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15 - 21 January 2018

by Bjinse Mon Jan 15th, 2018 at 08:32:05 PM EST

Your take on this week's news


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by Bjinse on Mon Jan 15th, 2018 at 08:33:13 PM EST
Can France's Far-Right Reinvent Itself? - The Atlantic


Through much of the last two years, the populist far-right seemed poised to conquer France. In the surreal aftermath of Trump and Brexit, the prospect of a victory by Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front (FN), felt alarmingly possible. After decades of mounting racism and economic insecurity, Western democracies were lashing out at the ballot box.

But today, eight months after the French presidential election, the FN seems flummoxed by Emmanuel Macron, the country's centrist president, who, with his hefty budget cuts and far-reaching welfare reforms, would seem to be the party's ideal adversary. Instead, the Front's deputies in the Assembly largely abstained from debates on pro-business labor reform and have kept similarly quiet on tax cuts that benefit the ultra-rich. When voters are asked to identify who they consider to be the primary "opposition" to the government, most pick the left-wing populist La France Insoumise over the FN. Tellingly, it was the fiery Jean-Luc Mélenchon, La France Insoumise's leader, and not Le Pen, who coined "president of the rich," a popular epithet for Macron.

The National Front's inability to seize the moment stems, in large part, from a raft of internal contradictions. Some of the party's most prominent members claim to be devoted to the welfare state; others see it, at best, as a necessary evil. Some are secular and favor gay rights; others are proud, "family values" Christians. Today, its big tent is being stretched to the limit--if not already showing signs of tear.

Perhaps nothing better exemplifies the FN's identity crisis than the departure of Florian Philippot, the party's former vice president and national spokesperson. He had embodied the FN's "de-demonization" strategy--less racism and xenophobia, more education, healthcare and progressive economics. A graduate of the prestigious École Nationale d'Administration, he joined the FN in 2011, working with Le Pen to refine its critiques of globalization and reframe French politics as a clash between "globalists" and "patriots." Electoral success followed, thanks largely to low-income voters, many of them from former bastions of the left. In the first round of the 2017 presidential election, Le Pen won more support from working-class voters than any other candidate, according to an Ipsos poll.

by Bjinse on Tue Jan 16th, 2018 at 08:29:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That article reads almost dissapointed. Strange how the traditionally neoliberal far right party is not the natural opposition to the neoliberal government.
by generic on Wed Jan 17th, 2018 at 09:08:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the Neo-libs certainly prefer the far right as their opponent. Easier to portray them as boogemen. The other alternative really makes them shudder: Socialists and economic progressives. Social liberals and progressives can be their friends - so long as the eschew issues of economic justice and fairness.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 06:54:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters |  EU still open to Britain changing mind on Brexit

Leaders of the European Union institutions weighed into a new British debate on whether to hold a second referendum on Brexit by saying on Tuesday that Britons would be welcome to stay in the EU.

The UK was never in tune with the full range of EU goals.  Thus, IMO it would be a serious mistake to let the UK back it.  On the Great Real side of things, both May and Corbyn have rejected Brexit II: The Revoting so the odds are mighty slim the UK would ever ask to stay.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Jan 16th, 2018 at 08:51:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU figureheads have been playing good cop/bad cop since before the first referendum, when Anglo-merican press was high on PUNISHMENT scares.

This piece is another trial balloon. Remorsers, Remainers, and Tories each release one every two weeks more or less. Either to polish domestic agitprop, exploit unrelated intramural EP "conflict", or trivialize their current A50 cock up.

That is GIBRALTAR and SPAIN'S VETO option. UK and ES talks began 12 Jan, and elsewhere (not Reuters) the UK lobby is desperate to cut out ES --not on offer-- from negotiations of a special relationship "transition" for the tax haven by the sea --not on offer-- which one of them interpreted from published EU guidance for ES to mean an indefinite period. Since Gibraltar is not mostly a part of UK. And not an EU member proper, anyway. UK is merely defending the "priorities" of a Overseas Crown Dependency.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Jan 17th, 2018 at 03:50:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Irish PM: Britain can't backslide on Brexit border pledge - Politico
Speaking to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Varadkar said he will ensure that "what has been promised in theory is delivered in practice."

"The breakthrough achieved before Christmas means that the United Kingdom has guaranteed that, whatever its future relationship with the European Union, a hard border on the island of Ireland will be avoided," he said.

"The Common Travel Area and its associated rights will be maintained," he said, referring to the free-movement zone covering the U.K. and Ireland.

"There can be no backsliding," Varadkar said.


DUP lawmaker slams `nutcase' Irish prime minister - Politico
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was accused on Wednesday of being naive, inexperienced and arrogant for siding with European Union negotiators in Brexit talks.

Sammy Wilson, Brexit spokesman for the Democratic Unionist Party's 10 MPs in Westminster, branded the prime minister a "nutcase" and claimed there had been a change of tone from Dublin since Varadkar took office last June.

Wilson said the U.K. government needed to find a way of either "cajoling or enticing" the Irish government into taking the "natural position" to "cut [the U.K.] some slack," warning that siding with "hard-line EU negotiators" could destroy the Irish economy.


