around the web

Ex-Billmon commenter-turned-blogger "b." at Moon of Alabama offers detailed, generally plausible counter-narratives to the media's insidious fictions of the moment. One such popular trope is "North Koreans are so cra-a-a-azy." Perhaps, b. suggests, the threat of imminent invasion from the South, egged on by you-know-who (us), forces the North to commit so much labor to the military that they are starving for lack of farm hands. Having a credible nuclear deterrent allows them to build their civilian economy, in particular, food production. That's not so crazy.

Clintonite crazies (speaking of crazies) have been huffing and HuffPo-ing about Steve Bannon as the next Goebbels, pumping this Breitbart amateur up to superpowered levels of Machiavellian skill. Ian Welsh suggests some of Bannon's nativist schtick wasn't such a bad thing, and with him out, the neocons and neolibs are rushing in: "He was the guy, along with Trump on the campaign trail, who wanted the Muslim ban, aye. But he also favored rewriting trade deals, hitting China on manufacturing (it is true that China no longer keeps its currency low, but they did for ages and gutted US manufacturing), bringing those jobs back to America, improving relations with Russia, and, oh yeah, not getting involved in stupid Middle Eastern wars other than fighting ISIS."

Benjamin Studebaker has a Political Strategy for a Better Europe that sounds wrong to me: "In this way we can partner the integrationist and protectionist lefts together -- by pairing a genuine threat of exit in the periphery with a strong push for federalism in the core, we can split the neoliberals off from the right nationalists in the core countries and force them into making concessions. What the left needs is a good cop, bad cop routine, where the British, French, Dutch, and German leftists are the good cops and the Greek, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese leftists are the bad cops." You'll have to read the whole post to make sense of that excerpt but surely he has this backward: his "bad cops" have everything to lose by acting up; it's leftists in the fat and sassy countries who should be causing trouble (and making alliances with nativists, even) to thwart the globalist leeches.