2:00PM Water Cooler 3/16/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Martin O’Malley: “As I travel around the country the primary concern that people have is that, for as many good things we’ve done for our economy, it’s not working for many of us, because wages are still going down” [Salon]. Gee, that’s not what the press is saying.

Nooners on Clinton [Wall Street Journal, “Hillary Seems Tired, Not Hungry”].

Maybe she thought her ideological hunger, which was real, would sustain her throughout her life, and it hasn’t.

Maybe what happened to her, in part, is the homes of her Manhattan mega-donors. She’s been in the grand townhouses and Park Avenue apartments since 1992. She’d go in and be met and she saw what they had. Beauty. Ease. Fine art of a particular, modern sort, the kind that is ugly, that reminds its owners that just because they’re rich doesn’t mean they don’t understand that life is hard, painful, incoherent. It is protective, cautionary, abstract and costs $20 million a picture.

But what lives they have! Grace and comfort and they don’t have to worry about the press, they don’t have to feel on the run, they don’t have to press the flesh with nobodies.

She’d like those things!

And Nooners makes MoDo look like the lightweight with a tired act she is [New York Times, “An Open Letter to hdr22@clintonemail.com”].

You [that is, Hillary] started the “Guernica” press conference defending your indefensible droit du seigneur over your State Department emails…

Sloppy. And weird. First, I’d like to know when Down thinks “droit du seigneur” was anything other than indefensible. Second, Hillary privatized her email. She didn’t exercise some sort of gender-bending droit du seigneur over it.

Instead of raising us up by behaving like exemplary, sterling people, you bring us down to your own level, a place of blurred lines and fungible ethics and sleazy associates.

Jeebus. MoDo worked in the same newsroom as Judy Miller, when Miller faked those WMD stories, right? The same newsroom where Bill Keller spiked James Risen’s scoop on Bush’s warrantless surveillance until after Bush was safely elected? That newsroom? And Clinton is bringing you down to her level? Dear Lord.


Cory Doctorow: “The AP analysis of Bush’s 275,000 FOIA’ed emails show that ‘donations’ to his campaign were really more like ‘purchases.’ … By the way, I’d be pretty fucking surprised if H Clinton’s complete email trove was any less damning” [Boing Boing]. Yep.

“The current numbers raise the question of whether Mr. Bush is going to face a similar challenge in 2016 to that of Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012. In that race, Republican primary voters cycled through a long list of alternatives” [Wall Street Journal].

Principled Insurgents

Rand Paul at Bowie State College: The effect of current de jure criminal codes is “somewhat like segregation” [Bloomberg]. Worth noting that St Louis prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch is a Democrat, as is Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

Ted Cruz in New Hampshire: Unlimited political cash would give rank-and-file conservative activists greater sway in picking their representatives, including the president [AP].

Lawrence Lessig on lessons learned from his 2014 SuperPAC to “end the corrupting influence of money in politics” [Medium].

Stats Watch

Industrial production, February 2015: “The manufacturing sector continues to struggle.” Industrial production up 0.1 percent, below expectations, after declining 0.3 percent in January [Bloomberg]. Manufacturing drop was worse than forecast, and January was revised down. “Softer manufacturing may increase debate at this week’s Fed FOMC meeting on guidance.”

Housing market index, February 2015: “[G]rowth slowed 2 points to an 8-month low” [Bloomberg]. First-time buyers an increasing negative, traffic a particular weakness. “Why are first-time buyers not showing interest in buying a home? Perhaps it’s tied to the bubble collapse in 2008, one that may have lowered the appeal of housing as a lifelong investment.” Ya think? That, and chain of title issues?


“Internal polling I’ve seen doesn’t show Rahm winning his Chicago reelection bid.” And the Chicago Tribune poll showing Tiny Dancer pulling in massive black support is sus [Down With Tyranny].

Garcia and Emanuel will meet tonight in the first of three televised debates [Bloomberg].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“An 18-year-old man wrestled a gun away from a police officer Friday evening and managed to fire off a shot” [KATU]. And lives to tell the tale, oddly. Or not.

“Shooting suspect throws homemade explosives during police chase” [KMOV]. And lives, oddly. Or not.

#BlackLivesMatter in Oakland [Talking Points Memo].

Jeffrey Williams, accused shooter of two Ferguson cops, most likely not a demonstrator [Los Angeles Times]. And not a very good shot, either, apparently.

