cooler 1/25/2017

By Lambert Strether of

Trade

“Schumer also downplayed Monday’s executive order to withdraw from the TPP, arguing that the deal was never in force in the first place” []. Nice try. “Trump also got called out by Sen. Bernie Sanders for paying workers ‘starvation wages’ to produce Trump-branded goods at factories in China, Mexico and Bangladesh. ‘What a statement it would make to corporate America if he said, ‘I am bringing those jobs back to the United States,’ Sanders said at the press conference.” Much better.

“US Is Officially Out Of The TPP, Though Not For Any Of The (Many) Good Reasons” []. Not ISDS, not IP. “So, yes, it’s good that the TPP is dead. It was a bad agreement put together in secrecy with lots of bad elements. But, we need to watch quite carefully what comes next, with the recognition that it very well could be worse.”

“‘I believe President Trump understands the importance of free and fair trade, so I’d like to pursue his understanding on the strategic and economic importance of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) trade pact,” Abe told a session of parliament’s lower house” []. “Abe also said he wanted to strengthen the U.S.-Japan security alliance, based on mutual trust with Trump. ‘When we met last time, I believed him to be trustworthy, this belief has not changed today,’ Abe added, referring to his November meeting with then-president-elect Trump.” Caveating that I have no idea how a Japanese audience hears a direct statement that Person A is trustworthy. I mean, if you have to say it…

“WHAT THE DEATH OF THE T.P.P. MEANS FOR AMERICA” [Adam Davidson, ] (Parenthetically, one of the, er, national conversations we’re having right now is why New Yorker writers like Davidson assume they are entitled to speak “for America.”) Amazingly, Davidson doesn’t mention ISDS. The AFL-CIO, for example, puts “Eliminate the private justice system for foreign investors” #1 on its list of Davidson is an idiot.

Politics

Trump Transition

“Secret Service looking at agent who suggested she wouldn’t defend Trump from bullet” [].

“Column: Does Stephen Bannon live in Sarasota County? Because he’s registered to vote here” []. “There is only problem: Bannon is also registered to vote in New York City, listing a home address on West 40th Street, and according to a spokesman for the New York State Board of Elections, he voted there in November by absentee ballot. That means he voted in New York while still registered in Sarasota County, where he did not vote.” Heh. Whaddaya know? Actual reporting, and from a local paper, not the hysterical Beltway (“press corpse“)

“Trump Poised to Lift Ban on C.I.A. ‘Black Site’ Prisons” [Charles Savage, ]. Well, why not? Nobody was ever punished for creating them, or for “torturing folks.” Rather, Obama had (to quote his own words, ) “a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.” Well, now we are living in that “forward,” and how’s that working out? Here again we see the debacle that is liberal incrementalism: Exactly as Obama’s executive orders on ObamaCare could be undone when (and not if) Democrats lost control of the executive branch, so Obama’s flaccidity on torture enabled his successor to “lift” the “ban” and do it again. Suppose we’d put some of the torturers in jail. Heck, suppose we’d had a war crimes tribunal, or even handed some of the torturers over to The Hague? Trump would find those facts on the ground much harder to deal with, exactly as he would find seven years of Medicare for All harder to roll back, if the Democrats had rammed it through.

“President Donald Trump is being pulled in different directions by forces within the Republican Party and conservative circles seeking to mold his plans for government spending” [,”Conservatives Try to Shape Donald Trump’s Budget Priorities”].

“Trump’s team floats tax cuts that aren’t paid for” []. Finally some sanity on fiscal policy. As readers know, even if Politico does not, Federal taxes do not “pay for” Federal spending.

Women’s March

“Women’s March National Committee member and Illinois Co-Coordinator Mrinalini Chakraborty told RealClearPolitics that while the initial goal was to inspire a new generation of activism, “people are hungry for next steps, so we need to keep them on their toes'” []. “Going forward, however, Women’s March organizers plan to ‘break each principle down into a specific action item,’ [said Chakraborty]. “They will take their advocacy of LGBTQ equality, for instance, and translate that into a pathway for fighting anti-LGBTQ legislation in supporters’ communities. The Women’s March movement also does not wish to focus solely on the new president. The overarching goal of Saturday’s event, Chakraborty said, was to march for basic human rights. The group will not shy away from saying that march was born out of ‘a troubling, populist political climate’ fueled by Trump’s rise, but it ‘sees no value in making it about a single person. … Trump can be replaced; the ideology that he represents is much more insidious.'” Here’s one section of the Principles:

We believe in an economy powered by transparency, accountability, security and equity. All women should be paid equitably, with access to affordable childcare, sick days, healthcare, paid family leave, and healthy work environments. All workers – including domestic and farm workers, undocumented and migrant workers – must have the right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage

Leaving the decidely non-intersectional siloing of “Workers” aside, will “healthcare” be Medicare for All? Will the “living minimum wage” be #FightFor15? And “migration is a human right” sounds great, but has globalist consequences. Even mainstream macro-economists are coming round to the idea that redistribution should compensate the “losers” from globalization. Will redistribution be a “specific action item”? And while we’re at it, how about a Jobs Guarantee? Say, one that covers uncompensated domestic labor?

New Cold War

“Seymour Hersh Blasts Media for Uncritically Promoting Russian Hacking Story” []. On Steele’s dodgy dossier:

The declassified version of the report, which was released January 7 and dominated the news for days, charged that Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election” and “aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.” According to the report, the NSA was said to have had a lower confidence level than James Clapper and the CIA about the conclusion that Russia intended to influence the election. Hersh characterized the report as full of assertions and thin on evidence.

“It’s high camp stuff,” Hersh told The Intercept. “What does an assessment mean? It’s not a national intelligence estimate. If you had a real estimate, you would have five or six dissents. One time they said 17 agencies all agreed. Oh really? The Coast Guard and the Air Force — they all agreed on it? And it was outrageous and nobody did that story. An assessment is simply an opinion. If they had a fact, they’d give it to you. An assessment is just that. It’s a belief. And they’ve done it many times.”

“A top manager for Russia’s largest cybersecurity firm and a senior Russian intelligence officer have been arrested on possible treason charges, the newspaper Kommersant reported Wednesday” []. “Kaspersky Lab’s confirmed the arrest of Ruslan Stoyanov, head of its computer incidents investigation unit….” Hmmm.

