2:00PM Water Cooler 4/7/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, today’s water cooler will be a bit light; I was up very late wrestling with my fershuggeneh routers. (On the other hand, maybe a little shorter is better?)


Webb (3%) and O’Malley (1%) visit Iowa [CNN].

O’Malley to the right of Clinton on policy, although a governor and an ex-Senator are apples and oranges [FiveThirtyEight]. And he doesn’t raise money on the left, for starters.

“Judging by his reception in Austin, Sanders will be running for president” [Austin Statesman]. “In Austin, Sanders packed them in by the hundreds at a Town Meeting at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers hall. It was an ebullient crowd of union members and a virtual who’s who of progressive Austin politics. He was introduced by Jim Hightower. And then, the next night, he sold out the Travis County Democratic Party’s annual Johnson-Bentsen-Richards Dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel.” Sanders:

There is a world out there that the media doesn’t understand – they don’t leave their offices – where people are sick and tired of working longer hours for lower wages, not being able to send their kids to college, not being able to afford health care at the same time as the wealthiest people are doing unbelievably well, and people know, they may not be economists, but they know that there’s something wrong when the top tenth of one percent owning more than the bottom 90 percent, and when 99 percent of all new income is going into the hands of the one percent, which is currently the case. And that’s the message I take around the country and that is the message that I believe people are and will respond to. We need a government that represents all the people and not just the billionaire class, and that’s what I’ve spent my life fighting for and that’s what I’ll continue to fight for whether or not the Boston Globe likes it.

That’s the stuff to give the troops!

Sanders still hesitating [Houston Chronicle]. However:

AC: Have you made a decision about whether or not to run for president in 2016?

BS: We’re giving it very serious thought. I have been in California, Nevada, Texas, and tomorrow, Illinois to try to ascertain the kind of political support that’s out there for what would be an unprecedented grassroots campaign involving millions of people. I feel good about the support we are seeing but I won’t make a decision until we can determine what political support we have and the kind of capabilities we have to raise the kind of money that we need to run a strong campaign.

AC: What would that potential presidential campaign platform look like?

BS: It would focus on the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in America.

The S.S. Clinton

“Since 2001, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates gave as much as $40 million to the Clinton Foundation. In contrast, six similar non-governmental global charities collected no money from those same four Middle Eastern countries” [McClatchy]. The gift that keeps on giving….

Click bait: “Is Hillary Any Good at Running for President?” [New York Magazine]. Well, I suppose it depends on what your baseline is. Is it winning all the big states and a small majority of the popular vote, when the press has left you for dead, and the D-branded faction of political class has moved en masse to your opponent?

Clinton staffers meet with “supportive Iowa activists”, say that Clinton “must ask for every vote as well as being willing to run a gauntlet of small events and take part in grueling campaign sessions across the state” [CNN]. The very successful (see above) post-February-Caucus-Debacle Clinton campaign adopted, in fact, this strategy. Lots of high school auditoriums. See (for example) here; this material was basically uncovered at the time, because Obama!

Clinton White House staffers: “We’re pretty sure [Hillary Clinton] clocked him with a book” during the Lewinsky matter [New York Post]. Of course, the poorly sourced Clinton tell-all is a never-ending source of ka-ching, so we can expect more like this from winger bottom feeders; chain mail and the like. That said, I’d say Bill got off lightly. The loveable scamp.

Bill Clinton, interview: “[M]y role should primarily be as a backstage adviser to [Hillary] until we get much, much closer to the election” [Town and Country (!)].

Ready for Hillary PAC begins to wind down operations [New York Daily News].

“We” say “polarizing” and “divisive” like those are bad things [New York Times]. FDR was pretty polarizing; “Let’s all go to the Trans-Lux and hiss Roosevelt.” So was Reagan, if you were an air traffic controller, for example.

Principled Insurgents

Rand Paul declares [CNN].

Paul becomes “more muscular” on defense and courts the Christianist base [WaPo]. Not sure how that will play out with the true believers.

And he’s got swag! [National Journal]. “Rand fashion is cool.” Maybe.

Cruz is the only other declared candidate, and his store isn’t nearly as cool [CBS].

