World Order

China’s vision of world order is a more radical departure—and more realistic alternative—than the West understands. - For the world as a whole, this seem like a better plan than Trump's MAGA.


How Plutocratic Media Keeps Staff Aligned With Establishment Agendas - Being part of the US media is like being in the cool kids group in high school.  You have to play by their rules or you are banished to the lower classes.


Dollar Stores Are Targeting Struggling Urban Neighborhoods and Small Towns. One Community Is Showing How to Fight Back. - If you live near a dollar store, you might be a redneck..... or at least poor.


The people don't get what they want. Found at The Big Picture

Fake News

One of these headlines is not like the others. Google News 2018.12.08

Saudis vs Turks

Haaretz playing for the Saudi side? (Haaretz.com 2018.12.11)




4 Deceptive Mobile Ad Tricks and What Marketers Can Learn From Them
Placing a brown pixel on a bright pink background to look like a piece of dust.

Scammers are everywhere

Money Laundering Via Author Impersonation on Amazon?


Barry Ritholz on Behavioral Finance and Asset management: part 1part 2, and part 3


Your Phone is listening

Medicare for All

Medicare for All Is Even Better Than You Thought
"Medicare for All advocates just received an early holiday present: a new study from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst finds that single-payer health care will save the US $5.1 trillion over a decade while drastically cutting working-class Americans’ health spending." 
Medicare for All saves 5.1 trillion over 10 years and cuts working-class health care spending...so fuck all you right-wing hacks who keep saying "we can't afford 33 trillion" or "taxes would have to double" etc.... Medicare for all would be cheaper than what we're paying now.

"Sure we could start posting prices and discussing our costs, but then it turns into a public debate about transparency, and people get all huffy and self-righteous about $15 pills of Tylenol, $93 to turn on a single goddamned light, or $5,000 worth of sanitary gloves. We’d rather just mail you a bill later for $97,000, full of obscure medical codes you can’t understand."


How much Democracy can You afford? The American Conservative
 "In fact, of the 37 senators who voted against the measure, 30 have received campaign contributions from lobbying firms working for the Saudis. In total, an analysis of Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) records reveals at least $226,182 in campaign contributions reported by firms registered to represent Saudi Arabia that went to these 30 senators over the past two years."

Once Again, Fox News Wants To 'Dial Down Rhetoric' After Threats
Up until the hour CNN received a credible bomb threat, Fox News was happy to portray their competition as lacking deference to Donald Trump at the very least. Now it's all about "turning down the temperature."
The progressive left is fighting back against the right-wing propaganda outfits. I'm not sure the D's ever will.

Nailed It



Rs of today vs Rs of Bush I. 

The Republican Party Has Changed Dramatically Since George H.W. Bush Ran It -  R's today are older, whiter, less-educated, and more-rural than in Pop Bush's time. With today's conservative views honed by the Fox Propaganda network, H.W. would be a blue dog democrat now.

Be an Artist

How to Be an Artist 33 rules to take you from clueless amateur to generational talent (or at least help you live life a little more creatively).

Political Change

Stumbling and Mumbling: CHANGING THE AGENDA -  I'm not sure this will work with left-ish issues. Once a left-ish idea like medicare-for-all is out there, the full might and wealth of the business-corporate class will come down against it.

Out There

Genuinely weird cartoons - The Perry Bible fellowship

Corrupt Politicians

Israel police recommend PM Netanyahu be charged with bribery -
"Netanyahu has dismissed the accusations as a witch-hunt."
A "Witch-Hunt" imagine that. Trump started a movement.

Free Speech

The always good Gin and Tacos on Marc Hill's Palestine comments. Gin and Tacos: To The Ramparts!

Also,....from Al Jazeera
".. calling for the freedom of Palestinians and for the recognition of their rights is not anti-Semitic; it is pro-Palestinian."
Here's one you won't find on NYT, WP, CNN, Fox, or MSNBC - What if Osama bin Laden Had Legitimate Grievances?




Cutting taxes doesn't necessarily spur an economy and lead to job growth. It failed miserably in Kansas.