Hall of Mirrors

Readers, I thought about calling this section “Down the Rabbit Hole,” because the political class really does seem to have entered Alice in Wonderland’s world, but “Hall of Mirrors” suggests Versailles. –lambert

Starting here: “Ex-Badlands National Park Employee Hijacked Account to Tweet Climate Data: Official” [].

Here are the tweets in question:

For later, after those Badlands National Park tweets get deleted, here's what happened. ht

— Patrick LaForge (@palafo)

Here is the instant (and very funny) parody site:

Fun Fact: Prairie dogs live in colonies that can comprise thousands of individuals. As such they are collectivists and will be eradicated.

— BadlandsNPS (@BadIandsNPS)

An instant (and apparently genuine) support site from the worker bees:

This is the National Park Service's Cultural Resources Climate Change Strategy. Pls download before it is removed.

— AltUSNatParkService (@AltNatParkSer)

This, alas, is not a parody site:

That was fast— DNC out with statement on the deletion of the Badlands tweets: "Vladimir Putin would be proud."

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1)

So, we begin with epistemic closure from establishment conservatives on climate, and end with epistemic closure (see Hersh above) from establishment liberals on a new cold war. Of course, you can argue that climate policy is much more important that trollish statements by stupid and corrupt election riggers, until you remember that DNC personnel affect policy too. Meanwhile, how is the common reader supposed to sort epistemic emissions from the news from the parodies from the volunteer freelancers? By reading alternative, small, independent blogs, I suppose…

2016

“Hillary Clinton plots her next move” []. We’ve linked to this, but I’d like to highlight this quote:

“[Hillary Clinton] understands that a forensic exam of the campaign is necessary, not only for her, but for the party and other electeds, and for the investors in the campaign,” said a close Hillary Clinton friend in Washington who, like several others, declined to speak on the record because their conversations with one or both Clintons were private. “People want to know that their investment was treated with respect, but that their mistakes wouldn’t be repeated.”

If you ever had any doubts about what the Clintons are, that quotation should lay them to rest. And “elected” is no more a noun than “illegal.” What’s wrong with these people?

Realignment and Legitimacy

“But regardless of what the Democrats wind up running against, they will need to present what they are for — and frame it as a response to the needs of this moment. If they don’t know what those needs are, then the first item of business is to go where they lost ground (or failed to gain enough ground) in 2016 and find out. And those who think they already know can start making their case, out loud” []. You can translate “resistance” right into “You can’t beat something with nothing.” Which is what Clinton tried in the 2016 debacle.

“DAYS OF RAGE pt. 5, finale: ‘What does it portend?'” []. Interesting on the capabilities for violence on left and right.

“‘I feel like this is the last shot’: A Kentucky family greets the Trump era” [].

Stats Watch

Chemical Activity Baramoter: “[S]tarted the year on a strong note, posting a monthly gain of 0.4 percent in January. This follows a 0.3 percent gain in December, November and October” []. And: “This appears to be a leading indicator for industrial production” []. “CAB has increased solidly over the last several months, and this suggests an increase in Industrial Production over the next year.”

Trucking: “I tend to believe the CASS index which shows a moderate improvement year-over-year. The ATA data continues to wander all over the map – and is likely a result of seasonal adjustment issues” []. “It is also interesting that the current trucking employment pattern remains showing little growth.”

Real Estate: “Based on CBRE’s ‘Industrial Availability Index,’ which was issued this month, industrial real estate availability has now fallen for 27 straight quarters, decreasing 8.2 percent in the fourth quarter, a decline of five basis points from the third quarter’s rate of 8.7 percent” [].

Real Estate: “The big warehouse squeeze may be ending. Prologis, Inc., the world’s biggest provider of commercial distribution space, says a logistics market that’s long seen warehouse demand outstripping new supply is getting closer to balance. That will come as relief to shippers and logistics companies that have seen leasing prices soar, particularly near the big population centers that fueling big growth in e-commerce sales. Prologis Chairman Hamid Moghadam tells WSJ Logistics Report’s Jennifer Smith the market is reaching “the more mature part of the cycle” [].

Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index, November 2016: “Home price growth was firm in November” []. But: “Overall confidence in the market should remain relatively firm in the short term with sentiment boosted by rising incomes and hopes for a stronger growth performance under the new Administration. There will, however, be concerns surrounding affordability and any further sharp increase in bond yields, allied with a more aggressive Fed stance towards monetary tightening, would have a potentially serious impact in undermining sentiment later in the year” []. Yes, if J-Yel takes the punch bowl away, that’s going to create big problems for The Donald. Not that the Fed would ever act for partisan purposes. In normal times.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Mortgage Applications, week of January 20, 2017: “Seasonally adjusted purchase applications for home mortgages rose 6.0 percent in the January 20 week to the highest level since June” []. And: “Even with the increase in mortgage rates, purchase activity is still holding up – this is the highest level for the index since June 2016” []. “However refinance activity has declined significantly.”

Commodities: “The future is finally brightening up for diamond giant De Beers, as the Anglo American’s unit registered its biggest sale of rough stones in at least a year thanks mainly to Asian consumers stocking up during their holidays celebrations” [].

Commodities: “Ivory Coast’s cocoa regulator said late rains and inadequate port equipment are responsible for the piling up of cocoa at the West African nation’s harbors” []. “The world’s biggest cocoa producer has experienced shipment backlogs since December after some smaller exporters stopped purchasing and their larger peers started to run out of space, leaving an estimated 125,000 tons of beans without a buyer, people familiar with the matter said last month. Reports that the regulator [Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao (CCC)] experienced financial difficulties were ‘lies’ while the farmgate price of 1,100 CFA franc ($1.79) per kilogram will be respected, the CCC said in its statement.”

Shipping: “Shipowners are in the default condition of the shipowning trade – no money” []. “Basically, we react to running out of cash by telling people to write on both sides of the paper and use the stubs of their pencils, whilst de-motivating them as thoroughly as possible. I suggest that one reason for this is that people don’t look carefully enough at where their costs arise. Oddly, this is particularly true of East Asian shipowners, who one might think would be the most alert to accounting issues.” On “management accounting” as opposed to “financial accounting.”

Shipping: “Last year that beautiful steel box turned 60 years old and it has indeed grown up since its introduction to global trade in 1956. In 2016, world container trade was projected to surpass 180 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) or containers. You would think that with 60 years under its belt the art of container shipping and logistics would constitute a systematic and standard-based way of setting, monitoring and getting visibility into these freight prices. Nope. It’s a “he said and she said” game and relationship-based pricing, but not everyone really always knows what the “real” market prices are – what are others paying” [].

