Links 7/10/19

American Conservative

BBC

The Week. UserFriendly: “I remember being in 3rd or 4th grade and my teacher (Mr. Dick Handling, I couldn’t make that up if I tried) had us ask our parents who they were voting for and we had an anonymous ballot and he got very upset that someone (me) had put Perot because everyone knew 3rd parties were wasting your vote.”

TreeHugger

The Information

Big by Matt Stoller

Class Warfare

Courthouse News Service

TruthOut

The Week (UserFriendly)

Fast Company (David L)

Ars Technica

Consumer Reports (David L)

Current Affairs (UserFriendly)

Lars P. Syll (UserFriendly). An important topic in ECONNED.

Libra

Credit Slips Adam Levitin

Lolita Express

Above the Law

Politico

 Bloomberg (UserFriendly)

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

The Intercept

AP

 Cnet (UserFriendly)

Health Care

Medical Anthropology (RR)

Ars Technica

2020

CBS

NYT. re Silc: “it always boils down to two parties, shit and shit lite, like the aussie ad.”

Common Dreams

Judy Ford Watson Center for Public Policy (re Silc)

Migrant Watch

New York Post (re Silc)

Mother Jones (UserFriendly)

Forbes (UserFriendly)

Business Insider (David L)

China?

Asia Times Pepe Escobar

Al Jazeera

Informed Comment (re Silc) Juan Cole.

Russia

Ars Technica (PD)

Moon of Alabama (UserFriendly)

Politico (furzy)

Yahoo (furzy)

737 MAX

CBS

AOC

Slate (UserFriendly)

Trump Transition

Bloomberg (UserFriendly)

Scroll

BBC

The Hill

NYT (re Silc)

Antidote du Jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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235 comments

  1. bassmule

    Meddling? Yes, I’d say so.

    Not done yet, either:

    “We need to take the fight against BDS to the next level. We must encourage investigations of terror-linked BDS groups and promote legislation that counters all forms of anti-Semitism including of course the anti-Semitic delegitimization of Israel.”

    Reply
    1. nippersdad

      And we will get to see a replay of the anti-BDS debacle later this month.:

      “Several senior Democrats are worried the political furor from that period could resurface amid a new debate this month over the anti-boycott movement bill — which had been promised to senior Jewish lawmakers this spring after the falling out over anti-semitism.”

      They should be. This should help Nadler’s Progressive primary opponent immensely next year.

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        Hasn’t anyone filed a law suit against one or more of these state laws? They are so obviously contrary to the First Amendment I would like to start identifying the (many?) judges who will shred the Constitution to please Likud. I want to see if the Republican majority in SCOTUS will do so.

        Reply
    2. Philip

      “ … all forms of anti-Semitism including of course the anti-Semitic delegitimization of Israel.”

      well, thing is that “The State of Israel” is completely illegitimate.*
      The “State of Isreal” is both illegal and immoral. Its existence in The Holy Land / Palestine has no basis of legitimacy. Can’t let the truth leak out… ! That would be anti-Semitic.

      Another problem: “nice” folk are so terrified of being “labeled” anti-Semite that “nice” folk won’t even discuss these issues, effectively leaving control of the narrative to “ … the arrogant, bullying, neo-fascist state that Israel is on its way to becoming” (Khalad Hassan) and the Evangelical Zionist Old Testament freaks in the West.

      By ignoring our responsibilities as citizens in and of this world; by not having this conversation; and by not engaging in informed dialog and discussion on this topic we are are once again creating the space for history to both rhyme and repeat.

      So much for “Never Again”.

      * ref: Henry Cattan – Palestine and International Law, Second Edition;
      W. T. Mallison , Sally V. Mallison – The Palestine Problem in International Law and World Order

      Reply
        1. Philip

          I am in full agreement, being anti-Zionist is NOT anti- semitic!
          However, the leadership, and a majority of the population of Israel, as well as their support in the West begs to differ.

          Kinda my point, if they choose to define the term differently then, excuse please, I am proud to be anti- semitic.

          Do I hate Jews because they are Jewish? Hell no. Do I despise the Zionist faction of Judaism for the horrors they have, and continue to inflict upon “others”? Absolutely.

          Reply
          1. Synoia

            Yes, I believed the holocaust was never to be repeated.

            It appears I was wrong, and it appears to have become an example.

            Reply
    3. Lambert Strether

      > including of course the anti-Semitic delegitimization of Israel.”

      So delegitimization of Israel that is not anti-Semitic is OK. I would have thought that was a truism, so carry on BDS, which is not.

      Reply
  2. PlutoniumKun

    The beautiful ancient house discovered in the ashes BBC

    Its interesting that they describe the 18th Century excavators as ‘archaeologists’, when in reality there was no such thing until the 19th Century. But in many ways they were more useful than archaeologists (not that I’ve anything against archaeology, I love it as a subject) – they were interested in the architecture for the sake of creating better buildings. Going back to the 16th Century, intensively studied Roman and Greek villa remains to develop a whole new beautiful style of design – and in doing so he may have created some of the most beautiful buildings ever made. Palladianism was revived in the 18th Century – exactly at the time of those excavations, and maybe influenced by them – setting off a wave of new buildings around the world

    What I find interesting is how these design languages and patterns spread so quickly. Palladianism was embraced particularly hard in Ireland, and one of the best architects was a German, Richard Cassells. He designed a beautiful house (now undergoing restoration) which became the Irish parliament house. Its design was taken to the US by one of his who more or less replicated the floorplan for the White House, which of course was copied all over the US and the world.

    Some things were perfected early, and never improved upon. Roman house design is one of them.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      One of my hikes in LA was from Topanga to the Getty Museum, and I always enjoyed it, even more so than the newer Getty, which is more of an art museum. Oil buys a lot of bitchin’ Greek kraters, lemme tellya. The original ancient villa from Herculaneum was pretty faithfully reconstructed.

      Reply
    2. mpalomar

      “But in many ways they were more useful than archaeologists”

      They were enthusiastic no doubt but responsible for much site destruction, digging aggressively though layers of history to get to the period they were interested in and then causing more destruction because of their ineptness. I seem to recall a number of early 20th C late 19th C digs where much was lost forever because of poor practices. At Crete I think immense damage was done by an amateur who not only was a clumsy excavator but recreated the site according to his mistaken idea of what was there several thousand years ago.

      Similarly at Macchu Picchu and in Mesoamerica’s Monte Alban. And of course Lord Elgin’s marble collection resulted in among other later criticism, Lord Byron’s, “The Curse of Minerva”
      Dull is the eye that will not weep to see
      Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines removed
      By British hands, which it had best behoved
      To guard those relics ne’er to be restored.
      Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved,
      And once again thy hapless bosom gored,
      And snatched thy shrinking gods to northern climes abhorr’d!

      I know the Getty has been in trouble for buying art on illegal markets as countries of origin try to protect the migration of artefacts. Their only defense is perhaps they helped preserve what might have otherwise been lost and well they didn’t know any better.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Europe and the Middle East is littered with oodles of ancient Greek & Roman coins underfoot in the First National Bank of Buried that have been found with the help of metal detectors over the past 70 years, and its interesting in that nobody really cares all that much about the migration of these particular artifacts all that much, from what i’ve seen.

        Reply
    3. The Rev Kev

      Palladian architecture is certainly beautiful and it pops up everywhere. I always thought it a side effect of the Grand Tour in that those wealthy travelers wanted to bring back the beauty they found in Italy to their own shores not as a momento but as a way of living-

      Reply
    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Did you read the link — more than just the headline? If so, read it again more slowly this time.

      What would you replace Hollywood with?

      Reply
      1. anonymous

        I did read the link. Stoller does great/important work. I’ve been slowly getting through his suggested readings on monopoly: Cornered, 3 Vol on FDR etc.

        But Reagan was the head of the screen actors union. For decades Martin Scorese makes movies about the Jimmy Hoffas of the world while ignoring the many Walter Reuthers. I could go on . . .and on.. .

        Read the headline again, this time slowly.

        Reply
        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Film is my favorite art. Visual and Vocal Masterpieces by the likes of Danny Boyle, Christopher Macquarrie, Quentin Tarentino, Larry Clarke, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Lynch, Darren Aronovsky, Sam Raimi, John Carpenter, Steven Spielburg, George Lucas, Stanley Kubrick…

          Sure most/all of their films are Identity Politics plots set within Capitalism, but as a Southern Suburb kid out of Metairie, their work was essential to me becoming a Marxist. I question Authority wherever i see it and follow things to their logical conclusions free from fear.

          Film is American Cultural History that not only must be preserved but also kept free from Monopolies like Amazon and Netflix.

          Not everyone wants to live in the woods without tech like my grandma who moved to the Ozarks.

