2:00PM Water Cooler 3/26/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – Investment Chapter” [WikiLeaks]. Link to PDF at bottom of page.

On Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) [Public Citizen (PDF)]:

The leaked text would empower foreign firms to directly “sue” signatory governments in extra-judicial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS)tribunals over domestic policies that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms that foreign firms claim violate their new substantive investor rights. There they could demand taxpayer compensation for domestic financial, health, environmental, land use and other policies and government actions they claim undermine TPP foreign investor privileges, such as the “right” to a regulatory framework that conforms to their “expectations.”

The leaked text revealsthe TPP would expand the parallel ISDS legal system by elevating tens ofthousands of foreign-owned firms to the same status as sovereign governments, empowering them to privately enforce a public treaty by skirting domestic courts and laws to directly challenge TPPgovernments in foreign tribunals….

[T]he enactment of the leaked chapter would dramatically expand each TPP government’s ISDS liability. The TPP would newly empower about 9,000 foreign-owned firms in the United States to launch ISDS cases against the U.S. government, while empowering more than 18,000 additional U.S.-owned firms to launch ISDS cases against other signatory governments.

Yikes. Write, call, and email your Congress critter on this. It’s crazypants stuff.

“[T]hese [ISDS] provisions provide corporate sovereignty, elevating the power of corporations to put them above the power of local governments” [Techdirt].

More on ISDS [New York Times]. Strange bedfellows:

“This is really troubling,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat. “It seems to indicate that savvy, deep-pocketed foreign conglomerates could challenge a broad range of laws we pass at every level of government, such as made-in-America laws or anti-tobacco laws. I think people on both sides of the aisle will have trouble with this.”

And from the same article:

Members of Congress began reviewing the secret document last week in secure reading rooms, but this is the first disclosure to the public since an early version leaked in 2012.

Then again… Call me paranoid, but I wonder if we’re not being set up on ISDS. Suppose they throw that over the side, and fast track the rest through? Nobody knows what’s in any of it, after all. Might make more sense — now that issues with ISDS are part of the conventional wisdom — to focus on the anti-democratic nature of fast track. After all, no fast track, no TPP.

Reinforcing this idea, Greg Sargent asks: “In the short term, the question is: How much can those who are skeptical of the deal do to improve it?” [WaPo]. The answer should be nothing. You can’t buff a turd.

US: “‘I think we’re going to be able to put together a majority and stop [TPP],’ predicted Richard Trumka” [Los Angeles Times].

Australia: “These TPP safeguards won’t protect us from ISDS” [ABC].

Japan: “The Chief of the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives JA-Zenchu has urged the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to retain high tariffs on the economy’s “sensitive” products, including rice, wheat, barley, pork, beef, dairy products and sugar, as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks with the U.S., according to the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA)” [Oryza]. Paging Clive on that one…


“[Sanders’s] political advisers think he can be viewed as a legitimate candidate if he raises $50 million ahead of first-round primary contests” [Bloomberg]. The question: “But does Sanders have a realistic shot at the Democratic nomination using a grassroots-only playbook?” Interesting article.

“The key point Mrs. Clinton made was on the money: Promoting mobility and opportunity is increasingly an issue for cities and states, rather the federal government” [Richard Reeves, Wall Street Journal, “What Hillary Clinton Gets Right About Improving U.S. Social Mobility”]. Hmm.

Clown Car

Cruz hopes to knock out Carson and Huckabee, then go for Walker [E.J. Dionne, WaPo].

Semiotics of Cruz’s logo [WaPo]. I’m going with Pentacostal tongues of fire (Acts 2:3).

“Imagine there’s no IRS. It isn’t hard to do” (hums) [WaPo]. I think the press hates Cruz as much as they hated Al Gore. And that’s something.

Cruz’s ObamaCare options [WaPo]. NC readers know all this, but:

The law does not require Cruz to get health insurance on the exchanges. Instead of going through the exchanges, he could have paid the tax penalty for not having insurance, “likely cheaper than buying an insurance plan,” but at the cost of being uninsured. Or his wife could have applied to COBRA and extended her benefits from Goldman Sachs for up to 18 months, though she would have to pay all of the premium. Or he could bypass the exchanges and buy insurance directly from a private insurer. … And Cruz is rejecting the government’s employer contribution, even though he is entitled to it as a member of Congress. That is thousands of dollars a year, and accepting it would still be following the law.