The Bezzle: “Samsung still hasn’t determined the definitive “root cause” of the [Galaxy Note 7 battery fire debacle], but the focus on the supply chain highlights the challenges in pulling together highly complicated distribution channels for precision components in modern devices. In this case, battery casings from one supplier weren’t big enough, Samsung says, and new flaws crept in as the company tried to quickly ramp up replacements. One of the three independent investigators that Samsung hired found no issues with the company’s supply chain, but the two other firms say there’s plenty of room for concern” []. Makes you wonder if it’s really “precision components” that’s the issue. How about adulteration and corruption generally?

The Bezzle: “Elon Musk is getting serious about digging a tunnel under Los Angeles” []. “Musk has met with President Donald Trump, who plans to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure projects, on two separate occasions — once in New York with other tech CEOs and, more recently, in the White House for a discussion on US manufacturing with other company executives.” Ever alert to the nearest trough, Musk is.

Fodder for the Bulls:

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 60 Greed (previous close: 52, Neutral) []. One week ago: 55 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jan 25 at 11:16am. Dowgasm?

Health Care

“Doctors hail reintroduction of Medicare-for-all bill” []. This is . So, if the Women’s March National Committee believes in a universal benefit like Medicare for All, this would be an excellent policy to support.

And:

so did you secure

— RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnnDeMoro)

You’d think Mrinalini Chakraborty and RoseAnn DeMoro would be on the same page…

“Call your state legislators and local city council members and tell them to establish state- or city-based healthcare exchanges or universal coverage models, as has been done in Massachusetts[42] and San Francisco” [Stay Woke, ]. Woke liberals, I think… Massachusetts? Not Canada?

Class Warfare

“Living in Switzerland ruined me for America and its lousy work culture” []. It’s not “work culture.” It’s, well, class warfare.

News of the Wired

SPY-DESIGNED SOFTWARE CAN PROFILE BUSINESS TEAMS TO SHORTEN SALES TIME” []. Swell.

* * *

Readers, feel free to with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (TheCatSaid):

Nice hoop houses. From .

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About Lambert Strether

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

130 comments

  1. Altandmain

    Maybe Trump will force America to wake up.

    Apparently there are now scientists running for office.

    Perhaps if scientists and the Bernie faction form a coalition, it could challenge the GOP and neoliberal Democrats.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Which branch of science can be expected to be more successful?

      Political scientists?

      Hopefully, no dismal scientists (we know which department buildng that is on the campus).

    2. Emma

      May the Bernie Force be with Science!
      And this Science March in DC happening soon: .
      And the Rest Of the World invite ‘crazy’ American Scientists and their Fans to UNITE….
      In order to JOIN THE WORLD TOGETHER………..at their nearest pub (sports bar?) on 15-17 May
      for: The “Pint of Science Festival”:

        1. Bob

          “The risk for hepatitis C is 1 in 2 million.”
          Full disclosure: I received an email last month from the Central Indiana Regional Blood Center that I have now donated 5 gallons of blood over the years. My blood is much too old to interest Theil.

    1. temporal

      As a minor side-note. If you get a transfusion you’re removed from the pool of those that can donate blood, for at least a year. Not that this would bother folks that imagine they can suck the life energy out of another person’s blood.

      This is what comes from doing a “The Strain” marathon while self-medicating.

      1. Art Eclectic

        Heh, I highly doubt that persons like Theil who are doing blood transfusions recreationally are the types to go out and engage in a redistributionist scheme like donating blood.

      1. Michael

        What ever happened to Michael Steele?
        “” “I was damn near puking during the debates.””

        “””I will not be voting for Clinton,” Steele said at the Mother Jones 40th anniversary dinner. “I will not be voting for Trump either.””

  2. Vatch

    It’s worth pointing out that Trump issued a temporary gag order for the National Park Service’s account on Jan. 20. See:

    The rogue climate change tweets occurred on Jan. 24, so they weren’t the reason for the initial gag order at NPS. Trump was just embarrassed that his inauguration crowd wasn’t big enough, and the NPS had honestly reported on the crowd size.

    1. cocomaan

      Other exec orders at the federal level include a ban on EPA’s extramural funding. From what I can tell, it is for all new contracts, not influencing current contracts.

      Big deal for the academics relying on EPA dollars for research, as well as the various projects they are engaged in. I’m not the biggest fan of the currently captured EPA, but I’d rather see defense contractors hamstrung than our ineffectual environmental agency.

      Here’s the source:

  3. Watt4Bob

    Forget about the Russians blackmailing Trump, the Republican elite probably have more dirt on Cheeto, and know exactly what they want him to do.

    Looks like it’s well under way, and you can probably guess how well it will be reported?

        1. crittermom

          My son, after a 2-week vacation with his wife in Germany last year followed by the scandal of Trumps ‘locker room’ talk, referred to him as “Cheetos von Pussengrabben” in an email to me.
          I’ve always appreciated his sense of humor.

      1. Pat

        Trump

        Oh, and if the Republicans did have more, I’m pretty sure we would have someone else as President, like Rubio…

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Is he thinking this: detente with the CIA (and the FBI) and I, Trump can have more dirt on the Republican elites than they have on me?

          1. craazyboy

            He can co-opt half of them to bury the other half in a construction site, and have a brand new J. Edgar dossier on Congress and lots of other important folks.

  4. ambrit

    When I imagined a Hall of Mirrors, I thought of Welles’ film, “The Lady From Shanghai.”
    See:
    Have fun!

    1. katiebird

      Totally beside the point but some personal trivia: The Lady from Shanghai is important in my family. My great uncle built the yacht (actually The Zaca) and part of the movie was filmed in his boatyard in Sausalito, Ca. Some of my cousins were extras.

      So the movie is weird and then when I watch it, I slip-slide through time hearing all the old stories about the building of the boat (my grandfather worked on it some too) and the boatyard and the yacht…. it all blends together….

        1. ambrit

          Floats my boat. Welles stories, I’ve been told, are all true, and also all fake. Secondary effect fallout from “entertainment” activities can be surreal. We have a somewhat similar story in our family about a more recent film. The combinations and permutations of “glamour” are endlessly fascinating. Those funhouse mirrors are all telling the truth is what Welles seemed to be saying.

          1. Carolinian

            Googling Hattiesburg as we speak. Or perhaps you mean N’awlins. Lots of things are shot in New Orleans lately.

            As for Welles, when in Vienna long ago I had to look up the Prater Wheel just because of him.

