Links 1/20/19

How much can forests fight climate change? Nature

Ancient Earth saw a huge spike in meteor impacts. It may be ongoing. National Geographic

BlackRock accidentally posted spreadsheets full of information on thousands of financial advisors that use its ETFs, calling some ‘dabblers’ and others ‘power users’ Business Insider. BlackRock should fit right in at CalPERS, then.

My speech on driverless cars at the Transportation Research Board, Washington DC, 15/1/19 Christian Wolmar (MH). Wolmar is a well-regarded British transportation journalist. Wolmar: “I will leave you with the words of Michael DeKort: ‘The 20–30-year time period [for the introduction of driverless cars] isn’t remotely close. The real answer is that they will never get remotely close to finishing. Not much farther than the first base they are on now.’”


Brexit: A grim process of elimination RTE (PD).

Britain is operating as if a Brexit delay is there for the taking. It’s not. WaPo

UK fails to close global trade deals ahead of Brexit deadline FT

Brexit: High-profile Germans plead with UK to stay in EU BCC. Classy letter, but….

Coalitions in the Commons? John Redwood (Clive). Clive: “His parliamentary arithmetic is broadly accurate although he does fail to state that the non-ERG element of the Conservatives could split off and support one of the various other ploys he lists. But not all of any Conservative defectors from May’s Deal would join a specific single ploy, so his general point about there not being any majority for anything is valid, as is the count for the overall scale of support for each competing option.”

They carry signs:

In a bizarre turn of events, Theresa May could get her Brexit deal through after all – the key lies with Yvette Cooper Independent. Interestingly, although Corbyn forbade Labour MPs from meeting with May, Cooper did so, wearing a hat other than her MP hat. Clive: “I suspect the Clerk to the Commons will have told the Speaker [John Bercow] that, if he doesn’t kill Cooper’s bill, he’ll almost certainly face moves to remove him from office because the constitutional position on the (un-) allowability of it is clear. So, despite press frothing at the mouth, it won’t go anywhere.” “Bizarre” may have given us a clue. Readers?

Unlock the Brexit logjam by learning from other nations FT. Citizen assemblies.

The Malign Incompetence of the British Ruling Class Pankaj Mishra, NYT. Even Theresa May can’t top Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS.

800 fire doors across Poole the same as those that failed post-Grenfell checks Daily Echo. Like Grenfell, this is a privatization story. See NC Grenfell coverage here and here.


Amazing! Afghanistan’s ’10-year challenge’ picture looks exactly the same Duffel Blog

Inside Israel’s Secret Program to Back Syrian Rebels Foreign Policy. Still germane.


Forget the Trade War. China Is Already in Crisis Bloomberg

The R-Word Daring Fireball

300 investors, including 30 from Hong Kong, lose 400 million yuan as mega Zhuhai mall project stalls South China Morning Post

Chinese police must guard against ‘color revolutions’, says top official Reuters. Hmm. Who on earth would sponsor such a thing?


Mega water crisis ahead, says expert Deccan Chronicle

Experts sound rural job scheme alert The Telegraph

Young, Angry and ‘Untouchable’ Bloomberg

New Cold War

U.S. Steps Up Rhetoric Over Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

Trump Transition

Trump cancels U.S. delegation to Davos forum: press secretary Reuters

Trump offers temporary protections for Dreamers for border security funding and to end shutdown McClatchy (Trump’s offer).

Rove warns Senate GOP: Don’t put only focus on base The Hill

Despite the government shutdown, Trump’s efforts to gut Obamacare go full speed ahead Michaek Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

1,400 Miles of Abortion Restrictions The Intercept

New York Confronts Its Worst Measles Outbreak in Decades NYT

Our Famously Free Press

BuzzFeed News Faces Scrutiny After Mueller Denies a Dramatic Report NYT. Plenty of dunking on this one…

BuzzFeed’s big scoop and the media’s giant factual loophole Matt Taibbi, Hate Inc. “Four-source clovers.” Well worth a read.

Beware the permanent exclusive WaPo

Peter Carr Speaks emptywheel. “Trump’s not going to be indicted by Mueller — at least not before he leaves office via election defeat or impeachment.” Oh.

The House Democrats’ Colossal Election Reform Bill Could Save American Democracy Slate. No hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public. (A “paper trail” is meaningless, because the software that scans, tabulates, and prints the “paper trail” can still be hacked.)

Democrats in Disarray

Can I Talk to a Manager? Jacobin. Waiter, there’s a fly in my Chardonnay.

Lawsuit against California Democratic Party details alleged harassment by former chair Eric Bauman and Essential California: Ed Buck liked to generate controversy, but the deaths of two men may give him more than he wants Los Angeles Times. Seems to me like impressive coverage of California’s one-party state, but locals may wish to correct.

As LA Teachers Strike Over Charter Schools, Democrat Cory Booker Speaks at Pro-Charter Rally Gadfly on the Wall (MR).

If Only Obama Had Done the Things Obama Actually Did Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine. First and second words of the lead: “Matt Stoller,” who seems to have hit a nerve:

“Incredibly meek loser mafia families.” Pass the popcorn.

Guillotine Watch

Dimon, Schwarzman and Other Davos A-Listers Add $175 Billion in 10 Years Bloomberg

Class Warfare

The Radical Organizing That Paved the Way for LA’s Teachers’ Strike The Nation

Oakland teachers stage unauthorized walkout as contract talks hit impasse San Francisco Chronicle

can you marie kondo when you’re poor? Vice. The author, an expatriate, has a relationship with poverty that others may not share. I’ve always liked this poem by Elizabeth Bishop: “One Art“.

Kennedy and King Family Members and Advisors Call for Congress to Reopen Assassination Probes Who.What.Why. “A group consisting of relatives of the Kennedy and King families, as well as their confidantes and other prominent voices, is calling for a Truth and Reconciliation Committee to get to the bottom of these tragic murders.” Includes the group’s letter, with an impressive list of signatories.

Lunar eclipse 2019: how to watch this “supermoon” turn blood-red Vox

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Links on January 20, 2019 by .

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.

Leave a Reply