2:00PM Water Cooler 4/27/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Clinton’s words on TPP don’t differ all that much from Republicans, including Obama’s [The Intercept].

“President Bill Clinton needed Republican votes to pass NAFTA, and, likewise, Obama will need to lean on Congress’s top Republicans—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner—to get the TPP passed” [Newsweek].

Zephyr Teachout: ““The TPP, if it gets passed, will be known as Congress’s Citizens United, because it is giving corporations greater power, foreign corporations, multinational corporations, greater power than citizens” [New York Observer].

Obama shifts his pitch: “Instead, in a 4,000-word address to Organizing for Action (OFA), Obama sought to place his trade pact alongside his signature domestic initiatives, including his health-care law, the auto industry bailout, student-loan consolidation and Wall Street reform” [WaPo]. Wow! I’m sold! (OFA, the last game refuge of the Obots is, of course, pre-sold.)


Senators Elizabeth Warren and Claire McCaskill asked the GAO to study the impact of garnishment on borrowers in their 60s and older on concerns about retirement security [Bloomberg]. Hillary?

“The people behind Run Warren Run aren’t deaf. They think they can change her mind” [Politico]. No Sherman statement from Warren, in that (AFAIK) she has never said she’d reject a draft.

“Clinton’s advisers are respectful of Warren, but they privately argue that Clinton has a more sophisticated understanding of the economy” [The New Yorker]. “Sophisticated.” Heaven help us.

The S.S. Clinton

The Big Dog slinks off from “honorary” chair position at for-profit Laureate “University” as KKR prepares IPO, and so he should, ka-ching ka-ching [Bloomberg]. What happened to the brilliant young man who made it all the way from Hope, Arkansas to Oxford, where students have been taught since 1096 A.D., a non-profit, and therefore, like anything public, in the gunsights of sleazy private equity investment banksters everywhere? Where is that young man, Bill? Is he inside you anywhere, now?


The advantages of Hillary’s “H” logo [The Altantic]. “W”,”O”, and “H” spell “how” ass-backwards. Coincidence? You be the judge!

Schweitzer/uranium, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson: “Republicans need to be careful not to overstate the case. There’s no evidence of quid pro quo” [Bloomberg]. Never happen. Republicans always over-reach. Not that it hasn’t worked out well for them.

Schweitzer/uranium: “Are the Clintons correct in saying that there is an attack machine geared up to go after them? Of course. But why have they made it so easy?” [The New Yorker].

Iowa “Faith and Freedom” summit didn’t narrow the Republican field [National Review].

Republican Establishment

Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder thinking of throwing Detroit into the ring [Guardian].

Jebbie signs leading evangelical attorney Jordan Sekulow as senior advisor [Salon]. Known associates include Robert Mugabe and the Slavic Center for Law and Justice.

Republican Principled Insurgents

Scott Walker: “My relationship with God drives every major decision in my life” [New York Times]. Walker: “What sustained us all along the way is we had people who said, ‘We prayed for you.'” “Imprecatory prayer”; Google it!

Rubio: “I’m running for office with much more experience and qualifications than Barack Obama had” [Bloomberg]. Setting the baseline pretty low there, eh, Marco?

Republican Clown Car

Cruz: “Today’s Democratic Party has decided there is no room for Christians. There is a liberal fascism that is going after Christian believers” [The Hill]. Wowsers.

Gingrich: “Instead of buying a new yacht, I’m going to spend $70 million on a candidate” [WaPo]. And Newtie should know.

Shorter George Packer: “I’m b-o-o-o-r-e-d” [Corey Robin, Salon]. Nice evisceration of one of the leading lights of our famously free press; and I’m not the only one who thinks that gridlock is just fine, given the alternatives.

Campaign 2016 to focus on the “woes of the middle class,” even though the recession has hit the poor harder [Wall Street Journal, “For 2016, Middle-Class Woes Overshadow America’s Poor”]. Which you can hear in the rhetoric all the candidates, of both parties. In other words, the top 20%.

Conclusion of Internet voting study in Brazil: “Technology appears more likely to engage people who are younger, male, of higher income and educational attainment, and more frequent social media users” [SSRN]. Film at 11.

The Hill

Strange bedfellows allliance between conservatives and teachers on Common Core [New York Times].


