By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
“The Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, ” [WaPo]. Oopsie. This is starting to look a bit unseemly. I mean, especially since the “ethics agreement” must surely have been written to be gameable in the first place. Twisting, twisting, slowly in the wind….
Elizabeth Warren: TTP’s ISDS “would undermine U.S. sovereignty” [WaPo]. Rather a contrast to the Clinton Foundation’s trans- or indeed post-national fundraising model.
Elizabeth Warren goes on Al Sharpton’s show [WaPo]. And then this happened:
SHARPTON: A lot of progressives have questions about whether she’ll [Hillary Clinton] be a progressive warrior. what would you say to them?
WARREN: You know, I think that’s what we gotta see. I want to hear what she wants to run on and what she says she wants to do. that’s what campaigns are supposed to be about.
Jebbie on the Iraq wars [Washington Examiner].
HEWITT: What interests me is not how the Iraq wars went or your opinion of your father’s order to invade Iraq, or your brother’s order to invade Iraq, but whether or not you’d be overly cautious about using force for fear of having a ‘third Bush war’ occur?
BUSH: That’s an interesting question, and I’m glad you asked it. It wouldn’t, if I was, if I decide to go forward with a race and I’m fortunate enough to go through that whole process, and God willing, win, then I would have a duty to protect the United States. And there are circumstances where a commander-in-chief, the president of the United States has to make tough decisions. And history’s full of examples of that. I actually, Hugh, am quite comfortable being George Bush’s son and George Bush’s brother. It’s something that gives me a lot of comfort on a personal level, and it certainly wouldn’t compel me to act one way or the other based on the strategies that we would be implementing and the conditions that our country would be facing.
So, no problemo.
Scott Walker: “I will always choose to focus on what matters to the American people, not what matters to the media” [USA Today]. An Op-Ed.
Biden: Strom Thurmond on his deathbed asked him to deliver his eulogy, which the then-senator did in 2003 [Boston Herald].
Paul: Clinton Benghazi ZOMFG!!!!!! [Yahoo News]. Hard to believe the ‘Droid’s pushing that when there’s an actual Clinton fundraising scandal festering right in front of him.
Huckabee skips CPAC for religious broadcasters conference [USA Today].
Trump “more serious” than ever. “I’m not doing this for enjoyment. I’m doing this because the country is in serious trouble” [WaPo]. And Trump’s doing warm-up for Jebbie at CPAC tomorrow.
“[CPAC] underwritten by the National Rifle Association, the Heritage Foundation, the Trump Organization Inc. and the Motion Picture Association of America in addition to much more modestly moneyed religious and small-government interest groups.” [Bloomberg]. Well, that’s a little unseemly, too. The “more serious” Trump is underwriting the organization that’s letting him take the mic?
Moderate Tim Kaine (D-VA) will boycott Netanhahu speech [Bloomberg].
TransCanada could use NAFTA’s ISDS to sue the US government for stopping Keystone XL [Politico].
Herd on the Street
Bombardier CS300 loses out to Airbus/Boeing duopoly [Puget Sound Business Journal].
Royal Bank of Scotland Group will reduce the number of countries in which it operates by two-thirds to 13 [Bloomberg].
Hermès says its profitability likely narrowed in 2014 amid currency fluctuations and that revenue growth may slow in 2015 [The Fashion Law].
Jobless claims, week of February 21, 2015: “[J]obless claims surged unexpectedly in the February 21 week, up 31,000 to a 313,000 level that is far outside the Econoday consensus” [Bloomberg]. Oopsie. Could be Presidents’ Day?
Consumer price index, January 2015: “Overall consumer price inflation fell sharp 0.7 after declining 0.3 percent in December,” on gas [Bloomberg]. “Excluding food and energy, consumer price inflation firmed to a 0.2 percent.”
Durable goods orders, January 2015: Rebounded 2.8 percent, in consensus range. [Bloomberg]. “Nondefense aircraft surged a monthly 128.5 percent percent (!).”
Bloomberg consumer comfort index, week of February 2, 2014: The 1.9-point decline was the biggest since May 2014 [Bloomberg]. Retreat everywhere, including five of seven income brackets.
