2:00PM Water Cooler 2/25/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Bernie impressive in Iowa, “displaying an effective speech style and natural interactions with the event attendees.This was a better Bernie than I’ve seen before.” [Iowa Starting Line]. In contrast to December, when he was “boring.”

No answer lasted more than two minutes, a big contrast to Joe Biden’s rambling and surprisingly terrible performance at Drake just a week ago (I asked a number of students about that, all of which agreed – Sanders came off much more relatable than Biden to them).

Ethics deal between the Clintons and the 2008 Obama transition team “imposed no vetting on donations to the Clinton Foundation by individuals or private companies in the U.S. or abroad” [Politico]. And these guys were lawyers?

Of Clinton donors: “Anytime there is a dynastic family, those connections can run very deep” [McClatchy]. Especially deep when you stack the bricks of cash vertically.

Hillary Clinton on Snowden: “[KARA SWISHER of Re/code:] Is Edward Snowden a traitor? HILLARY CLINTON: I could never condone what he did. He stole millions of documents.” Many of those documents had nothing to do with civil liberties. [Re/Code]. Full video.

Gee, it sure is odd Obama couldn’t drag Emmanuel over the 50% threshold needed to avoid a run-off [Chicago Tribune]. I mean, Obama’s from Chicago. He’s a community organizer. What’s wrong with these voters?

That loveable goof, Joe Biden, should run to sharpen Clinton’s campaigning skills [Slate].

Whoever’s pushing this “reformicon”/”reform conservatives” line should really stop. There’s no substance to it; just some “creative class” types with some media contacts, this time conservatives [Bloomberg].

Principled Insurgents

Quinnipiac poll: Walker leads Iowa poll at 25% of likely Republican caucus participants, taking “self-identified ‘very conservative’ and ‘tea party” voters.” Rand Paul second with 13%, then 11% each for Carson and Huckabee and 10 percent for Bush. No other candidate is above 5 percent and 9 percent are undecided” [Quad City Times].

Walker: “If I (am) a candidate, I’m not going to go out and attack my opponents” [Journal-Sentinel].

Walker: “I didn’t inherit fame or fortune from my family” [WaPo]. Winces from Jebbie, The Mittster, and ‘Droid.

Rubio: “There is only one nation capable of convening the freedom- and peace-loving people of the world to take action, and that’s ours. But we won’t as long as we’re governed by a president who believes that America is often the cause of these problems, not the cure” [Bloomberg]. Because exceptionalism.

The Hill

The FCC is expected on Thursday to approve regulating Internet service like a public utility, prohibiting companies from paying for faster lanes on the Internet [New York Times]. We’ll need to understand the fine print, but this does look like a win.

Stats Watch

MBA purchase applications, week of February 20, 2015: Ended 6 straight weeks of decline with a 5.0 percent rise, although negative year-on-year [Bloomberg].

New home sales, January 2015: Better-than-expected 481,000 annual pace, led by the South [Bloomberg].


Treasury: “People who received incorrect tax information from ObamaCare will be allowed to keep the extra money in their refunds and will not have to refile their taxes” [The Hill]. Wow, it’s like winning the lottery! So yes, one more proof ObamaCare is a crapshoot. Some people get lucky; others don’t. To be fair, this is one way to boost aggregate demand…

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“To jail someone once for trespassing at their job is a miscarriage of justice. To do so repeatedly, over the objections of their employer, who owns the relevant store, is an absurdity” [The Atlantic]. So the employer complains. And the cops arrest the guy more.

Despite marijuana possession in Philly having been decriminalized, with arrests down, the majority of people arrested for pot are still overwhelmingly Black [Inquirer (PT)].

University of Queensland study: White privilege is real [New York Times].

“Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected” [Center for Intersectionality and Policy Studies, African-American Policy Forum (PDF)].


Cuomo wants ethics reform bill to apply only to the legislature, not the governor’s office [Albany Project].

Silver tries to get indictment quashed, on basis that Bhahara “excoriated” him [New York Times].

