2:00PM Water Cooler 3/13/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Only 606 days until November 8, 2016 [sob]. That’s a lot of time to game out the Clinton/Bush race, isn’t it?

Jerry Crawford, Ready For Hillary adviser and Clinton’s “once and future main man” in Iowa represented Monsanto at his law and lobbying firm, and endorsed an Iowa Republican in 2010 [Alternet]. Well, bipartisanship.

If there were going to be a serious primary challenge to Hillary, there would already be a serious primary challenge to Hillary [WaPo]. In essence, challengers have no more runway.

“Mrs. Clinton’s dominance has kept other top Democrats from taking the kind of steps that serious presidential candidates have typically taken by now” [New York Times].

The Democratic bench is stronger than people think: Ron Wyden, Sherrod Brown, Deval Patrick, “Mike” Bloomberg (!), and Amy Klobuchar could all challenge Clinton, at least theoretically [Slate].

The always entertaining James Carville to write for Media Matters [Politico]. But if we want Democratic talking points, don’t we have “Talking Points Memo” for that?

“Clinton’s team is redoubling its hiring and organizing efforts within the early presidential nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, operating as if she were facing a serious Democratic challenger” [Politico].

Younger voters “tuning out” Clinton email story [Wall Street Journal]. “Americans who have grown up with social trails that live forever, as well as with self-destructing messages on services like Snapchat, may continue to see the Clinton email story differently.”

Investigation-happy “Republicans might remind themselves of that by looking back at what all their investigations in the 1990s did for them” [WaPo].

The Establishment

“[A] review by The Associated Press of Jeb Bush’s emails found that prominent donors to Bush and his family regularly urged him to appoint candidates for judgeships, public boards and other positions. One suggested Bush appoint a political supporter’s step-daughter to a hospital board and asked the governor to support funding for his alma mater. One Palm Beach County fundraiser told Bush, the best man at his wedding, that companies hired him “because of my association with the administration and you” [HuffPo].

“Bush has famously said that a candidate has to be willing to ‘lose the primary to win the general.’ … [H]e might well make good on the first part of that sentence” [WaPo]. On both immigration and Common Core, Bush is out of step with the base. And the Republican base, unlike the Demcocratic base, finds it hard to accept being kicked.

Jebbie visited Iowa last week. This week comes New Hampshire, and next week South Carolina [CNN].

Principled Insurgents

Walker on Jebbie: “We had Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney. If it’s just whoever’s next up, that hasn’t worked so well for the Republican party in the past. … Jeb’s a good man. You’re not going to hear me speak ill will of Jeb. He’s a friend of mine, he called me two days before (announcing) his PAC, I think highly of him. I just think voters are going to look at this and say, ‘If we’re running against Hillary Clinton, we’ll need a name from the future – not a name from the past – to win.'” [Tampa Bay Times]. With friends like these…

Diane Hendricks, the billionaire head of the largest U.S. wholesale roofing supply company, ABC Supply, is Walker’s biggest individual political benefactor [Bloomberg].

Clown Car

Huckabee Op-Ed: “Critics say I’m a “populist,” but the truth is I’m a nationalist. I put America and its workers first. Too many in the political class put Wall Street and Washington elites first” [Des Moines Register]. “Washington bails out ‘too big to fail’ Wall Street banks while ‘too small to save’ Iowa families, farmers and small businesses are punished with big government taxes and burdensome regulatory mandates.” The bullet points of policy proposals are Clang Bird craziness. But the populist rhetoric is highly polished.

Herd on the Street

“The Trillion-Dollar Platinum Coin Is Back” [Bloomberg]. Remarkably, the coin is now a bullet point in conventional wisdom.

“Overall, U.S. economic data have been falling short of prognosticators’ expectations by the most in six years” [Bloomberg].

“How Long Will It Take for India to Surpass China? ” [Wall Street Journal].