“[Better Together] found [St Louis] county’s 90 municipalities, despite being home to just 11% of Missouri’s population, took in 34% of all court fines and fees in the state in 2013. [They] also showed that in Ferguson, as assessed property values plummeted during the recession, court fines and fees skyrocketed, up 84% 2010-2013 [NextSTL]. Too bad Obama’s stimulus package was so pathetically inadequate; Ferguson might have come through in better shape.

How it works in St Louis: “Her Dad is Wayne Baker (owner of Warrenton Oil and a —-load of other stuff),” [Wes Dalton, then an associate circuit court judge] wrote. “Can we make this one go away??? By the way, we’re hooked up for golf at Porto Cima at the Conference!!! (is no cost okay???)!!” [St Louis Today].

Health Care

ObamaCare has had no impact on the insurance industry’s medical loss ratio in its first three years [International Journal of Health Services].

Several million people hit with new federal fines for going without health insurance will get a second chance to enroll starting Sunday, but it’s unclear how many know about the time-limited opportunity, let alone will take advantage of it [McClatchy].


“U.S. Solar Generation Doubled in 2014, Renewable Output Grew 11%” [The Energy Collective]. “This year will also see the retirement of a large number of coal-fired power plants.”

Global emissions were unchanged last year, the first time that’s happened amid economic growth in four decades, according to the International Energy Agency [Bloomberg].

Wet wipes combine with other materials, like congealed grease, to create a sort of superknot in sewer systems. With gross picture [New York Times].

“Fukushima is not a redemptive story, but one of tumescent venality and passionate ignorance. With the current government hell-bent on nuclear restarts, Japan’s historic cycles of destruction and costly renewal are all but set to be re-enacted” [Japan Times].


Caravan supporting the 43 missing students to cross border from Mexico and visit 45 US cities [Fox].

Mayoral candidate in Guerrero kidnapped, then beheaded [Vice]. And teachers union has vowed to halt elections until the 43 students are found.

“[T]he budding romance between Israel’s high-tech companies and Arizona” based on homeland security funding at the border [Mother Jones].

Consider it anything but an irony that… the factories that will produce the border fortresses designed by Elbit and other Israeli and US high-tech firms will mainly be located in Mexico. Ill-paid Mexican blue-collar workers will, then, manufacture the very components of a future surveillance regime, which may well help locate, detain, arrest, incarcerate, and expel some of them if they try to cross into the United States.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Latest on the F-35: $400 billion program and the bombs don’t fit in the bomb bays. But that’s OK because the software package to operate the bombs won’t be ready until 2022 at the earliest [Military.com].

Class Warfare

“The Bible is really clear about usury” [Consumerist]. Faith-based institutions vs. payday loan companies.

“Once he got used to sleeping with a blanket over his face to block out the fluorescent lights that stay on through the night, he says living in an internet cafe is ‘not so bad'” [Disposable Workers]. This is… Japan.

Long-form piece on crapified jobs in Iowa, and the workers who do them [WaPo].

Josh tries to sum up his workplace. “In essence, Hardee’s is not about one person,” he says. “It’s about a collective of people who come together to fix food for other people. It’s like the military. Right, Brandi?”

Brandi is scooping hash rounds. “What?” she says.

“We’re family here,” Josh says

Tragedy and opportunity for the left. The word “collective” comes to Josh’s mind, but the only two institutions he can think of to embody that value are the military and the family (although not, interestingly, church).

News of the Wired

  • “Nationwide, 671 species of birds were reported on this year’s [Great Backyard Bird Count], which received a total of 108,387 submitted checklists” [Herald Courier].
  • Putin reappears [Reuters].
  • Why Chris Poole walked away from 4chan [Rolling Stone].
  • The public’s right to see government records is coming at an ever-increasing price, as authorities set fees and hourly charges that often prevent information from flowing [AP]. How can they charge me a fee to see material I own?
  • “74 Clever Blog Post Title Templates That Work” [Social Ocean]. A classic, though “____ That Work” is not on the list.
  • Maine English teacher wins $1 million Global Teacher Prize [AP].
  • Argentina’s “Net Party” — funded by Y Combinator — is an experiment in direct democracy in Buenos Aires that seems to take inspiration from both Occupy Wall Street and Reddit (a Y Combinator alum and ongoing investment). Party supporters weigh in on issues. The Net Party promises to vote on bills based exclusively on the feedback it gets online [Fast Company]. Not sure this architecture is quite as thought through as the Interactive Voter Choice System. Will the servers be in Geneva, for example, secure and under Swiss privacy law?
  • Looks like the neo-liberals have got Phase Two of Crapification, Complexification, just about complete with Social Security [New York Times]. Underfund, Complexify, Add Fees, Manufacture Scandal, Privatize. Maybe?
  • Silvia Federici on elder care [Commoner (PDF)].