Police State Watch

A criminologist looks at the “disappeared” of Chicago’s Homan Square “black and brown site” [The Atlantic]. I’m sure it’s just a few bad apples. In just one city. And that DHS didn’t know about it, especially the fusion centers. Or Rahm. Or Rahm’s BFF, Obama.

Bratton: “Slavery, our country’s original sin, sat on a foundation codified by laws and enforced by police, by slave catchers” [DNAinfo]. Note that Brattan ad libbed “slave catchers.” And while we’re at it, one reason to have a “well-regulated militia” was to put down slave revolts.

Class Warfare

Protests at Wisconsin state Capitol over so-called right to work legislation [Journal-Sentinel].

50 Shades of Grey: “[T]his fantasy requires a blindfold. …. You have to unlearn the rule of late-stage capitalism: Satisfaction is never guaranteed. Unless, of course, you happen to be on top” [Reuters]. Hmm. Capitalism is like a household dungeon? I’m not so sure.

BLS says “new” (“re-“?) entrants to the workforce are increasing. And keeping wages flat [Bloomberg].

News of the Wired

  • Solar becoming the cheapest energy source [ABC].
  • What’s holding back solar in the US is not cost, but financing (for both large and small systems) [Bloomberg].
  • “Raytheon CEO Sends Obama Another Article About Mounting Unrest In Libya” [The Onion].
  • Two digital nomads and their marriage [Venturists].
  • Did MH370 fly north, not south? [The Atlantic]. As far as I know, there have been no debris on Australian beaches, and we would have expected that by now.
  • Japanese pr0n is more popular than ever in China, even though pr0n is illegal there [Daily Beast].
  • “Stranger Danger” to children vastly overstated [Boing Boing]. An important aspect of compliance culture.
  • Breaking down Parks and Recreations campaign expenditures [Iowa Starting Line].
  • 新常态 is “new normal” [Wall Street Journal, “A Guide to China’s ‘New Normal’ of Slogans and Clichés”].
  • Sword fight at Dubai hotel leads to four arrests [Arabian Business]. Awesome. Open carry, but for swords! It’s like Game of Thrones!
  • White House appoints first US Chief Data Scientist [Flowing Data]. Swell.
  • Bloomberg Billionaires [Bloomberg]. Fun interactive.

* * *

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 third of Fungus Week (RM):


Readers! How about sending me some plants under snow and/or ice? Seems appropriate?

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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. Anon

    Re: Sword Fight in Dubai

    Hot damn, if the picture in the article is anything to go by, they were using Damascus swords, which are pretty darn sharp. In essence, the real life equivalent of a Valyrian steel sword. Swords aside, I have a bad feeling that the favorable(ish) net neutrality laws are merely a carrot to dangle in front of us while something insidious happens, like the TPP. I’m probably just being paranoid, but considering how consumer-friendly things have been lately, you never know.

    1. jo6pac

      My feeling also on the net thingy. Yes either TPP dissolves it or it is controlled like a utility and that went so well during the Enron days here in Calli. The PUC in Calli never goes against the company store so rate payers take it. PG&E being the corp business model, citizen here getting rate increases and they almost never do the work.

      I think Lambert isn’t paranoid enough;)

  2. steve dean

    Did Hillary just contradict the NSA? The NSA is on record as saying they do not know what documents Snowden took.

    1. bob

      cryptome has been doing an accounting-


      “19 February 2015. Add 32 pages to The Intercept. Tally now *3,710 pages of The Guardian first reported 58,000 files; caveat: Janine Gibson, The Guardian NY, said on 30 January 2014 “much more than 58,000 files in first part, two more parts” (no numbers) (tally now less than ~5.8%). DoD claims 1,700,000 files (~.020% of that released). ACLU lists 525 pages released by the press. However, if as The Washington Post reported, a minimum of 250,000 pages are in the Snowden files, then less than 1% have been released. Note Greenwald claim on 13 September 2014 of having “hundreds of thousands” of documents. “

