2:00PM Water Cooler 4/6/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Clinton launch: “[A]ides have been instructed to be ready from Monday forward” [CNN].

Gary Hart: “If you’ve got to have a billion dollars to run for president, how many people can do that? Only the Clintons and the Bushes and one or two others” [Politico]. That’s not a bug…

Biden to visit secretive network of gay donors [Bloomberg]. “[I]f Clinton should get beamed up by an alien spacecraft or is otherwise incapacitated,” Biden will need the dough.


Jebbie “made over $2 million from a hospital conglomerate that supports Obamacare and stands in the way of badly needed conservative health-care reforms” [National Review]. Let the oppo begin!

Jebbie listed himself as ‘Hispanic’ on voter form [New York Times]. More oppo. Pretty ironic that he didn’t list himself as ‘Black’; if he had, he could have been purged from the voter rolls when the Republicans were trying to steal Florida 2000.

Principled Insurgents

“Since at least 2013, [Rand Paul’s] office has collaborated with black leaders in Kentucky on voter restoration and economic development” [that Dave Weigel, Bloomberg]. Interesting, but the rest of the article is a hatchet job.

“[Paul] consistently outperforms other Republicans when polled head-to-head against Clinton. A Quinnipiac University survey released this week found that Paul was the top Republican challenger to Clinton in Pennsylvania and Ohio, two battleground states that will be crucial in the 2016 race” [The Hill].

Bibi and Iran “are creating a rift in the durable alliance between Jews and the Democratic Party in the run-up to the 2016 elections” [Wall Street Journal]. Not so much Bibi as the Americans who financed 90% of Bibi’s re-election campaign, and especially the three squillionaires who financed half of it.

“In the experiment, a political organization attempted to schedule meetings between 191 congressional offices and the organization’s members in their districts who were campaign donors. However, the organization randomly assigned whether it revealed to congressional offices that prospective attendees had contributed to campaigns. When informed prospective attendees were political donors, senior policy makers made themselves available between three and four times more often” [American Journal of Political Science]. tldr; money talks.

Stats Watch

“Total U.S. rail traffic for the week ending March 28 was 563,280 carloads and intermodal units, down 0.7 percent compared with the same week a year ago” [Progressive Railroading].

PMI Services Index, March 2015: “[C]onditions look very solid with the PMI services index jumping” [Bloomberg]. “[T]oday’s report is very strong and points to economic momentum going into the second quarter.”

ISM Non-Mfg Index, March 2015: “Strength in new orders, at 57.8, is a key plus” as is “breadth of strength is especially encouraging with 14 of 18 industries reporting composite growth” [Bloomberg].

Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure, March 2015: “The $4 increase in March is consistent with the slight increases seen in March of every year since 2010 with the exception of last year” [Bloomberg].

Health Care

“I don’t want to die because of money. That’s stupid. Nobody should have to do that” [CNN]. Well, no. Under Rule #2 of neo-liberalism, that’s exactly what you should do. Heartwarming story, otherwise.

Excellent reporting on King v. Burwell [Sam Stein, HuffPo]. On the topic of whether governors understood that if they did not set up exchanges, they would get no subsidies:

Over the past year, The Huffington Post has filed public record requests with multiple states and the Department of Health and Human Services to see if there was ever any discussion among federal and state officials about this very topic.

HuffPost examined results from within a specific time frame — after the passage of Obamacare and before August 2011, when the IRS issued its public ruling that subsidies should be universal — and focused on states that chose not to set up an exchange [plus] Oklahoma.

Among all the emails, letters and press releases reviewed, there was not a single instance of an administration official warning that if states decided not to run their own health care exchanges, their citizens would not be eligible for the tax credit subsidies. Nor was there a single instance of a state official recognizing or anticipating such consequences. As states faced the choice of establishing their own exchange, creating a hybrid exchange with the federal government, or letting the federal government have full control, no one appeared to be discussing what plaintiffs now say is the most consequential financial element of the whole arrangement. Only when the issue began percolating on conservative news outlets, and had life breathed into it from conservative think tanks, did officials start to notice.

