2:00PM Water Cooler 11/10/14

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


“How Can Hillary Make ObamaCare Her Own?” [Talking Points Memo]. It’s already hers. Both Obama and Hillary are neo-liberals who support versions of the Heritage Foundation plan that morphed into RomneyCare and then ObamaCare. In 2008, Hillary supported the exchanges, IRS enforcement, and the mandate, justifying it as universal coverage, which, to be fair, is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. (Universal coverage is also better field position if you’re a single payer advocate.) Obama didn’t support universal coverage, didn’t support the mandate, and ran “Harry & Louise”-style ads in Ohio against Hillary on that, a tactic so vile and reprehensible that Krugman called him out on it. Later, of course, Obama flip-flopped.

The key point, which Talking Points Memo oddly, or not, omits, is that Clinton doesn’t support single payer Medicare for All, a fact that should demolish her reputation for policy wonkery, as well as — just let me try to pre-empt 2016, here — any idea that she’s a “transformational” figure (remember that one?) Further, since women pay more for health benefits, her repudiation of single payer should also demolish her reputation for empowering women. (After Obama, I hope the idea that “having somebody who looks like _____” in office is worth more than a bucket of warm spit has died the death. You never know with Democrats, of course.)

2014 Midterms Post-mortem

It seemed like the DSCC wasn’t mobilizing the D base because it wasn’t; memos [Daily Beast]. Democratic operative: “Sometimes people just fucking hate you.” Out of the mouths of weasels….

In the midterms, “the big money has fought each other to a standstill” [National Journal].

Lowest midterms turnout since World War II [Political Wire].

How bad was voter suppression? Many calls, doubtless a tiny fraction of the real problem [The New Republic].

A list of Congressional campaigns that were actually well run [Roll Call].

What the voters want Ds and Rs to compromise on [Talking Points Memo]. Wait, would substantive agreement on neo-liberal policies do?


UPDATE: Jon Gruber on ObamaCare: “[C]all it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that [lack of transparency] was really, really critical for the thing to pass” [YouTube]. Oopsie.


Protesters torch door of one Presidential palace as anger over missing students grows [Guardian].

Extremely large protests over 43 disappeared students [Al Jazeera], which reveals close connections between government and narcos [Al Jazeera], as drug gang confesses [Christian Science Monitor]. Of course, I think “fall guys,” but ….

Attorney General’s “Ya me canse” [“Enough, I’m tired”] trending [news.com.au].


How the protesters and the cops are preparing for the Darren Wilson grand jury outcome, including “rules of engagement” [New York Magazine].

Ferguson and the “bourgieos cocoon of niceness” [Theology of Ferguson].

Hong Kong

Cops could clear Mong Kok Wednesday [South China Morning Post].

“[S]trong winds reveal the strength of sturdy grass”; poem quoted by Xi supporting Leung [Bloomberg].

Obama calls for restraint from Beijing [New York Times].

Students remain committed to occupations [Forbes].

Is Hong Kong China’s future? [The Conversation]. Perhaps not if “liberalization” as the writers seem to intend is meant.

America the Petrostate

Contrasts between Norway and Canada. Similar populations, dissimilar sovereign wealth funds. And political economies [Commonsense Canadian].

European trade reps shop for hyrdrocarbons at Philly trade show [Philadelphia Inquirer]. Paul Tioxin notes:

The event is promoted by one lawyer, former state Environmental Secretary of the most connected political firm in town, maybe the state. Please read this for energy overview, it is the most comprehensive statement for tar sands crude and fracking for gas, including the coming Trade Deal with Europe.  It is all covered, and energy is taking primary role as a driving force to close the trade pact.

Net Neutrality

Obama asks FCC to class the Internet (including mobile!) as a “utility” [BoingBoing]. Good, if late. It’s Obama. What’s the catch?

Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cablevision and Charter Communications dropped between 2 percent to 4 percent [Miami Herald].

Reaction from “Philadelphia, the City That Comcast Stole” [Philebrity].

Verizon wants you to send your billing password over Twitter [Ars Technica]. What could go wrong?

Class Warfare

Putting minimum wage on the ballot raises voter turnout [Guardian].

Tallahassee voters approve anti-corruption ethics code for city commissioners [WCTV].

