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2:00PM Water Cooler 4/21/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

TPP

“Progress” but no deal in ministerial-level Japan talks with U.S. on rice, autos [Japan Times]. Obama’s summit with Abe is April 28.

Seattle Times editorial board comes out in favor of TPP [Seattle Times].

About the fast track bill [The Economist]

In an effort to reassure the sceptics, the bargain struck in Congress would make fast track conditional. If a long list of objectives, including some related to environmental and labour standards, is not met, then Congress will have the ability to “switch off” TPA and rewrite the agreement (in effect, killing it). The bill would also expand trade-adjustment assistance: a programme that provides aid to workers displaced by freer trade.

Assuming good faith, which is, of course, nuts. The “long list of objectives” sounds like a way to decoy discussion into horse-trading, back-scratching, and minutiae. Is not surrendering national sovreignty to ISDS courts one of the objectives? If not, deep six Fast Track.

“Fast Track requires the United States to approve the food safety systems of exporting countries even when domestic oversight is stronger (Sec. 2(b)(3)(A)(ii))” [Food and Water Watch]. “This forced ‘equivalence’ of foreign food safety systems can expose consumers to imported foodborne hazards and it is how the U.S. imported 2.5 million pounds of E. coli tainted ground beef from a Canadian plant that replaced most of its government safety inspectors with its own employees”

“Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) claimed in a conference call last week that TPP would actually give China special privileges. “This is a great deal for China because of the ‘rules of origin’ provision,” Sherman said. “Goods can be 65 percent made in China, then they can ship them to Vietnam, slap a ‘Made in Vietnam’ label on it and get them into this country duty-free. But because China’s not party to the agreement, we can’t get our goods in [to China]” [David Dayen, Salon].

Labor Secretary Perez interview: Watch him bob and weave on labor protections in TPP [WaPo; and The White House]. This interview is a steaming load of crap. If protecting labor were a priority for the administration, we’d have card check (remember that?). Not to mention a $15 an hour minimum wage. And (potential signatory) Vietnam outlaws labor unions. Does anybody really believe that will change, or that any administration will force that change? I mean, are the Republicans voting for TPP really going to be voting for what they believe is a global mandate for better wages and working conditions? Pull the other one. It’s got bells on.

More Democratic opposition [Plunderbund]. Unfortunately, since DCCC’s Steve Israel has thrown two cycles-worth of House elections, it’s Republican votes that count, and the Democrats get to be revolving heroes. What’s not to like?

“Here’s What You Need to Know About the Trade Deal Dividing the Left” [Mother Jones]. And that’s the problem with Mother Jones. Nobody on “the left” can possibly support TPP: “TPP elevates capitalization — the expectation of profit — as a principle to the level of, say, the Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of the Rights of Man” [NC].

Obama’s legacy [Scoop]:

[A]ny such legacy on trade will have been won almost entirely (a) via Republican support, (b) against the wishes of the majority of his own party, and by (c) totally alienating the activist base of the Democratic Party in the labour and environmental movements. If Hillary Clinton happens to lose her presidential bid next year, she will be able to quite validly blame the TPP for much of her loss, thanks to the damaged, divided state in which Barack Obama will have left the Democratic Party, in the course of pursuing his free trade agenda.

So there is a bright side! Say, I don’t recall Hillary saying anything about TPP recently. The Wyman-Hatch Fast-Track bill had to have been crafted to protect her, so why the silence?

2016

Sanders to Clinton on TPP: “Are you on the side of working people who would suffer as a result of this disastrous trade agreement, and seeing their jobs go to China or Mexico, or are you on the side of corporate America? It’s not a very difficult choice” [KETV]. (Clinton: “I’m thinking it over!”)

The S.S. Clinton

Strategic hate management: “Man Pleased To Find Most Of His Mid-’90s Anti-Hillary Rant Still Usable” [The Onion].

Strategic hate management: “The New York Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have made exclusive agreements with a conservative author for early access to his opposition research on Hillary Clinton” [Politico]. That’s “eventheliberal New York Times.” Fixed it for ya.

