Links 7/17/18

If any New York-area readers plan to attend the event below, we’d certainly welcome a report. Leave a comment and we’ll get in touch via mail.

We asked psychologists why so many rich people think the apocalypse is coming Salon

What Would You Pay to Live by the Water? The Premium Is Falling Bloomberg


May seeks early Commons recess to curb Conservative civil war FT. The House of Commons is carpeted. It’s hard to stick your head in the sand there.

What top Brexit lawyers think of the white paper wording Financial News. “‘Vague’ and ‘cleverly worded’ — that is how two of the country’s top Brexit lawyers described the government’s white paper.”

Prioritising Irish stability over banking is economically foolish FT

Brexit: DUP seeks legal guarantee over customs border BBC

Trump Knows That He Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit Unz Review

Four ‘spaceports’ to be built across UK Sky News. Oh.


White House Orders Direct Taliban Talks to Jump-Start Afghan Negotiations NYT. Nobody cares about the Global War on Terror anymore. Mission accomplished!

What’s behind Iraq’s Basra protests? Middle East Eye

Tunisia’s President to PM: Step Up on Economy or Step Aside Bloomberg

Reform in Saudi Arabia: will MbS squib it? The Interpreter

Lula the only hope for millions of Brazilians, says ex president Dilma Rousseff MercoPress

Venezuela to Launch Local Defense Committees as Maduro Makes Changes to Top Military Brass Venezuelanalysis


The Coming American-Russian Alliance Against China The American Conservative

China’s ageing population problem worsens as birth and marriage rates fall South China Morning Post

New Cold War

The Helsinki Summit story has eaten the world, so I’ll just have to go with it. I’ve broken the links into sections. About the Helsinki presser:

Transcript: Trump And Putin’s Joint Press Conference NPR. This seems to be the most problematic passage:

TRUMP: So let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven’t they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee?

I’ve been wondering that. I’ve been asking that for months and months and I’ve been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know where is the server and what is the server saying?

With that being said, all I can do is ask the question.

My people came to me, Dan Coates, came to me and some others they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia.

I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be. But I really do want to see the server but I have, I have confidence in both parties.

I really believe that this will probably go on for a while but I don’t think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC?

Where are those servers? They’re missing. Where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails? 33,000 emails gone, just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn’t be gone so easily.

I think it’s a disgrace that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s thirty three thousand e-mails.

I have great confidence in my intelligence people but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today and what he did is an incredible offer.

He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer. Ok? Thank you.

I find myself musing that “incredible” is a word of many meanings, though no doubt puffery is intended.

Trump refuses to blame Putin over election meddling FT. “Mr Putin encouraged Mr Mueller to send an extradition request….” One hasn’t already been sent? If only for form’s sake? Odd.

#NeverTrump Goes to War John Robb, Global Guerillas. “[Mueller’s] indictment put Trump on the on the horns of a dilemma. He could either support the national security establishment’s conclusion and diminish his electoral legitimacy or he could disparage the legitimacy of the US national security establishment while standing next to Putin. He chose the second course…. The #NeverTrump network will claim it is the primary protector of the United States against an illegitimate President. In online collaboration with the #resistance, disavowal of Trump will become a public litmus test.” If Robb is correct, Trump is in trouble. It doesn’t matter what the Democrats do before the midterms (and maybe not after) but Republicans like to get stuff done. The wee problem is that the Republican base — who the Republicans genuinely fear — either doesn’t care about the national security globalizers or sees them as enemies. That’s a hard circle to square.

Republicans to watch:

In rebuke to Trump, senators may vote to side with US intel community CNN. So that would clarify where the real power lies, wouldn’t it? Note that Cornyn isn’t on the list.

Trump is now repaying Putin for helping him win the presidency WaPo

* * *

About the Meuller investigation:

A Spirited, Substantive Debate on the Trump-Putin Summit, Russia, and U.S. Politics Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept. Transcripts here and here. Both parts are very good.

Trump’s Stupid ‘Where Is the DNC Server?’ Conspiracy Theory, Explained Vox. Here is a sample: “It is widely believed that CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC to respond to the hack, gave an identical image of some of the servers to the FBI, which experts I’ve spoken to say would be more useful than giving the FBI a physical server itself.” Notice how much work “identical” is doing?

The 2 ways Russia may have helped Trump steal the election aren’t what you think Philadelphia Inquirer

Mueller’s Latest Indictment Contradicts Evidence In The Public Domain Disobedient Media

Musings II … The “Intelligence Community,” “Russian Interference,” and Due Diligence Jack Matlock

‘Game on’: Former NSA and CIA boss says Russian hack of Democratic emails was ‘honorable state espionage’ as it’s confirmed campaign chair was duped by ‘phishing’ website Daily Mail. From 2016, still germane.

* * *

Related stories:

The Justice Department just charged a Russian national with trying to infiltrate the NRA Vox. Given that the Russian national communicated with her handler through Twitter DM (!), the alleged offenses began in 2015 under the Obama administration, and the organization infiltrated was the NRA, it’s hard to see this as anything other than (a) dogpiling on Helsinki and (b) midterms related, since the NRA may become an issue there.

Mueller Indictment Adds Urgency to Securing 2018 Midterm Elections WSJ. No mention, of course, of hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public, which would mean the DHS wouldn’t need to participate in the balloting process at all.

The Magic Of Novichok – Deadly Agent Found In Perfume Bottle Moon of Alabama

* * *

Unrelated incidents:

Resistance Win! This Artist Was Going To Draw Trump And Putin Kissing, But Was Worried That Seemed Homophobic, So He Had Them Kiss While Thinking About Pamela Anderson Clickhole

People are falling for a fake Mueller indictment citing the ‘international meme community’ Mashable

Trump Transition

If you work for Trump, quit now Ruth Marcus, WaPo. The 9.9% asserts its class power…

Can Truth Survive Trump? WaPo Fails to Ask How Well Truth Was Doing to Begin With Dean Baker, FAIR

Plutonium is missing, but the government says nothing Center for Public Integrity

Class Warfare

Exploited Amazon workers need a union. When will they get one? Guardian

Poultry processing workers face injuries in Wisconsin, nationwide LaCross Tribune

Theory and Evidence on Employer Collusion in the Franchise Sector Alan B. Krueger, Orley Ashenfelter, NBER

Why going cashless is discriminatory – and what’s being done to stop it Guardian

Bernie Sanders: Bold Politics Is Good Politics Jacobin

Single-dose testosterone administration increases men’s preference for status goods Nature

Vermont Law School revokes tenure for 75 percent of faculty VT Digger

Scholar Robert Meister on America: Saying “the past is evil” doesn’t mean the evil is past Salon

Dark Patterns: How Tech Companies Use Interface Design to Undermine Online Privacy Privacy News Online

I toured Lennar’s Amazon smart home — here’s what it’s like Inman (Clive). Clive: “My take: ‘Alexa, show me a dystopian vision of exurban sprawl where the surveillance state knows my every move, even at home; and while you’re at it, explain to me what’s going on with the landscaping in front of my garage preventing its presumable intended use by vehicles.’”

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on July 17, 2018 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.

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