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant, the first of “I Wish It Were Spring!” week (furzy mouse):


Flats!!! Readers sent in some very nice “I Wish It Were Spring!” photos — I realize that for some parts of the country, the crocuses are already up — but I could always use some more. Glad to put this winter behind!

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

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. hunkerdown

    I suggest that Cruz goes in the Clown Car for that bit of base-pandering.

    As for Lessig…

    No doubt, the lobbyist-cronies complex will fight the change. No doubt, that fight will be incredibly difficult. But this is not a civil war.

    Shove the Augustinian struggle rhetoric, Larry. Maybe the entire object model of rule itself is dead, and maybe it takes a Harvard denizen, filled full of Exceptional Exceptionalism and salaries based thereupon, to be dispositionally unable to come to terms with the obsolescence of their entire class, and to continue trying to sell the ongoing existence of their class as “democracy” (a system of binding citizen authority) when it is in fact only a “democracy” (the Merican word with no real meaning besides “happy-ever-after consumerism”).

    Prof. Lessig, with all due respect, show me *binding*. Gamification of non-binding policy preferences does not prevent the horse from leaving the barn — and that is where. Why are you wasting time on this stuff when politicians have no interest in being bound by it, and the Constitution disallows any way we might prevent our “betters” from acting against our will or enforce any sanctions on them besides maybe laying them off as substandard in a couple or six years?

    Were the NYC yuppie contingent really only bothered by *who* was running the sidewalk casinos, as if the haute-bourgeoisie were somehow entitled to a monopoly on cheap sentimental exploitation and to use society’s hired thugs to do it? A people brainwashed into competition may well be incapable of it; wouldn’t it be better in the long run to call an endemic pathology an endemic pathology instead of lay out another desperate, pathetic plea for Better Oligarchs?

    1. Brindle

      Pretty much agree on Lessig. Pollyannaish was the word that first came up. He doesn’t seem to grasp the deep malevolent, anti-human nature of the War/Corporate Party.

      —“Because here is our bet this time around: If we can get close — if we could make it plausible that fundamental reform could actually happen — then we might create an opportunity in the 2016 elections that no one right now believes even possible. If winning this issue were feasible, or even just reasonable, then there’s a chance that the next great president would pick this issue up. Whether it’s a Republican attacking “crony capitalism” or a Democrat attacking “big money in politics,” if we gave that candidate a reason to believe they could win in Congress, we could give the right candidate a reason to take up the issue”—.

        1. Dirk77

          +1 to all the commenters. Can you win if you fight your opponent using his rules? And after reading Lessig’s article I’m wondering about his dismissal about how this is not civil war. I need to read the history, say, Teachout’s book. But it seems awful strange that if this were indeed a hotly debated issue at the start of the USA, why the founders gave it a pass. Like on slavery for instance.

  2. AQ

    Hillary Seems Tired… Doctor Who!! Will Hillary sacrifice herself in the end to save the world from the Daleks and Davros (or is that Davos)?

    Sorry, I needed to add a little humor to my day, even if it’s lame to everyone else.

    1. cwaltz

      I live in a household with Whovians although I do think the youngest would be rooting for the Dalek(because they are superior and all.)

    2. optimader

      Wait.. I thought she was on the Daleks team??
      Dalek: Our greatest enemies have left the planet Xeros. They are once again in time and space.
      Dalek Supreme: They cannot escape! Our time machine will soon follow them! They will be exterminated! Exterminated! Exterminated!
      1: Align and Advance!Dalek
      2: Advance and Attack!Dalek
      3: Attack and Destroy!All Daleks: Destroy and Rejoice!

    3. ambrit

      Your humour isn’t lame at all. What’s lame is a supposedly professional politician who makes it so easy to take the Mickey of them.
      Dalek 1: I pine for the elder epoch!
      Dalek 2: As do I. Extermination was so much easier when TRW ran things!
      Dalek 1: Have you heard about the organic extermination units?
      Dalek 2: Organic extermination units?
      Dalek 1: Yes. A sub species of the Humans. Politicians.
      Dalek 2: Ah. Politicians. Organic exterminators now make sense.
      Dalek 1: Look! An independent thinker!
      Daleks : Exterminate! Exterminate!

