2:00PM Water Cooler 1/30/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Framed as a review of Hillary Clinton’s book, but quickly branches out [London Review of Books].

When Gaddafi was killed, Clinton was jubilant. ‘“We came, we saw, he died,” she crowed, laughing as she clapped her hands,’ Allen and Parnes report. ‘Libya’s liberation, for better and worse, was Hillary’s War.’

Alrighty then.

How are the Democrats supposed to organize debates if Clinton, the presumptive nominee, has no challenger? [National Journal]. C’mon! There’s got to be some oxygen in the room!

Liberal donors fund poll to make the case — to Warren? — that Warren could defeat Clinton [Politico].

Whither Benghazi? [Wall Street Journal, ” Benghazi Hearing: A Prelude to Clinton 2016? “] I don’t know what the question mark is there for. Anyhow, the two parties can’t agree on the timing.


The Mittster has a conference call today with supporters to “update” them [Bloomberg]. Stassen Romney thinks he’s the best candidate in the field, his polls are good, he’ll run a better campaign this time (*** cough *** Orca). “Romney is said to see Bush as a small-time businessman whose financial transactions would nonetheless be fodder for the Democrats.” True, dat. BREAKING: Hugh Hewitt says “No go.” Confirmed. So now we don’t need to worry about what on earth the justification for a Romney campaign could be, and start asking the same question about Jebbie.

Religion is gonna be very important to Jebbie [Wall Street Journal, “Religious Faith to Be Key Piece of Possible Jeb Bush Run “]. Film at 11.

Jebbie and the Schiavo case [Politico]. Was that when Bill Frist, M.D. made a diagnosis from what he saw a TV screen? Good times.

Principled Insurgents

Walker on ethanol. In Iowa: “That’s something that should I be a candidate in the future, I probably would have to take a stand on that” [Bloomberg].

Clown Car

Graham forms “Security Through Strength” committee to test waters campaigning against “radical Islam” [USA Today]. Lifetime employment!

Philly station releases video of Christie falling off a chair in-studio, in revenge for Christie’s support of Dallas [Wing Bowl].

The most generous counties in presidential politics, 1980 to 2012 [WaPo]. Interesting to watch the constants (Manhattan’s Upper East Side) and the variables (local oligarchies of the candidates).

The Hill

“White House seeks $534 billion base defense budget, $51 billion for wars” [Reuters]. Two more F35s!

F35 won’t be able to fire its gun ’til 2019 [Daily Beast].

Pelosi would like to see Obama given fast track authority [Reuters].

Fact checker gives Obama four Pinocchios on TPP jobs gain claims (!) [Glenn Kessler, WaPo].

Obama’s Monday budget to exceed sequestration caps [WaPo].

Obama to House: “We need to stand up and not be defensive about what we believe in!” [Los Angeles Times]. “Obama! Barack Obama!”

Herd on the Street

Facebook service to put information about shops and landmarks on users’ timelines using locational data [Wall Street Journal, “Facebook Tests Bluetooth ‘Beacons’ to Feed Users Local Content”].

Google denies problems in its core search business, admits management shakeup after “Glasshole” debacle [FT, “Google suffers shortfall in paid clicks”].

“Flywheel calls bullshit on Uber’s claims that it’s three times bigger than SF’s taxi industry” [Pando Daily]. Aw, c’mon. Ol’ Trav wouldn’t just make that up, right?

Anybody who thinks Bloomberg’s hideous redesign makes it “easy to navigate content” doesn’t navigate a lot of content. Despite the obsequious coverage at, say [Neiman Labs], the designer and editor should be taken out behind the barn and shot. Apparently, the theme was taken from Businessweek’s print edition. Clue stick: Print doesn’t have infinite scroll, and in print, the whole page can be taken in at a glance, so fewer navigational cues are needed.

Stats Watch

GDP, January 30, 2015: “[D]isappointed with a 2.6 percent figure versus analysts’ estimate of 3.2 percent” [Bloomberg].

Employment Cost Index, January 30, 2015: Above consensus, “certain to register with the hawks” at the Fed [Bloomberg].

Consumer sentiment, January 2015: Within consensus, still gaining on current conditions component, expectations slightly down [Bloomberg].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Police union spokesman pushes young black woman at public hearing on civilian review board [St Louis American]. Maybe this guy’s angling for a job handling PR at the NYPD?

“It is nearly impossible to determine how many people are killed by the police each year” [Wall Street Journal, “Hundreds of Police Killings Are Uncounted in Federal Stats”]. Gee, that’s odd.

“My mom told me to start filming, but when I took out my phone, the cop was like, ‘Don’t you dare!’ ” she said.” [Denver Post]. Right after they whacked a teenage girl.

American the Petrostate

Who knew the State of Nebraska would give a Canadian firm eminent domain powers? [McClatchy]. Keystone XL…

Out of curiosity, will BP be allowed to destroy the Atlantic seabed too, now that they’re done with the Gulf? [Daily Beast]. Oil is a nasty substance that should be hedged about with taboos. Leave it under the ocean!