          Reply
            1. JEHR

              It was with great pleasure that I could finally see films made in other countries: Finland, Spain, Mexico, Russia, China, Canada, Germany, France, India, etc. It is important to see the world from more than one point of view.

              Reply
              1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

                Canadas films are not that good. I agree with the rest.
                S Korea is the best rn imo.

                This isnt a zero sum game. Im advocating saving everything from Big Stream. We must stop these monopolies ASAP!!!!!

                Reply
              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Also films made from the viewpoints of animals, or plants, instead of humans (rich or poor), are also good.

                Reply
          1. Kilgore Trout

            It’s hard to improve upon a good film seen on a large screen, with an audience of like-minded lovers of cinema.

            Reply
        1. anonymous

          I don’t know. Stoller’s piece is too scary to think about, if you think about it. The answer though –if there is one –isnt in movies —especially not more edgy movies. There’s a deep hidden sociology to business contracts, intellectual property (what a term!), information platforms. We are — at core– social beings. I don’t know what the answer is.

          Reply
          1. mpalomar

            “I don’t know what the answer is.”
            Neither do I but I have a neighbour who thinks we must reassemble in small social groups in the river valleys after the coming deluge. At that scale we can be participants in democracy and small theatre groups, like the Athenians but of course we’ll need slaves and well, I think he’s nuts…

            Reply
            1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              Why do we have to resort to doom n gloom scenarios? It is possible to develop alternative energy resources so the avg worker can enjoy their current lifestyle.

              And i like the idea of global united union Soviets aka local councils.

              Reply
            2. anonymous

              Meanwhile, on the eve of the Civil war, Federick Law Olmsted, puts a gang of 3,000 to work in NYC building ( the greatest movie set ever built for $5 million.) Central Park.

              Reply
            3. anonymous

              Olmsted and his syndicate of backers insist that in this PUBLIC park there be NO “status or rank.”
              All New Yorkers, regardless of class, can enjoy this “pleasure ground.”

              Reply
            4. anonymous

              I like to think there’ll be a policy level position for Matt Stoller in a Sanders/Ro Khanna administration.

              Reply
        2. Cal2

          “What would you replace Hollywood with?”

          Here’s a start. Lots of people aren’t even aware of this in their communities.

          Public Access Channel streaming, a benefit to the public as part of cable internet companies’ monopolies.

          Reply
    2. Summer

      Re: The Slow Death of Hollywood

      One thing not mentioned in the upcoming era of more massive streaming: the return of morecommericials. No or fewer was a part of the hook (in addition to price – already increasing) that attracted people.

      Once trapped in the streaming universe with few alternatives, the won’t leave those ad dollars sitting on the sidelines. With tv shows, there will be subscription fees and commercials…just like the old boss…

      Reply
      1. mpalomar

        I don’t know if they’re doing it now but in regards captive audiences, a decade ago when I would still on a rare occasion catch a film at a theatre, a maddening 10 minutes or so of advertising preceeded the film.

        I’m reliant on Netflix these days and there is pretty much nothing to watch, maintain it only for other members of the household, though I did recently watch Scorcese’s fascinating “Rolling Thunder Review.”

        The Coen brothers did some stuff lately for Netflix. They have a history of making some broad and not too serious social commentary via the vehicle of screwball comedy. “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” is in this vein as was “Hail Caesar” a spoof of the old studios; talent, actors, writers, directors all on contract beholden to the propaganda bubble gum machine. Interestingly the mcguffin was that the studio head was offered a top job in the burgeoning post war defense industry and had to choose art as it were, show business over business business.

        Also appreciated the Coen brothers tip of the hat to the California refugee, Frankfurt school’s Herbert Marcuse who along with Benjamin and others were fascinated with Hollywood while at the same time despising it. In the film Marcuse is the head of a band of rather comfortably off, ineffectual left wing intellectual kidnappers. Not the Coen brothers best but a pleasant goof of movie.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          is it a strength or weakness that we have to have movies to watch with the amount of time we spend doing it?

          Reply
          1. mpalomar

            It is in our nature, the deep love of the narrative, to be told tales; a mixed blessing that has served us badly of late.

            Reply
    3. Lambert Strether

      Stoller writes:

      In other words, we should aim to restore open markets for content again. This means separating out the industry into production, distribution, and retailing.

      Or, idk, cede ownership and control of the means of production to the actors, writers, etc.

      Reply
  3. Wat

    What I don’t understand about Epstein is this: Why did he fly into an arrest? How did he not know it was coming, with his connections and money? Or, what was the worse option he was avoiding when he flew into it? Anybody?

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      All it takes is one prosecutor recognizing (besides morality) is that the path to statewide office isn’t through donations especially if Epstein has to bribe everyone but being the person who took down Epstein.

      It’s like the meltdown the right is having over AOC. She’s just one congress critter from a safe seat, but she occupies a permanent spot in Pelosi’s head.

      Reply
      1. foghorn longhorn

        Seems that Epstein is the bait and they are fishing for the higher ups in his circle.
        Clinton, Trump, Acosta, not sure. We will just have to let it play out.
        Notice slick wllie put out his usual ‘I know nothing’ press release.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Though the Epstein story does clarify why the RCC is still allowed to operate. So many are guilty, many friends in DC would be lost.

          Reply
        2. nippersdad

          I just saw this post* and thought it was relevant. Lower down in the thread of tweets, someone purporting to be Hillary Clinton tweeted out that:

          “Jeffrey Epstein was such a close friend to us over the years. When he commits suicide next week on Tuesday around 2:45pm with two gunshots to the back of the head, it will be so unexpected and will take such a heavy toll on all of us.”

          All of Issikoff’s good work pinning the Rich murder conspiracy theory on Vladimir Putin done in vain…

          Reply
        3. Kurt Sperry

          The problem here may be that Epstein has dirt on enough powerful people from all political camps that nobody wants the lid really ripped off. If you have dirt on, say, both Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump, there is no constituency for the truth to come out. Everyone in a position of power will prefer that everything remains hidden. Given the polarization of US politics, nobody wants the truth to be revealed unless they can somehow control the release for political gain. If this is the case, Epstein holds the winning hand regardless of the crimes that he can be proven to have committed. The system is, above all else, designed to protect the extremely wealthy and powerful from any accountability. That corruption is at the heart of not just American politics and law, but of the entire society. Corruption and fixing results for the already powerful isn’t an anomaly or a exception, it *is* the system, the sole reason it exists and why it does what it does. Politics, both major parties, the justice system, the government, it’s all corrupted to serve the interests of the .1%, there is no other purpose to any of it. And there’s no way to fix it without first explicitly recognizing this, and nobody powerful wants this to happen.

          Reply
          1. Summer

            You just made Epstein the most powerful man in the world and the biggest target.
            If he knows that much, it goes with him to the grave.

            Reply
      2. Phenix

        AOC said Warren won the debate and introduced a watered down Green Party GND. A policy that has support of party leadership.

        Tulsi won the debate and has a better version of the GND called The Off Act. If you have not please donate to Tulsi.

        Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          i will, to my mind she is the best candidate because she addresses foreign policy in a much more realistic manner.

          Reply
    2. Whoamolly

      In what world does the secret service, MI6, CIA, FBI and a hundred other people not know *exactly* what goes on during these flights?

      immoral and criminal issues aside—how is it possible that they let a sitting president or member of the Royal Family join in—knowing there are witnesses cameras, and audio recorders everywhere?

      Reply
    1. Summer

      Hmmmm…thinking back to the Brazilian officials plane, loaded with cocaine, to the G20 getting stopped in Spain a week or so ago.
      That is also the vicinity of the Mediterranean…

      Reply
    1. richard

      sure, why not?
      she is the most popular pol in the country by at least one measure
      the issue would be does she create enough interesting content
      luckily, she mixes it up very well for a frosh congresscritter
      Can’t Wait Fot ‘28!

      Reply
      1. CoryP

        Maybe it should be “The Squad” or something to also include her co-thinkers. I think that’s what they’re being referred to as. Gag-worthy but it is what it is.

        Reply
      2. JacobiteInTraining

        I’m a guest, and I certainly would love an ‘AOC category’.

        I want her words, her face, her allies, her tweets, and her actions, to be everywhere they can possibly be. As her opposition obsesses over AOC, (as in ‘occupying a growing portion of their minds’) it adds that little bit more of uncertainty to them. Of distraction, and of….fear.

        Fear of the peasants waking up. Fear of the dogs not just leaving their dogfood in their dishes, but of upending their dog bowls and realizing they can both howl and bare their teeth.

        So yes, I…and hopefully even ‘We’….happily enjoy an AOC category.

        Reply
        1. Robert Valiant

          I agree with your sentiment completely. However, I’m still not convinced that “AOC” is necessarily what she appears to be.

          I hope so, but she could just as easily be fly paper.