  3. OIFVet

    Re Emanuel & Obama. It was amusing when Garcia’s campaign gathering erupted in cheers after the runoff was confirmed. Several people were tr0lling Obama, saying they were loud enough that Obama could hear them in DC. Latin misleadership in the face of Rep. Luis Gutierrez tried to claim victory for Rahmses, while a hoarse Emanuel (too much cursing?) claimed that he had gotten the support of the immigrant vote from Moldovia. Meanwhile, shock prevailed amongst TV “analysts”, who were pretty much the only ones who were surprised that Emanuel’s money-fueled ad blitz featuring smiling and grateful black people thanking the great man didn’t buy him an outright win. These fine folks need to get out more, particularly away from their North Side lakefront liberal enclaves, and go visit the South and West sides. All in all it was a night of political elites looking like deer caught in headlights and mumbling about “that’s how democracy works, rules are rules”. Too bad Garcia is likely a “hope and change” kinda guy, what with MoveOn and DailyKos supporting him, and his exasperating pledge to put another 1,000 corn fed police on the street as if lack of aggressive policing is the root cause of all Chicago problems.

    1. wbgonne

      To put a fine point on it: Rahm Emanuel is a loathsome greed-addled conniver, who would sell Chicago to the highest bidder if he got the chance, and then call it a public-private partnership as he lines his pockets. A Clinton/Obama neoliberal Democrat, in other words. And a foul-mouthed bully to boot. Emanuel losing could only be a good thing, for the karma if nothing else.

      1. OIFVet

        I am not arguing to the contrary, I just won’t go into this blinded by a hopey-changey shtick as some people in the city seem to. I learned my lesson in 2008.

      2. Brindle

        Perlstein reaches here. I don’t think very many Chicago voters read the Guardian. More likely is the “Mayor 1%” tag is sticking.

        “Perhaps what turned some voters against Rahm at the last minute—or motivated them to go to the polls in the first place on a cold Chicago day that started out in the single digits—was an Election Day exposé that appeared in the British paper the Guardian by investigate reporter Spencer Ackerman. “The Disappeared” revealed the existence of Homan Square, a forlorn “black site” that the Chicago Police operate on the West Side. “

        1. hunkerdown

          Interesting. One doesn’t usually see such blatant interference in US internal politics by MI6’s peons. I wonder what the US did to them recently that they’ve decided to personally snub Mr. O so.

        2. Kokuanani

          The Guardian story was picked up by Huffington Post, which probably gave it more circulation. I.e., I’d wager more Chicago folks scan HuffPo than read the Guardian.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      @OIFVet I haven’t visited the South Side since the early 1960’s. What I saw there from the “L” looked a lot like a set for “The Wire.” Are you sure your presumably white-bread North Side lakefront liberals would make it back to homes? Just curious … and for what it’s worth I’m a white-bread socialist who would feel like prey on South Side Chicago.

      And for what it is worth, I avoid similar low-income white areas too. I think income and opportunity levels rather than race determine face-to-face crime (vs white-collar big crime). I believe race just determines probable lack of income and perhaps more important — lack of opportunity.

      1. OIFVet

        I am white and I live on the South Side. I tend to make it home alright even from going into the deep ghetto to get ribs, unless I go overboard on the food and come back home feeling bloated. I can’t guarantee the safety of Lakefront Liberals, mostly because one can’t protect people from themselves.

          1. OIFVet

            Check out the Checkerboard Lounge, a Bronzeville institution founded by Buddy Guy, which is now located on 52nd street in Hyde Park.

            1. wbgonne

              The Checkerboard Lounge. Oh yeah, I was there back in the 90s when I used to come in for the BluesFest. Very cool, funky place. Really dug it. I recall thst Buddy Guy has his own place that I also went to. Buddy walked out the club and played the guitar out on the street!