[Chicago Tribune poll] shows Emanuel leading Chuy Garcia, 51 percent to 37 percent, with 11 percent of voters still undecided. .. Emanuel is buoyed by continued gains among African-American voters, who were primed to cost him a second term before the mayor’s multimillion-dollar television ad blitz. Now, Emanuel holds a 21-point lead among black voters, 52 percent to 31 [Politico]. Eesh.

Howard Dean endorses Rahm Garcia (!) [Chicago Sun-Times]. Even if this is payback for Rahm gutting Dean’s 50-state strategy, it’s payback that’s very well deserved.

“Dean’s message on Garcia’s behalf was sent to the [Democracy for America’s] 1 million members, with a link to a fundraising page” [USA Today].

“Willie Wilson: Not even President Obama could convince me to back Rahm” [Chicago Sun-Times].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“[T]he evidence strongly suggests that Ferguson is not even the worst civil rights offender in St. Louis County and that adjacent towns are also systematically targeting poor and minority citizens for street and traffic stops to rake in fines, criminalizing entire communities in the process” [Op-Ed, New York Times]. In fact, Ferguson could be the healthiest, since they’ve been able to resist.

“In order to fully understand how and why race became the central premise of policing in the St. Louis suburbs, we need to take another step back and consider the long and troubled history of segregation in St. Louis County” [Dissent]. Race and money; “willful racism aimed to generate cash.” And see also mapping decline, a terrific series of interactive map/timelines of housing patterns, zoning, and urban renewal in St Louis, by the author.

Missouri state and county police took over protest security from local Ferguson police Thursday [CNN].

Ferguson protests resume quietly [New York Times]. The protesters “had a simple, symbolic goal: to keep the demonstrations alive the day after the two officers were shot.”

Mya Aaten-White was shot in the head on the very first day of the Ferguson protests. The case is being investigated by the Ferguson police, who seem to have lose the bullet (it was removed in the hospital) and Aaten-White has not yet been interviewed [Riverfront Times].


“We are withdrawing [California groundwater] from a fairly large bank account,” said Tom Myers, a hydrogeologic consultant in Reno, Nevada, who has worked in Southern California. “But we are withdrawing from it a lot faster than we are putting back in. The problem is we don’t know how close it is to empty” [Center for Investigative Reporting]. What could go wrong?

“Groundwater depletion in the United States can explain 1.4% of observed sea-level rise during the 108-year study period and 2.1% during 2001 – 2008” [Groundwater].

“Right now [California] has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing” [Los Angeles Times].

“On Wednesday, Chilean mining company Antofagasta Plc announced that it had reached a deal to end protesters’ blockage of its Los Pelambres copper mine. The protests, which began on February 28, centered on excessive water usage as Chile faces its eighth consecutive year of harsh drought” [Blouin News].

“The southeastern region of Brazil is seeing the worst drought in eight decades, which is causing reservoirs to be critically low on water. Residents in Sao Paulo have been forced to undergo water cuts for months, and Rio de Janiero could be next” [Latin Post].

Class Warfare

“The median retirement account balance when you look across all households? $2,500” according to a new report from the National Institute on Retirement Security [Bloomberg]. Amazingly, the article actuallly recommends doing something with Social Security benefits other than gutting them.

” [T]he relative gains for older workers come, not because they are worth it, but through the exercise of power” [Financial Times, “The dark underbelly of Britain’s jobs miracle”]. No. The “gains” always come through the “excercise of power.”

News of the Wired

  • “NYC 311 with Turf” [Another Word for It]. This sounds like the sort of visualization activists might find useful.
  • “Wall Street Firm Develops New High-Speed Algorithm Capable Of Performing Over 10,000 Ethical Violations Per Second” [The Onion].
  • Tim Cook offered Steve Jobs his liver [Cult of Mac]. Presumably not with fava beans?
  • “Vivaldi: A new browser for power users” [Ars Technica (CB)]. Not production-ready, but ready to test. I tried it, not yet overwhelmed.
  • “Chilean accused of murder, torture taught 13 years for Pentagon” [McClatchy]. Well, that’s better than having him at the University of Chicago, I suppose.
  • Please, yes, let’s get rid of Daylight Savings Time [WaPo]. To have the nightfall of the rapidly shortening days suddenly come an hour earlier is just depressing.
  • “A researcher from Rasmussen, which conducted a survey of 2,009 adults, found about 37 percent of [18- to 34-year-olds] find the Internet scary, compared with 23 percent of 35- to 54-year-olds and 23 percent of people 55 and older” [Bloomberg]. And they’re right!
  • “Russian state television aired what it said was footage of President Vladimir Putin working at his residence outside Moscow on Friday” [Reuters].