Good explainer on King v. Burwell. Justice Badass Ginsberg, Roberts joining: “[T]he plainness or ambiguity of statutory language is determined [not only] by reference to the language itself, [but as well by] the specific context in which that language is used, and the broader context of the statute as a whole” [HuffPo].
“If the plaintiffs [in King v. Burwell] prevail, millions of people in 34 states who bought insurance on federal exchanges would suddenly lose the subsidies that make it affordable” [Bloomberg]. Out of left field: Could Obama just cover everybody by lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare to zero by executive order? Not a serious proposal, of course, since Obama doesn’t care about covering everybody, but it shows the paucity of imagination on the Democrat’s side. What’s their Plan B?
Democracy for America on Rahm being forced into a run-off: “Rahm Emanuel and his corporate cronies have awoken a massive grassroots army across the city committed to ending his agenda of privatization, public school closings, and pension cuts” [WaPo].
“[I]f we pair Emanuel’s hollow victory with other recent, successful campaigns from the left — like Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s thwarting of the Antonio Weiss nomination, or Zephyr Teachout’s humbling of Gov. Andrew Cuomo — it’s hard to deny that there’s a change happening within the Democratic base” [Salon].
Mayor 1% had no coat-tails on the South Side [Chicago Tribune].
Black Injustice Tipping Point
Missouri’s public safety director, chosen amid Ferguson unrest, resigns six months into the job to return to teaching [McClatchy].
Course title for half-day training session offered last month by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police: “Media Relations Training: Don’t Be the Next Ferguson, Missouri!” [Chicago Tribune]. Idea: Stop whacking black people?
“No Charges for Georgia Officer Who Shot Handcuffed Man,” George Smith [ABC]. “Many Grand Jurors were appalled that the police did not find Smith’s gun despite the fact at least three officers are seen on video frisking him.” Because the gun was a throw down?
“Denver’s approach of restraint is being shared [during protests] by agencies across the country as experts say police interference can actually escalate violence and erode trust” [AP]. Interesting, if true, and if true, protesters will have to display adaptability. That’s a good thing.
Police State Watch
“Federal air marshals assigned to protect commercial flights across the U.S. were furtively pulled from their assigned flights so they could meet for sexual trysts, get better routes or travel to cities they preferred” [Center for Investigative Reporting]. Comments one retired air marshall: “What kind of Mickey Mouse place is this?”
FBI has agent provocateur foment another plot by crazy people, then indicts them [The Intercept]. It’s like the FBI is the Packers, and this play is their Power Sweep.
“De Blasio Prevails In Fight To Mass Arrest Peaceful Protesters” [Gothamist]. The headline is exactly right, if you consider put the judge’s ruling in the context of conditions on the ground during an actual protest.
SEC probes whether companies are muzzling corporate whistleblowers [WSJ]. This is interesting:
In recent weeks the [SEC] has sent letters to a number of companies asking for years of nondisclosure agreements, employment contracts and other documents….
Some of these types of documents sometimes include clauses that impede employees from telling the government about wrongdoing at the company or other potential securities-law violations…. In some cases, the firms require employees to agree to forgo any benefits from government probes, effectively removing the financial incentive for participating in the SEC program.
Hmm. I wonder if private equity firms use these techniques, and whether that accounts for the evident omerta in that so-called industry.
“Now known as American Dream Meadowlands, the sprawling project was known as Xanadu in the early 2000s when, federal prosecutors contend, Joseph Ferriero used his position as head of the Bergen County [New Jersey] Democratic Organization to squeeze nearly $2 million out of a developer” [AP]. “American Dream Meadowlands”! I love it!
“Why It’s So Difficult to Repair Stuff: It’s Made That Way” [Of Two Minds (hunkerdown)]. “When something is assembled by robots, the appliance was designed to optimize assembly by robots. It was not designed to be easy to take apart by humans.” And: “Just about everything nowadays is made with the intention that only the manufacturer, or somebody who has a formal business relationship with the manufacturer, will be able to repair it.” So, class warfare against small repair business owners and crapification: It’s a two-fer!