To be clear, just because HuffPost couldn’t find evidence of any discussion on the topic doesn’t prove those discussions never took place. Public-record caches aren’t always comprehensive, and there are states whose public records we did not examine. Moreover, there is evidence — slim, but still there — to suggest that officials did imagine subsidies being used as an incentive. The most famous example is a set of since-disavowed comments from former HHS adviser Jonathan Gruber that came well after the IRS ruling.

But if the subsidies were, in fact, structured in a coercive way, then the lack of warning from the federal government makes little sense, and the lack of any debate or apparent distress among state officials is truly remarkable.

Call me crazy, but I don’t trust the they-said/they-said in the Beltway on this topic at all; not our elected officials, not the analysts. But Stein’s work seems dispositive to me. So, if your baseline for sanity is that a Republican Supreme Court upholds RomneyCare, fear not! Or not.


Last campaign events today; voting day tomorrow; 142,300 voters cast early ballots, a record high [NBC]. Interestingly, the Garcia campaign pushed for early ballots.

“It is that lack of a detailed Garcia plan that Emanuel hammers away at in TV and radio ads, mailers and in debates. And polls show it appears to be effective” [NPR].

“At their final debate, held on Tuesday, March 31, Emanuel pulled out the Jewish card by characterizing Garcia as ‘Hanukkah Harry’ for offering a list of expensive proposals without explaining how he would find the necessary revenue. ‘Such a deal!’ Emanuel blurted out” [Haaretz].

“The Chicago Police Department has spent millions on high-tech spying equipment, including cell-phone tracking technology, but is extremely secretive about its use” [In These Times]. A bit diffuse to be an explainer, but good background. If only there were some sort of nationwide movement that raised the issue of how how law enforcement has become a profit center, especially in black neighborhoods…

“Several prominent union groups, including the Chicago Federation of Labor and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, have stayed neutral. And the election led to a split among Service Employees International Union groups” [New York Times].’


“[Brown’s] order doesn’t include the agriculture industry, which accounts for roughly 80% of all human water use, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan think tank. Mr. Brown defended that decision, saying to do so would undercut farmers’ role in feeding the country” [Wall Street Journal, “California Gov. Brown Defends Scope of Water Restrictions”].

“[G]roundwater in most of the [California] has been a resource anyone could grab. Yet putting strict limits in place is expected to take years” [New York Times].

Class Warfare

“Slow, steady and responsible growth over eight years may not be rewarded by voters if there’s a downturn in the summer of 2016” [Salon]. Credit: “Salon staff.” And it’s not hard to see why nobody would want to put their name on tripe like this. I love “slow, steady and responsible” — it’s got that new focus-group smell — but can’t the DNC propagate its own talking points without using a straw?

Gallup: “Half of all U.S. employees have at some point in their career quit their jobs to get away from their boss” [Bloomberg]. “Just 35 percent of U.S. managers said they felt engaged on the job. Fifty-one percent said they weren’t engaged, and 14 percent confessed that they actively tune out at work.” Which speaks well of managers, actually.

“Two former staff members who worked at Success Academy Harlem West, a middle school, in the 2013-14 school year, said that they recalled having to go to the supply closet to get extra underwear and sweatpants, which were always on hand, for students who had wet themselves” [New York Times]. Awesome. Excellent preparation for the workplace of tomorrow!

Inside the Foxconn plant where Apple products are made [Recode]. “For workers who suffer from clinical depression, Foxconn offers mental health counseling and a 24-hour hotline at its care center.” 1000 calls a day; 7 counsellors.

Police State

“Cop ‘can’t remember’ climbing on car hood and firing last 15 shots of 137-bullet barrage that killed unarmed couple (even though his footprints were found and his colleague says they talked about it)” [Daily Mail]. This being the Daily Mail, yes, that’s the headline.

