2:00PM Water Cooler 12/17/14

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


Obama announces US and Cuba will resume diplomatic relations [New York Times]. Senate Republican Graham and Senate Democrat Menendez immediately move to undercut him.

Live feed on Obama’s speech, aftermath [Guardian].

Pope Francis facilitated and Canada hosted [Los Angeles Times].

Handy chart of Cuban-American party support [Washington Post].

Hillary Clinton advocated for the end of the embargo in her book [Council on Foreign Relations].


Clinton: “Black lives matter” [Guardian]. Those exact words, unlike some. More here [Politico].

Handy diagram shows merger of Citi and regulators [WaPo]. Warren is “right.”

Jebbie’s no moderate [Orlando Sentinel].

Republican presidential field even more scattered than 2011 and 2007; handy chart [WaPo].

2014 losses said to leave Democrats with weak bench for 2016 Senate campaign [Roll Call].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Explainer on the Ferguson Commission and municipal consolidation issues [St Louis Public Radio]. “[M]eetings … were interrupted by audience members. In spite of this, there is much to be optimistic about…” Not “in spite of.” “Because of.” Fixed it for ya.

Rhetoric from police unions unusually strident [Talking Points Memo].

Chicagoans urge deliver 40,000 signatures to Emmanuel supporting long-stalled reperations ordinance for CPD officer Burge torture victims [Progress Illinois].

Of course Americans are OK with torture. Look at how we treat our prisoners [Slate].

Wrap-up of Witness #40 meltdown [Post-Standard]. Important, given that this account “tracked neatly” with Wilson’s account.

Two Ferguson protesters, from Millenial Activists United, get married [HuffPo].


Proceso story: “A new investigation published by Mexican magazine Proceso shows that the attack [on the 43 students] was planned, executed, and supervised by Mexico’s federal police to undermine the political fight of the students from the teacher training college in Ayotzinapa” [Telesur]. (The full Proceso story appears only in print, in Spanish; this report was done in co-operation with Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program, and linked to yesterday.)

Proceso story: Documents from state-level investigation of the missing 43 said to implicate the “real time” involvement of the Federal government, which has taken over the investigation [Latin Post]. Makes you wonder if there was any US involvement via intel, or communications services, or whatever the DEA equivalent of fusion centers is.

Proceso story: Excellent explainer [VICE].

Search for bodies of 43 missing students turns up other mass graves [NPR].

The full scale of disappearances in Mexico [Business Insider].

“You can’t say anything. You learn to live that way” [Los Angeles Times]. Atmospheric report on Mazatlan.

Relatives of missing 43 suspend talks with Federal government [Telesur]. “Victims claim that the federal government is carrying out a strategy of provocation to orchestrate a violent end to the mass protests.” Intimations of a legitimacy crisis, to my ear.

Torture Report

Torture Czar John Brennan refuses to use word “torture,” proffers multiple Orwellian circumlocutions and euphemisms, says choice to torture is up to “future policymakers” [The Intercept]. As opposed to the Constitution, the law, and international treaties, which are law. It’s the circumlocutions and euphemisms that make Brennan Obama’s kind of Republican holdover, unlike Cheney, who is open and shameless in his contempt for his interlocutors.

Stats Watch

51% think economy will stay the same next year, 31% get better [Wall Street Journal]. Headline: “Mood brightens.” Although it is true that the same or better are turning up in parallel, while “get worse” is steadily decreasing.

EIA Petroleum Status Report, week of December 12, 2014: “Products supplied look heavy relative to last year, up 4.1 percent for gasoline and up 2.9 percent for distillates both which point to easing refinery production ahead” [Bloomberg]. When the heck is the price of my heating oil going to crash?!

Consumer Price Index, November 2014: Seasonally adjusted headline CPI up year-on-year: 3 percent versus 1.7 percent in October. Excluding food and energy, the year-ago rate was 1.7 percent, compared to 1.8 percent the prior month [Bloomberg]. Fed has plenty of room to keep giving the right sort of people free money.

America the Petrostate

Texas oil and gas regulators say they were fired for enforcing the rules [InsideClimate News].