Dunno. Cruz may be a clown, but he’s not dumb. Maybe we’ll hear about the horrors of Cruz’s exchange experience?

Campaigns going for the squillionaires first, leaving millionaires and bundlers waiting by the phone [WaPo]. I’m crying.

SuperPACs are “taking over more-traditional campaign duties ranging from field organizing and voter turnout to direct mail and digital microtargeting” [Time].

“[T]he advantages of having a famous last name far outweighs the negatives” [WaPo]. Lannister, Stark…

The Hill

“Yet Obama’s strategic patience on national security continues a pattern set by the most successful Republican foreign-policy presidents” [Lawrence Korb, Reuters].

Stats Watch

Jobless claims, week of March 21, 2015: “Initial jobless claims did fall sharply in the March 21 week but today’s report isn’t likely to raise expectations for the March employment report” [Bloomberg].

Bloomberg consumer comfort index, week of March 22, 2015: “Consumer confidence climbed last week to match the second-highest level since July 2007” [Bloomberg].

Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index, March 2015: “Most price indexes continued to decrease, with several reaching their lowest level since 2009. In a special question about the West Coast port disruptions, 32 percent of firms said it had affected them negatively” [Bloomberg].


Even if it would be great if Rahm went down, and it would be, Chuy Garcia and Karen Lewis are far apart on policy [Jacobin].

Health Care

ICYMI, California has a Medi-Cal “estate recovery plan” [KQED]. That’s when ObamaCare forces you into Medicaid, tells you it’s free, and it turns out it’s a lien against your estate. Boy, will your kids be surprised!

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Liberal vs. conservative tribalism and reading the DOJ report on Ferguson [Bloomberg].

“Detroit Cops Shown Beating Black Man, Floyd Dent, During Traffic Stop” [NBC]. Oddly, or not, the dashcams don’t back up what the cops say.

Arizona legislature passes bill to keep cop’s names secret after they whack civilians [Slate]. So awesome.


Charter schools’ default rate [on municipal debt] reached an all-time high last year of 5 percent of outstanding issues, according to a biannual study by the New York-based Local Initiatives Support Corp. That’s up from 3.8 percent in 2012 [Bloomberg]. Seems odd, given the spectacular recover of the economy.

Class Warfare

Montréal protest against austerity [CBC]. Here we go again?

“The War on Poverty: Was It Lost?” [New York Review of Books]. Long-form review of the literature.

“The measurement of absolute progress is a worthy undertaking, but in terms of evaluating the lived experience of poverty and its detrimental effects, it is equally important, if not more so, to explore the relative progress of the poor” [New York Times].

Heating bags for the homeless made from plastic bags [Fast Coexist]. Ingenious and not heartless, but isn’t the better solution simply to give the homeless homes?

News of the Wired

  • Co-pilot crashed Germanwings plane deliberately, says French prosecutor [Guardian]. Is it my imagination, or have we had a spike of truly odd airline stories lately? When, statistically, air travel is safer then ever?
  • “2nd Amendment-Summary-4-Hackers” [Another Word For It].
  • “[Video-game streaming platform] Twitch’s average user watches 106 minutes of video on the site per day” [Business Insider].
  • YouTube rep: “[T]he [animated] GIF really is our official response, it technically wasn’t a decline to comment and would appreciate if you could update your story” [Business Insider]. Madness. I’ve got to unblock all that crap? Use your words, dude!
  • “Mostly I’m concerned about the impact on news brands of confusing the public regarding the difference between editorial and paid-for content” [Medium]. Fair enough, until you think about, oh, the WMD story at the New York Times.
  • “In short, his system only works with someone as smart and ruthless as Lee Kuan Yew at the top. My fear is that his successors might be able to bring themselves to be as ruthless as Lee, but not as smart” [New Mandala].
  • “I made a bet that there’s an even worse investment than Bitcoin” [Felix Salmon, Fusion]. Penny stocks…
  • The earliest branded consumer product in history was first-century Roman glassware [Gizmodo].
  • Willie Nelson to launch his own brand of marijuana [Daily Beast]. What do the kids call marijuana these days?

* * *

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 “I Wish It Were Spring!” week two (joe6pac):


“This about 20 acres of wild Mustard plants on a field behind my house.”

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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. Llewelyn Moss

      IMO, TPP is the New World Order emerging from the CT shadow world. Who needs gubmints anymore with Corporations ruling the world.