News of the Wired

  • “Failure demand”: Demand caused by a failure to do something or do something right for the customer [Matt Edgar]. Not bugs. Features.
  • CEOs with extensive social connections initiate mergers and acquisitions more frequently, and these deals result in greater financial losses for both parties [Science Daily]. More INTJ CEOs needed!
  • An economic system that rewards psychopathic personality traits has changed our ethics and our personalities [Guardian]. That would be neo-liberalism.
  • Ex-MI6 chief named as sexual abuser of boys at apartment complex near Parliament [Exaro News].
  • Pope assigns reactionary American cardinal to post with “almost no responsibilities” [CNN].
  • News Corp’s $1.2 billion 2009 profit depended on favorable Luxembourg tax ruling [Australian Financial Review].
  • Blair’s deal with the Saudis for £41k a month and 2% on top has “nothing to do with the Middle East,” says Blair’s office [Daily Mail].
  • Dan Kahan on “cultural cognition” and climate change [Chronicle of Higher Education].
  • “I be like confused” [Mouth Beef].
  • A note on apppropriation [Graeme Virtue]:


    In support of Hero Initiative. Note that this worthy, though tiny, effort should be society-wide; there’s been a good deal of appropriation going on, and in many forms, and as for expropriation, dittoez.

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant:


Winter is coming!

Talk amongst yourselves!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on 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.


  1. Oregoncharles

    “You never know with Democrats, of course.”
    Yes, you do. Identity politics is all they’ve got, so it’s what they’ll go with. Especially appealing this time because women are the majority. Whether they’ll actually turn out to put Bill back in the White House, though, is a good question.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

    Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants.

    I tried contacting you, Lambert. I take pics all the time, some are of plants.

  3. Brindle

    re: Obamacare–Jon Gruber

    It almost sounds like in hindsight that Gruber wishes the American people would have seen through the propaganda and deep-sixed the ACA:

    “…this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO did not score the mandate as taxes, if the CBO scores the mandate as a tax, the bill dies”

    1. grizziz

      To hear him talk, it is almost giving propaganda a bad name. I imagine the ACA Bill is so obfuscated as to produce literal gold out of figurative lead. Still there is Gruber’s hint of pride in a job well done.

  4. McMike

    RE: Vote repression. Why does it matter if they aren’t allowed to vote?

    If they are allowed to vote, they’ll likely be doing it on a machine that shouldn’t be trusted to keep score at a High School soccer game.

    – Unverifiable
    – Unconfirmable
    – Unauditable
    – Vulnerable to external access, without detection or trace
    – Owned by overtly partisan crony private firms, under claims of proprietary secrecy
    – Not overseen by minders or judges, either independent or bipartisan
    – Not tested and sealed
    – Already amassed a long track record of suspicious and damning aberrations

    Five minutes of thinking about these black boxes by anyone with a rudimentary understanding of computers or process controls reveals.. oh hell, the fact that these are the standard for elections now leaves me to just shrug and walk away.

    1. John Zelnicker

      Screw technology! Fortunately, in Alabama we have gone back to hand-marking the ovals on a paper ballot. Although the first count is by machine, at least the paper ballots are there if needed. I guess I’m old fashioned at 64, but I still believe paper ballots are hard to improve on.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        The paper ballots must be the master copy, not the “paper trail.” Because what determines “if needed?”

        In any case, counting the votes by hand in public is, if properly concieved, an occasion for conviviality. In fact, election day should be a national holiday.

  5. Oregoncharles

    “You never know with Democrats, of course.”
    Yes, you do. Identity politics is all they’ve got, so it’s what they’ll go with. Unless Hillary’s many negatives and much baggage (aka Bill) crash the nomination process – again. In that case, probably Warren, partly for the same reason. The Big Money wouldn’t like that, though.

    My personal theory, by way of explaining the last few elections (since 1996), is that the “major” parties have a little deal: they trade the Presidency back and forth, 2 full terms at a time. It’s the Republicans’ turn, and Obama is making it his business to insure that they win next time. Just part of the job.

    If the pattern holds, the Democratic nomination is a consolation prize, like the one awarded to McCain and Romney. Is Warren young enough to use it as a stepping stone? Don’t know, but if I’m right, it’s a good reason to nominate Hillary.

    1. James

      My personal theory, by way of explaining the last few elections (since 1996), is that the “major” parties have a little deal: they trade the Presidency back and forth, 2 full terms at a time. It’s the Republicans’ turn, and Obama is making it his business to insure that they win next time. Just part of the job. … Don’t know, but if I’m right, it’s a good reason to nominate Hillary.