Our Famously Free Press

New York Times moves to news room layoffs after buyouts don’t make the numbers [Politico].

How the Times services Sony, from the Sony email dump [Gawker].

“[T]he stage at the DealBook conference was like a refrigeration unit at a weisswurst factory: full of white sausage” [HuffPo].

News of the Wired

  • Curiosity Rover has found organic compounds on Mars [Space.com].
  • Paper snowflakes cut into the silhouettes of nuclear physicists [Symmetry].
  • Commerce Department: Less than 40% of Americans have a choice when choosing a high-speed broadband Internet provider [The Hill].
  • Koch Brothers astroturf the FCC for second round of net neutrality comments [Ars Technica].
  • India’s first nuclear ballistic submarine begins sea trials [International Business Times].
  • Law school enrollment at 40-year low [Bloomberg]. When the rule of law is under assault as never before….
  • “How to Rebuild Architecture” [New York Times]. First, let’s fire all the starchitects.
  • The OED in two minutes [Oxford English Dictionary]. Animated map of global sources for English words.
  • Pull the plug on Seattle’s Big Bertha, the squillion-dollar broken tunnel drill, unless these questions can be answered [SLOG]. Read all the way to the end about “strategic misrepresentation”; Big Bertha reminds me of the F35, except the F35 actually does fly, and Big Bertha doesn’t drill.
  • The world’s largest seed exchange network: Peliti [Shareable]. Readers, do you know more institutions like this?

* * *

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 (MC):


Make up your own jokes…

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. Jim Haygood

    “We will end an outdated approach [to Cuba] that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries.”

    For once Obama is making sense. Well done, Mr. President.

    As usual, the unearthly Sganarelles and Scaramouches [or Menendezes and Rubios] roar in the halls of Congress. They aren’t representative of Hispanic opinion generally. Much of the Spanish-language press in the U.S. will comment favorably on this development.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Church bells are ringing throughout Havana. I’ve never seen anything like it.” — CNN’s reporter in Cuba.

      1. OIFVet

        For whom the bells toll?

        “The policy changes make it easier for Americans to provide business training for private Cuban businesses and small farmers and provide other support for the growth of Cuba’s nascent private sector.” Eastern Europe Part Deux. Take it away, Penny Pritzker: “These historic actions by the President chart a new course for our country’s relationship with Cuba and its people. It will improve the lives of millions and will help spur long overdue economic and political reform across the country. Expanding economic engagement between the Cuban people and the American business community will be a powerful catalyst that will strengthen human rights and the rule of law.” Indeed. How long before IMF, Monsanto, and a Soros foundation establish presence in Cuba?

        “The US government believes that no Cubans should be subjected to arrest or beatings simply [for their beliefs]. Cuban workers should be free to form unions” What about Americans’ rights to form unions and protest without being beaten, tear gassed, and arrested?

        “There will be more pressure on the Cuban regime brought to bear that will force them to better respect human rights.” Human rights do include the right not to be drone bombed at weddings. Color revolution in 3, 2, 1…

        “Second, they agreed to allow the import and installation and use of American telecommunications equipment,” he adds, saying that this will provide Cubans more information and better freedom of information.” Warrantless wiretaps?

        Yeah, the bells had better toll…

        1. Jim Haygood

          From a Time slideshow on Cuba:

          A woman at a telephone booth in Pedro Pi. There is only one phone in this farmer’s community, 12 miles from downtown Havana. Neighbors come to make their calls, get their messages and share gossip.



          Sure, Cuba’s new telecoms will be wiretapped, same as here. But these people are still getting around in mule carts, using a single antique wireline phone for their whole village.

          Americans can’t imagine living in a subsistence economy that’s 60 years behind the rest of the world … and well aware of it.

          1. OIFVet

            Pay a visit to Bulgaria. 25 years after the fall of communism many mountain villages still don’t have landline or wireless communications. Donkey carts are common even in the capital, and constitute the main form of travel in most rural areas. So what’s different 25 years later? Dismantled safety net, crapified education and healthcare, and a model “free market” economy (complete with a flat tax). Been there, can pretty much predict the outcome: a few winners (mostly Communist party functionaries cum capitalists) and 80% losers, with 20% white collar lackeys aspiring to enter the ranks of the oligarchy.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The goal is to introduce technological disparities within Cuba, as has been the case in Bulgaria, and that situation should favor the empire.