          Whole lotta manipulation goin’ on.

          Reply
          1. djrichard

            Evita wasn’t all she appeared to be either. Still, at the end of the day, if it’s a choice between having an Evita vs not having an Evita, I’ll take having an Evita every time.

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              From Spartacus:

              “I am Evita.”

              “I am Evita.”

              “I am Evita.”

              Many, many Evita’s is better than just one or two.

              “Don’t cheat yourself by thinking you can’t be an Evita.”

              Reply
        2. russell1200

          AOC as a solo-category is simply taking us further down the path of charismatic-ratings driven politics. Given that this was a major impetus to getting Trump elected, with all the free air-time, you would think people would be a little more reluctant to go down that road.

          As for being a visitor, so what? The site has advertising and fund raising. If I am the only person annoyed and everyone else likes it, than obviously it’s not a problem. But it is a very fine balance between to appealing to a core of readers and entering an echo chamber.

          Reply
          1. nippersdad

            The right has had its’ Trumps for decades now. Suddenly when it is the DFH’s that get some press this has become a problem?

            It is about time we had some charismatic representation getting some free press. You have to be in a chamber to hear the echoes, after all.

            Reply
          2. mpalomar

            “AOC as a solo-category is simply taking us further down the path of charismatic-ratings driven politics.”
            – Not AOC but the commercial advertising driven MSmedia that must have audience share, thus faces that serve as shorthand for whatever the media lords misbegotten narrative happens to be.

            I find it immensely disturbing when the MSM sets their claws and fangs into any well meaning message bearer and transforms them into some perverse oddity for exploitation.

            Reply
          3. Lambert Strether

            I do rather like “The Squad” (as opposed to an individual). I do think that a potential fracture point in the current Democrat coalition is worth keeping an eye on (and something like this had to come, what with Pelosi and the DCCC moving the center of gravity of the party right in the mid-terms).

            Reply
        3. richard

          yep! I like both “positive” aoc news (what she does) and “batshit reaction” news (how she triggers the oligarchs).
          gives them the fear all right

          Reply
        4. Lambert Strether

          AOC isn’t always right. But she is always interesting.

          I’m picturing a meeting between AOC and Pelosi like the meeting between Jessica and Duncan Idaho in Children of Dune (the later novels do have their moments):

          AOC: It may be only one of us will survive.

          Pelosi: And you wish me to make a good report of your efforts?

          Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Well, there is a Democrats in Disarray section. Shouldn’t there be a section for the Democrats? I mean it might be appropriate to include Omar and a couple of others, but making it AOC shines on a light on how one actual Democrat owns the space in the heads of prominent right wingers. Pelosi spent the weekend bashing AOC while Trump is Trump. A person the Democratic punditry accuse of treason while acquiescing to giving Trump more power is less of a threat to DC elites than AOC.

      Reply
      1. Summer

        The establishment Democrats and their pundits are beside themselves. It’s really worse than I imagined.
        Trump shows the true face of the establishment and they are more upset that people are trying to come up with alternatives than just watching their good-cop-bad-cop-kabuki routine with Trump and the Republicans.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Based on my experience with electeds, Republicans are by and large Republicans. The Democrats are simply people who are ready to give back, not the money, but something. They are relatively immunized from the larger world and often get into politics to fix a pot hole. Team Blue elites like this kind of politician because they won’t be challenged by them. Its a rot at all levels at this point. AOC having ideas is anathema to a party of non-entities. Actual center left people are completely alien. The non entities will meet the local committee people who revel in being kings of molehills (little Pelosis if you will) who will heap praise upon politicians for a chance to touch DC and “history”, but beyond hand shakes and promising to fight, Democratic politicians are a disgraceful bunch.

          I approve of Franken being ousted, but he quickly established himself as a “wonk” which was a demonstration of his intelligence but more of how much he cared about issues versus the average Senator. Joe Biden has never been accused of being a policy guy, and he was there for 40 years at the time.

          Reply
          1. lordkoos

            I kind of got the impression that both Franken and Keillor got a bit of a raw deal. Convicted in the court of public opinion.

            Reply
            1. pasha

              i agree, two of the most talented public satirists in american history, who were railroaded by gillibrand and minnesota public radio, respectively.

              Reply
            2. Anon

              Um, no. Both chose to get out because what we saw was just the tip of the iceberg and they preferred to have their fans deluded that they got a raw deal.

              Reply
    3. ChiGal in Carolina

      oddly, New Cold War disappeared, though there are two entries in that category.

      with the cornucopia of excellence they provide us every day, now and then our hosts might be forgiven the possibly unintentional omission/inclusion of something like a header ;-)

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        YESSSSSS

        Men In Black kicked so much ass!

        I can hear his voice in my head…

        Viva la Rip Torn 2 aka Ian McShane!

        Reply
    1. WheresOurTeddy

      in “Canadian Bacon” he played General Dick Panzer and was one of the best parts of that movie.

      “With all due respect, Mr. President, enjoy your single term.”

      Reply
  4. The Rev Kev

    “If You Flew Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’ Private Jet—the Feds Want to Talk to You”

    I don’t see why. Well, except for the bit where the “stewardesses” were not even old enough to hold a learner’s permit for driving that is.

    Reply
    1. foghorn longhorn

      Interesting tidbit, James Comey’s daughter is a prosecutor in this case.
      Curiouser and curiouser

      Reply
      1. Tvc15

        And Barr’s dad hired Epstein for a teaching position at the Dalton school on NYC’s upper East side. How did he go from teacher to reported Billionaire? Hope they all are exposed and we see justice, but I assume it will be covered up.

        “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it” George Carlin.

        Reply
        1. dk

          I’m repeating a rumor here.

          Back in the day (early 70’s) Epstein was a teacher at Dalton School, a poshy private school (this is noted in NYT coverage). I attended a similar school (Dwight) and we would play (boys) varsity and junior varsity soccer matches against Dalton, among others (our home field was a gravel lot under the 59th Street Bridge, now a City warehouse). Epstein was one of the Dalton JV soccer coaches for a few games (’70-’71 iirc but it could be the year before).

          Typically, the teacher-coaches would chat and socialize a bit during and after the games. After our second Dalton game our teacher came back to us white-faced and got us into a huddle. “If you ever see that man talking to a girl from our school, get the girl away from him and tell me or [another teacher] about it. Stay away from him, and look out for the girls in your class.” They wouldn’t talk about it beyond that, leaving us only with the implications.

          The next year, Epstein was not at Dalton any more. The rumor in the hallways was that he had been caught in an affair with a student and her mother by the father/husband, blackmailed the family, and gotten both a payoff and a job on Wall Street. As I say, it was rumor, and had variations. But Epstein was stupid (his association with academic institutions notwithstanding, there was another rumor about how he briefly got into Corrant), and no one could otherwise explain how he got a Wall Street job.

          These were events playing out within a larger context. It was the Mad Men area in Manhattan, where these schools were. Some of the characters in the show are based on the parents of my schoolmates. I met them, slept over at their apartments. Mad Men significantly underplays the callousness and depravity of those people, the time and the place; Epstein and the rumors didn’t particularly stand out.

          Reply
          1. Lemmy Caution

            A woman who says Epstein raped her when she was 15 outside her New York City school by a confederate of Epsteins. If true, it dovetails neatly with your story about the teacher warning parents of students to stay clear of Epstein.

            Reply
            1. Off The Street

              When I see news about Epstein I feel the need to go take a shower. I guess my water bill will be higher for a while, sigh. Or I find a beach.

              Reply
              1. Lemmy Caution

                He is especially loathsome. It’s a wonder some distraught Mom or Dad hasn’t caught up with Epstein.

                Reply
                1. Wukchumni

                  This fellow was the Einstein of numismatics-a towering figure in the hobby, and it was always rumored he was a pedophile, and then a teenager spoke up…

                  A year later, he was charged with eight felony counts of child molestation involving a 13-year-old boy. Though diagnosed with liver cancer in 1992, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He died in prison in Chino, California on April 27, 1993.

                  In 2014, Breen’s daughter Moira Greyland revealed that she was one of the people who reported her father for child molestation.

                  Reply
                2. WheresOurTeddy

                  I’m baffled in the same way I was when Rihanna got beat up by Chris Brown and nothing happened.

                  Do you not have one brother/father/cousin/male friend who is an actual man? I threatened every one of my future brother-in-laws that “if you ever hurt my sister, *they’ll never find you*.” My oldest sister got married when I was 8.

                  Reply
            2. dk

              Sorry, the teacher was warning the students, not the parents; I was a student at the time. We were to warn and protect our classmates.

              If the teacher had tried to warn parents, the parents would have seen this as an envious attempt to discredit a fellow teacher, Epstein was “charming” and well liked by parents. Our teacher could easily have lost his job for making such a suggestion. Even warning the students was a risk; this teacher was well liked by the students, in part because of taking such risks for us.

