2:00PM Water Cooler 11/20/14

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


Major networks to skip Obama’s address [Politico].

Tom Coburn: “The country’s going to go nuts” [USA Today].

Reid to Obama: “Go big” [Latin Post]. As many as 4 of 11 million could be covered by Obama’s executive order.

“None of those affected by Obama’s actions would have a direct path to citizenship, and his actions could be reversed by a new president after he leaves office.” [San Antonio Express News].

Republican panel: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is funded by fees, and so Congress can’t defund it to stop Obama’s executive order [The Hill]. The biters bitten.

Economists divided on effects on the labor market [WSJ, “Obama’s Immigration Plan Seen Impacting Wages, Job Moves”]

Chris Cilizza on Obama’s political calculations [WaPo]. “What Obama thinks he knows”:

1. Republicans were never going to work with him.
2. Republicans will overreach.
3. He can and will sell it.
4. The legal argument is too convoluted to matter politically.
5. It will energize and unite increasingly fractious Democrats in Congress.
6. This will cement the Latino community as Democrats for a very long time.

That Cilizza presents #1 and #2 as insightful or something Obama just realized is mind-boggling to me. This is the same party that impeached Clinton in 1998 (indeed, “overreach”) and stole a Presidential election (“never work with”) in 2000. The Democrats — and official Washington — must have known both points were true in 2008; heck, in 2006, and yet they behaved and still behave as if they aren’t. It’s like the never-ending quest for Syrian (or Iranian) moderates. Na ga happen. Therefore, kayfabe, kayfabe, kayfabe.

It is true that Mark Zuckerberg spent $50 million on immigration reform and will get some cheap tech workers in return [WaPo].

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Bush holdover, torture advocate, and CIA head Brennan mulling CIA re-org to enhance collaboration [WaPo]. Key paragraph:

Such collaboration proved critical in the search for Osama bin Laden and has given rise to an expanding career category [good jobs at good wages] for analysts known as “targeters” who help identify individuals for the clandestine service to recruit, apprehend or, in extreme cases, kill.

Anybody remember the kill list disposition matrix? Anybody remember that the administration can now whack U.S. citizens without due process, solely on the say-so of the executive branch? Good.

It can’t happen here [OpEd News]. Putting the “chilling” in “chilling effect.”

Obama administration considered internal dissent by “senior CIA officers” on mass surveillance, then rejected it [ABC]. So there should be more whistleblowers, right?

Judge denies Glomar state secrets request in freedom of information case seeking records of Muslim surveillance [Capital New York].


National Guard drills at gas station “startle” and “unsettle” locals [KMOV]. A cultural moment: Talking ourselves into panic.

Washington University installing webcams so parents can check their children’s safety [Washington University Political Review]. The same cultural moment.

Gun sales surge in St Louis suburbs [NBC]. Ammosexuality a continuing theme.

Off-duty officer who shot civilian, post-Mike Brown, inadvertantly identified [St Louis Post-Dispatch]. Read the detail; the cop was a ticking bomb.

Ferguson responds to reporter’s sunlight request for email search on “MIke Brown” with a $1,200 bill, and no search for deleted email [USA Today]. Oddly, or not.

Ferguson police will not be part of post-grand jury decision “unfied command” [New York Times]. Oddly, or not.

Turning boarded up buildings into “wall art” [NBC]. NOTE: My impression, though I want to dig deeper, is that this is a “tight framing” issue driven by visual from the national media; and that in fact, not many buildings are boarded up, that most of the businesses are open, and that most of the businesses are local and black-owned, and can’t afford window damage from any source, including out-of-control paramilitaries.

Open letter from Ferguson protesters [St Louis Today]. Not sure what to make of the “Teach for America” confluence here; check the author bios at the end.

The CATO Institute’s take [Washington Times]. “The way you address a crowd in Fallujah should be very different than the way you address a crowd in Ferguson. But that’s not necessarily the case.” Well, depending on your point of view, of course.


Slogans: “¡Ya me cansé del miedo!” (“I am fed up with fear!”); “Fue el Estado” (“It was the state”) [International Crisis Group].

Hong Kong

Diversity of tactics in Hong Kong [Wall Street Journal].


Jim Webb forms exploratory committee [Bloomberg]; YouTube; transcript.

Elizabeth Warren goes for the capillaries [New York Times].

Scott Walker mulls run [Politico].

South seeks to strengthen clout (!) with regional primary [National Journal].