* * *

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 fifth of, er, Miscellaneous Week* (Furzy Mouse):


Rice paddies!

How about next week we try for “Plants that make us think of Spring?” I know that’s probably optimistic, since mud season has hardly begun, but why not?

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

* My concept was “Humorous Vegetables Week” (a Terry Pratchett reference) but the only submission was, well, not suitable for a family blog. So maybe that was not such a good idea. I wonder what would have been better?

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. optimader

        Yeah, they both suck as a choice so the typo was just as well. In Chicago the Hispanic population has engaged economically much more successfully that the black population, think squandered times w/ Dorothy Tillman, Jessie Jackson, Bobby Rush, so I will not be surprised with a black turnout for Rahm if for only to defeat Garcia and his peeps on purely ethnic lines.

        On Dean, a historic subtlety in Chicago has been a latent passive aggressive hostility toward “outside” cultural influences in the local ecosystem. One of the higher mortality rate things to do in Chicago is open an out of town brand retail operation/restaurant. I wonder whether an endorsement for Dean is a net positive, negative or just irrelevant?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It probably will be unnoticed. My guess is the people who could identify Dean already despise Rahm. Most voters only know Obama, Clinton, Bush and so forth and really don’t care. I suppose Dean might rally recent transplants who don’t like to vote in local elections.

        2. ProNewerDeal

          optimader said “they both suck as a choice”

          I do not know very much about Garcia, why specifically does Garcia suck? I am curious to learn, if you have some information, such as article URLs

          1. Optimader

            You can start with these two links. This aint my first rodeo in chicago. Chuy is a fake that has offered up vapor in the way of meaningful policy.
            As an insight on character, he rolled on the chicago park system, no less without even getting any leverage for it!
            He is nothing more than a referendum on rahm. Some obviously think that is enough, which is fine, rahm sucks too, but that doesnt deminish my conclusion that garcia is essentially an opaque alternative, therefore he sucks as a candidate. Chicago deserves better.


            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              A referendum on Tiny Dancer is fine with me. It would be nice if the referendum rejected him, but the polling says no. OTOH, I don’t know Chicago well enough to know whether the local polling can be trusted.

              Nothing from Garcia on Honan Square; you’d think that would resonate with blacks.

              1. optimader

                Will Chicago Police behavior (eg: Homan Square or take your historical pick) resonate with the black population? It should. In a constructive organized manner? We will see, if historical precedent prevails it will be the obligatory CPD deck chair shuffling.

                And so what is Garcia’s strongly worded response regarding the “Homan warehousing”? An uncanny channeling of BHO BS. “Troubling”? Who really needs an “opinion from an expert in the field” before you can state that this is utterly shameful, contemptible and intolerable behavior that contradicts the fundamental social construct of this Country, let alone tarnishes Chicago’s reputation as an ethnically integrated city?. Not to be too hyperbolic, but who needed to consult w/expert opinion when they learned of WWII german concentration camps or Stalin’s gulags?

                “…Rahm Emanuel’s challenger in a runoff election that has the Chicago mayor fighting for his political life called allegations of incommunicado detention at the police facility Homan Square “troubling” and suggested an independent investigation was under way.
                In his first public remarks about the secretive Chicago police warehouse, exposed by the Guardian two weeks ago, the Cook County commissioner, Jesús “Chuy” García, described an ongoing effort to establish what hundreds of protesters have called for: an independent investigation from city hall.
                “I did some checking through staff about the assertions made in that article,” García said in an interview with Windy City Times, the local LGBT newspaper. “We spoke with some experts in the field and we continue to investigate.”
                “They’re troubling,” García said of allegations by arrestees who detailed to the Guardian off-the-books police interrogation and abuse, “and we continue to investigate”.