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

“[O]f the domestic terrorism plots interrupted by law enforcement over the past decade, all but four were initiated by an informant-provocateur acting under FBI supervision” [Guardian]. Self-licking ice cream cone.

On the UK’s Counterterrorism and Security Bill, which sounds like it was written by the staff at The Onion after Franz Kafka took over the editorship, except it’s real [Spiked].


Bharara looking at Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ ties to the real estate industry, “among other areas of inquiry” [NBC New York].

“Real estate interests are struggling to find a Silver replacement to back” [Crain’s]. What a shame!

Florida Governor Rick Scott had stake in pipeline firm whose $3 billion venture he and his appointees backed [McClatchy]. In a “blind trust” that wasn’t all that blind.

Rahm may not get the 50% of the vote he needs to avoid a run-off [Reboot Ilinois]. Filed under “Corruption” because Rahm.

“American corruption is exceptional, too” [Reuters]. Glad somebody’s saying this!

NHS hands contract to diagnose cancer and other illnesses in thousands of patients to Alliance Medical even though the NHS had offered to do the work for £7 million less [Stoke Sentinel]. Conservative MP Malcolm Rifkind sits on the board of the private bidder [BuzzFeed].

Class Warfare

It’s not “sharing,” it’s renting [Guardian].

“A Blueprint for Middle-Class Economics” [Barack Obama, HuffPo]. Makes it clear the pathetic, pissant nature of Obama’s proposal. Even when nothing’s at stake! I’m surprised school uniforms aren’t on the list.

“We’re in the midst of a Great Dereliction — a historic failure of leadership, precisely when we need it most” [Harvard Business Review]. I’m of two minds: On the one hard, derelict indeed. On the other, “leadership” is a staple of every fifth-rate book in the business section of your typical airport bookstore, and it’s hard not to see “better leadership” is a form of doubling down on the problem.

News of the Wired

  • The internet is “the first truly transnational artifact” [Another Word for It]. Hmm.
  • Salaita sues University of Illinois for revoking his job offer after he criticized Israel, and university donors complained [The Intercept].
  • California snowpack 27% of normal, so drought will keep on [DeSmogBlog].
  • Dark Tetrad personality structure round-up [Quartz]. “A glance at the evening’s TV lineup suggests a culture that’s more than comfortable with its dark side.”
  • Cell study: “[L]ife habits and experiences shape our body’s [immune] defenses more than the DNA passed down from our parents” [Scientific American]. We get studies from many disparate fields that show the body is nothing at all like a machine, but interacts with the environment deeply and constantly.
  • Even two hours of exposure to air pollution changes the genome’s “epigenome,” “the layer of methyl molecules over DNA, that act as light switches turning genes on or off” [Grist]. Another such study.
  • Chinese apps use gamer techniques to teach [Agence France Presse].
  • On football and Deflategate [N plus One]. Long form good read:

    Buried deep in the swaths of coverage last week was an interview given by “Iron” Mike Ditka, legendary coach of the 1986 Bears, considered by many to be the greatest team ever (they beat my beloved Pats 46-10 in a ridiculous Super Bowl blowout). Ditka has become a real advocate for the original group of people screwed by ownership, the players suffering from a lifetime of concussions. He asked longtime NFL broadcaster Bryant Gumbel if, knowing what he knows now, he would let his children play football? Of course not, Gumbel said. Yeah, Ditka replied, me neither; “And that’s sad. My whole life was football. [And now] I think the risk is worse than the reward, I really do.” And with that, the clock began to tick.


  • On social media and organizing [Vice].

    “Lower coordination costs, the thing that people thought might empower movements, paradoxically in the long run disempowers them,” [Zeynep Tufekci, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill] told me in an interview. “By pushing them into the spotlight without infrastructure, social media lets them scale up without being ready for what comes next.”

* * *

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:


At Cleveland Botanical Garden.

MM sent me a whole batch of orchid pictures, so we could have an “Orchid Week”! Would an other readers care to do the same? I mean, with other plants, although more orchids would be great, too! (I feel like that great fictional Manhattanite, Nero Wolf!)

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. It’s the heating season!

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. jo6pac

    Nancy Pelosi Hopes To Push Obama Trade Agenda While Meeting Democratic Concerns

    I’m shocked;) I also read somewhere yesterday the Amerikan communist party was throwing themselves under the bus and supporting the demodogs.

    1. ambrit

      The accompanying illustration had Hillary next to Lenin. It looks more like the American ‘Official’ Communist Party is trying to drag the Dems under the bus with them.

    2. ambrit

      Oh, and shouldn’t that headline read “…While Meeting Democratic Donor Concerns.”?
      I’m wondering what the skeletons in Nancy Pelosis’ closet are.