Stumbling and Mumbling: Against Debate - I have to agree. Televised debates are crappy as hell and favor the showman-car salesman-emotional types more than thoughtful-intelligent types.


The Joy of Evil

Taleb recently tweeted..
So our level of evil is near constant but as we progress we open up more avenues for that evil to show itself and technology will always be leveraged to make that same level of evil more destructive?

Related....  Snooker players throwing matches - Chinese pair banned in snooker corruption scandal and Chess players cheating

Why They Hate Us

CNN fires contributor Marc Lamont Hill for criticising Israel - Talk about being politically correct....

Glenn Greenwald on CNN, Hill, and free speech - CNN Submits to Right-Wing Outrage Mob

Juan Cole is pissed about it,  The Bottomless Dishonesty of CNN on Palestine and Marc Lamont Hill Firing
.. "Hill admittedly does not think a two-state solution is any longer plausible. But what he was calling for was for the people living in the Occupied territories to be full citizens, and to have these citizenship rights pertain to everyone living between the river and the sea. He did not say anything about Israelis not having equal rights."
.. "CNN does a criminally negligent job of covering Palestine, giving us little better than Israeli propaganda. For the most part, it shapes the presentation of the story by simply ignoring it. But it also shapes the story with a systematically biased language intended to demonize the Palestinians and exonerate Israeli crimes against humanity."
(read the whole thing)

Medicare for All

Democrats Taking Key Leadership Jobs Have Pocketed Millions From Pharma: Top House Republican also received more than $1 million from drugmakers since 2007.

Bush I - RIP

George H.W. Bush -  RIP - The last R I supported.

George H.W. Bush was arguing against the settlements in 1991. Obama was arguing against the settlements as late as 2015. Trump has given in, Israel and AIPAC won on both the settlement and the Jerusalem issue.  Still, the win may lead to a loss as now the world sees a two state solution is no longer viable making Israels future as a democracy in question. - Haaretz: from Bush to Trump: How the GOP Evolved on Israel
Israel represents a specific foreign policy issue that highlights how much the Republican Party has changed since the days of Bush’s leadership. As president, he was willing to clash with Israel and the pro-Israel lobby in Washington in ways that are impossible to imagine in the current GOP.

In 1991, he fought hard against the request of a right-wing Israeli government, led by the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, to receive billions in loan guarantees from the United States. Bush demanded an obligation from Shamir that the money would not be used for housing in the settlements in the West Bank. Shamir refused, and Bush urged Congress not to give Israel the guarantees.

At the height of the clash over the issue, Bush went after the pro-Israel lobby in Washington. He held a press conference in the White House and said: “We’re up against very strong and effective groups that go up to Capitol Hill. I hear today there were something like a thousand lobbyists on the Hill working on the other side of this question.” Referring to himself, Bush then added that “we’ve only got one lonely little guy down here doing it.”

The only Republican in D.C. who would make such a statement today is the libertarian Sen. Rand Paul, an isolationist who otherwise has nothing in common with the foreign policy views of the 41st president.



Cool Stuff


How much justice can you afford?  The headline hits on Trump but this story is more about how our justice system favors the wealthy. Epstein had both R and Ds involved but they were all wealthy, powerful and elite.

How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime -
Facing a 53-page federal indictment, Epstein could have ended up in federal prison for the rest of his life.

But on the morning of the breakfast meeting, a deal was struck — an extraordinary plea agreement that would conceal the full extent of Epstein’s crimes and the number of people involved.

Not only would Epstein serve just 13 months in the county jail, but the deal — called a non-prosecution agreement — essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes, according to a Miami Herald examination of thousands of emails, court documents and FBI records.

The pact required Epstein to plead guilty to two prostitution charges in state court. Epstein and four of his accomplices named in the agreement received immunity from all federal criminal charges. But even more unusual, the deal included wording that granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators’’ who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes. These accomplices or participants were not identified in the agreement, leaving it open to interpretation whether it possibly referred to other influential people who were having sex with underage girls at Epstein’s various homes or on his plane.

