By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Readers, this Water Cooler will be heavy on electoral politics, and a little bit lighter on everything else, because it took me longer to struggle into, and then out of, my yellow waders than I expected, when I looked at the Democratic Victory Task Force report. I’ll be less unbalanced tomorrow (for some definition of balanced).
Sanders: “I just think that out there, there are so many people who are hurting, so many people who are disillusioned, so many people who are really viscerally upset that they’re working longer hours for low wages and the billionaires are getting richer, and they need a voice” [ABC].
When Clinton was “inevitable” in 2008, she was at 40% in the polls. In 2015, she’s at 60% [New York Times]. So this “inevitable” is a lot more inevitable than that “inevitable.”
The 1968 Nixon campaign went dark for six months, so Hillary Clinton is in good company [CNN].
Remaking the Hillary Clinton brand: “‘It’s exactly the same as selling an iPhone or a soft drink or a cereal,’ said Peter Sealey, a longtime corporate marketing strategist” [WaPo].
Clinton’s words suggest that her 2016 campaign will stress economic fairness — the level playing field for the middle class implied by her Twitter message last month praising Obama’s State of the Union address.
I wish somebody would put a stake in the heart of that “level playing field” cliche. “Fairness” just means tweaking the rigged rules. I want results, outcomes, not “fairness.”
More on the “New Politics” [Matt Bai, Yahoo News]. “My problem with the Clinton Death Star”:
[A]t some point, if your goal is to rig this thing for Clinton, you have to look in the mirror and ask yourself if this is the kind of Democratic politics you really intended to create — the kind where the establishment decides who the nominee will be 18 months before the convention, without a single idea on the table or a single choice yet defined.
Jebbie publicly advocated for fracking while privately investing in it [Miami Herald]. In private equity. Naturally.
Jebbie: NSA bulk telephone records collection “hugely Important” [Wall Street Journal]. So Obama normalized what Bush II did; and Bush III would normalize what Obama did. And so it goes.
Modo: “I had been keeping an open mind on Jeb Bush. I mean, sure, as Florida governor, he helped his brother snatch the 2000 election” [New York Times]. Ouch!
Jebbie hires a Clinton oppo guy [Politico]. Reads like a beat sweetener to me.
“Bush hasn’t hooked the biggest fish of all: Multimillionaires and billionaires who have shown their willingness to write $1 million checks if they take a shine to a particular candidate” [Bloomberg].
Walker: “I don’t know’ whether Obama is a Christian” flap [WaPo]. Walker says: “To me, this is a classic example of why people hate Washington and, increasingly, they dislike the press” [Bloomberg]. I actually sympathize with Walker on this because Rudy Guiliani touched off the flap, and anybody can be wrong-footed when Giuliani has a public meltdown; and if Walker was both trying to do nuance when the scorps asked him a gotcha question (my second reading) and dog-whistling (my first reading), that’s a pretty neat trick. True, the scorps doesn’t seem to like Walker, which is why they’re doing this, but that’s probably because he isn’t credentialled, not because he’s a union-busting squillionaire toadie who’s been running for President since he was in diapers. Maybe the whole flap does mean Walker’s not ready [Talking Points Memo]. Then again, Walker’s base could care less what Josh Marshall thinks.
Huckabee: The possibility of a Southern super-primary “a gift from God” [AP]. Oh.
Jindal helps Chinese tycoon and politician park assets in a multibillion dollar methanol plant in a Louisiana town [Al Jazeera]. Wang Jinshu’s natural gas company’s environmental and labor rights record recently got hit in the Chinese press, so he should do just fine in Louisiana, where the authorities are more complaisant.
Women are more effective in getting legislation passed [Bloomberg].
The 2016 Democratic convention will be held in Philly; D. R. Tucker wrote that Philly isn’t diverse, retracts, and apologizes to Philly blogger Atrios, proving again that blogging is not dead [Washington Monthly]. That said, no, D.R. Tucker doesn’t have to eat a fershuggeneh cheesesteak when he visits. For pity’s sake. I would suggest any one of the many BYOBs that make Philly’s lively culinary scene so delightful. Best of all: No Brooklyn hipsters!