      1. James Levy

        And yet you go to the General Store in my town and sit at the counter and people believe, as they believe that the sun will come up tomorrow morning, that she’s a “radical leftist.” Nothing you say, no evidence to the contrary, shakes this belief.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Well, Hellery is a Neoliberal scum, as is Oilbama. I guess since Neoliberal contains the word Liberal, it’s close enuff. But 99% of people don’t know what “Neoliberal” means even though it’s been dismantling the ‘Merican Dream for the past 20 years. Not much further to go. Almost there. One more president should do it (pick a party, any party).

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            OK, one by one:
            1. I throw up in my mouth a little every time I hear about corporo-fascist Hilary, her big supporter Rupert Murdoch, her plans for WW III, and the giant hoodwink the electorate is about to participate in;
            2. Google’s revenues are 80% from AdWords, totally faked by click-fraud. Micropayment is going to up-end the entire ad model, just the way HBO/NetFlix upended TV;
            3. F-35 to be used in missions against the F-150, and it can’t even do those. The A-10 can, is cheap and reliable, but Dick Cheney’s pals can’t make billions on it. American taxpayers sit obediently on their thumbs;
            4. Obomba’s TPP will be his legacy but when the next “giant sucking sound” comes along as a result people won’t even connect the dots. Basketballer-in-Chief will be safe on the lecture circuit, and like former Fed governors can come out with revisionist crap on why he couldn’t see it coming;
            5. The Surveillance-Industrial Complex kicks into high gear, epic trough-feeding by Feinstein and her corporate constituents, we’ll live in a world like the movie Brazil which is just what they want;
            6. “Sharing economy” is just the Silicon Valley way of telling people “you don’t own sh*t any more”. Again, just what they want.
            7. 1.6% of the 2.6% “economic growth” was increased ObombaCare spending, oh I’m so happy, what a dynamic economy.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          This is a direct function of the exclusion of the left from the DP. If they actually saw and heard someone from the left on their TV on any sort of regular basis, they’d be quickly set straight about Hillary being of the left. The misidentification of the DP as a party of the left is a very useful fiction of both legacy parties, for the DP it provides cover for the right wing policies they are paid to promote and for the right it reinforces their narrative and continuously and inexorably pulls the entire policy discussion ever rightward. The media obediently does its part by fastidiously making sure no voices from the left are allowed on the air.

          To maintain the absurd fiction that the DP is anything other than a corporatist right-center party requires the coordinated efforts of both legacy parties and all the major media acting in concert. That such an obvious ploy seems to work says less I think about the American people than how powerful effective control of the message can be, and highlights the failure of American journalism to function independently.

          1. Llewelyn Moss

            Depressingly true. I remember when Keith Olbermann had MSNBC Countdown. Bashing Bush fit the Dem narrative. All was well until Obama got elected. But then Keith started calling Bullsh1+ on Obama (for good reasons). I forget the reason MSNBC used to can him, but is was something stupid. Anything to get a True Lefty off the air.

            1. OIFVet

              He was first suspended for donating money to a couple of congressional democrats. It deteriorated from there on. But yeah, calling out Obama, and also supporting Occupy, did not go down well with the supposed progressives of MSNBC. I haven’t watched a minute of that or any other MSM network since he was kicked out. Ed Schultz is unbearable self-important windbag, Maddow is a smarmy bootlicker, and The Spawn of Brzezinski and Scarborough are simply unwatchable (except when Russell Brand went all British mean on Mika).

              1. neo-realist

                Maddow has been a huge disappointment since she’s brainy enough to know better. I guess the corporate news bucks are too good to give up bootlicking.

          2. different clue

            The RP is not a legacy party. It is a realtime-relevant present-and-future party. It would take an equally realtime-relevant present-and-future party to oppose it with. Preventing the emergence of such a party is the Democratic Party’s prime directive.

            Are there millions of potential Pot Party insurgents who could mount a multi-year effort to gain some power within the DP the way the Tea Party insurgents gained some power within the RP? The Pot Party would not get the funding which the Tea Party got, but would it have the millions of time-donors and time-committers to make up for relative lack of money-donors?

        3. jrs

          Even Pelosi’s propaganda stinks.

          “Speaking to reporters at a retreat for House Democrats in Philadelphia, Pelosi said her standard for evaluating such authority would be the effect that trade deals would have on the paychecks of American workers.”

          oh that’s all that matters is it? Not environmental concerns etc.? And they wonder why noone with two brain cells to rub together votes for Democraps anymore.

          1. Pat

            If that is Pelosi’s only concern then TPP should be dead in the water.

            I’ll be honest, I’m not that concerned with environmental concerns because quite frankly to me that isn’t the worst of the TPP. You can argue it. For me it is the fact that it would lead to a huge loss of jobs in America AND would give corporations control over any and all efforts to make sure the American worker has any wage and workplace protections. I get that environmental concerns are important, but frankly the fact that 1/5th of all American children are on food stamps (even with making them more difficult to get) and that more of America’s workers are slipping out of the middle class then getting into it is part of the reason that more of America is NOT concerned with it. Food and shelter come first. TPP and its European partner in crime is about fucking over everyone and everything for the benefit of a small portion of the populace, only some of which are even Americans. And to do this they must strip everything of value from every last human they can.