Republican leadership to ban “the ‘I’ word”? [Politico]. Plenty of reasons to impeach Obama; Benghazi just isn’t one of them.

56% of Americans believe the system is “stacked against me” (actual poll wording) [WSJ]. “Most striking is how widely shared this sense of alienation now is.” Then there’s the headline for the actual poll: “Poll Finds Americans Want Parties to Work Together.” So, 56% is just a start and we’re gunning for 80%?

Imperial Collapse Watch

Samantha Power warns against “intervention fatigue” [Defense One]. Wait, wait. This is the Obama administration?

Interview with George Packer on The Unwinding [Street Roots]:

(The) institutional glue was dissolving. The things that held together important institutions — blue-collar work or newspapers or small-town life — everywhere I went, I just saw things coming undone. In many cases, they seemed to go back to the same period of time — the ’70s — that at the time, might not have been so obvious. But now we can see them.

And given the voter turnout figures, the unwinding may have reached the electoral system.

Stats Watch

Leading indicators, October 2014: Up “very strong” 0.9 percent “pointing to near term acceleration in economic growth” [Bloomberg]. “The largest positive is once again in interest rates which reflects the Fed’s near zero rate policy.” Well, that’s certainly worked in the past. Anyhow, what do I care? I won’t see any of it.

Consumer Price Index, October 2014: Flat month-on-month, up 1.7% year-on-year [Bloomberg]. “[T]he year-ago rate is still below the Fed’s target of 2 percent.”

Jobless claims, week of November 15, 2014: Steady at low levels but “not pointing to improvement” [Bloomberg].

Mosler on industrial production and housing: “Again, seems nothing is growing faster this year vs last year, which as a point of logic means overall growth is less than last year” [Center of the Universe].

News of the Wired

  • “Audit the Fed” bill to be reintroduced in 2015 Congressional session [Politico].
  • FAA can now regulate drones [CNN].
  • Uber thumbsucker: “[V]ery values at the core of start-up culture” [New York Times]. Oh come on. Since when did VC-funded battery cages for developers have “culture”?
  • Steve Albini on the music industry [Guardian]. Excellent long read.
  • Film at 11: Administration jiggered ObamaCare enrollment figures [Bloomberg].
  • Yglesias on the party of “N-o-o-o-o-o-o!!!!!” [Vox]. As opposed to the party of “Well, maybe tomorrow,” of course.
  • Is the “U-curve” a part of the human condition? [The Atlantic]. I never had a mid-life crisis, so I wouldn’t know.
  • The evolution of the human brain [io9].
  • “We are Penn State” [New York Times]. JoPa cultists.
  • G.K. Chesterton and the machinery of bigotry [Patheos].
  • The Cosby Show [Ta-Nahesi Coates, The Atlantic].

* * *

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 (craazyman):


Talk amongst yourselves!

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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. dearieme

    “It’s hard to say just when it began, the unravelling of the American Dream. Did it start in the ’70s,…”

    Isn’t it a little odd not to consider the possibility that it started with the Vietnam War?

    1. David Lentini

      If by “start”, you mean the first obvious signs, then the early ’70s—especially the mid-third of the decade, when the oil embargo and stagflation hit&mdashare reasonable from my memories as a young teen.

      But if your looking for a sort of prima causa, then I think you have to go back the decisions made in the late ’40s to abandon the New Deal, the Economic Bill of Rights, and single-payer health care, in favor of a consumption-driven economy. That started the US on a path that led by the late ’50s to consumer credit, the begining of technology-driven unemployment and a reduction in the share of labor-generated wealth. By 1966, according to a number of commentators including Kevin Phillips, the US economy crossed over from an industrial economy to a financialized economy. I recall one board member of GM saying that he knew to the day when GM was lost—the day the board lifted its rule against discussing GM’s stock price at board meetings.

      The Cold War, Viet Nam, the social movements, and the oil crisis and inflation, all contributed to a growing frustration with US society in general and government, and a lack of faith in the ability of government to solve our economic problems. The steel mill closings, the bankruptcy of the Penn Central Railroad, the blowback from our various adventures in the ’50s and ’60s, like the Iranian Revolution, all hit around the same time. But the seeds of those events had been planted decades earlier, ironically by the Greatest Generation.