Marianne Pernold Young, the woman who made Hillary cry in New Hampshire 2008 [Politico]. Her views are more nuanced than the headline:

[YOUNG:] I’d love for her to be there [in the White House]. She’ll be high energy. She’ll be very committed. She’s smart. Bottom line, I admire her, I champion her, and I wish her well, because she does represent us, as women.

She’s smiling more. She seems softer. She seems more approachable. … I’d like her to be my friend, whereas before I couldn’t have cared less.

[But she also said this:] She’s a true megalomaniac. Power hungry. To put up with her husband’s infidelities? She knew what she wanted, and she went after it.

See how excellent retail politics can be?

Clinton to hold five fund-raisers at the end of April [New York Times].

Republican Establishment

Jebbie’s going to outsource a lot of his campainging to his ginormous, dark money SuperPAC [WaPo].

Republican Principled Insurgents

Koch Brothers, on Scott Walker: When “the primaries are over and Scott Walker gets the nomination” [New York Times]. Explicitly not an endorsement.

Walker looking “sorta” good in Iowa [FiveThirtyEight]. Let’s all hope he can beat that felony rap by packing the Wisconsin Supreme Court!

Republican Clown Car

Cruz: Obama an “unmitigated Socialist” [Bloomberg]. Yeah, Obama supports the dictatorship of the proletariat and all the rest of it. Sheesh, there’s red meat, and then there’s red meat. Moving Cruz to the Clown Car for this. He’ll never get beyond the base, and that’s not enough.

Lindsay Graham’s “all-Jewish cabinet” [Wall Street Journal].

Lobby firm behind many SuperPACs accused of kickback scheme [The Intercept]. Film at 11. Kickbacks are the mother’s milk of politics.

Stats Watch

Redbook, week of April 18, 2015:  The Easter shift throws off the numbers, which are likely to return to normal next report [Bloomberg].

4/20

OK, OK, I should have done it yesterday, but I am no longer as au courant with the culture of the bright young things of today as I was. So here we go.

The 100% true story of Full Harvest Farm in Oakland, California [YouTube (diptherio). Urban farming!

Obama open to supporting medical marijuana [The Hill]. “There go my people, I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.”

“Rand Paul joined Democratic U.S. Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York last month in sponsoring legislation that would end the threat of federal prosecution for patients who use medical marijuana” [Herald-Leader]. Gee, that’s a real profile in courage, isn’t it? Paul’s supposed to be a libertarian, so why doesn’t he just outright advocate legalization? Because “he has to say that”?

“4:20” origin story at  San Rafael High in 1971 [CBS].

The origin story as of 2009 [Ryan Grim, HuffPo]. Interestingly, “It starts with the [Grateful] Dead.”

“420 is the new everything” [Fresno Bee]. Well, I suppose when everybody can down tools for it, yes.

“[H]omes for sale within a one-mile radius of some cannabis clubs have a higher median asking price than others in the metro area” [Trulia].

The ultimate 420 snack guide [Tech Times]. Oddly, or not, the snacks are all “edible, food-like substances.” #1? Hostess Cupcakes!

55 publicly traded marijuana companies [Bloomberg].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“For every 100 black women not in jail, there are only 83 black men. The remaining men – 1.5 million of them – are, in a sense, missing” [New York Times].

Class Warfare

“Men occupy the very top of the economy, and those who sit there are eager to marry from a smaller group of similarly successful and well-educated women. Men are also disproportionately at the bottom and here they are effectively unmarriageable” [Aeon].

“Gold’s traditional role as a store of wealth has been usurped by contemporary art and apartments in cities such as New York and London” [Bloomberg].

News of the Wired

  • Why we can’t have nice trains [National Journal].
  • Pantry clearout: “Blue Bell Creameries, which distributes frozen desserts to about half of the United States, said that it was voluntarily recalling all of its products after the bacteria listeria was found in two cartons of ice cream last month” [New York Times].
  • Oklahoma increases fracking injection well regulation as earthquakes keep increasing [Reveal].
  • “Over $1 Million in Hermès Bags Were Stolen This Past Week” [The Fashion Law]. When I read stories like this about the Apple Watch, I’ll believe that Apple knows how to market luxury goods.

