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Joan Robinson On International Trade In Times Of International Crisis

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 02/07/2020 - 4:05am in

Nick Johnson has some good quotes from Joan Robinson’s book Freedom & Necessity — An Introduction To The Study Of Society from 1970.

One for the current times, Chapter 9, The New Mercantilism, page 92:

The national egoism of modern capitalism is clearly seen in the sphere of international trade. The capitalist world (except in a major war) is a buyer’s market. Productive capacity exceeds demand. Exports yield profits and imports (apart from necessary raw materials) mean a loss of sales to competitors. Moreover internal investment is easier to foster, inflation easier to fend off and the foreign exchange easier to manage in a situation of a favourable balance of trade — that is, an excess of exports over imports. Thus every nation competes to achieve ‘export-led growth’, while each tries to defend itself from the exports of the others. The combination of national quasi-planning with international chaos (which the agreements on trade and finance made after the war have not succeeded in mastering) flares up from time to time in an international crisis.

credit: Internet Archive

Joan Robinson was one of the first economists to be against free trade.

In the book Aspects Of Development And Underdevelopment, 1979, Chapter 6, Dependent Industrialisation, page 102, she says:

The most pervasive and strongly held of all neoclassical doctrines is that of the universal benefits of free trade, but unfortunately the theory in terms of which it is expounded has no relevance to the question that it purports to discuss. The argument is conducted in terms of comparisons of static equilibrium positions in which each trading nation is enjoying full employment of all resources and balanced payments, the flow of exports, valued at world prices, being equal to the flow of imports. In such conditions, there is no motive for resorting to protection of home industry. Since full employment of given resources is assumed, there is no need for protection to increase home industry, and since timeless equilibrium is assumed there can never be a deficit in the balance of payments. Moreover, since all countries are treated as having the same level of development, there can be no question of ‘unequal exchange’.

Of course one of the best is the 1937 article Beggar-My-Neighbour Remedies For Unemployment.

Growing the electoral choir

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 11:00pm in



The acting president’s poll numbers are down. Way down. Down in rumors of his party ditching him for another candidate down. Down in his telling Sean Hannity that Joe Biden might wind up president next year “because some people don’t love me, maybe.”

Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes explain at The Atlantic that Donald Trump “Season 4 just doesn’t have the zest and sparkle of the previous seasons.” Ratings have fallen through the floor, poor thing.

But it is no time to celebrate. Something else has fallen through the floor this season: voter registrations.

Five Thirty-eight reported on June 26:

Poll after poll showed a high level of enthusiasm for voting in the general election in 2020, and in the beginning of the year, voter registration surged to match that excitement. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. New registrations have fallen off a cliff.

The enthusiasm is there, says David Becker, the executive director and founder of Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR). But the registrations are not.

“Every piece of data we had looked at with regard to enthusiasm about engaging in this presidential election cycle indicated that we had to be prepared for the highest-turnout presidential election that almost anyone living had ever seen,” Becker said, “which makes the decline in March and especially April all the more striking.”

Old North State Politics grabbed my attention two weeks earlier when Dr. Michael Bitzer announced a “precipitous drop in NC voter registration” since March. COVID-19 has significantly depressed new registrations here.

Image via Old North State blog.

The trends could certainly reverse themselves. Assuming the track of the pandemic does. That … is not looking likely.

Currently, about 40 states allow online voter registration. The online system works for people already holding state-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards and uses the signature on file with the DMV for verification. North Carolina added this option for the first time as of March. But few know about it, especially people of voting age and unregistered. Don’t expect any GOP-controlled legislature to allocate funds to mailings promoting online registration. Growing the electoral choir is not their game plan.

For the first time this year, NC residents holding NCDMV-issued IDs may register to vote online.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) today announced it will invest up to $30 million in a nonpartisan, nonprofit voter outreach organizations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. The program’s goal is to “increase voter registration and participation among people of color.”

Now, try finding them.

Ordinarily at this time in the cycle, volunteers would be out in the streets with clipboards registering voters. At campaign rallies. At outdoor concerts. At street festivals. On downtown street corners on weekends. At all kinds of public events not happening this year because of the contagion and that may not happen by the fall. The SPLC and its partners could try registering people at black churches. But only at everyone’s peril.