    3. different clue

      Pelosi supporting FastTrack is no surprise. She supported FastTrack for NAFTA as well. And then she supported NAFTA itself, too. As did her Free Trade President.
      And so today, of course Pelosi supports FastTrack for TTIP and TTP. She also supports TTIP and TTP themselves too. As does her Free Trade President.
      Perhaps enough Non-Coastal Democrats and Tea Party Republicans can find eachother and ally fast enough to co-defeat FasTrak AND the Free Trade Treason Agreements in the teeth of BiCoastal Democrat-CountryClub BigBiz Republican support for FasTrak and Free Trade Treason.

  2. timbers

    “When Gaddafi was killed, Clinton was jubilant. ‘“We came, we saw, he died,” she crowed, laughing as she clapped her hands,’ Allen and Parnes report. ‘Libya’s liberation, for better and worse, was Hillary’s War.”

    Well that’s encouraging for those hoping Hillary learned something about voting for and supporting the war in Iraq.

    1. Steve H.

      It does look like Yanis says ‘Wow!’

      “You just killed the Troika”
      Is it possible the Troika is that fragile?

      1. norm de plume

        Lapdogs find it hard to deal with pit bulls, especially those employing both courtesy and common sense as YV does here, and as he did with a BBC paper tigress shortly afterward:


        Djusselbloem reminds me of another EU functionary, another lapdog all at sea when not nestled in the warm lap of Brussels. Klaus Masuch found the going tough in Ireland back in 2012 when Vincent Browne asked him the unanswerable question.


        It is encouraging to see that those holding powerful feet to the fire have now moved from the outer circle of journalism into the furnace itself.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Sadly, to have a backbone implant you need to want a backbone implant in the first place, we need an entirely new crop of leaders with an actual moral compass. Before that we need an entirely different money structure for politics. Before that we need to repeal Citizen’s United. To do that we need…oh the hell with it.

        1. neo-realist

          Re repealing Citizens United, the executive and legislative branches of government are too corrupted by TPTB $$$ to force them into doing it. Precedent is very tough to reverse in the courts (Plessy vs. Ferguson held for approximately 100 years before the aberration of the Warren Court overturned it). The majority of the Gang of Five conservatives will be there for another 30 or so years and I could foresee the next generation of justices as the present one ruling in a similar fashion on precedent since they are appointed by those that are corrupted by $$$.

  3. timbers

    A Blueprint for Middle-Class Economics” [Barack Obama, HuffPo]:

    “America’s resurgence is real. With a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production, we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.”

    Wow. I’m glad his friends are doing well.

      1. timbers

        Good catch. Did he even mention – you know – “folks” as in people? Or just corporate entities, industry, energy production, etc?

        I didn’t read the whole thing that’s why I ask. It would have been too painful. Not that it matters what he might have said about us unimportant non-corporate carbon based people. Just wondering that’s all.

      2. jrs

        Get informed, not by HuffPo, but presumably by reading secret trade agreements that noone including congress has access to.

        So the secrecy of the trade agreements becomes a failure of congress to be “informed” and somehow their fault. Meanwhile they should get informed in order to promote Fast Track the whole point of which is too keep congress and the people in the dark. Lewis Carol called, he wants his logic back.

        Did real people actually vote for Obama? It was all Diebold right? Please tell me no actual flesh and blood human being voted for him.

        1. hunkerdown

          No, Members actually do have access to look at the text, but they can’t make copies, nor can they bring in staffers to look.

          “No intention to cooperate”. Yanis said it; why can’t we?

  4. Paul Tioxon

    On Ditka not wanting his kids crippled and lobotomized by football even Pop Warner or HS versions.

    In the ’60s, my father shooed away football coaches for the neighborhood youth sports league that wanted me for football. I played baseball in their little league along with hundreds of other kids, but my father said no to football saying it was too dangerous. Now my father was a 20 year US Navy vet, of WWII in jungles of the Philippines, of Korea after Inchon and on and on. He was a Spanish national sympathetic towards Franco and muy macho. And he thought American football was too violent! And any way real football was played by the rest of the word world with your feet and not by clobbering your opponent.

    When I was older, I saw Dick Gregory the comedian do his act in a neighborhood venue in West Philly. He said football was the equivalent of facing a line of cars against one another, then running them into one another at 25 miles an hour. And doing it for an hour over and over. Most of the cars would not work for the next game, much less break down years later. We watch people do this to their bodies when we know the results would be same as a demolition derby. We sent our sons out to do the same for school yard bragging rights. And anyone with any common sense knew it was a disaster for the human body. And now, they are just admitting to a crisis?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I don’t know much about rugby, but how physical is it compared to American football, padding/helmet adjusted?