* * *

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 six (LS):

IMG_5864

So this crocus shows you where I am; it’s literally the first one. So when I say “I Wish It Were Spring!” reader, I am not kidding. However, a correspondent from the Southeast informs me that Spring is almost over where they are, so perhaps I should switch themes. It’s almost time — up here in Zone 5b — so think about planting, so show me your plantings and garden projects!

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.

38 comments

  1. diptherio

    Well, this is interesting:

    “[H]omes for sale within a one-mile radius of some cannabis clubs have a higher median asking price than others in the metro area” [Trulia].

    Now, I’m no real estate expert, but something tells me that the same is not true for homes that are close to “alcohol clubs”–in fact, one would assume the opposite relation, if any, speaking as someone who lives near several. Interesting, to say the least, that the presence of stoners in a neighborhood increases property values…this is gonna drive the conservatives crazy…

    1. cwaltz

      I’d be disagreeing with you, walking to bars and restaurants are often an urban draw and cities are usually more expensive to live in then the burbs. HGTV is one of my favorite channels and this is something you see discussed fairly regularly when people are house hunting.

      1. diptherio

        You’re probably right. I’ve got the worst of it, with drunks from numerous bars emptying out into the alleyway below my window every night at 2 am, so I just assume that proximity to alcoholic beverage purveyors is a negative. My bias showing.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          There are bars and gastropubs. Is the establishment a hangout for the red hat society or the dts?

          The cops won’t pull a raid on a ritzy cannabis club, so they will only appear in up and co ming neighborhoods. Between novelty and the open market, they can attract a nicer clientele. After a ye as r, I expect many of these will shut down.

        2. hunkerdown

          Bar noise decays by an inverse square law, while a bar’s cultural appeal as a destination falls off rather less steeply with distance. Being packed tightly against one’s neighbor in a subway car doesn’t seem to respect the nuances of the term “proximity”….

    2. Lee

      Where I live it’s hard to find a house that’s not within a mile of a club.In 1996 California proposition 215 passed, which “Exempts patients and primary caregivers from criminal liability for possessing and growing marijuana.” Glad to see a libertarian, and hopefully the Feds, finally catching up. Now, if only the rest of us can catch up with Colorado.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      For Asian housing buyers, it’s about good schools and good after-school academies.

      Anything to help with the Imperial Examination…sorry, the SAT.

      As for seeing the world as one, their parents would suggestion Zen meditation. No shortcuts.. “Enlarge your brain’s compassionate zone via navel gazing.”

      As for median pricing – a house is a just a house*.

      * Before one enters the Way, a mountain is a mountain.
      When one has embarked on the Way, a mountain is more than a mountain. It’s…uh, more mysterious.
      After spending some time on the Way, a mountain is again just a mountain.
      It’s the ox-herding kid coming home to find the master not at some mountaintop, but working in the marketplace.

  2. Brindle

    re: TPP — Mother Jones

    What a piece of crap article. It just as easily could have created by WaPo or Politico. The MJ piece exemplifies the moral vacuity of the “professional liberal”—all they really care about is their paycheck and and “access”.

    1. diptherio

      …all they really care about is their paycheck and and “access”.

      Well, that’s probably not ALL they care about, but they ALSO care about those things–deeply–and, as some wandering ascetic once quipped, you cannot serve two masters.

    2. Vatch

      The article points out a lot of problems with the TPP, which is good. I think the biggest problem with the article is that it quotes a paragraph from Elizabeth Warren in which she mentions ISDS, but the article doesn’t tell readers what ISDS means. Here at NC we know that it is Investor State Dispute Settlement, but some Mother Jones readers might not know that.

      1. Ned Ludd

        To pass terrible legislation, muddle the issue, so people lack the conviction to oppose it.