      1. AQ

        I really do love the Daleks. Although I also think the show makes them makes too superior these days. Kind of like the Replicators from Star Gate. And, thank you, folks, you made me laugh out loud this morning.

        Maybe Hillary will get sucked into the time vortex and become like Dalek Khan if she can’t sacrifice herself like Harriet Jones. She’ll be crazy and turn on her creator(s) at Davos because she’ll see what she/they’ve become.

        Doesn’t she look tired… such a tiny phrase to bring down a government. If only it were that easy.

        As aside because I just watched the video from the library, but did anyone else notice the Ellysium undertones?

        Consider it anything but an irony that… the factories that will produce the border fortresses designed by Elbit and other Israeli and US high-tech firms will mainly be located in Mexico. Ill-paid Mexican blue-collar workers will, then, manufacture the very components of a future surveillance regime, which may well help locate, detain, arrest, incarcerate, and expel some of them if they try to cross into the United States.

        Of course, the flipside is perhaps we’re already living in a milder version of the Snowpiercer world. Not milder, but… I don’t know how anyone can watch that movie and not be horrified. I love the articles and conversation at NC but sometimes I lose faith and just as horrified and have to turn away just like I did while watching that movie.

        @ cwalz Yes, I get that vibe from Senator Paul but he doesn’t seem alone in his fixation.

  3. cwaltz

    Does anyone else think Rand Paul has the creepy, obsessed ex boyfriend vibe going on with his fixation on all things Hillary Clinton?

  4. craazyboy

    “Latest on the F-35:…”

    Yup. This program makes it look like the “Air Superiority Country” forgot how to design airplanes.

    1. cwaltz

      Stop being mean to the jahb creators.

      Meanwhile in DC the GOP is still trying to figure out how to funnel more money into the DoD because apparently fraud, waste and abuse only exists in programs like food stamps or Medicare.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Chump taxpayers on one side, death machines on the other, I say we just cut out the middleman (the MIC), issue every global citizen an automatic weapon and let them earn food credits for every other citizen they snuff out. Priority target categories could earn extra credits (brown skin, unacceptable ideologies), snuff “collectives” can form for efficient group processing. Eventually like-minded collectives can join forces and form something called a “society” or “civilization”.
      Jahbs! Without all the carpetbaggers, a more efficient value chain from murder straight to the food in your mouth. No need for all these middlemen companies, no more waiting around for their stocks to soar in order to increase your food procuring capacity. Progress!

    3. Vatch

      the bombs don’t fit in the bomb bays.

      Haven’t you seen the movies Fantastic Voyage and Inner Space? Hollywood could solve this problem for the Defense Department.

      1. hunkerdown

        So could Major Kong, at the cost of only a hundred-odd takes. If he were still around, that is.

  5. timbers

    This makes you wonder how USA would actually fair (surpringly badly?) in a full on war with Russia:

    “Latest on the F-35: $400 billion program and the bombs don’t fit in the bomb bays. But that’s OK because the software package to operate the bombs won’t be ready until 2022 at the earliest [Military.com].”

  6. MikeW_CA

    “And lives, oddly. Or not.” You meant we just needed to check the pictures of the suspects on each of those links and we’d understand what needed to be understood, right? I didn’t bother to read the details.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Check out this one from the NYT:

      Robert Jones was arrested at the scrap yard on Jan. 31 while he and another North End Detroit man were toting a large bag with six pieces of scrap metal, including four heavy discs and a 14-inch pipe, according to a police report.

      After his arrest at the yard, the police held him for about a day before releasing him because they did not have everything they needed to charge him.

      While looking over the investigative notes from Mr. Jones’s arrest, Sergeant McKay saw that he had indicated that he planned to sell the scrap metal he was accused of taking from the industrial yard. For her, that was enough to justify felony charges, and she referred the case to the county prosecutor’s office, which has issued a warrant for Mr. Jones’s arrest.


      How the hell do you get a felony warrant for $20 worth of scrap metal? Sounds like Drug War logic: possession of scrap with intent to sell.

      So scrap metal is like a blunt in your pocket: better not get caught ‘possessing while black.’