            2. psychohistorian

              Very astute comment.

              It is clear that you see the features of the global control structure for the elite whereby they only need to entangle 30% and the religious folks give them 20%.

              In each country the numbers are different to fit the environment but countries are and will continue to be more played off against each other for cheap labor. And the amount of labor needed to produce “overconsumption” will continue to decrease. All based, of course, on the TINA of “animal spirit” social decision making that leaves Mammon the ultimate god and only those inherited families and aspiring such that own the existing Western world’s finance, governments, corporations, military, spy organizations, property, etc. in control.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            JIm, the Europeans would naturally suggest Cubans buy European telecommunication equipment that come standard without NSA back channels.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We should brace ourselves for voluntary Cuban comfort women one day, judging from the Eastern European Expirement (EEE).

          1. ambrit

            My Dear MLTPB;
            You missed the boat, figuratively and literally. After the Mariel boatlift you couldn’t turn a street corner in Miami Beach without being regaled about the charms of one chica or another, “muy barato tambien!” I saw this firsthand as I was helping my Dad out with his plumbing shop on the Beach at the time. ‘Comfort’ women are a logical concomitant of the neo-liberal de-socialization project. Remember that the ‘F’ in NAFTA doesn’t stand for Free anymore.

    2. sleepy

      Some of the press reports earlier today mentioned easing trade and banking restrictions. That could be good, bad, or indifferent.

      Hopefully into the future, Cuban authorities will at least be somewhat vigilant in preventing a neoliberal takeover of their island and its economy.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We will soon be sending advance scouts to ‘study’ their healthcare system. The plan must have been written a while back.

      1. Athena1

        Acknowledging that we have deep differences, mainly on national sovereignty, democracy, human rights and foreign policy, I reaffirm our willingness to discuss all these issues.


    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Is this policy anything that could not have been accomplished Jan. 2009? Obama only responds to pressure. If you want this to happen, there can be no plaudits for achieving low hanging fruit.

  2. optimader

    An hour with Mike Morell, CBS News National Security correspondent and former CIA deputy and Acting Director.

    I watched part of this ’til I couldn’t watch this guys proffering false dilemma arguments justifying torture.anymore.. He corrected Rose for using the word “Torture” a few times instead of “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”.

    His verbal tic is to make a declarative statement, then punctuate at the end with a patronizing “right?” “blahblah blah.. , right?” as if he is educating someone.

    1. different clue

      What if Charlie Rose were to respond with Enhanced Interrogation Torture every time that guy or any other guy said Enhanced Interrogation Techniques? What if every time that guy said EITs Charley Rose replied with
      “you mean EITorture, right?” Every single time. What if everybody did that? What if every NaCap reader did that in any face to face conversations that might come up about Enhanced Interrogation Torture?

  3. Jim Haygood

    ‘Seasonally adjusted headline CPI up year-on-year: 3 percent versus 1.7 percent in October.’

    Maybe a typo here. The unadjusted 12-month change (no need for seasonal adjustment when comparing November to November) was 1.3 percent.


    Seasonal adjustment is used to compare month-to-month figures, such as October to November (-0.3%, which is not annualized). Energy dropped -3.8% (Oct-Nov), so it’s feeding through to the headline figure.

  4. different clue

    About seed exchanges, America has had the Seed Savers Exchange for I think about 30 years now. Grower-members write in to central headquarters what seeds/roots/tubers/etc. those grower-members have to offer to seekers. Central headquarters publishes a yearly listing of every grower-member and their offering(s). Grower-members then send eachother seeds/roots/tubers through the mail at a low cost to requesters who are also offering something and at a higher cost to paying subscribers who are not themselves offering something. The incentives are openly stated as being designed to encourage non-offering subscribers to develop the skill/knowledge to begin offering something themselves.
    SSE also maintains for some years now a seedbank of samples people have sent to headquarters for that purpose. They have also for about 10 years issued a seed catalog through which any requester of the catalog may buy seeds of heirloom types of plants as if from any other seed catalog, without having to be a subscriber or member or anything.
    Here is the link. http://www.seedsavers.org/

      1. different clue

        There are probably enough seed-saving-minded people that two different theory-groups can pursue these two-different approaches at the same time. And probably some “mere members” could be members of both at once for the two different approaches that the two groups will pursue.