Even in normal times, voter registration efforts by volunteers is haphazard, a matter of chance and sweat. The unregistered are on no campaign’s radar because they are not registered. They are not likely voters, therefore not high-priority for targeting in get-out-the-vote efforts. They are not identified by party. They have no contact information in the parties’ voter databases. This makes them all but invisible to activists trying to engage them in the election process. And just when the acting president and his party seem on the ropes new registrants could be key to Democrats winning races this fall up and down the ballot.

Getting around that little problem is consuming me.

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

For The Win, 3rd Edition is ready for download. Request a copy of my free countywide GOTV mechanics guide at ForTheWin.us. This is what winning looks like.
Note: The pandemic will upend standard field tactics in 2020. If enough promising “improvisations” come my way, perhaps I can issue a COVID-19 supplement.


A estátua de Theodore Roosevelt vai cair. Este é seu passado sombrio.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 2:02pm in



Pessoas passam pela estátua equestre de Theodore Roosevelt em frente ao Museu Americano de História Natural, em 22 de junho, na cidade de Nova York.

Pessoas passam pela estátua equestre de Theodore Roosevelt em frente ao Museu Americano de História Natural, em 22 de junho, na cidade de Nova York.

Foto: Timothy A. Clary/ AFP/ Getty Images

O Museu Americano de História Natural da Cidade de Nova York anunciou no domingo, dia 21, que removerá a famosa estátua do presidente Theodore Roosevelt que adorna sua entrada principal.

O presidente do museu enfatizou que a decisão foi tomada com base na “composição hierárquica” do monumento – o ex-presidente está a cavalo, ladeado por um homem africano e um indígena americano, ambos a pé – e não pelo simples fato de retratar Roosevelt. O museu, que o pai de Roosevelt ajudou a fundar, manterá o nome do Memorial Theodore Roosevelt, da Rotunda Theodore Roosevelt e do Parque Theodore Roosevelt.

Isso faz pensar que os americanos ainda não encararam o lado terrivelmente sombrio da história de Roosevelt.

Roosevelt nasceu em 1858 em uma família abastada da cidade de Nova York. Seu pai morreu enquanto Roosevelt frequentava a universidade de Harvard, e deixou para ele uma herança que hoje equivaleria a cerca de 33 milhões de dólares. Ainda antes dos trinta anos, Roosevelt investiu uma parte significativa de seu dinheiro em criação de gado no Oeste. Isso fez com que ele passasse bastante tempo nas regiões de Montana e Dakota do Sul e do Norte, poucos anos antes de se tornarem estados, em 1889.

Durante esse período, Roosevelt desenvolveu uma postura em relação aos indígenas americanos que certamente pode ser descrita como genocida. Em um discurso proferido em Nova York em 1886, ele declarou:

“Não chego a pensar que o índio bom é o índio morto, mas vale para nove entre dez deles, e eu prefiro não olhar de perto o caso do décimo. O caubói mais depravado tem mais princípios morais que o índio médio. Pegue trezentas famílias de classe baixa de Nova York e Nova Jersey e as sustente, por 50 anos, em ócio imoral, e você terá alguma ideia do que são os índios. Imprudentes, vingativos, diabolicamente cruéis.”

Naquele mesmo ano, Roosevelt publicou um livro onde escreveu que “o assim chamado Massacre de Chivington ou Sandy Creek, a despeito de alguns detalhes discutíveis, foi no todo um dos feitos mais justos e benéficos que já se praticou na fronteira”.

O massacre de Sand Creek [“riacho de areia”, em inlgês] acontecera 22 anos antes no Território do Colorado, dizimando um vilarejo com mais de 100 pessoas dos povos Cheyenne e Arapaho. Foi comparável, em todos os aspectos, ao massacre de My Lai durante a Guerra do Vietnã. Nelson A. Miles, um oficial que veio a se tornar o mais alto general do Exército, escreveu em suas memórias que fora “talvez o mais vil e mais injustificável crime nos anais da América”.

O ataque foi comandado pelo coronel John Chivington, conhecido pela infame declaração: “Eu vim matar índios. (…) Matar e escalpelar todos, grandes e pequenos; afinal, larvas viram piolhos.” Soldados posteriormente relataram que, depois de matar homens, mulheres e crianças, mutilaram seus corpos para retirar troféus. Um tenente assim declarou em um inquérito parlamentar: “soube que as partes íntimas de Antílope Branco tinham sido cortadas para fazer um saco de tabaco”.

