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.’
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].
StassenRomney 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.
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].
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).
“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].
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.
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].
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:
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!)
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Talk amongst yourselves!