      1. Paul Tioxon

        I’ve seen rugby games played in my area and as to your question, who knows? I don’t. The main point is that the violent contact of bodies, even with padding and helmets, compared to or not compared to any other violent contact sport, results in brain damage from repeated concussions, plus any number of other crippling injuries to legs, knees and backs. A local Eagle football standout, Andre Waters committed suicide at the age of 44 after a bout of depression. His family had his brain donated to a medical researcher who concluded that due to repeated head injuries while playing football, his brain had degenerated to that of an 85 year old with early stage Alzheimers. He was known for tackling and hitting with bone crunching ferocity. As the hitter he suffered as much as his targets, maybe more. And the people he hit looked like rag dolls being jerked off their feet.

        1. savedbyirony

          Anyone interested in this topic who hasn’t already seen it should check-out Frontline’s “League of Denial”. It’s quite thorough, but the book it is based on has considerably more history and information on this topic. Frontline did a good earlier show on High School football programs and their health issues to young athletes as well.

          Ohio State had a player who commited suicide just this last fall who believed his depression and other problems were results of concussions he had suffered while playing the game.

      2. ChrisPacific

        I’ve watched quite a lot of both. My impression is that rugby has a higher rate of superficial injuries, but that football has a higher rate of serious injuries and is probably a lot more dangerous to players’ health in the long term.

        Rugby at the highest levels is very physical – you’ll see bruises, cuts, blood, strains and all sorts of things. However, the fact that rugby players wear less protection seems to keep their sense of self-preservation a little more intact, and means they don’t attempt some of the plays or commit some of the penalties that are common in football. Football players feel better protected, so they take more risks – the culture also celebrates this kind of thing, with much press being given to big hits and the like. While the padding and helmets protect them from the superficial injuries, this means they are at higher risk for problems the padding/helmets either don’t prevent or don’t fully mitigate – joint injuries and broken bones, neck or spinal injury, cumulative concussions.

        That said, international test rugby is still a punishing game that takes a toll on players. But purely based on game rules, it’s arguably less physical than football. Other than scrums (tightly controlled) and rucks/mauls (usually low speed or stationary) it isn’t structured around a bunch of big guys crashing into one another at speed over and over the way football is. Players also aren’t as big as NFL players can be, because of the fitness requirements – unlike football (which is 60 minutes of play mixed with 120 minutes of breaks) rugby is 80 minutes of almost constant movement.

  5. James Levy

    The situation between the cops and everyone else who doesn’t have their own private security force and therefore never has to deal with the cops may be, under the current structure of things, irredeemable. Cops enjoy an extraordinarily privileged position in the American working/middle class and they know it. This has led to an almost comic inflation of their sense of themselves, and ironically their sense of besieged victimhood. They ape the upper class in their touchiness and sense of “poor, poor pitiful us–look what we do for you, you ingrates! How dare you question our actions, as your very lives and futures depend on us! Just shut up and be grateful that we are here doing god’s work.”

    In the end, they will prove expendable, like everyone else who is not in the Power Elite or a valuable retainer thereof. For now, they will enjoy their outstanding healthcare, bountiful overtime, and excellent pensions. And sadly, like every other powerful interest group in this society, they will throw everyone else to the wolves in order to keep it.

  6. Ron

    Last fall I was driving by a sign up and practice for youth U12, U10, U8 football, the kids were 95% black. Clearly this is probably the trend in youth football.

  7. Expat

    Interesting facts on Obama’s trade policy and the White House from, of all things, the Washington Post. The nub: “… by 2025, the United States would experience a gain of $77.5 billion in income from TPP, as well as a $124 billion increase in exports. ” But any “calculation on jobs can only be done if one assumes that wages have been frozen and there is no income gain, Petri said. So it’s completely misleading to suggest there would be both a gain in income and a gain in jobs… the correct number is zero, not 650,000 [jobs], according to the very study used to calculate this number.”
    In other words, more welfare for the rich.
    Doesn’t this fact go by the name of “buried lede”?

  8. savedbyirony

    I’m by nature a lover of sports, to participate and to watch. i think they offer great opportunities to teach and to learn important life lessons, as well as just the pleasure of physical activity. They are tribal, communal, important industries for work and personal development and fundamental part of societies in general. i have been a life long fan of football, but have stayed away from the pro and elite college games for years now because of all the “baggage”, excused criminality and corruption involved; but fans like me doing that have clearly not hurt the business side of those games, yet. But when Mike Ditka says words like those above and the law suites start really hitting both the college and HS levels over these life-long debilitating injuries, the game is heading towards the popularity and participation of boxing, not the NFL as we know it now.

  9. ProNewerDeal

    By chance do you recommend any news-ish youtube channels? NC commenters here are very intellectually curious, I figure some of you all may know of an interesting channel that I happen to have never heard of yet.

    My prior comment asking this question (same question but not the same exact duplicate words as this comment) seems to have been moderated, I am not sure why.