      Now that this homeless old man got his photo in the NYT like some kind of street person celebrity, Detroit cops probably already rounded him up to start his inevitable journey to prison.

  7. DJG

    The Net Party of Argentina is too reminiscent of the Movimento Cinque Stelle and all it was going to do via the WWW. Then, when given power, M5S had no plan. It’s semi-irrational leader, Beppe Grillo, has engaged in witch hunts. M5S periodically throws out dissenting members–those who might not follow the Internet vote. Politics is not going to be reformed by software / mechanisms that are so easily blunted as on-line petitioning. Notice any activity from our own White House dot gov lately?

  8. DJG

    MoDo and Noon. Word salad, wilted. Throw in David Brooks and Frank Bruni (please), and you have an entree-sized chopped salad dressed with the bittersweet juices of their incompetence. Yumlicious.

  9. craazyboy

    “[T]he budding romance between Israel’s high-tech companies and Arizona” based on homeland security funding at the border [Mother Jones].

    Yobs and more Yobs!!!!!!

    Reminds of one time I was down there talking to a young hottie over Margies and somehow the topic went on immigration. (I may have asked her to marry me – can’t remember) She didn’t take me seriously, fortunately, and said something like “Why doesn’t the US post job openings at the border crossing so Mexicans don’t have to travel around your entire country looking for one?”

    hahahaha. Some of them are cute.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      So who gets to be Gaza when the water wars start?

      Arizona has a pretty big border with California, and Californians are pretty a thirsty bunch. And there are a helluva lot of ’em.

      1. Jim Haygood

        That’s a ‘two-state solution’ (actually seven-state) between equals, under an interstate compact. Mexico, whose stretch of the Colorado River is usually dry, would be the Gazans.

      2. craazyboy

        That’s gonna be a big mess. All of Sonora, MX is dry desert – and US rivers are used up before they get their now. I’ve heard some wells are going dry in Sonora already. Then we have CA and their 40 million+. In New Mexico the drought is worse than AZ and CA. The only place that got some decent rain this season is CO. So at least the CO River will flow a while longer – CO, CA and AZ have water sharing agreements for the river. Haven’t checked how OR and WA are doing.

        I figure about 60-70 million people will be headed East.

        If it come to that, my plan is to just abandon my place and catch a plane to the Andes in Peru. I’ll worry about learning Spanish later.

        1. Synapsid


          The snowpack in the Central Cascades of Washington is 29% of normal. The snowpack is the summer water supply for the main center of population in the state, from Everett in the north through Seattle to Tacoma in the south. Lake Washington lies to the east of much of this strip of cities and its east shore is heavily settled and also dependent on that snowpack.

          The same ridge of long-lasting high pressure that has been causing California’s drought is affecting Oregon and Washington as well, though less strongly. All three states, west of the Cascades in the north and the Sierra Nevada in the south, have winter-wet/summer-dry climate.

          1. craazyboy

            I was just quoting a CA climatologist I heard giving a presentation last December sometime. Looks like maybe he got that wrong – or he meant Oklahoma, it looks bad there.

    2. craazyman

      Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
      I fell in love with a Mexican girl
      Nighttime would find me in Rosa’s cantina
      Music would play and Felina would whirl

      Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina
      Wicked and evil while casting a spell
      My love was deep for this Mexican maiden
      I was in love but in vain, I could tell

      Marty Robbins lives!


  10. NOTaREALmerican

    If those teaming-masses knew what those neo-liberals were up to (or what they were), they’d be madder than heck.

  11. Llewelyn Moss

    Vice will interview Obama tonite on HBO. Vice has been doing some good stuff but I expect this to be a game of softballs. With lots of grins and winks if the Teaser is representative of the show. I suppose Vice just couldn’t resist.

    Show Teaser

  12. roadrider

    Re: O’Malley

    As I travel around the country the primary concern that people have is that, for as many good things we’ve done for our economy, it’s not working for many of us, because wages are still going down

    Would this be the same Martin O’Malley who a few months ago was bragging that Maryland had regained all the jobs lost in the recession? Never mind the replacement of good, well-paying jobs with benefits with crapified, contingent, part-time jobs with poor or no benefits or the over concentration of real jobs in the spook and warfare state sectors dominated by Beltway Bandit “consulting” firms.

    He’s only saying this stuff to distinguish himself from Clinton but will drop it the second he’s offered the VP spot on her ticket. Don’t get sucked in. He’s not a real Clinton alternative and if he was the Dim-o-craps would kneecap him before he got within a light year of the nomination.