      Isn’t it interesting that we have to go to WikiLeaks to read TPP to find out how our scumbag politicians are selling us out. Of course, they all want Fast Track. No politician wants a public record of their betrayal.

      ifthethunderdontgetya, then the lightning will.

      1. Clive

        Yes, if the TPP (and the TTIP) get enacted as drafted, it will to me be the last nail in the coffin of democratic nation states and the ultimate triumph and ascension of the global corpocracy. And you couldn’t make up the ISDR provisions. When I read about them, I keep expecting some pop-up redirecting me to The Onion.

      2. DJG

        No need for CT: It’s a public-private partnership. The common name for such partnerships is feudalism. (And once feudalism arrives in full force, we won’t need a post office, either, to refer back to a posting made earlier today.)

        1. hunkerdown

          Except it’s not — feudalism includes duties and obligations due to one’s serfs on the part of their lords. The present arrangement offers neither. Without that, even chattel slavery is arguably better than what we’re headed for, to which wage slavery, where this duty of care is offloaded almost entirely to the laborer without the means to adequately do so, seems a more valid label.

          1. different clue

            The globalonial plantationists are working to get their client governments to legally ratify and cement into place what George Orwell once called ” the slave states of antiquity”. I believe he meant Assyria, Babylon, Ancient Egypt and so forth.

      3. Greyson Smythe

        Maybe time to re-read Heinlein’s “Friday“:

        Another alarming idea is that the large international corporations, such as IBM or the Shipstone Corp., are also participants and instigators of these wars, and sometimes wipe out entire cities, such as Acapulco. These corporations are hard to fight, since they have no single geographical location, and in the book, the internationals seem to be winning over the real or geographically “localized” countries. These super corporations are completely ruthless and immoral and killing for hire and mass murder by them are common.

        Heinlein holds out little hope the situation will ever improve; he sees elected officials as venal and corrupt parasites feeding at the public trough and mouthing fatuous platitudes for consumption by an impotent and perhaps naive public, a much darker and more cynical interpretation of politics than that depicted in Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, or Double Star, in which, if I remember correctly, one character remarks that politics is the only game a mature man can take any pleasure in.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Why at this point would you be open to a Hillary candidacy? She is neither a singular intellect or an unknown commodity. She’s a corrupt hawk with no policy accomplishments and a winner of a single Senate race when she bullied her into what likely would have been a crowded Team Blue primary.

    1. Brindle

      Posting that on DailyKos would likely get you banned—-have to protect glorious leader etc.

  1. Howard Beale IV

    Iran Case Is So Secret It Can’t Go On: Bloomberg So you have a defamation suit between a Greek shipping magnate and a questionable advocacy group who want to stop Iran from getting nukes, when all of a sudden the Feds stick their noses in, demands the trial be stopped on grounds of state secrets-and does get the lawsuit dismissed.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      You were already automatically put on the Watchlist for reading NC. So yeah, go ahead. ;-)

  2. spooz

    “What do the kids call marijuana these days?”
    Weed is the most popular name for marijuana these days. High quality (“dank”) stuff is sometimes referred to as “chronic”.

    1. Max

      I’ve heard a couple of young people refer to smoking “trees” and “flower”, especially for real “bud” marijuana straight off the plant. If you want to omit unnecessary plant material you can vaporize “dabs” or “wax”, similar to smoking a crack pipe.

      1. A whimper not a bang

        Dabs are not smoked similar to crack. Dabs are smoked in a variety of ways from oil rigs to being simply put in a joint or blunt. The reason people use rigs is because the oil is really sticky, so you get a titanium “nail” white hot with a butane torch, then you dab your “dab” on the nail which you’ve put a glass fixture around because the oil vaporizes/smokes immediately. Then you inhale the vapor/smoke through a water pipe.

        It’s not like smoking crack at all. A crack pipe is a glass tube with a bit of steel wool in it. You place your rock or rocks on the wool with your upturned pipe. Using a butane lighter, you kind of melt the rock, letting it vaporize some, but you try not to let it get to hot. The wool is a filter for some of the heat of the vaporized cocaine. The wool is futher used to scrape the cocaine residue off the glass. There’s some old jokes about crackheads and burnt lips though.

        In a physics sense, smoking hash or honey oil is a process of combustion, whereas smoking crack is about facilitating a phase change in the substance being smoked from solid to gas. Vaporizing marijuana, where you “vaporize” the bud at the temperature THC volatalizes into a gas seems to be concerned about phase change as well. Not that the physical processes resemble the psychical ones that going into smoking any of these things. Anyways, the more you know . . .