              Reply
              1. Lemmy Caution

                Sorry, I misread your comment. Sounds like that teacher really went out on a limb for you and the other students.

                Reply
              2. Wukchumni

                The big coin show of the year is the ANA (American Numismatic Association) convention, and it was held in Baltimore in 1985, and a friend’s children that were 10 & 12 had jobs as pages if I remember correctly, and the aforementioned Walter Breen downthread, was hugging one of them, and I passed a note to the mother that said “I’ve heard this guy is a pedophile, i’m not joking”

                You never saw a mother grab her kid as quick as she did, out of harm’s way.

                But again, it was always rumors, nothing you could substantiate, and he went on molesting kids until he was caught and ended up dying in prison.

                Reply
          2. dk

            The dates were bothering me so I looked up references on Epstein. Right now, references trace back to a 2002 New York Magazine article stating Epstein taught at Dalton from ’73 to ’75 (also my spelling of Courant was incorrect). Further checking shows those dates coming from Epstein’s own bio.

            I have a poor memory for names, and the person may not have been named Epstein, but he was at least 6’2″ and had blond curly hair. I probably wouldn’t remember it at all except for the second rumor about the same guy inexplicably getting a Wall Street job. It is also possible that the man I saw was not a teacher, but what would he be doing at two junior varsity soccer games?

            Reply
          3. Lambert Strether

            > Epstein was stupid (his association with academic institutions notwithstanding, there was another rumor about how he briefly got into Corrant

            The right kind of stupid, apparently. If this were the Third World, I’d be asking what hidden hand was protecting him.*

            As far as “how he briefly got into Corrant,” ?

            Reply
            1. dk

              Corrant is a misspelling of Courant as in Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU (), where Epstein took a couple of classes after leaving Cooper Union. I just spelled it phonetically and should have checked before posting, I’m sorry for it.

              The most detailed (and lest carefully flattering) earlier article on Epstein is this 2002 piece in NY Magazine, worth a look (search for “1953” to jump to the bio section):

              Epstein in 1993 “plead guilty to a single charge of conspiring to steal U.S. Treasury checks from residential mailboxes and received 5 years probation.” see p.12 at

              The sexually-tinged blackmail rumor I mentioned could certainly have been no more than scuttlebutt, but tangents with this from a Vanity Fair piece of 2011 ()

              He was good at mathematics, and in his early 20s he got a job teaching physics and math at Dalton, the elite Manhattan private school. While there he began tutoring the son of Bear Stearns chairman Ace Greenberg and was friendly with a daughter of Greenberg’s. Soon he went to Bear Stearns, where, under the mentorship of both Greenberg and current Bear Stearns C.E.O. James Cayne, he did well enough to become a limited partner—a rung beneath full partner.

              Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      “Jeffrey Epstein’s Arrest Forces Us To Ask: Which Dirtbag Lawyers In This Case Will Face Their Own Music?”

      On a rare positive note, there are some good guys, too. Acosta’s big mistake was cutting the victims out of the settlement – the effect was to make it much harder for them to sue Epstein. Some of them, and their lawyers, were sufficiently ticked off to hound Acosta as best they could. Ultimately, they and certain dedicated journalists are bringing him and Epstein down.

      I think those lawyers, along with the journalists, deserve some major credit for sticking with their clients through thick and thin. Sure, they were hoping for a payoff (stripping Epstein’s assets would be such an apt punishment), but the odds were pretty poor for a long time.

      On another note, from a link in a comment (I’ve lost track of who it was – hat tip to you), who told Acosta that Epstein was an intelligence asset? And convinced him, by his own testimony. This scandal might have a whole other aspect.

      Reply
  5. PlutoniumKun

    Paul Samuelson — a case of badly invested intelligence Lars P. Syll (UserFriendly). And important topic in ECONNED.

    As always with Syll, some wonderful takedowns of mainstream economics. His description of the fundamental flaw of neoclassical economics – that it falsely assumes is one I love throwing in to conversations when people talk about what this or that economist says.

    ergodicity means that a system is very insensitive to initial conditions or perturbations and details of the dynamics, and that makes it easy to make universal statements about such systems

    Its a simple point that you can thrown in to a conversation to anyone with a bit of mathematics knowledge. And its one that really annoys people with economics degrees, so its doubly useful.

    Throwing in key points from this paragraph:

    Another reason is that he confused epistemology and ontology. The validity of the inferential models we as scientists use ultimately depends on the assumptions we make about the entities to which we apply them. Applying a relevant modelling strategy presupposes far-reaching ontological presuppositions. If we are prepared to assume that societies and economies are like urns filled with coloured balls in fixed proportions, then fine. But — really — who could earnestly believe in such an utterly ridiculous analogy? We are not mainly interested in what could be true, but what is true. In a real world full of ‘unknown unknowns’ and genuine non-ergodic uncertainty, urns are of little avail.

    The core of this argument is also a very useful one, absolutely guaranteed to make anyone with an economics background lose their cool. Its also useful to use when scientists defend the scientific principle (by which they frequently mean maths) in economics – I’ve often found it surprising how many highly technically literate people simply assume that economics actually works on the same basis of their own topics.

    Reply
    1. pjay

      Regarding “badly invested intelligence”:

      As research on confirmation bias has shown, “smart” people are much more resistant to facts that contradict their strongly held beliefs than are so-called “deplorables.” Such people often have the skills necessary to construct arguments and select “evidence” that supports their beliefs. They also tend to hold institutional power that allows them to assert these beliefs from positions of authority. The Samuelson example certainly fits here. Following UserFriendly’s comment, recognition of this fundamental problem in economics is what originally attracted me to NC after 2008, and why I think ECONNED is the best book on the crash.

      As I read yet another anti-Russian conspiracy theory laid out by other “smart” and highly educated people, it seems that there are examples of “badly invested intelligence” everywhere these days.

      Reply
      1. pretzelattack

        maybe that’s why i have so much trouble convincing friends and acquaintances that putin didn’t steal the election from clinton.

        Reply
      2. mpalomar

        confirmation bias

        It’s not what you don’t know that’s gonna get you. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
        -Twain

        Reply
    2. turtle

      Since we’re on the topic of taking down economists and their field of stufy, I watched this documentary from Adam Curtis last night (Pandora’s Box part 3: The League of Gentlemen):

      It’s a very interesting 45 minute documentary about how the UK (and particularly its workers) was battered by economists’ ideas in the later half of the 20th century. Deals with Keynes, Friedman, Thatcher, the financialization of the city of London, etc. Might be of interest to many people here.

      Reply
  6. DJG

    On the Villa of the Papyrus Scrolls. I have read about the blackened scrolls and the attempts to decipher them (through a link given here at Cfdtrade, I believe). Today’s news is even more intriguing:

    Other texts found in the villa’s library include several books of Epicurus’s On Nature, the writings of a Stoic philosopher named Chrysippus, and parts of the De Rerum Natura, an Epicurean poem by the Latin writer Lucretius. Around half the scrolls found, however, are still sealed. Given that Philodemus knew both Horace and Virgil, it is possible that more literary works are still waiting to be unravelled

    Given that parts of Epicurus’s works are missing, that is potentially good news. Also, Piso was almost exactly contemporary with Lucretius, which means that the scrolls found would be the earliest portions of On the Nature of the Universe. Somehow, Lucretius keeps turning up.

    Chrysippus was prominent in antiquity. According to Wikipedia, all of his works were lost till this discovery.

    The question is whether we oh-so-knowing postmodern creatures are willing to learn something.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I’ve been to Herculaneum and Pompeii many times, you have to walk about 1/2 a mile from the train station in Ercolano to get to Herculaneum and you can see that the city is right on top of it, what else lies below, I always wondered?

      Last time we were there, a docent allowed my wife to go upstairs in one of the buildings, and she walked up 1,900 year old stairs, pretty cool.

      If you ever visit, make sure to go the archeological museum in Naples, where many of the finds from both locations are on display.

      Reply
      1. John k

        Be careful, not the best area.
        Had a bad experience visiting the beautiful and really well preserved Greek temples south of Naples, long walk from the rain station… tarried too long, walked back along the road at twilight, one guy stopped and watched us for a while… and the station was deserted when we reached it… glad when the train arrived.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Naples has a weird leftover Mussolini fascism/mafia feel to it, and I always had my do re mi in a money belt, but still felt more vulnerable there than any other big Italian city, but it wasn’t as if I wasn’t going to seek the treasure, eh?