Following Walmart’s lead, TJX Cos., owner of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods stores, will raise pay for U.S. workers to at least $9 per hour” [Talking Points Memo]. This doesn’t even move the needle from savagely iniquitous to miserably inadequate. Even $15 per hour is too low, if you believe that productivity increases should be reflected in wages.
News of the Wired
- Eight-year-old Gabi Mann from Seattle feeds the crows in her garden – and they bring her gifts in return [BBC].
- Researchers discover black hole 12 billion times larger than the Sun [CBS].
- Australian 3-D printed jet engine (!) [ABC].
- I wish we could stop using the word “settlers”, as in “Jewish settlers in the West Bank” [AP]. Surely the word “squatter” be more appropriate?
- Another Graeme Wood takedown [The New Yorker]. “The Clash of Civilizations that isn’t.”
- The geopolitical impact of low oil prices [Council on Foreign Relations]. From the heart of the establishment…
- China inches toward actual collective bargaining [Wall Street Journal].
- China blacklists Apple, Cisco, and other US tech companies in the wake of Snowden [Quartz]. Nobody could have predicted…
- “Going Against The Flow: Is The Flow Hive a Good Idea?” [Milkwood]. Interesting idea of the bee hive (colony) as a “superorganism.”
- When you look up medical symptoms online, these companies collect your data [Vice].
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 fourth of Fungus Week (Rex):
Those little green shoots remind us spring is coming!
Readers! How about sending me some plants under snow and/or ice? Seems appropriate?
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!
Well, Hillary will certainly be an armchair general. Does that make her a ‘warrior’?
From what little she’s mentioned about foreign policy, Warren’s pretty hawkish herself — on Iran, on the War on Terror, on Israel/Palestine, to give a few examples. Outside of finance she’s nearly as blank a slate as Obama was.
And I’m not sure what the “Ouch!” after Warren’s comment is supposed to imply. Those hoping for Warren to take on Clinton will be sorely disappointed. Her wait-and-see attitude simply cedes the primaries to Clinton; if she (or Sanders) were in earnest about running, they’d be organizing now, not sitting back. The argument now is over the price for Warren’s endorsement.
BTW, the link in that paragraph goes to the Warren column on the TPP referred to in the previous paragraph, not to anything about her appearance with Sharpton.
I agree with you regarding Warren’s foreign policy positions (or lack thereof). Daniel Larison has been covering this for quite some time.
Sadly, Sanders suffers from many of the same problems in this area.
Lambert operates under no such delusion. The “ouch” is that Warren didn’t bother with an obligatory pom pom wave.
No, “squatters” implies disuse. “Colonists” is quite accurate in connotation and denotation.
Yeah, I was going to comment that calling Israeli occupiers “squatters” is derogatory to real squatters, who purposely set up shop where no one is living–so not at all like the Occupied Territories.
I think we should start calling people coming to the U.S. “settlers” instead of “illegal immigrants”.
And how does that change the social and economic dynamics they bring with them?
How do you distinguish the one’s that came here legally?
How dare you put the Packers and the FBI in the same sentence, let alone use it as a metaphor!!!1!!!1!! Even with their terrible, humbling, disgraceful loss to the Seattle Seapigeons there is no excuse for this.
LOL my thought also.
Well, what’s a better metaphor for an institution that’s got, basically, one play?
a dog with four rear legs
(Smileys metaphor for a committee)
astute cooler work Lambert…never miss a day!
TransCanada could use NAFTA’s ISDS to sue the US government for stopping Keystone XL
Sounds about right and tpp & tipp should be even more fun. The above is the only reason 0 vetoed it, knowing in the end it would be done anyway but he would look good.
Why bother with the ISDS system when it’s so much easier to just plant contraband data on the CEO’s mobile phone?
FCC voted 3-2 that broadband will be classified as Telecommunications service under Title II. Who would have thought Wheeler would do an about face on this.
The EFF calls it a win for Team Internet. But EFF has reservations about some vagueness in the rules that could be exploited by ISPs as the FCC looks the other way. I’m not yet ready to believe Wheeler has had a Moral Epiphany.