      1. LifelongLib

        The “Greatest Generation” refers to people like my dad, born in the early to mid-1920s who served as (sometimes very) young adults in WW 2. The New Deal was the responsibility of my great-grandparents’ generation member FDR (born 1882) and to a lesser extent members of my grandparents’ generation like LBJ (born 1908). The “Greatest Generation” can hardly be blamed for any abandonment of the New Deal in the late 1940s, since they were still in their 20s at the time and had little political power.

        1. David Lentini

          Certainly many decisions were made by those older than the Greatest Generation. But many were too. My point was that the decisions made in the ’50s and ’60s—when the GG was taking power—were vitally important to what happened in the ’70s. Certainly, the Kennedy Adminstration is seen as the GG taking the generaltional reins fromt their parents. Too often, the impression is that what we suffered in the ’70s was the result of the Baby Boomers. I think that’s too unfair; there’s a lot more blame to go around.

    2. psychohistorian

      Maybe the answer to when it started unraveling has to do with your age.

      I think the biggest turning point in my life was changing the US Motto from E Pluribus Unum to In God We Trust……gotta fight that godless communism by becoming hypocritical godless fascists to the max….and blur that separation of church and state thing.

  2. sleepy

    Not sure when the “American Dream” ended. I was born in 1951, so the first real sign to me at a young age that economic things were changing was the Arab oil embargo of 1973. Gas lines? In America?

    In strictly economic terms, I don’t think Vietnam had much to do with the ending of the good times. Maybe a loss of some national purpose with some national introspection, but that could have turned out to be a good thing.

    Odd thing is–this American dream deal probably only lasted from 1945 to 1975 at the latest. A pretty short period of time to take it as a norm.

    1. jo6pac

      I don’t think Vietnam had much to do with the ending of the good times.

      I do, my late father lost everything he worked very hard for when money was sucked out trade projects for the war. He was not alone it was the first shakeout of small business.

    2. VietnamVet

      The Silent Mutiny in Vietnam proved that a draft army would not fight the Empire’s colonial wars. The oligarchs no longer required a people’s mass army to defend their possessions thanks to nuclear weapons. Volunteers and mercenaries would fight their unwinnable wars for profit. Greed triumphed and the people were dumped into the trash; starting in the 70’s. We are useless marks to the masters of the universe to be conned till broke and then utilized to fill their for profit jails.

  3. Kaiser Wilhelm

    Some say that the fabric started to fray with the Bay of Pigs,
    while others go back to events in WWII or earlier,
    but in any event to get things rolling, look at the vote on the incident in the Gulf of Tonkin,
    which picked up speed with the Vietnam War protests,
    and of course that led to the counter-measure of the Powell Memo.

    By that time the gloves were off, but not everyone realized what had been set in motion.

    Overlay the above with the 1965 Immigration Act,
    and the various Rights measures,
    which were put in place to ensure that there would
    Never Again be resistance to acceptance of our wandering Chosen
    being able to find sanctuary and a home to expand.

    When everyone becomes special, with all the rights in the world to demand, and without commensurate responsibilities to oneself, let alone fellow humans, then in the US of A that means acceptance of a life of no consequences.

  4. ProNewerDeal

    is the beef the R Team captains (Boner & Turtle) are crying about 0bama Reagan Jr. immigration exec action, true beef or just typical kayfabe fakery?

    IF the beef is genuine, perhaps we USians may benefit that the increased animosity may decrease the probability of heinous policies 0bama & the R Team agree on, namely 1 the Grand Ripoff, & 2 FTA (fascist trade agreeements) like TPP.

    On the downside, the immigration policy would further flood the weak labor market, at least for the H1-B type visa increase. I would assume the same for the non-college degree occupation labor market as well. Perhaps the possible exception of occupations (perhaps construction workers, meat packing factory workers, etc) where some significant (>5 %?) of workers are undocumented cash-paid “gray market” workers, as legalizing undocumented workers would not just help their negotiating leverage, but that of the USians in that occupations as well, not having to compete with a cash-paid/possibly no min wage floor no FICA tax etc undocumented workers.

    Meanwhile, there is the general trend of automation/robotics/computerization/etc eliminating many existing jobs and potential new jobs (example, a new US high-tech factory staffed with a very small workforce per the amount of the factory’s production, given a high-level of factory automation).

    Would be very interested to read Yves/Lambert/Commenters take on this event.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Well, the best kayfabe is a true beef, right? I think it’s kayfabe to the bone. But as I wrote yesterday, and please forgive me for going meta at length:

      We’ve already seen a policy of “Say, how about we just not enforce the law?” from the administration with ObamaCare; the suspension of the employer mandate, for example. Or the NSA, under both Bush and Obama. So here we go again.