        Getting it done before campaign politics interfere hinges on the passage of the new legislation, a Trade Promotion Authority bill (a.k.a. “fast track”) that limits congressional participation to a up/down vote on the final deal, rather than opening it up for amendments. The TPA is needed to ensure negotiating partners that their hard-fought agreements won’t be altered at the whims of one politician or another. […]

        The TPA [fast-track] legislation outlines several provisions and negotiating objectives by which the president would have to abide, including safety measures for agriculture and requiring trading partners to abide by US labor and environmental standards. It also outlines requirements for transparency, mandating that Congress get access to the TPP deal, and that its provisions be presented for public comment 60 days before any deal is made official.

        Mother Jones encourages inaction, with this positive spin on fast-track. It is the same playbook used to pass NAFTA, where the positive spin on side agreements for labor and environmental concerns pacified the liberal conscience.

  3. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

    Okay, you can have a pass on 4/20. But no excuses for missing 7/10. :D

  4. DJG

    “If protecting labor were a priority for the administration, we’d have card check (remember that?).” Ahh, Lambert, sometimes, you crack me up.

    Point A: Despite all of the Calvinist rhetoric, U.S. culture shows a good deal of contempt for work. When a person wants to insult the cook who is making food in the kitchen (at minimum wage) and the other person delivering it to the table (supposedly living off the enormous tips), there isn’t, I’d posit, much sense of what work means. Feudalism, maybe.
    Point B: And yet there are plenty of Americans who go on and on about the evils of unions and how unions are obsolete and how they just walk into the boss’s office and negotiate their salary, hours, and benefits any time they feel like it.

    1. hunkerdown

      When Americans value “work” they are referring to subjugation, not production. (“If it were fun, it wouldn’t be called ___”) Thus, they value the subjugation of their public house servants by arrogantly devaluing the worker’s interests, both group and individual.

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      Well yes, “plenty” do but it’s a big country. I think the rightwing spin machine likes to claim that Americans are anti-union but all the actual interview data suggests otherwise (sorry, no link at hand).

  5. Alan Smithee

    I don’t think Hillary’s going to have much trouble when TPP passes. All she has to do is promise she’s going to “fix” the TPP, just like President Sparkle Pony claimed he was going to “fix” NAFTA (Anyone remember that? Anyone? Bueller?) and all the good little demotards will flock to the polls to vote for her. Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy

  6. JTMcPhee

    Back to this question I have about how these “agreements” that our representatives are working will actually be enforced. It’s assumed that “legitimacy” and “legality” will I guess be imputed to these total rewrites of centuries of thought and jurisprudence, and all the stuff I struggled with in “Conflict of Laws” class in law school, rewritten into that absolutism that’s starting to be noticed as a feature, not a bug in the Kool-aid. People, written large, may find they have some extreme difficulty swallowing that. And that these truly fiat “agreements” are supposed to be “irrevocable except by 100% consent (! that difficult word!) of all parties” — that’s really going to happen? and if it does, it’s going to persist? the stars are so perfectly aligned? nations and their interests and peoples are “quaint” to that degree, submerged beneath and subjugated by the will of the corporate masters?

    Beating a dead horse, maybe, and I must be thick not to just see how inevitable it all is, but I do sort of expect that at least the inking of these trade agreements planetary screw jobs is pretty much a done deal. Not sure how fast the ISDS machinery will be able to ramp up, I imagine it will take at least a year or two. Other commenters and posters say that the judgments, orders, decrees or whatever the Tribunes will call their “awards” to disappointed profiteers, will be readily enforceable. So is it “Game Over,” and all we are doing, those of us under the wheels of the bus, is scrabble at the margins? How about some thinking about what happens when chemical or drug manufacturer “A” gets its ruling that federal or state or local law or practice or regulation attempting to protect the populace/environment/local business impairs its “anticipated profits?” Do our rulers and leaders just say “oh, OK” and tax or fee or levy on what’s left of private and public commons, and hand over the proceeds? Do they say “oops, we guess that law, regulation, building or zoning code is just unenforceable as to Big A?” Do the people who will be losing their jobs to the Giant Sucking, watching their families tumbling down the slope in the race to the bottom, just shrug, put their “Boxer” shoulders to the wheel (or under it) and keep on doing what-ever?