I regret calling Varadkar a `nutcase', says Sammy Wilson - Belfast Telegraph
A Democratic Unionist MP has rolled back on controversial comments in which he branded the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar a "nutcase".

East Antrim representative Sammy Wilson has expressed regret for his choice of language when referencing the Irish premier's stance on Brexit.

He said: "Leo Varadkar's approach may make him popular in Brussels but it will eventually destroy Ireland.

"Upon reflection, I should have said Leo Varadkar's EU policies defy logic rather than the language I used. I regret my choice of language."


If I call Mr Wilson "naive, inexperienced and arrogant" (and a nutcase) for forgetting that Ireland is remaining in the EU, which might possibly explain why it is "siding with European Union negotiators" rather than siding with the UK, will I have to express regrets the day after?
by Bernard on Thu Jan 18th, 2018 at 07:36:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, you will probably have to explain again to Mr Wilson. He's not the sharpest tool in DUP's drawer.

Besides, Arlene is pursuing conciliatory "North-South" arrangements with FG. This week, at any rate.

Government welcomes Arlene Foster's support for closer links, Killarney Economic Conference

Ms Foster said it was not in Northern Ireland's interest if the Republic did not prosper and emphasised cross-Border social and economic links.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney tweeted that all political leaders on the island needed to work together on Brexit "to protect communities North and South".

archived:
Sammy Wilson, one of the DUP's 10 MPs, said ... wtf? 30 Nov

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 01:49:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Theresa May ridiculed in European Parliament for claiming credit for EU regulations
and the "EU will tighten up its conditions on the UK for negotiations about the transition period."


"UK to pay France extra €50 million
for immigrants

"This is about investing in and enhancing the security of the UK border [IN CALAIS]," a government spokeswoman said. "Just as we invest in our borders around the rest of the UK it is only right that we constantly monitor whether there is more we can be doing at UK border controls in France and Belgium to ensure tey are as secure as possible."

How much will UK pay France for exports?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 06:18:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A bit of fearmongering from Politico:

In heartland, German Social Democrats reject new deal with Merkel - Politico

As Germany's center-left Social Democrats (SPD) prepare to vote Sunday on whether to go into formal coalition talks with Merkel's conservatives, members of the SPD base are increasingly voicing strong opposition to the prospect of another so-called grand coalition between the country's two biggest political parties.

That's especially true in North Rhine-Westphalia, the densely-populated western state long considered the electoral heartland of the SPD -- and the home of almost a quarter of the delegates who will vote Sunday at a conference in Bonn on a blueprint for talks agreed in the capital last Friday.


Ger-pocalypse now?
Europe's politicos are heading into the weekend quietly confident that Germany's Social Democrats will pave the way to another grand coalition at a special party congress on Sunday.

Never mind that this conventional wisdom is born of the same instinct that led most of us to assume the Brexit referendum would fail and that Donald Trump would lose. Then as now, the alternative would appear to be too scary to contemplate.

Imagine for a moment that things don't go according to script. Consider that many Germans don't want a "GroKo" (grand coalition) and that recent history suggests the zeitgeist is on their side. Above all, remember that the GroKo is the safe, proper choice, the status quo. It's Germany's Hillary Clinton.

If Germans, like the Brits and the Americans, decide they're sick of the status quo, what happens?

by Bernard on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 08:53:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am mostly in Germany (Bonn) till the end of April. What is here to observe?
by das monde on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 10:48:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bonn or Beaune? (that is a brief summary of a long conversation I had at an SNCF ticket office with a woman who had never heard of that insignificant village.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 12:05:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by generic on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 09:20:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]

After the retirement of 30year state governor Erwin Pröll, the conservatives look like they are finally about to lose their absolute majority in Austria's biggest and mostly rural state. It seems like mostly the far right will profit. Kind of surprising since they flushed their program down the drain and their (online) base seems furious. Maybe they got distracted by the suggestion to "concentrate" refugees in camps.
Federal polls look stable:

Frankly I expect the result will mostly be driven by low turnout. The organized opposition is laughably weak. The social democrats are useless to the point that they hide their party logo on the election poster, you could think there was a party called "list Franz". I honestly don't understand why there is no discussion of replacing their leader. Just as a quick reminder: He campaigned against CETA, which really is about as popular as cancer, to the point that the far right presidential candidate threatened to not sign it and cause a constitutional crisis (of course he now voted for it once he was in government). Then, in the face of inner party opposition, he folded completely. Afterward he very forcefully pushed an economic liberal program through the party apparatus, since according to one of the party heavy weights "they were positioned too far left". He got a lot of credit for doing the social liberal identity stuff (going to gay pride and whatever) but when faced with demands from the ultra reactionary mini statelet party group from Burgenland he basically let them go ahead with everything and now it is illegal to cover your face in public. Of course, there was also the little problem of their campaign manager being arrested in Israel during that campaign.  Which is not only a bad look, but also underlined how focus groupy the whole thing was.
Peter Pilz of the party of the same name, who didn't accept his seat in parliament amid sexual harassment allegations, unresigned at some point, but no one seems to be particularly willing to give up his or her seat for him. We are deep in farce territory here.