As part of the arrangement, Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims. As a result, the non-prosecution agreement was sealed until after it was approved by the judge, thereby averting any chance that the girls — or anyone else — might show up in court and try to derail it.
For more on Epstein and his famous friends, this from Naked Capitalism
"How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime Miami Herald. It’s good that the Epstein sack of pus has been lanced, again, but see Gawker back in 2015, before Hulk Hogan and Peter Theil mortally wounded it: Flight Logs Put Clinton, Dershowitz on Pedophile Billionaire’s Sex Jet, and Billionaire Pervert Jeffrey Epstein and His Famous Friends: A Primer. It makes sense, when you think about it, that private planes would be a lawless hellscape where elites, very much elites plural, indulge their worst (and thoroughly bipartisan) impulses with even more impunity than they already have. Private planes are like private equity in that way."


Fox planting seeds of fear. (the top image on the website 11/29/2018). I am a little surprised they didn't mention the middle-east, criminal, or terrorist.

Drudge doing its part, passing along Trump's misinformation. (Top of the page 11/29/2018)

Trump and the Middle East

More on Trump, The Saudis and Israel.

If The Saudi's Oil No Longer Matters Why Is Trump Still Supporting Them?
Support for the Saudi war on Yemen will not help to achieve that. Pandering to MbS is not MAGA.
What’s Behind the US-Saudi Nuclear Mega-Deal? Up to 16 nuclear power plants for civilian purposes? Really?
"Either, that the electricity-needy Saudi kingdom is truly embarking on a nearly half-trillion-dollar endeavor to bring reliable, carbon free energy to its people and perhaps the region as well. 
Or, that this is merely a cynical ploy to dangle an enormous contract in front of gullible Americans in order to obtain nuclear fuel enrichment technology." 


Why Trump Won?

This chart found here [Restoring middle-class incomes: redistribution won’t do]

The Rs look out for the rich. The Ds look out for the poor. No one was looking out for the middle class.


Cool Stuff. 

The 100 Best Pens, As Tested by Strategist Editors Gels, ballpoints, rollerballs, felt-tips, and fountain pens — we tried them all. - I love a good pen.


They hate us for our Freedoms? Bowing to Saudi Pressure, Trump stops UN Yemen Ceasefire (-CNN)

Why?  Trump in the WP,...  
"Now, are we going to stay in that part of the world? One reason to is Israel. Oil is becoming less and less of a reason because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced. So, you know, all of a sudden it gets to a point where you don’t have to stay there."
"One reason to [stay in the middle east] is Israel"  He's right, Israel is one big reason we are fighting in the middle east but I don't think he's supposed to say that out loud.


IRL Ads Are Taking Scary Inspiration From Social Media - The billboards are watching you - Just another tool businesses will use to mine the wealth of the people.

Trump says he’ll cut GM’s subsidies. - Gosh, I remember when the R's didn't want the Government picking winners and losers. They demand government worship "Business and The Market" when the D's are in power and then demand that "businesses conform to the Governments wishes" when the R's are in power.

Farm Bankruptcies up


Trump proposes a government-run TV news network to counter CNN. - Three thoughts.....

  • We had a decent government-run radio network in NPR but the R's tried to kill it off because they didn't like the message. 
  • Fox is the R run Government Network.
  • Pence tried to do this in Indiana but was stopped.

Medicare for All

FDA promised a ‘lower-cost option’ to EpiPen, but the price isn’t any lower



Cool Stuff


Americans pay some of the highest prices for wireless data in the world, and it's going to get worse - Americans pay more for everything because we live in a capitalist paradise where businesses see the American people as a resource to be mined for its dollars.

It's Insurance Scam Season, Now and Forever -  I think there are more scammers working the streets of America than at any point in my lifetime.

There May Never Be a Better Time to Unionize Your Workplace. Do It Now - This is probably the best thing the American worker can do to improve their lives. Voting R, D, or Trump is not going to help. Voting SD will help eventually but it's going to take a while.

How Companies Get You to Pay More for the Same Product (Nov 16th) - not a great article but the idea that "Businesses are just mining the people for cash" comes through.