                On the flipside, part of this evil tapestry of Chicago community policing and interaction with “community leaders” would be incomplete without considering characters like Jeff Fort and the Chicago Blackstone Rangers (later dba the el Rukins). Gangs and community leaders have had their own side agreements with City Hall and the Chicago Police long before Rahm.

                As well, exploitive political manipulators like Dorothy Tillman who cultivated her ward in a status-quo economic blight by pursuing unachievable diversions (reparations) and adversarial agendas rather than focusing on constructive and incremental economic development. This preserved her aldermanic position but was toxic for her community (ward) and those Chicago Blacks that bought into her schtick.. Year over year the Hispanic population pushed their economic participation in Chicago, working their way up through the trades food chain in particular while engaging and participating in the city government. This overtime has resulted in the minority economic success ship sailing with the Hispanic population in Chicago.

                I appreciate that Garcia comes from modest means, I tend to side with an underdog particularly when they offer competence and politically I think I am a realist in preferring change in the political realm, particularly Chicago.
                Unfortunately Garcia’s CV is purely political and unfortunately I think he presents uncannily like BHO. So I suspect if he does win it will be in the lost opportunity column.

                Interestingly, I think the most forthright person out of this Mayoral race furball is Willie Wilson, but I would never vote for him as mayor of Chicago.

    1. grizziz

      Maybe Chicagoans could rally and defeat the Rahmster. That would make him available to take a run at Hillary. It would throw the FIRE industry donors into complete disarray. The amount of panting and pandering would be amazing to behold.

  1. ambrit

    In reference to “Chilean accused of,” you said it was probably better than him teaching at the University of Chicago. Uh, I thought that all those “new improved neo-liberal” Chilean technocrats came from the University of Chicago to begin with. Wouldn’t that just be a case of the fledgling returning to the nest?

  2. diptherio

    Attempted Coup And Misguided U.S. Sanctions in Venezuela ~Council on Hemispheric Affairs

    On February 11, 2015, the government of President Nicolas Maduro, along with a number of his senior officials, declared that Venezuela had faced an attempted coup. Contrarily, the mainstream media in the United States and in Europe viewed such allegations as ridiculous, opposing the arrest of alleged conspirators, calling these arrests human rights violations. However, the history of coups and attempted coups in Latin America since 2002 proves paramount, and there is significant evidence to support their reality.1 Recent diplomatic moves carried out by United States President Obama impose sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials and qualify the country as a “national security threat,” calling attention to a growing isolation of the United States within the hemisphere.2 With the exception of Canada, every other government in the region has condemned U.S. interference in Venezuela through the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Union of South American Nations (Unión de Naciones Suramericanas, UNASUR).3

    1. grizziz

      If you read this mornings Reuters link about the possible annulment of fines awarded to Owens-Illinois and ExxonMobil, it is not hard to fathom the reaction of the Obama administration. Its a national emergency when a small sovereign state starts appropriating a corporations property and then when its time to pay the compensation- as ruled by the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes- flips the bird. If Obama cannot bring out the muscle to show enforcement for this quasi rule making body howz it gonna look to the possible signers of the TPP?

  3. roadrider

    Re: daylight savings time

    Let’s get rid of “standard time”, which we only use for four months and at the worst possible time of year, when daylight hours are already diminished, instead. Either that or swap the two: DST in the fall and winter months, when we actually need to save daylight, and standard time in the spring and summer when daylight is plentiful.

      1. optimader

        lets go the Commie route and just have one “National Unity” time zone like the China’s Beijing Time. We can call it DC Time!
        That would be saweet!

    1. reslez

      I hate the switch so much. Can we all just agree to stop doing it? States like mine, where the sun sets at 4:30!!! standard time in the winter, can stay permanently on DST. And states far south or far north like Arizona or Alaska can make their own decision about what to do. But this is honestly pointless and just plain miserable, both the switch to (horrible darkness suddenly activates much sooner) and the switch back (suddenly more sun, but I feel exhausted for days).