On the other hand, the demo against the government drew up to 70 thousand people on a rainy Saturday, though the police put the number to 20k.
One final point to mention is that, on the day before the state election the Viennese social democrats will pick a new leader. One of those is rather open to the far right.

by generic on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 12:37:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Franco-German blueprint for eurozone reform - Eurointelligence
With the German coalition pre-agreement, we now have Germany and France potentially agreed on the need for bold reforms of eurozone governance. Yesterday the CEPR released a complementary policy paper by a group of 14 German and French economists which lays out a detailed proposal for eurozone reform. While the authors claim to avoid political judgements, their six main proposals are peppered with political considerations. The choice to approach fiscal policy from the point of view of debt reduction and to exclude all discussion of the countercyclical stabilisation function of public spending is political. So is the choice of market discipline over prudential supervision as a crisis-prevention framework, and the focus on avoiding moral hazard and permanent fiscal transfers. Both of which are political.
by Bernard on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 09:07:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Jan 15th, 2018 at 08:33:15 PM EST
What is Open Banking and PSD2?  - Wired


Not much changes in banking in the UK. Sure, there are occasional new ideas - ATMs; apps; contactless payments - but decade after decade the fundamentals remain the same. Over 80 per cent of us bank with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Santander or Royal Bank of Scotland. We find our bank as a teenager and stick with it for life.

Now that could be about to change, thanks to a new directive called Open Banking, which comes into force on 13 January 2018. This is the start of a programme designed to open up banking data. It might not sound like much, but it could transform the way we move and use money.

(...)

Open Banking forces the UK's nine biggest banks - HSBC, Barclays, RBS, Santander, Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Bank, Danske, Lloyds and Nationwide - to release their data in a secure, standardised form, so that it can be shared more easily between authorised organisations online.

(...)

Open Banking makes it possible to pass this rich information to third parties, who can use it to create new products (more on this later). It's not an app or a service in its own right. It's a way of facilitating data sharing.

by Bjinse on Mon Jan 15th, 2018 at 08:45:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Egg Banking. What goes 'round, comes 'round.

Sarcasm aside, I dipped into the history of the project link. Very coy. As far as I can tell the claim, "The UK is leading the world in introducing true Open Banking" is definitely a cover story for domestic industry consolidation (a BoE-approved trust) that is anticipating further operating/margin losses. There's no new network there. The key is interbank rates--especially b/c the Competition Commission looms over "two years" timeline to abandon proprietary code and standardize data type. Which seeks scale efficiencies clearing www transactions or trading GBP credit and FX pairs in the major markets they share, not competition for retail customers

"3/29 changed everything."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Jan 17th, 2018 at 05:42:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Feds Accuse Ex-Barclays Banker of Front-Running Hewlett-Packard

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jan 17th, 2018 at 08:16:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This highlights and emerging trend of a new 'globalized' form of financial regulation. Each country's financial corporations are regulated by the regulatory authorities of other nations. This makes purely national governmental capture less effective.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 04:47:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To your point about TNCs corrupting diverse national policies, "tech giants" are wrestling with de facto police powers. EU gov appears to have retreated from "federal," non-binding, standardized and voluntary EU27 agreement on laws and enforcement of hate speech or free speech, as one prefers, so long as the salient measure of EC political authority--rate of "tech giant" productivity-- is positive.


According to the Commission's newest figures, Twitter, Youtube [ALPHABET D/B/A GOOGLE], Facebook and Microsoft reviewed 81.7% of complaints about hate speech within 24 hours. That's a big change from May 2017, when the firms only assessed 39% of alerts within the same time.

Facebook removed a total 79% of posts containing hate speech across the EU. Youtube took down 75%, and Twitter removed 45.7% of content with hate speech. The Commission's report does not list similar figures for Microsoft.
[...]
"Stronger EU level coordination is needed," Jourova said after the meeting with CEOs.

Next week, she will brief justice ministers from EU countries on her plans to stick to the non-binding agreement. Some member states including Germany have pushed for Jourova to propose a hard law, while others want to avoid legislation.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 04:58:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(archaic. ἀκρασία: "No one has every form of unrestraint")

The Effluent

There are, at present, three kinds of "witch" language. 1) Calling someone a witch, as applied lavishly to Hillary Clinton during the recent election. 2) "Witchhunt," used to imply that someone is looking for something that doesn't exist. 3) The structure of the Salem witchcraft trials, in which you were guilty because accused. I was talking about the third use.

The Fire
"If @MargaretAtwood would like to stop warring amongst women, she should stop declaring war against younger, less powerful women and start listening," wrote one person on Twitter. "In today's dystopian news: One of the most important feminist voices of our time shits on less powerful women to uphold the power of her powerful male friend," wrote another.

archived:
EQUAL MEANS EQUAL et al. v. US Department of Education and Betsy DeVos

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Jan 18th, 2018 at 01:40:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Attwood's concerns about due process seem well grounded to me. But then I am hopelessly male.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 04:48:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She isn't wrong, there is no due process here. But then again, there isn't much real protection or possibility for redress through courts for victims of sexual assault and/or harassment either. That is nothing new, but combined with internet and the real realisation for the victims that they are not alone and they combine their numbers, and we got a situation where cases that are not tried in the courts is instead tried in the court of public opinion.