  13. Oneaboveall

    John Oliver did an expose on the NCAA and it’s rampant exploitation of “student-athletes” on Sunday. It stirred a lot of outrage…at John Oliver.

    You can see some of the show and read the rage directed at John for reporting it here.

    1. hunkerdown

      The American people want exploitation and suffering. They’d just rather not be on the business end of it.

  14. valley gurl

    Is Hello the new, stalkers are uz, Brand[!] naming fad because it may conjure up memories of when people actually once communicated without being surveilled and consumerized 24/7?

    First there’s the Hello Barbie [Surveilling Mattel/DOD] Doll, now I just read a bleakly hilarious rant re:

    Firefox Hello [!]

    Which, yet once again, makes me feel validated in not Updating My Browser (no one previously had to update (at their own peril usually) anything yearly, or more, in order to communicate).

    There’s some advice in that lovely rant, which made me smile (however bleakly), that will likely be very useful for anyone with a current Firefox Browser:

    … if you can still tolerate using firefox (*spits*), goto about:config, and toggle loop.enabled to “false”, then restart.

    (postscript: speaking of never ending ‘required’ $oftware Updates – with no benefits to the victims whatsoever and the always implicit threat that the victim will lose their communication rights if they refuse to update – it never ceases to bleakly amuse me how Bill Gates’ Algorithms don’t know how to spell the word Surveil. For that bleak ‘amusement value’ alone, I’ve always refused to Add it to the [MSWord] Dictionary.)

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Thanks for that info.
      I set loop.enabled to “false”
      Now firefox boots up almost instantly. I was taking up to 30 seconds.

    2. hunkerdown

      configed! Like, thanks, dude, totally.

      That’s what “innovation” is all about: the willful and malicious conversion of others’ sunk costs into your profits.

  15. optimader


    March 16, 2015
    TIF stacked in favor of downtown? The facts suggest otherwise

    By Greg Hinz J G

    Few things are as controversial in Chicago at the moment as the city’s tax-increment financing system. TIF has become a huge issue in the race for mayor, with challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia pretty much suggesting that it’s largely corporate welfare for downtown developers and other connected types, and incumbent Rahm Emanuel defending it as a means to incentivize development and pay for needed infrastructure work.

    Who’s right?

    In an effort to get behind some of the masses of misinformation swirling around, I took a data-heavy look at the TIF realities in my column in the new issue of Crain’s. Specifically, I examined what’s happened in the four years that Emanuel has been in charge—years in which he agreed to nearly $1.3 billion in development projects…


    Subscription only at the moment, this will be out in a couple days.

    1. Jess

      The abuses — and failures — of tax increment financing is one reason that CA voters ended all redevelopment agencies a few years ago. TIF is foremost a creation of, and servant to, the muni bond industry, with nearly all the other benefits accruing to developers and connected types.

      1. optimader

        No doubt the use of TIF is abused,
        It is also the case that both candidates for MOC support the use of TIF, so it is not the case that they will be eliminated. I will be interested in Greg Hinz analysis.

  16. valley gurl

    You’re so welcome Lewelyn, though all I did was pass the message along. Glad it worked; yay for anything that reduces stress imposed by those whose power allows to them to impose it with no ill repurcussions (only benefit$) for them whatsoever.

    (Sorry this isn’t nested under the comment I’m responding to, but I’m not able to use the “reply to” option, maybe because I’m not “registered,” though it works for me on other WordPress sites I’m not registered on. Another possibility could be blocked scripting and cookies, I don’t have a clue.)

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      If everybody did what you are doing, the NC comments section would be a mess and useless to all readers collectively. Please do what you need to do to fix this. Thanks.

  17. Matt Pappalardo

    Will politicians ever stop using Reinhart-Rogoff as a justification for austerity?:

    And we know Rogoff-Reinhart’s studies have indicated that when debt gets to the level we’re at now you can begin to show slow economic growth, uh, and the last thing we need to do is have another action that slows growth.”

    Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), The Better Way: Benefits of a Balanced Budget Hearing (March 11, 2015), 68:52 mark

    Unfortunately, Sessions has apparently learned nothing over the last two years.