    3. ProNewerDeal

      I was surprised Garcia thanked Daily Kos for supporting his campaign. It appeared to me that The Orange Satan TM Daily Kos Moulitsas is primarily a *-riding hack of the D Team & an Obamabot, so it surprises me that the Orange Satan would publicaly oppose a Capo of the Obama Reagan V Mafia, like Emanuel. I recall when that loathsome Moulitsas threatened to primary-challenge Rep. Kucinich for potentially not supporting right-wing think tank designed, Mint RawMoney-implemented ACA. IIRC Kucinich had said his ACA vote was contingent on a Public Option Insurance, Douche-ly Kos had a tantrum for not supporting Dear Leader 0bama. Aka Kos Moultisas is about cult-ish loyalty to the D Team, not principled policy. Also I recall dailykos protesting many Constitutional violations during the Gee Dubbz Bush Reagn IV era, but then ignoring or supporting those same policy under Dear Leader 0bama.

      Ditto for Move On, although I am not aware of them engaging in any Kos-ish bullying of Progressive politicians.

      I do hope that Garcia is a genuine Progressive, and that defeats the corrupt criminal Rahm Emanuel.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        “There go my people, I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.”

        I can’t imagine that either Kos or MoveOn would have much influence in Chicago politics. Anybody remember Ilya Sheyman?

        1. OIFVet

          Granted. I just get this visceral revulsion to anything and anyone that is endorsed by the Vichy left. Perhaps it’s weird attempt dirty him up by association, but that’s almost too crazy/CT to give it a serious consideration. I will vote Garcia in the runoff, but only because I truly despise Rahmses.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Rahm has been a known villain for some time and despised Kos and other such outfits back in day.

        A friend of mine back in 2007 argued for an Obama vote simply because the anti-Hillary voters and even the Obots wouldn’t support her as the nominee and most Hillary supporters are just yellow dog dems voting for Hillary because it’s her turn.

        Once you become a villain you can’t go back. The “netroots” worked hard against Rahm in 2005 and 2006 too.

    4. ProNewerDeal

      I had a comment on how I was surprised Obot Daily Kos Moulitsas was supporting Garcia & opposing Obama top henchman Emanuel. But apparently it was moderated. It was a short comment as well, shorter than many existing other comments. What did I say that triggered moderation?

    5. jrs

      To get all CT, maybe it’s one reason Obama signed the NDAA (and in fact pushed for it): legal cover for the Chicago PD.

  4. NotTimothyGeithner

    I’m torn on the Obama for Rahm situation. First, I think voters except for first time voters and people who moved to Chicago already know Rahm is Obama’s henchman. Obama coming in to the reelection seems very David vs Goliath. I think it would be off putting especially from a President who doesn’t spend his vacations there. Obama kids don’t go to public schools. It’s not his hometown. Yes, his library and political career took off there, but I think I would be bothered by a President joining this fight.

    I just don’t understand why anyone thinks Obama coming to Chicago to simply say “Rahm Emmanuel loves Chicago this much” makes sense. If you have to that it’s clear that he doesn’t. No one in Boston got on Menino whenever he would bring up that Minny Noriega on the Brutiots. It just reeks of being woefully out of touch.

    I don’t like polling localities, so I don’t have faith in pre-election numbers especially in primaries.

    1. OIFVet

      “I just don’t understand why anyone thinks Obama coming to Chicago…” Obama is still popular with blacks, while Rahm isn’t. Rahm needed the black vote to put him over the top, so the thinking was that Obama could deliver it for him. Identity politics are alive and well in Chi-town.

      1. optimader

        “Obama is still popular with blacks”
        As a Chicago demographic group are they that ignorant?? I hope not. I sense BHO campaigning in Chicago would be counterproductive to RahmE.
        Rahm still sucks, this is clear. (FWIW that was clear when he was first elected)
        Chuy Garcia, who knows? Being a bit cynical on Chicago politics, he is likely very just another opportunist who wants to campaign w/ platitudes if he can get away w/ it.. Im guessin this is all about spanking Rahm not about Chuy being a great alternative.