          Reply
          1. Massinissa

            Mafia? No no, the Camorra. Look them up in Wikipedia. The Camorra families are like the Mafia families but different. Naples is their headquarters. So yes, if you felt an ‘organized crime’ vibe, thats because it absolutely is an organized crime hub. Probably more major than anywhere in Italy outside the N’drangheta of Calabria (and yes, that includes Sicily, and yes, Italy has THREE distinct types of major organized crime, each with long histories that go back over a century, and all from the southern half of the country).

            The Camorra families are not big fish like the ‘Ndrangheta in Calabria, though they are probably still more active in Italy and Europe than the remnants of the Mafia are, and like the Mafia families of Sicily, have been on the decline for a few decades now. If you want to read about a single major crime figure from the Camorra, check out Maria Licciardi, who was the top Camorra boss in Naples from 92-2001.

            Reply
      2. Ignacio

        I love Naples bay, the pizzas… those flavoury tomatoes possibly grown over volcanic ashes, the crazy and dark disorder of old Naples streets, Herculaneum, the Vesubio, the costiera amalfitana etc…

        Not hard for me to imagine that you have enjoyed it.

        Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      I have to admit that when I read about the recovery of scrolls from Pompeii, I wonder about what new finds might come of it by way of lost authors. I’m kinda hoping that Claudius’s history of the Etruscans might be one of them. Feast your eyes on what may be possibly found-

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Lost works worth remembering are great, but at one point, Tim Allen had the top rated show, number one movie, and headed NYT best seller list. What does this say about our society? I think finding the Roman version of “The Big Bang Theory” is almost as lost as the Etruscans and might be more interesting instead of later peoples describing character based on the Roman equivalent of Ulysses.

        Reply
        1. DJG

          NTG: Well, we have much of Plautus, who is a laugh riot. We also have the Golden Ass by Apuleius, which was notorious in its times, I suppose–he was.

          Now, we are still missing Etruscan theater–all of it. And I hear that the skits about Moose and Squirrel were fantastic.

          Reply
    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thanks, DJG, on your always informative comments about ancient Rome.

      This reminds me of the Book of Documents. From Wikipedia:

      The Book of Documents was the subject of one of China’s oldest literary controversies, between proponents of different versions of the text. The “New Text” version was preserved from Qin Shi Huang’s burning of books and burying of scholars by scholar Fu Sheng. The longer “Old Text” version was supposedly discovered in the wall of Confucius’ family estate in Qufu by his descendant Kong Anguo in the late 2nd century BC, lost at the end of the Han dynasty and rediscovered in the 4th century AD. Over time, the “Old Text” version of the Documents became more widely accepted, until it was established as the imperially sanctioned edition during the early Tang dynasty. This continued until the late 17th century, when the Qing dynasty scholar Yan Ruoqu demonstrated that the additional “Old Text” chapters not contained in the “New Text” version were actually fabrications “reconstructed” in the 3rd or 4th centuries AD.

      Reply
  7. pjay

    Re: ‘The school segregation issue Democrats should be talking about’

    This was a good article that made me incredibly sad. Not just about the issue of educational inequality (which is incredibly sad in itself), but because I have read so many similar articles before, beginning in my undergraduate days — *in the 1970s*! Jonathan Kozol wrote Death at an Early Age in 1967. We are still writing the same articles, and still doing less than nothing in most places, half a century later.

    Reply
  8. PlutoniumKun

    The Slow Death of Hollywood Big by Matt Stoller

    Must read from Stoller. Netflix often gets off easy when everyone talks about tech monopolies, mostly because everyone loves their output, but once they start aiming for profitability, things will change very quickly. I know a few people at various levels in the film business, they’ve all done very well the past few years, but its slowly dawning on them that they’ve been floating on the same sort of easy cash model of Uber or fracking. The fundamentals aren’t there. Billions has been spent worldwide on new studios based on the notion of an endless flow of Netflix cash for new productions. Someones gonna get hurt badly.

    Netflix and Amazon are driving what I call “Concentration Creep” across the industry. Concentration creep means that consolidation in one part of an industry causes consolidation in other parts. Disney, for instance, is trying to mimic the company by launching what may be a below-cost streaming service. It also bought Fox’s media assets, so it can bulk up and gain market power. And Trump’s Antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, is considering getting rid of the Paramount Consent Decrees, which might prompt Amazon or Netflix to simply buy a movie theater chain.

    It’s becoming increasingly clear that the only goal now in Hollywood is to become gain market power in distribution or must-have content production, and then use that monopoly power to reduce the quality of output and reduce the bargaining leverage of artists. Even the agents, who are supposed to represent artists, are getting into the vertical integration game. The net effect is higher prices, less paid to artists, a less creative industry, and ultimately, the death of the Hollywood ecosystem of storytelling.

    Reply
    1. Deschain

      The rise of box office outside the US (comedy is a local taste), the death of the home video market due to VoD and streaming, and the quality of the in home viewing experience meaning people only go to the theaters to see FX-heavy films, are the bigger reasons why comedy is dead as a movie genre. Comedies just don’t make enough money any more to matter to the major studios. See ‘Booksmart’ as an example, came out 2 months ago, fantastic reviews, barely made a ripple. Action and animation are where all the action is from a profit perspective, so that’s what’s being made. (Horror has also seen a huge resurgence of late – make of that what you will.) Comedy is dying as a movie genre because audiences aren’t showing up.

      The rest of his piece, though, is spot on.

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Booksmart sucked.

        Its literally Superbad with girls.

        Plus its message is all about not trying in High School cuz ull get into the Ivy Leagues anyway.

        Reply
      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Comedy is dying because the monopolies are stifling edgy scripts. All about toeing the line.

        That said, Adam Mckays Vice is the funniest movie of the past couple years!

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          In The Great Depression-A Diary, Benjamin Roth writes of the last vaudeville theaters closing in Youngstown, Ohio, the end of an era.

          Comedy comes and goes and assumes different forms, for instance how many of you have been to a stand-up comedy show recently?

          Reply
          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            True.

            Although im an outlier since i work at the Saenger Theatre.

            I believe Bill Maher did a stand up event in the last couple months.

            BARF

            Reply
    2. Carolinian

      I like Stoller a lot but he doesn’t seem to know much about the movie business. The wide release trend actually started long before Back to the Future in the 1970s (Jaws was one of the first). The primary motive was marketing as a nationwide release allowed for heavy television advertising. The studios also make more money with films that score quickly because the traditional contract with theaters had a sliding scale that gave the studios 90 percent of the box office in the opening week (the reason that popcorn and soda is so expensive). These complaints about Hollywood selling out and abandoning “art”(The Hangover???) for commerce have always been made and have always been true but in reality there are far more ways to make and distribute filmed entertainment than there ever were. Lately my library has been getting some films–some with name stars–on recordable DVDs that bypass the expensive pressing process. They could be distributed by some guy in his basement with a computer.

      The recent Hollywood mergers are very bad and in particular the takeover of Time Warner by ATT should not have been allowed. But Netflix and Amazon Prime have produced an explosion of new content and he doesn’t even talk about the role of HBO and other cable outlets. From a creative standpoint there have been previous H’wood eras that were far worse. He needs to unclutch those pearls.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        When I was traveling overseas in the 1980’s quite a bit, I noticed that a film which opened in the USA, might not open in Australia until say 6 months later…

        What’s the delay like now, I wonder?

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          If they keep the traditional schedule which revolves around warehouse shipping (why new comic book day was always Wednesday and albums drop on (?) Tuesday, a movie that opens on a Friday in the U.S. will often open on the previous Tuesday in France. My memory is there was an effort to have a singular release for “The Simpsons Movie” but the French schedule is pretty set for a Tuesday opening, so they decided to hold the showy premiere in France.

          These days at least for big movies, the only delays are censor related activities in countries such as China. Even then I think the studios like to get everything lined up for a proper world premiere.

          Reply
          1. Carolinian

            I don’t believe there’s any set pattern although high budget movies are often released internationally now. Often the distribution rights to a film may be owned by different entities in different regions. Re the below mentioned region codes

            Region coding enables copyright holders to (attempt to) prevent a DVD from a region from which they do not derive royalties from being played on a DVD player inside their region. Region coding attempts to dissuade importing of DVDs from one region into another.

            Reply
        2. Carolinian

          There was a time when we in the provinces had to wait months to see a film as it toured the big cities as a “road show” release. However theaters in general seem increasingly irrelevant–something else that Stoller doesn’t’ talk about.

          Interestingly some of the first DVD player hacks were from Australians seeking to defeat the “region code.” The computer era has greatly diminished H’wood’s control over its content while providing the means for some amazing special effects. The ending of Casablanca with that toy airplane wouldn’t go over now (or perhaps if we still had Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman we still wouldn’t mind it).

          Reply
          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Theatres are not irrelevant.

            Theres a magnitude of difference seeing a movie at a theatre as opposed to ur couch.

            CAN WE PLEASE HAVE CHEAP ENTERTAINMENT OUTSIDE MY HOUSE?