EFF is Google’s Fair For Colonizing the Frontier for all things E.
Now moving on to place Banking under Title II would be the real treat for the Equal Rights for Savers 98%.
Fox news absolutely loves this:
The Industry and their paid megaphones are outraged, claiming that consumers won’t like it.
They couldn’t seem to find one actual Consumer in favour of today’s reclassification. It couldn’t be that hard – with 4 million of us out there.
IIRC, there was a strange bedfellows alliance on this; small right wing sites didn’t like the loss of net neutrality either. So FOX’s real interests come out in the open for a moment?
Oooooooh, I got two words for you, Wheeler-dealer: “Postal Clause” (Art. I, Section 8)
Did NALC just get handed the perfect rationale for the Postal ISP?
I think there should be huge honkin’ wifi antennas on every post office. With free accounts. Why not?
“The precise language of the FCC’s rules was not revealed Thursday, and it could take weeks for the regulations to be published in the Federal Register, when they will be made public.”
Status quo ante, another feeding trough for the pigs on K street. I bet TW and comcast get merged before we see anything concrete out of the FCC. That’s the only “news”.
The decision was no decision. The EFF said…whatever the fuck google wanted them to say. They couldn’t possibly have said anything about a decision– there wasn’t one. Can, kicked. News at 11.
Wheeler would have had to vote with the two Republicans and against the two Dems. And even Obomber wouldn’t give him cover – legacy time. But I suspect there’s wiggle room – or litigation room – in the language when we see it.
Oh, god! Politicians without cover making an actual decision? The humanity!
You also assume that a decision was made, in binary.
In order for a decision to be made that way, two different alternatives have to be present. A or B. You also assume that A and B are mutually exclusive, competing, or at least, opposing.
Neither A nor B are present, or defined.
Why are you trying to wrap a frame around a picture that hasn’t even been painted yet?
@Lambert, “Settler” is camouflage. “Squatter” implies that they are occupying otherwise unoccupied properties, still camouflage for the fact that they are “squatting” in properties actively extra-legally taken (is stolen too harsh?). All of the words that actually come to mind are likely to be much too harsh for the tender-hearted.
How about interloper? I think “interloper” might work — or “intruder”?
Invader? Oppressor? Gonif?
Parasite. Someone had to say it.
Regarding settler semantics, can everyone cease using anti-semite to refer to anti-Jew? Or at least can we describe Israel’s acts of aggression against its neighbors as anti-semitic?
To be fair Zionists are anti-semitic
What requires moderation here? It’s merely a factual statement Arabs are Semitic people, full stop.
What I have read is that Jew hating and Jew baiting used to be called hating and baiting and in mid 1800s Europe started getting considered kind of low-class . . . or maybe unclassy. So a German Jewbaiter invented the word “antisemitism” to make jewhating sound more philosophically and intellectually respectable by virtue of having a fancy ideological-sounding name. So that is what “antisemitic” has referred to since that time.
If people start to say: Arabs are semitic and therefor anti-Arab is antisemitic itself, then we could invent the wordform antijewitic/ antijewism/etc. for jewhating and jewbaiting. That would avoid linguistic confusion.
I had a long and detailed conversation with an attorney that represents Wall Street whistleblowers about the non-disparagement and non-disclosure clauses in deferred compensation agreements. These are clearly constructed to dissuade calls to regulators but, according to the attorney, if there is a reasonable belief that a crime or regulatory violation has occurred, whether or not one actually has, there are strong protections of whistleblowers from retribution or forfeiture of deferred compensation. I completely understand how large and powerful firms could convince one otherwise, of course. In the end, whether legal or not, one probably shouldn’t expect to continue to work at a firm against which they’ve filed a regulatory complaint.
Yes, contractual clauses which cause any of the parties to act in a criminal fashion (and this usually includes failing to advise regulators of regulatoree wrongdoing) are automatically invalid. Otherwise you could have a contract which requires, say, theft but their theif could claim that “the contract made them do it”. But I’d always still get a legal opinion…
But when an entire class has gone criminal, what then?