      1. jrs

        I’d rather have the later time (standard time). Any night owl knows what I mean. But I’d take either time rather than switching around. The switching around is just crazy.

    2. DanB

      in the early seventies Michigan -and I think this was a nationwide Nixon policy to “save energy”- stayed on daylight savings. So the sun was rising in January around 9 AM. That was widely despised, especially by parents putting kids on school buses.

      1. roadrider

        I recall the situation in 1973 and 1974 and yes it was nationwide and I personally loved it.

        The school bus in the dark argument is bogus and always has been.

        First of all, how many of those parents allowed their kids to participate in after-school activities that resulted in them traveling home in the twilight or dark? I know mine did in years other than 73 or 74. And I’m sure that none of them refused to drive with their kids in the dark.

        The spike in accidents associated with the DST change is because of the change and disruption of sleep patterns not because of the dark. If we were on DST all the time there would be no change.

        If that still wouldn’t satisfy the helicopter parents they always have the option of starting the school day later in the winter months as many school districts are already doing or at least considering because its better for the kids sleep patterns to begin with. Or they could choose standard time as we now allow exemptions for states to opt out of changing to DST. But the default should be DST.

      2. optimader

        Wow, your good Dan, pulled that one from deep storage in the cortex, I think I smell ozone from the arcing! — I remember that it was horrid.
        The time zone manipulation equivalent of Wage and Price Controls

      3. Demeter

        Michigan is already on perpetual Daylight Savings Time, because we are on Eastern Time, instead of Central, where we belong. When DST comes in, we are on double DST.

    3. LifelongLib

      Here in Hawaii we stay on standard time year-round, since the length of daylight only varies about 2 1/2 hours over the course of the year.

      1. GlennF

        We live in Arizona, which is on standard time all year except for the Navajo Indian Reservation in the NE corner of the state. It is hot here in the desert portion of the state, which includes Phoenix and Tucson, in the summer and policy makers decided having the sun up at 10:00 PM when it was still 115 degrees out was not such a good idea. So I say get rid of DST and we can all live happily ever after.

    4. sleepy

      Please, yes, let’s get rid of Daylight Savings Time [WaPo]. To have the nightfall of the rapidly shortening days suddenly come an hour earlier is just depressing.

      I’m confused obviously. I thought that nightfall coming an hour earlier on the clock was a result of Daylight Savings Time ending in the late fall.

      Anyway, what I dont like about it is when DST starts up again in early spring–it just gets so things start getting light around 6:30 am, then it’s back to getting up and ready for work in the dark at 7:30 am.

  4. Ned Ludd

    Twenty years ago, the Internet was almost completely non-commercial because a major part of its backbone was run by the National Science Foundation. Where I worked, management warned us not to promote our company online (in particular, on Usenet), lest we have our connection to the Internet severed.

    The Internet was a very different place. A lot of the infrastructure was maintained by academics and volunteers. Companies were not tracking our reading habits to sell us to advertisers. No one used search engines to dig into your past looking for dirt (this was before even AltaVista existed). People online were curious, not scared.

    1. JTFaraday

      “Another possibility: Maybe middle-aged people just don’t chase the same kinds of potentially risky online behaviors that younger generations do.”

      Yeah, maybe.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Indeed. My account in the late 90s gave me email and gopher. The browser had not yet appeared. “Curious, not scared” describes my experience exactly.

  5. Vatch

    “Howard Dean endorses Rahm [Chicago Sun-Times]. Even if this is payback for Rahm gutting Dean’s 50-state strategy, it’s payback that’s very well deserved.”

    Typo fever. The article says that Howard Dean has endorsed Chuy Garcia.