Herd on the Street
“The four biggest U.S. banks more than doubled holdings of Treasuries to $251.8 billion last year” [Bloomberg].
“The proposed rules will require brokers and advisers to abide by a ‘fiduciary’ standard” [FT, “US launches crackdown on pension adviser conflicts”]. Lipstick on the privatized pension pig.
“Goldman Sachs Raises Top End of Legal Loss Range to $3 Billion” [Wall Street Journal]. C’mon. How much are those C-class executives really worth?
Poor results at Rolls-Royce [The Economist].
Twenty acres of Hyde Park park land to be transferred to Obama Presidential Library if the private University of Chicago wins the bid; Rahm greased the skids [Chicago Tribune].
Existing home sales, January 2014: Demand for housing remains flat. “Sales of existing homes in January fell a very steep 4.9 percent” [Bloomberg]. “The NAR says it’s “puzzled” that homeowners are now staying in their homes 10 years on average vs the long term average of 7 years.” Maybe in the new normal, you’d be nuts to do anything other than hunker down? One might also wonder if chain of title issues have had any effect?
North American Hydrocarbon States
29 cars of 100-car crude oil train derail in Ontario, seven cars on fire [Timmins Times]. -30°F up there right now.
Duke Energy Faces Criminal Charges And Millions In Fines For Dumping Coal Waste [Think Progress].
French aircraft carrier begins Iraq operations [Reuters].
Wisconsin workers to call for a general strike at state Capitol Tuesday [Daily Kos].
Debunking “skills mismatch” and education [Paul Krugman, New York Times].
News of the Wired
- Two unknown Cézanne sketches found in Barnes artworks [Philadelphia Inquirer]. Neat! Though I’m not sure why the Barnes has to ask the Attorney General for permission to display them.
- History of the Indian agricultural census [Makanaka]. Reminds me of the records the French peasants burned.
- The Marines are building robotic war balls [Defense One].
- Does Dark Matter Cause Mass Extinctions and Geological Upheavals? [Deep Stuff]. Man, I dunno. Readers?
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, the first of Fungus Week (Rex):
If you’ve got some excellent fungi, please send them in!
If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. It’s the heating season!
Yes, I’ve got to fix the hat! Thank you all for your generous help in the mini-fundraiser!
Talk amongst yourselves!
Rupert Murdoch & John Malone’s lethal history
Let’s not forget who is BFF with Rupert: Hilary. That simple fact tells you everything you will ever need to know about what she will do once inaugurated (we seem to be skipping past the policy debates and campaign drama this time around). Of course like our current Basketballer-in-Chief she will say anything and everything in the meantime, she will be a very “hopeful” fount of focus-tested turns of phrase. Then it’s Vandelay Industries politics: just do the opposite.
“Chain my tongue with whisky, stuff my nose with garlic, coat my eyes with butter, fill my ears with silver, tell me lies about Vietnam…”
dcblogger is a reliable Democratic salesperson, and selling Hillary 2017 is their sacred duty. Surprised Lambert lets them blog over there…
This comment is just ignorant on all levels. Insulting, too. Well played.
Adding, and let’s not drag discussion of the moderation policies of other blogs into the NC comment section; that’s doubly meta.
I like this quote at the end:
Even if, as the article shows, the strategies often don’t survive first contact with reality.
Does Dark Matter Cause Mass Extinctions and Geological Upheavals? [Deep Stuff]
Any theory built on the premise of something which has never been empirically observed existing and then goes speculating further off that premise doesn’t strike me as being impressively well grounded. But what do I know?
Theory upon theory upon theory, driven by publish or perish…
Personally I’m in the dark about this (which is no proof of dark matter), because I’m also in the dark about my wife’s decisions.
