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2:00PM Water Cooler 4/28/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, sorry if this a bit light; I was up late live-blogging Baltimore.

TPP

Japanese diplo-speak: Japan downgrades expectations for summit from “substantial progress” to “welcome progress” [Reuters]. Clive?

“Is TPP trade deal a massive giveaway to major corporations?” [WaPo] Simple Answers to Simple Questions: Yes. Greg Sargent’s conclusion:

[W]ith Obama leaning hard into the idea that TPP’s ISDS will be drawn explicitly to prevent such corporate gaming of the process, this provision of the TPP — like so much of the rest of the deal — probably can’t be evaluated until we actually see it.

That’s weak. Even if Sargent’s trust in Obama is vindicated, an iffy proposition at best, if what Sargent hopes is true, Obama has every reason to expose the text of the deal to sunlight. But he doesn’t. So what does that tell you?

Obama interview: “This issue of secrecy, by the way, is – is particularly of concern to me because the way we have set this up, the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement – where it is right now – it’s not closed, it’s not finished; we’re negotiating with 11 countries – but the text of what we have right now has been on file in Congress for weeks.  Members of Congress have been able to go in there and take a look at it” [Wall Street Journal, “WSJ Interview Transcript: President Obama on TPP, China, Japan, Pope Francis, Cuba “]. “Take a look at it”? In a locked room? With no notes or pictures allowed? And it’s classified material? Keep digging.

“Ultimately, this isn’t complicated. America can either embrace economic reality or accept economic decline. TPP will serve America’s economy and our security, and that of our allies” [National Review]. Nice to see the National Review supporting Obama. When the heck is he just going to cross the aisle and have done with it?

“U.S. Rep. John Katko told reporters Friday that he’s leaning against voting for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major trade deal between the United States and 11 other countries, including Australia and Japan” [Auburn Citizen]. Contact info. Be nice!

Handy map of Congressional TPP support [Progressive Democrats of America].

Letter to the Editor: “ISDS has the potential to turn Colorado cities and towns into Detroit-like wastelands after just one loss in global court. What happens when a $300 million judgment is levied against Denver County? If the money is not in the county’s bank account, what does the global court take? Our museums? Our parks? Our land?” [Colorado Statesman]. Letters to the Editor are just as important as calls to your Congress critters, if not moreso.

Dean Baker: “The absurdity of conflating the TPP with “free trade” is brought out by the fact that its biggest impact may well be from increasing the strength of patent protection, especially in the case of prescription drugs. Patents are government-granted monopolies. They are the opposite of free trade” [HuffPo].

“Going by the intellectual property and investment chapters that have been leaked via WikiLeaks, the TPP would establish a US-style regulatory structure that would hand considerable monopoly-style power to US pharmaceutical and digital firms, limiting choice and raising prices for consumers. It is the very oppositite of the free trade Mankiw advocates” [Macrobusiness].

“[W]e often don’t know who the winners and losers are from any particular trade deal — this is why you can’t buy insurance against the possibility of losing your job to a trade agreement” [Noah Smith, Bloomberg]. Which is why we need social insurance generally, and not the (slow, gamed, after-the-fact, rents-to-the-trainers) retraining programs we keep hearing about. (The article is actually about why Smith, a TPP supporter, thinks the odious Greg Mankiw is making the case for TPP poorly. I’ve been wanting to make the “shills mismatch” joke for a long time…. 

2016

The S.S. Clinton

“[Clinton will] look like a wuss if she refuses to say where she stands on an issue [TPP] that is galvanizing her party” [Reuters]. Yep. So why not just cross the aisle with Obama?

“Former President Bill Clinton accepted more than $2.5 million in speaking fees from 13 major corporations and trade associations that lobbied the U.S. State Department while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, an International Business Times investigation has found. The fees were paid directly to the former president” [International Business Times]. The unsavory norm. Is the massive hairball of influence peddling and mutual backscratching and self-dealing and rental extraction and money-laundering among the political class as a whole — the set and type of relationships that, in fact, defines them as a class — not a story? WTF!

The Republican field is so broad because rich patrons are funding so many candidates [WaPo]. And as in so much else, that grifter Newtie paved the way.

Republican Establishment

Jebbie “told about 350 of the top donors to his super PAC on Sunday evening that the organization has raised more money in its first 100 days than any other Republican operation in modern history” [WaPo]. Attaboy!

W “opens up” about 2016: “He essentially said people don’t want dynasties in America” [New York Times]. Eesh, do I hate that locution “open up.”