Em outro livro, “A conquista do Oeste”, Roosevelt explicava que as ações dos EUA contra os indígenas americanos eram parte de uma ampla e nobre empreitada do colonialismo europeu:

“Todos os homens de pensamento sadio e íntegro devem afastar com impaciente desprezo a pretensão de que esses continentes sejam reservados para o uso de esparsas tribos selvagens. (…) Felizmente, os homens brutos, enérgicos e práticos que fazem o duro trabalho pioneiro da civilização em terras bárbaras não estão inclinados ao sentimentalismo falso. As pessoas que estão, são esses sedentários egoístas e indolentes, a quem falta imaginação para entender a importância racial do trabalho feito pela irmandade dos pioneiros em terras selvagens e distantes. (…)

A guerra mais justificada de todas, em última instância, é uma guerra contra os selvagens. (…) Americanos e índios, bôeres e zulus, cossacos e tártaros, neozelandeses e maori – em cada um desses casos, o vencedor, embora possa ter praticado atos terríveis, lançou alicerces profundos para a grandeza futura de um povo poderoso.”

Não há exagero em chamar esse discurso de hitleriano. E embora não seja muito popular dizer isto, o nazismo não era apenas retoricamente semelhante ao colonialismo europeu, era uma consequência dele e sua culminância lógica.

Em um discurso proferido em 1928, Adolf Hitler já falava com admiração sobre como os americanos “reduziram, a tiros, os milhões de peles-vermelhas a apenas algumas centenas de milhares, e mantêm agora o diminuto restante sob observação em uma jaula”. Em 1941, Hitler contou a pessoas próximas seus planos de “europeizar” a Rússia. Não seriam apenas os alemães a fazê-lo, disse ele, mas também os escandinavos e os americanos, “todos aqueles que têm um sentimento pela Europa”. A coisa mais importante era “olhar para os nativos como os peles-vermelhas”.

Cabe a nós definir o que isso representa para as inúmeras celebrações de Roosevelt nos EUA. Mas se seguirmos com honestidade, enfrentaremos um acerto de contas com algo ainda mais monumental que a história do país.

Tradução: Deborah Leão

The post A estátua de Theodore Roosevelt vai cair. Este é seu passado sombrio. appeared first on The Intercept.

Como burocracia e má-vontade barraram uma pesquisa promissora sobre coronavírus no Brasil

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 2:01pm in



Quando terminou de desenvolver um sistema de alta tecnologia e baixo custo que pode aprimorar o atendimento a doentes de covid-19, o cientista de dados Felipe Soares vibrou ante a expectativa de testá-lo e contribuir com o combate à pandemia do novo coronavírus.

O sistema é parte da pesquisa dos dois doutorados que Soares cursa simultaneamente na Universidade de Sheffield, Inglaterra, e na Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, a UFRGS. No Reino Unido, a técnica já foi colocada a prova pelo Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium, um consórcio de pesquisadores em busca de respostas sobre a covid-19.

Um artigo preliminar sobre a pesquisa, publicado pelo brasileiro e seus colegas na revista eletrônica MedRxiv, foi pinçado como “hot topic of the day“, algo como a novidade importante do dia, pelo CDC dos Estados Unidos. Não é pouca coisa. O CDC é o Centro de Prevenção e Controle de Doenças, um dos principais braços do Departamento da Saúde americano. Mas nada disso foi capaz de superar a burocracia e o má-vontade brasileiras.

A técnica idealizada por Soares usa inteligência artificial para, a partir de dados de exames de sangue comuns e que ficam prontos em pouco tempo, determinar as chances de uma pessoa ter ou não covid-19 antes mesmo de realizar os testes específicos para a doença. Foi concebido para auxiliar na triagem de pacientes que chegam com sintomas em pronto-socorros.

O algoritmo desenvolvido pelo cientista filtra as informações do hemograma em busca de indicadores de pouca probabilidade de contaminação. Ou seja, é um pré-diagnóstico por exclusão. “Se você mapeia rapidamente quem tem menos chances de estar com o coronavírus, pode alocar esses pacientes em ambiente descontaminado e seguro e, ao mesmo tempo, passar os casos mais prováveis para a frente da fila”, ele me explicou.

Primeiro obstáculo à pesquisa foi o hospital Albert Einsten. Em seguida, vieram UFRGS, Ministério Público e governo federal.