Rick Reed, the guy who Swift-boated Kerry in 2004, now going after Paul for not being enough of a warmonger [Bloomberg]. “Reed declined to disclose his group’s donors.”

The Hill

Sanders, Warren, Clinton back Iran deal [HuffPo].

“Democrats by a 10-point margin now see Mexico as a better ally than” Israel [Rassmussen Reports]. Well played, Bibi. And speaking of which:

Stats Watch

Redbook, week of April 4, 2015: Early Easter and milder weather give retail sales a boost [Bloomberg]. “[H]ints at a bounce,” watch for chain stores report.

JOLTS, February 2015: Job openings, hires, separations “little changed” [Bloomberg].

Health Care

Overlooked ObamaCare opportunities [AgWeb]. Interesting thought on subsidies.


Live Chicago election results [DNAinfo]. Polling says Rahm has a double-digit lead [Slate].

Bernie Sanders endorsed Chuy Garcia [In These Times].

Garcia supporters joined protest against police brutality [Chicago Sun-Times]. Good, if tardy.


Photo essay: The American west dries up [The Atlantic]. Making snow look pretty good!

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District, which is now, per Brown, charged with implementing “conservation pricing” because markets [New Yorker].


New York: Last week’s late night $150 billion budget contained a provision that would sweep about $41 million from a state fund dedicated the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), essentially a regional cap and trade program between nine northeastern states and some provinces in Eastern Canada and dump it into the general fund. (Maybe Cuomo, Skelos and Heastie needed a little extra cash to pay for such urgent priorities as slashing sales taxes on luxury yachts and private jets.) [The Albany Project]. Unfortunately, the RGGI was set up by executive order, but moving it into the general fund makes it a tax, and only the legislature can approve taxes. Twisty as corkscrews, they are, in Albany.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Judge in tiny city next to Ferguson, which is facing a lawsuit over its own “illegal” bail system, is running for Ferguson City Council [HuffPo]. Chutzpah!

News of the Wired

  • English speakes cannot identify many smells [Slate].
  • Traditional Thai dress making a comeback [Asian Correspondent]. Lovely silks, and in the Bangkok heat, the only requirement is a slave to carry your parasol.
  • Toronto symphony drops Ukrainian pianist who tweeted opposition to the current Ukrainian government [Globe and Mail]. The Canadians are getting as hysterical as we are. That’s bad news.
  • Drones armed with pepper spray to patrol in India [Popular Science]. Umbrella futures!
  • “Trace amounts” of Clusterfukashima’s Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 appear off West Coast [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 second of “I Wish It Were Spring!” week four (Steve Smith):

Easter snow 003

From a south wall in Center Lovell, Maine. There’s hope!

Does anybody have any gardening photos yet? Too early?

NOTE To whoever filled out my contact form; please include your email (not mine, which is foolishly the default (got to fix that)) because otherwise I cannot respond to you!

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Talk amongst yourselves!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. frosty zoom

    “From a south wall in Center Lovell, Maine. There’s hope!”

    there’s quite a gulf in perspective between that and your earlier maine posting.

    aren’t those carolinian croqui?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t view the warming of the Gulf of Maine as unhelpful locally, necessarility. I think the commenter (too lazy to find; take a bow!) who made the point about climate news being negatively cathected was making a good point. I was whining about weather

      1. frosty zoom

        of course.

        but whineth not of the weather, for it is better to weather weather than not.

        are those edible?

        1. quixote

          Most crocus species are somewhat poisonous. I’d suggest NOT experimenting. However, the anthers from one species (you could probably use any species?) is the famous and precious saffron. You definitely can eat that, if you can afford it.

          1. different clue

            Without checking google, I would guess Colchicum autumnale the autumn crocus.
            And the non-anther parts of the plant contain colchicine, which I heard of as a polyploidy inducer in plant cells before I ever realized it was a drug.

  2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Drones with pepper spray…India.

    The risk of single issue voting – solar powered drones.

    “Look at those flying mean, green machines! I love how they are sustainable and painted green too, as if to emphasis a point.”

    1. frosty zoom

      you think in india they’d at least have the decency to have drones that sprayed garam masala or maybe a nice amla pickle.