Law enforcement for profit again, as CPFB puts an end to a hedge-fund backed scheme where debt collectors paid local DAs to use their letterhead [Philadelphia Inquirer].

News of the Wired

  • A Manhattan Supreme Court Justice recently ruled that a woman could serve her husband divorce paperwork using a private message through Facebook [New York Daily News].
  • Mikey Dickerson: “The Social Security Administration mails checks from a mainframe running COBOL, which might kind of be OK except that more than half of the workforce that maintains it is at or near retirement age. What happens then?” [Medium]. Train people in Cobol, why not? Kidding! I meant rewrite it in JavaScript [rimshot. laughter].
  • “The core attitude underlying “Agile” and [Never Invent It Here] is that anything that takes more than some insultingly small amount of time (say, 2 weeks) to build should not be trusted to in-house employees” [Michael O. Church].
  • Medium has four branded-content partnerships under its belt, including one with Marriott, and wants to do more of them [Digiday].
  • China’s last steam trains shutting down [Al Jazeera]. Awwww! I know coal is wrong, but I’m still a fan….
  • “A Beginner’s Guide to the Secret Language of Airport Runways” [Gizmodo].
  • “CDC researchers found that the relationship between income and sleep is linear and positive” [WaPo]. The very reverse of “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” Odd?

* * *

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 “I Wish It Were Spring!” week four:


A cheerful sight!

Does anybody have any gardening photos yet? Too early?

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. Llewelyn Moss

      Gore picked Joe “Any war will do” Lieberman as VP running mate. That’s my final answer.

      1. craazyboy

        I have a vague recollection of a reporter asking Bush who he thought was his greatest election threat from the Dems. He said, “Lieberman – he really knows his stuff.”

        This complement came from a guy that had Cheney as a running mate.

        Also, the Saddam removal/Iraq invasion was a neocon plan way before 911. They just decided to pin the tail on Saddam, then proceed with the plan as they originally intended.

        Not to say Gore may not have found a different ME problem to fret about.

      2. different clue

        A President Gore would not have denialized the Global Warmocaust already under way by 2000.
        President Gore would not have stood down all our counter-terrorist security deliberately and on purpose in order to facilitate the 9/11 attacks the way the CheneyBush Administration did. So there were two differences right there.

    2. Lambert Strether

      In retrospect, perhaps less than one might think. After all, that whole shrinking government thing was privatization.

      However, it’s still wrong to try and steal elections. It’s amazing to me, or not, that the whole disgraceful episode isn’t hung round Jebbie’s neck like the stinking albatross it is whenever he appears in public. Makes him as bad as W, in my book.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            But, but, but Ralph Nader, hard environment for incumbents, voters are just lazy!

    3. optimader

      If in the Gore is POTUS Parallel Universe, 9/11 had occurred I think Gore would have had a very different response and this would be a very different country.
      I have a had time contemplating that Gore could possibly have responded in an equally inexplicable and mindless manner with such toxic results on oh so many levels.

      The thing is w/ an aholes like Lieberman, the easiest way to keep their whining pieholes shut is to keep them close– what better job for that than one that has one official duty? In the extraordinary event that Joe L was actually called on to replace Gore, he would not have to worry about it because he’d be dead/incapacitated.

        1. optimader

          Im hardly interested in advocating for Al Gore, but you should offer a link on that.

                  1. optimader

                    I have absolutely no fkn idea what Kerry may or may not have done. I’m pretty sure Kerry also had no fkn idea what he would do either, which in retrospect might actually have been his only hidden merit. A hidden merit, when considering GWB who was quite enthusiastic about making decisions when he also had no fkn idea but didnt have sense enough to realize it.

                    1. optimader

                      There is a concept, in Cipolla’s theory, that I have adopted as a method in some of my analyses. It’s defined in his “Third (and Golden) Law” –
                      «A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly
                      incurring losses.» 6


              1. frosty zoom

                GORE: Well, when I got to be a part of the current administration, it was right after — I was one of the few members of my political party to support former President Bush in the Persian Gulf War resolution, and at the end of that war, for whatever reason, it was not finished in a way that removed Saddam Hussein from power. I know there are all kinds of circumstances and explanations. But the fact is that that’s the situation that was left when I got there. And we have maintained the sanctions. Now I want to go further.