            Or is this the plan? To lock working class people in their homes? But its ok right cuz they hav a smartphone?

            Reply
            1. Carolinian

              Wouldn’t worry–they aren’t going anywhere soon. There is a bit of controversy about Netflix releasing movies in theaters for a couple of days before putting on their site, then being included in the Oscars.

              Reply
              1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

                Yeah Cannes gave them a hard time too..

                I guess im mostly worried about quality and that if Films dont get original people will quit going.

                I have an unhealthy attachment to movie theatres i guess!

                Reply
                1. Carolinian

                  This seems to be a movie theater promotion site but lots of statistics.

                  As long as Hollywood’s current “event movie” strategy holds they will probably support theaters with the “release window.” But on a practical level patrons are paying a lot of money to watch something they could see just as well at home with the right equipment (no really). The demise of movie theaters has been predicted for decades (television first, then vhs, then the internet) but eventually it will happen.

                  Reply
      2. ChrisS

        I’d agree that his argument about the movie industry was weak (especially the part about comedies – he doesn’t seem to be aware that “Crazy Rich Asians” came out last year and was praised to the skies by critics, fwiw). But I do think his point about Netflix – and others – using future market power to eventually skimp on quality content and create a system that lowers artists’ pay was worrisome.

        Reply
          1. Massinissa

            They seem like different types of comedies for different types of people. Well, perhaps admittedly ‘neolib’ people, but the point still stands.

            Reply
    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Storytelling.

      Every and each one of us has interesting stories to tell.

      “Yes, you. And not someone else. The more often you tell your stories, the more you learn about yourself, including learning that you are a very interesting person youself.”

      Remember, there is no good or bad storytelling, nor grades, like A, B, C, blockbusters, busts, prize winners, etc.

      Stop judging yourself when it comes to this.

      Reply
  9. DJG

    Nathan Robinson on Discipline, Strategy, and Morality. Excellent at dealing with problems of violence and nuances. And as he points out, anything the left does is going to be portrayed as violent guaranteed to bring down civilization. This is a “framing” of long standing in the U S of A, where right-wing violence is justified (recall the KKK, which thrived and still thrives on that “framing”).

    Worth a read. (I don’t find “milk-shaking” effective because I was brought up never to waste food–and never to leave loaf of bread upside down, which is a minor sacrilege.)

    I find it amazing that someone named Andy Ngo, obviously of Vietnamese descent, is hanging around with right-wingers who want to cleanse us ethnically of people like Andy Ngo. What a world of delusion we live in.

    Reply
  10. ChiGal in Carolina

    Iran will be the undoing of us all if the climate doesn’t get us first. Nice to see China calling a spade a spade without sinking to Trump’s level of discourse. Measured and true: he started this fire.

    Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “China Backs Iran: Trump ‘Started the Fire,’ ‘unilateral bullying’ ‘a tumor’ ”

    Maybe China has thought about Ben Franklin’s comment that “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” There is no advantage in letting Trump bring down one country and then move onto the next. Why give up on Iranian oil which would crimp their economy to please Trump who will ignore such compromises and sanction them anyway? Better to seek alliances with each other for support. Maybe China could just link a song and send it to Trump’s account as a reminder about who started it all-

    Reply
    1. Olga

      As argued y-day at the post on Iran, China cannot afford to give up on the country. Neither can Russia. And I agree – it’s quite a few years now that C/R have figured out that ‘together they stand, separately they fall.” Glad to see the Chinese come out from the shadow a bit.

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Why give up on Iranian oil, or Russian natural gas?

      See ‘Completely Terrifying’ on carbon-saturated oceans article.

      Reply
  12. Stephen Gardner

    I live in Dallas and work in Plano, near where Perot Systems used to be (now Dell). I remember seeing Ross Perot in the Dickey’s BBQ at Coit and 15th. The first time I was in line right in front of him. My curiosity was getting the best of me: I said, “You’re Ross Perot aren’t you?”. He was very gracious. He put his hand out to shake mine and said in that inimitable voice: “Why yes, yes I am.” We saw him there at least one other time. My colleague who was with me at the time, texted me yesterday: “I guess we won’t be running into Ross Perot at Dickey’s anymore.” Too bad. He was an American who broke the mold.

    Although his politics was very different than mine, I think he left the earth better than he found it. He will be missed.

    Reply
    1. Susan the other`

      I always liked Perot. His politics blasted through mine and it was the first time I thought … I think this guy is right. He was my awakening. I’m pleased he lived a long life. I kinda miss him.

      Reply
    2. Hopelb

      When Hillary was asked about Perot during the 2016 election, she laughed and replied, “All I remember is a bunch of charts” which is Hillary’s usual deceitful way of masking truth; the truth that Perot predicted the industrial gutting that would take place should Bill’s nafta,cafta,China in the WTO pass.(“You mean wipe it a cloth?” ) Bill was saying these trade deals would lead to better jobs and that our tech would not go abroad. Funny how the very day China entered the WTO the headline in the China Daily was about China becoming an R&D /big tech center. I voted for Ross for this reason despite his shortcomings.

      Reply
  13. Joe Freitag

    I understand the outrage of Acosta and his obviously corrupt deal and it’s been in the news for a LONG TIME, it was addressed in his confirmation hearings and he should be fired immediately. The problem I have is why isn’t anyone mentioning that NY didn’t bring ANY charges? All the current victims mentioned in NYC were victimized between 2002-2005 and were very public about it during the Florida case. Here we are 11 years after his Florida trial and the rapes he committed in New York are finally being address but by the Feds? Are the feds investigating what happened in the US Virgin Islands? Nobody down there brought any charges either.

    Reply
    1. Lemmy Caution

      You mentioned Acosta’s confirmation hearing. that Epstein’s name up when the Trump transition team was interviewing Acosta for the job of labor secretary (emphasis mine):

      “Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.)”

      I’d like to hear some follow-up questions on that little tidbit.

      Reply
      1. Joe Freitag

        The FBI supposedly had a 53 page indictment ready to go and nobody at the DOJ followed through with it. The argument that a local DA addressing the charges in his state could “trump” a multi-state a territory charges at the federal level is just silly at this point.

        Reply
    2. voteforno6

      I actually hope that Acosta fights this…he should be gone, but it sure seems like a lot of people are hoping that he falls on his sword for this one. Just for that, it would be interesting if he would go into detail on just who was pressuring him to back off Epstein, and why. The article linked above does drop some tantalizing hints.

      Reply
  14. Wukchumni

    Take a hike!

    If you’re ever planning to climb Sawtooth, or even stand up on Sawtooth Pass and think about it, this summer is the time. Sawtooth at 12,343 feet towers over the Mineral King Valley. The trek to the peak is challenging yet accessible in a dayhike.

    You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!

    Dr. Seuss

    Reply
  15. Tomonthebeach

    Public Banking – the next best thing.

    When I was drafted into the Navy right out of college, I stopped using banks forever. My main financial institutions are Pentagon Federal CU and Navy Federal CU. Both are fiduciary and nonprofit which keeps fees and interest rates low. Navy Federal Credit Union is as big as CUs get and it is international in scope since the Navy is too. There are advantages to being a member rather than a customer. Public Banking might appeal to towns, but for individual clients, it is still a bank (think Wells Forego [sic]).

    Reply
    1. notabanktoadie

      When I was drafted into the Navy right out of college, I stopped using banks forever. Tomonthebeach

      No you didn’t: You became a co-owner of two; i.e. credit unions are banks which the depositors (members) own.

      Credit unions (as well as public banks), due to government privilege such as deposit insurance, have the same ethical problem: the extension of what is then, in essence, the PUBLIC’S CREDIT but for the private gain of the bank or credit union itself and for the private gain of the more so-called credit worthy at the expense of the less so-called credit worthy.

      The truly ethical solution is 100% private banks, credit unions, etc. with 100% voluntary depositors. Right now, the only option to using physical fiat only is to have deposits at one member of a government-privileged usury cartel or another. That should stop.

      Reply
      1. notabanktoadie

        Correction: A public bank may generate profit for the public but it still has the ethical problem of the use of the public’s credit for the private gain of the more so-called credit worthy at the expense of the less so-called credit worthy.

        Reply
        1. Cal2

          I’m a non-economist. You seem to know the subject. Help me.
          Why can’t the U.S. Treasury Department issue credit cards that collect, say, 2% interest, instead of 29%, as private cards do? The 2% collected would go back to the people’s treasury. The Treasury would be the perfect collection mechanism to assure repayment.

          How about a postal savings bank lending money at 2% and paying savers 1%?

          If the government has the exclusive right to collect taxes, why not at least “compete” in issuing credit?