Republican Principled Insurgents

Paul: “There is a valuable use for drones and, as much as I’m seen as an opponent of drones, in military and warfare, they do have some value” [The Hill]

Stats Watch

Redbook, week of April 25: “Behind the [Easter] distortions, however, Redbook does note that the overall performance is below plan”  [Bloomberg].

Consumer Confidence, April 2015: “Consumer confidence has fallen back noticeably this month, down more than 6 points to a much lower-than-expected 95.2.” [Bloomberg]. “The most striking weakness in April is the assessment of future conditions with the expectations component. … And the most striking weakness among the sub-components is employment.”

Richmond Manufacturing Index, April 2015: “All the early indications on the manufacturing sector show weakness this month” [Bloomberg]. “[E]mployment in this report, as it curiously has been in other manufacturing reports as well, is up.”

Mosler comments on Redbook, consumer confidence, Richmond manufacturing: “Looks like more than a ‘soft spot’ as so far no improvement for Q2” [Mosler Economics]

S&P Case Shiller HPI, February 2015: “The Case-Shiller adjusted 20-city index rose a very strong 0.9 percent” [Bloomberg]. “The breadth of the gain is very convincing, with none of the 20 cities showing an adjusted monthly decline since all the way back in September.” But Forbes‘ headline: “Home Price Growth Slows.” The Wall Street Journal’s: “Climbs modestly.” Hmm.

State Street Investor Confidence, April 2015: “Confidence among institutional investors remains strong” [Bloomberg]. “the report questions whether strength in North America can continue given the negative effect that the strong dollar will have on overseas earnings.”

If your macro index is skyscraper construction, be very afraid. Handy chart [The Economist, “Constructive one-upmanship”].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Events in Baltimore have raced ahead of my capacity to track them, and so here is some background reading.

“The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore” [Conor Freidersdorf, The Atlantic]. Utterly essential reading, and then click through to the Baltimore Sun series that it summarizes. The incident where two cops co-operate to slit a dog’s throat is good, but then so is the incident where a cop strangles his girlfriend’s dog. Freidersdorf  is on the right, so maybe you can show this to “That Cousin” you can’t talk to about race. Oh, and Baltimore’s police chief, Anthony Batts, was previously chief in Oakland, now under Federal receivership, and has domestic violence issue. So awesome.

Orioles COO Angelos on Baltimore [USA Today]. Gene Sharp would call Angelos a pillar of the regime, making his views very interesting indeed. Adding: In my travels on the Twitter, I’ve noticed — sadly — that one reasonably reliable indicator of a tweet that I’m really going to regret having had to even see is the presence of a sports team’s logo (granted, I have some priors here). So on the basest pragmatic level, I’m happy to have quotes from a team’s family ownership to throw into the mix.

Ferguson has major corporations, but does not tax them. Hence, law enforcement for profit [St Louis Business Journal].

Police State

How judges let dubious tactics flourish [Baltimore Brew]. Not just the cops!

Class Warfare

“[A] moral claim that people deserve what they are paid … has meaning only if the legal and political institutions defining the market are morally justifiable [Robert Reich, The American Prospect].

On squillionaire Sam Zell giving Republican Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, Democrat Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s BFF, $4 million for his campaign, presumably as a sort of tip: “I really don’t want to be a class warrior, but what I continue to see going down is that rich people, no longer satisfied with the privileges of being rich, are going for complete control” [Chicago Sun-Times]. Ding!

Investors have been pouring money into fine wine, now thought to be a $5 billion-$10 billion market [The Economist, “Intoxicating”]. “[It has an] extraordinary nose of caramelised herbs, smoke, cedar, pen ink, blackcurrants and earth.” I would have thought the odor was quite different. Oh, wait. Wine.

“The outlook for industry is better than it’s been in a long time. American manufacturing was decimated during the first decade of this century, with six million jobs gone, and it was easy to believe that manufacturing was a lost cause. Yet it still accounts for more than two trillion dollars in output, and American factories are still among the most productive in the world” [The New Yorker]. Maybe.

News of the Wired

  • “Everyone has JavaScript, right?” [Reddit].
  • Corey Robin Doctorow on John Deere and digital rights management in the coming Internet of Things (really, the Internet of Rents) [Globe and Mail].
  • “The one word journalists should add to Twitter searches that you probably haven’t considered” [Medium, Jessica].
  • Is the universe a hologram? [phys.org].
  • The great Joe Bageant remembered: “[T]he twenty-first century’s foremost chronicler of red-state dispossession was more than just a literate redneck—he was an avenging angel of the forgotten rural hippie movement” [The Baffler, Kevin Fathi].