        If members of Seed Savers Exchange want more overall variety saved through Seed Savers Exchange, they may well have to save and exchange with eachother more of what is listed in the Member Listings. That’s what the Member Listings are for, after all. A physical headquarters seedbank can only save so much, after all. A diffuse inter-communicating network could save a lot more. And SSE will publish in its Member Listings Yearbook anything that a Member cares to write in about. So the Membership itself can save many things that Headquarters can’t physically save all by itself. That’s what the Membership did before there was a physical headquarters beyond the central collection and re-dissemination of seed-availability information from everyone to everyone.

  5. Jim Haygood

    BLS reports the 12-month change based on unadjusted figures, specifically to avoid any effect from seasonal adjustment.

    In the top line of the report, you can see that seasonal adjustment did change the -0.5% drop (Oct-Nov) in the raw figures to -0.3%, seasonally adjusted.

    Unadjusted figures are used to index TIPS bonds, so they are not affected by seasonal adjustment either.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Just ran my inflation forecasting model with today’s data. Because of factors such as tightening capacity utilization (now over 80%, which is pretty strong), it projects rises of 2.12% in core CPI and 2.46% in headline CPI over the next 12 months.

          This model knows nothing about oil prices, so we’ll see whether tightening industrial capacity trumps cheaper energy, or vice versa.

          1. cwaltz

            I don’t think they used oil in core CPI(or food) because of volatility. I’ve always thought it was pretty stupid since these are two major household budget categories volatile or not. *shrugs*

            1. Jim Haygood

              Right, energy is not in the core CPI, but it is in the headline CPI.

              Core CPI is easier to forecast, because the volatile elements (food and energy) in the headline CPI have a lot of random noise … as evidenced by the fact that almost no one saw the current oil price collapse coming.

      1. ambrit

        I seem to remember Lambert using this neologism around the beginning of the Water Cooler feature. Blame him. /snarc/

  6. Andrew Watts

    Breaking news from Iraq,,, the good, bad, and ugly.

    Reports of U.S. Ground Fighters Emerge as ISIS Gains in Iraq

    It seems American troops based in Ain al-Assad base, located outside Ramadi, launched a counterattack to re-open supply and communication lines to Ramadi. This is a significant victory especially if Ramadi is to stay out of the hands of the Islamic State… or if Iraq is to actually survive as a country. The bad news is that the US is being drawn into the war with ground troops whether we like it or not.

    It was only a matter of time until this point was reached.

    Islamic State recapture parts of northern refinery city Baiji

    One of Mao’s favorite tactics was to entice the local armies to attack his forces so he could replenish his war supplies. The city of Baiji and it’s refinery was an obvious vector of attack by the Iraqi-Shia government. The fact that the Iraqi Army and Shia militias withdrew to the refinery while the Sunni tribal (“Mercenaries?”) fighters and police forces are left to fend for themselves in the city is an ominous sign.

  7. Yoohoo

    FYI these links both direct to the WP article:

    Pope Francis facilitated and Canada hosted [Los Angeles Times].

    Handy chart of Cuban-American party support [Washington Post].

    otherwise, thank you again for another informative& well-curated post.

  8. Scotty_Mack

    Is it cynical to think the only reason Obama is pushing for diplomatic relations with Cuba is because establishing a US embassy would give better cover to NGO’s and US intelligence services attempting to overthrow the Cuban gov’t? Since USAID got caught running the “Cuban Twitter” and infiltrating the Cuban hip-hop scene, it seems the US needs official “diplomatic immunity” to make sure it’s schemes don’t get interrupted by Cuban counter intelligence.
    Q: Why has there never been a coup in the US?
    A: Because there is no US Embassy there!