Just to note: Deep Stuff lists biologist Rampino as drawing a conclusion from an article which has no mention of dark matter and the link to the Royal Astronomical Society list Napier as author of the paper. This “may have a direct and significant effect” on any inference I may draw from this article.
The real question is: How can Goldman Sachs make a buck off of it.
Dark Matter is just hypothetical. There are other theories to account for mysteries in astrophysics. And there are plenty of other more prosaic and much more easily believable notions about the causes of the Permian extinctions and others.
‘The 1968 Nixon campaign went dark for six months, so Hillary Clinton is in good company.’
Indeed. Hillary attended the Republican convention in 1968, where Nixon was nominated. She prolly still has the memorabilia lovingly arranged around her Nixon shrine.
Lord knows it’s easy to be misunderstood, as a ‘cloth coat Democrat’ standing in solidarity with working folks.
“Remaking the Hillary Clinton brand: “‘It’s exactly the same as selling an iPhone or a soft drink or a cereal,’ said Peter Sealey, a longtime corporate marketing strategist” [WaPo].
In the saccharine sweetness of political campaign correctness, the characterization “soft drink” explicitly avoids beverages which may include alcohol. Ironically, IMO rather than phones, soft drinks or cereals cheap liquor would be a better Branding metaphor for HC because you’d have to be out of your mine to vote for her.
The Miller Lite tagline “great taste, less (intellectually) filling” is something more along the lines of what her campaign branding could use…., or maybe riff off of “Night Train Express –“Serve Very Cold”?
“has the memorabilia lovingly arranged around her Nixon shrine.”
She was in fact a Young Republican and attendee to the (R ) convention in 1968. Alas, Dick Nixon may have even been a bridge too far for 1968 Hillary. In anycase, she has always been a color-within-the-lines establishmentarian at her core. Her version of healthcare reform would have just been a giant government administered Gordian Knot.
Re: the 1968 POTUS election cycle, I still have the best (IMO) bumper stickers from the season.
My favorites are “God Bless Spiro Agnew” printed in letter block font in primary colors (which must have been a vey small run as I’ve never seen another one) and “President Nixon Now more than Ever” http://www.quicktopic.com/blog/archives/NixonNowMoreThanEverSmall.jpg
I occasionally sported them in the car rear window during the last election to the amusement and puzzlement of some various fellow drivers.
I am sure some will hiss and other question my sanity, but if the Republicans picked an obvious Santorum-type religious fanatic for their presidential standard-barer, and I thought he’d hold both houses, I’d vote for Clinton. Not a likely scenario but far from impossible. At some point you do have to consider damage limitation, and there are some kinds of damage that will spell lights out on our future (a war against Islam or Russia to certify these as the “End Times” springs to mind). We need the world to be around so we can perhaps change it.
Well . . . that’s how I’d vote in that situation too. That’s why I voted Obama in 2008, to avoid President McCain and then President Palin.
I don’t question your sanity, simply your credulity. The business wing of the GOP will have him, or Palin or whoever, caught with some sort of contraband or otherwise neutralized, before they’d see *their* interests soiled. That’s assuming he forgot, despite decades of experience as a political jester, that it’s not Yahweh that graciously cuts his paychecks and allows him onto the national stage.
Besides, it’s not as if the Democratic Party *reliably* champions liberal values, such as they are, and never mind leftist values.
Maybe it’s a Pascal’s Wager thing for you. Or maybe you see some way in which hierarchical flows of authority can be reversed without the consent of those at the top. Or maybe it’s just an emotional attachment. Whatever it is, I see nothing credible in a bearded aristocracy that lies about its own nature.
Three-two (or near-beer) Hillary. Stay sober with watered-down populism.
The image of Hillary’s eyes darting side to side, sinister dog style style, before she opens the curtain around her macabre shrine to Nixon, is bringing tears to my eyes
Nixon had Dick Tuck; American badly needs Hillary to have her own Dick Tuck, but that kind of waggish humour seems to have died some time ago.