The Tory and Lib-Dem MPs who will profit from selling off the NHS [Daily Mirror].

“A secret recording caught [senior Tory Cabinet minister] Francis Maude praising outsourcing firm Sodexo [ka-ching] – and promising a ‘flood’ of similar privatisations if the Tories win a second term” [Daily Mirror].


Chicago Public Education Fund, whose board is a who’s-who of Chicago power brokers and Rahm backers, being investigated by the Feds over no bid contract to cronies [Chicago Magazine]. It’s important to watch Chicago; it’s probably next in line after New Orleans and Detroit, which is why Rahm was deployed there.

Illinois economic development agency could be privatized [Chicago Tribune]. Like Ohio and Wisconsin; seems to be an agenda item for the local elites out there in Kochistan.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Baltimore Bloods and Crips call ceasefire for #BlackLivesMatter [Daily Beast]. More interesting than it seems if you consider a gang as a proto-state (and, for that matter, the state as a proto-gang, as we see in countless ways daily).

Interestingly, after a “remarkably peaceful” day, the Baltmore violence seems to have started outside Camden Yards baseball park, “at three bars with sidewalk cafes” in a clash between fans and protesters [WaPo]. So, alchohol. And St Louis fan behavior was a portent for this; it would be a shame if the violence became the narrative, but “if it bleeds, it leads.”

Amazingly, or not, CNN never did a split screen between the White House Correspondents Dinner and the Baltimore protests — or Nepal [The Great Will Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer].

The violent killing of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, whose spine was snapped in the custody of Baltimore police who’d stopped him for no obvious reason, is an American tragedy, driving thousands of people into the streets on Saturday. Most were peaceful, but some young people on the fringes shattered windows, looted convenience stores, and stomped on police cruisers. Some 40,000 baseball fans at Camden Yards were abruptly told by city officials that it wasn’t safe to leave.

Think about that for a moment, in relation to TV news. CNN and their rival networks have been known to cut away from regular programming to show planes with stuck landing gear circling a runway, or random police chases of random suspects in a random city. But now a city telling 40,000 people not to leave a baseball game because of social unrest, albeit briefly, wasn’t news? Are you kidding me? More important was the broader stakes, that the citizens of a great American city, stripped of its factories and caught between high crime and appalling levels of police brutality, were trying to make a statement, that their lives mattered. But to the Beltway revelers…they just didn’t.

I was watching CNN, and you could feel the awkward, nervous tension. Even the host Poppy Harlow and the guests acknowledged that people in the CNN newsroom were watching Twitter and other social media, and they knew that the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore were all that folks wanted to talk about. But they just couldn’t break away from the their inane prattling about looming White House humor.

The 45-minute mystery of Freddie Brown’s death (with handy timeline) [Baltimore Sun].

Imperial Collapse Watch

“The Obama administration considers the real alternatives to drone strikes to be the unpalatable options of grueling ground wars or passive acceptance of terrorism. Then it congratulates itself for picking the wise, ethical and responsible choice of killing people without knowing who they are” [Spencer Ackerman, Guardian].

Class Warfare

Clickbait headline: “The history of American inequality, in 1 fascinating chart” [WaPo]. However: “Between 1830 and 1970s, only the bottom 90% saw their incomes rise. After 1980, only the top 1% saw their incomes rise.” Thank you, neo-liberals, for facilitating this transition.

News of the Wired

  • Throw away your weed whacker and pick up your scythe [Digg]. Or sheet mulch everything, and live with the few weeds that remain (module xeriscaping).
  • Nuts are good for you [New York Times]. Make up your own jokes!
  • “New Hugo Award categories for puppies” [Boing Boing].
  • Louis CK’s surreal short films [Open Culture].
  • Non-violent civil resistance survey from Erica Chenoweth [University of Denver].
  • Interviews with three women who helped spark Occupy Hong Kong [South China Morning Post]. Very interesting.
  • “The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Jail: A Sign of Things to Come” [Front Burner]. Very funny, amazingly.

* * *

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


I took some pictures of daffodils that my wife planted in our garden 25 years ago when she was pregnant with our daughter. My wife worked hard in the garden all day. We think all that hard work is why she went into labor the following day.

Please send me 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.


  1. ChuckO

    If the TPP passes, wouldn’t the tobacco companies then be able to take the US and state governments into the tribunals to force them to revoke their anti-smoking laws and ordinances?