      What happens when the boot is on the other foot, a Republican administration takes over, and decides to gore a Democratic ox by “suspending” the Voting Rights Act or Title IX? With Hamlet, I’d consider: “Use every man after his desert, and who shall ‘scape whipping?” Meaning: If the excutive enforced every law, without discretion, the country would grind to a halt. But we seem to have crapified the idea of discretion and replaced it “because we can.”

      So, systemically, this whole episode seems to me to simultaneously strengthen arbitrary executive power (which both parties like) and strengthen their abilities to screw the others’ constituencies (which again they both like) or, in the case of banksters, collude in never screwing each other’s constituencies (because ka-ching). I don’t know what the answer is, here, but for the leadership of either party to solemnly proclaim fealty to “the rule of law” going forward is ludicrous. Na ga happen, ceteris paribus.

      1. psychohistorian

        I think that we have historically had exceptions to the rule of law by the fetid upper crust but, in the past, those exceptions were stage managed better to keep up a facade of justice. As we moved along this path more exceptions became necessary to maintain control and as the numbers increased it became harder to stage manage them all to keep up the facade. So now we have the iron fist coming out of the velvet glove and being stage managed as necessary to PROTECT us from those we must fear/hate today. And of course the stage management includes covering the real perps with a layer of doing God’s work teflon…..the they DESERVE to rule the world LIE.

  5. Foppe

    The Umpteenth depressing read on the topic of college rape suppression culture.. Reputation management über alles, with everyone with institutional power being more than willing to look away, and to actively discourage people from seeking redress, all the while happily (or not, but whatever) ignoring the personal values that these people presumably have merely because they want to spare themselves, and their peers and colleagues, the discomfort attendant on knowingly working for an institution where rapes are commonplace, and tolerated
    Also interesting: how to use the law to gag people (with things about R. Polanski, R. Kelly, W. Allen that I hadn’t heard before.

  6. ambrit

    It is an existential cry of despair. The neo-traditional police state thrives on a constant supply of “others” to be set against. Even semi legalizing these poor people will be a rude awakening for the complacent oppressor class. Then, they’ll have to do some real work, even if it’s only manufacturing a new “threat” to “protect” America from.

  7. Vatch

    “Audit the Fed” bill to be reintroduced in 2016 Congressional session [Politico].:

    That’s a typo. The article says it will be in 2015.

  8. Andrew Watts

    Iraq Accuses ISIS of Stealing 1 Million Tons of Grain – TIME

    The overall amount of grain looted is not as important as sudden price increases. An increase in the official price of gain alongside a massive rise in the black market could be an early indication of an impeding Islamic State assault / Sunni uprising in Baghdad. Just as it was in the East German uprising in 1953. The CIA didn’t see that event coming either.

    Related: “How much food is the Shia government of Baghdad buying from IS off the black market to keep the city and the areas it controls fed?”

  9. Andrew Watts

    RE: Bush holdover, torture advocate, and CIA head Brennan mulling CIA re-org to enhance collaboration

    That’s just Director Brennan trying to overcome the deficiencies in intelligence gathering with regards to the Islamic State. Sen. Mitch McConnell let the cat out of the bag while he was slamming the Freedom Act for disarming American intelligence (…) in the face of the Islamic State. (“Aww Mitch, you messed up. Don’t worry, you’re going to f— up again in the future too.”)

    It was quite nice of the Senator to publicly confirm that the US intelligence community has little to no HUMINT resources on the ground in Iraq/Syria. A fact that was made painfully clear when airstrikes started falling on empty buildings. But also by how much of their initial “intelligence” was actually public source material from the international English speaking media.

    Unfortunately, this situation is all too familiar in American history. When US intelligence tries to bypass human informers/agents and relies solely on SIGINT… it ummm doesn’t end well.

    So I, for one, hope that Brennan can produce some positive results. The CIA just needs to stop torturing already cooperative detainees and fire everybody who thinks ’24’ is real life. GOD HELP US WHEN THE GENERATION WHO GREW UP ON ‘CHUCK’ ENTERS THE SERVICE!

  10. Michael Fiorillo

    Thanks for the heads up about the TFA infestation in Ferguson.

    We know they’re scabs; I guess we should also assume they’re spies and fifth columnists.