                1. optimader

                  that link does not support your claim and is incomplete.
                  “…Now I want to go further. I want to give robust support to the groups that are trying to overthrow Saddam Hussein,”

                  Following is a more complete and topical quote explicitly capturing Gore’s thoughts on the matter when GWB was doing his patriotic pandering for support of his War of deflection rather than embarrassing the House of Saud.
                  I basically agree with the sensibilities Gore’s expressed at this time, which were fairly unpopular.
                  Updated 9/24/2002 3:56 AM
                  Gore blasts Bush on Iraq war
                  By Susan Page and Richard Benedetto, USA TODAY

                  SAN FRANCISCO — Former vice president Al Gore on Monday outlined a sweeping indictment of President Bush’s threatened attack on Iraq, calling it a distraction from the war on terrorism that has “squandered” international support for the United States.
                  Gore, who lost the 2000 election to Bush, took a tougher stance toward the White House on Iraq than other leading Democrats, who have been leery of challenging the president. Congress is expected to vote in short order on a resolution authorizing action.

                  But in a speech before the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Gore implied that Bush had turned to Baghdad because Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein may be easier to find than fugitive al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. (Related story: Text of Gore speech)

                  “The vast majority of those who sponsored, planned and implemented the cold-blooded murder of more than 3,000 Americans are still at large, still neither located nor apprehended, much less punished and neutralized,” Gore said. “I do not believe that we should allow ourselves to be distracted from this urgent task simply because it is proving to be more difficult and lengthy than predicted.”

                  1. frosty zoom

                    one is said when he wants to be president.

                    the other is said after he was unchosen.

                    it’s all speculation, but every other democratic [sic] president has been rather ready to blow people up.

                    me personally, if i see my boss is a murderer, i quit. he tried to get the guy’s job.

                  2. Lambert Strether Post author

                    “neutralized.” Gee, what could Gore have meant by that?

                    And I’ve got to say, a guy who panders for war in 2000, and then semi-opposes the war when it’s not his…. I’m not sure that the outcome would have been that different. Perhaps the crazypants stuff with the Coalition Provisional Authority would have been avoided. Perhaps Gore would have been smart enough to buy Saddam’s generals, instead of throwing them out of work. But remember, much of the damage and theivery was done by contractors, who would have been there under any administration (and were part of the whole streamlining government inititative that Gore championed, IIRC).

                    So, I think Iraq and Afghanistan would have become a bloody cesspit of pain and fear under either administration, although tactics might have differed.

                  3. frosty zoom

                    ““…Now I want to go further. I want to give robust support to the groups that are trying to overthrow Saddam Hussein,”

                    uh, like “moderate” rebels?


      1. different clue

        More to the point, a Gore administration would have tried to prevent such things as 9/ll, rather than trying (and succeeding) in facilitating their coming about the way the CheneyBush Administration did.

  1. hunkerdown

    Never Invent Here. That’s a very interesting way of looking at Agile. Then again, why are we looking at invention as something that ought to be concentrated in workplaces, rather than garages? Not sufficiently accountable to multinational investors or something?

    1. Synoia

      Don’t understand your comment.

      All software development projects are research. If they were not one would just install an existing commercial package.

      Research is neither predictable nor schedulable. Software development practices might be engineering (this I doubt), but the projects are not.

      1. Steve

        Software development is engineering. Just because it is engineering does not make it schedulable!

        Science is about theories and proving or disproving them, on paper or via experiment.
        Engineering is about implementation and products.

        1. jgordon

          It’s always been bizarre to me whenever people make this fundamental error in thinking. Science has not proven a single thing in its entire history as a investigative tool, although it has managed to falsify a number of ideas. An understanding of that differentiates those who approach science from a closet religious standpoint from those who approach science rationally, cognizant of its foibles and limits.

