2:00PM Water Cooler 4/8/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, today’s water cooler will again be a bit light; I’m still having tooth-grindingly frustrating problems with my routers. –lambert


“With progressive voice Sen. Elizabeth Warren helping lead the fast track/TPP opposition, and possible candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley joining in opposition, it’s time for Hillary Clinton to tell people where she stands on fast track and TPP” [Dave Johnson, Huffpo]. Indeed.

Chris Dodd, heads of the Motion Picture Assocation of America, signed on with six other former Democratic National Committee chairs to urge fellow Democrats to support trade-promotion, or fast-track, authority for Obama [Los Angeles Times]. The grass roots have spoken…

The TPP is so odiferous that even the WFF can’t support it, despite White House claims otherwise [Truthout].

Japan: Catherine Mellor, from the US Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber was not only “very optimistic” there would be bipartisan fast track, but that there would be a breakthrough in US-Japan negotiations during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s imminent visit to Washington DC [ABC Australia]. Last I checked, Japan wanted more skin in the game from Obama. Haven’t seen it yet…

Australia: Australian health groups are concerned that the proposed Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause, which would allow foreign corporations to sue governments in overseas tribunals, could have dire implications for public health policies and programs [Macrobusiness]. That’s not a bug…

New Zealand: “The fear [of many healthcare unions and doctors in New Zealand] is that, once TPP is in force, many District Health Boards will be unable to opt for New Zealand’s own services or contractors as their first choice. Also, they will face problems in excluding suppliers who may be dealing in products such as tobacco” [International Business Times].

Maine: “New Balance still doesn’t know for sure if the agreement will eliminate footwear tariffs on shoes made in Vietnam” [Mainebiz]. Yes, we still manufacture shoes in Maine. Not many, but we need all the jobs we can get.

Generational differences in polling at TPP [Progressive Economy]. The older you are, the less likely you are to support TPP. Idea: People who experienced trade deals understand their effects better than those for whom the trade deals created a “new normal.”

Microsoft Government Affairs Director Irene Plenefisch: Microsoft favors both “fast track” and the TPP, saying they deter piracy and create new opportunities for digital content. In addition, she said, the TPP for the first time would address cross border data flows [Crosscut]. Hmm. What the heck are “cross-border data flows.” Doesn’t the NSA handle all that?

“It may take decades before we really understand the stakes of the TPP” [The New Republic]. We have to pass it to find out what’s in it.

The Wyden blimp makes the big time! [Wall Street Journal].


The S.S. Clinton

“Stephanie Hannon, who is Google’s director of product management for civic innovation and social impact, will become the chief technology officer of the expected Clinton campaign” [WaPo]. Ka-ching.

Clinton oppo: “The Rodham brothers have a history of embarrassing their sister” [Mother Jones].


“Bush cut taxes each of the eight years he was governor, from 1999 to 2007, for a total of nearly $20 billion. He helped streamline state government, privatizing many functions and cutting the civil service payroll by 14,000 jobs” [Governing]. Floridians didn’t consider Jebbie a moderate at all.

Principled Insurgents

“Ron Paul Withholding Presidential Endorsement Until True Libertarian Candidate Enters Race” [The Onion].

Ron Paul is Mike Dukakis-short [Bloomberg].

Paul to Today anchor: ““No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Listen, you’ve editorialized” [New York Magazine]. Getting off on the right foot with the press, I see.

Paul’s approach to campaign finance [ABC interview]. Totes rights-respecting:

[PAUL:] And I am for some limitations. I think there’s a possibility of campaign finance reform that would include a contractual clause in government contracts to say that if I’m gonna give you $1 billion to do work for the government you will agree not to do certain things to lobby government for more money.

Paul oppo: “A criminal probe involving his father’s 2012 campaign is inching dangerously close to Paul’s inner circle” [Mother Jones]. I read the whole thing, and I can’t boil it down (!). Keyword: “Coordination,” which is what “outside groups” can’t do with campaigns, even though everybody knows they do just that. Bottom line: “They are in such a bubble in this Rand Paul universe, and I think the bubble’s going to pop real quick in the heat of the primaries,” says the conservative strategist familiar with the Pauls and their allies. “They are not ready for prime time.” Pass the popcorn.