Targeted Advertising Is Ruining the Internet and Breaking the World - Building a better mining infrastructure.

Colbert on Fox

Government  - Politics

Hillary Clinton: Europe must curb immigration to stop rightwing populists - HRC is the one thing guaranteed to unite the Fox News Watchers and divide the D's. She needs to get the hell out of US and world politics.

2016 or beating a dead horse.

DID EITHER DONALD TRUMP’S OVERT RACISM OR FAUX ECONOMIC POPULISM GET HIM ELECTED PRESIDENT - So Trump got fewer votes than Romney. Trump got fewer votes from white people than Romney. Hillary Clinton got exactly three percent (OK 3.01%) less of the total vote than Barack Obama received. So,..... we're back to "HRC was a crappy candidate". People don't like her. She's looks like a tool of the D elite. In her defense, Fox and RW media had been working to destroy her since day one but still.... she was a crappy candidate!


Fox, Keeping the Rage on 11. One Tweet and a few replies and it makes the Fox front page. Your crazy uncle will be pissed.

What If Trump Actually Tries to Serve Three Terms? -  OK. So the left can try to enrage it's folks too. Still this isn't front page on a top national news network.



Americans... sheesh...

The Egregious Lie Americans Tell Themselves - The richest country in the world
"The social wealth of a society is better measured by the quality of its common lived environment than by a consolidated statistical approximation like GDP, or even an attempt at weighted comparisons like so-called purchasing power parity. There is a reason why our great American cities, for all of our supposed wealth, often feel and look so shabby. The money goes elsewhere. "

StoneKettle Station on worshiping the our military - Veteran's day - Read the whole thing.
Because after the wreaths are laid, and the flags are lowered, and the trumpets sound their final mournful call, then the politicians will return to the same old divisions, the tax bill, the latest pork barrel project, or how the other party is a bunch of unpatriotic un-American bastards.

Tomorrow they’ll remember us not at all – or at best, only as a way to further their own selfish agendas.

The talk show hosts will cry their crocodile tears, and wax self-righteous and angrily demand that their listeners honor veterans. They'll take people to task for not wearing an American Flag pin, or for not having a yellow ribbon on their cars, or for not serving in uniform, all the while hoping nobody calls them on their own service, of which, most have exactly none.

And tomorrow, as always, they’ll forget all about us and go back to telling Americans to hate each other.

The Great Patriots, those Americans who think love of country is a contest and who wave the flag as if it were the cheap symbol of their favorite football team, are going to drink a lot of beer and discount liquor and pontificate drunkenly at great length about how the country is going to hell in a hand-basket because of that son of a bitch in [insert: Congress, the White House, Wall Street, et cetera here] and how we should be doing better by our “Heroes.” All the while hoping nobody calls them on their own service, of which, most have exactly none.

And tomorrow, they’ll nurse their sullen hung-over resentment and go back to fearing that the men and women they honor today will knock on their door to take away their freedoms and liberties and guns.


Playing with Fire
As has been well documented, a huge number of people can no longer tell the difference between news and opinion, fact and fiction, when they read and watch each day. More disturbing is the fact that so few of them seem to mind or even want to know the veracity of what they’re consuming.

I get the feeling people who see Fox and the conservative media cult is the problem are beginning to fight back (well, at least bring it up). The WP, A David Brooks milquetoast attempt?A David Horsey example


Also,  Stochastic Terrorism

Trumps lies about coal. 2018 is the top year for coal retirements since 2015.

Surveillance capitalism and targeted advertising have become the norm on the internet, and it's hurting all of us
Using target marketing, big data, and social media to
  • trick us into buying crap we don't really need = good ??  
  • trick us into buying crap politics that we don't really need = bad ??