          1. ambrit

            I’ve heard of the “Theory of Limits,” but not this “Theory of Foibles” you mention. Are foibles disproven by analogy? As in, “When one constructs an Imaginary Cosmos (IC), it is factored through a set of Personality Parameters (PP), that set the limits of the Field of Action (FA.) Thus, IC : PP -> FA.
            I’m assuming, of course, that the mediating morphism is YOU (u).
            I could go on, but I’m getting a headache.

  2. NotTimothyGeithner

    It’s likely for the best that Hillary start her campaign sooner than later. She can’t “rebrand” herself at this point and can only be exposed as the pig she is.

  3. kokuanani

    Pretty ironic that [Jebbie] didn’t [identify] himself as ‘Black’; if he had, he could have been purged from the voter rolls when the Republicans were trying to steal Florida 2000.

    Bahaha. This is classic.

  4. NotTimothyGeithner

    Why does Joe Biden think he can run for President? He is a dope with an abysmal record. I suppose I answered my own question, but Joe will be dismissed by primary and caucus voters. He couldn’t make headway in NH and Iowa in 2007/8.

    1. RUKidding

      Agree that Biden is a dope but not totally stupid. Biden has made sure that he & his sons get to hoover up as much ca$h in various ways as possible. I believe it’s Hunter who is doing some sweetheart deals in Ukraine.

      If I had to speculate, my guess is that Biden, like all the rest of those “interested” in allegedly “running” for POTUS, is just doing it for the money he can hoover up. Somehow a lot of that money seems to make it into the pockets of those “running” for POTUS, whether they actually do run or not. It’s all a gravy train, isn’t it?

      1. Vince in MN

        Plus burnishing their cred for the inevitable K-Street/think tank type gigs and bloated lecture circuit fees that come later. In Cruz’s case you can add a regular Faux News spot of course.

  5. Rosario

    I’m troubled by how untroubled the rest of the country seems to be WRT California’s lack of water. Is there just a great deal of finger crossing going on, or is there some team of experts working on the problem that no one knows about? Over 25 million people in the worst affected areas and even with cutting agriculture out of the equation (something that won’t happen until everything has gone to hell) they would simply be buying time. This problem has been a long time coming (check out Cadillac Desert or Western Times and Water Wars). The options available: i) desalinization plants (requiring massive levels of government intervention/spending and energy usage, a high order even for California), ii) more irrigation/diversion (the motivated in California are still tossing around piping in Great Lakes water and there isn’t much water in their neighborhood), iii) conservation (good luck, what Californian politician would publicly acknowledge the state must shrink its economy).

    1. RUKIdding

      I agree. It both baffles and frightens me, and I happen to live here.

      It’s like no one gives a sh*t and somehow thinks it’s all going to be taken care of by Big Daddy somehow and/or it’s just another “Liberal Hoax.”

      My understanding is that there is a desal plant being built on the Central Coast near Cambria, which has some controversy around it. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/01/03/central-coast-town-rushes-development-desalination-project-in-response-to-drought-emergency-declaration/
      That said, I think it takes a while for these plants to be built and become operational.

      There is another, bigger desal plant in San Diego county: http://carlsbaddesal.com/
      It took quite a few years for the permitting process to go through. This is still being built; unsure when it comes online and how much it can contribute to solving the water crisis.

      Gov Brown has once again disappointed in his rather pussy-footed approach to dealing with the water crisis. Sorry to say but I wonder who’s whispering in his ear, and it’s baffling as to what he expects to happen. Gov Brown does live in Sacramento, and there’s no end to the reporting about the water crisis here and the affect it is having in various ways.

      Of course, we then have “D” Mayor of Sacramento NBA “star” Kevin Johnson who sold Sacramento’s precious water for pennies on the dollar (literally) to Nestle. So I guess we proles are now expected to just buy our water from dreaded and dreadful Nestle.
      Even the Drudge report, of all things, commented negatively about this very stupid deal “negotiated” by our brain-dead Mayor. Go figure.