    Happy weekend!

    1. Capt Obvious

      The RT channel is hot and they actually take apart the propaganda you hear on the MSM. They’re so good that Kerry tried to lambaste them by linking them to the te rror ists. A desperate act I’d say, in trying to keep the government made up take on things tops, to keep it all looking rosy. I’m sure they’d love to charge them with espionage for reporting the news. That wouldn’t be the first time

  10. hunkerdown

    Don’t Be an Accelerant (Fredrik de Boer). “Too often these days, self-professed white allies inject emotion into inter-left debates in a way that is an artifact of their privilege, without considering the inherent superior need of the oppressed for political victory.” Self-professed, affluent white “allies”, co-opting social movements to serve their own class interests to the detriment of the original objective? Say it ain’t so!

  11. mike

    Per the Quartz article, keep in mind the designation of LBJ as BOTH psychopathic and narcissistic (along with their characteristic behavior) and of aides to such executives as being “yes” types whose job is to cover the boss’ a** when you read the bushwa of his “aides” like Califano and Moyers about poor, victimized LBJ who would never, just never (without record of it for later historians) agree at least generally with Hoover to undermine Dr. King from inside his family when King wouldn’t listen to LBJ’s demands about going slower on voting rights. And wonder about where historians who see him as someone worthy of study and who take up his defense would place as either “yes” types or on these scales themselves.

    1. James Levy

      Yes, let us psychoanalyze the most left-leaning president we ever had from a distance and throw terms like “psychopath” around and then denigrate and preemptively psychoanalyze anyone who might think that LBJ did some really good things because we all KNOW LBJ was a racist cracker and a nutjob who did nothing for America or for blacks. Sure.

      1. hunkerdown

        “Psychopathy” is the new “CooTies”. I wonder if Ginna Husting is studying that one yet.

      2. ambrit

        That “nutjob” taught latinos in Texas public schools back in the late twenties. (When they were segregated from the ‘whites.’)
        While Johnson passed Medicare among other Great Society measures, our present Hope and Change president gives us an industry wrought boondoggle.
        Tis true, Giants strode the earth in days of yore.

        1. LifelongLib

          Yes, the presidents since LBJ have been smaller men. Because of the primary system maybe? The smoke-filled rooms at least brought forward candidates who knew how to wire pull. The primaries favor people who know how to BS.

      3. ran

        So he gets a pass for his massive escalation of the Vietnam war and all the death and destruction that followed?

    2. Lambert Strether

      Yeah, it’s amazing the Civil Rights Act got passed, and Medicare, and the War on Poverty, and Head Start. How the heck did all that happen, with LBJ fighting them every inch of the war. Dear Lord.

      Clearly LBJ was not a saint; he liked his leverage. That said, both LBJ and Nixon seem larger than life, for good and evil, than the mediocrities we’ve had since their day.

  12. MikeW_CA

    ‘Obama to House: “We need to stand up and not be defensive about what we believe in!”’
    Right. No fast-track.

  13. upstater

    Bharara looking at Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ ties to the real estate industry, “among other areas of inquiry” is a dead link.
    Having said that, it sure would be nice to see Dean Skelos in cuffs doing the perp walk. Followed (or led) by Andrew Cuomo.

  14. DJG

    Zeynep Tufekci: Yes, structure is required to produce major change. Now, it may be that Occupy was only a messenger of how wrong things are. I’ll grant it that. I recall going to meetings / encampments on LaSalle Street and in Grant Park, and some of the people in the stack, who were amazingly young, were saying things like, “Did you know there were big demonstrations in the 1960s?” The level of knowledge of U.S. history was low. The advantage that King and civil-rights movement had was that the black churches with loosely structured but the leaders were by and large experienced and trusted. Now how to get the experience / trust in a fast-evolving structure like Occupy Wall Street? Maybe having some leaders really is okay?

    1. different clue

      There would have to be enough thousands of highly-informed high-functioning micro leaders that the Deep PaperClip Nazi State could not assassinate them all. Or even enough of them to disorganize and decapitate the movement.

      1. Ulysses

        I don’t think the numbers are as much the problem as the discipline to stay focused on the task at hand. Too often initial bursts of energy and enthusiasm, to accomplish something tangible, are dissipated through pointless one-upmanship over who is the “purer victim.”

        Far too often I have seen cisgender melanin-challenged heterosexuals, who are actually working class, and have actually organized themselves to successfully further real worker interests against real capitalists, dismissed because they “don’t fit the profile.” Surely a twenty-something– with C-suite daddy paying her $3,000/month Bushwick rent bill every month, and the garage bills for the Prius he gave her for her birthday– is more oppressed than a working Teamster: because she can’t publish her master’s thesis on heterosexism, Lady Gaga and the Simpsons!

        We need to ally with people who are willing today, to stand up against the kleptocrats. If some of them aren’t yet enlightened enough to be vegans, so what?