Israel vs Palestine

The "How to Steal Land" cookbook. A familiar invasion: Settlers take another mountain top, soldiers follow, and Palestinians demonstrate for their rights


Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
"..the existing Democratic Party leadership is plainly trying to find ways to tap the bourgeoning energy [provided by the Bernie Sanders ‘democratic socialism’ insurgency] for purposes of increasing electoral turnout, while playing with the [Sanders] movement’s issues [single-payer and more] like a cat with a ball of yarn"
The R establishment played the same game with the wingnuts for a few years but eventually the crazy conservative class drove the more moderate, RHINO - R's out. 
Hopefully the D's establishment will be jerked to the left or thrown out too. The center is the problem. 

Why the D leadership needs to go and other thoughts from Jeffrey St. Clair......


Fox Propaganda

Good example of Fox Propaganda…..(as of 8am Nov 16, 2018)

This is the top headline on Foxnews.com this morning (Nov 16, 2018).

Fox tells its viewers that Harris compared ICE to “hooded, cross-burning KKK racists”.

Where this is highlighted……

Watch the video at the top (she comes in around 2:45). I can’t find any place in the video where she says anything like this. 

I did some more searching and found this link to a longer version of the video.

The only mention of KKK I can find is when she’s asking him why he referred to liberal democrats as being like the KKK.

Fox is just misrepresenting the discussion.

They shouldn't be allowed to call themselves "news" 


Sunday Night

My Gawd....

Presidential Medal of Freedom’ — Miriam Adelson
Not only is Trump NOT draining the swamp, he’s giving the swamp the highest civilian award in the nation.

The Election

Why Aren't Democrats More Excited About the 2018 Results - Easy,... the same old D leadership.

Israel vs Palestine

Israeli Snipers Shoot 6 Children, 9 Women & 22 Other Unarmed Protesters in Gaza

Trump and Jeff Sessions.

We should not be giving Trump hell for firing Sessions. Sessions is a conservative dick who would take this country back to the 1850s if he could. Firing him was a good thing, we should be celebrating. Still, we should be giving Trump hell for the temporary appointment who seems to be a corrupt, right-wing dick in the Fox/Hannity/Tucker mold.

The World Order

I’m not saying that reform in Ukraine is a bad idea. But you can’t preach freedom, democracy, and all the rest of it, if what you  practice is something very different. When ‘liberal international order’ is just code for ‘bash her on the head’ till she does what we want, the liberal international order is in trouble. But the root of the trouble doesn’t lie without; it lies within.




It's November 8th and I notice Fox doesn't have anything about the immigrant caravan on the front page of their website?  Imagine that, it's just dropped from the front page. Well that's Fox, Authentic Fake News.


Richest countries in the world - Maybe we're not so great


On Trump politics… I don’t really blame Trump so much as I blame Fox-type media who’ve spent the last 20 years filling their audience with Trump-like beliefs. The Great Divide



The Election

The Election

Somehow I feel like a 12 year old kid at Christmas, all excited to unwrap a great big present, only to find it holds the same present as last year, three pair of socks and an ugly sweater.

This was buried in the comments [here].

Yeah, but Pelosi and Hoyer are still there and they are just not that good.

Instead of Medicare-for-all we get a promise of an attempt at bipartisanship.

At least they might throw some sand in the gears of the more radical R agenda.

Also,.. The Resistance Is Not a Call for Restoration -  After the midterms, Democrats must embrace the insurgencies that have reenergized the people and the party.

Trump, Full of Shit, All the Time

Last week Trump tweeted "If you want your stocks to go down, Vote Democrat".

Yesterday most of the country did and this is what the market did today.


Election Day

The Election

I agree - Go Time!

Health Care Spending

Mainly Macro: Health spending over time
In 1970 health spending was between 4-6% of GDP in these 5 countries, but by 2016 it was between 9-16% of GDP. (There is a definitional break in the UK series in 2013: there was no leap of spending in 2013 as earlier graphs show.) If there is any organisational lesson here, it is not to run a health service in the way they do in the US. It is indicative of the mess the world is currently in that politicians are busy trying to dismantle the positive recent reforms in the US and key politicians in the UK have once talked about making the UK health system more US like.


Fox News Is Poisoning America. Rupert Murdoch and His Heirs Should Be Shunned.
The question now is whether America’s great and good, having deplored the rising tide of far-right violence, are willing to confront the family that controls the largest platform of intolerance.


