Links 9/17/17

September 17, 2017

The new economy of excrement Nature

The Equifax fiasco is a classic case of ‘weapon of math destruction’ WaPo

How badly did Equifax breach damage the Social Security system? McClatchy

Equifax Holds Contract to Verify Data of Obamacare Customers Bloomberg

Internet Tax Ruling Worth Billions Poised for Supreme Court Review Bloomberg

EU efforts to impose heavier taxes on tech giants gather momentum FT

California Legislature Sells Out Our Data to ISPs EFF

Here’s how much social media stars get paid to post ads Recode

Researchers find summer heat’s lasting longer in the Gulf of Maine Portland Press-Herald (study). “Since 2004, the Gulf of Maine – which extends from Massachusetts to the head of the Bay of Fundy and includes all of coastal Maine – has warmed faster than anyplace else on the planet, except for an area northeast of Japan.”

You’re probably drinking little bits of plastic in your tap water Quartz

Real estate industry blocks sea-level warnings that could crimp profits on coastal properties McClatchy

Where modern macroeconomics went wrong Real World Economics Review (MT).


Crime and Punishment Harpers (DG)

Afghanistan – U.S. Resolved To Repeat Failures Moon of Alabama

OUTRAGEOUS: Whiny Sen. Rand Paul tries ending the war in Afghanistan after only 16 years Duffel Blog

Digging In for Next Decade, U.S. Expands Kabul Security Zone NYT

‘I Want to Finish This’: US Special Ops Leaders Urge Washington to Stick by the Syrian Kurds Defense One

Saudi Arabia Cracks Down on Dissenting Clerics Amid Rumors of Crown Prince’s Rise to Throne The Intercept

Venezuela to End Dollar-Denominated Oil Deals, Currency Exchanges Venezuelanalysis

Venezuela’s Maduro upbeat on talks, opposition fear ‘show’ Reuters

Brazil’s Elite Have Fallen To Pieces Forbes


Frustrated EU fears Britain is ‘heading for the Brexit rocks’ Guardian

Boris Johnson resurrects the Leave campaign’s £350m for NHS fantasy The New Statesman

Boris Johnson outburst challenges Theresa May’s Brexit leadership FT

Spain tightens grip over Catalan spending as tensions soar France24

What Spain has to lose from Catalan independence Politico

Commentary: Labor reform in France’s Macron economy Reuters


The China Puzzle NYT

The live stream industry in China should reach $5 billion this year Quartz

The New Cold War

The Russian Hacking Story Continues to Unravel Counterpunch (original).

The (Thus Far) Flimsy Case for Republican Cooperation on Russian Targeting emptywheel

Trump and Russia: what does Robert Mueller know? Gillian Tett, FT

* * *

Envoy welcomes Russian idea for UN troops in eastern Ukraine Guardian

Ukraine requests new weapons from US as Russia kicks off huge military exercise Independent

Harvard Fellowships Have Always Been a Joke Foreign Policy (MR).

Trump Transition

Trump Administration Seeks to Avoid Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord, International Climate Officials Say WSJ. The administration is now saying nothing has changed, but the article is reasonably sourced.

Teflon Don confounds Democrats Politico. “Pollsters are shocked by how many voters describe themselves as ‘exhausted’ by the constant chaos surrounding Trump, and they find that there’s strong support for a Congress that provides a check on him rather than voting for his agenda most of the time. But he is still viewed as an outsider shaking up the system, which people in the various surveys say they like, and which Democrats don’t stack up well against.”

Health Care

I watched my patients die of poverty for 40 years. It’s time for single-payer. WaPo. This:

In my 27 years at these two safety-net hospitals, not one of my patients received an organ or bone marrow transplant. Yet the organs that fed the transplant centers across the region came from the dying patients in these hospitals. Our patients — the poorest of the poor — gave, but they never received.

The loss of morality in America’s health-care debate WaPo

Single-Payer Movement Shows: Life After Trump May Not Suck Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

CBO Sees Slow Growth For Exchanges; Administration Promotes Agents And Brokers In Marketplaces Health Affairs

Congress Enters Legal Fight to Block Release of Obamacare Repeal Emails American Oversight. A bipartisan effort.

Democrats in Disarray

Why Democrats Should Dump ‘Free College’ Washington Monthly

The ‘Hillary safe space’ that divided the American left BBC. The Beeb late to the party on Verrit.

Harvard Business School’s Latest Case Study Looks at American Politics and Finds a Rigged System WSJ

What’s happening to rural mental health center is sickening Des Moines Register

Our Famously Free Press

With scripted comedy videos, The Washington Post wants to provide “new entry points to the news” Nieman Labs

Did The Washington Post Break A Law When It Disciplined A Reporter Over A Jeff Bezos Op-Ed? HuffPo

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Heated protests follow Stockley acquittal St Louis Post-Dispatch and READ: Entire judgment in Jason Stockley case KSDK

Fired/Rehired WaPo

Guillotine Watch

‘Those were no warning shots’ : Security guard describes the moment Porsche-driving lawyer shot homeless man Daily Mail

Class Warfare

The day that destroyed the working class and sowed the seeds of Trump NY Post

6 Things Juggalo Culture Teaches Us About Trump Cracked (January 2017 but still useful). So far as I can tell, the Juggalos are the Burning Man of the working class. That’s why the FBI classifies them as a gang, but not the CEOs attending Burning Man, despite the wage-fixing cartel that they ran.

Democratic Socialists group endorses ‘Juggalo March’ in DC The Hill. What a time to be alive!

Psychologists studied 5,000 genius kids for 45 years — here are their 6 key takeaways Business Insider

How Reading Rewires Your Brain for More Intelligence and Empathy Big Think

Antidote du jour (via the Snow Leopard Trust):

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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