  6. c

    The former ambassador Howard Gutman to Belgium just stated in an interview on VRT television that the Hillary email controversy was “much ado about nothing”. He claimed that sensitive emails would have been handed to a secretary to be send through a separate encrypted channel! And most emails on her account would be about where to dine and make arrangements when in Brussels. The interviewer swallowed it completely …

    1. c

      Today Ambassador Gutman serves on the boards of several Belgian companies, has a consulting practice for several Belgian, U.S. and international companies, and is a Senior Advisor to an Irish SMS marketing company, a French market research firm based on social media, a global infrastructure advisory company, and a NY corporate debt/bond firm. He also has taken on some chairman and senior advisor posts to some start-ups, including SR2, a commercial drone company.
      WASHINGTON — A State Department whistleblower has accused high-ranking staff of a massive coverup — including keeping a lid on findings that members of then-Secretary Hillary Clinton’s security detail and the Belgian ambassador solicited prostitutes. Gutman was a big Democratic donor before taking the post, having raised $500,000 for President Obama’s 2008 campaign and helping finance his inaugural.
      * At least seven agents in Clinton’s security detail hired prostitutes while traveling with her in various countries, including Russia and Colombia. Investigators called the use of prostitutes by Clinton’s security agents “endemic.” The liaisons with prostitutes allegedly occurred in the same hotel where Clinton slept, according to sources familiar with the incident. But the agents involved got little more than a wrist-slap. Three were removed from the security detail, given one-day suspensions and reassigned.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Just like Cartagena. The New York Post is, unsurprisingly, reaching on this one. Exactly like the email flap, endemic/systematic behavior is being hung on one person.

    1. Steve H.

      Stamets is single-mindedly brilliant. As a gardener, I don’t doubt it does what he says it does. As an environmental scientist, it’s like other introduced predators, in that putting it into open systems could have unforseen consequences.

  7. ewmayer

    “Please, yes, let’s get rid of Daylight Savings Time [WaPo]. To have the nightfall of the rapidly shortening days suddenly come an hour earlier is just depressing.”

    That is actually an argument for getting rid of standard time and making DST the new year-round standard. I’m all for that – like most folks I’ve discussed the idea with, I find stumbling out of bed on the dark winter morns less depressing than leaving work and having 0 daylight left to actually enjoy. Maybe the dark is more depressing when one is fully awake? Be interested to hear other NC readers’ takes on this.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Is it? I can never remember whether it’s “Fall forward and spring back,” or “fall back and spring forward.”

      I think it’s the hour jump on either end of the time change that’s the issue; that just totally disrupts circadian rhythms.

  8. steelhead23

    About 2016. I agree with Salon that Warren is wholly uninterested in running for prez. However, I don’t think that Ron Wyden is interested either, nor is he even the most populist-minded senator from Oregon. If I could simply tap a person on the shoulder and make him president of the U.S. I would tap Jeff Merkley.

    I have to say this – I am mad as hell at the Democratic Party. Not merely because it has jumped into bed with Wall Street, but because it has become un-democratic. I desperately wanted Obama to be primaried – to have a real debate within the party in 2012. Of course Obama would have won easily – but he would have been pushed leftward and wasn’t. An opportunity lost. And now we have Queen Hillary, groomed for coronation. We’re doomed.

    1. tongorad

      A real debate? Besides the lack of one on the part of the Democrats regarding the Presidential race, where was or is the real debate on anything? Healthcare? Drones? Growth of the surveillance state? Never-ending war?
      Democrats cannot be “pushed leftward.” Their primary agenda and reason for existence is to kill the left.

  9. Propertius

    To have the nightfall of the rapidly shortening days suddenly come an hour earlier is just depressing.

    Isn’t this really an argument for getting rid of Standard time, rather that Daylight Saving Time? “Spring forward” and all that.

    1. jrs

      That’s another reason they need to get rid of one or the other: noone can even keep track of which is which.

  10. Propertius

    That’s a lot of time to game out the Clinton/Bush race, isn’t it?

    Look on the bright side: it gives you 606 days to be “ready for Hillary”, doesn’t it?