The real question is how to try most cases in courts, and I see a lack of ideas there.

by fjallstrom on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 05:21:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Airbus says A380 superjumbo will be killed off unless Emirates order more planes | The Independent |

Emirates orders 36 Airbus aircraft worth $16b | Gulf News |

by Oui on Thu Jan 18th, 2018 at 02:58:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the British economy has done better than expected since the Brexit vote

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 05:37:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lidington's language is that of a session at your MP's surgery: dull, medicated, non-committal. Most of all, there is no sense of alarm.  The meeting, he continues, provided an "opportunity for ministers to test what sort of concerns are being expressed and decide how we should best address them".


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 05:39:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
GBP:EUR, 1:1.13

USD:EUR, 1:0.81

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 05:45:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UK retail sales slide in December, capping tough year for consumers
"Many shoppers brought forward their Christmas spending into November to take advantage of Black Friday sales promotions, the ONS said."

archived:
"Black Friday seems to be spreading like a plague over the entire world. "

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 07:08:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chinese ratings agency cuts US debt over political 'deficiencies' 17 Jan 2018
"Trump's tax cuts will directly reduce the federal government's revenue and adversely affect the government's fundamental source of debt repayment."
House votes to avert government shutdown, path in Senate unclear 19 Jan 2018
"I'm just tired of voting for [CONTINUING RESOLUTIONS]"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 06:28:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amazon Whittles Down List of HQ2 Contenders to 20 Finalists
Some of the most aggressive bids that were uncovered or announced seem to have paid off: Newark, New Jersey was able to offer up to $7 billion in tax breaks, after the state voted to give away $5 billion and the city threw in $2 billion of its own. Illinois' state law allows Chicago to funnel $1.32 billion of Amazon employees' income taxes back to Amazon itself; and D.C.'s proposal, released yesterday, hints at large personal property tax deductions, and covered corporate franchise tax exemptions.

Is this how y'all stimulate economies?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 08:38:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Jan 15th, 2018 at 08:33:17 PM EST
What could be more frightening?

archived:
Gov. Greitens: Pull Down Missouri's Racist Death Penalty Statutes!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Jan 17th, 2018 at 04:30:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Riot Charges Dropped Against 129 Inauguration Day Protesters
Prosecutors will still press cases against 59 defendants they contend were most responsible for the demonstrations, which resulted in smashed windows, property damage and some violent clashes with police. Prosecutors claim protesters used "black bloc" tactics, referring to a group known to show up at peaceful protests wearing all black in hopes of stirring up chaos.

archived:
To what end? 2017
the country was ruled by the antifascist Fatherland Front, a broad coalition 2015

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 07:26:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The psychological mechanism of 'projection' clearly emerges in the legal process. (Hardly for the first time.) "It was the protestors who hired thugs to discredit their protest." Absurd on its face and incredibly lame. But the rednecks will buy it and that is what counts, if marginally less so today.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 05:00:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by generic on Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 10:51:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't call it a shutdown
If the last "shutdown" is any guide, the military, Trump's luxurious vacations, soft power, our bombing of seven Muslim-majority countries, NSA bulk surveillance, agencies that prop up the oil and gas industry, the CIA's arming and funding of Syrian rebels, and the FBI's entrapment regime will remain entirely untouched. The parts of government that serve the poor and working class, however, will be first on the chopping block: libraries, tax collection, national parks, labor and safety regulators, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (which oversees the derivatives market), environmental regulators, financial regulators, welfare, and WIC will all be axed. Indeed, the one time the government got remotely close to undermining, even briefly, a pillar of the right-wing state, the powers that be arbitrarily decided to leave the Defense Department virtually untouched.

Links at source.
by generic on Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 10:58:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Continued
In principle, the criteria of what is and isn't "essential" is determined by unelected agency and department heads using guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget based on a Department of Justice opinion authored in 1980 by then-Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti. That determination, according to McClatchy, defines "essential" activities as those that "protect life and property"--a fundamentally reactionary (and curiously unexamined) criterion that elevates property over justice, feeding people, and protecting the vulnerable.
by generic on Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 10:59:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like Sen Collins (R-ME) flipped from NO (with Dem DACA "filibuster") to YES over the weekend? This is the MSM story running now, an informant tells me. It's odd. Collins wasn't among R's voting YES Friday. Flake (R-AZ) with 4 Dem's was the only.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 06:35:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kicked the can down the road until 8 Feb. .. still need to square off within 17 days for legislation to protect the Dreamers.

Government shutdown: Democrats back bill to end deadlock | The Guardian |

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer announced on Monday that his party would support the legislation - which funds the government through 8 February, while extending for six years a popular health insurance program, Chip, that provides coverage to 9 million children.

A preliminary vote to advance the bill passed 81-18. Sixteen Democrats and two libertarian-minded Republicans voted against it. Among them were a number of potential presidential candidates in 2020 including Cory Booker, Kristen Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The Senate must still vote on final passage of the bill before it goes to the House.

... [Schumer] said he felt confident that McConnell would abide by the terms of the deal they reached and tried to place the burden on following through on the majority leader. "The Republican majority now has 17 days to prevent the Dreamers from being deported."

McConnell spoke briefly and took a small victory lap.