      I’ve been thinking the same thing lately. Hate to be the one that had to break that to her if it’s true. If that’s the case, it’s Jebtser’s job to lose. He’d fill the middle ground between W and O pretty well too. Not too dumb, not too smart, not very telegenic, but not a beast. Got the multicultural angle covered too, right down to a degree in Latin American Affairs (who knew they actually offered degrees in that!). In short, a schlub we could all live with who wouldn’t upset the apple cart.

      1. Oregoncharles

        As far as the Democratic nomination: I think McCain knew; I think he expressed his feelings by choosing Palin, a case of deliberate sabotage. And Hilary’s been around a long time; if there’s a deal, she’s part of it.

        As far as Jeb: that’s what we thought about W. It’s incumbent on any Republican to be just a little worse than the Democrat, to maintain the fiction of two parties. And Obama’s made it pretty hard.

  6. Mark Alexander

    Unfortunately for us Vermonters, Gruber is the guy the state hired to help implement our single payer health system. Why do I have a Bad Feeling about this?

  7. Paul Tioxon

    I can’t believe you have that Russ Heath piece. This is SOFA KING kool! I just finished Robert Hughes great book on Art in America: “AMERICAN VISIONS: THE EPIC HISTORY OF ART IN AMERICA”. The point in time where the pop art of Warhol and Lichtenstein develops out of the bizarre cauldron of various competing Manhattan schools of art, movements, counter-reactions, derivative and historic homage, nasty feuds led to a point where the art with sky high prices promoted by art dealers, with critics, gallery owners, museums, was constituting little more than fraud in the place of an aesthetic experience of art with the power to touch you and change you. Art as spectacle with the blockbuster museum show and thousands of tickets sold to the herds of people with timed tickets, art as corporate trophy commodity and of course, intellectual property rights of Russ Heath, non-existent.

    1. McMike

      That Heath story caught my attention. I assume either he couldn’t sue, or lost.

      I was wondering in this era of intense digital rights protection, how the Lichtenstein/Heath thing would go down now.

      Is it more of a funky drummer thing?.

      1. Paul Tioxon

        If you were to pay the handful of people involved with creating Batman and Superman alone, some equitable value for their creations, $Billions would have to be paid out. Jack Kirby, whose output is singular and almost inexhaustible, has fought for years and years for his rightful due. While Russ Heath is getting so little, Kirby always was paid the top rate, after all, he invented Captain America with Joe Simon and co-created so much more, almost the entire Marvel Comics stable that is printing movie money in Hollywood right now. His family just announced a few weeks back, some sort of settlement with Disney, that bought up Marvel Comics. But if you had to pay Jack Kirby for all of the money he made for media companies and publishers, and will continue to do so for decades to come, well, think of dot.com billionaires, and you would get a good start on the wealth. The entire comic book industry was a plantation of exploitation with no rights for artists, writers for decades and only grudgingly in the 1970s which set the circumstances for a much more lucrative opportunity for creatives in today’s world.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          And these good people (I mean that without irony) give the guy $250 and help him with his knee. That is the best they can do. In America, greatest country in the world.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        Adding, if there are any comic otaku here, it would be interesting to hear comments on Heath’s technique. I’m not seeing a lot of excess (the color change form words to thoughts, instead of a shape change) but I can’t comment knowledgeably at all.

  8. grayslady

    Regarding Obama and classifying the internet as a utility, I see several possible reasons why he’s saying something now:
    1. Silicon Valley contributed more this past election than telecoms.
    2. He thinks he will get credit for “trying”.
    3. He’s already in discussions to receive consultation fees–post presidency–from tech companies.

    Other possibilities are equally cynical. The only time he tried (to his credit) to get out in front of an issue–gun control after Sandy Hook–he was squashed. Obama isn’t known for his courage.

    1. spooz

      After arguing with my conservative friend, who is ignorant about the net neutrality issue but figures if Obama supports it it must be bad, I have considered whether this could be a kind of reverse psychology approach to get the Obama hating base to side with the Comcast supporters. But the logic is too twisted to be true.