* * *

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 “Spring is here!” week one (Andrea):

20150427_132555

“Beautiful groundcover, by Nature!” One day, nothing but the brown and grey dirt and detritus of mud season. The next day, pop! Suddenly, color!

Please send me your plantings and garden projects!

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. It’s the soil, seeds, Fedco Tree sale, and planting 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.

58 comments

  1. wbgonne

    That’s weak. Even if Sargent’s trust in Obama is vindicated, an iffy proposition at best, if what Sargent hopes is true, Obama has every reason to expose the text of the deal to sunlight. But he doesn’t. So what does that tell you?

    Sargent is a tool who has been carrying Obama’s water since 2008. That’s how he got the exclusive Perez TPP propaganda “interview.”

    1. Brindle

      Sargent’s phrase, “[W]ith Obama leaning hard into the idea…”, WTF is “leaning hard into the idea”? Who talks or writes like this? Classic example of basic intellectual dishonesty—using words to confuse rather than provide clarity.

      1. hunkerdown

        “Leaning hard” is a term of power. What else did you think you really needed to know about these testosterone-drunkards?

      1. wbgonne

        Love your reply tweet. I have finally seen some news of Right Wing opposition to Fast Track and TPP. Let’s rock with the Tea Party! Any port in a storm. Plus the genuine TP element — and there is one, IMO — despises corporatism as much as genuine progressives do. I told Sargent years ago that this is exactly where we would be in Obama’s second term: defending ourselves against TPP. These enablers of the hypocritical, backstabbing Democratic politicians like Obama and the Clintons bear much of the blame for what is happening.

        On the bright side, I’ll be seeing Bill Kreutzmann in NOLA this weekend.

      2. hunkerdown

        It sounds enough like “right to work” that the base might not hear the distinction over the 400 horses they’re driving.

  2. grayslady

    I wouldn’t count too much on the accuracy of that PDA map for TPP positions. In Illinois, it still lists Brad Schneider as representing Illinois’ 10th District. He was defeated last November by Bob Dold. When I called my reps (last week, I think), Durbin was still opposed, Kirk was “still deciding” and the person who answered my rep’s phone didn’t even know what the TPP was. Best to call and find out your representatives’ views than rely on the aforementioned map. It seems to be outdated.

      1. grayslady

        This is reason number 325 why Democrats lose elections. Three hundred twenty-three reasons have to do with running candidates who are more than happy to betray every principle the party ever stood for back in the mid-20th century. The 324th reason is that those who still support Democrats still haven’t figured out that they’ve been betrayed.

    1. DJG

      Moderate Mark Kirk, “still deciding”? He’s hiding, as always. I sent him a letter through the post office, although I forgot to mention the role of the Congress in ruining that great institution.

    2. cwaltz

      Yeah I called my Congresscritters on the issue. One for(Warner, no surprise) One against- (Kaine) and One still studying the issue- (Griffith- a TP who I ideologically disagree with on many issues who has occasionally voted well.)

  3. jrs

    “[W]e often don’t know who the winners and losers are from any particular trade deal — this is why you can’t buy insurance against the possibility of losing your job to a trade agreement”

    actually this makes no sense. If we really had no idea who the winners and losers would be, wouldn’t that be the kind of market in which insurance would work? If everyone was more or less equally at risk AND the risk were manageable, it seems an insurable risk (a text book case for insurance in fact).

    Of course if the prediction is enough people will lose their job to bankrupt the insurance policy then …. or if we actually do kind of know who the winners and losers will be (hint: this may break on wealth level).

    1. jrs

      As for the Bloomberg article itself, yea it’s Ricardo and not Smith, but that’s just reading “the worldly philosophers”, not an economic PhD talking.

      And it may be a waste of time to even debate corporate dictatorship such as the TPP, as if it was mostly a debate about “trade”. And why must it be so secretive? Is there some kind of economic case for secrecy? Open markets and closed lawmaking?

      But let’s say the economists theories are all pretty and wonderful (I do find them pretty mathematically, but the empirical matters), why THIS FORM of trade? Why is it impossible to include say environmental and labor protections in trade deals? I mean REAL environmental and labor protections. Let’s assume for the sake of argument we accept comparative advantage, would environmental and labor protections really violate the economic model of comparative advantage or would they merely place reasonable constraints on what can not be done to achieve comparative advantage? Would they be enforceable? If one wants to argue that they are not enforceable, wouldn’t this very allowing anything to be done to achieve comparative advantage kind of not of course invalidate it as a theory, but make it questionable as the highest good?

      How under existing trade do we otherwise prevent the race to the bottom? Isn’t a race to the bottom as the inevitable result of the trade we have now, at least as valid mathematically (game theory-ish as it may be) as Ricardo?