    1. Pat

      I may have it wrong, but I think it would need to be a foreign company complaining about our national/local laws inhibiting their profits. Not that it wouldn’t be done, just that it wouldn’t be Phillip Morris – directly.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        So they would need a straw. Easy-peasy. I’m sure that one of the “judges,” when acting in their non-judge-y, lawyerly capacity, would be happy to set up the necessary arrangements, shell companies, pay-offs, etc.

        * * *

        I’m happy with “judge-y,” or the idea of it. It’s like truthy. The TPP tribunals are court-y, the judges are judge-y, etc. What fun!

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            ISDNs in action (I live in Australia): We the people of this land, through our highest court, decided that Phillip Morris could not sue us for “lost profits” just because we passed strict tobacco plain packaging laws. No problem, said PM, we will just sue the “sovereign” country of Australia via ISDN from another jurisdiction (Hong Kong). So now a $400M payment from the taxpayers of Australia to the coffers of Phillip Morris looms.
            Make no mistake folks, this is corporo-fascism at its very worst. We all need to understand just how toxic and fascist Obomba is for promoting this anti-citizen, anti-worker, anti-freedom secret deal as his signature “accomplishment”.

      2. Carla

        If the TPP passes, won’t all US-based mega-corps offshore their headquarters for just this reason?

        The TPP is treason!

      3. AQ

        I may have it wrong but I thought Phillip Morris International was a Swiss company or that they were suing based on a Swiss – Urguarian treaty.

        A lot of former ‘American’ companies aren’t really ‘American’ companies anymore and I suspect those are the ones who would have the power and resources to sue.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t think it’s revoke as such. It’s that the tribunals could make even the threat of “compensation” for “expropriated” “lost profits” so large that the governments affected would change their laws, “voluntarily.”

      I also don’t know how grandfathering works (although clearly one aspect of the so-called “courts” will be to obfuscate the real power relations with hairballs of seeming legality).

      1. grizziz

        Philip Morris Asia is suing Australia over intellectual property through the WTO:

        World Trade Organization challenges to tobacco plain packaging

        The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has primary responsibility for the Australian Government’s defence of the tobacco plain packaging measure in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Office of International Law within the Attorney-General’s Department is providing DFAT with additional support.

        The WTO Dispute Settlement Body has established dispute settlement panels at the requests of Ukraine (on 28 September 2012), Honduras (on 25 September 2013), Indonesia (on 26 March 2014), Dominican Republic (on 25 April 2014) and Cuba (on 25 April 2014) in relation to Australia’s tobacco plain packaging measure. The five complainants are arguing that the measure is inconsistent with Australia’s WTO obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994.

        To date, a record number of WTO members (in excess of 40) have joined those disputes as third parties.

        On 5 May 2014, the WTO Director-General appointed Mr Alexander Erwin (Chair, South Africa), Professor François Dessemontet (Member, Switzerland) and Dame Billie Miller (Member, Barbados) as panelists to hear the disputes. All five disputes will be heard together, pursuant to a harmonised timetable.

        In response to Australia’s request, the panel issued preliminary rulings on 19 August 2014 regarding the scope of the complainants’ claims. These rulings were published on 27 October 2014.

        The Chair of the panel informed the Dispute Settlement Body on 10 October 2014 that the panel expects to issue its final report to the parties in the second half of 2016.


      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Yes, that’s an awesome takedown. I’d love to see Brown and Warren (and Bernie?) go to the mattresses — a real old-fashioned filibuster where they talk for days, and not a mere procedural move.

  2. curlydan

    Hillary’s “H” has a red arrow pointing toward the right. That’s truth-in-advertising.

        1. hunkerdown

          It’d look too much like the Mars symbol. Think of all the sweet Gramma Empress messaging that would dilute.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think it shows inattention to detail which is a hallmark of Clinton. People have lost their jobs over mixing up the union bug mailer and the non union bug mailer, at least one. There were other issues with that individual, but Democratic voters told us the union bug was missing and didn’t want to hear an apology from a kid at UVA. It’s a campaign reality. These people are just lazy.

    1. Joe

      The arrow should be pointing up. Way more predictive for the failed Clinton ll administration. BOHICA.