            1. Carolinian

              BTW speaking of movies just watching Sully which is out on vid. The executive producer is one Steve Mnuchin. An Eastwood connection to the Trump administration….aieeee.

    1. TheCatSaid

      I never worked there but appreciate what I continue to learn from them & from nature. A friend stopped by today, excited to describe doing his first Post-Death ETS process for a neighbor last night. There’s no “undoing” first-hand experience of a larger reality.

      1. Portia

        I don’t use the essences any more (frankly can’t afford them), but the energetic connections with Nature generously help me through gardening and health issues and anything else I have questions about. There’s no mistaking the assistance available to us when we open to it.

        1. TheCatSaid

          I remind people that working consciously with nature doesn’t cost anything. You don’t have to buy products from anybody to do it. The Perelandra info helps my learning curve a lot, and it’s helped me give grounded pointers to others.

          In my soil-less gardens I often shift just Emergency Trauma Solution for Soil-less Gardens or Essence of Perelandra, and use the Emergency Trauma Solution for humans myself–I do quite a lot using just those things.

          I have learned amazing things working with nature on finances. Little by little helpful structures and understandings and practical advice are developing.

          Many years ago when I first started working with nature, I was reading a book about money that a friend had insisted I read. After the intro the author said to put down the book and jot down one’s most universal definition of money. I thought, “right–I’ll ask nature” and followed Perelandra’s instructions for connecting and communicating. I was told by nature that money is a way to support exchange. And that money provides a way for us to energize our values and activities.

          To this day, that information impacts how I think of and use money.

          1. ambrit

            The Zen of Finance. I wouldn’t mind so much but it seems that my level of society always gets the whack on the back of the head with the mindfullness stick. When do we get the Carrot of Bliss?

            1. TheCatSaid

              I work to create balance in my own involvement with financial things, learning from nature about balance. That will be unique for me, as my goals would be different from someone else, what I know about money, universal flows, and my many blind spots are unique to me.

  5. dcblogger

    some good insight here, but much is pure projection

    think GamerGate, there is NO lefty equivalent of that.

    1. Sal

      I was laughing at so much of it pretty hard but his claim that, “The Left has … the Deep State” really took the cake. That said, I find good analysis peppered with such obvious blind bias more useful than not, since the analyst in question is shown to be clearly incapable of artfully hiding their own motivations/objectives.

      1. Gareth

        Bill Ayers current position has less to do with a liberal love of ex-bombers than his class status. His father, Thomas G. Ayers, served as president, CEO and chairman of Commonwealth Edison, and on the board of directors of Sears, G.D. Searle, Chicago Pacific Corp., Zenith Corp., Northwest Industries, General Dynamics Corp. of St. Louis, First National Bank of Chicago, the Chicago Cubs, and the Tribune Co.

        The ruling class is very forgiving of it’s misbegotten youth.

        1. UserFriendly

          When I linked to that a few days ago it wasn’t because I thought the analysis was all that accurate, more that it offered an insight into how the actual right was reacting to the eminent women’s march.

      1. TheCatSaid

        Different insights based on actual facts can be found on George Webb’s ongoing storyboard expose on YouTube. It’s profoundly disturbing and individuals in the CIA are involved. But it seems to come down to more and more ways for various people to make money, using highly organized methods that have stood the test of time in a host of locations and situations. It relies on a relatively small network of powerful people, using horrible but effective strategies to ensure loyalty compliance.

        Extensive documentation is provided as the series develops day by day. It is transforming my understanding of geopolitics. It seems to have nothing to do with policy or ideology.

        Many of the people involved probably have no understanding of the activities they are unwittingly supporting. (E.g., charities we normally association with good things by day are being used to do bad things at night by bribing a few underlings.)

    2. Uahsenaa

      His problem is he conflates one thing with another, over and over again, not to mention one of his dire assertions, that THA LEFTIEZZZ will cause serious trouble and violence on Inauguration Day… didn’t happen. Those horrific “commies” of ANSWER mostly just held a mealy-mouthed rally where a bunch of different people said a bunch of different and quite often contradictory things.

      Also missing in all five parts is the most obvious example of violence from the “right” that is entirely state-sanctioned: the police. Spend about a minute on a police message board or even and you’ll see reams of racist, sexist, and generally bigoted crap. Hines acts as if state-sanctioned violence is politically neutral. It isn’t.

      1. TheCatSaid

        George Webb’s YouTube series has lots of info about how police (key individuals at different levels) are systematically compromised using Brownstone operations. They start with the topmost police officer and compromise him. Then a small handful of the next level down. Then a few beneath them.

        This ensures silence and complicity to go along with whatever they are told to do. At each level they have to participate in the compromising activity or they know they will lose their job or worse. Once you have a few compromised police you can carry out abductions, police gang rapes, etc. to ensure compliant sex workers. JTTF is evidently a key player in these crucial police “training” operations.

        As per Webb’s ample documentation, this is used in regime change operations to ensure control of law enforcement after the toppling is done. Webb catalogues how this procedure has been used in country after country, conflict after conflict. Numerous researchers have come forward over the years, but previously each one was focused on a specific incident or country.

        Webb is doing a great service in connecting the dots. He is telling the story in short spoonfuls so it can be absorbed and integrated. E.g., today is Day 94 and for many days there are several parts (e.g., Day 94 Part 1, Day 94 Part 2, etc.) There’s a storyboard with all the documentation, names, and images, and he’s in the process of organizing everything on Trello for easier use by fellow researchers.

          1. TheCatSaid

            There are various ones and I don’t have them all. Apparently he had to restart on day 53 because his website was hacked, though many of those earlier ones can still be found on earlier peoples’ websites.

            I think the first one I found was about Day 20 on someone else’s website.

            I go onto YouTube then search for George Webb Day 94, for example.

            Here’s a .

            I was glad I tracked down quite a few of the earlier episodes. They started with “Where is Eric Braverman”

            The detailed references are on the public shared doc and now Trello. Some of the most important ones are also mentioned verbally.

  6. Andrew

    Is the tunnel Elon Musk wants to build under LA intended to be another bolt hole for squillionaires to escape to avoid social collapse (echoing today’s post on this matter) ?

      1. cocomaan

        I have never understood the damn hyperloop. How does it not have all the problems of an oil/nat gas/liquid pipeline, which are legion? Seems like a lot of woo-woo to me.

        Oh…. OH, that’s it!