        1. RUKidding



          Avaricious “Democratic” Mayor Kevin Johnson, I’m sure, made sure he got his cut. His “selling” point, of course, was jawbs jawbs jawbs, but I don’t think the plant has that many slaves, uh, staff.

          Some good activists have managed to shut down the plant once or twice. Of course, we then get sternly worded letters to the editor about how “terrible” it is that these “agitators” are closing down a “fine business” that provides fabulous jawbs for the slaves, uh, proles.

          Nestle lives up to its usual reputation. I recall when they dumped crappy, outdated baby formula on third world countries. Now they’ve rushed in to take control of parts of the USA’s water supply… well we are a third world country anymore, aren’t we? This must be the proof.

          1. jrs

            I don’t know that the baby powder was crappy so much as it was mixed with water that was contaminated (it was the 3rd world). Thus babies that would have lived if breastfed, died instead on water with pathogens beyond their infant immune capacity. But Nestle kept selling the powder and timed it so mothers would stop lactating.

        2. Lee

          It would be great if in your abundant free time you could tackle what I deem a conundrum presented by the fact that Ag represents 98% of the CA economy produces so very many dollars than Ag, we can neither eat nor drink what they produce. It seems to me that food and water are more fundamental to the general, not to mention my personal, welfare and to social stability than are iphones and movies. But maybe that’s just me.

          Perhaps the best thing I’ve read on the topic may be found here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/04/06/1375869/-SOME-MORE-FACTS-ABOUT-CALIFORNIA-WATER.

          1. Lee

            OOPS! Ag is <2% of CA GSP.

            I don't know what happened but my above post seems to have become garbled, whether in my brain or by some other means, I am uncertain. I hope you got the gist: that our dollar metrics, the hierarchy of human needs and physical reality are to an astounding degree at odds in this instance.

          2. Lee

            My comment above got butchered in transmission. I hope you are able to discern the gist of the author’s intent, which is that CA AG less than 2% of CA GSP and so on.

      1. Ian

        We too in BC, Canada have sold our water for a criminally low amount too Nestle. i am boycotting as many of their products as I can, but that don’t mean much.

      2. steelhead23

        Does the name Pat Wood sound familiar? Mr. Wood, as chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, allowed power marketers to skewer Californians for about $9 billion back in 2001 in the hopes that the hopelessly gamed electricity market would work its magic and ensure access to electricity. His was a faith built not on experience, but on ideology. Similarly, there will be plenty of water in California this year. While agriculturists may pay a few bucks for every acre-foot of water they use thanks to federal largesse and those big dams, they will gladly sell it to the cities for a fair price. In the grainy vernacular of our armed services: BOHICA.

      3. Elizabeth

        I’m disgusted with Brown. There are at least three major issues which he won’t address that are exacerbating our drought. Fracking (he never discusses it), unlimited development statewide, and big ag – crops that take tons of water to produce and which are exported (i.e., cotton and almonds). Groundwater pumping by Nestle is also never mentioned by the PTB. Brown said over the weekend that he can’t dictate to farmers which crops to grow (really?)? Why not – we’re out of water. Jerry Brown is a big fraud.

    2. neo-realist

      Much of the country probably believes the feds will come through with some massive aid package to ensure that Californians won’t dehydrate. And I think they also presume the massive construction of desalinization plants, as energy and money intensive as they are, will probably occur. Helping to relocate Californians to water rich areas (the new boat people?) would be a much greater headache and expense.

        1. RUKidding

          My only real regret when my marriage ended was that my spouse had Canadian citizenship. Not joking. Saw it as a life raft/line. Oh well, easy come, easy go…

        2. Ian

          Your guy’s Government Neo-liberals have already infiltrated and control both our Conservative and Liberal counterparts that are on their way to being the next Government of Canada.

        3. craazyboy

          I used to think we’d invade Canada for the tar sands – but now water too??? Eh now, lets go!