Senate votes to end shutdown | The Hill |

I'm certain we'll hear from the Apprentice himself soon!

by Oui on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 06:52:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My MSM informant misled. I checked Friday's roll call. Collins voted YES (R party line). Evidently she's making headline by speaking for the latest bi-partisan committee of "adults in the room."

Today's ROLL CALL, 81 -18 (YES to ending cloture/"filibuster") shows huge number of Dems bailing on party line NO. Vote on UPDATED spending bill still tied to DACA scheduled 8, per Schumer-McConnell. Week-to-week paycheck as it were.

The um Resistance 18 is a peculiar set.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 07:32:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Jan 15th, 2018 at 08:33:20 PM EST
The most valuable military real estate in the world - Politico
As France -- the first to maintain a military presence in the country -- slowly abandons its bases due to budgetary constraints, others have been moving in. The United States recently opened a second base on Chabelley Airfield -- unmentioned in its public list of overseas bases -- after its drones interfered with air traffic at Camp Lemonnier.

The country hosts China and Japan's only foreign military bases. There's an Italian base too and Saudi Arabia is building one as well. Djibouti has made overtures to Turkey. And, according to Mohammed, (and later an second independent source) Russia has made inquiries.

India too is rumored to be considering the possibility of acquiring a block of the most prized military real estate in the world. If it does, every major global power will have a Djibouti footprint and the country will resemble a live model of state conflict in the 21st century.

by Bernard on Wed Jan 17th, 2018 at 08:55:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First statements in 'historic' Eighth Amendment debate
"So having listened, I will lead."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jan 18th, 2018 at 01:58:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 07:13:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
California Prop. 8 Bench Trial Video Will Remain Sealed
The video recordings were made at the request of now-retired U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who oversaw the Perry v. Schwarzenegger bench trial in January 2010.

Proposition 8 (referendum), 2008, vacated same-sex marriage constitutional right

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 07:45:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 07:52:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Iranian Media Share Joy of Translating Trump
If there has to be a winner, then we want to award the garland to our colleagues in Flemish media who went above and beyond the call of duty - rendering the expression as "testicle countries."

archived:


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 05:12:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[Criminal sexual conduct] victims face convicted ex-USA Gymnastics doctor in court
Nassar, 54, has pleaded guilty to a total of 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct in two counties in Michigan, and could face life in prison.
[...]
Nassar already faces 60 years in prison after being convicted of child pornography charges.
[...]
A civil lawsuit has been filed [ALSO] on behalf of about 100 of Nassar's victims. Their attorney, John Manly, has said the total number could be as high as 160.

Tough recovery ahead after California siblings [TORTURE]
Booked on suspicion of torture and child endangerment, the parents' bail was set at $9 million each.

archived:
"The police are notoriously inept at handling sexual-assault cases."
Jane Doe v. Harvey Weinstein, et al.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 06:20:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NJ Court Tosses Conviction on 2012 Assault Spree
"We are glad the New Jersey Supreme Court made clear that there's no place in our legal system to use a criminal defendant's immigration status to prejudice a jury against him."
Sweden Sees Spike in Rapes Amid Migrants' Speculated Prevalence in Sex Offenses
"While experts attribute this spike in women being increasingly encouraged to report all forms of harassment that would have been ignored in the past, this may only be the tip of the iceberg, as only 11 percent of victims of sexual offenses reported incidents to the police."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 08:15:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Women and Minorities" Edition: Choose one.
New study shows prevalence of unreported Islamaphobic incidents against Muslim women in GTA
"I believe the same is true for hate crimes against Muslim women. Actual reported hate crimes are just a tip of the iceberg of what we're experiencing in the city."

The women Ahmad spoke to ranged across age and race. The youngest was 18; the oldest, 58. Nine were Black Muslims. Fourteen out of 21 were mothers, some grandmothers -- their children witnessed the targeted attacks against them. Eighteen of them wore a hijab or niqab.

Their stories "humbled" Ahmad. She expected her social media call out for participants in June 2017 to bring forward university students and activists. Instead she got "aunties" ...


Girl's claim that man cut hijab with scissors is disputed by Canadian police
Her mother urged police to treat the incident as a hate crime. The story made international headlines and drew public condemnation from the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

"It's something that received, quite understandably, a lot of media and social media attention and I know it caused significant concern, as it should," Pugash said.

Pugash declined to say whether the girl had acknowledged that the incident had not happened. He said police would not take a step like this unless they were absolutely confident.

Hell no.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 09:33:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My analysis on Prof. Mifsud and the bar talk with Trump goon Papadopoulos ...

Mifsud Offering Alu Tubes to Papadopoulos?

by Oui on Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 09:56:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I find Mifsud's buddy Kumar (the third man in the Boris Johnson picture) curious:

College chums: another academic link in the Mifsud puzzle

LSET was inspected in 2014 by the British Accreditation Council which gave it a broadly favourable report while noting that at the time it had a total of  only five students.