        “Now Hyperloop One says it will eventually allow users to call on-demand autonomous pods that will pick them up and take them to a Hyperloop terminal, where the pods will glide into the larger train system. “

        1. jsn

          I think its a typical Musk grift, but even on the outside chance they get one running, if something goes wrong and your in it, your pink mist. Your chances are a lot better in an airplane crash!

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          It’s public transit without the public. A bourgeois type can be smug, but they don’t have to interact with a poor person.

        3. different clue

          It reminds me of a film strip they showed us at school about 46 years ago or so . . . about “pneumatic tube travel” of the future. We would sit in comfortable chairs inside of rounded-like cylindicral subway car type things . . . . inside of pneumatic tubes from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to Mexico and everywhere in between. Air pressure differentials would propel these tubeway pods at over the speed of sound in those underground tubes.

          Did Mr. Musk see that film strip?

        1. bob

          He’s the worst sort of villian– won’t even take credit for his evil, which he may or may not be endorsing.

          “On 15 June 2015, SpaceX announced that they would sponsor a Hyperloop pod design competition, and would build a 1-mile-long (1.6 km) subscale test track near SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, for the competitive event. The competition could be held as early as June 2016.[12][13] SpaceX stated in their announcement, “Neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk is affiliated with any Hyperloop companies. While we are not developing a commercial Hyperloop ourselves, we are interested in helping to accelerate development of a functional Hyperloop prototype.”[14] More than 700 teams had submitted preliminary applications by July.[15]”

          He is keeping to form, re-inventing things 150 years later.

    1. Marco

      I’m all for massive tunnels for public transit and supertrains. Unfortunately Musk only wants tunnels for expensive autos since he’s bitching about LA traffic congestion crimping his fabulous lifestyle saving America with overpriced electric vehicles.

        1. aab

          My hazy memory from when the subway was being built here in LA is that some parts of the city are fine for tunneling. It wouldn’t shock me if there is a fairly straightforward available path somewhere under the “city”; I even know folks who’d be able to tell me for sure. But then you’d have to add in “is the seismically safe path under poor folks’ land, so it can politically be seized/disrupted”? And then things start getting hinky.

          Also, our public transportation system is terrible, and needs to work. I pray to whatever forces out there that supposed bend things towards justice that if infrastructure money comes to LA, it doesn’t come for this.

    2. craazyboy

      Trump and Musk gang up on LA? Oh My.

      Earthquakes and fault lines and tar pits? Oh My

      First, Elon collapses from the bottom….then Trump takes the top!

    3. HopeLB

      I have gone on and on before about my “Aliens use Elites To Geoengineer/Methanate the Earth for Their Eventual Colonization Theory That Explains Everything” (“Including Why The IC Gave Trumpy the Presidency Because They Feared Podesta Would Out Them Addendum/Correlation Theory”), so I will not bore you with all of the particulars.
      The data is indeterminant but here are a few bits of possibly supporting evidence/jerryrigged hueristic;
      -The Canadian Defense Minister stated some Aliens live now beneath the earth.
      -Trees communicate through mycelium and trees’ constant banter might possibly drive the aliens mad with their noise, also trees both oxygenate and remove CO2 from the atmosphere and must die to make room for methane and eliminate any chance for our survival. see “rapid deforestation”.
      -Fracking, mining, hyperloops etc., are all methods for clearing more subterranean living space.
      -Sinkholes are a means of exit to the surface once the methanation is sufficient.
      -The uptick in objects blazing across the sky is a possible indication that more alien eggs are arriving or alternately, these “meteors” are atmospheric testing devices.
      -The recent formation of Companies that will provide space exploration for the wealthy 1% suggests the wealthiest are clearly in on the geoengineering arrangement and have been promised a space refuge or mountain bunker.
      -This is the only rational explaination for not stopping climate change when the evidence was in 20 years ago. Yes, you may say greed, but greed could never be this big or this greedy because the 1% have children too. It is all by design. There is a long term plan.

  7. Tim

    Regarding the Vox article, it occurred to me that reputation has a lot of momentum, and that everything is relative. As horrible as the US is compared to Switzerland, our culture is superior for asian females, labor compensation relative to cost of living is still preferable to most of central and south america, and low level governmental corruption is much less than just about all points of immigration.

    As time passes though, our reputation will adjust, and relativity will change and net migration may ultimately reverse.

  8. Max

    Hoocoodanode (Calculated Risk’s comment site) is shutting down due to moderation issues:

    It pains me to announce this, but I’m shutting Hoocoodanode down permanently. Bill will be taking his own steps regarding comments for his blog.

    Clearly this group needs moderation, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to provide that. I haven’t been actively reading the site lately, very busy with other matters, but I have been receiving a steady stream of complaints from a variety of people.

    In its heyday, HCN was a great source of information, a fun place to hang out with a bunch of kooks, an internet version of Cheers. I’m sorry to see it go, but change is inevitable.

    I will leave the site up for the rest of today, then switch to read only mode in the morning.

    In it’s heyday, this was where the best discussions RE the mortgage crisis were taking place, and the commentariat there helped steer the national discussion. RIP.

    1. Waldenpond

      Is it expensive to have a sign in system? Rather than an open and large comment system, a site could have a smaller designated comment section. If the commenters were experienced on particular issues and add to the discussion that might have the potential to increase readership… more newsworthy? To grow, have an open thread where people could list why they would like to comment, current users could broaden the discussion and site managers just have to review recommendations from the current base?

          1. TheCatSaid

            Me too. Her pig graphics were wonderful, weren’t they?!
            She brightened up the world with her wit and astuteness.

    2. PhilM

      That blog was the only one that has been on my bookmarks list for ten straight years. He is always right, almost eerily right, about the trend of the economy. If only I had been financially well off enough to follow his calls!

      But Bill politicized his blog. He sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind by going off the rails into politics before the election. His posts on Clinton were the first time he has been utterly wrong-headed in ten years.

      If he was wrong. There are many times he has laughed last. We shall see.

  9. Waldenpond

    Clinton tv show…. uh, is this new, how could I miss this? Clinton is considering a tv show? This can not be true.

    [‘She thinks being the host of a popular TV show would energize the Democratic Party base and her tens of millions of fans,’ the unnamed source said, according to Klein.

    ‘It’s a way to make a comeback and position herself for another run at the White House starting in a year or so.’

    Clinton, Klein writes, recently told a group of friends gathered at her Washington, D.C. home: ‘I’ll be back’ – and delivered the line in an Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘Terminator’ accent as she raised a glass of wine.]

    It’s dailymail. Gotta be fake news.