    TFA is under increasing pressure, facing push back on campuses for its role in school privatization and busting the teacher’s unions, and for providing ill-trained temps in high-needs schools, often replacing career teachers from those communities who’ve been forced out. There are also signs of more criticism coming from TFA alumnae and current members, so perhaps this is a sign of some political pluralism and independence taking hold.

    But I don’t think so. Wendy Kopp openly acknowledges that TFA is not about developing career teachers to work in high-needs schools; it’s about identifying, grooming, training and placing school privatization leadership cadre in the schools, districts, policy shops and legislatures. This looks like more of the same.

    If I was a local in St. Louis, I’d be very, very watchful of these people.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      My heart wants to say that the TFA people are young and naive; my head wants to say that they’re scabs. And fortunately they didn’t frame their Op-Ed as “Millenials Together,” but if they had, I would have had to reach for a bucket.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Both of the TFAers who signed the statement are in management positions, which means they are integrally involved in the hostile takeover of the local public schools and the neutralizing/breaking of the teacher’s unions; they can hardly be thought of as naifs.

        On the other hand, one can simultaneously be a naif and a scab. TFAers are carefully selected before admission, must endure indoctrination, and are often “counseled out” if they demonstrate independent thinking, let alone behavior. Combine that with the class background of the overwhelming majority of them, and you get that insufferable combination of arrogance, insipid paternalism/condescension, entitlement and self-delusion that they are infamous for.

        These two may be honest and good faith actors, or they may be spies and fifth columnists. Given their leadership positions in TFA, I’m inclined to choose Door Number two.

  11. Oregoncharles

    ” and his actions could be reversed by a new president after he leaves office.” [San Antonio Express News].”

    Remember: the next President will be a Republican, because that’s their little arrangement, and it’s now Obama’s job to insure that.
    Which casts an ugly light on all the Democrats excusing his usurpations of dictatorial power – who do they think will be wielding those powers in 2 years?

    1. psychohistorian

      I would suggest you think of the two parties as really of one hive mind at the core with a few outliers on both sides to make it sound like all positions are represented…..all the while the Overton window of fascism is fully in control.

  12. TulsaTime

    The country is picking up speed in the circling of the drain. I have seen new local ads with the ‘new improved car leasing’, increased ads from the state pushing ‘college savings accounts’, and many more examples of the sleaze bubbling more to the top. The new congress is another case in point, with the worst corruption walking around in plain view. I’m waiting for the Big One out of the financial markets soon, and a major war shortly after. So much for growing old….

    1. steviefinn

      Getting old myself & I keep getting the thought, that I may have been very fortunate to have lived during most of a period, where for the majority of ordinary people, life could be pretty OK. When I was a kid I used to overhear older relatives talking about ” The good old days “, in my imagination it became a magical place that I later found out didn’t seem to have ever existed. I sincerely hope that my Grandchildren at my age don’t have good old days to look back on, that really did exist.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        How I feel. “life could be pretty OK” is achievable now and for our children’s children, too. We’d just have to give up some stuff, starting with the bloated and parasitical financial industry, continuing on through the surveillance state, and then maybe a carrier group or two and some military bases here and there… Stuff like that. Shared sacrifice, as it were.

      2. LifelongLib

        My grandparents grew up in rural areas with no running water or electricity. My parents were kids during the Depression. When I was a kid they’d tell me much better life was now than when they were my age. Of course, today my mother shakes her head at the long hours my siblings and I have to work as middle-aged adults compared to when she was our age. She’s glad she lived during the time she did.

  13. OIFVet

    U. of C. Officer in Chase Trips on Kenwood Couple’s Stairs, Sues for $500K:

    [Officer Torres] is seeking the maximum the McCanns’ homeowner’s insurance will pay, $500,000, for the “severe and permanent personal injuries” the suit says he suffered from falling down their stairs while pursuing the suspect in an armed robbery.

    Yet another reason to hate the University of Chicago’s private thug force. They provide a very representative sneak peek of the future private forces and what we can expect from them.

    1. David Lentini

      Ah, the memories. When I was at Chicago (’81–’85) i knew one student who was shot on the platform of the Illiinois Central RR and another who was shot in front of my apartment building. One roommate had her purse snached too.

      That was life on the back lot of Hill Street Blues, which many of us loved to watch (since we lived it).