  3. Carla

    Regarding garnishing of Social Security benefits to repay student loans: Warren and McCaskill don’t mention that the IRS does it, and with no lower limit.
    (Garnishment to repay student loans only applies to Social Security payments in excess of $750 per month because, you know, it’s not reasonable for TPTB to expect anyone to live on less than that!)

  4. diptherio

    The Barret Brown piece is excellent. I’m going to print that last sign up and hang it in my apartment building.

  5. diptherio

    Since I haven’t beaten the co-op economics drum in a little while:

    Introducing the Worker Coop Academy Class of 2014

    Cooperatives have the potential to replace the hierarchies that foster inequality and exploitation with structures that empower workers politically, socially, and economically. As many proponents have recognized, one of the biggest barriers to many more businesses converting to cooperative ownership is actually no more than a lack of knowledge. For this reason, a new set of cooperative educational opportunities are starting to crop up around the country.

    A project in Oakland, California is the latest to teach the values, methods, and structures that make up a cooperative business to a group of selected teams each year. The Worker Coop Academy, or WCA, is a joint endeavor between the Sustainable Economies Law Center, Project Equity, and the East Bay Community Law Center. The WCA held its first course in 2014 for seven participant organizations, aiming to equip students with the legal, financial, and cultural aspects of running a successful cooperative. The teams belonged to four categories: start-ups, expanders, converters, and developers. They attended lectures at Laney College on Wednesday nights throughout the fall, did their homework, and developed final projects that applied the academy’s lessons to their businesses.

    1. Jess

      Orioles manager Buck Showalter but pretty eloquent as well. Something along the lines of, “Reminds you that certain things are a lot more important than a game.”

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Thanks, got a link on that? Baseball has its own history, here, of course, so it’s nice to see both Angelos and Showalter reacting in a humane fashion.

  6. ProNewerDeal

    I’d like to see 1 Congressperson like Sen Warren, Sanders, etc, introduce a bill that ANY laid off or fired USian worker, is entitled to their salary, + CPI, + 1% over CPI to account for increased projected productivity & promotions, until age 67, and this age 67 is subject to higher revision if any Future Grand Ripoff crapifies the Medicare &/or Soc Security age above 67. After all, these Corporate Employers are HARMING FUTURE PROFITS.

    If nothing else, it would show the ridiculousness of the Harming Future Profits nonsensical notion of the TPP.

  7. wbgonne

    The Big Dog slinks off from “honorary” chair position at for-profit Laureate “University” as KKR prepares IPO, and so he should, ka-ching ka-ching [Bloomberg]. What happened to the brilliant young man who made it all the way from Hope, Arkansas to Oxford, where students have been taught since 1096 A.D., a non-profit, and therefore, like anything public, in the gunsights of sleazy private equity investment banksters everywhere? Where is that young man, Bill? Is he inside you anywhere, now?

    Very well done. I really wish some of these people — the Clintons, Obama — would stop for a moment and consider what they are doing. Bill and Hillary must have had sparks of idealism at one time. If they look inside maybe they can recognize some faint glimmer of light. Obama I’m not so sure about.

    1. Jack

      According to Christopher Hitchens (who I briefly loved before realizing what a stupid, drunken buffoon he was), Clinton spent most of his time at Oxford getting laid. So perhaps he never had any idealism at all, and was just very motivated to succeed.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Surely the set of all idealists and the set of all hedonists do not completely overlap? That before we get to ol’ Hitch, who I’d trust on this topic as far as I could throw a concert grand piano.

        1. Jack

          Yeah, he did have a strange, hateful obsession with the Clinton’s. But I can’t really say a majority of his hate wasn’t justified…

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Well, to the extent that hate is ever justified. Especially strategic hate management. The spectacle of the Obots in 2008 taking up the right wing talking points of 1992 should really have given more people pause than it did.

            1. Jack

              The more learn about the Clinton’s, the less I like them. Especially Hillary. I’m not sure how I can be expected to feel less than hatred for a woman who proudly boasts about, effectively, smashing an entire country into tiny pieces.

              “We came, we saw, he died. HAHAHAHAHA!”