Before launching LSET in December 2013, Kumar was involved in a succession of failed educational businesses:

  • Albert College Limited (wound up by court order)
  • Halifax College (UK) Limited (declared insolvent)
  • Techno School of Business & Engineering Limited (voluntarily struck off the companies register)
  • Halifax Educational Research Limited (compulsorily struck off the companies register)

In 2007, London University complained that Albert College was offering its students some of the university's external courses, but had not asked for up-to-date study materials and had never put forward any candidates for examination. Northumbria University also complained that Albert College was advertising the university's distance-learning law course in its prospectus without the right to do so -- and threatened legal action.

Halifax College was established in 2004 as the British arm of Halifax University in Wyoming whose degree courses were not accredited by the US Department of Education. The British branch attempted to describe itself as a university but the government intervened to stop it, according to a BBC report. This caused some embarrassment for the Conservative party (which was in opposition at the time) because one of the party's grandees, Michael Ancram, had performed the opening ceremony.

Partner's in academic scamming?

by fjallstrom on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 12:30:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From Marie3's comment, I added an update ...

Re: Mifsud Offering Alu Tubes to Papadopoulos? (none / 1)

For giggles: Tony Blair, Prince Turki, and Nawaf Obaid.. (iirc Bliar met up and congratulated Trump early on.  Never one to miss any potential opportunity to brown-nose.)

And a follow-up diary on Toronto's Trump Tower Project and links to Azerbaijan corruption. His wealth awash with projects for leisure of the oligarchs from all nations, true diversity. A bit of laundering on the side.  ;-)

Emptywheel, Simpson Testimony and Sergei Millian

The Iraq War opened many opportunities for oligarchs to get rich very fast ... due to the topping of the oil price per barrel, European and Asian wealth flowed into the Caspian Sea region, Gulf States, Libya and Russia.

Geopolitics and Natural Gas | Clingendael - June 2012 |

by Oui on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 02:38:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Women's March 2018 assisted by Facebook-approved "outlets"
CNN
Cosmopolitan
VOA/NPR
USA Today
"'Amazing atmosphere at #TimesUp london' tweeted activist Helen Pankhurst."
Independent
"So many of my older adults are having to take medication for sleep more and more in the last six months," [Jess, a Latina social worker in her 20s] added, suggesting that the anxiety many of her clientele were reporting was apparently triggered by watching the news.

Jess added: "I don't think any of my clients should have to accept the situation they're in. So I stand and march for those who are not able to."




Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 10:12:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Jan 15th, 2018 at 08:34:04 PM EST
Friederike storm cleanup begins in Germany as trains resume
"At least eight people died across the country as winds up to 203 kilometers per hour (126 miles per hour) lashed western Europe on Thursday."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 06:38:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The Automotive Liberation of Paris

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 08:49:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What the Paris Trams Can Teach U.S. Cities - TransitCenter
The Paris trams haven't just brought about street redesigns around the station areas. Rather than trying to jam the lines into existing traffic patterns and streetscapes (as U.S. streetcar lines tend to do), the trams run overwhelmingly in rights of way constructed to be completely clear of motor vehicle traffic and almost always accompanied by improvements to the pedestrian environment, traffic calming measures, and other infrastructure.
The same can be said for tram systems in other cities like Bordeaux or Grenoble.
by Bernard on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 12:15:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like the tram in NJ.....(except for the pedestrian environment etc.)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 12:57:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Dublin, despite the hissy fits from the car advocates.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 12:58:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plenty of hissy fits in Paris too: from the cab drivers who grumble about the traffic lanes"lost" to tram lines and most TV talking heads who regularly trash mayor Anne Hidalgo for her "anti-car" policies. Unlike the little people, the French upper crust doesn't ride public transportation, but goes around Paris in chauffeured cars.
by Bernard on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 02:24:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Background to future news

How Climate Change is Fueling Iran's Political Instability


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 05:23:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... Cape Town Will Run Out Of Water In Just 90 Days
Cape Town, South Africa is in crisis mode right out of a Mad Max movie. Given current water consumption, the city has approximately 90 days until it runs out of water.

The city recently pushed forward what they call Day Zero, where the city will be forced to shut off water supplies to all but essential consumers, such as hospitals. This would mark the first major city in the world to run out of water, a result of a prolonged 3-year drought.

[...] the last 10% from a reservoir becomes costly and difficult to extract. The city has agreed that once the dams reach 13.5% capacity, water supplies will be shut off and residents will have to queue to collect their daily rations of 6.6 gallons of water. To keep the peace and prevent water theft, armed guards will be employed.

by das monde on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 02:50:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Without much public notice marginal areas across the planet like Capetown are being heavily affected by GW induced weather changes.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 05:09:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that what Trump means by "shitholes"?
by das monde on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 05:30:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have been pointing out to several friends over the past few weeks that you should not even think of moving permanently to Australia.

Or expect crazy heat, no water, and wildfires to be your future.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 at 10:38:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
a California life-style without the glamour.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 at 07:33:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen would recommend New Zealand instead.
by Bernard on Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 at 08:59:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Jan 15th, 2018 at 08:34:06 PM EST
J'ACCUSE 1898
As they have dared, so shall I dare. Dare to tell the truth, as I have pledged to tell it, in full, since the normal channels of justice have failed to do so. My duty is to speak out, not to become an accomplice in this travesty. My nights would otherwise be haunted by the specter of an innocent man, far away, suffering the most horrible of tortures for a crime he did not commit.