    1. PeonInChief

      That’s probably not much of an issue. The US has had an “Interests Section” in Cuba since the 1970s, and diplomats there have been caught spying. The Cuban government generally doesn’t even expel them. They just show video of the diplomats delivering radios to a drop on TV. And Cuban DGI (their counterintelligence) has been running rings around us for a long time, which was exposed in 1987, when it turned out that all the agents we thought we had recruited there were double agents. Clinton tried to start up the spying again in 1993, but the agents (many of whom were at the Interests Section) were caught and exposed very quickly.

      We switched to USAID operations after a large number of Cuban dissidents were prosecuted for taking money from the US government in 2003. The USAID projects have been less than successful, and have even made ordinary Cubans angry, as people who get caught up in these silly projects may suffer political consequences, particularly if they knew the resources they received came from the US government.

    2. Andrew Watts

      Cuban intelligence (DGI) is one of the best intelligence agencies in the world. If anything the US should be worried about giving the DGI diplomatic cover at their embassy in the capital. President Obama is trying to use this to sabotage the upcoming Patriot Act section 215 renewal.


      1. OIFVet

        It doesn’t matter one bit how good their intelligence is if it decides that it would rather join the “reform”. In many Eastern European countries it was the intelligence services that were instrumental in the fall of communism and whose representatives captured a large share of the state property during the privatization process. Think Putin. That, and the fact that the US is quite good at recruiting compradors.

        1. Andrew Watts

          You got me there. But I doubt it’s going to turn to out that way in Cuba. Raul was always the hardcore Marxist and Fidel was the more practical one of the two.

          If any neoliberalization happens in Cuba it’s going to be after they’re both gone.

          1. OIFVet

            I can’t stress enough how much I hope to be proven wrong. This opening, if managed properly by the Cubans (i.e. for the benefit of all) can really improve their lot. If not, nothing will change but the ideology of the master class. I hope you are right and I am wrong, my personal experiences make me a skeptic by default but always eager to be pleasantly surprised.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      The Cubans have been targets for decades now. They aren’t stupid. They can’t be. This is Obama legacy shopping. What does he have?

  9. Mcmike

    The interesting stat is that 53% think torture works. Directly contradicted by the findings of the report.

    I am curious what happens to the torture support if the question premises that it gets no info. Might go down a little? Maybe?

    These are the same 53% who think sadddam had wmds and planned 9/11.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s a little tricky, and we should have known from history books that for a long time, you could have polled people to show most of them believed the sun revolved around Earth.

      And so, like I said above, it’s a little tricky and it does not have to have anything to do with how your frame the questions.

    2. jrs

      The CIA came out with editorials immediately after saying it works. Well gee, I don’t know a CIA editorial or 100s of pages of torture report (merely what gets released of course), but who has time to read the latter. In fact many argued that the CIA information was the real deal and the torture report a partisan waste of money. But the total cost of the torture report was 40 million HALF that of what was paid to two torture psychologists alone! Not to mention the 300 million spent on interrogation facilities. But arguing with such people is like arguing with a bag of rocks, about as intelligent, and about as worthwhile, only the rocks probably aren’t sadists ….

    3. Jackrabbit

      We discussed this yesterday (Click here for start of thread in yesterday’s Water-Cooler).

      People should not be giving credence to slanted “polls” that are just attempts to blunt the outrage over the government’s decision to hold no one accountable.

      It’s very disappointing to see so many smart people fall for – and inadvertently promote! – this propaganda because they just CAN’T RESIST TWEAKING FOX NEWS VIEWS.

      Please take your head out of your a** and see the bigger picture.

      H O P

  10. Banger

    I found the following article about Giulietto Chiesa over at Saker’s blog very interesting. Increasingly, state security institutions are becoming more powerful in the Western world and, in fact, are have been networking for some time.

    Their goal is an international police-state–a system of a world STASI. This is being built and they aren’t afraid to let us know they are watching over us.