    2. optimader

      Drones with pepper spray…India.
      mmmmm. pepperspray.. hold your dish of lamb curry dahl raita in the air like you just don’t care

  3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Slashing sales taxes on luxury yachts and private jets.

    Why don’t they just eliminate them all together? We need the rich to spend, spend, spend!

  4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    American West dries up.

    For those (few) who eventually survive, be prepared for reversion to the mean.

    May be this is a good time to build an ark.

      1. McKillop

        You wouldn’t need a pair.
        The plant is able to reproduce because it grows ‘corms’ and while there is also seed the seeds are reportedly sterile. Some of these plants reproduce through corms and others reproduce using “tiny bulblets”, nearly made famous through a song sung by Dean Martin, who, sadly, had trouble pronouncing some words – although his aphasia was attributed to alcoholic intake in a mistaken belief that dipsomania was less demeaning than a medical condition that required people to learn their language through more than minimal effort.
        The article in The Atlantic irritated me by referring often to the ‘bathtub ring’ rather than ”apex”, “peak”, “zenith”.(and so on) of the watermark. before the crisis Optimists might refer to the “nadir”of the current water level.
        The Atlantic may be trying to appeal to people who need descriptive simplicity, may be trying to avoid being pedantic, but really . . . . The caption writer should grow a pair and use language that treats the problem and audience seriously. The next thing we know references will be made to the “mugmug fairy” who has opened the floodgates of the sluices by “pulling the plug”.

  5. Jim Haygood

    ‘Democrats by a 10-point margin now see Mexico as a better ally than the Jewish state.’

    Maybe Democrats got tired of being insulted, abused and sandbagged by a so-called ally.

    By contrast the R-party rolls over, spread-eagles its little paws and whimpers submissively on the Lobby’s command. That’s the dark side of the probable R-party sweep of the presidency and both houses of Congress in 2017: a blank check for Israel and the neocon war agenda.

  6. Jim Haygood

    Dark day in hell:

    WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The White House, State Department and areas throughout D.C. and Maryland lost power Tuesday afternoon due to an explosion at an area power plant.

    The power went out at the White House for nearly 10 seconds while the State Department conducted its press briefing in the dark. The Justice Department’s power also went down.


    Gonna be tough to reboot some of their vintage 80386 PCs, if the system floppy disks have been misplaced. Tragically, millions of emails may be lost forever.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Can’t maintain a reliable power supply? That’s Third World stuff; I have a seriously techie friend in the Beltway area who complains about power and connectivity all the time. Back in the days of Bush the Younger, heavy duty processing at Fort Meade would cause the lights to blink in Baltimore. I think the answer is to cut taxes and privatize more, because markets.

  7. frosty zoom

    in mexico, the power would get quite warbly whenever there was BREAKING NEWS!.

    what exactly were they state departmenting, a colour (shout out to csis!) revolution on venus?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Ironically, the outage occurred minutes after Rand Paul commented that “the time has come to take away the power from Washington D.C…”

      1. OIFVet

        Perhaps someone took him too literally. Or putting my tinfoil hat on, Rand Paul pals around with cyber terrorists and knew about the power outage in advance.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Radiation off west coast:

    Radiation from Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has for the first time been detected along a North American shoreline, though at levels too low to pose a significant threat to human or marine life, scientists said on Monday.

    Yes, but my seafood, former seafood for the most part, does not come from just off the coast. They were…free range.

    1. craazyboy

      Watch out for the Fukusashimi. Go for the California Roll with Atlantic tuna and Nova Scotia seaweed. Avocado is still largely unharmfull, until radiation levels build in future years. BYO wasabi and pickled ginger. (get Chinese clones on Ebay) Definitely pass on the Sapporo beer. Have watermelon for dessert – while it’s still available in this country.

      It’s “buyer beware” out there.

    2. Gaianne

      The cesium-137 is a rather strong indicator that the reactor cores have gone feral. That is: a) Have left their containment vessels and b) spontaneously (though probably intermittently) restarted fission. Cesium has a half-life of mere weeks, so the stuff they are measuring is not left over from March 2011–it is far more recent.