“Huckabee skips CPAC for religious broadcasters conference”. I’m amazed that the two wouldn’t have coordinated their scheduling. Maybe things have really changed on the Right. Huckabee suggests as much. Interesting.
Federal air marshals assigned to protect commercial flights across the U.S. were furtively pulled from their assigned flights so they could meet for sexual trysts, get better routes or travel to cities they preferred” [Center for Investigative Reporting]. Comments one retired air marshall: “What kind of Mickey Mouse place is this?”
But Doctor, I keep telling ya, I didn’t say Minnie was mentally ill, I said she was F*UCKING GOOFY!
Good to see Biden in the Clown Car. BTW Strom had hair plugs too so he and Joe were more alike than one might think. Vanity thy name is Senator.
I do try to keep the physical appearance snark out of it (and it’s not easy (Chris Christie….)). I mean, suppose Bernie had hair plugs? Would he be less (or more) Bernie? It just leads to tropes I don’t like and threads that aren’t productive.
Fair enough although I do believe that people’s choices in these matters says something about their superficiality–their seriousness when it comes to more important issues. It’s not as though they are movie stars where personal appearance is a major part of the job. Biden could be exhibit A for this idea. Superficiality is in his DNA.
Also contra the Christie example I’m not picking on Biden or our late great Senator for aspects of their appearance that they have no control over. Which is to say I’m not snarking at Biden for being bald but for choosing not to be bald and going to medical extremes in the process (he could just wear a toupe).
I recommend watching this- V for Varoufakis (German, in English)
Damn, that’s funny. Minister of Awesome. [The funniest thing I’ve ever seen by a German, with the possible exception of parts of Soul Kitchen by Fatih Akin (but then he’s Turko-German from Hamburg, I believe).]
German humor. Who knew, right?
humor, best served dry
That was bizarre….the implication: Yanis is terrorizing Germany; just boggles the mind.
I think the end of the euro is closer than they are letting on.
Germany’s long term project to transform Spain into Mexico is a roaring success!
Wait till China gets that New Silk Road all the way built. Then all of Europe will devolve into One Big Mexico over time. And America will devolve into being China’s Overseas Tibet.
Unless we abolish Free Trade, of course.
“it’s hard to deny that there’s a change happening within the Democratic base”
But we should apply Frum’s Law: The Republicans fear their base, the Democrats hate their base.
As exemplified by this administration. So don’t hold your breath waiting for Democratic officeholders to start making proposals for real change. Right now, they are waiting to see if Rahm can survive his Teachout moment, and then all will be well. Let the looting continue!
The heavy weight candidates (e.g. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle) sat this one out assuming Rahm was a shoo-in. Garcia doesn’t have the gravitas to attract a majority of Chicago voters. Most recognize the city faces serious questions for which, so far, Garcia has not provided serious answers. Being “not Rahm” won’t be enough. Emanuel’s had his knuckles rapped but on April 7 will be given a second term (55-45?).
Rahm has gravitas?
Laughing over that one, Lambert. Gravitas only in a post-industrial ironic sort of way. Like Voldemort. Toni Preckwinkle miscalculated–no one knows why. But I wouldn’t hand over a victory to Rahm. My far-north ward went for Garcia (but then we are a hotbed of anti-city-hall activism with a long history of very successful LGBT activism). But I wouldn’t hand a victory to Chuy: Chicagoans have occasional outbreaks of democracy and then like groundhogs run back into their holes. My diagnosis: A mediocre city with pretensions of being world class. Buffalo with attitude. An impending Detroit. (And I was born here.)
Viva Fungus Week. Okay, so what is it today? It looks like a kind of tree-ear, except that it is on the ground.
i dont know either, though yours is a good guess. i have seen tree-ears grow from the ground–even once in the shape of a conventional mushroom, with stem and cap.
The crow link was good.
I’ve always liked watching the crows in my area (Sacramento).