As tentativas de emplacar testes da tecnologia no Brasil começaram em março. À época, o Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein lançou um desafio online para estimular o uso de dados no combate ao coronavírus. Para isso, ofereceu os resultados de cerca de 600 exames de sangue laboratoriais sem informações que revelassem a identidade dos pacientes. Além disso, esses dados passaram por um tratamento que, na prática, impossibilita que o sistema de Soares funcione plenamente quando adicionadas as informações de outros centros médicos.

Para ampliar a pesquisa, o cientista precisava dos dados do Einstein num formato diferente e, além disso, de uma base maior. E aí começou a enfrentar resistência. Ele explicou isso ao hospital, mas passou a não receber respostas. Em nota, o Einstein me disse estar avaliando requisitos que permitam “a colaboração entre múltiplas instituições, atendendo a todos os requisitos éticos e de respeito ao sigilo de dados de pacientes”. O hospital informou ainda que irá convocar organizações e pesquisadores interessados, mas não fixou data para fazer isso.

O pesquisador resolveu, então, buscar a ajuda do pró-reitor de Pesquisa da UFRGS, Rafael Roesler. Dele, porém, ouviu que a entrega das informações era uma prerrogativa do Einstein, e o pró-reitor ofereceu como alternativa o setor de pesquisa do Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre.

“Os dados iam [alimentar uma pesquisa que pode] beneficiar muitas pessoas, então acreditei que eles pudessem fazer o pedido [ao hospital paulistano]”, disse Soares. Não funcionou. Inconformado, ele procurou o Ministério Público Estadual do Rio Grande do Sul. Os promotores, porém, remeteram o pedido aos pares do Ministério Público Federal. Lá, o caso foi arquivado em 20 de maio. Na justificativa, o MPF devolveu a bola a quem já se livrara dela, argumentando que a UFRGS poderia ir à justiça para pedir os dados ao Einstein. Em nota, a universidade me disse entender que não cabe a ela fazer isso.

“Fica a critério da entidade [o Einstein] fornecer ou não esses dados anonimizados. Ela não tem obrigação de dar”, explicou o advogado e economista Renato Opice Blum, especialista em direito digital e proteção de dados. “Por que um juiz faria o Einstein neste momento [de pandemia] parar tudo para produzir dados para um teste que pode ou não dar certo?”, afirmou o infectologista e cientista Ricardo Diaz, referência em pesquisa no Brasil. Ele se disse entusiasmado com a técnica proposta por Soares.

Ministério da Saúde e Gabinete de Segurança Institucional ignoraram contatos do cientista.

Enquanto isso, o doutorando buscou um novo caminho. Fez contato com Rosângela Sobieszczanski, chefe da Vigilância em Saúde da Secretaria de Saúde do Rio Grande do Sul, e com Eduardo Silva, coordenador estadual das pesquisas sobre covid-19, e com o Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre. A única resposta que obteve foi do HC – a proposta está em análise pelo comitê de ética. Procurada, a secretaria não se manifestou até o fechamento deste texto.

Soares ainda recorreu ao governo federal – e amargou nova decepção. Um servidor do alto escalão do Ministério da Saúde e um coronel do Gabinete de Segurança Institucional receberam e-mails e telefonemas do pesquisador. Apesar de já haver notícias sobre os “resultados promissores” da técnica proposta por Soares (como noticiaram os portais News Medical Life Sciences e Sanar med), o governo brasileiro não deu resposta alguma.

Procurei Ministério da Saúde e Gabinete de Segurança Institucional para entender os porquês do pouco caso. Da pasta chefiada pelo interino Eduardo Pazuello recebi a mesma resposta que deram a Soares – nenhuma. Já do GSI, de Augusto Heleno, ouvi que o assunto não era “tema afeto” a ele.

“Aparentemente, não há interesse dos órgãos públicos brasileiros. Parece que o Brasil não quer mesmo fazer parte do futuro da pesquisa em coronavírus”, desabafou Soares.

Enquanto isso, na Europa, o pesquisador encontrou apoio. A rede privada de hospitais espanhola HM Hospitales entregou 3 mil resultados de exames de sangue anonimizados. Enquanto espera algum retorno no Brasil, Soares prossegue com a pesquisa na Inglaterra. O artigo final sobre ela está em fase de revisão no Plos One, periódico especializado em ciência e saúde.

Já no Brasil, a pandemia do novo coronavírus segue seu caminho quase sem ser perturbada por uma ação coordenada das autoridades. A covid-19 já matou mais de 50 mil pessoas e contaminou mais de 1 milhão de pessoas, segundo os dados oficiais. Há provável subnotificação de mortes e uma óbvia falta de testes – estimativas veem 15 prováveis casos não identificados para cada um diagnosticado.