        1. OIFVet

          You might as well ask that about any other demographic group in Chicago and in the US as a whole. Take my Lakefront Liberal buddies from the North Side, die-hard Obama and Rahm supporters all… The fact is that many don’t read NC and for many identity trumps all. I can see how some will prefer to vote for Rahm over a latino, given the changing demographics in the city. It doesn’t help that many have fallen for the narrative about how Obama REALLY wanted to do all that he promised but was kneecapped by the eevil republicans and other assorted racists and leftist Debbie Downers (just ask Rebecca Solnit).

          1. Optimader

            “u might as well ask that about any other demographic group in Chicago and in the US as a whole. Take my Lakefront Liberal buddies from the North …”

            Chicago’s black population that voted for BHO (majority) it turns out voted against their own interests. North shoreliberals? They got basically what they wanted, as well did those wanting to preserve the status quo w/respect to city government influence

            1. OIFVet

              Except I will argue that the status quo inside city politics has changed substantially. Say what you will about Daley but he really spread the loot around. Under Rahm the loot remains at the top. Under Daley the money tended to stay in town (meter deal excluded). Under Rahm the money gets shipped out of town, as do the jobs (like in Japan of all places). Rahm hires outsider technocrats, Daley hired local loyalists. It really is a sea change.

          2. JerseyJeffersonian

            Why, yes, I was so abashed to be castigated by Sanctimonious Solnit for having the temerity to notice that the Chosen One was a, GASP, Republican. But threatening me with being governed by Eevul Rethuglicans if I failed to reelect a Republican somehow lacked the motivational effect she was going for. What do ya expect from a Prius Liberal? No, sunshine, your scorn only confirmed me in voting Green.

    2. DJG

      The problem for Obama with Rahm isn’t that a president shouldn’t stoop so low. The problem is that Obama and Clinton have, and Obama was only too happy to pick up plenty of Clinton re-treads, among them, Rahm. So the problem for Obama is pointing out just how much he relied on the despicable. Which then raises some doubts about Obama’s own supposedly sterling reputation. (We won’t mention the drones…)

      1. DJG

        Viva phallus indusiatus. It is indeed edible. From its Wikipedia entry: In eastern Asia, P. indusiatus is considered a delicacy and an aphrodisiac.[46] Previously only collected in the wild, where it is not abundant, it was difficult to procure. The mushroom’s scarcity meant that it was usually reserved for special occasions. In the time of China’s Qing Dynasty, the species was collected in Yunnan Province and sent to the Imperial Palaces to satisfy the appetite of Empress Dowager Cixi, who particularly enjoyed meals containing edible fungi.[47] It was one of the eight featured ingredients of the “Bird’s Nest Eight Immortals Soup” served at a banquet to celebrate her 60th birthday. This dish, served by descendants of the Confucius family in celebrations and longevity banquets, contained ingredients that were “all precious food, delicacies from land and sea, fresh, tender, and crisp, appropriately sweet and salty”.[48] Another notable use was a state banquet held for American diplomat Henry Kissinger on his visit to China to reestablish diplomatic relations in the early 1970s.[49] One source writes of the mushroom: “It has a fine and tender texture, fragrance and is attractive, beautiful in shape, fresh and crispy in taste.”[50] The dried fungus, commonly sold in Asian markets, is prepared by rehydrating and soaking or simmering in water until tender.[51] Sometimes used in stir-frys, it is traditionally used as a component of rich chicken soups.[52] The rehydrated mushroom can also be stuffed and cooked.
        –Seems to be a good source of trace minerals, too.

        1. annie

          as i understand, the chinese who eat these dispose of the stinking cap.
          there is a place near our spring house in italy where they sometimes come up and the odor is so incredibly foul i smash them now at the first whiff.

  5. LaRuse

    RE: Did MH370 fly north, not south?
    That was fascinating reading, but I have developed a certain wariness when the mainstream media (through expert witnesses such as Jeff Wise) take something currently unsolvable like MH370 and point the finger at Putin (or ISIS or whoever the villain of the week happens to be). But still, very interesting reading because I had not heard any northern route theories before now. .