This goes close:
I know the Lord moves in mysterious ways, but organising primaries ? Crikey, I don’t remember that one from Sunday School. Unless I missed the time they did the Parable of the Republican No-Hoper.
I’ll confess here that I watched the Academy Awards last night. And two hours of red carpet crap before and all the Oscar party “reporting” plus Jimmy Kimmel afterwards. And a half hour of the local news where apparently the only things that happened in the world were Oscars, Oscar parties, rain in the southland (a tree fell on a car in Silverlake and the Camellia Festival in Camarillo ended three hours earlier) and there was a terrorist alert in the Mall of America. Other than the Board of Education repeats Sunday morning, that does it for my once a year TV watching.
Anyhoo… re “Two unknown Cézanne sketches found in Barnes artworks [Philadelphia Inquirer].” John Travolta was on the Jimmy Kimmel show to promote his new movie “The Forger.” He said he talked to a few forgers to prepare for his role. They said there are huge amounts of forgeries all over the world being pawned off as genuine artworks but that really only the forgerers can tell the difference. Fwiw relative to the above.
Once the forger dies, if nobody can tell the difference, is there really any longer a difference?
Good to know they covered that tree falling on the car in Silverlake, was probably a trrrrsss incident.
AMA with Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden:
Remaking the Hillary Clinton brand: “‘It’s exactly the same as selling an iPhone or a soft drink or a cereal,’ said Peter Sealey, a longtime corporate marketing strategist” [WaPo].
Buyer beware! Obama named “Marketer of the Year”
By Tom Eley
6 December 2008
“About three weeks before he won the general election, President-elect Barack Obama was delivered a different sort of distinction—from the advertising world. Obama was named “Advertising Age’s marketer of the year for 2008.” The annual award is voted upon by hundreds of advertising executives and marketers at the annual Association of National Advertisers conference, entitled “Masters of Marketing.”
“Obama beat out the marketing campaigns of Apple computers, Zappos.com, Coors beer, and Nike athletic apparel for the award at the Orlando conference…”
You make it sound like the Red and Blue Team are no different than Ford and Chevy Trucks (fer gawd’s sakes!).
The Ontario oil train derailment and fire was a week ago. Here’s a more recent article. Good comment at the Timmins Times article about how odd in this day and age that the site is somehow too remote to get images from.
If an oil train explodes in the woods and there’s no-one around to take a picture of it, did it really explode?
Does Dark Matter Cause Mass Extinctions and Geological Upheavals? [Deep Stuff].
My Ouija board disappeared and that does concern me. Whether Dark Matter had anything to do with it, I can’t say for sure. Maybe. Or maybe not. Why do they ask us these things? Dark Matter is undetectable. Bigfoot you can see – and some people have! Doesn’t the government know anything? They should tell us if there is anything we need to worry about. Like if space aliens attack again or if the Earth gets a hole in it and deflates like a balloon. That’s what we pay them for!
Regarding the unknown Cézanne sketches and why Barnes asked Attorney General for permission to display them, my guess is to give them cover in case they are accused of violating their trust. State AGs have some level of oversight over charities, trusts and NPOs registered in their state. If a trust is deemed to have violated the trust provisions, I’d guess it could be grounds for an AG to sue to break the trust. But if the AG said “OK” in advance, it would make launching such an effort (by disgruntled donors for example) not very likely.
My best guess is that it has to do with the ripping off of the Barnes Trust when the city decided to make the entire display a bigger money maker for the city – far from the original site. (there was an excellent documentary on this rip-off several years ago ( Sundance). http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Betraying-a-legacy–the-case-of-the-Barnes-Foundation-4775
On the story of Edison layoffs replacing American workers with H1B indentured servants:
Did you know that more than 300 members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (which represents thousands of Edison employees (though not the laid-off IT workers) rallied in front of a Southern California Edison facility in Irvine to protest the plan?