The post Como burocracia e má-vontade barraram uma pesquisa promissora sobre coronavírus no Brasil appeared first on The Intercept.

A little bit of hope in troubled times

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 11:00am in



 Joint LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter march in New York CityPeople hold a sign as they take part in a joint LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter march on the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City on June 28, 2020.Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

It’s hard to imagine how things can worse but I think a lot of us are having a hard time imagining how things can get better as well. But in the midst of all this chaos, there is a rise in optimism among Blacks and Latinos which I find to be just amazing … and truly wonderful:

Amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic, a suddenly uncertain economy and mass protests against racial injustice in the United States, dissatisfaction about the current state of the country has reached record highs. But according to a new Pew Research Center poll, a key group — Black and Latino Americans — are also significantly more optimistic than they were last year that life will be better for future generations than it is now. 

The Pew survey, which was conducted between June 16 and 22, found that a third of Black Americans — 33 percent — now say that future generations will be better off. While that’s far from a majority, it’s almost double the share who said the same in September 2019.

There was a smaller jump in optimism among Latinos, with 26 percent saying that future generations will be better off, compared with just 16 percent who said the same last fall. 

The shifts come after the death of George Floyd sparked mass protests against police violence, racial profiling and injustice in law enforcement. Other public surveys since the protests began have found that some of the core messages of the demonstrations — including the belief that police are more likely to use deadly force in encounters with Black suspects — have quickly gained traction with the American electorate at large.  

Among all white Americans, optimism for future generations remains unchanged since September 2019, with 22 percent expressing hope both then and now that future generations will be better off. 

But there has been significant change among whites when partisan affiliation is considered. The share of white Democrats who say life will be better for future generations has doubled since last year from 12 percent to 24 percent, while the share of white Republicans who say the same has decreased from 30 percent to 21 percent. 

I don’t know if it will be but I do know that it won’t be if people don’t believe it’s possible. This is very good news. Let’s hope we don’t drop the ball.


McConnell has competition for the title of Grim Reaper

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 9:30am in



Where Does the Concept of a “Grim Reaper” Come From? | Britannica

Ran Paul is supposedly a medical doctor and they take an oath which says “First, do no harm.”

He is doing a great deal of harm here:

During a tense exchange on Capitol Hill, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Tuesday blasted the nation’s top public health experts for their lack of optimism during the unprecedented, highly lethal, and surging coronavirus pandemic.

“We need to not be so presumptuous that we know everything,” the Kentucky Republican said during an impassioned plea to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions about the need for schools to reopen. He went on to call America’s public health community “fatally” arrogant. 

“Perhaps our planners might think twice before they weigh in on every subject,” Paul added. “Perhaps our government experts might hold their tongue before expressing their opinion.”

Paul specifically berated Dr. Anthony Fauci—the public face of the White House’s coronavirus response and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases—for his recent statements on spectator sportsherd immunity, and other subjects. Though Fauci had couched his words in caveats, he said that “it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall” and that, even with a working vaccine, herd immunity might be difficult to accomplish if Americans aren’t willing to take it.

But Paul said such statements have caused “undue fear” in pockets of the country and cautioned the public not to trust the words of top infectious disease professionals in the country, saying, “We shouldn’t presume that a group of experts somehow knows what’s best for everyone.” 

“We just need more optimism,” Paul added.

In response, Fauci told the committee that his words often get twisted in the media and that, “I feel very strongly we need to do whatever we can to get the children back to school.”

But minutes later, he also said that the country could begin seeing 100,000 new cases a day “if things don’t turn around,” telling the committee, “It could get very bad.”

How’s that for optimism?

And Rand Paul is a ghoul who literally wants people to die. He’s a doctor. He knows what he’s doing. And it is grotesque.



Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 8:00am in



No Tanning Bed Here, Trump's Orange Hue Is The Result Of "Good ...

Biden held a press conference today. He gave a good speech about the pandemic and took a bunch of questions. He sounded good.

Trump and his campaign, meanwhile, seem to have decided they can win by contrasting their very stable genius with Biden and saying Biden has dementia.