          Reply
          1. Yves Smith

            *Sigh*

            Please think these things through. This isn’t just a matter of “issuing cards”. You should be able to identify the services you can see that card processors provide just through your use and your observation of what happens in stores and online.

            First, they need to determine among other things the credit limit for the customer.

            Second, you also need to have accounts with merchants. That means making sure they are minimally reputable, signing s with them, provide and maintain equipment.

            Third, they also need to capture all the transaction data for payments, issue statements to both merchants and customers, and process payments from customers and update accounts for those payments.

            Fourth, they need to handle disputes, as in issue conditional credit, process the information about disputes and decide whether it fits in any of the established categories.

            Fifth, they need to watch for fraud and deny transactions and potentially suspend accounts.

            Sixth, they need to have customer service (lost cards, change of address, disputes and questions about mystery charges)

            Seventh, they need to design a web interface with all the info (so as to reduce “sixth” and provide a way for customers to pay their bills).

            This is ginormous infrastructure and does not relate at all to what Treasury does with tax reporting and collection. The only thing that might overlap is the bank KYC (know your customer) rules.

            And the Treasury has never been in the business of competing with banks.

            Doing this through an institution with customer deposits like the a revived Post Office Bank would make more sense. But if you look at the history of the Post Office Bank, it was very restricted, particularly with respect to the size of balances that customers could hold. It wasn’t allowed to compete much with banks.

            I’m not saying the Post Office Bank version would be a bad idea, but the Post Office Bank existed when banks processed checks manually. There is a ton more transaction volume. You need to at least acknowledge what a big process this would be.

            And here you have people saying a Job Guarantee would create makework jobs.

            Reply
            1. Cal2

              Thank you,

              So much for that idea. Will work for Bernie, who has proposed 15% interest caps and regulation of banks.

              The common lament of the bank mouthpieces is that lower interest rate caps would deny poor people credit and force them to tighten their belt.

              Reply
          2. notabanktoadie

            How about a postal savings bank lending money at 2% and paying savers 1%? Cal2

            Again that would be the extension of the PUBLIC’S CREDIT but for the private gain of the more so-called credit worthy at the expense of the less/non- so-called credit worthy and those who do not borrow.

            Otoh, fiat debit (and checking) accounts available to all citizens at the Central Bank or Treasury and FOR FREE up to reasonable limits on account size and transactions per month would simply be, imo, a natural extension of the inherent right of ALL citizens to use their Nation’s fiat.

            But lending and credit extension should be left to the private sector to avoid violating, imo, equal protection under the law.

            Reply
    2. BobW

      I am all in for a CU, but mine does not provide a checkbook. The debit card and credit card are good for most purposes, but occasionally you need a paper check. Starting now they will cost $2 each. This is the first fee they charged. Still, way better than a bank.

      Reply
      1. lordkoos

        People who would like to join a credit union should look into USAA . They are one of the highest rated CUs in the country. They are set up to provide banking service for the military worldwide, and offer checks, inexpensive insurance for property and real estate, auto, etc. They also pay your ATM fees, worldwide. I left BECU (Boeing Employee’s CU) for USAA about ten years ago and have been very happy with them.

        Reply
  16. Carey

    CJ Hopkins- ‘The United States of Fascism Hysteria’:

    “So it’s been an exciting few weeks for Antifa and the rest of the neoliberal Resistance. OK, they haven’t yet managed to overthrow the Putin-Nazi occupation government (hereinafter “POG”), but they’ve definitely got “the Fash” on the run. “Fascism” hysteria is spreading like wildfire. Liberal Twitter mobs are out for blood. At this point, it’s only a matter of time until the sleeping giant of normality awakens and purges America of the fascist filth that have Putin-Nazified this once great nation..”

    Reply
  17. Bandit

    Exclusive: The true origins of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. A Yahoo News investigation. Yahoo (furzy)

    Just what one would expect from Yahoo “investigation”: total bullshit. Fortunately Moon of Alabama article does it justice: “Isikoff, Who First Peddled The Fake Steele Dossier, Invents New ‘Russian Influence’”

    Reply
    1. Cal2

      It’s an ad for a future series of ad fields masquerading as “journalism”.

      William Binney, the guy that worked for the NSA and invented data harvesting, claims that it’s a physical impossibility for Russia to have downloaded the Democrat’s data, thus Seth Rich, or someone like him did so with a thumb drive.

      “Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak—a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system. This casts serious doubt on the initial “hack,” as alleged, that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer.”

      Reply
    2. Tvc15

      I read the Yahoo investigation and thought the same, complete BS. Fortunately most of the comments weren’t fooled either. Where is the real investigative journalism and same with the Podesta emails with the coded language. I’m sure the MSM will get right on it. /s

      Thanks for the Moon of Alabama tip.

      Reply
  18. William Hunter Duncan

    “Why Closing Ohio’s Nuke Plants Will End Up Killing More Ohioans”

    I wonder when Forbes published an article about how many people died because globalization turned Ohio’s productive economy into a low-pay service economy? Yeah, never.

    I wonder when they ever wrote an article about how gov subsidies are a good thing? I guess whenever subsidies go to the wealthy owners of industry.

    What does Forbes actually care about those 100 people who would die without nuclear? Yeah, nada bit.

    Reply
    1. Cal2

      So why can’t Ohio’s nuclear plants buy liability insurance?

      Got government subsidies?
      Except for a tiny deductible, Americans must pay the almost unlimited price in dollars, the destruction of their land, property, their health and their genetic future for centralized obsolete stranded investment nuclear power.

      Reply
    2. Olga

      This is what the article says, in part:
      “A new scientific study finds that well over 100 additional deaths will occur each year if three at-risk nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania are closed prematurely and replaced by carbon-emitting, high-polluting fossil fuels.”
      The study did not consider what would happen if the nuclear plant capacity were replaced with renewables (in total, or in part). Oh no, that would have interfered with the (likely) pre-determined conclusions. Some study!

      Reply
      1. notabanker

        You should see what qualifies as renewables in Ohio. Better off burning coal in some instances. First Energy has no plans or motivation to expand solar and wind. They explicitly state on their website they have no interest in partnering with solar/wind farms and not to them about it. Ohio Public Utilities Commission is totally captured.

        Reply
      2. Mickey Hickey

        Angela Merkel made a very serious mistake when she made the knee jerk reaction of closing all German nuclear power plants in response to Fukushima. Germans are now back to hacking, coughting and dying prematurely due to highly polluting brown coal being burnt to replace clean nuclear power. What people tend to leave out of their calculations is that the coldest night of the year is usually the calmest and longest. Hence no wind power and much reduced solar power. One night of -20C (-4F) will cause frozen plumbing and very cold people without a reliable base power resource which means gas, oil or coal fired power generation. Similarly across a large swath of North America life is unlivable without air conditioning in summer. In response to an unreliable power source people will resort to wood, coal or oil heaters in residences which means London of the 1950s’ with people dying in their hundreds every week during smog events.

        Reply
    1. John k

      So, he worked a million hours in 30 months? Lessee now… say 33000 hours/month, rounding, now… 1000hours/day… that’s a long day… must be something wrong with my math.

      Reply
  19. Summer

    RE: ICE opens more detention centers

    If migration is down, then this is for roundups of people already in the country. I thought I saw that migration numbers were down.

    Once set up, they have to detain somebody. What happens when they run low of immigrants and refugees?

    Reply
    1. Monty

      That might take a while. A conservative estimate: They could catch an undocumented resident every 10 seconds (24/7) until the end of Trump’s second term in 2024, and still not run out of folks to detain.

      I would say it is physically impossible to make a dent in those kind of numbers, unless virtually everyone in the country gets a job at ICE.

      Jobs Guarantee Trump style?

      Reply
    2. BobW

      Once, in SoCal, an immigration agent was checking IDs at the place I worked. I asked him if he was going to send me back to Detroit, and he said “to the nearest border.”

      Reply
  20. Yves Smith

    I am sorry, the statement is correct as written. The parents are refusing to protect their children from serious diseases. This is no different than people who believe in faith healing and oppose surgery. The fact that their beliefs are their beliefs does not make them well founded or not dangerous to their children.

    The anti-vaxxers, as their various theories have been debunked, have shifted the basis of their arguments against the vaccines. One of the prime figures in the anti-vax movement, a woman with an autistic son, had dinner with a friend of mine and his wife is an academic/practitioner at one of the top West Coast teaching hospitals and a big proponent of evidence-based medicine. The doctor asked the anti-vaxxer about the research supporting her stance. As my friend put it, “The wives nearly came to blows.”

    Reply
    1. pjay

      Truly one of the greats.

      I recently happened on this clip of him playing with another one of my favorites, Molly Tuttle.