    “Sanctions” as an enforcement tool? Levies and distraints and all that? Do we just accept the triumph of the Will as the endpoint of civilization? There are creative people here — how about laying out the scenarios not just for all the ways “we the people” are going to be screwed by this vast grab at the brass ring by our
    “betters,” but for how individuals, smaller businesses, communities, polities can, you know, “resist?”

    I do find it hard to believe that e.g. the National Guard will be pleased to help enforce those foreign judgments. FBI going to do it? They could not even face down Cliven Bundy and his band of merry idiots. If Red Blooded Americans will stand up, vi et armis, to “resist” that evil Gubmint trying to enforce collection of a passel of grazing fees from a thief, what happens when Gubmint or Black Helicopter New World Order types come around to padlock the sewage treatment plant and drive away the snowplow trucks and lay claim to tax anticipation proceeds and all that? Remember what happened to quite a few Sheriffs and their Posses when they tried to evict people from their farms back in the Depression. Yes, the world is different. People and their attachments, maybe not so much.

    Simple statements that “sanctions” can be applied, with maybe dark shadows in mind of all those John Galtians out there, pursuing their interests more or less temporarily aligned to take the last bits of wealth and security from everyone else until they can turn and start ripping at each other, don’t seem to be very helpful when push comes to shove as it seems so very likely to do. They don’t have all the forces aligned on their side. But of course I could just be a naive old Pollyanna about that, too.

    Ol’ Hillary was delegated to gather the Dark Powers together and give us “Health Care” back in 1993. Somehow that failed, and while the ACA is now rumbling over us, there are a few precedents to give some comfort that the dispensations of our betters can still be run off the (fast) track…

    One more little question: I find it personally repulsive to research into the realm of the Dark Side. But do people here look into the “world trade” press, the materials of ALEC, the white papers of lobbyists and other sources to see what the people seeking to do this to the rest of us actually have in mind? What not only their game plan is but what the main thrust of their mindset is? (A general applicability and legitimization of the Golden Rule would seem to be the absolute converse of what they must be attracted to and moving toward.) Seems like that would be useful intelligence, since those folks clearly examine pretty closely what potential resistance elements are thinking, saying and doing…

    1. Ulysses

      There will be resistance, no doubt about it. TPTB have been trying to slip this fast-track screw job past us for a couple of years now. So far they have failed– but now their corporate paymasters have shown them the whip-hand, and the final push is on. They are starting to babble about some new “more progressive” TPA process that would supposedly give us a chance to modify these secret deals, without the chance for hearings or debate, or even the publication of the text agreed to in secret by corporate attorneys. Complete BS, of course.

      Maybe we’ll be very lucky and a combination of forces will be able to delay the TPA and complete surrender of national sovereignty to our transnational kleptocratic rulers. The best-case scenario (short of very dramatic upheavals) is that new Prez (Jeb or Hillary) will have to try to accomplish what President Obama could not. But this transnational corporate power grab will never be “off the table,” in our current system. We have to dislodge those now in power and replace them with real people, who care about other real people, for that to happen.

      The National Guard certainly won’t be happy to mow down neighbors, families, and friends who resist. Let us all hope that they are never given those orders!!

      1. ambrit

        For all intents and purposes, the National Guard is now a part of the Army. The drumbeat from the Neoliberal propaganda organs against the “Possee Comitatus” idea is a preparation for the use of the Army for “peacekeeping” within the American borders. More troubling is the idea that the National Guard will be ordered to stay in their barracks while private armies do the mowing down domestically.
        If the transnational oligarchy follows the traditional Empire template, military forces, public or private, from foreign countries, or production regions if you will, shall be used to suppress local “disturbances.” Think the Burmese or Gurkha in the Raj of India. If you start thinking, “Gee, time for some Gandhi style non violent resistance,” think again. Gandhis’ great skill was in manipulating international opinion in furtherance of his aims. Now, the international oligarchy will be in control of the very “news” organs that mold “public opinion.” Even Gandhi can’t influence a public that doesn’t know he’s there, or what he does.