      I know of one in-the-wild (or natural) fission reactor. The French discovered it while mining uranium in Gabon. Hundreds of millions of years ago water had seeped into the ore and slowed the spontaneous decay neutrons sufficiently to start a chain reaction, which subsequently depleted the U-235 in the ore. What started as unusually high grade ore ended as low grade ore plus fission products.

      Back to Fukushima–this is about as bad as it gets. Fukushima has a real groundwater problem–details are sketchy but the aquifer seems to be flowing like a river, and water slows neutrons which enhances the possibilities of fission. So the contamination will be severe and go on for decades or longer.

      The only way it can get worse is if it blows up. The blast would not be that great, but the regionally and globally spewed contamination would be unprecedented–disaster is not too strong a word.

      As noted, it is already time to give up Pacific seafood.


      1. vidimi

        perhaps the contamination will prove to be a blessing in disguise: a moratorium on pacific seafood might mean that stocks recover…at least for those species whose life cycles won’t be too affected by the radiation.

  9. katenka

    Nobody here in Chicago believes those polling numbers, FWIW. From what I’ve seen out canvassing, it’s about 60% Chuy, 40% Rahm. And Rahm has been acting desperate for a while, extraordinarily so today. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. People are going to their polling places and being handed paper ballots helpfully already filled out — for Rahm. There is a polling spot with a giant inflatable Uncle Sam with VOTE RAHM on the front — right next to the door. Inside, people have evidently been informed that “this is a polling place only for Rahm supporters.” At my polling location, they’re not doing anything illegal (that I saw), but right on the other side of the street there is a shiny new blue tent marked RAHM EMANUEL, and on the inside there are five beefy white men who don’t have any buttons or literature or anything — they just make a point of rather aggressively greeting everyone who goes by. Whee! Anyway: the point being, someone who actually thinks he’s got a double-digit lead doesn’t act like this. I am surprised by the level of fraud and blunt, undisguised strong-arming I’m seeing today, and that is saying something!

    1. DJG

      Katenka: Did you call in a complaint? Up here in the 40th Ward, I voted without incident, although the majority of signs on the lawns around here are for Chuy.

      1. katenka

        Well, hey there — I’m in the 40th too! The blue tent guys weren’t doing anything technically illegal, as far as I could see, for all that they were not exactly conducive to an impartial and welcoming atmosphere. (I hope you did not vote for O’Connor; I’m pretty sure the blue tent guys are his crew.) With the other stuff I mentioned, people who had it happen to them have indeed registered formal complaints. I hear the complaints are pretty much nonstop today!

        1. DJG

          Good that they are complaining. I remember a bunch of signature collectors monitoring me one day around Amundsen High School as I signed the sheet for the lone canvasser looking for voters for the advisory referendum on the elected school board.

          Of course I voted for Diane for alderman. She threw a groovy fundraiser at Joie de Vine, too.

            1. katenka

              If we get Chuy into office, he might even pay attention to that advisory referendum! I’m glad you had fun at the Joie de Vine fundraiser, although I didn’t make it to that one (I went to one at Hamburger Mary’s, which was also a good time). A few of us who volunteered or worked on the campaign have been noodling around starting up more community organizations through the 40th (several of them, so that people could attend one that is actually nearby), so that would be micro-local commenting (and acting) IRL, heh. That’ll all be a lot easier too if Chuy wins today! Or rather — the organizations will be equally easy to form, but it will be much easier for them actually to have an impact.

      2. OIFVet

        In my 5th ward, and in Hyde Park in particular, all the signs that I see on private property are for Chuy. The only Rahm signs I’ve seen have been on public property. And FWIW, I don’t trust the accuracy of the polling either. Wasn’t Rahmses supposed to win outright in the first round according to polling?

        1. katenka

          There are both Rahm and Chuy signs around here on houses — and I do know from canvassing that some people genuinely do support Rahm, for reasons best known to themselves (I cannot fathom them). But it is definitely more Chuy than Rahm. As for the not-very-distant history of mistaken polling — heh, yep. I really have no idea how it’s going to end up shaking out. Pins and needles tonight.

          1. different clue

            Could the Rahm pollsters be “finding” a polling lead for Rahm in order to discourage and dispirit the anti-Rahm voters into not voting? Could it be setting up a pre-cover story for lending plausibility to a stolen-for-Rahm election? If there is reason to think that happens, is Mr. Chuy expected to fight any harder about it than Gore fought in 2000?