    2. ambrit

      Most of the younger cohort I know who will talk about ‘weed’ at all, (there is a lot of paranoia about this subject,) simply say that it’s “d–n expensive!”

  3. Ed

    “SuperPACs are “taking over more-traditional campaign duties ranging from field organizing and voter turnout to direct mail and digital microtargeting””

    These are political parties. Identifying candidates for office, funding them, field organizing, and driving voter turnouts are exactly what political parties do.

    The difference with the Democratic Party and the Republican Party is that US electoral laws usually effectively (the legal language is neutral) gives these parties control over the bureaucracy that runs elections and counts the votes, and guaranteed ballot spots. But these are bad features of the US electoral system that should be removed.

    The PACs supporting a candidate should be listed on the ballot next to his or her name, to give voters wanted information about his or her affiliations.

  4. Clive

    Re: Japan’s agricultural lobby urging for the preservation of tarriffs on foodsources and forestry…

    Yes, this (as you might expect) has since the TPP was unleashed on an innocent world been a plaintive demand from groups representing farmers and rural communities. But the level of widespread popular support for the protection of Japanese food and food security is quite profound. It is at times almost visceral. It is embedded so deep in the Japanese psyche that I don’t full understanding (but I can identify the strength of it). The best approximation I can come up with is the British support for the Royal Family and anti-republicanism. Not universally held of course, but certainly the view of the vast majority and strongly — if sometimes pretty inexplicably and even perversely — felt.

    You don’t need to read Japanese to get the idea from, say, this book, the picture is really worth a thousand words in conveying how a lot of Japanese view their indigenous agricultural produce and the, erm, low opinion they can have about the U.S.’s.

    1. Eureka Springs

      I hear you, believe everything you say based on my personal experience in Japan, including walking into massive visceral farmer protests in Osaka… and months later taking some of my Japanese friends directly to our Arkansas rice farm passing billboards saying – Why buy Japanese when they wont buy our rice?.

      But then I recall discovering Sendai Kentucky Fried Chicken was sold out with reservations far in advance of Christmas. I knew then I will/ we will never understand…

      The Japanese (any nation) should produce as much of its own food as it can.

    2. different clue

      Maybe its not so hard. Maybe one just has to remember that hunger scene of Gone With The Wind’s heroine . . . ” As God is my witness, As GOD is my WITness . . I’ll NEver go HUNgry aGAIN!” Just imagine a whole nationload of people thinking that.

      1. Yves Smith

        Yes, the two years after the end of WWII are called “the starving time”. Japanese living on the coast ate seaweed as pretty much the only calorie source they could get (of course, along with fishing, but you can and will lose weight on a protein-only diet, see Atkins or slow-starvation-in-progress as the reason that the kid in Into the Wild died, as opposed to got merely seriously ill when he ate the wrong berries at what was intended to be the end of his Alaska wilderness adventure).

  5. fresno dan

    More on ISDS [New York Times]. Strange bedfellows:
    “Members of Congress began reviewing the secret document last week in secure reading rooms,”

    Is this national security legislation that has some national security aspect (even keeping that secret is disturbing)???? I thought laws in draft were not secret? What is going on here?

    1. hunkerdown

      Remembering that “the nation” means only “the elites and their servants”, a group altogether separate from “the peons”, yes, there is a national security aspect to this: the preservation of authority and order for the sake of those who are accustomed to wield it.

  6. rjs

    i’m surprise to see these investor protection provisions of the TPP come out now like they’re new…our anti-frack group has be talking about this aspect, and the Sierra Club warning that TPP would mandate oil & gas exports, for at least a couple years…Lone Pine, a Delaware corp, sued Quebec for prohibitting frackng under the St Lawrence River from just such a provision in NATFA

    1. hunkerdown

      “Old news” is commonly used as a bourgeois derailing tactic. You might want to take care around that.

      You should be proud that your anti-frack group is simply more up-to-date on current events that don’t serve to normalize a reflexive veneration and obedience of “betters” (which, if you think about it, is 98% of “the news”, even the “human interest” stories). But please don’t be smug about it — the “old news” defense gets used by the media as well, and ongoing liberated drafts are one defense against that. Granted, there may be enough open-source info on this thing to divine what horses USA Inc. is willing to drive overboard and which are worth keeping.