Walker oppo: “Prosecutors allege Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of an effort to illegally coordinate fundraising among conservative groups to help his campaign and those of Republican state senators facing recall elections during 2011 and 2012, according to documents unsealed Thursday” [Journal-Sentinel]. Hmm. There’s that word again: “Coordination.” Moar popcorn!

The Hill

Tea Party hires actors to pose as protesters against Everglades plan [Grist].

Herd on the Street

NBC goes from disaster to disaster after Comcast, which wants to run the Internet, bought it [Vanity Fair].

“Fed Minutes Guide: From Slowing Economy to Rate-Rise Timing” [Bloomberg]. To be released at 2:00PM. Just after deadline!


Headline of the day: “Chicago Waiting to See if Runoff Truly Has Humbled Rahm Emanuel” [New York Times]. I think not. FWIW, I saw non-Chicago outsiders handing Chuy dagger after dagger — Police torture (Guardian), corruption (International Business Times) — and Chuy refusing to drive the dagger home. I think Karen Lewis would have been a very different candidate, but I’m hesitant to generalize beyond that. Chicagoans?


“Agriculture uses 80 percent of the state’s water only if you exclude water that is reserved for environmental purposes” [Los Angeles Times]. Good explainer. It’s not all the almonds!

Black Injustice Tipping Point

North Charleston, South Carolina officer Michael Slager faces murder charge after video shows him shooting a fleeing Walter Scott in the back [Post and Courier]. Gee, this keeps happening, doesn’t it?

Walter Scott’s father: “The way [Officer Slager] was shooting that gun, it looked like he was trying to kill a deer” [Los Angeles Times].

Online fundraising campaign for Slager has been removed after just one hour [International Business Times].

Walter Scott family’s lawyer: “It’s not about race. It’s about power” [Los Angeles Times].

Police in South Carolina have fired their weapons at 209 suspects in the past five years, and a few of officers have been accused of pulling the trigger illegally – but none has being convicted [The State].

Ferguson elects two new black city Councillors, and doubles turnout (!) [USA Today]. Kudos #BlackLivesMatter GOTV operation.

#BlackLivesMatter vs. the Black misleadership class [Gothamist (AH)]. Good explainer, names names. Looking at you, Al Sharpton!

Police State

County clerks oppose eliminating prison for debt, since the fines fund the courts [KPLU]. I had no idea that “LFO” (Legal Financial Obligation) was an acronym. Yes, you can go to jail for an LFO.

“Driver’s license suspensions push poor deeper into poverty, report says” [Los Angeles Times].

“Ferguson is emblematic of how municipalities in the St. Louis region, and across the country, operate as carceral, mob-like states that view and treat poor black people as cash cows” [The Intercept]. The story hook is arresting a woman on old warrants, and jailing her, on a names mixup.

Cops would rather drop Stingray cellphone interception cases than disclose how the evidence was gathered [Ars Technica]. That’s not reassuring, is it?

News of the Wired

  • Apple Watch: “The buzzes aren’t annoying. They go completely unnoticed by my colleague, while to an addict like me they’re little hits of methadone” [New York Times]. Methadone?
  • Hong Kong pillow fight day [Hong Wrong]. I wish we could do that in this country, but people would bring their guns.
  • “Right this minute, there’s 170,000 blogs f-yeahing about something on Tumblr. Someone even created a f-yeah of f-yeahs” [WaPo]. Blogging is so not dead. Just ask Andrew Bowden!
  • “Political Smears in U.S. Never Change: the NYT’s 1967 Attack on MLK’s Anti-War Speech” [Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept].
  • Frederick Douglas, defender of the liberal arts [The Atlantic]. If you think developing empathy has strategic value, then you need the humanities.
  • “The Edward Snowden bust is no more. But like all great art, the brief-but-famous statue has been replaced by a hologram, thanks to [ The Illuminator,] a Brooklyn-based projection collective” [Gothamist]. They should project onto the wall of the Clinton campaign headquarters next. Show ’em what Brooklyn’s really all about.

* * *

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 third of “I Wish It Were Spring!” week four (joe6pac):


Salad stuff in the green house. That’s awesome; I don’t organize myself well enough to do that.

Does anybody have any gardening photos yet? Too early?

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

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Talk amongst yourselves!

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. diptherio

    joe6pac, there’s a tiny ghost with a camera in your greenhouse! Might wanna get that checked out…creepy.

  2. Vatch

    Good news about the Ferguson elections, I guess. Still only 29% turnout of eligible voters, though.