EMMETT TILL PROJECT 1955

Till's story broke many silences and aversions to the truth about the systematic reality of violence and oppression that was bred throughout the Jim Crow south.  

The murder of Emmett Till is an American story of injustice that continues to be replicated today.


.
.
.

Moira's World

In October, I created a Google spreadsheet called "Shitty Media Men" that collected a range of rumors and allegations of sexual misconduct, much of it violent, by men in magazines and publishing. ...

Happy Black History Y3 D16!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Jan 16th, 2018 at 08:01:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gallup/Knight Foundation Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy
conducted Aug. 4-Oct. 2, 2017, published 15 Jan 2018
a random sample of 19,196 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Gallup used a randomly selected Addressed-Based Sampling (ABS) design. The study included oversamples of households known to contain members of hard-to-reach subgroups, including blacks, Hispanics and young adults. The sample was weighted to correct for unequal probability of selection and non-response, to match the national demographics on gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region and population density.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jan 17th, 2018 at 06:40:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How to tame the tech titans - The Economist


However, the barriers to entry are rising. Facebook not only owns the world's largest pool of personal data, but also its biggest "social graph"--the list of its members and how they are connected. Amazon has more pricing information than any other firm. Voice assistants, such as Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant, will give them even more control over how people experience the internet. China's tech firms have the heft to compete, but are not about to get unfettered access to Western consumers.

If this trend runs its course, consumers will suffer as the tech industry becomes less vibrant. Less money will go into startups, most good ideas will be bought up by the titans and, one way or another, the profits will be captured by the giants.

The early signs are already visible. The European Commission has accused Google of using control of Android, its mobile operating system, to give its own apps a leg up. Facebook keeps buying firms which could one day lure users away: first Instagram, then WhatsApp and most recently tbh, an app that lets teenagers send each other compliments anonymously. Although Amazon is still increasing competition in aggregate, as industries from groceries to television can attest, it can also spot rivals and squeeze them from the market.

The rivalry remedy

What to do? In the past, societies have tackled monopolies either by breaking them up, as with Standard Oil in 1911, or by regulating them as a public utility, as with AT&T in 1913. Today both those approaches have big drawbacks. The traditional tools of utilities regulation, such as price controls and profit caps, are hard to apply, since most products are free and would come at a high price in forgone investment and innovation. Likewise, a full-scale break-up would cripple the platforms' economies of scale, worsening the service they offer consumers. And even then, in all likelihood one of the Googlettes or Facebabies would eventually sweep all before it as the inexorable logic of network effects reasserted itself.

by Bjinse on Thu Jan 18th, 2018 at 10:20:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Strangely, they don't seem to mention the regulation of consumer data collection, or the sharing of that data, as a way to regulate these firms for whom the "ownership" of data is their chief money-making asset.
by Zwackus on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 12:16:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regulation? That's The Economist we're talking about.
by Bernard on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 12:08:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The deal is done. That is one reason why Economist reporters need not disabuse readers or debate, "Who owns the data?"

AFAIK, "producers" (information service providers) own the data, ie. information records, any media, any industry domain. Producers own the means to collect, transform, and reproduce such records. Accordingly, government regulation of data production and "free trade" tends to preserve capitalist prerogatives defining exchange relationships -- possession (exclusive ownership) and usufruct (exploitation of exclusive ownership) that inhere in a "property" and its extrinsic value.

In such a schema, a "consumer" and information produced by a consumer is merely the natural resource or raw "input" harvested and processed by a producer. The "output" of such constitutes proprietary knowledge. Contracts of adhesion ("Terms & Conditions of Use") divest consumer ownership claims to publicly exchanged information and data. Regulatory regimes tend only to preserve consumer "rights" to personal anonymity (unnamed identity engrossed as data), when not prosecuting alleged thefts of data by unauthorized users ("hackers").

The concept of the "consumer-patient," embedded in HIPAA rubric to qualify electronic health record (EHR) access by derivative exchange values, illustrates application of ownership rights to information in the US.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 08:21:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
re: immigrants from "mostly-muslim" countries
Home Office tells humanist he'll be deported for not identifying Plato or Aristotle
The questions pursued in the interview with Hamza reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of equality and human rights protections by the Home Office with regards to non-religious people. He asked what his religion is and said he is a humanist, only to be chastised for stating `your religion as Humanist despite knowing that this is not a religion.'

Semantics aside ...

You hate your mother, don't you?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 07:15:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Jan 15th, 2018 at 08:34:09 PM EST
Today -100: January 21, 1918: Reported 'sexual misconduct'
misplaced

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 09:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More important - In January 1918, Spanish flu was first observed - in Kansas...
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 09:44:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leavenworth?
< pick teeth, suck vigorously >
Low-grade panic isn't scheduled until March, iirc

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 10:30:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An article in the LRB even blames Trump on the flu.
The pandemic had some influence on the lives of everyone alive today. Donald Trump's grandfather Friedrich died from it in New York City. He was 49. His early death meant that his fortune passed to his son Fred, who used it to start a New York property empire.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 03:34:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first case of Spanish flu was recorded on 4 March 1918, when a military mess cook called Albert Gitchell in Camp Funston, Kansas, reported sick with a headache and fever.