            1. katenka

              The returns aren’t looking good so far — I’m not sure what to make of it. Other than not to be happy.

              1. OIFVet

                And here is a map showing the wards with black majority population. Overlap it with the voting map and it becomes clear what happened. It’s incredible that blacks chose Rahmses over the latino guy given what has transpired during his first term, but it is what it is. And BTW, it appears that the Chicago Forward PAC has gotten $200K more from Michael Sacks than previously thought. Congratulations Chicago, you voted for a guy backed by Big Finance and republicans everywhere.

                  1. OIFVet

                    Indeed, and more’s the pity. Unfortunately the black and latino communities simply don’t trust one another, and it’s not just in Chicago. The American voter is just so irrational.

                    1. Lambert Strether Post author

                      Well, the Democrats are big believers in blaming the voters… I’m not sure I agree with that.

                      I am more and more convinced that the only way forward is to appeal to 80% of the population, and cease the strategy of bundling 50% + 1 of identities.

                      And that appeal can only be economic.

                    2. OIFVet

                      I really want to agree, only I think that identity politics trumps class identity in America. I hate to beat up on voters but they need to be a part of the change, and demand it. Right now we are only too willing to settle for the false difference between the two wings of the Corporatist Party. Hence Rahmses: a vile corporatist that happens to be endorsed by the first half-black prez, the equally if not more vile corporatist Obama.

                    3. Lambert Strether Post author

                      It does until it doesn’t. I’ll be interested to see what the post mortems are; but even in the constraints of identity politics, I didn’t see Garcia making the appeal he clearly needed to make to win. One can only wonder how Karen Lewis would have done.

                      Adding, see Bruce Dixon here.

                    4. OIFVet

                      Garcia was very accommodating to the status quo, that’s for sure. I was not enamored with him by any means, for me it was a lesser evil sort of thing, much as I hate the very concept of it.

                      BTW, that comparison with Democrats… ouch! Well below the belt. I am armor plated down there but it still hurt :)

                    1. OIFVet

                      Winnetka got to vote in this election anyway: I am pretty sure that Michael Sacks’ domicile is in Winnetka. Lot’s of money given to Rahmses. Illinois and Chicago in particular keep updating and innovating the neoliberal playbook, that’s for sure.

                    2. skippy

                      Old family stomping grounds, some saw the writing on the wall way back and relocated.

                      Insipidly introverted without even a modicum of the old civic platitudes, discharge of duty or hedge, it matters not, this mob is narcissistic in the extrema.

                      Skippy… Gustavus like in the first case….

                1. katenka

                  Great map — horrible outcome! I wonder whether we’ll see any of those Sacks emails now that they won’t make a meaningful difference?

                  1. OIFVet

                    I doubt it, unless a federal prosecutor in the Fitzgerald mold decides to dig into that stinking pile of influence buying. Fitzgerald wasn’t perfect but sure was willing and able to send corrupt Illinois governors from both wings of the Corporatist Party to well-deserved staycations in the federal pen.

                    1. katenka

                      Yeah — I doubt it too, sadly. Well, that’s that, and I’ll see whether we can ramp up production in our community garden this year — there are going to be more homeless and hungry people who need help. Again.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Take some pics. We can print them. (Assuming there’s a problem. Is there a law against electioneering within so many feet of a polling place? Against pre-filled in ballots?)

      1. Kim Kaufman

        All this stuff is absolutely against the law in Los Angeles County – probably the state, too, but not sure. It is truly outrageous.

      2. katenka

        My blue tent guys are within the letter of the law! The giant inflatable Uncle Sam shilling for Rahm, not so much — apparently the person behind that has been informed that this is improper, which doubtless he had not been aware of previously, and Sam was moved to a more technically legal distance. The pre-filled ballots are a little more worrying, because the election board evidently made a statement saying that this was just a rumor and not worth even considering, because handing out pre-marked ballots would be such a stupid thing to do. However — I’ve got a journalist who fact-checked it, an alderman who said it was true, and a whole lot of people saying it happened. When did stupid stop anyone before? Stupid works sometimes!