          2. different clue

            My intuitive feeling is that Hitchen’s hatred was based on social class snobbery and Hitchens’s sense of aesthetic offendedness that a genuinely poor-background white trash descended person like Bill Clinton would soil the marble halls of Oxbridge ( or whatever it’s called). And he found bad things about Clinton to hang the hatred on. But it wasn’t the bad things that made Hitchens hate Clinton. It was Clinton’s really low lower class background. In my intuitive view.

            1. sleepy

              I’ve never understood the “Bill grew up poor” theme. Politically I understand its use, particularly when he was running against the upper-class Bush, but the facts don’t really bear it out.

              His mom was a nurse, and yes, I understand that a nurse in the late 40s in small town Arkansas wasn’t paid well, but his grandparents owned a grocery store and helped out financially, and in 1950 his mom married Bill’s stepfather who owned a local car dealership. You can call them middle class or working class, but I wouldn’t call them poor.

              Of course, by Hitchens’ standards I’m sure Bill wasn’t good enough for Oxford.

              1. different clue

                Useful clarificatiion and reminder that Bill did not grow up in destitution.
                But even when I made the comment I was at least half-way thinking in terms of “social class-status pecking order” position. Clinton was NOT descended from local social-elite gentry people, whether rich ones or poor ones. I suspect he was considered to be “grubby white trash” to many avatars of “shiny white cash”, even if those avatars were descended from the “impecunious black-sheep” branches of their fine families. I have long suspected Hitchens to be one of the Fine FamilyOriented Elitists who was offended at this “poor white trash person” at his snooty class-reserved Oxfordbridge ( or whatever it’s called).

    2. sleepy

      Great observations.

      What I have come to realize about people like the Clintons is that it does no good at all to project onto them the outlooks and values that “normal” people have. I think that’s what perhaps you are doing when you look for some glimmer of idealism from their past that you hope might somehow resurface and give them some self-reflection or second thoughts.

      Imho, no one who sets out early on in life to a career of political power has much in common with the “normal”. Just think–who in their right mind would be willing to run the gauntlet of campaign nastiness to be elected to much of anything?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Hmm. It’s not a very great hope. But if it doesn’t sting him, it might open a few other eyes. It really isn’t necessary to shout through a megaphone at all times, you know.

    3. different clue

      I remember reading that Bill and Hillary were campaign volunteers on the McGovern Campaign. I read that they were broken-hearted when McGovern lost, especially with so many unionized thing-making working-class Democrats voting for Nixon.

      I have a hypothesis. The Clintons vowed revenge against the American working classes for breaking their hearts by voting for Nixon in 1972. They took that revenge ( Bill especially) when they (he especially) was in a position to get NAFTA, WTO Membership for America, and MFN for China passed. Part of his motivation I believe was to destroy workers’s lives in revenge for their having destroyed his hopes for McGovern. Just a theory . . .

        1. different clue

          No. I would have to look for evidence to test the hypothesis. I would have to see how soon he began pursuing anti-workeritic and anti-unionitic policies after he first got elected to office. If he had anything to say on the subject before getting into office, that would be evidence too. Also, historians and biographers would have to interview people who knew the Clintons in the months before and after the McGovern loss to see what they said about it to fellow politically-minded people. It is something that perhaps David Maraniss could look into if he chose. Or maybe that person from Arkansas who admired Clinton so much and talked about a birdhouse he gave the Clintons or something when Clinton was President would have memories of Clinton’s 1972 thoughts on the matter.

          It is just a very strong feeling that I have. Nothing more, at this point. But that’s what I deeply suspect as a possible motive other than getting rich after office.

  8. Howard Beale IV

    An epic rant from the COO of the Baltimore Orioles on Twitter, curated by USAToday.

    Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.

    That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

    The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Gandhi had Nehru who had 4 million men under arms. King worked during a period of relative prosperity in many African American communities. I should point King warned that no change would lead to violence. He met Malcolm X. King didn’t cast him out.

      1. alex morfesis

        malcolm x never committed any act of violence….

        malcolm little sorta…the angry young street punk whose mother was institutionalized cause she sorta kinda got upset when her husband, a garveyite was pushed in front of a street car for not bowing often enough to the not so black foke…

        same reason Rube Foster was institutionalized. Kenashaw Landis, one of the most evil people to walk the planet earth, suspended babe ruth for six weeks for daring to play baseball with black foke…

        this myth that malcolm committed violence.