  9. Paul Tioxon

    I was wondering when the slaughter of 43 Mexican college students, burned in a bonfire some while still alive and tossed into plastic bags, thrown into a river, would make its way here. It is such a crime and the reaction to it by the Mexican people is now an even bigger story. I have seen this covered for quite some time now by France24, Al Jazeera America and in recent days, MSNBC on the Jose Belart hour. Identity politics chit chat anyone? This crime is almost 2 months, people have been rioting, taking retribution, protesting, marching, it is exploding in Mexico now. But hardly a line of news in Estados Ebola ISIS.

    “Grillo explained that while the slaughtering of students may “seem inexplicable,” the truth is that drug cartels have taken over so completely that they either control government officials or are themselves the government officials. “Being ruled by corrupt and self-interested politicians can be bad,” Grillo wrote. “But imagine being ruled by sociopathic gangsters. They respond to rowdy students in the only way they understand: with extreme violence designed to cause terror. They stick the mutilated body of a student on public display in the same way they do rival traffickers.”


    1. dearieme

      “the slaughter of 43 Mexican college students, burned in a bonfire some while still alive”: shades of Waco, eh?

      1. ambrit

        I met one of the men sent in to clear the Waco compound. He described it as a big FUBAR from the get go. He blamed Janet Reno for being the most heartless bureaucrat he ever worked for. AparatChick would be an understatement. Waco was far worse in that the Feds knew exactly what would happen when they fired at the compound. No matter who set the fires, the Branch Davidians were expecting the End Times, and they got them.
        Two years to the day, Americas’ “Army of One,” Timmy McVeigh, blew up the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. And the beat goes on.

          1. LifelongLib

            [knock knock]

            “David Koresh, we are placing you under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

          2. ambrit

            Koresh could have been arrested on numerous occasions when he went in to the town of Waco to do errands. The local sheriff attested to that. The FUBAR was in militarizing the situation in the first place. The man I mentioned earlier was an ATF agent. He said at the time that they were keeping an eye on several hundred groups as gunned up as they knew the Branch Davidians were within the United States. In relation to the Timmy McVeigh issue, Google the Aryan Republican Army. That will give you an idea of the dimensions of the phenomenon.
            If there is an official procedure for dealing with delusional psychopaths, the Reno DOJ certainly didn’t use it.

              1. ambrit

                You’re welcome. Another dimension to the Branch Davidian situation is that the group operated as a religious cult. Religious groups in America have had a bewilderingly varied history. Just a hundred and fifty years ago the Mormons were literally at war with the U.S. Government. Now a Mormon runs a decent campaign to become President. At one time Jews were ‘kept out’ of “serious” politics. Now, AIPAC, and the Third Temple movement.
                As for the Aryan Republican Army and like minded groups, remember that an obscure WW1 German Army veteran named Hitler, with a little backing from a faction of the German Political Police, and Wall Street, took over the National Socialist Workers Party. The rest, as people say, is history.

      2. Paul Tioxon

        No, not even close, but thanks for trying to minimize a story that is just about now getting some attention, due to revolutionary reaction to government complicity with cartel sociopaths.

        1. ambrit

          I’ve mentioned the government slaughter of the student demonstrators in Mexico City just before the 1968 Olympics before. It’s called the Tlatelolco Massacre. This is almost a “Tradition” in human affairs. Just off of the top of my head I can think of the Ludlow Strike Massacre of 1914 in Colorado and the Anacostia Flats ‘clearance’ of 1932 in the District of Columbia. And the beat goes on.

    2. John Zelnicker

      Paul — Thanks for highlighting this. I had no idea it had reached such a level of intensity with the riots and protests, although I had heard about the incident. It is just disgusting how much censorship there is in the MSM.

    3. LucyLulu

      Watched a book review on C-span this weekend. The author was Louise Shelley, with title ‘Dirty Entanglements’. She’s been researching her subject matter on a global basis since the 80’s…………. crime, corruption, and terrorism. Her theory is that the three are inextricably interconnected. Not only only do they all feed into each other but one can’t effectively manage any without dealing with all three. When her book went to print a year ago, she had already predicted Syria would be the next hotbed of terrorism….. perhaps not a huge leap but before anyone was discussing ISIS. Her arguments were compelling and apparently her research is meticulous, if anyone wants to check out the book or 1 hr video.

      As an aside, BookTV has some great authors. My all time favorite was “I am Malala” and her father from a couple years ago. She was truly charming, witty, and confident, and only 14. Damn, life isn’t fair!