      Reply
  21. Cal2

    The school segregation issue Democrats should be talking about

    What parent wouldn’t want their child to go to this school district?
    “Most classes are as small as 15 to 20 students. There is an art and drama teacher, a science specialist, a computer instructor. The district ranks No. 10 in student spending out of nearly 1,000 statewide, shelling out nearly three times the state average per student.”

    “Yet children from second to seventh grades performed below the 40th percentile in language skills and reading ability, according to the most recent test scores available…Most go on to high school unprepared.”

    “It’s the biggest mess I’ve ever seen. It’s just getting worse and worse,” says Josephine Pearson, who left her teaching job at Sausalito’s Bayside/Martin Luther King School in January after nearly seven years of frustration.”

    How about nearby San Francisco? Highest property values, and thus transfer and property taxes in the nation. Political meddling and pupil safety, have made San Francisco schools a disaster, in spite of “achievement academies” and massive per pupil spending. Its public schools are proving grounds for failed ideologies. (got painted over murals? No access to neighborhood schools? School board members in prison?)

    10 best public elementary schools, San Francisco Bay Area
    “Other top areas included Albany, Piedmont and Marin’s posh town of Ross [a few miles away from Sausalito]— but not a single school in the City of San Francisco made the list.”

    “A handful of San Francisco schools have been classified in the bottom five percent statewide, according to a recent report.”

    Money is not the only solution to excellent schools.
    It’s involved parents, common sense politics and strong local control, in spite of what the wanna-be community wealth cream-skimmers of the original article claim.

    Reply
    1. Cal2

      And then there’s this: at least in California:

      “The deceit of the school bond lobby and its allies in the California Legislature is despicable. They keep trying to block a 2017 law requiring local governments to tell voters on the ballot how much proposed bond measures would cost taxpayers. Columnist Dan Walters last week uncovered the latest sleight of hand. In what is known in Sacramento parlance as “gut and amend,” they have taken an unrelated bill late in the legislative session, stripped it and inserted new language. SB 268 would now reverse the 2017 law.”

      “They don’t want voters to know that when they approve local bonds for cities, schools or other local government agencies they’re also opting to raise taxes. The bill is a cynical ploy intended to increase the chances of passage by keeping voters in the dark.”

      Reply
  22. pretzelattack

    idle thought–healthcare insurance is a protection racket “serviceable little body ya got there, be a shame if something happened to it”.

    maybe healthcare in this country should be classified as an extraction industry.

    Reply
    1. Carey

      “..maybe healthcare in this country should be classified as an extraction industry.”

      Yes, that *exactly* what it is, and those who run the racket plan on keeping it.

      Ask me about my (railroaded) four hour, $7700 ER visit, where I saw a Doc only in the last five-or-so minutes.. to be fair, that includes the five mile,
      $2100 am-bu-lance ride, though, so maybe it’s reasonable, after all?

      what a country

      Reply
      1. pretzelattack

        i love where you supposed to carefully consider who is in the network and who isn’t when you’re having a life threatening emergency, not that they always give you that information in the first place.
        empowering!

        Reply
  23. mnm

    The delivery robot isn’t new, there has been a file cabinet version out for years now. Can’t say I love it. Just replaces the dispatch people we would call to do these tasks.

    Reply
  24. Chris

    Sharing for fun I guess. It is Ok for the Speaker to have multiple interviews calling out AOC and her squad as being spoiled brats, or not understanding what’s really needed, or belittling them in public, but according to they can’t tweet about it or use any form communication that’s not Speaker approved. They should come talk to Nancy about any grievances that they have with other members of the House privately.

    Isn’t that nice?

    Reply
    1. nippersdad

      That was wild, wasn’t it?

      They really didn’t like being called the “child abuse caucus.” Especially with Bill newly in the news about the Epstein scandal, they are feeling the heat these days.

      About bloody time, too.

      Reply
  25. Jonathan Holland Becnel

    New Orleans flooding this morning outside my house in the Irish Channel.

    And this is just a normal flash flood!

    On Saturday we gonna get the Eastern tail whip of a weak Hurricane!

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      The Mississippi is supposed to crest @ 20 feet above sea level this weekend, which is the height of the levees in the Big Easy, better get a vessel from Ark*Mart.

      Reply
  26. divadab

    Re: Judy Ford Watson Center article “Negative partisanship predicts 2020 Pres. election”

    from article: “Start with the numerical fact that Trump “won” Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan with 47.22%, 48.18%, and 47.5% of the vote, respectively, after five times the normal number in those states cast their ballots for an option other than Trump or Clinton. This, combined with the depressed turnout of African Americans (targeted with suppression materials by the Russians) and left-leaning Independents turned off by Clinton (targeted with defection materials by the Russians) allowed Trump to pull off an improbable victory”

    Sorry – blaming Trump’s victory, at least partially on “Russian interference” damages the credibility of the entire article. I realize that Russia Russia Russia has become Democrat Party orthodox belief, but this just confirms to me the corruption and stupidity of the Dem apparatus. We would have had Pres Sanders but the Dems torpedoed him in favor of their corrupt warmonger incompetent candidate, and now we have Pres Trump. And the corrupt Dems are setting up to do the same again in 2020.

    I didn’t vote for either R or D Party’s Candidate in 2016 and I doubt I will in 2020 unless Bernie is the candidate. My money’s on the Dems enabling Trump to win again. Until the filthy corrupt Clintonite scum are purged (and maybe this Epstein thing will finally do just that), the Dems will keep losing.

    Reply
  27. Judith

    I am going to take a wild guess about today’s bird: an Old World Vulture called the Himalayan vulture or Himalayan griffon vulture (Gyps himalayensis).

    Reply
  28. Olga

    Why actual reform/progress in the US is not possible:

    “Lawmakers in Pennsylvania have quietly muscled power away from reformist District Attorney Larry Krasner, passing new legislation giving authority to the state’s attorney general to prosecute certain firearms violations in Philadelphia — and nowhere else in the state. The provision will expire in two years, or just after Krasner’s first term ends.”

    Reply
  29. Olga

    Amazon, Microsoft wage war over the Pentagon’s ‘war cloud’ AP
    Why would anyone want to do this? I’d assume anything in the cloud can (and will) be hacked.
    It’s like that comment from the post on P. Samuelson (thanks, btw): ” They only knew enough math to be blinded by it.”

    Reply
    1. prodigalson

      Because DoD senior leadership are the equivalent of grandparents in the 90’s sending money to that nice Nigerian prince who emailed them. Seriously.

      In addition to the obvious bad idea of the cloud they’re also betting the bank on artifical intelligence/machine learning to fix everything. Apparently they don’t have time to do a cursory google search for AI/ML problems.

      Reply
  30. Susan the other`

    Adam Levitin on Libra. It’s not a currency. It’s not efficient. It’s hard to see how it can be profitable. Blockchain is a useless for this. To serve the “unbanked”, catch 22 – Libra would have to establish some kind of bank account for them. And dealing as a clearinghouse/payment system for all those different currencies would carry both an exchange rate risk and a political risk. So my question once again, What on earth is Libra’s angle. How does Zuck plan to profit from this? If we knew that sinister detail all the confusing nonsense would surely fall into place.

    Reply
    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Few have noted that it’s not a cryptocurrency at all, where the user interacts directly with the chain/ledger. No, it’s a ‘custodial wallet”, in other words a massive extra-territorial tech company that gets 98% of its revenues from selling user data, will hold your funds for you

      Reply
  31. Susan Mulloy

    to help workers who are now at the mercy of employer’s erratic scheduling. If passed, this promises to really help retail workers.

    Reply
  32. Procopius

    I thought this was interesting:

    Additionally, the judge directed PG&E to explain why it paid $5 billion in dividends to shareholders before it declared bankruptcy in January.

    Also donated seveal million to legislators’ “favorite charities.”

    Reply
  33. pretzelattack

    so patients liked interacting with the robot more than with nurses. well, it’s a novelty. i remember reading an article linked here about how interacting remotely with a doctor wasn’t nearly that popular.

    Reply
  34. Lambert Strether

    Stoller writes:

    In other words, we should aim to restore open markets for content again. This means separating out the industry into production, distribution, and retailing.

    Or, idk, cede control of the means of production to the actors, writers, etc.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      No, no, no…It is not just the money. I do not think that subversive stuff like All in the Family, Cracked, Mad, Saturday Night Live(before its current neoliberish whimpiness), and other like media would be allowed to be shown or sold because comedy is almost inevitable subversive. Just like how editorial cartoons are going away. So to maintain control “controversial” movies, shows, and cartoons go away.

      I could easily make similar arguments the increasing suppression of sex workers including their use of internet sites for business use, the rise of identity politics, the vilification of pornography, and so on to control, not protect, people. I find it interesting that Jeffrey Epstein can run a child sex ring for the rich, the wealthy, the elite almost without consequences when so many Americans lives are destroyed for far milder indiscretions.

      Reply

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