          Plus the professional left can move to Montreal. They speak French there!!!!

        4. ambrit

          It was tried in both the American Revolutionary War, (1775-1783) and the War of Trade (1812-1815.) It was a miserable failure both times. Let us not forget those stalwart insurgents of the Patriots War (1837-1838.) See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_War
          I have a better idea. Let us ‘promote’ the idea that those Evil Russians are hungrily eyeing the gold fields around Hudsons Bay. Then we ‘discover’ Russian advisors and weapons in Quebec. Finally, we get the Ottawa Government to ask for assistance to defend Canada from Francophone Rebels. Ta daa! Regime change!

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      The answer is Diane Feinstein. The national California leaders are dopes. They arent fighting or articulating the problem. If the California types dont care, no one else will. Feinstein and her ilk burnt bridges over the years with actual progressives. Prpgressives are fighting Feinstein on numerous issues already.

      1. RUKidding

        DiFi could give a shit if CA burns to the ground. DiFi made sure that she & her robber baron husband got THEIRS – and HOW – so Eff Ca, which has only ever been a ca$h cow to Suck Up to the Security State, Burn Down the USPO DiFi. Anyone who thinks DiFi is even remotely “liberal” either needs their head examined or should stop watching Fox/CNN/MSNBC/etc.

        1. jo6pac

          I agree but you left one out the UC system in Calli has been under attack for years and is just a basket case now after di-fi hubby got done with it. Then install mother land security to run an education system. WOW spy on your neighbor 101.

    4. DJG

      Reminds me of the general lack of concern among the U.S. populace with human-induced climate change. Will anything be done? No. Not while there are still assets to steal. This is how the world ends, not with a bang but with a whimper.

      1. jrs

        What can they do about climate change? Refuse (stuff), reduce, reuse and recycle. And since the U.S. is the biggest consumer market on the planet, maybe collectively it matters. But beyond that? Change a few local laws? We live in a dictatorship of wealth. You can throw away your life challenging that dictatorship, but mostly would probably not choose to. Death or at least suffering from climate change. Beatings and imprisonment with the potential of torture and death for resisting.

    5. NOTaREALmerican

      There’s plenty of water. Just not enough for all the smart-n-savvy people to get rich on. 80% of the water is used for Ag. As the state drys up, that percentage will drop.

      You’ll know there’s a real water shortage when the real-estate developments stop. We’re a long long LONG way from that.

      1. RUKidding

        I wouldn’t place bets that we’re a “long way” from continuing ridiculous RE development in CA. I get it that those greedy bastards will push it for all it’s worth, but truly the end is nigh and is pretty visible. Unless we get some real rain next year, I don’t see how things can continue on the current pathway.

        Of course, whadda I know? I just look at rivers, lakes, streams, reservoirs and stuff.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I’d like to know how much CO2 is soaked up in producing carbohydrates and how much oxygen is released from breaking up H20 in photosynthesis by lawns.

          “Please, don’t kill us lawns. Blame some on them swimming pools filled with treated water.”

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Enough money.

        Enough food.

        Enough water.

        Greed produces shortage problems.

    6. different clue

      It has been noted before that the people of Great Lakestan will deny and obstruct any plans to divert water from the Great Lakes basin to areas alien to the basin.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Apparently so! I thought you mean Throne of Blood:

      But let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer,
      Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep
      In the affliction of these terrible dreams
      That shake us nightly. Better be with the dead,
      Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
      Than on the torture of the mind to lie
      In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave.
      After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well.

      1. ambrit

        He could mean the section in “Dreams” about all the dead soldiers marching out of the tunnel.

  6. PQS

    Re: Hating your Boss and leaving your job:
    I chuckled when I read in the article:
    “Obviously, organizations can’t just change out all their managers in the short term, but they can control who they name [as manager] next, based on their natural talent to motivate others and engage workers”

    How about controlling for nepotism, sociopathy, and general insanity first? Then we can move onto pluses like “natural talent.”