Joseph R. Biden Jr. unloaded a barrage of criticism on President Trump on Tuesday over his response to Covid-19, his refusal to wear a mask, his handling of intelligence on Russians targeting American troops and even his cognitive capability during a rare news conference where Mr. Biden repeatedly drew distinctions with his November opponent.

In a speech in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden said that “we need a president,” not a “cheerleader,” as he laced into Mr. Trump’s approach to the virus. “Mr. President, this is not about you,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s about the health and well-being of the American public.”

He said Americans had not made sacrifices so that the president “could ignore the science and turn responsible steps like wearing masks into a political statement.”

Before the speech, the Biden campaign released an updated plan for fighting the coronavirus, given “the current circumstances we face as a result of President Trump’s persistent failures.”

The plan said that “minutes after he is declared the winner of the election,” Mr. Biden would call Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and ask him to work for Mr. Biden just as he has worked for past presidents.

“Dr. Fauci will have full access to the Oval Office and an uncensored platform to speak directly to the American people — whether delivering good news or bad,” the plan said.

The plan addresses issues like improving testing and tracing, supplying personal protective equipment, developing a vaccine and reopening the economy. In his speech, Mr. Biden encouraged the president “to adopt this plan in its entirety.”

Mr. Biden, the former vice president, has made only sporadic in-person appearances since the pandemic upended Americans’ daily routines, and his campaign is refraining from holding rallies with large crowds that are typically a staple of the campaign trail.

He has repeatedly criticized Mr. Trump over his response to the crisis, and this month, he laid out an eight-part plan for reopening the economy.

As of Tuesday, more than 126,000 people have died of the virus in the United States alone and more than 2.6 million people nationwide have been infected.

“Statewide lockdowns that so many Americans lived under for months were intended to buy us time to get our act together,” Mr. Biden said in his remarks. “Instead of using that time to prepare ourselves, Donald Trump squandered it.”


Also not normal:

This man has no room to criticize anyone for misspeaking:

The chutzpah is overwhelming.


He doesn’t read

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 6:30am in



Donald Trump Responsibility GIF - DonaldTrump Responsibility ...

He hasn’t even read the books his ghostwriters write for him and he loves nothing more than himself. So why would he read something as dull and boring as the PDB?

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday claimed Trump hadn’t been briefed on the intelligence that Russia placed bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But when pressed on whether the intel appeared in Trump’s written President’s Daily Brief, or PDB, she declined to directly respond.

There appears to be a reason for that. The Washington Post and others have confirmed that the information has indeed appeared in the PDB. The Post reports that two sources say “the intelligence was considered significant and credible enough that it was included in the President’s Daily Brief.” The New York Times is also reporting that information appeared in the PDB in late February. The Associated Press reported that it appeared in the PDB as far back as early 2019. And GOP lawmakers who were briefed Monday at the White House also appeared to grant that the info was probably in the PDB. “I believe it may have been,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.) told NBC News.

The first thing to note here is the semantic game the White House appears to be playing. They’re suggesting that the President’s Daily Brief document doesn’t itself constitute a “briefing” — despite having “brief” in its name — but that a briefing must be done orally.

That’s quite the parse. And as longtime Times national security reporter David Sanger notes, it’s not how this works.

But aside from that, it’s worth distilling the White House’s apparent defense down to its basest form, which is that Trump may have actually been provided the intelligence, but he didn’t actually consume it.

And that makes complete sense, given everything we know about Trump and his approach to both detailed intelligence and — more importantly in this moment — to intel about Russia specifically.

The Post reported in early 2018 that Trump doesn’t read the PDBs

Trump reads twitter ad that’s it. And half the time it seems that he only reads half of the posts he re-tweets. And he already knows everything anyway so what’s the point?

Still, this seems like an odd defense. If the best they can do is say that the president doesn’t read his daily briefing so it isn’t his fault if he doesn’t know what’s in it, well …


Structuring globalization to redistribute income upward

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 6:22am in



from Dean Baker The Washington Post ran a piece on how patterns of globalization may be changed due to the pandemic. It is more than a bit confused in not distinguishing short-term effects from long-term effects and its inability to distinguish between problems caused by fiscal policy and policies caused by the fallout from the […]

Killer Lines, Killer Cops, and Trump’s Vote-Heist Dress RehearsalThe hidden, ugly story of the new Jim Crow tactics tested in the recent primaries—and coming soon to a state near you.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 5:30am in



Jerry Thomas got his Georgia Primary ballot on June 10. The Primary Election was June 9. Getting shafted out of your ... READ MORE