    2. fresno dan

      We know very well that those who are rich …and powerful (but I repeat myself) benefit.
      Its like the border….we can’t figure out how to keep Mexican labors out, but we sure as hell know how to keep Indian doctors out…

  4. fresno dan

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2015/04/deconstructing-and-debunking-shadowstats.html

    “An interesting article came my way today courtesy of a friend “BC”. The article is Deconstructing ShadowStats. Why is it so Loved by its Followers but Scorned by Economists? by Ed Dolan.

    Mish readers likely know that I believe inflation to be understated, and that I also believe Williams’ ShadowStats is wildly on the high side. For example, please consider GDP, Real GDP, and Shadowstats “Theater of the Absurd” GDP.”

    ====================================================================
    Pretty much my view. The fact that inflation may be slightly higher than measured doesn’t mean the reason it is off is an actual conspiracy. I would say the normal sucking up to the boss, and the pressure to keep the GDP deflator showing more growth accounts for it.
    Plus my own view that qualitative aspects of life aren’t pondered by economists. You have to have lived, like me, when dinosaurs ruled the earth, and have eaten a prehistoric tomato to know what a real tomato tastes like. People eat these round red globes that buy at grocery stores….and think they’re eating a tomato. Its like the Matrix…

    1. Stephanie

      On the subject of tuna prices: It’s possible I missed it (busy day), but I don’t see sizes listed in the chart. I assume that stealth inflation math is built in to the comparison? I have somewhat fond memories of my Accounting 100 professor’s famous “Tuna Rant” in which she complained that her fave tuna hot dish recipe which once required only one can of tuna now required four. This was in 1997; not sure how many cans of tuna she’d have to buy now.

    2. frosty zoom

      in the markets of méxico you can still get some funky, really old varieties of tomatoes such as cuatomates and even wild tomatl.

  5. Clive

    Yes, the Japanese language press has been steadily lowering expectations for Prime Minister Abe’s visit for at least a week now. As usual, English language media is only just catching up and then only because it coincides with other stories which it is interested in covering. Comparing the Japanese press to your typical U.S. or European news outlets, it’s not the Japanese who are insular. But that’s another topic for another day.

    While the good people of America shouldn’t rely on the Japanese to save themselves from the TPP, the fact remains that it faces significant opposition in Japan. If Obama and USTR Froman acknowledge the realpolitik and make suitable concessions to construct a TPP deal which is even vaguely tolerable to Japan, a treaty is certainly a possibility. Fortunately (?) history shows — a good example is the ACA — that Obama’s instinct is to put whack-a-doodle economic theories and ideologies ahead of how the world really works. He got away with this domestically, but where other nation states are concerned, reality distortion spheres tend to have a much more limited range.

  6. Ulysses

    From John Angelos, VP of the Orioles:

    “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, an ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importance 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 ball game irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.”

    Pretty strong language from someone in the same milieu as G.W. Bush!

    1. montanamaven

      Jack Rabbit said that his family are big Democratic Party supporters. He sounds like a budding libertarian.

    2. Jess

      Don’t want to leap without looking, but first impression is: If Warren won’t run, will Angelos?

    3. neo-realist

      I heard Amy Goodman read that quote this morning. He’s the son of the owner. Maybe the owner frolics with W, but the son is a bit of a rebel?

      He could be a bit of a plain democrat rather than a libertarian–most if not all libertarians couldn’t give two sh*ts about displaced working people, nor police state violence against poor people.

      1. different clue

        Most libertarians would support displacing working people and private police contractor violence against poor people . . . if there were a profit in it.

  7. DJG

    “Ultimately, this isn’t complicated. America can either embrace economic reality or accept economic decline.” Obama and his absurd choices. First, we could embrace the economic reality of being looted by the banks or accept that the banks loot the U.S. So he chose both. Then, there was embracing the economic reality of destroying Social Security and other programs that benefit the citizenry (like the post office and the FDA) or accepting that underfunding and deliberate mismanagement would do the job for him. So he chose both. So now he’s delivering the message that the economic reality is economic decline? Yep, it isn’t complicated, and it sure isn’t eleven-dimensional chess.

    1. OIFVet

      it sure isn’t eleven-dimensional chess.