      But I agree that TPA is explicitly anti-democratic, and that sawing off the branches one by one is not the most effective way to fell a tree and keep it felled. For that, you need salt, and lots of it.

    2. different clue

      it could be new to the wider circles of people it is now reaching. One should encourage them to increase their shock and alarm over this rather than brag about how “we knew it ever so long ago”.

  7. kj1313

    Interesting article about all the wild speculation of Andreas Lubitz


    1. grayslady

      Interesting article. I tried to turn the URL into a link, but the link feature doesn’t seem to be working today. The French investigator didn’t mention the nature of the earlier conversation between the pilots after takeoff. Were they discussing the strike, or was it just operational chat? Is this going to be another case where senior pilots sell out junior pilots in order to keep their union benefits? Were the captain and first officer on opposite sides with respect to the bargaining? Regardless, I doubt we’ll ever hear about the impact the strike might have had on emotions from Lufthansa corporate.

      1. kj1313

        I do wonder what the feelings are from the Germanwings crew to Lufthansa management in general and it was intriguing to put out the possibility of potential Neoliberal stress when everyone else was coming up with some truly bizarre theories in the last 24 hrs.

  8. Jim Haygood

    They hate us for our close air support:

    AL RASHID AIR BASE, Iraq — Three major Shiite militia groups pulled out of the fight against the Islamic State in Tikrit on Thursday, immediately depriving the Iraqi government of thousands of their fighters on the ground even as American warplanes readied for an expected second day of airstrikes there.

    The militia groups, some of which had Iranian advisers with them until recently, pulled out of the Tikrit fight in protest of the American military airstrikes, which began late Wednesday night, insisting that the Americans were not needed to defeat the extremists in Tikrit.


    Lord knows, it ain’t easy bein’ a crusader. Either you’re with us, or you’re an extremist.

  9. VietnamVet

    Yes, it is beyond weird that the co-pilot would sit breathing normally for eight minutes as the plane descended into the Alps while the pilot tried to break into the cockpit and the passengers screaming at the end. Also weird are the co-pilots pulling up and stalling AsiaAir QA8501 and Air France AF447; or, MH-370’s disappearance off the face of the earth. Suicide was identified as a possible cause of SilkAir flight MI 185 dive into an Indonesian river in 1992. Colgan Air’s Continental Connection Flight 3407 crash at Buffalo, NY in 2009 was blamed in the media on errors made by overworked unpaid pilots.

    Corporate cost cutting, deregulation, Airbus flight control design, and any mechanical problems have to be included in the error chain that resulted in these deaths not immediately blaming the pilot.

    1. optimader

      Corporate cost cutting, deregulation, Airbus flight control design, and any mechanical problems have to be included in the error chain that resulted in these deaths not immediately blaming the pilot.

      Oh bullshit…No amount of “corporate costcutting or deregulation” is a justification for augering a commercial aircraft full of people into a mountain. For this event, start with nut behind the wheel.

      How would you suggest redesigning the Airbus flight control system?
      What mechanical problems do you want to blame before the pilot?
      Or do you want to start with why there is a door?

      One thing they will change tomorrow will be having a flight attendant in the cockpit when the pilot goes to take a dump.
      (If I had eight minutes,I am pretty sure I would be through one of those doors.)

      Oh the hardship..

      1. hunkerdown

        Can’t Americans distinguish between motivation and justification, or do they intentionally never do that so they can maintain the fantasy that their personal prejudices constitute absolute morality?

      2. VietnamVet

        Air France Crash


        This crash started when one of the three pilots misprogrammed the radar and the plane flew into an equatorial thunderstorm with the chief pilot resting in the rear. By the time the pilots realized that the Airbus A330 had stalled it was too late.

        AsiaAir Crash


        The pilot was out of his seat to turn off a faulty computer. By the time the captain was able to make it back to his seat, it was too late to save the stalled Airbus A320.

        It is cost cutting and deregulation that placed young co-pilots in control of passenger planes with design flaws and who stalled them. Not to mention, a “Nutcase” alone behind a locked cabin door. Or, riding a Chinatown bus to NYC.

        1. Optimader

          You have a few dots to add before you start connecting.
          Mis programming a nav system is a case of human factors how do you attribute it to costcutting or deregulation?? Young copilots become old pilots, thats kinda how its always worked

  10. diptherio

    “Detroit Cops Shown Beating Black Man, Floyd Dent, During Traffic Stop” [NBC]. Oddly, or not, the dashcams don’t back up what the cops say.