    This has been a hard won lesson for me, but I tell everyone who will listen, particularly younger workers:
    If you don’t like the management where you work, find another opportunity. Because the people who hired YOUR BOSS obviously like it that way. They will never, ever change, unless they all get canned, too. WYSIWYG.

    1. neo-realist

      This has been a hard won lesson for me, but I tell everyone who will listen, particularly younger workers:
      If you don’t like the management where you work, find another opportunity. Because the people who hired YOUR BOSS obviously like it that way. They will never, ever change, unless they all get canned, too. WYSIWYG.

      Certainly for younger workers, but for older workers that employers generally want nothing to do with, a much more difficult task. That being said, easier said than done in an economy creating mostly crap jobs. The devil you know w/ health insurance may be better for some than no health insurance at all.

      1. PQS

        Agreed. My point is to not waste a lot of good working life waiting or hoping for things to change in an organization. People are way too patient in that regard, and organizations change, if at all, very very slowly.

        1. Demeter

          In my experience, they would rather go out of business entirely, than change in any meaningful way. And so it goes.

    1. NOTaREALmerican

      Yeah, but it won’t have the animated look that the old style steam-locomotives had. A shinny box-on-wheels with a water boiler making electricity isn’t what most people equate with a steam-locomotive.

    2. ambrit

      Then there is gasification tech. We here in Mississippi are presently having the Rent extracted out of us by the Southern Company through the Kemper Coal Electric Generating Project. Originally budgeted at Two Billion and some change, it has already ballooned to Six Billion and pocket money. (The coal gasification part still hasn’t come online. The company is presently running the plant with, you guessed it, natural gas.)
      See: http://www.biggerpieforum.org/topic/mississippi-powers-kemper-county-coal-plant
      This info is a little outdated, but the gist of it is right. How do you spell corruption? Mississippi!

  7. PQS

    Re: “Success Academy”.

    Good Grief. When did we start looking to North Korean reeducation camps for ideas about education? That place sounds like a gulag. And the kids in the pictures and quoted in the article seem unhappy and tense. Surely Mr. Bloomberg’s offspring weren’t subjected to that kind of indoctrination and intimidation. Why, I bet they were coddled and comforted all the way through their prep schools.

    1. Jason Ipswitch

      Mr. Bloomberg’s offspring are intended to rule, or at least belong to the ruling class. Surely you’re not suggesting that the rulers and servants get the same education?

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China’s last steam trains shutting down.

    Hopefully not their Flying Pigeon bikes.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Foxconn plants.

    I believe we have a duty to liberate those plants. Just declare those corporations political sovereigns and send in our color revolutionaries.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I love today’s plant-idote!

    I call it ‘Humans providing shade for plants.’

    It’s how we say ‘thank you’ to Nature’s Second Kingdom.

    Notice how the plants don’t elbow past each other to monopolize the benefit?

    If we can make more positive contributions like this, instead of just ‘take, take, take,’ maybe trees will start saying to each other, ‘we need more humans.’

    1. Lambert Strether

      “Notice how the plants don’t elbow past each other to monopolize the benefit?”

      Oh yes they do! Phototropism means never having to say you’re sorry….

  11. sid_finster

    I love to sleep, so I guess I must be rich. My cats are probably rolling in it. Wonder why they never spot me a loan?

  12. kimsarah

    Congress wants to debate and go over every detail of the Iran agreement, yet they’re ready to fast-track the pacific trade deal, no questions asked.

  13. different clue

    Bibi and the Adelson Class are creating a rift between the Jewish voters and the Democratic Party? Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal would like to believe that. More to the point, Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal would like to help bring it about.

    Is it true? A study of voting patterns over the next few elections will show us all how true or not that theory really is.

    A candidate Webb would be the best tester of that theory in the Dem Primaries in 2016. If Obama hands off a real Iran Agreement, Webb would be the one candidate (if he runs) willing to make the primary campaign into a referendum on whether the DemParty nominee will support the agreement with Iran or not.
    Only Webb would do that. None of the others would.

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