    1. hunkerdown

      They were out there. One about going to Iran, and another involving eventual reuse as the suspiciously to-hand spare aircraft that flew as MH17 by way of Diego Garcia or some point near Pakistan.

    2. OIFVet

      Fascinating indeed, because the author appears to have swallowed all the misinformation and propaganda put out over the past year. Reads more like a Tom Clancy short story, and doesn’t offer any logical explanation about what would motivate Russia to go to this length to hijack a plane belonging to a state which is a rather good customer of Russia’s MIC. Also too, no word on whether Putin drank the blood of the poor passengers.

      1. OIFVet

        PS I also don’t buy the ability of any plane to get through unnoticed by skirting border areas. The author stresses the avoidance of the disputed India-Pakistan borders but conveniently omits that the India-China relationship is not exactly warm and fuzzy even if they are both in the BRICS. That border would be well-monitored by military radars from both countries and any unknown airplane would have been investigated by both.

    3. Carolinian

      The Putin did it theory is absurd. While I know little about Jeff Wise–not getting CNN thank gawd–the guy just shows himself to be a boob, not some kind of expert. He’s getting ink because in the childlike imaginations of our MSM Putin is apparently responsible for every bad thing that happens including, no doubt, our current weather (those cloud seeding articles the other day).

    4. vidimi

      strange how the atlantic doesn’t consider that maybe it flew west, which has always been the most likely explanation.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Wasn’t it the former head of the French FAA equivalent who said that he thought the plane went off course and was shot down on approach to Diego Garcia? Given our obsession with secrecy and the few people likely to be on duty or awake, I can buy this explanation.

    5. VietnamVet

      The article on the internet search for Flight MH-370 was fascinating. I love a good who done it? But the story points out the great big black holes in what we are told.

      “Truth flowed one way: from the official source, through the anchor, past the expert, and onward into the great sea of viewerdom”.

      From Boeing and the accident investigators, nothing. This is true also for the other contemporary aviation black hole MH-17.

      Somebody, somewhere, who knows the 777 has run all the scenarios and knows how the 777’s communications could be turned off and on and how fly it on a deliberate zig-zag route along Thai and Indonesian borders and has the actual satellite data. Propaganda and perceived financial and security issues have prevented the flying public and loved ones from knowing the truth of what happened. But, Vladimir Putin still got blamed for this too.

    6. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yes on your doubts on the Putin thing (thought it’s reasonably hedged and the author exposes his methods). And I would bet it’s possible to select three people out of a passenger manifest (especially one in Southeast Asia) and construct almost any narrative. It’s noteworthy he tracks the Russians down and it ends up as one of those New Yorker-style long form reads where the general idea is: “We went to look for a bird in the woods, and after many days, we didn’t find it.”

      However, I remember thinking the plane flew North myself; the maneuvering round the tip of Malaysia suggested human control at some point, and there seemed to be no reason to fly to the empty Pacific in the South.

      One thing that’s interesting is that the narrative on this hasn’t congealed.

      1. vidimi

        i think it’s becoming more and more likely that the reason we are not seeing debris from the wreck come up anywhere is because someone disposed of it meticulously. there is only one country that could get away with doing that and it’s certainly not putin’s russia.

  6. curlydan

    Our US Chief Data Scientist: “As an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow for the Department of Defense, Dr. Patil directed new efforts to leverage social network analysis and the melding of computational and social sciences to anticipate emerging threats to the US. He has also co-chaired a major review of US efforts to prevent bioweapons proliferation in Central Asia and co-founded the Iraqi Virtual Science Library (IVSL).”

    Sounds like a good fit with the Administration: warm and fuzzy on the outside (watch the video, ack!), but we know what lies beneath.

  7. Cynthia

    I prefer watching a film like Jane Eyre (1943) over “50 Shades of Grey” any day! It’s a much richer film in terms of character development, dialogue and storyline, as well as lighting and camera work. It also helps that the screenplay was written by Aldous Huxley (see link below). I seriously doubt that anyone of Huxley’s caliber today would have their name associated with such a trashy romance novel as “50 Shades of Grey.”

