Links 7/23/2017

July 23, 2017

Links 7/23/2017

Yellowstone Bears Eat 40,000 Moths a Day In August Yellowstone Park

Court blocks $18 billion British class action against MasterCard Reuters

German Carmakers Face Potential New Scandal Over Antitrust Issues NYT

Big Tobacco and right-wing US billionaires funding anti-regulation hardliners in the EU Corporate Europe Observatory (MT).

Why is neoliberalism back in Latin America? Al Jazeera

Lawmakers divided over a ban on Venezuelan oil amid fears of a Russian takeover McClatchy. “Takeover” of Citgo, in which Rosneft has a 49.9% stake, Citgo being a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).

Tennessee jails have been shortening sentences for inmates who get vasectomies or birth control implants Business Insider

After protests, St. Louis to install air conditioning in sweltering jail Reuters

There’s a Marijuana Frenzy That Could End Very Badly in Canada Bloomberg



Israel said set to replace Temple Mount metal detectors with fenced access paths Times of Israel

UN, aid group: Cholera in Yemen to worsen in rainy season ABC

Iran unveils new missile production line Al Jazeera

How ISIS nearly stumbled on the ingredients for a ‘dirty bomb’ WaPo


Britain Wants To Keep Free Movement For UK Nationals Living In The EU But Not For EU Citizens In The UK Buzzfeed

BREXIT WARNING: Millionaire Remainers to launch party if Corbyn goes further left Express. “Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has reportedly held talks with a number of wealthy individuals including Hull City owner Dr Assem Allam, who donated £700,000 to Labour under Ed Miliband.”

Emmanuel Macron lays claim to the mantle of de Gaulle FT

Le Pen’s soul-searching: 5 key issues for her party Politico

Protecting the Cheaters: EU Regulators in Bed With German Auto Industry Regarding Diesel MishTalk (EM).

How Greece lost a great chance to break the chains from the European Financial Dictatorship the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens (ChrisSp).


In China, Silicon Valley Giants Confront New Walls NYT

China’s Hukou System Foreign Policy

Japan Captures More Photographs of Likely Melted Fukushima Fuel Bloomberg

Why India Must Go Beyond Loan Waivers to Free Farmers From Debt The Wire

Cheap 3D printed prosthetics could be game changer for Nepal The Star

New Cold War

John Brennan and Jim Clapper trash Trump for his relations with Putin, attacks on intelligence community. Politico. A torturer and a perjurer, respectively.

* * *

The Long-Delayed Jeff Sessions Reveal emptywheel

How our Intel Agencies Screwed us by Letting Sessions, Trumpies get away with Russia Scheme Juan Cole (Re Silc). Cole:

Me, I’m angry. I’m angry because the US intel community had this information in summer of 2016 and they’re only leaking it now. You mean they could have blown the whistle on the Trump gang over the Russian contacts and they didn’t bother? It is too late now

* * *

Trump Says He Has ‘Complete Power’ to Pardon NYT

Yes, Trump can legally pardon himself or his family. No, he shouldn’t (Jonathan Turley) and No, Trump can’t pardon himself. The Constitution tells us so (Larry Tribe) WaPo

How Will Trump’s Attack Dogs Affect Mueller’s Russia Investigation? Foreign Policy. From the heart of The Blob and a must-read.

Jill Stein looped into widening investigation of Russia and Trump Jr. connections The Hill

Jeb Bush calls out Republicans who criticized Obama over Russia, but have been silent on the Trump-Russia probe Business Insider

* * *

Congress Reaches Deal on Russia Sanctions, Setting Up Tough Choice for Trump NYT

Call for new Ukraine state serves Moscow’s goals FT

Big Oil warns new Russia sanctions could deal out US companies New Europe (MT).

This *Is* Normal. American Politics Have Always Been Terrible. Daily Beast

Trump Transition

Washington Outsiders Learn Hard Way That Swamp Is Alive And Well Bloomberg

That’s cold! Sean Spicer ‘stole a mini-fridge from White House junior staffers under the cover of darkness’ Daily Mail. Ouch!

Republicans embrace tax hike targeting Democratic states AP

Will Donald junior’s conduct jolt Republicans? The Economist

Democrats in Disarray

Could Kamala Harris revive the fractured Democratic party for the 2020 election? Guardian. “[R]eportedly wowing big Democratic donors at an event in the Hamptons this month…”

Tim Kaine: Democrats need to talk to the middle class USA Today

Bernie Sanders needs a protégé The Week

Bernie Sanders makes first move against a bill with bipartisan support that could increase fracking Mic (UserFriendly).

In Colorado Fracking Fight, Emails Show Constituents ‘Begging’ Lawmakers For Help International Business Times

Our Famously Free Press

Washington Post Shoots for Pulitzer in Fake News With Reporting on Disability CEPR

Health Care

Pence puts subtle squeeze on Portman over healthcare at Columbus fundraiser Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Portman sounds squishy.

CBO Finds Growing, Harmful Impact of Senate GOP Bill’s Medicaid Per Capita Cap Center for Budget and Policy Priorities

CBO: Under the latest Senate healthcare bill, deductibles could be more than some people earn Business Insider

Trump administration scraps Obamacare signup assistance in 18 cities CNBC

Message to Democrats: Get on Board With Medicare For All or Go Home Common Dreams

Medicare For All Is Coming, No Matter What They Say Richard Eskow, Moyers and Company

Thousands flock to free medical clinic, as Washington dithers on health care WaPo. Third World stuff.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Amazon may give app developers access to Alexa audio recordings The Verge. Yikes.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Donald Trump and the Coming Fall of American Empire The Intercept

America’s New $13 Billion Aircraft Carrier Is Still Far From Ready Jalopnik. Can’t launch or recover aircraft, planned to be F-35Cs….

How the Pentagon’s Handling of Munitions and Their Waste has Poisoned America ProPublica (GF).

Class Warfare

A Dozen Lessons on Investing from Ed Thorp 25iq (via Felix Salmon). “The first thing people who have control do is tilt the playing field. Maybe the majority of wealth is accumulated because of tilted playing fields. Not because of merit.”

Subversion of Social Movements by Adversarial Agents (PDF) International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. “Regardless of size, one fact about social movements is unchanging: their physical embodiment is always local. That is, social movements are the sum of the actions of individuals who are themselves in only one place—omnipresence is something that exists only in fantasy movies.”

A snapshot of the jobs malaise Axios (Re Silc).

Employers of Reddit, what jobs are you finding to be impossible to fill? Reddit/AskReddit

The ideology of “the market” Stumbling and Mumbling

The Class Renegade NYRB

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered.

To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


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