I often speculate — privately of course, or to my children — that animals are much much more intelligent than we credit them. I regard crows — and the beautiful blue and white magpies I have seen in other lands — with considerable intellect. They think differently … not entirely alien to us … but differently. Crow intelligence or rat intelligence is different. I often speculate — privately and to my children — that many of the creatures around us are considerably more intelligent than we credit. For myself, I know the philosophy of a gerbil or rat will better serve my survival in hard circumstance than will the philosophy of any human philosopher. that many of the creatures around us are considerably more intelligent than we credit. For myself, I know the philosophy of a gerbil or rat will better serve my survival in hard circumstance than will the philosophy of any human philosopher.
Considerations of intellect quickly turn to wonders at communication. Other creatures seldom communicate or attempt to communicate to us because we make little effort to communicate with them. When we try, we make our attempts using a medium alien to them. Our speech is as intelligible as whale song — better we attempt communication by sign like the deaf, than through speech. Some signs cross many boundaries which speech cannot.
A wonderful book on living with crows and magpies, if you want more observations: Corvus by Esther Woolfson, who lives in Scotland. She has a “pet” rook named Chicken (you have to read the book) and had a magpie. Their intelligence and emotional range are great, and she is a carefully observant writer pointing out their deep wisdom and adaptability. She even makes pigeons sound good!
If the Great Asteroid hadn’t come, perhaps Earth would have remained the Playground of the Dinosaurs. And perhaps some of the predatory dinosaurs (probably as smart then as predatory birds are now) might have evolved Intelligence and then Civilization. What would a civilization created by Velociraptor sapiens look like?
Meanwhile, we mammals would have remained little rat-creature things living in trees and under logs.
It probably would have no technology. The only technology indicated by dinosaur remains is the swallowing of stones to grind the food in the gullet, just as birds do. Some rudimentary nest-building, also like turtles, and that’s about it.
I thought the crow link was great, and I wish we had hundreds or thousands of children doing it. Might completely transform our relationship to the world and its creatures. Sounds like she started very young and perhaps in a unique context?
HEWITT: What interests me is not how the Iraq wars went or your opinion of your father’s order to invade Iraq, or your brother’s order to invade Iraq,
Frankly, wouldn’t the above actually be the more revealing question that would potentially invoke less of a torturously BS answer? Me think so
What was the question?
Jeb’s opinions regarding his father/bro’s orders to invade Iraq, and how said wars “went”. Would be revealing regarding Jeb’s sensibly about war
Then take him down the path of Just War Doctrine
Thank you. That was an interesting read.
The second reason for the decline in allegiance to the Theory is largely independent of changes in the practice of war. It does, however, derive from the fact that the wars in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Yugoslavia, and the Middle East provoked a resurgence of work in just war theory by philosophers trained in the analytic tradition. When these philosophers consulted the traditional theory to evaluate these wars, they discovered problems that had somehow eluded earlier thinkers. They have subsequently sought to develop a more plausible theory of the just war. As it turns out, this “revisionist” account, though not as yet fully worked out, is in certain respects a reversion to the classical theory that was superseded by the traditional theory several centuries ago. It returns, for example, to the idea that it is individual persons, not states, who kill and are killed in war, and that they, rather than their state, bear primary responsibility for their participation and action in war.
As a child riding a bus with my dad I asked him about some destroyed looking apartment buildings. Bomben was the answer. I knew then and there, that’s bad, bad, bad.
I’ve believed for a long time that products are deliberately designed to be difficult/impossible to repair by non-professionals (or in some cases by anyone), so the article on this had a bit of a “Well, duh!” quality. But the idea that products optimized for robot assembly would inherently be difficult for humans to take apart was new.
I’m not convinced it has to be that way…it’s a feature, not a bug, to encourage wastefulness and more purchases of crap.
man, that business insider.
the top story right now is Russia being bent on conquering its neighbours and four of the next five are about a dress that changes colours.
abandon all hope ye who enter here.
I’m begging you— PUT WALKER IN THE CLOWN CAR!
This guy is no saner than Huckabee, no smarter than Palin, and his only principle is one of resentment.
Surely you don’t think “principled insurgent” is anything other than ironic?
The key differentiator is that Walker is actively dangerous, which the Clown Car is not; none of them have a prayer of being nominated (though I suppose I should do some analysis on Biden, instead of writing off the possibility as too ludicrous to imagine). This isn’t Kos, or, for that matter, TPM.