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        There was a theory put forward during the Great Financial Crisis that at least for a brief time, the only source of liquidity was drug money. Massive quantities of it. Too lazy to find the link, but it wasn’t CT.

        1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

          By the evidence of your output here alone, ‘lazy’ is hardly a word that could be used.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Here’s a post on drug money and liquidity from 2009. Here’s the, er, money quote from Reuters:

            Vienna-based UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said in an interview released by Austrian weekly Profil that drug money often became the only available capital when the crisis spiralled out of control last year.

            “In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital,” Costa was quoted as saying by Profil. “In the second half of 2008 [that is, when Pelosi, Obama, Reid, Bush, and Paulson got TARP passed] liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor.”*

  10. afisher

    1. Disregard for peoples opinion: Denton, TX voted to end fracking – well actually limiting how close the fracking lines could come to a home. The ban passed, but the date to implement is Dec 2. Suits will be filed but in the meantime the TX officials are busy issuing permits – skrew people! http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/11/10/3590690/texas-fracking-ban-denton/

    2. Best of the day by a Retired General: Here’s one I would offer that should be asked of every serving general and admiral: general, admiral, did we win? If we won, how are we doing now in the war against Isis? You just can’t get an answer to that question, and in fact, you don’t even hear it,” Bolger said.

    “So if you can’t even say if you won or lost the stuff you just wrapped up, what the hell are you doing going into another one?”

    Meanwhile – Rand Paul whines and Senate snoozes – trying to hide from having to actually take a stand on why in the heck are we fighting ISSL , and ignoring Ukraine. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/10/general-dan-bolger-iraq-afghanistan-why-we-lost

    1. NOTaREALmerican

      We’re fightin’ ISIS because thi Merican people are a-scared. Them tur-bine a-wearin’ muz-lims are gonna be sneeker up from Mexico if we dona stop-em’ over ther.

      1. Vatch

        Canada has about 35 million people, and Norway has about 5 million people. They seem similar in that they’re both up north, they have long coastlines, and they have petroleum. But their population numbers differ.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          The piece refers to the province of Alberta, pop. 4.083 million. I should have made that clear; over-hasty writing on my part. Canadian provinces have considerable autonomy.

  11. roadrider

    “Sometimes people just fucking hate you.”

    True, but when a lot of them are people who used to vote for you or that you want to vote for you that’s a real problem,

  12. Joe Robinson

    Thanks for the Walter Brueggemann interview. When I saw “bourgeois cocoon of niceness” I thought of Erik Strom´s comment (over under the piece on Oz) that, when he raises an “unsafe” conversational topic, “Everyone just goes silent”. Exactly! It´s wierd, and it seems to cut very deep – Brueggemann says we live in the cocoon, but this has been going on for so long and is so pervasive that it might be more accurate to say that these days the cocoon is us. So where are we to find these “ways that have transformative potential”, to crack this cocoon open?

    1. ambrit

      The cocoon will crack open for most when they fall out of it and into the cold cruel world ‘outside.’
      I never thought I’d catch myself saying this but, I feel a nostalgia for “noblesse oblige.”

        1. ambrit

          Too true, but I must take this Empires gentry to task for forgetting how to run a bloody Empire. If the present day financial power elite considers themselves as a new aristocracy, then where is the complimentary squirearchy that keeps things running? This has been all reduced to technology? Since when has politics, the art of managing human affairs, become a science? As for politics, I direct your attention to Bill Clinton, a man who can get you to shake his hand and say thank you while he’s picking your pocket. That’s only one aspect of politics, mind you, but a big one. (No matter what you think of Bill Clinton, he does have Big Ones.)

  13. craazyman

    How could winter be coming when there’s a hot-as-an-August-afternoon-in-Tahiti warm front coming down from Canada? Anybody notice the temperature skyrocketed on Saturday morning right after the morning’s posts were let loose? haha. Holy Smokes, that and the supermarket checkout girls make you keep faith in humanity. The alpha and the omega where angles float in wonder and benediction along the edges of a downcast face.

    operative: “Sometimes people just fucking hate you.”

    Well. Not really. “Hate” is waaaay to much work for most of us lazy, inattentive ordinary Americans out there you fly over. How about something like, “I guess when you bore a lot of people into a catatonic coma by your very existence you don’t motivate them to get off the couch to vote.” OR “Sometimes when you drag your sniffing schnoz trolling for dollars up the cracks of the butts of money, I guess some people turn and look the other way.” OR “Sometimes, I guess if we sicken enough people by our two-faced lying they just have to vomit instead of vote” OR “Sometimes people just can’t stand one more day of our bloviating.”