    Jane Eyre was a peasant woman unconditionally obedient to a rich guy. She withstood his abuse without ever putting up a fight, just like the woman in “50 Shades of Grey.” But unlike her, Jane Eyre fell in love with her wealthy abuser, and he fell in love with her. The abuse stopped, they married and lived happily forever after. The poor girl in “50 Shades of Grey” got nothing from her wealthy abuser. No love, no marriage, no wealth, no nothing. I can’t see how any woman would enjoy watching such a hollow and empty film! Lust is fun, but without any love, the lust loses its fun. At least, that true from my experience.


    1. hunkerdown

      It’s not hollow and empty to use sex to buy money, which is what marriage really is when you take Hallmark out of the equation?

      1. ambrit

        Using sex to buy money assumes independent agency on the part of the sex possessor.
        I believe it was Jacob Bronowski who said a human will sleep with almost anybody, but is very picky about who’s child they will engender or bear.
        Speaking of Huxley; if you want a more meaningful exploration of the themes surrounding sex and violence, try “The Devils of Loudon.” (Made into an infinitely more interesting sounding movie by Ken Russell, “The Devils.”)

  8. Jim Haygood

    ‘Obama’s from Chicago. He’s a community organizer. What’s wrong with these voters?’

    They are waiting for Hillary, who is from Chicago and aspired to be a community organizer.

    Like the formula for Coca Cola, the ‘Ivy League lawyer/community organizer from Chicago’ profile is a timeless classic that folks just can’t get enough of.

    1. jrs

      One might ask what a “community organizer” even does, what does that job title even mean? I mean if it’s code for “activist” at least then we’re dealing with something more concrete and that can be broken down into actions taken.

      It is hard to see what definition of “community organizer” Hillary would meet.

        1. OIFVet

          I object on behalf of sheepdogs. There is no known case of a sheepdog throwing the sheep to the wolves and then sharing the meal.

          1. hunkerdown

            The sheepdog is willing to do it for their normal salary as a loyal servant of its order. That’s easier on its reputation among the nice-smelling two-legged animals who really matter.

            1. ambrit

              Nice smelling? When I helped my father-in-law with his cows, I distinctly remember the opposite. (Then, who knows the mind of doG?)

    2. Carolinian

      Hey we sometime Atlantans object. Coke is way more classic than Hillary or Rahmses. Also if Obama is “from” Chicago then surely Hillary is “from” Arkansas where she spent her early career community organizing Tyson and Walmart.

      On the other hand if Hillary is from Chicago then Obama is from Hawaii if not Kenya.

      1. ambrit

        Back in the long ago, Coke-a-cola had real, er, “coke” in it, and was proud of it! Hillary, “O”, and the rest of the neo-liberal yuppie politicos have studiously worked to erase any memories of when they had any, er, “coke” in them. “Yes, I tried it, but I did not snort.”

  9. Vince in MN

    Police State Watch
    With our “well-regulated militia” doing most of their service time overseas now, keeping the modern versions of slave rebellions in check has become almost exclusively the responsibility of the police forces. Which is appropriate since that is what they were invented for in the first place. The National Guard can be called in for backup if needed of course.

  10. hunkerdown

    Why It’s So Hard to Repair Stuff (Charles Hugh Smith). Funny, looks to me like the hardest thing is consumerist standards, particularly an unwillingness to trade away form for function. 3-D printed surfaces are too rough? Anneal it. Acrylic overmold? Spray it on and sponge it smooth, if you must. Who does she think she’s working for, a medical penthouse at the Mayo Clinic?

  11. Dana

    Do patients (‘ insurance companies) need to pay for a “penthouse at the Mayo Clinic” to be entitled to a room that has a hope of being cleaned of other patients’ pathogens? There are many reasons why a hospital is such a dangerous place, but fixtures that are not capable of being cleaned shouldn’t be one of them. We’re not talking about wiping the dust off the lamp in your living room.

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