  11. Peter Pan

    Regarding “Seattle’s Big Bertha”, I’m quite sure that WaDOT (Washington Department of Twits) have planned it this way. They’re quite good at it, actually.

    “WaDOT boss admits to Tacoma viaduct errors” – http://www.theolympian.com/2010/06/29/1288406/dot-boss-admits-to-tacoma-viaduct.html

    This is the very same WaDOT that brought us “Galloping Gertie” – http://vimeo.com/40698890

    WaDOT is totally in love with traffic circles. I learned to drive in Southern New Jersey where everyone hated these contraptions (I believe they’ve since been modified with traffic lights). The traffic circle at the Burnham Drive exit on the Eastbound side of Hwy 16 has been changed at least three times, maybe four. These changes create driver confusion and more accidents.

    Last but not least, getting back to Seattle, let’s not forget that it’s a fill site over the original geography. The area is prone to high winds, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic ash, volcanic mud flows and volcanic hot gas flows. “Shake, Rattle, Seattle” – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/opinion/28yanev.html?_r=0

  12. Oregoncharles

    “Rhetoric from police unions unusually strident ” –
    Bizarre whining. These supposedly tough guys turn out to be delicate flowers with terribly tender feelings – so tender they get to kill people just because they “feel” threatened. All of this amounts to a POLICY of extreme cowardice.
    Police are trained, equipped, and paid (by us civilians) to take certain risks. Civilians aren’t. Consequently, it’s their JOB, one they volunteered for, to risk their lives to protect civilians. Instead, they’ve subscribed to a mass wave of utter, disgusting cowardice – yet pose as tough guys and heroes.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Oh, it’s a PUN. Sorry, I’ve trimmed so many of the damned things that I just can’t see them as funny. Knot gardens, like this one, are especially demanding – developed by monasteries to keep the monks busy.

          1. ambrit

            It sounds like any bureaucracy full blown. (Turn left at the hawthorne and continue until you encounter the holly. Then take a seat.)

  13. Ivy

    Given the NYT downsizing, would it be dreaming to hope for slightly more unbiased journalism from our so-called newspaper of record? Their record of ignoring inconvenient stories that don’t match their narrative is appalling.

  14. Ron

    the link between the Pope and this process is interesting and puts the Republican Party in an odd situation given its courtship of the Catholic vote.

  15. Carla

    ” Law school enrollment at 40-year low [Bloomberg]. When the rule of law is under assault as never before…. ”

    Lambert, have you considered that perhaps having way too many lawyers is what has been destroying the rule of law?

  16. Calgacus

    Very good news on Cuba. Especially if medical tourism from the USA and investment for it is allowed. And the release of the Cubans who had mainly worked against Cuban crazies in the US.

  17. Gretchen

    Lambert, there is the Survivor Library which archives non-electronic technology in case of EMP. They want people to download the files and keep on a laptop in a protected box so they could share the info if all the vulnerable computers were ruined by the pulse.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author


      Of course, I’m cynically thinking that after the collapse, somebody makes their way to the library, and enters, and after fighting their way past the dust and debris, they encounter is a table, and on the table is an envelope, and when they open the envelope they find a sheet of paper. And on sheet of paper is written: “The first thing to understand is that government is like a household.”

      I wonder what readers would rather be written there…

  18. Sam Kanu

    “…Clinton: “Black lives matter” [Guardian]. Those exact words, unlike some. More here [Politico]….”

    Look this is pure grandstanding by Hilalry Clinton. And not coincidentally, it comes ahead of a run for president that she CANNOT win without getting 90%+ of black votes. So sure she is pushing out the boat

    But when push comes to shove where is she really?

    When you look under the covers, Hillary Clinton was a senator for many years and in those years she made NO moves to dismantle the police state, disparities in penalties and sentencing that black people live under, nor the exploitative system that means hard work does not get you very far. She was a senator and like the rest of them she voted to fund ALL of it. All you need to do in this country is follow the money. She has put money towards entrenching the police state. The one in which black lives DON’T matter.

    In short this is utter BS. Am surprise that the author has fallen for this bait.

    Hillary is not a solution to the system – she IS the system.

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