They rallied in support of the I.T. workers not even in their union! And what do you want to bet those unionized workers are harder to lay off? Should have unionized you brain dead right wing I.T. workers! (no I’m quite sure they weren’t all right wing, just that I.T. overall is) But since you haven’t the class understanding or historical knowledge of a twig it is left for those who DO understand to stand in solidarity for you, even when they can’t change your fate.
“When you are referred to as a commodity or a cost, not even treated as a human being, it’s pretty degrading.”
Maybe if you were part of a union you’d have a clearer understanding of the nature of capitalism. Get a dictionary and look up a new word: solidarity.
I get the sense that Slashdot has value precisely as a means to keep the IT rank-and-file “moderate”. Man, did they ever turn right after Dice bought them.
Solidarity is the prerequisite for change (ugh, I hate how that word has been slimed).
Some sort of Chanterelle? I can’t tell what the underside of the cap looks like. New to this.
I thought this may have been some kind of morel, however it keys to Helvella (Elfin Saddles) based on odd bi-lobed cap just like photos in online key I used (http://www.mushroomexpert.com/). Collected lots of ’em in aspen glade, only to find recent thinking is they are carcinogenic. Don’t eat!
Agree with you. That looks like it. They really are hard to identify. I only know a few, and would still want someone much more knowledgeable to double check before eating them.
“The fungus was originally described as Phallus crispus by the naturalist Giovanni Antonio Scopoli in 1772.”
I wouldn’t touch them on that name alone. “it burns!”
I’m guessing false morel.
Re, Barnes check out the documentary, The Art of the Steal, for background on the Barnes Collection and why the government is involved. In its original location the Barnes was surely one of the most astounding collections of Art in the world. Besides that Barnes would let his pharmaceutical factory employees take works home for the weekend. How cool is that.
The Barnes Foundation is an odd critter. It was chartered by Barnes as an educational institution in the state of Pennsylvania. Originally, visitors could tour it only two days a week. The rest of the time, it was to be used as a teaching resource for art students. Barnes is reputed to have designed a layout of the works displays and insisted that this master plan cannot be changed. So, since these two Cezannes’ are on the back of displayed works, to see both, the paintings would have to be hung in the middle of some open space so as to admit access to both sides. This, evidently, is not allowed by Barnes’ instructions. The original works are hung on walls, and must stay that way. To break this impasse, the State of Pennsylvania, who, through the way the trust was set up has a lot of influence, ruled that the works can be hung double sided, for a limited time. Then it’s back to the wall! Thus, the dead hand of the original owner, who never knew these works were in his possession, will decide their fate.
The Economics Blog lesson to be learned from this is that the slavish adherence to an old and outdated ideology will come back to bite one in the Foundation.
The intellectual enterprise that was the Barnes extended well beyond a priceless collection of European art and African tribal art and cultural artifacts. The Barnes was designed to be the equivalent, if not in size and scope, of an Ivy League university such as Penn. To give you a glimpse at what Barnes had hoped to build as a leading institution of higher learning, there were leading minds of the day lecturing at the Barnes. Bertrand Russel lived in the Bryn Mawr area of the Main Line during the WWII era and lectured on the history of philosophy at the Barnes. His lectures were turned into his most popular selling book and contributed directly to his Nobel Prize for literature. John Dewey lectured there as well. The Barnes was a counter culture center for its time due to the rejection by the wealthy Main Line types of Mr. Barnes taste in art, which was sorely despised as tasteless in comparison to the reigning haute couture of Dutch Masters collected by Philadelphia’s wealthy elite.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art wanted nothing to do with him. As part of his revenge, he left the control of the entire foundation and its priceless artwork in the control of a historically Black College, naming the majority of the board of directors of the Barnes to be from Lincoln University. Without going into all of the recent political intrigue about the will, the precious rule of law and the sanctity of the written word as binding contract, the last minute detail of this artwork was detailed by Mr Barnes with exacting precision. Unfortunately for the fans of the precious rule of law, the money ran out to care for the physical housing of the art work, and sending some of the artwork on a world tour, to raise money so that rain water would not drip in through the plastered ceiling onto the Monets and Cezannes was approved by the Black attorney with Lincoln U connections. A sort of war broke out over this and the eventual moving of the entire art collection to a brand new museum in the city of Philadelphia, moving it out of its Main Line housing. Again, without going into the controversy, if you can call that for the foes of touching the art in anyway other than by the rule of law, encoded in the Barnes will, which is entrusted to the state, which is why some AG has to give a legal blessing to do much of anything, I’m tired already just briefly trying to explain the petite bourgeoisie mentality, the entire art collection, placed in precise and exacting positions in the new museum housing, recreating the interior space of the old housing placement of art, is now available to the public by the thousands.
