London Review of Books: Magical Thinking about Isis.
“... the problem of IS can’t be laid exclusively at the door of Bush, Blair et al. The war in Libya, and Obama’s accommodation with the Sisi regime in Egypt, have encouraged the spread of IS well beyond Iraq. It is, however, the US’s dangerously incoherent Syria policy that has perhaps done the greatest damage. ”
Guardian.UK: Pfizer’s injection of Botox may cause more than cosmetic damage.
“... while Pfizer may be able to rush this deal to completion before US legislators can react, it is surely nonsense to think US politicians will then shrug their shoulders and carry on as if nothing has happened. Pfizer is a company that, like most US pharma giants, has prospered for decades on the back of the high prices Americans pay for their prescription medicines.” Please, Congress, start a brouhaha over this.
The New Yorker: Telling the Truth About ISIS and Raqqa.
“Assad has killed so many innocents, and many people have lost hope. After Assad’s chemical attack, when he crossed the so-called ‘red line,’ the U.S. just took the weapons. It made America look like a liar and weak.”
Crooked Timber: What We Owe the Students at Princeton.
Guardian.UK: Texas family struggles to keep health insurance – and survive cancer.
“Just don’t go the doctor. Don’t do those preventative care visits that probably helped me find out I had breast cancer and thyroid cancer early on. Just don’t find out and don’t get it fixed. [snip] Which is ludicrous but at this point what do you do? It becomes insanely expensive, it’s a whole different ball game from what it used to be.”
Archaeology News Network: 23 heritage sites destroyed in Saudi airstrikes on Yemen.
Daesh is apparently not alone in desiring to wipe out history.
SF New Mexican: Federal official says N.M. licenses are fine for U.S. travel.
“The fact the federal government didn’t give New Mexico an extension on Real ID compliance means that secure federal facilities in New Mexico will have to have stricter policies in the type of identification they accept. Starting Jan. 10, people won’t be able to use a New Mexico driver’s license to enter a military base or a federal installation such as the Los Alamos National Laboratory.” We’ll get four months’ notice if we need a passport for domestic travel.
The Atlantic: Are Higher Minimum Wages Eliminating Restaurant Jobs?
Misleading. When Santa Fe increased the minimum wage, the businesses that were operating on a shoestring failed almost immediately. Restaurants cut back on personnel and portion size, but that was neither sustainable nor sensible (customers dwindled) ... so eventually supplies were re-sourced, economies found, prices raised a smidge or so ... and hiring resumed. So any ‘elimination’ is temporary at best.
Certain days ...
I skim through the articles in my aggregator on days like today, and think “We (America) must look like an insane person to those outside the country ... ripping off clothes, screaming like a banshee, slamming into trees, running through frozen ponds, eating handsfuls of autumn leaves and growling ... totally batshit crazy. Some want to help, but they don’t dare - this insane person’s got nukes, the largest military in recorded history, and a sensitivity for outrage that’s dialed to 11.”
Maybe I need to avoid my “Politics” channel for a while ...
TG’s Political Wire: Trump Holds Massive National Lead in New Poll.
It’s gonna be a long, cold winter for the establishment GOP.
Vox: UnitedHealth might quit Obamacare. That would be a huge deal.
“But in the long term, United pulling out of Obamacare might signal something even more troubling: that the marketplaces aren’t a good business decision for other large carriers like Blue Cross Blue Shield or Aetna.” Uh, Vox? BCBS is already gone from NM. Wake up and smell the beginnings of a death spiral.
NY Times: In Rise of ISIS, No Single Missed Key but Many Strands of Blame.
““It was disregarded by the White House. [snip] It was disregarded by other elements in the intelligence community as a one-off report. Frankly, at the White House, it didn’t meet the narrative.” And yet ... from The Guardian (UK) ... Turkey could cut off Islamic State’s supply lines. So why doesn’t it? “The exact relationship between Erdoğan’s government and Isis may be subject to debate; but of some things we can be relatively certain. Had Turkey placed the same kind of absolute blockade on Isis territories as they did on Kurdish-held parts of Syria, let alone shown the same sort of ‘benign neglect’ towards the PKK and YPG that they have been offering to Isis, that blood-stained ‘caliphate’ would long since have collapsed – and arguably, the Paris attacks may never have happened. And if Turkey were to do the same today, Isis would probably collapse in a matter of months. Yet, has a single western leader called on Erdoğan to do this?”
See the link yesterday about Turkish soccer fans.
NY Times: Syrian Passport by Stadium Stolen or Fake, A.F.P. Reports.
“Agence France-Presse is reporting, citing a source close to the investigation, that the passport bore the name of Ahmad al-Mohammad, a soldier in the Syrian Army who was born in 1990 and died months ago.” Which means, all the crazy anti-refugee rhetoric can stop now. But it won’t.
SF Gate: Turkey soccer fans boo moment of silence for Paris attacks.
Turkey, the widely-touted face of ‘moderate’ Islam. This behavior’s not doing anyone any favors.
TG’s Political Wire: GOP Lawmaker Warns Refugees Could Buy Guns.
CJR: A gun-carrying journalist, and rightly so.
Something you don’t hear a lot about. The stereotype is ‘martyr’, but there really is no reason why a journalist should be a sitting duck, particularly in dangerous areas.
naked cap: 10 Economic Facts that Power the Sanders Insurgency.
Read of the day. Not anything we didn’t know, really, but piled together ...
WaPo: Time for GOP panic? Establishment worried Carson or Trump might win.
“We’re potentially careening down this road of nominating somebody who frankly isn’t fit to be president in terms of the basic ability and temperament to do the job. [snip] It’s not just that it could be somebody Hillary could destroy electorally, but what if Hillary hits a banana peel and this person becomes president?” Happy to hear the Establishment’s taking it seriously.
The Diplomat: Russia’s Top Secret Nuclear Torpedo.
“Codenamed ‘Kanyon’ by Pentagon officials, it has allegedly also been designed to target both naval ports used by the U.S. Navy’s submarine fleet as well as U.S. coastal regions.” Oh, just peachy if true. I’ve heard stories of their titanium subs, back in Cold War days. If their engines were quieter, they would have been a major problem.
USA Today: The memoir George H.W. Bush couldn’t write.
Sounds interesting. A library borrow, perhaps.
Guernica/Robert Reich: The Rigging of the American Market.
“For example, Americans pay more for pharmaceuticals than do the citizens of any other developed nation. That’s partly because it’s perfectly legal in the US (but not in most other nations) for the makers of branded drugs to pay the makers of generic drugs to delay introducing cheaper unbranded equivalents, after patents on the brands have expired.” My italic emphasis. You learn something new every day ...
New Yorker: How to Interrupt Jeb Bush.
I still don’t have the stomach to actually watch one. Not yet, anyways.
Economist: Personal information on the internet - Can you sue a website that misrepresents you?
Keeping an ear out over this one. Could have a big impact, if decided badly.
WolfStreet: Fed Trips over Commercial Real Estate Bubble; Looks, Sees “Early Signs”.
“It has been one heck of a party in commercial real estate.” Good lordy. “When the walls, come tumblin’ down ...”, I hear it in my head.
Vox: Are Democrats doomed or dominant? Yes.
*Sigh*. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard this and the obverse before. Must be a slow news week. Red cup Christianity and political poopnostication is at the fore. One assumes red Solo cups are suspect, also ... ?