Links 10/2/17

October 2, 2017

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Canada MPs to loosen penalties for drunks in kayaks BBC. The True North strong and free…

Where is the world’s largest hoard of looted antiquities? Syria? Iraq? Nope, London. Association for Research into Crimes Against Art

Lax regulation has turned Britain into a rentier’s paradise FT

MPs to review baby nuclear reactor plans as cheaper source of secure energy City AM (Richard Smith). Slogan: “Glowing Britain.”

Energy Secretary proposes rule to make grid managers favor coal, nuclear Ars Technica (CL).

SCE&G, Santee Cooper stuck with $244 million of unpaid bills left over from failed nuclear project Post and Courier

The Massive Hedge Fund Betting on AI Bloomberg

Bitter divisions over Uber board spill into public FT

Map of all known space debris [3543×2308] Reddit (CL). ごみ

Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, acute shortages plunge the masses into survival struggle Reuters. Remarkable to see “the masses” in a mainstream headline; I’m surprised Google’s algo didn’t supress it. Or not.

After first tour of Puerto Rico, top general calls damage ‘the worst he’s ever seen’ PBS

“So mad I could spit”: a former disaster relief official on Trump’s response to Puerto Rico Vox

In one Puerto Rican nursing home, a struggle to get power and keep patients alive Los Angeles Times

The Cruelest Storm: A Statement for Puerto Rico Latino Rebels

Commentary: How we could have prevented some of Puerto Rico’s misery Reuters

Puerto Ricans wrestle with question of whether to leave FT

Who Is Carmen Yulín Cruz, the Puerto Rican Mayor Criticized by Trump? NYT

Trump’s Disgraceful Puerto Rico Attack The American Conservative (Re Silc).

Where Are the Drones That Could Be Saving Puerto Rico? WIRED

Hurricane Alley

EPA: Hurricane Harvey compromised cap on toxic waste site Texas Tribune

In the Keys, workers already struggled to find affordable housing. Then Irma hit. Miami Herald

In a Warming World, Keeping the Planes Running NYT


Cabinet is split over how Brexit should happen, Hammond admits Guardian

London prepares to say goodbye to EU agencies EU Oberver

Watch moment appalled ambassador stops Boris Johnson reciting colonial poem in Burma’s holiest site Independent. Kipling’s Mandalay. Fortunately, the Ambassador bottled up Johnson before he got to this line: “Bloomin’ idol made o’ mud / Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd.” Holy moley.

What Went Wrong With France’s Deradicalization Program? The Atlantic


Catalan premier announces he will declare independence in coming days El Pais

Rajoy faces huge task after Catalonia independence referendum FT

Catalonia referendum: How did we get here? Politico

Violenza sul voto in Catalogna: oltre 800 feriti. Rajoy: “Il referendum una messa in scena” La Stampa (DG). With videos.

North Korea

Escalating tension has experts simulating a new Korean War, and the scenarios are sobering Los Angeles Times

Russia Provides New Internet Connection to North Korea 38 North. This is good, I think; the last think we want is NK cut off from everything.

Kim Jong-nam murder: Women plead not guilty in Malaysia trial BBC


China cuts banks’ reserve requirement

China’s Djibouti military base: ‘logistics facility’, or platform for geopolitical ambitions overseas? South China Morning Post

New Cold War

What Russian Meddling In Elections Might Have Looked Like Forbes. Different from what you might expect from the headline.

Facebook to Deliver 3,000 Russia-Linked Ads to Congress on Monday NYT

British courts may unlock secrets of how Trump campaign profiled US voters Guardian. Anything to avoid the idea that you’ve got to knock on doors and provide universal concrete material benefits!

The Equifax Hack Has the Hallmarks of State-Sponsored Pros Bloomberg (MR). As always, attribution is hard…

Why Swedish troops just finished their biggest war games in 23 years The Economist

Trump Transition

Scoop: Trump urges staff to portray him as “crazy guy” Axios. Interesting and if true, all the liberal Democrat handwringing is helping him.

Trump plans a pivot to deregulation, pushing roll back of Obama-era red-tape CNBC

4 ideas in the GOP tax plan that Democrats should support The Week

Silicon Valley all in on tax reform Politico

Health Care

Time’s up: As CHIP expires unrenewed, Congress blows a chance to save healthcare for 9 million children Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

Failure To Approve Oklahoma Waiver Undermines Trust Between HHS And States Health Affairs. The language is Health Affairs is ordinarily much more measured….

Class Warfare

Wealth Inequality Is Higher Than Ever Jacobin

“I Wanted to Tell the Story of How I Had Become a Racist”: An Interview with Historian Charles B. Dew History News Network

The New Establishment Vanity Fair. Five Horsemen right up there?

Save your Saturdays: Why you shouldn’t get a side hustle to pay off debt HuffPo

The Plan to Erode the Rights of Workers to Act Collectively Portside

One in five reporters lives in NY, DC or LA Axios. How provincial.

This “Ghost Gun” Machine Now Makes Untraceable Metal Handguns WIRED

The science of being nice World Economic Forum

The surprising benefits of anxiety Quartz

Mainstream macroeconomics credibility went out the window years ago Bill Mitchell

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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