        1. DJG

          Ahhh, the Augean stables of current U.S. academia, which are all about product differentiation to get tenure (as if the tenured positions still existed). What you are describing is the difference between the left and liberals, who set the tone for political argument for anyone even slightly left of center. One of the reasons that the left has to be shouted down by liberals as well as U.S. conservatives is that leftist thinking derives from real revolutionary ideas, liberty, equality, fraternity (freedom, fairness, solidarity). Many leftist and black feminists have pointed out how careerism undermines social change (Carly Fiorina?). The gay left points out how marriage equality undermines the main problem for gayfolk, which is more likely to be job discriminitation and resultant poverty (especially among lesbians). The current transgender experiment is over-reliant on a DSM diagnosis, which is fraught. But liberals don’t want change. They want to spend time at the web site for Bob and Paul’s gift registry.

        2. different clue

          Good point. And one which Dr. Martin Luther King appreciated. Which is why he expanded his circle of concern from race-based civil rights only . . . . to class based economic rights as well.
          And he showed fair promise of success in bringing different constituencies together towards pursuit of same goals. Which is why the PaperClip Nazi Deep State assassinated Dr. King.

          And because Dr. King was the charismatic head of the movement, decapitating Dr. King decapitated the movement. So your insight would have to be taken up and applied by too many
          thousands of micro leaders for the PaperClip Nazi Deep State to assassinate them all. If your insight is taken up and applied by one great charismatic leader, the movement will once again be decapitated when that charismatic leader gets herm’s head shot off. That’s why having too many leaders to kill them all is so important. And all those micro leaders would have to share a deep, broad and granularly detailed understanding of what they are doing and why. And impart that understanding in all its particulars to too many millions of follower for the engineers of mass-death democide to be able to kill THEM all.

  15. L.M. Dorsey

    …Bloomberg’s hideous redesign…

    Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) gave a speech at the Festival of Cartoon Art in 1989 (!) called “The Cheapening of the Comics” that explains all: http://ignatz.brinkster.net/cheapening.html

    (I take it for granted that web design owes its existence to the comics. But it doesn’t matter to the relevance of Mr. Watterson’s thesis.)

    1. cnchal

      Imagine being a syndicate executive in the audience, and listening to these gems.

      Amazingly, much of the best cartoon work was done early on in the medium’s history. The early cartoonists, with no path before them, produced work of such sophistication, wit, and beauty that it increasingly seems to me that cartoon evolution is working backward. Comic strips are moving toward a primordial goo rather than away from it

      Consider only the most successful strips in the papers today. Why are so many of them poorly drawn? Why do so many offer only the simplest interchangeable gags and puns? Why are some strips written by committees and drawn by assistants? Why are some strips still stumbling around decades after their original creators have retired or died? Why are some strips little more than advertisements for dolls and greeting cards? Why do so many of the comics look the same?

      If comics can be so much, why are we settling for so little? Can’t we expect more from our comics pages?

      Well, these days, probably not. Let’s look at why.

      The comics are a collaborative effort on the part of the cartoonists who draw them, the syndicates that distribute them, and the newspapers that buy and publish them. Each needs the other . . .

      The first comic strip cartoonists were staff artists of major newspapers, and consequently, from the beginning, cartoonists were regarded as simple employees of their publishers rather than artists. when the creator of a popular strip left his employer, the cartoonist was rarely able to take his creation with him intact. Very early strips, such as The Yellow Kid, The Katzenjammer Kids, and Buster Brown, all appeared in two versions, one by the original creator and one by an imitator hired by the publisher who lost the creator.

      Today, comic strip cartoonists work for syndicates, not individual newspapers, but 100 years into the medium it’s still the very rare cartoonist who owns his creation. Before agreeing to sell a comic strip, syndicates generally demand ownership of the characters, copyright, and all exploitation rights. The cartoonist is never paid or otherwise compensated for giving up these rights: he either gives them up or he doesn’t get syndicated.

      The syndicates take the strip and sell it to newspapers and split the income with the cartoonists. Syndicates are essentially agents. Now, can you imagine a novelist giving his literary agent the ownership of his characters and all reprint, television, and movie rights before the agent takes the manuscript to a publisher? Obviously, an author would have to be a raving lunatic to agree to such a deal, but virtually every cartoonist does exactly that when a syndicate demands ownership before agreeing to sell the strip to newspapers. Some syndicates take these rights forever, some syndicates for shorter periods, but in any event, the syndicate has final authority and control over artwork it had no hand in creating or producing. Without creator control over the work, the comics remain a product to be exploited, not an art.

      Simply put, the syndicates offer virtually the only shot for an unknown cartoonist to break into the daily newspaper market. The syndicates therefore use their position of power to extort rights they do not deserve.

      Here, then, is the situation: despite the proven popularity of the comics, newspapers print them miserably, while syndicates have taken it on themselves to control, exploit, and cheapen their product. Between the two, cartoonists all but abandon the artistic responsibilities of their craft. Somehow, I can’t shake the idea that this isn’t how cartooning is supposed to be… and that cartooning will never be more than a cheap, brainless commodity until it’s published differently.