    1. Carolinian

      Hey Trump had a tv show and he’s now president. Up next Hill’s new account, “the real hillary clinton.”

      1. Jim Haygood

        The Deplorables — sort of an upscale Hee Haw for the credentialed classes.

        You just haven’t seen the zany, humorous side of Hillary.

        1. ambrit

          Bill in overalls with a pitchfork? Surrounded by a bevy of beauties in blue dresses? Oh frabjous day!
          I would though, implore her to do her patriotic duty and go on a tour of Irak, Afghanistan, and soon Syria to entertain the troops.

    2. aab

      There’s a difference between “fake” and “delusional source.” Do I believe Hillary may have said this? Yes. Do I believe it will happen? Unlikely. Do I believe she’d be able to run again and win after hosting a TV show? Definitely not.

      There are photos from inauguration day showing her eyes crossed. Whatever her severe medical condition is, it’s getting worse. Moreover, one of the worst moments of the campaign for her was her unfiltered TV appearance where she screamed at the camera about how she should be winning by 50%. Public appearances by her have ALWAYS sunk her favorability and likeability ratings. Whatever magic she wields in private with her wealthy peers and favored sycophants, as a public figure, she presents as unpleasant, unless the appearance is very, very tightly controlled in a way that will be functionally impossible on a regularly broadcast TV show.

      So: she’s too sick to run for president again. She’s probably too sick to do a regular TV show. She presents badly on TV. Ergo, no matter what she said to her friends, she is not going to win the presidency again, she’s not even going to be able to run again, and it’s unlikely she will do a TV show. Saying all this as she tries to juice fundraising for Chelsea’s congressional run makes perfect sense, though. No one wants to imagine themselves funding Chelsea’s bland, limp self. That’s no fun.

      1. craazyboy

        Why does everyone assume Hillary is coming back in her present humanoid form? She specifically said she’s coming back as a psycho, human exterminating, cyborg.

        Let’s keep the wild speculation within bounds here. Especially when we can quote the source directly!

        1. beth

          I do, since most of the msm are still using her strategies(scapegoat Russia, hysteria over Trump, playing the good guy w/o doing anything good). Also, I don’t think she has the psychological makeup to do anything else. She will not come back as the candidate, but her intension will be to be the king-maker.

          She s on adulation as does Bill. To most of the Ds in my state, she is safe on that score.

    3. ChrisPacific

      The C Files: A well-meaning but misunderstood Presidential candidate is horrified to discover signs of a vast conspiracy to corrupt democracy and facilitate the hostile takeover of American government by a foreign power. Will anyone believe her? Monday-Friday at 6 and 11.

  10. PlutoniumKun

    Re: Musk and his LA tunnel.

    I can’t quite work out whether Musk is serious about the tunnel or if this is just a publicity thing. Tunnels under urban areas for car traffic are a terrible idea and very expensive. The worst thing about them is the fire hazard – no amount of engineering can prevent a major loss of life in the event of a vehicle fire.

    They are also very expensive. There have been no major breakthroughs in tunnelling technology in decades – its still a brute force operation. And you need very careful geotechnical studies of any area for a tunnel to ensure there are no nasty surprises. Its just a terrible idea to build tunnels to deal with traffic issues.

    1. Marco

      We had a discussion a few weeks back regarding the new subway tunnels under London and Paris being 1/8 the cost of New York’s new line. Massive tunnels are more than just boring technology but managing the politics if big complex city bureaucracies. I don’t think Musk could pull that off.

    2. Tom_Doak

      The most ingenious public transport system I’ve seen is the Teleferico in La Paz, Bolivia: a “sky ride” cable car system. They needed to go in that direction because they have so many severe elevation changes through the city, but in addition, it works because it could all be built cheaply, above ground, which is easier not only technologically but in terms of rights-of-way.

      1. aab

        A sky ride would make tons of sense for Los Angeles, except I think that’s actually more problematic in terms of earthquake risk. I’m going to ask my engineering friends who specialize in seismic issues.

  11. TheCatSaid

    Ivory Coast cocoa–maybe we could all chip in and buy a container load at a good price. Perhaps it will be worth more than gold some day.

  12. PhilM

    “‘What a statement it would make to corporate America if he said, ‘I am bringing those jobs back to the United States,’ Sanders said at the press conference.”

    It would make the statement that he is a damn fool who thinks he can cure the ills of the universe by swimming against a riptide.

    Instead, he thinks he can improve matters by changing the rules of the game through seeking power and taking political action from a position of strength.

    Huh. What a moron.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I agree with PhilM about the productive and safe way to improve the situation.

      One can always do well one of two ways.

      1. Quality, whne you the customer know well enough and appreciate enough to pay for quality.
      2. Go for market share by saving the customer more.

      This has been true since before globalization.

      So, sure, Trump can bring those jobs, and if he can executive the first strategy, he will do just fine. But there are always successful stories of both strategies.

      With many branded products made elsewhere, the way to not get slaughtered is by changing the system, the rules of the game, and not by doing it alone (For that, you go back to strategy 1), so A) all the corporations pursuing strategy 2 will not have extinct-level advantage over you, and B) more than just one corporation is changed, but many, many corporations.

      So credit where credit is due.

      Now, if Trump forces others to play by the new rules and he doesn’t himself (or his corporations), then, we can go after that.

      1. VietnamVet

        If price and quality are the only economic factors of any consequence then a dystopian future is guaranteed since the societal and environmental costs are excluded. The Declaration of Independence for the first American Revolution states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Ignoring these Rights is a sure path to a middle class revolt.

  13. NPR Parades

    The “Women’s March Guiding Vision and Definition of Principles” has that Democrat smell: the document’s full of government-issue lip service to human rights. It’s high-flown poetry that carefully avoids any mention of the binding legal force of human rights, or even what they are. This ensures that woman’s march will function as Dems’ Iraq War protests did, as canned solidarity Dems can turn on and off like a light switch. This is why CIA paid Gloria Steinem the double-secret Big Bucks.

    – Fake Dem progressives always use the modifier ‘basic’ human rights. Dems use a term with no legal meaning so they can edit out the inconvenient bits. The only reference to an instrument is to the non-binding UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and that was only because native peoples’ awareness of human rights is exceptionally sophisticated by US standards.

    – There’s ‘Women’s rights’ with no hint that the government could commit to them by ratifying CEDAW. Instead they want to waste time on nostalgic futile bullshit like the Equal Rights Amendment. There’s no apparent inkling that they’ve already got ICCPR Article 3 as binding law under independent expert review with a legal commitment to bring domestic law into conformity.