  11. NotTimothyGeithner

    Hillary is getting snippy over nothing with this email scandal. She can’t handle pressure. During the Clinton years, she was a wife and mother first and foremost. She didn’t answer to voters. She lost to a clod in 2007/8 who never challenged her publicly. Americans are worse off than 2008 and less willing to just blame 43.

    Hillary has no recourse to criticisms of her past. Her position on Iraq is “we got it wrong.” That’s nonsense. One clip of her stuttering a out Iraq, and she is done.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Not strictly true. She’s entirely correct to regard the press as an adversary, above and beyond their checks and balances role. They really do hate her*; that’s why she busted their chops by holding the presser at the UN, and why many of the articles about the presser were nothing more than whining about how hard it was to get press passes. Nice deflection.

      * I deprecate both the strategic hate management that brought this about, and the weirdness of hating one member of a political class with plenty of other members worthy of the same measure of hate (if any person is worthy of hate). I mean, remember when Bush was “comfortable in his own skin”?

  12. Bill Frank

    Surprising that no one commented on the “water” section. The outlook for CA is most alarming. The overall economic impact could be stunning. We will limp through 2015 and if the next rain season continues to disappoint, as many predict it will, 2016 could be devastating. This story will most likely have far reaching ramifications vastly exceeding the dog and pony show parade of candidates for the 2016 election.

    1. Elizabeth

      Yes, the California lack of water story is vastly under reported, in my opinion. Up until now, water conservation has been voluntary (at least in SF), and only now are restrictive measures being talked about. Entire communities in the central valley are without water, and have to have it trucked in from other sources. There seems to be no long-term vision from our governor what measures he will take to mitigate this disaster. There’s a building boom in SF, and development in other urban areas continues. Unbelievably, fracking continues in Kern County! It’s unbelievable!

    2. kay

      Great. Another great wave of refuges from California. No wonder I’m seeing license plates already on the road. Where do I have to go to get away from California and their mental illness that gave them the state which is broke? I guess I can go to Detroit – at least it has water and a comptroller that’s grounded in firm economic principles.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        On the one hand, you claim that “Californians” are “mentally ill.” On the other, you claim to be able to recognize “firm” “principles.” Seems odd. Of course, “firm” they may be, correct or not…

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Apparently, they’re down to water that’s been in the ground for millennia. And fracking continues.

      Oh well. If you live a jillion stories up in London or Manhattan, or in a gated community, it’s all going to be fine.

  13. kay

    I’m kinda upset – I bought a car that’s a v6. Its nice. Has the stuff I want inside. Has a gear shift w/D,N,R,P. And now I’m hearing that the last car to be manually driven will be made in 2020. All the ones after that will be ‘safe’ cars.
    What happens if I would like to speed? If I need to speed? Are all the cars going to go the same speed on the highway? Is there going to be an automatic pull over if there are sirens behind you?
    Mercedes concept car where it drives you? Tesla where it drives up to your door and waits for you to come out? Are we all that stupid we can’t do it ourselves?
    I fear for the future which probably makes me a luddite.

    1. ambrit

      Actually kay, a real Luddite wants to get rid of internal combustion engines altogether.
      Ever since the 6 speed automatic transmission was “perfected,” the writing has been on the wall. With the electric drive cars, with direct electric drive wheels, any speed you want can be governed by controlling the flow of electricity to the wheels. Simply done, and simply undone, if you feel the “need for speed.” As for the need for speed; check out these electric roadsters:
      The new Tesla Model S can do 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds! Some purpose built electric vehicles have done 0 to 60 in under two seconds!!! At these performance levels, physical stability becomes an issue. Check out this prang, which happens around 1:15 min into the video:
      As for the ultimate electric vehicle, check out :

  14. patriot77077

    606 days until Nov. 8 2016.
    Can I just mention how glad we are to have relocated to Australia after Bush was appointed the second time. In Australia, campaigning is illegal until 6 weeks immediately prior to an election, of course they speechify and politick before then but the TV ads and all of the other nauseations are confined just to those 6 weeks. The US has lots more people so perhaps you could extend it to 18 weeks, that should be more than enough.

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