    Or all of the above.

    People don’t hate you. They just want you to go away.

    1. Paul Niemi

      Thanks for expressing that so well. I think the operative needs to be fired, for two reasons. First, his statement was a lie. There was no hatred involved in throwing these bums out, and that insinuation blames the voters rather than putting the onus on the candidates themselves. There are three offenses which are always grounds for throwing out a bum: misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance. In this case, they were expelled for nonfeasance — not doing their jobs, doing nothing, rationalization of doing nothing, and I would say pride in doing nothing. The voters came to the rational conclusion that the only option for something to get done was in electing their opponents. Second, the expletive used in the operative’s phrase indicates that he is either disrespectful of his employer, or his station, or is impaired in judgement. Recovery from the electoral loss will not happen with operatives sharing his demeanor.

  14. jo6pac

    Obama asks FCC to class the Internet (including mobile!) as a “utility” [BoingBoing]. Good, if late. It’s Obama. What’s the catch?

    Well there’s that problem 0 has with saying one thing then doing nothing or the opposite. Then there’s that little trade deal going on in the dark called ttp that would cancel anything he might do that was good. So it’s more cheap talk.

    1. grizziz

      How about banal?
      We have Comcast here in Chicago. Obama stayed at his Chicago home once or twice during the campaign…Maybe he sees his bill and being cheap he does not want to pay for Showtime anymore. He picks up the phone to cancel and gets into a big row with a Comcast customer service agent who attempts to up-sell him as he is trying to save $4.99 a month. Acrimony ensues, the phone slams down and the jig is up. “You’re a Common Carrier now, asshole!”

    2. trish

      easy to talk the populist talk. and the catch is the “dingo” he installed to capture ‘er chair the FCC. lobbyists within and without. talk the talk and then it’s always something…some nefarious force against him (republicans) or it’s his advisors or he’s spineless or whatever. the litany of excuses…

    3. Brooklin Bridge

      This is Obama. There is a catch.

      It’s possible he learned that Mitch and Boehner invested in Comcast and he wants to trim his sails publicly before the jibe where he, ahem, has to go along [for reasons that are to obvious – snort- for him to bother explaining]. Whatever. You can be sure he is not actually for a healthy internet. He is for a profit making internet, for a rabble controlling internet, for a spying internet, for a marvelously corrupt internet, but the very last thing on his arrogant little faux aristocratic pretense of a mind is a fair and open internet.

    1. NOTaREALmerican

      “Austerity” – as a word – means more than government debt to those with Libertarian morality obsessive compulsive disorder (which I have too, btw). I means the use of “spending for good/moral government”.

      (I don’t know what that means either, but that’s what we want.)

  15. Kim Kaufman

    ““Sometimes people just fucking hate you.” Out of the mouths of weasels….”

    I believe Ds and Rs have different pay structure for consultants and other election operatives. Ds pay whether win or lose; Rs pay depends on whether they win or lose, i.e., big bucks if candidate wins, not so much if candidate loses. Sure, it’d be nice to have a “win” on one’s resume but Ds get paid either way and explains why serial loser D operatives keep getting hired.

  16. JTFaraday

    re: “I be like confused” [Mouth Beef].

    Yeah me too.

    “I really need someone to explain to me the objection Black people have to using correct grammar”

    I do that sometimes, (usually in my head). In fact, I just did it a little while ago. When I do it, it tends to signify a feeling of powerlessness.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’m an English major, and a WASP’s WASP, and sometimes… On the other hand, my mother once went to that Eminem movie, 8 Mile, in her 70s, and pointed out that the rhythm was iambic pentameter, straight up Shakespearean, the same heartbeat. So there’s always the necessary tension…

    2. dannyc

      “correct grammar” for Black people? For example: “I be walking down the street …” Breaks the rules, the standardized rules, as whites perceive them, but it is no more incorrect than watching Black people dance, perform music, or any other mode of expression. “I be walking,” tells an entirely different ontological experience for the person walking; and achieves an equally different effect, for the person hearing the telling. It connotes how the person would always “be” (experience) the ordinary, but quite personalized act, of walking down the street. (In comparison: ” I was walking,” is more static, trapped in time.)