    – Lots of identity-politics gripes in a vacuum as if nobody has any idea what CERD compliance entails. No sign anybody knows that two other treaties equivalent to federal statute (ICCPR and CAT) detail unsatisfactory compliance to detailed requirements subject to urgent priority review by the treaty bodies. The women’s march undertakes to reinvent as ‘specific action items.’

    – They ‘believe’ migration is a human right, like it’s a matter of opinion. Migration is a human right, ICCPR Article 12.

    – They cite a lot of economic and social rights but it does not occur to them to demand ratification of the ICESCR to commit the US to them. Lots of poesy about labor rights but nary a mention of ILO Conventions 87 or 98.

    Just try to insert chapter and verse in Democrat-infested organizations.The party moles systematically suppress it. That’s their job, keeping human rights out of your reach.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Couldn’t they just hark back to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ISTR reading that Eleanor Roosevelt played a major role in that one.

  14. Big River Bandido

    I always feel so much more stupid after reading Politico. It’s kinda like the feeling after eating Popeye’s chicken.

    1. Art Eclectic

      Politico is Buzz for politics junkies. They basically make stuff up based on trending news/clicks and bank the advertising dollars when a story takes off.

    2. ambrit

      “after eating Popeye’s Chicken.”
      Woah there. We loves us some Popeyes down here. Churches is good too, but slightly different. Though, Churches has the best biscuits. With honey, they can’t be beat. Do like this cheapskate does and ask for some fried chicken livers. They’re not on the visible menu, but Popeyes will fry them up fresh for ya. Cheap protein and amino acids , my price range.
      Some restraint in the total ingestion of the fried foods is recommended. YCMV Your cholesterol may vary.

  15. LT

    “‘I feel like this is the last shot’: A Kentucky family greets the Trump era” [WaPo].

    “What Suzie Razmus was sure of: how she loved her husband and their three sons. How she was devoted to her faith and her community. How Shane, 13, really needed to eat more breakfast. How that inane “Pen-Pineapple­Apple-Pen” song got stuck in her head every time Henry, 17, sang it. How the low, green mountains surrounding Corbin, Ky., could be breathtaking to newcomers but banal to lifelong residents, which is why, every morning when she drove to the movie theater her family owned and operated, she worked hard not to take the view for granted….”

    And I couldn’t discern a clear answer from the article about what has happened that could literally prevent her from doing any of this.

  16. ChrisPacific

    Back in the Bush days I can remember seeing a news clip of somebody confronting an anti-war protester. He was very angry. “You love Saddam!” he kept repeating. This was after the propaganda push for war with Iraq had begun, but before all the fabricated evidence about WMDs. I remember reflecting on how easily people could be convinced by even the simplest propaganda.

    I never imagined that one day I would be listening to the same thing from pretty much the entire Democrat establishment (with Putin for Saddam).

  17. Jim Haygood

    From the NYT, posted a few minutes ago:

    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is preparing executive orders that would clear the way to drastically reduce the United States’ role in the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as begin a process to review and potentially abrogate certain forms of multilateral treaties.

    The first of the two draft orders, titled “Auditing and Reducing U.S. Funding of International Organizations” and obtained by The New York Times, calls for terminating funding for any United Nations agency or other international body that meets any one of several criteria.

    Those criteria include organizations that give full membership to the Palestinian Authority or Palestine Liberation Organization.

    Gettin’ ugly. Trump talked to Netanyahu last Sunday. Today Israel announced 2,500 new settler dwellings, in utter defiance of the UN Security Council resolution in December. UN members are going to be angry. Trump will respond by pulling the plug on them.

    Delegitimizing the Palestinian Authority is a radical, destructive gesture that seems designed to provoke violence. In turn, with the US bugging out of the UN, the members who are left can be expected to adopt harsher sanctions against Israel.

    Looks like Trump is going full a-hole on us. It’s not going to turn out as he expects. American swagger just don’t get the respect it used to. Bull, china shop, etc.

    1. Carolinian

      The Adelson payoff? Or perhaps this is a sop to make up for backing off the US embassy move. Since Trump has already come out for the one state solution that would make the Palestinian authority irrelevant in any case. But it’s not just up to him unless the UN only exists to take our money. There’s a theory that forcing the Israelis to admit reality may even be helpful since it’s been clear all along that it will take the rest of the world, not the US, to force a solution. Our role has always been to maintain extend and pretend.

    2. alex morfesis

      Actually, this is great…bebe gets to choke on his own vomit…the one state solution is simple enough…30 new knesset seats in gaza…50 new knesset seats in the west bank…in theory a permanent jewish state…

      the political reality is that five years later, bebe, while pandering for votes, would quickly be having kooskoos with locals in gaza while dedicating statues to fallen hamas “heroes” he will insist were always his “secret” friends anyway…

      The name of the new country…

      The Jewish Republic of Palestine…

      Win win for everyone…

      (well at least the children can go out and finally play)

      This knish needs a little more salt…

      what…what…oh…

      hock my chinik…hak mir nisht

      1. Jim Haygood

        One State, sans Bibi’s delusional Final Solution for the Palestinians.

        “So long, and thanks for all the fish hitnakhlut.”

  18. chuck roast

    The David Hines “Days of Rage” thing…
    Please don’t link to a bunch of tweets…it’s simply fragmented idiocy.
    I have enough problems with my shortening attention span.
    Thanks.

  19. ewmayer

    o There was some discussion of USAID and its (alleged) depredations in Sri Lanka over in today’s Links – would be interested in readers’ takes on the following piece, which (in great detail) asserts USAID was also a prime mover behind the Indian currency experiment/debacle:

    – norberthaering.de

    [From the ‘About the author’ blurb at bottom of the piece: ‘Dr. Norbert Haering is a German business journalist and blogger. His best-selling book on “Abolishing cash and the consequences” was published in 2016 by Bastei-Luebbe (in German).’]

    o And (unrelated) bonus link, Robert Parry’s latest:

    – Consortiumnews

    1. Waldenpond

      I kind of thought it was the cycle…. the US credential class keeps insisting on eliminating cash, tests it in a foreign market with the intent to apply to the US. People will protest, the corrupt US govt will ignore the protest, the US govt lies about cushioning the damage of a particular policy domestically, yet again doesn’t have the political will to amend, goes full bore but the immiseration is normalized…. yes, people have lost their businesses, their land, their jobs etc but the public knew this necessary step was coming and should have planned and this was the best we could do.