      What can be done? I’m not a businessman, but I’ll toss out some ideas just to start some discussion.

      First of all, we should keep in mind that newspapers and syndicates are by no means essential to the production of comics, There are all sorts of ways to publish cartoons . . .

      . . . Obviously, if I had any business savvy at all myself, I’d lump the whole business tomorrow and self-publish.

      Great read. Thanks.

      Interesting how at the beginning it is a collaborative effort, where each needs the other, and at the end the syndicates are a bunch of thieves and the thought turns to cutting them out of the deal. The dream of production to customer without the middleman.

      1. different clue

        Perhaps like-minded cartoonists and comic stripists could get together and begin publishing a strictly-comic-strip paper with no news, just funnies. They could call it The Weekly Funny Paper. Or The Weekly Funnies. And then it would be up to funny reader-buyers to buy enough of them to make it a viable bussiness printing a viable paper.

  16. zzzzz

    While we wait each day with bated breath for NC’s coverage of 2016 – because we informed citizens live to sit passively waving our pom poms at a scripted ritual travesty of public choice, with institutionalized graft for state-authorized candidates and zerzetsen for unauthorized candidates leading to a pointless forced choice between two figureheads who will fuck us over in the same predetermined way – sometimes a change of pace is nice.

    For a change, now and then, instead of criticizing party apparatchiks who don’t give a shit what we think, we could go over their heads to the world. Instead of lobbying crooked scumbags in congress, we could lobby people who don’t need to be bribed to listen. Such people are not Americans, of course. They are foreign diplomats. Unlike US voters, they have the US government’s attention. In fact the US government is very sensitive and touchy about their good opinion. These diplomats will be bending the ear of the US government this year, in May, in the Universal Periodic Review. They are backed up by the findings and legal authority of treaty bodies that accused the US of grave crimes, breaches of peremptory norms, and bad faith. As a charter body, their remit includes the economic, social, and cultural rights that the US government won’t acknowledge at home: housing, education, health, disposition of natural wealth and resources, labor rights, right to a livelihood.

    NGOs have gone to a lot of trouble to index the express concerns of these diplomats and give you opportunities to write to them or meet them in person in a series of conferences in Washington and New York. This is a parallel government based on human rights law, all set up for you. Why waste your time with electoral shit?

    I don’t care whether CIA installs Clinton or Bush next year. I care how the world rubs the US government’s nose in its derelictions of binding state duty.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      If throwing Lindsay Graham into the clown car be pom pom waving, I plead guilty.

      You have naturally read NC carefully enough to know that when the Ferguson protesters went to Geneva, I linked to them. So I really don’t know why you felt it necessary, or strategic, to wrap your useful link in a great wad of bubbling and steaming bile. It’s a big internet; do feel feel to find a site with readers and posters whose sophistication matches your own.

    2. different clue

      Dear zzzzz,

      I would consider your analysis as being “a” theory and your recommendation as being “a” theory-based action-recommendation. I have elsewhere suggested that America contains enough dissatisfied people to where bunches of us could gather around different theories and take different sets of actions. And then compare notes.
      Your analysis and suggested action could anchor one among many such theory-action groups. And the other theory-action groups could see what your theory-action group is achieving over time as the groups meet up periodically to compare notes.

  17. MikeNY

    Poor Mittens. Scuttlebutt I heard was donors were stubbornly keeping wallets SHUT. “Fool me thrice….”

    Glad to see Graham in the clown car. He’s a wing-nut if nothing else. BTW, dude looks positively unhealthy in that USA Today photo. Terrible color.

  18. Oneaboveall

    Has this been posted yet?


    New NYPD Anti-Terror Unit Will Get Machine Guns To Police Protesters.

    “Murders reached a historic low in NYC for 2014; overall crime was down across the board by nearly 5%; hell, even the holiday slowdown didn’t really lead to any additional crime. So clearly, now is the time when NYC really needs to implement a new anti-terrorism program which would empower a team of NYPD officers to roam around the city carrying machine guns. What could go wrong?”

  19. Kim Kaufman

    Lambert – I was wondering if you were a Nero Wolf fan. I see it’s possibly MM. Still nice pics.

  20. cripes

    I see we’re on a roll about Bratton’s new plan to promote community policing with machine guns, but I found a good takedown of the push for outcome-based medical payments coming to all of us soon. Medicare, Medicaid, Accountable Care Organizations, etc.
    The data-driven idiots have captured medical “reform” now metastasizing across the nation, the main feature being cherry-picking by doctors seeking to avoid bad outcome measurements, and doctors treating severely ill patients getting bad scores because of it. Another thing we can blame on Obama, who does every stupid thing his handlers tell him to do. This will not end well.
    Worth a read:
    When Health-Care Reforms Don’t Add Up

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