    You mean they forgot to turn them off first? Boy, our police professionals really do need better training….

    1. hunkerdown

      If the burden of proof were not designed to favor status quo authority, i.e. any interference with the camera constitutes felony spoliation of evidence, with a conspiracy charge if two or more officers on the same call do so, I suspect they would take extra care to make sure they get a clear view of everything.

      But the Right People must Win in the reenactment, no matter what. Refloat those ships!

  11. diptherio

    Heating bags for the homeless made from plastic bags [Fast Coexist]. Ingenious and not heartless, but isn’t the better solution simply to give the homeless homes?

    Two problems with that suggestion: 1) it works, and; 2) it’s cheaper than what we do now. My gawd man, think of the economy!

  12. optimader

    In April, 29th, 1961 a doctor of the 6th Soviet Antarctic expedition Leonid Rogozov aged 27 felt pain in a right lower belly and fever. The next day brought only exasperation. Having no chance to call a plane and being the only doctor at the station “Novolazarevskaya”, at night, in April, 30th the surgeon made an appendix removal operation on himself using local anesthesia. He was assisted by an engineer and the station’s meteorologist.

  13. ProNewerDeal

    This TPP bogus notion of “affecting future profits”, what does that have to do with the supposed “Free Market Competition” that Oligopolistic BigCorporation claims to love but actually hates.

    How about this: any employee that gets laid off, a salary cut (say the US auto companies new factory worker pay of $14/hr for example), or a hourly-paid worker that gets their hours involuntarily cut below 40 hr/week, get paid the difference until retirement age of 67, with CPI adjustments each year to match inflation. Actually, make that CPI + 2% annual, to account for forecasted employee productivity increases & forecasted promotions. Also the retirement age jumps from 67 to match the age of Soc Security/Medicare eligibility if the latter gets further age-eligibility Crapified.

    The TPP lobbyists and their poli-trickian puppets can SMD!

  14. awish

    I wish the KQED piece on Medi-Cal [AND MEDICAID] Estate Recovery had also mentioned that those on SSDI [Social Security Disability], at least in California, ), when unable to afford other Health Insurance are forced to use Medicaid/Medi-Cal and also be subject to Estate Recovery for two years (many times the most expensive early years [SURGERY] of their treatment), before being allowed to use Medicare, and despite the fact that they may have paid thousands over a lifetime towards qualifying for SSDI.

    1. Pepsi

      The whole thing is really scary. I’m going to tell all of my 2nd class citizen friends who are forced to use this stuff.

  15. Foy

    Quote from the “Campaigns going for squillionaires first” article:

    “I am not going to support the super PACs,” said Michael Ashner, chief executive of a Boston-based real estate investment trust who has fielded multiple GOP requests for large donations. “I just think it’s morally not right. It’s corrosive on our democracy. Ashner, who is leaning toward Jeb Bush, said he still plans to get involved in the race….by raising money as a bundler one check at a time.”

    Mmmm at exactly which dollar figure does a campaign donation go from being harmless and turn into being “corrosive on our democracy”. May I politely suggest anything above $1?! I wonder how many real estate developments Ashner has had looked on favourably by planning authorities due to his previous ‘bundling’ efforts…

    I reckon that campaign finance is great indicator for the on going societal wealth concentration and stratification. It seems the old millionaire ‘haves’ are now ‘have nots’… and they are grumpy. Who said sh*t never flows uphill?!

  16. C

    I’m still reading the public citizen post, and you should too, but two things fairly leap off the page. The first is that this will radically accellerate corporate inversions. Giving companies the “right” to sue over “expectations” of treatment alone would motivate every U.S.-based corporation to invert to, well anywhere else, so that they could avoid all U.S. Laws. As structured this would be a deathblow to the U.S. legal system.

    Secondly any senator of any stripe who proposes to fast track this is either wholly corrupt, or a complete idiot. As structured this would exempt most if not all U.S. laws. You have to truly hate your own government to seek to undermine it entirely.

    1. cwaltz

      Corrupt or idiotic…….Doesn’t that appear to describe our government conundrum to a T for at least the past 16 years?

  17. Alain Burq

    Hi Yves,
    You can count on me.
    If you need help in finding a place to get together, just let me know (I am a Paris resident).

Comments are closed.