  7. darms

    Interesting article on Angry Bear today – “Darwin Wept: Pyramid Schemes, Collusion, and Price-Fixing, the Modern American Way”. Looks like the trusts from the the early 1900’s are back, now they are mutual funds –

    United’s top five shareholders—all institutional investors—own 49.5 percent of the firm. Most of United’s largest shareholders also are the largest shareholders of Southwest, Delta, and other airlines. The authors show that airline prices are 3 percent to 11 percent higher than they would be if common ownership did not exist. That is money that goes from the pockets of consumers to the pockets of investors.

  8. NOTaREALmerican

    As long as the Blue Team true-believers get to vote for the next Blue Team candidate and the Red Team true-believers get to vote for the next Red Team candidate, and both can argue with each other over global-warming and “those people”, everything will turn out just fine, just fine… don’t-worry-bout-it.

  9. savedbyirony

    I was stirred by the WaPo story posted yesterday about the 13 year-old girl and her airbrushed “feminist” t-shirt. Thought some other folks here might like an update: http://www.womenyoushouldknow.net/sophie-thomas-updates-us-on-her-feminist-t-shirt-campaign-school-superintendent-emerges-as-real-lowlife/

    Also, since the news of the removal of Germany’s Bishop of Bling was posted about here when it happened, and the site does deal with power as well as finances – this is big news for the U.S. RCC http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/us-bishop-finn-symbol-churchs-failure-sexual-abuse-resigns

    1. frosty zoom

      “This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field.”

      hahahahahahaha!!!!!

  10. Louis

    There was a recent piece in Bloomberg about the unemployment rate among Millennials.

    This certainly isn’t news to those of us in the younger ranks; however, I don’t know how accurate the author is in his assertion that’s it’s the new normal. I guess time will tell.

  11. Steve

    I presume the opposition even of many of the Democrats on the progressive side is just kabuki theater. If it looks like fast track is in trouble, the Democrats will find just enough votes of the progressive Democrats to pass the thing. That’s always the script, most recently for the cromnibus. The Democrats fulminate effusively for the sake of the base, but they never come through, ever. It’s all just a show.

    1. frosty zoom

      it is remarkable how much has changed since 2000.

      for years i’ve tried to convince americans that they are stuck with a coke/pepsi political system and it’s only recently that i see they are finally realizing how similar the “two” parties are (can you identify which one in a blind taste test?).

      i imagine that a third party candidate will be in the senate by 2098..

      1. JEHR

        Don’t be too pessimistic. For years our Green Party stayed on the fringes of governance. The Green party was founded in 1983 and in 2004 ran candidates in all federal ridings. In 2006, it ran candidates in all federal ridings and increased its share of the popular vote. The leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May, ran in NS and won 32% of the vote in the 2008 election but came second.

        In 2011 she ran in BC and won her riding and became the first elected Green party MP in Canadian history. In 2012 she was voted Parliamentarian of the Year by her colleagues in the House.

        She is not treated well by the ruling conservatives who try to keep her from taking part in committees and the speaker even refused to recognize her when she stood up to speak in the Commons! She does her job well and takes her role very seriously. (See: http://www.greenparty.ca/en/party/history )

        And, for the first time, we have a Green Party MLA in New Brunswick who worked in the Conservation Council for many years. The ruling Liberal Party in NB even gives him some say on the things he is expert in (i.e., the environment). I believe BC also voted in a Green MLA.

  12. neo-realist

    Not surprised by the Seattle Times editorial board’s support of TPP. With the exception of marijuana legalization, they’re rather conservative and anti-progress in their stands.

  13. JCC

    I preferred Art’s comments on the Bloomberg article on the new store of wealth

    http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2015/04/gold-daily-and-silver-weekly-charts_21.html

    “So what did old Larry really say? That there are a couple of bubbles here, likely fueled by low interest rate hot money, and it is better to pile in there at a likely top, rather than buy gold which is bottoming after a three year bear market, and is one of the more undervalued of the traditional hedges against uncertainty and risk.

    Right on Larry. Thank you for talking your book. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

    Beautiful.

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