A pretty good summary of the US by Barry Ritholtz, inspired by Trump. Trump the Revealer


The Southernization of the Midwest

Capitalism - Socialism

The Scandinavian Style of Capitalism -  Every person in the "liberal" media should read this. Right-wingers and Fox don't care to.

Private Armies

Paper Cuts: The American President and the Prince of WarRelentless war privateer Erik Prince won’t stop until he persuades President Trump to let him take charge of U.S. operations in Afghanistan. - be sure to browse the embedded documents.




This administration is just full of dicks - John Bolton just gave an “Axis of Evil” speech about Latin America: The US will now go after a so-called “Troika of Tyranny”: Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

Showing the world they don't give a damn about human rights. - Netanyahu Asked Trump to Stick With Saudi Crown Prince After Khashoggi Murder Citing U.S. officials, Washington Post reports Netanyahu described Mohammed bin Salman as a 'strategic ally' in the Middle East -

That Liberal Media

USAToday tries but fails. - Seema Verma of the Trump administration says about Medicare-For-All
It’s a multi-trillion drain on the American economy that will bankrupt future generations," she said in the statement.
The article disputes that at the very end with this.
Politifact found that Americans in the aggregate would pay more to the government to fund health care but less overall than they pay now. The fact-checking site also noted the study forecast that total health care spending would drop by about $2 trillion over 10 years.
That's it. No other comments.  Seema Verma says something that is complete BS and we get a couple of lines at the end of the article, sort-of calling it out. 
The proper way to handle Seema Verma's BS would have been to call her out in the headline. "Seema Verma lies about Medicare for all: Should she resign?"

NPR on Thursday, November1 - (I'm not linking to this because it was so crappy and i was in my car at the time and can't find it now.)

NPR had a 2 or 3 minute conversation about Trump's tweet - "If you want your stocks to go down, I strongly suggest voting Democrat" that was just horrible. The end result was a list of possibilities, most not even remotely possible, that could, maybe,.. make your stocks go down. Stupid shit like "they could eliminate the tax cut" or "future tax cuts", etc. Basically a list of bullshit R talking points having very little to do with reality. It sounded like Fox segment.

Anyway the right answer would have been.....
Trump Lies again: The Market does better with Ds in power.
Then include these two charts.


The Week


Cult leaders pushing their followers to violence

Juan Cole: Suggestive Terrorism

Shooting up a Synagogue

......[conservative cult leaders] stick with conspiracy theories after mail-bomb suspect’s arrest

Bill O': Tiller the Baby Killer

This Dismal Week in American Politics. Or Turning and Turning in the Widening Gyre

Trump and Israel and anti-semitism 

US support for Israel eroding, but not among Trump voters, poll finds. Trump speaks to American evangelicals who love some imaginary "Biblical Israel" and to anti-semites and racists who hate non-white, non-christian people just-because.  Less-religious, more educated Americans are tiring of the Israeli Likud Party's violent oppression of Palestinians.

Boycott the Cult's Advertisers

Is It Time For A Boycott Of All Fox News Advertisers? Yes, We Think It Is.


The Criteria For Forgiveness Of Public Policy Mistakes

Billionaires and Electricity

A Nevada ballot measure over a utility monopoly has drawn more spending than the state's Senate race.


U.S. Labor Markets Aren’t Truly Free: Greater competition for workers would lessen employers’ power over wages.

Back to Cults and Propaganda

The Fox front page Monday morning after the bombs and Synagogue shooting.

Also, Migrant Caravan

the first thing I heard on NPR this morning was about the god-damned "Migrant Caravan". Can we just shut the fuck up about it.

Medicare for All

Look through these, [ACA FAQs], then think about the FAQs for "Medicare for All", a true, no supplemental insurance, Medicare-for-All that covers everything.

Republicans used to have a health care plan. Now all they have are lies.
Why Republicans can’t tell the truth about their health care plans.

Four Roles for Artificial Intelligence in the Medical System - I'd guess this would apply to AI and most professions.