        He stated that he could not see how violence could be stopped if people were going to be treated like dogs in the modern world…

  9. optimader

    The advantages of Hillary’s “H” logo [The Altantic]. “W”,”O”, and “H” spell “how” ass-backwards. Coincidence? You be the judge!

    WHO in no particular order??

    1. hunkerdown

      I started to read Wo-He-Lo, but I blame that on the Camp Fire alumnus I dated for many years.

  10. Howard Beale IV

    Pro-Israel clause added to Trade deal unanimously: CommonDreams

    U.S. lawmakers are quietly advancing legislation that would penalize international participation in the growing movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel for human rights abuses against Palestinians.

    With little notice, anti-BDS directives were injected into the “Fast Track” legislation that passed the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday night, despitebroad opposition to the bill, which gives the administration of President Barack Obama authority to ram though so-called “free trade” deals.

    An amendment, included in the bill and sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), stipulates that, as a principle of trade negotiations, the U.S. should put pressure on other countries not to engage in BDS against Israel of any kind, including refusal to do business with settlements.

    The passed amendment has not yet been made public, but Josh Ruebner, policy director for the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, told Common Dreams that Cardin’s office confirmed that the language was based on the Senate legislation S.619, which states:

    To include among the principal trade negotiating objectives of the United States regarding commercial partnerships trade negotiating objectives with respect to discouraging activity that discourages, penalizes, or otherwise limits commercial relations with Israel, and for other purposes.

    “They tried to sneak it through,” said Ruebner, explaining that the Campaign only found out about the legislation late Monday afternoon through “happenstance.”

    1. hunkerdown

      “We find these laws invalid and will not comply.” -the nine words that ought to scare the crap out of any government but are not uttered frequently enough, defiantly enough or often enough to matter.

    2. different clue

      Cardin must be pro-Fast Track and pro-ObamaTrade to put an Apple of Discord like that before people who might otherwise unite against Fast Track.

    3. different clue

      Unanimous, eh? Well, maybe it will work out to the detriment of TPP getting ratified by enough countries to take effect (if there is a trigger threshhold). I should think that the Malaysia government would not join a TPP with that condition. Maybe the Indonesia government wouldn’t either. And maybe the Pacific Coast South American governments would reject a TPP with a law like that in it on general principles.

      What do other commenters think of this being an inadvertent poison pill in the TPP for some foreign governments? Any chance of it?

  11. Lambert Strether Post author

    UPDATE on Baltimore. From various sources I read:

    1) Very heavy police presence today, including county police in addition to Baltimore’s. (This is often a very bad sign, since poor coordination between different forces leads to violence, certainly during Occupy Oakland.)

    2) Incident where high schoolers pepper-sprayed on leaving school.

    3) Clash between police and protesters after Freddie Gray funeral.

    4) Hotels in Baltimore area being booked (implication: Those who can getting out/and or influx of protesters).

    5) Family members tweeting advice on how to get out.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have time to follow this story as I should; I’d welcome any information from readers in Baltimore.

    It would be nice if I had no reason to worry, but we might remember that Baltimore is a good deal closer to “our nation’s capital” than St Louis is, and the forces that can be deployed would be correspondingly more powerful, and more ruthless.

    Incidentally, none of this makes what Angelos said above less true. More true, if anything.


    6) Tactical vehicles said to have been spotted.


    7) Maryland governor declares state of emergency. This might not end well. Will be interesting to find out what people see from the windows of the Acela — which passes through Baltimore — tomorrow.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Trying to be as disconnected as possible, I think Occupy was a cutting off point for many of the participants from the system.

          “Black lives…” was still too associated with existing black “leaders” to work. Yes, the athletes wearing hoodies was neat, but there wasn’t an Ali out there. The basic issue Al Sharpton and his ilk can’t coexist with Occupy.

          Going back to the Civil Rights movement, King oozed contempt for the black church in America. He didn’t say it explicitly, but he pointed out many community leaders didn’t want to rock the boat. “Black lives” attracted too much of the wrong element, basically the Congressional black caucus to really be an inclusive structure.

        2. different clue

          I have read that Occupy-affiliated students concerned about loans laughed at, sneered at, and rejected older people who wanted Occupy to extend its “loan-burden” concerns to mortgage-holders. Did I read something true or false when I read that?