A small sample of the disgust for anyone besmirching the will of Dr. Barnes.
Thanks for even more interesting details about the world of “High Art.”
Sadly has plenty of brooklyn like hipsters.
Isn’t a hipster nothing but a newfangled term for bohemian, which we’ve had in one form or another for time immemorial? And doesn’t all the knocking of hipsters project a certain amount of envy and resentment over not being young anymore?
I think a subset of Bohemians actually do and did live in Parisian or Manhatten garrets and starve for great art. Not so hipsters, closely allied with Trustafarians. As to your rhetorical question about envying or resenting youth, as such, no. I am happy to be the age that I am, and I would not want roll back my age to my twenties.
I think it is important to clear up matters regarding the hip. During happenings and other assorted events of art, performance, music, gathering together as human beings in the Haight Asbury during the formative years of the counter culture, were the week end suburban teens, college age youth and other culturally deprived but none the less, adventurous American kids, who saw something different, fun, dangerous or artistically exalting, what-ever! They came into the city, into the neighborhood and saw and soaked in, if not completely understanding everything that went on there. They imitated, copied and dressed like the hip people that they thought were hip. The people who lived there on a regular basis, saw the aping of the hip scene and called week end warriors by the diminutive, if not entirely mean and derogatory term, “hippies”.
Frank Zappa would immortalize the kind of kid or person wearing a poncho, in order to be hip, as wearing his or her Sears Poncho! From ‘CAMARILLO BRILLO’:
“(Is that a real poncho . . . I mean
Is that a Mexican poncho or is that a Sears poncho?
Hmmm . . . no foolin’ . . . )”
As fast as the suburban college kids could glom onto a fashion, corporate America would follow up providing hippie fashions in the form of the Sears Poncho, so you too could look hip, even if you lived in NorthEast Philadelphia, the Post WWII suburban tract development style neighborhoods with detached single family homes, driveways, side and back yards with lawns to mow, just like the suburbs, but in the city! Now, you wouldn’t have to look like a drippy square, but in your Sears Poncho, you could be as cool as an acid tripping commune member you saw in Life Magazine, groovy man!
Agree with Lambert. Bohemians, in my opinion, have some substance to them, and can be pretty interesting people, though there are always the hangers-on in any scene. Hipsters, on the other hand, are essentially just blank mediums that are decorated with whatever they perceive the group-think of the time to deem hip i.e. they are all hangers-on, in the sense that they position themselves at the transition point for which clothes, gadgets, or opinions, in that order, become accepted into the mainstream of youth-culture, so they’ll be marginally ahead of the masses. They then deride these masses for being trend-followers. Rinse and repeat. JMHO.
Re: The Marines are building robotic war balls.
There are so many jokes one could make about this headline that I’ll leave it up to each reader to formulate their own.
I do get frustrated reading about this sort of stuff though, especially lines like “It took creator Peter Muhlrad some seven years to develop.”
Doesn’t he have anything better to do with his time? Another example of science being used for the exact opposite of what it should be used for.
I think when the Japan Times recently asked “Wimpy cops and scared soldiers: Why are Americans such cowards?” and that the US military and police should get some balls, those aren’t quite the balls the Japan Times had in mind.
The marines ball reminded me of this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6Ffr1U7KMY
How do I send you fungi pics? I have a ton, the past couple years have been fantastic for mushrooms in the PNW.