      Nah, it’s eleven hundred dimensional chess according to the Obots from the “progressive” talk radio. Tuned in last week to gauge the mood. Apparently, Obama is stumping for the TPP because he is against it. By supporting it, he forces the vile, people hating republicans to vote against fast track and the TPP itself, thus killing it. ‘Cause we all know that if Obama’s for something then the republicans are against it. Obama the reverse psychologist in chief, that’s the talking point. I am beginning to think that Obotlandia is one giant Rube Goldberg world…

      1. different clue

        Really? Really? There are obots in the field who are saying that on radio call in shows? Really?

    1. JeffC

      Nothing in Science Daily has depth. They publish short rah-rah summaries of studies with absolutely no discrimination as to quality or significance, as far as I can tell. Their pieces appear to be written by modestly educated science fans rather than by scientists competent to sort the wheat from the chaff. (Fee for this: $0.02)

  8. edmondo

    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.

    — Orioles Executive Vice President John Angelos

    Is there any chance someone can talk this guy into running for president?

    1. jrs

      Oh he’s not dishonest enough to be president, in sports they sometimes throw you out for conflicts of interest and corruption (see Pete Rose). In politics cashing out on being a politician despite the conflict of interest is expected. drumroll and cha ching please

  9. Oregoncharles

    “Handy map of Congressional TPP support” – complete fail on Oregon. I suspect the rest is just as unreliable.

    I thought PDA, a contradiction in terms, had long since expired. If this map is any indication, maybe they have.

    (Yeah, I’m a little hostile about it.)

    1. edmondo

      Will the Clinton Foundation be financing his run? God knows, they sure as hell don’t spend any of those millions on charitable causes!

  10. Chris in Paris

    The Clash song seems appropriate to both the class war story and Baltimore. Sadly.

    Great song though. Thanks Lambert.

    1. jrs

      Money is power at the highest levels of money

      levels of money based on income (higher levels include all lower levels):

      – money as survival
      – money as pleasure (consumerism, baubles and bling)
      – money as economic security and freedom from worry about finances
      – money as leisure (idle rich)
      – money as POWER, as brutal and often dictatorial power over others, over the way the world works, etc.
      Most people see the rich as just using money at the lower levels that they think about. So what’s the real harm if the rich have a few more yachts than us who don’t have any (money as pleasure)? What are you just jealous of their yachts? But in fact at the level of squillionares money is power and it definitely corrupts.

    1. subgenius

      Joe Bageant….miss that guy….

      Where (who?) is the replacement?? Our ‘culture’ is needing a wuppin’

  11. Lee

    Baltimore is a vivid example of the limitations of identity politics. Merely changing the hood ornament does not fundamentally alter the nature of the machine.

    1. different clue

      Identity politics is real. It isn’t going anywhere, let alone away. Can it be weaponized for use in this battle against ObamaTrade Agreements?

        1. different clue

          I don’t remember that quote or its context.

          That said, a major weakness of liberals is that they would rather lose clean than win dirty. Is Obamatrade really worth stopping? Really? Really? If you really think defeating Obamatrade is good for our survival, would you be willing to support a weaponized interpretation of Obamatrade which would rouse Rush Limbaugh’s audience and Glen Beck’s audience and Sarah Palin’s fan clubs to write their Republican officeholders against Obamatrade? If you aren’t willing to support that (should it be possible), then can you really say you care all that much about defeating Obamatrade?

          Or am I mis-guessing the reason you offered this LOTR quote?

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            It’s also possible to lose dirty. That’s what I’m saying.*

            And as I’ve consistently stated, the sovereignty argument is one that should appeal to left and right, in particular food sovereignty.

            * The context is Isildur, who picked up the One Ring, for its power to do good…

  12. TulsaTime

    I wonder how much of the candidates raised money goes right back to the benefactors that are media owners?

  13. down2long

    Listening to the Santa Monica City Council meeting tonight. It looks like AirBnB is going to be shut out – unless the “sharers” pay hotel taxes, business license, etc. References to “Sharing” economy ad nauseum. As a housing provider who has tenants who re-rent my units at exhorbitant rents, and then have the chutzpah to call me to do repairs (while they enjoy the protections of 3% anual rent control rent increases) this cannot happen son enough. Of course, if someone gets hurt, they’re coming after me and my insurance company.

    When a tenant who I am providing housing for, with a great deal of city, state, and federal regulations, rent control, the fact that I cannot even buy them out to live in my own unit sublets my unit – I see no difference between a rent controlled tenant making a fortune off of my property and hard work – and Jamie Dimon making a fortune leveraging T-Bonds with free Fed Bonds. Both are Rentiers. A rentier is a rentier. At least one is not hiding under the “sharing” rubric.

    Voted unanimously tonight. Clarification from the City Council that Tenants with existing leases are prohibited from sub-letting their units, if their lease prohibits sublet – as most dol.

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