      1. katenka

        I am pretty sure it’s 100 feet, or close enough. No technical law-breaking is happening under my nose — so there is that to be happy for!

  10. rich

    Judge orders Prince Andrew sex allegations struck from court record

    Virginia Roberts’s accusations about Andrew ordered to be struck from the record as judge denied her attempt to join a lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein

    Allegations that a 17-year-old was forced to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew, which prompted a crisis at Buckingham Palace earlier this year, have been removed from a federal court case by a judge in the US.

    Judge Kenneth Marra ordered Virginia Roberts’s accusations about Andrew, the Duke of York, to be struck from the record and denied her attempt to join a lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of the prince and a convicted sex offender.

    “At this juncture in the proceedings, these lurid details are unnecessary,” Marra wrote in his order, issued at the US district court in southern Florida on Tuesday morning. “These unnecessary details shall be stricken.”

    Andrew and Buckingham Palace vehemently deny Roberts’s allegations.

    Marra made no ruling or statement about the veracity of Roberts’s allegations. He said the “factual details regarding with whom and where” she had sex were “immaterial and impertinent” to her argument that she should be allowed to join the lawsuit.

    However, Marra noted that Roberts may yet appear as a witness when the long-running case finally goes to trial.
    Marra ruled on Tuesday that the application by Roberts and Jane Doe 4 should be denied, as it was “entirely unnecessary” for the pair to be added as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The women suing Epstein allege that the government’s plea deal violated their rights as victims.

    Describing Roberts’s allegations as “duplicative” of the existing lawsuit, the judge said the lawsuit already sought to overturn Epstein’s plea agreement on behalf of all “other similarly-situated victims”.

    Marra noted in his order that US law empowers judges to “strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.”

    Allegations that Roberts was also made to have sex with Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and another friend of Epstein, were also struck from the case by Marra. The judge said a legal attempt by Dershowitz to intervene in the case was now unnecessary.

    just us served?

    1. nycTerrierist

      Great, useful, damning link.
      The teaching to the test regime not only sucks the joy out of education, it is counter-productive
      and even psychologically traumatic by shaming the low-scorers.
      How can so-called educators shame these kids? how ignorant and benighted can
      they (the so-called educators) be?

  11. DJG

    The Canadians would be a lot less hysterical if they would just lay off the poutine. It’s clogging the arteries to their brains.

    1. bob

      Poutine in Toronto? The queen does not allow that by royal decree.

      “The Canadians are getting as hysterical as we are. That’s bad news. ”

      The “canadians” have been teaching passive aggressive sneering to the US for years. Royalist left? Sure, why not? It’s not like anyone in the US knows anything aboot canada, and all canadians are experts on the US. Let’s let the reasonable royalists lecture us. TV news anchors are their number 1 export.

      1. DJG

        Here in the Great Lakes States and throughout New York and New England, there are many ties to Canada. So we do know something aboot them–we visit fairly regularly. Why, I’ve even had Canadian wine. Visiting Canada can be like visiting one’s know-it-all cousins, indeed, but the latest political messes aren’t something that Canadians crow about to Americans.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Shut your mouth. If the ancient Greeks new of poutine, they would have laughed at the gods for eating ambrosia.

    3. JEHR

      It is not so much Canadians that are hysterical; it’s our government that is off the wall. We have a warmongering Prime Minister (who supported the Iraqi invasion); he is hell-bent on changing everything about our social system; he hates environmentalists and scientists; he is destroying our economy with a one-resource policy in the tar sands; he diminishes our Supreme Court and silences the bureaucracy. All of this is the result of a divided opposition vote that allowed his government a majority with only 39% of the popular vote in 2011!

      Those incidents would make anyone hysterical!

      We love Americans but most of our entertainment, books, movies, restaurants, fast-food, big store outlets, gasoline, etc. come from the US so we know more about you (superficially) than you do about us. Remember, the elephant doesn’t need to know where the mouse is; but the mouse sure as h*ll better know what the elephant is doing!

      1. JEHR

        The following quotation is from https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/toronto-symphony-cancels-performances-by-ukrainian-born-pianist-for-anti-wa

        “The following statement was released on Facebook on April 6 by the renowned Ukrainian-born classical pianist Valentina Lisitsa. It is in response to the decision of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to cancel two performances by her with the symphony planned for April 8 and 9 of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2.