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            I’d certainly like a link for it; I don’t remember any such thing, and I do remember Occupy Atlanta and IIRC an Occupy in Michigan defended people about to be evicted. Granted, a law of life is that “there’s always an asshole,” and Occupy was decentralized, and so somebody might have said what you remember. But again, I don’t remember it.

        1. frosty zoom

          i’ve never thought anything of the sort. otherwise, you’d have “buy gold” ads or something on the site.

          the daffodils are awesome, by the way. at point pelee national park in southern ontario there are daffodils growing in the middle of the forest, remnants of long-lost homesteads.

    1. frosty zoom

      “let’s go to christie, she on the scene, she’s been pepper sprayed.




      listening to the play-by-play (god lord!) is like reading a kilgore trout story.

            1. different clue

              Demonstrations should have organized squads of peacekeepers trained and tasked to beat down anyone and everyone seen picking up “that first stone”. Beat them into unconsciousness so fast they don’t have time to draw their hidden police gun if they happen to have one.

              A version of that approach was written about somewhere in The Grapes Of Wrath.

              Obviously the same treatment should be meted out to black blockers who pick up “that first rock”. Some of them could be undercover police, and since it is impossible to know which ones are, they should all be treated as being undercover policemen.

  12. OIFVet

    Sovereignty, BG style: “[BG defense minister Nenchev] revealed that the Defence Ministry was discussing an option of cooperating with NATO for joint defence of Bulgarian air space. The minister stated he was studying the experience of the three Baltic states, which paid EUR 5 M for defence of their air space annually. Nenchev did not rule out the possibility of requesting from the USA to leave the F-15 jets, which are stationed in Bulgaria for a longer period of time, but this required a bilateral agreement.”

    From “the Prussians of the Balkans” (per the NYT of 1918) to a colony in the span of 100 years. Well done. Now all we need is to get the Parliament to approve the proposed purchase of 3rd hand, 1970’s vintage F-16s from Portugal to replace the far newer and more capable MiG-29s and the plunder and national humiliation will be complete. Makes one wonder why hundreds of thousands had to die fighting Ottoman rule and in two Balkan and two world wars only to get back to square one…

      1. OIFVet

        Except there is the matter of several $ billion the president today proposed to spend on US arms, including the aforementioned extremely old and used F-16s, a maintenance nightmare many times more expensive than the extremely reasonable Russian offer. That money will be flowing to Lockheed. That, while the pension funds have been looted and healthcare and education are an utter mess. Straight out of the neocolonial textbook, ain’t it? Then there is the steep decline of capabilities from Mig-29s to Block 10 F-16s. Finally, there is that pesky matters of sovereignty and extreme public opposition to giving it up, and the 70% of the population self-identifying as rusophiles. This is basically a powder keg that the compradors are trying to set on fire.

  13. BDBlue

    Baltimore Bloods and Crips call ceasefire for #BlackLivesMatter [Daily Beast]. More interesting than it seems if you consider a gang as a proto-state (and, for that matter, the state as a proto-gang, as we see in countless ways daily).

    In one of the early episodes of the great Hill Street Blues*, the President (who is never named) is planning a visit to the “Hill”, the poor, mostly minority neighborhood where the precinct is located. The precinct captain calls a gang summit where some White House stooge prattles on about the President’s visit only to be interrupted by one of the up and coming gang leaders (Jesus Martinez, for those familiar with the show), who tells him essentially that if there’s going to be any payouts made in his neighborhood the President can just send it to him because “up here, I’m the government”. That was 1981.

    *It’s hard to believe I can drown in replays of so many terrible shows, but there are only 3 seasons of Hill Street Blues available. Every so-called great modern drama on television owes a debt to that show. If you haven’t seen it or it’s been awhile, I strongly recommend it. The technology may be dated – and after AIDS, it’s uncomfortable to see an officer with a reputation for biting – but it’s still a damned good show and very relevant, IMO, today, especially it’s focus on trying to both police and retain one’s humanity (the show makes clear not everyone does and there’s a very high price to pay, usually by those being policed, for that).

  14. Jackrabbit

    I saw Baltimore Mayor’s news conference.

    City-wide curfew for 1 week (no one outside from 10pm – 6am unless emergency or going to work).
    – Schools closed tomorrow.
    – National Guard (5,000 of them, I think) to join the police.
    – 16 police injured, two still in hospital.
    – 30 or so arrests.