    2. knowbuddhau

      Thanks for the Parry article. Makes my blood boil. And then run cold, considering that the effect is to reject real reality and substitute “the narrative.”

      These words are utterly failing to convey the horror I feel. We’re a nation of people who don’t know our own recent history. We don’t know where we are, how we got here, or what our true trajectory is.

      I think the theft of reality itself is one of the worst crimes possible. But Voltaire said it better: “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

      And that’s the whole point. Wars don’t just happen. The depredations of TPTB, which power their dominance, depend on the participation of us mopes. Toward that end, NYT, WaPo, the rest of the Establishment media, steal from us our real reality and substitute their own absurdities.

      Gaa, I just can’t cram into these words how horrified I am, to be living amongst millions of people who don’t know the truth of our time and are thus ever so easily led to believe absurdities and then rush to commit the atrocity du jour. And to know that those entrusted with the power of the “papers of record” are daily making us crazier and crazier.

      Our humanity rests, is embedded in, our perceptions and beliefs about reality. They’re stealing from us our humanity by stealing reality itself. I just can’t put it strongly enough!

      If it wasn’t for this redoubt of reality, pretty sure I’d lose what’s left of my damn mind. Thank you all so much for keeping it real.

    3. Gaianne

      It is been over two months and we have yet to hear a coherent explanation of the repudiation of the 500 and 1000 rupee notes. The several explanations coming out of the Modi administration are plainly bogus.

      We are currently seeing the collapse of small businesses and small industries in India of all kinds. This includes farmers–I expect famine next year.

      The Nobert Haering piece is the first hint we have had at what might really be going on.

      The beneficiaries will not be only, or even primarily, big businesses in India. The main beneficiaries will be US digital companies and US banking power.

      –Gaianne

    4. TheCatSaid

      On another comment here I provided one of George Webb links and explained how to find out more.

      After watching the videos from today I felt worse and worse about the Sri Lanka situation. (On many earlier episodes, USAID showed up time after time as a major player through how they fund fake infrastructure that it turns out is serving different purposes. For example, in Haiti there are a whole lot of USAID projects. But Webb shows that all the buildings are on a completely different part of the island, and it creates infrastructures that have nothing at all to do with what the Haitian population need. Lots of the money is going across the border to the Dominican Republic. In many other countries the pattern has to do with organ trafficking, sex trafficking, drug running, arms running, vaccine trials, Brownstone operations, regime change/partition. Increasingly, all of these elements are showing up.

      USAID, DynCorp, CIA, World Bank, JTTF, and certain medical and education organizations (e.g. Duke Medical School)–these are just a few of the worst offenders that show up in conflict zones over and over to execute the pattern, preserving compartmentalization so each one does only certain parts, with most of the individuals in these organizations being unaware of the plan going on around them.)

      So far Webb hasn’t specifically mentioned Sri Lanka but with all the reports of many people going missing it fits the pattern. In other places they’ve eventually found mass graves–and the people had organs missing. In Syria the body bags and corpses missing organs was documented. Not to mention all the children who’ve gone missing.

      1. JTMcPhee

        And all this happens in and under the mythology most of us comfortably subscribe to, of great Manichaean struggle, with Good Guys and Bad Guys nicely and falsely defined for the rubes who Support Our Troops and practice the fine art of kicking down on other people, all of whom might be expected to know better except that is not the nature of the beast trained by generations, eons even, of the mythologies of “civilization.”

        1. TheCatSaid

          Webb does a good job of explaining the justifications that would be given–ways it is rationalized by those in the know. Webb repeats frequently that most of the people in the various organizations have no idea what is happening. There is no “vast” conspiracy, things are compartmentalized and only a few people per organization are aware. Most have no idea of the actual commercial enterprises they are unwittingly serving (e.g., organ trafficking).

          This makes it hard indeed to plug into a typical “good guys/bad guys” Manichean scenario. The picture is more complex than that.

          George Webb explains this is why many suicides have occurred. People involved–e.g., military sharpshooters or UN “peacekeepers” assigned to create a secure perimeter around a certain area–only afterwards connect the dots, and can’t live with themselves. Other were “suicided”–pressured by constant harassment into suicide. (Michael Roberts, author of “Crossing the Rubicon” who Webb says came closest to connecting the dots of the big picture, is pme example given.) Others were assassinated in circumstances made to look like a suicide or a natural death (journalist Monica Petersen is in this category).

  20. A

    “Obama wouldn’t even prosecute torturers! Vote for Trump”.

    =

    “Quimby even let 3-time convicted felon Sideshow Bob out of prison! Vote for Sideshow Bob.”

    1. Daryl

      Pretty sure nearly nobody on here voted for Trump or advocated voting for or supporting Trump in any way.

        1. John k

          No.
          People, including me, often spoke of how bad she is, particularly re confronting Putin in Syria, Tpp and corruption. I don’t recall anybody speaking favorably of trump, certainly not in an absolute sense.
          Now we are getting a better look at the alternative we note lots of appointees we don’t like but no Tpp, confusion about how to get rid of Obamacare, fossil fuels, hesitation re the dreamers, of course corruption… and likely no confrontation with Russia.
          Our system provided two really crappy candidates. A really crappy person won. It’s up to us to change the system such that we get better options next time.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            Actually there were a few on this board who spoke favorably of Trump in absolute terms. I voted for him because he was the best candidate, IMHO, after Bernie got swindled. Now I think Trump is even better than Bernie, who just would have been swallowed up by the system if elected, perhaps.

            I say give Trump his first 100 days before starting the impeachment and/or castigating.

            But Bernie remains the one and only candidate I ever donated cash money to. (I think $9.00 was the total amount.)

  21. LT

    Just saw that Orwell’s “1984” is still creeping up Amazon’s book charts.
    Lots of comparisons with the Trump admin being made.
    What I also remember about the book is that the “resistance” the main character tries to be a part of turns out to be phonier than a 3 dollar bill and is just an extension of the oppressive state.
    Who in the media is pointing out that part of the book?

    1. dontknowitall

      I bet people are just buying the “1984” to place on their coffee tables as virtue signaling and will be surprised if they are actually reading it seriously. It is a way to announce to your guests where you stand versus Trump without bringing up politics.

  22. Skip Intro

    The Clinton quote about her ‘investors’ really reveals that she and they understand that those huge contributions are part of a quid pro quo. They are not donors giving, they are investors purchasing/speculating.

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