      Blues, Gospel, Jazz, Soul, Reggae, Hip Hop, Rap all tell how life IS experienced by the teller, not how they are told they experience by an outside source.
      In other words, “Tell it like it is,” rather than merely tell the truth.
      Racism as a living thing, as a lived thing, tests the ineffable.

      I’m Irish, and Irish writers have made great contributions to English literature, but the Irish effect on the language itself is minor compared to that of Africans.

      1. JTFaraday

        Yeah, you’re right. I automatically hear “I be walking down the street ((like I always do) right?)” as a preface to a story about something not-so ordinary.

  17. bwilli123

    Spengler on US foreign policy vis a vis China.
    ” The whole Eurasian landmass is likely to become a Chinese economic zone, especially now that Russia is more amenable to Chinese terms. That the Americans would have helped bring this to fruition by tilting at windmills in Ukraine baffles the Chinese, but they are enjoying the result. ”

  18. jrs

    Yea this is what I fear:

    Not that I’m certain it wouldn’t happen under a corporate Dem Senate either and a slightly less Republican house. But we’ll get policies that pretty much no one voted for as such. We’re going to get it good and hard now. Will voting at any level matter at all after the TPP?

    I think some forms of collective behavior are probably very close to provable, such as: if people’s living standards go down they vote those bums out. But if it is close to provable, what would you say about someone who deliberately lets everyone’s standard of living go down? That they are pursuing the consequent or something right? Wouldn’t that be a reasonable conclusion to come to? Obama threw the election. Although of course there was plenty of outright voter fraud as well, so it was barely a legitimate election if that.

    And so whatever people think they voted on (the economy, the ACA, deficits, taxes whatever) and in fact that it could probably be shown they would inevitably vote a certain way on at least with regard to years of a bad economy, really has nothing to do with the policies we’re going to get. And that’s Democrapcy for ya.

  19. OIFVet

    Obamacare clusterf@k: 23% premium increase?! My mother received an email from the marketplace urging her to check out the plans and the estimated premiums that will be available for 2015. So I did check it out. If the estimated premium is correct, her current Blue Cross PPO plan premiums will be going up by 23% after subsidies are applied, from $298 to $ 367 per month. Her subsidy itself is estimated to increase by $2/month. And the maximum out of pocket cost is expected to increase to $6,600. Obamacare is the gift that keeps on taking.

      1. OIFVet

        Of course! Between trying to decipher the difference between Blue PPO and Blue Choice PPO (not readily explained anywhere) and your Clusterfuck series I felt I had all the info I needed to make an educated guess about which plan would give my mother the largest provider network at the lowest premium. That was the main requirement: large PPO network that includes Northwestern and UChicago medical. Throw in the marketplace glitches affecting naturalized citizens and I spent well over 75 hours “shopping” for her plan and signing her up.

        Anyway, if these estimates are correct then one of the main arguments used to justify this monstrosity will crash and burn. It will have failed to reign in insurance costs. Just earlier today I was listening to Thom Hartmann pull a 3% premium increase number out of his a$$ to defend Obamacare. What will the professional “left” say if and when these estimates materialize on November 15th?

  20. readerOfTeaLeaves

    More on Net Neutrality, and yes – Obama got this one right, insisting that telecomm (including mobile) be reclassified as a utility and put under Title II of FCC’s oversight.

    Agree that this is late in the day, but at least Obama’s getting it right.
    Pretty interesting to see the weasel words from the telecom execs and lobbyists.
    And Ted Cruz provides further evidence that he’s a demagogue, to say nothing of an ignoramus on NN technicalities.


    The Guardian has several good articles on the implications of Obama coming out clearly for NN.

  21. jrs

    Elections make everything worse:

    Yea it does seem that way. “Elections”, such as they are, MAKE EVERYTHING WORSE, although maybe not when the people are allowed direct democracy. They suggest organizing, or they fantasize organizing into being in a not very united population (yes, I know some protests etc. exist).

    But I don’t know this democracy being broken thing (and all the kings horses and all the kings men …) is a little more of a problem than that isn’t it? If we build movements what legitimacy will they be perceived to have without popular/”democratic” backing. About as much as the Ukraine coup?

    I guess the best one can do is build movements that make the 1s scared, really and truly scared.

Comments are closed.