    How is this different from Marshal Law?

    H O P

    1. OIFVet

      Under martial law authority goes to the highest ranking military commander in the AO, and is accompanied by the imposition of military law. So, Baltimore’s situation is de facto martial law, except no one will say it or declare it formally less the myth of American freedum and democracy and equality comes crashing down even amongst the rubes.

    2. cwaltz

      The sad thnig is the schmucks who were responsible for Freddie Gray have been suspended so those police hurt weren’t even the ones responsible for the incident.

      I would start to think at some point the police might consider more care before deploying deadly force since these protests seem to be looming larger and larger. It’s only a matter of time before the term police “injured” becomes police killed as a result of protests.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s real smart, closing the schools just when the weather gets warm. Why, anybody would think they were asking for trouble? (Closing the schools means school lunches get closed too, so I’m seeing a scenario where a cop whacks a kid for boosting a Hostess Twinkie, or some other food-like substance, from the corner store.

      And, ya know, 30 (thirty) arrests? That’s really not a very large number. We are seeing the same disprortionate response we saw both in Ferguson and Occupy generally. Elephants panicking at the sight of a mouse, trumpeting and stamping.

      Thanks for the update. Please keep us informed!

    4. Jackrabbit

      The authorities seem to be really, really pissed that the community blew off some steam – despite the fact that is was probably expected and unavoidable.

      If I am reading this time-line from US News & World Report correctly, Obama pledged “the federal government’s help to respond to riots” and the Maryland Governor announced that “the National Guard is on alert and may deploy to help police” well before the Mayor decided to ask for the National Guard. Was the decision forced on her (I believe she is new)?

      The Mayor’s news conference also seemed staged. Each of the five officials that spoke began in much the same way: that they loved Baltimore / were long-time residents and did not want to see “thugs” destroying property. One of them said that they deplored the destruction of property because there was still damage from the riots in 1968!!!!!! (OMG, that says it all – so little investment in the area that they still have damage from back then.) No attempt to understand or reach out to the protesters. Reporter’s questions (the first one’s) focused on lack of preparation and lack of early action to counter protesters.
      >>> Lambert, it might be worthwhile to get a transcript just to pull out that quote for the NC readership.

      1. OIFVet

        RT reported that the whereabouts of the mayor had been unknown all day up until the press conference. It is pretty safe to conclude that she was getting instructions from “higher”. I doubt she is in charge of anything at this point, that would be the AG’s office and the National Guard. Of course it would be unseemly in this great land of ours to declare martial law, so this is stage managed to appear that local elected officials are in charge while the federal government runs things behind the scenes. America is one big stage act…

      2. Jackrabbit

        The Black Agenda Report on this should make for interesting reading.

        All of the five officials at the news conference were African-American. Obama is half African-American and his new attorney general is African-American. There is talk of Al Sharpton going to Baltimore. The Governor of Maryland is a Republican white guy (whose wife is Korean).

        PS The Mayor is not new. And ‘martial’ not ‘marshal’ (duh!)

        1. Jackrabbit

          Lieutenant governor of Maryland and head of Maryland National Guard are also African-American.

          Heard a report on the Pete Sentilli (radio?) show (ht ZH) by a guy named James McArthur (who Pete seemed to know well and trust), that raised suspicions that the police were deliberately allowing the situation to escalate. At one point, James said that the police response seemed “orchestrated” (to intimidate and cause escalation).

          PS I don’t know who Pete Sentilli is and never listened to his show before this.

  15. Oregoncharles

    Baltimore Bloods and Crips call ceasefire for #BlackLivesMatter –

    And then they attacked the police (13 injuries last count.) that’s an insurrection, and it’s been inevitable for some time.

    Tomorrow should be very interesting – except the main action might be tonight.

  16. pccp82

    as someone who lives in Baltimore, there is nothing interesting about what tomorrow will look like.

    I expect to be sick to my stomach when the sun comes up.

    Lambert, the riots started 2 blocks from where I work. You are way off.

  17. different clue

    I wonder if satirical poster-makers could make posters of Obama with captions like: Would you buy a used car from this man?

    Or one saying : ObamaTrade. “If you like your zoning ordinances, you can keep your zoning ordinances.”
    “If you like your environmental regulations, you can keep your environmental

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