      1. OIFVet

        Class of ’00 myself. Did the UofC PD profile black students and HP residents during your time, or is it a more recent phenomenon? There is lots of anger in the community over this issue, and over state law which does not require private police forces in Illinois to be transparent and accountable. Regardless of the added protection the force provides, their tactics and heavy handedness have gotten progressively worse over the past five years and it brings the question about whether the additional security is worth the costs. Too much bad history between the university and the black community since Urban Renewal, and UofC seems hellbent on adding to it.

        1. Paul Niemi

          I was there 1980-1984. I don’t understand why you refer to the University police as a thug force, or one that should be hated. Please explain. During my stay, Hyde Park was noteworthy as a successfully integrated, middle-class community. The University police were professional, and never more than mere seconds away from any white security phone. There seems to be more to this story, if you read to the end of the article. The McCanns have a history in the Fire Department, apparently. Regarding profiling by race, what do the police themselves say? Have there been noteworthy incidents recently?

          1. OIFVet

            If you search NC for my handle and UChicago you will find plenty of posts with links over the past year regarding UChicago police. The links are from the Maroon and DNA Info, and have been narrating the increasing unhappiness with the UofC PD both within the community and within the student body. Basically, Urban Renewal Part II is underway in HP and that has spurred much more aggressive policing from the university force. The issue of racial profiling in this neighborhood and on campus is definitely not going away. Add tactics like undercover officers infiltrating student and community groups protests about the University’s unwillingness to add a much needed trauma center in high crime South Side and the University and its police do look like thugs intent on keeping blacks out. Rising property taxes and rents driven by gentrification, and aggressive profiling will do wonders as far as bleaching the diverse neighborhood we love. Throw in the lack of transparency and accountability to the public, as well as the alderman in the University pocket, and the community gets the message: the University is looking for different kind of residents in its neighborhood. Here are a couple of link for you, but do be sure to search my posts if you want a bit more complete picture: University of Chicago Police Accused of Racial Profiling and University of Chicago Police Not Accountable, Petition Claims

  14. ChrisPacific

    Regarding startup culture, you might like to read this before you conclude that it doesn’t exist:


    This one is also good:


    I thought it was an interesting framing of the issue, especially the idea that culture is often ugly and the things it says about us can be things we don’t really like to hear.

  15. jrs

    Obama on immigration, what’s not to hate?

    “First, we’ll build on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel so that they can stem the flow of illegal crossings, and speed the return of those who do cross over.
    Second, I will make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.
    Third, we’ll take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country.”

    So let me get this straight we’ll have a militarized border worthy of the Berlin wall *AND* well also displace all skilled American workers with H1Bs. Isn’t that the worst of both worlds. If we’re going to have an open immigration plan shouldn’t the border be LESS militarized? And if we’re going to restrict immigration shouldn’t it be done to protect jobs?

    This dictator is horrible. I want a new one!

    And you’ll notice although way more people care about issues like the economy for instance that isn’t something worthy of an executive order (nor is blocking keystone XL for good though that may not have popular support, it’s the right thing to do certainly). 6 years of economic suffering that gets worse and worse, isn’t something we get an executive order for.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Don’t be stupid. The displaced techies can get jobs as security guards in whatever privatized outfit runs the guard towers and dog teams at the border. What’s not to like? $15 an hour; good jobs at good wages!

      Adding, excellent point on “Where’s the executive order on the [blankety-blank] economy?!”

      1. psychohistorian

        I think that it is more that Ron Wyden is managed by AIPAC, than him having ANY potential stones to do the right thing so I suggest one hope for a real torch bearer of truth somewhere else.

      2. Paul Niemi

        I think the argument being made, that pseudonyms and aliases don’t protect identities, is absurd. Congress has a responsibility for oversight. Exercise of this responsibility includes releasing the product of investigation for public review. The Chairman of the committee has responsibility to ensure the report is released. That is normal. Obstruction of that responsibility alters the balance of powers with the Executive branch. And I may add, if the Democrats expect me to vote for the Iron Maiden in two years, yet they can’t get this report over the transom somehow, I’ll rile up to vote more of the bums out.

    1. psychohistorian

      Its for our own good you know, we can’t handle the truth.

      When the “adults in charge” are all sociopaths in support of the bankrupt and failing rule of global elites, what do you expect them to do about clear reports of their mental illness forced on the rest of us?…..We are the Germans under Hitler wondering how such a thing could happen to our “beautiful country”…..how could we have been led so far astray.

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