        “The TSO said its ban is in response to claims “by Ukrainian media outlets” that Lisitsa’s views in opposition to the war in eastern Ukraine as expressed on Twitter and Facebook are “deeply offensive.” The Symphony told her that it would pay her for the two cancelled performances but only if she stayed silent on the matter. She has not.

        “The TSO banning is a consequence of intense lobbying by the powerful and wealthy right wing activists in the Ukrainian community in Canada and their international network. They are intensely supportive of Kyiv’s war. Their lobbying efforts in Ottawa and in Canada’s mainstream press have been very successful in convincing parliamentarians and newspaper and CBC editors that there is one and only one narrative worthy of consideration concerning the war Kyiv is waging in eastern Ukraine: “Blame Russia.” Valentina Lisitsa is a hugely popular, international classical pianist. She was born in Kyiv in 1973 and moved to the United States in 1991.”

        Harper has been currying the favour of the Ukrainian population of Canada for the October election. He may even send “advisors” to the Ukraine!

  12. fresno dan


    Something — it is not clear whether it is the stun gun — is either tossed or knocked to the ground behind the two men and Officer Slager draws his gun, the video shows. When the officer fires, Mr. Scott appears to be 15 to 20 feet away and fleeing. He falls after the last of eight shots.

    The officer then runs back toward where the initial scuffle occurred and and picks something off the ground. Moments later, he drops an object near Mr. Scott’s body.

    There is no conceivable reason for a police officer moving inanimate items after he has shot someone – other than to obstruct justice.
    If there hadn’t been a video…

    and in a case I watched closely while I lived in Maryland

    hmmmmm – I suspect part of the legal/police nexus…

    1. kj1313

      Water bears are the greatest little critters. Became fascinated with them when I saw them featured on Vice.

  13. Code Name D

    Could Sanders win a presidential bid? Absolutely! Could he win the Democratic Party Nomination? Not a chance in hell! That might interfere with Hilleary Clinton’s run, you know the fake Republican.

    Watching the last nomination blowup quickly cured me of any delusion of a functioning democratic process. The primary system is a gauntlet, a tour of the machine states that favors the candidate with their own personal jet over the poor slump that can only afford a mere tour bus.

    The system starts out with a lot of hats in the ring. But most of the hats are there to split the rebel vote. When they drop out, the delegates always land in the pocket of the golden boy – or girl in this case, even though the message doesn’t match up. So a strong defiance vote up front ends up as delegates for the golden boy. Eventually the money runs out and the rebel candidate has to drop out. Once that happens – he loses his hard won delegates. I suppose he could keep them, but the party has threatened not to honor such delegates in the past, locking them out of the convention – unless they are given over to the Golden Boy.

    In the end, Sanders would never make it to the primary – you know when we are supposed to actually pick the nominee. But by this time, there is only one candidate standing and he literally holds all of the delegates. It’s not a primary – it’s a coronation. Not only that but the shaping of the platform ends up representing the point of view of the golden boy, outsiders need not apply.

    And even if my some miracle he should make it? The party élites have one more trick up their sleeves, the so called “super delegates” which consist of the largest campaign donors to the party. The buy laws give them the right to overrule the popular delegates appointed as a result of the state primaries.

    The Democrats almost pulled this trigger between Obama and Hillary, even after Obama has secured the majority of the votes. Hillary was under a lot of pressure to bow out, and her only hope was the super delegates who likely would have voted for her. That probably would have triggered a revolt from the rank and file. Then again, had Obama been an actual progressive, they might have pulled that trigger.

    I know Hillary hasn’t even announced yet. But she can’t win the general election. The Republicans will eat her for breakfast, even if they run a moron. She is just simply too disconnected from reality, and too dependent on intellectually bankrupt strategies. She has nothing new to offer and what’s worse – she’s proud of it.

    The only question that remains as who the clown car spits out.

  14. tongorad

    The Sanders – will he run, what’s he saying (my, that sounds hopeful – thud), a little bit of soaring rhetoric…
    Fee, fi, fo, fum, I smell the toxic farts of another faux leftie.

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