Camp Funston training camp connected by military road to Leavenworth.

More diverting before-armistice-in-November-1918 historiography:

In late 1917 and early 1918 a Chinese ["]Labour Corps["] of 135,000 men was transported from Tsingtao by ship to the US [?], across America by rail, then onwards to dig trenches in France. It's possible that they carried the flu with them. A similar corps of 200,000 men was transported west through Russia.

News to me and in light of Sino-merican trade relations and hostilities over the preceding, o, 100 years seems  incredible on its face and regardless of counterfactual debasement of foreign alliances [1, 2, 3]. Thars some "big discrepancies" in routing and total head counts, to start.

21st Century Retcon
I'm left to wonder then, Which US pols could have greased the rail? Imma guess, Roosevelt extended family on account of, yanno, opium business. Is that in the book?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 06:09:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Battle of Isandlwana
The Battle of Isandlwana [...] on 22 January 1879 was the first major encounter in the Anglo-Zulu War between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom. Eleven days after the British commenced their invasion of Zululand in South Africa, a Zulu force of some 20,000 warriors attacked a portion of the British main column consisting of about 1,800 British, colonial and native troops and perhaps 400 civilians. The Zulus were equipped mainly with the traditional assegai iron spears and cow-hide shields, but also had a number of muskets and old rifles though they were not formally trained in their use. The British and colonial troops were armed with the modern Martini-Henry breech-loading rifle and two 7-pounder (3-inch, 76 mm) mountain guns deployed as field guns, as well as a Hale rocket battery. Despite a vast disadvantage in weapons technology, the numerically superior Zulus ultimately overwhelmed the poorly led and badly deployed British, killing over 1,300 troops, including all those out on the forward firing line. The Zulu army suffered around a thousand killed.

The battle was a decisive victory for the Zulus and caused the defeat of the first British invasion of Zululand. The British Army had suffered its worst defeat against an indigenous foe with vastly inferior military technology. Isandlwana resulted in the British taking a much more aggressive approach in the Anglo-Zulu War, leading to a heavily reinforced second invasion and the destruction of King Cetshwayo's hopes of a negotiated peace.

by das monde on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 at 02:43:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Jan 15th, 2018 at 08:34:12 PM EST
So yeah. I remembered something pertinent to our interrogation of political evolution in Britain: text of the Magna Carta, believed or assumed to epitomize 'democratic' rights, or common law indoctrination. I had been struggling to recall any event, philosophy, or personnage --besides Marx or Disraeli -- which might unequivocally attest to integration of jews in Britain's political institutions ("transcend the 'elitist' appeal" of zionism in the 20th century). I was struggling to locate this impression that the "legitimacy" of jewish identity in English society was long, foregone conclusion.

Here is the culprit, pernicious and contrary.

Clauses marked (*) were omitted in all later reissues of the charter. In the charter itself the clauses are not numbered, and the text reads continuously. The translation sets out to convey the sense rather than the precise wording of the original Latin.
[...]
  • (10) If anyone who has borrowed a sum of money from Jews dies before the debt has been repaid, his heir shall pay no interest on the debt for so long as he remains under age, irrespective of whom he holds his lands. If such a debt falls into the hands of the Crown, it will take nothing except the principal sum specified in the bond.

  • (11) If a man dies owing money to Jews, his wife may have her dower and pay nothing towards the debt from it. If he leaves children that are under age, their needs may also be provided for on a scale appropriate to the size of his holding of lands. The debt is to be paid out of the residue, reserving the service due to his feudal lords. Debts owed to persons other than Jews are to be dealt with similarly.

Then, belatedly, here is Engels on the hidden trials of jews (1890): "He doesn't even know the Jews he decries".

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Jan 16th, 2018 at 09:13:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Today -100: January 21, 1918: Reported sexual 'misconduct'
The conscription authorities in the UK accidentally discover a female factory worker "masquerading in male attire," one Ellen Harriet Capon (!), or Charles Brian Capon as she's been calling herself. She says she did it in order to earn more money, although she was also dating a woman, so make of that what you will. That phrase, "masquerading in male attire" ...

'fifty years' veterans ...

4. The Soldiers | AUDIO

CK: Rosetta didn't get to go to school. She worked side-by-side with her dad on a farm that didn't do well. He was always in debt, and the family rarely had enough food to eat. So when Rosetta was 19 she went out looking for other work.
JH: She heard about a job on a canal boat--but only men could apply. So she put on a pair of pants, walked off her farm and became Lyons Wakeman.

In late 1862, a recruiter from the Union Army came by, offering a $152 signing bonus to join. It was a year's pay. So Rosetta signed up. And wrote home telling her family she was rich:
KR: All the money I send you I want you should spend for the family in clothing or something to eat. Don't save it for me. I can get all the money I want. ...



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 08:55:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shackleton received more than 5,000 applications for places on the expedition, including a letter from "three sporty girls" who suggested that if their feminine garb was inconvenient they would "just love to don masculine attire."[25][26] Eventually the crews for the two arms of the expedition were trimmed down to 28 apiece
by das monde on Sun Jan 21st, 2018 at 09:09:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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