    Is he not familiar with Herndon, Ash, and Pollin? What about Lof and Malinen? Or Panizza and Presbitero? You think he knows about the work of Pescatori, Sandri, and Simon? Markus Eberhardt? Égert? Dube? Proaño, Schoder, and Semmler? Tica et al.? Kimball and Wang?

    And that’s not even including (the more) heterodox voices like Palley or Nersisyan and Wray.

    1. prostratedragon

      I seem to recall that not so long ago the United States had a President who was fond of the gesture (image search on “[name], finger”).

      Of course, this isn’t Germany, but still it suggests that the bounds on high-level discourse are not necessarily what they once were anyway, which Mr. Varoufakis might want to take under advisement.

  18. Jack

    ‘Why Chris Poole walked away from 4chan’

    Because it’s largely a toxic craphole and he got tired of it, is basically what it amounts to. Good for him.

    Regarding the F-35, the thing was never going to be able to carry many bombs anyway. The stealth (which doesn’t work) means nothing can be mounted on the wings, it all has to be inside the fuselage. But half of that internal space is taken up by the worthless VTOL gimmick the Marines insisted on.

    Even in the best case scenario the F-35 was always doomed to be a retread of the Harrier, where you have an objectively flawed and extremely limited aircraft that sacrifices every other attribute in exchange for a tactically and strategically worthless gimmick and are forced to modify your planning to try and accommodate the crappy aircraft you’ve now been stuck with. Only now it isn’t just the Marines, they want to replace large swathes of our air armada with this piece of trash ‘universal fighter’ that can’t do anything well.

    This particular moneymaking scheme, why obviously immensely profitable for the weapons industry, could well be a death knell for our modern Imperial Legions. If we’re ever reduced to just the stick for enforcing our will what do we do if that stick breaks?

    1. reslez

      Chris Poole created a lovely playpen for monsters and they turned on him. The monsters just want freedom, Chris. What’s wrong with you, why would you back away from your creation now that you’ve personally experienced some of the downsides? Gift your sociopaths’ nursery to a harder-to-hassle trio (because their identities are still unknown) and go.

      What would the internet be without the freedom to say completely vile things to and about others in relative anonymity, much like we are completely unable to do IRL? Whatever would the net look like if we lacked this fundamental freedom that we enjoy literally nowhere else? Rage, rage against the dying of the trolls. They eat their own. /s

  19. Roland

    “Tragedy and opportunity for the left. The word “collective” comes to Josh’s mind, but the only two institutions he can think of to embody that value are the military and the family (although not, interestingly, church).”

    The proletariat hasn’t yet created major collective institutions. Early socialist thinkers, much like Josh, fastened upon one of the few examples they knew of a collective institution, i.e. an army.

    The militaristic language which accompanied a lot of old socialist movements never really rang true. Frankly, the modern proletariat, as a class, are not particularly warlike. The observation of our own era is telling. i.e. If what was happening to today’s proles were happening to a society made up of yeoman peasants or early-modern petty bourgeois, the earth would run with blood and smoke would fill the horizon.

    The big bourgeoisie are most fortunate that the proletariat are unwarlike, especially since the big bourgeois are themselves, as a class, not very good at waging war. It is hard to think of any dominant class in any society in history, commanding such great resources as today’s big bourgeois, and yet who, at least in terms of warmaking in the narrow sense, tend to underachieve in all their “wars of choice.”

    For the world, too, this may prove fortunate–since if an epic global-scale class confrontation must take place, perhaps it’s better that such a class struggle occur between protagonists neither of which evince much warrior talent.

  20. valley gurl


    If everybody did what you are doing, the NC comments section would be a mess and useless to all readers collectively. Please do what you need to do to fix this. Thanks.

    Sorry, I don’t have any options. Since I have to use dial up due to severe budget restraints (which as I understand it from my ISP, quite a few are on, even in Silicon Valley), allowing scripting, which I would have to do to register and log on, is not an option for me as it takes forever to even open a window (if it opens). And yes I did try unblocking scripting after your comment – let alone the time issues it caused, I still was not able to use the reply option, despite the fact that I’ve never had that problem at any other WordPress site. For the record, highly snoopable (let alone the EMF issue) free WIFI is not an option I’m willing to use.

    As I don’t want to be a pain, and certainly don’t expect you to spend time, and money, you don’t have any extra of, I’ll not comment here and use those sites where I don’t have the problem. To be honest, I prefer the dial up and have always used it, even when, in the not so distant past, I hadn’t fallen through the cracks.

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