  3. grayslady

    Chuy Garcia talked a good game at first, but it became increasingly clear that he was just a placeholder. Karen Lewis is the real deal. It’s tough to get blacks in Chicago to vote for a non-black without promises of compensation. Everyone in Chicago politics is looking for a handout. Everyone. That’s why the city is near bankrupt. I don’t know that other major cities are all that different.

    Chuy also turned out to be a second-tier candidate. He truly didn’t have the right team behind him to come up with non-neoliberal ideas to turn the city around financially. Personally, I think Rahm will come to regret winning a second term, because it looks like all of Richie Daley’s incredibly stupid financial deals are going to blow up on Rahm’s watch.

    1. RUKidding

      Agree that Chuy Garcia turned in a less than stellar campaign and seemed not to have much “fire in the belly” for this horse race.

      My guess is that Rahm – I f*cking hate the f*cking ret*rded libtards!!! – Emanuel enjoys the perks of office. No doubt there’s loads of sweet sweet graft and payola coming his way. Then he can jump ship to set sail with the USS ClintonGriftExpress when the time comes.

      One can easily detect that Emanuel could give a sh*t about anyone in Chi-town except himself (and doesn’t he live in Evanston anyway???).

  4. Ned Ludd


    Are your routers set up to use the Google Public DNS service? I had to switch back to my ISP’s name servers, last night, when Google’s became unavailable.

  5. Mark Gisleson

    Sadly, I couldn’t vote for Chuy but I am in the greater Chicagoland TV area. I live with an older gentleman who watches a lot of TV. I have not once in recent memory spent any time with him when I was not exposed to an anti-Garcia ad. Enormous sums of money were spent.

    If the left is ever to prevail, we must educate young people on how to see through phony lying ads lest they turn into as big a bunch of idiots as their parents’ and grandparents’ generations have.

    1. RUKidding

      I am wondering how things will pan out as more citizens wean themselves away from tv – whether cable or over the air waves (some still do it the old fashioned way) – and turn more and more to pick ‘n pay services like Amazon & Netflix & Hulu. I don’t own a tv myself, nor have any type of viewing device. But I’m aware of more people, esp younger citizens, refusing to subscribe to expensive, craptastic, worthless, overly larded with crappy ads Cable/regular tv.

      Will be interesting if enough citizens get away from tv ads that they no longer how the power they do now. Time will tell.

      Thanks for your insight from what you witnessed. Not surprised.

    2. hunkerdown

      We’ve got to teach them that authority’s purpose is to lie to force outcomes that would not have otherwise happened, and to ask themselves if they really want to be others’ tools.

    3. NOTaREALmerican

      Re: we must educate young people

      As an old-fart dumbass, who was once a young dumbass, I think you’ll find that most of the population are natural born dumbasses. You can’t educate people to see duplicity. Just like being a left-handed pitcher, some highly-evolved people are lucky enough to be born with the ability to create bullshit and live happy duplicitous lives. Everybody else is just food for the predators (or a strike-out victim for the left-handed pitchers).

      And that’s the end of the ballgame, with the final score: the smart-n-savvy people a-bazillion the dumbasses nothin’

        1. Code Name D

          I do not. Ever sense joining in with the atheist community here in Wichita, I have met some remarkable people who deconverted from Christianity – on their own. They started out as one of those “dumbasses” you would write off.

          They can be reached. They just can’t be reached with a few 30 second ads and a pamphlet.

          Reaching these people can be done. But it demands a long term relationship and outreach program. You have to be out there every day, challenging the dogma and sharing the real evidence. You need to recognize that there position is perfectly rational if you consider the volume of propaganda and social pressures they are exposed too on a daily bases.

          Step one: Reduce the emotional attachment to dogma.

          Libertarians and conservatives are emotional invested in their ideas. You can not be critical of free markets without attacking them on a personal level.

          Step two: Teach skepticism, not dogma

          Many of the left are just as wrong as those on the right. Conservatives and libertarians are just in calling out their bull shit regarding certain aspects of reverse racism, feminism, social correctness, religions and moral freedoms, and pacifism. They do have points and are right in a few areas. Take on these issues and not only shall you lose, but should lose. And of course doing so destroys any credibility in the areas where you are correct.

          And this is a long term relationship mind you, which must involve not only time, but also a lot of voices and perspectives that need to be on the same page. The only way we can know if we are in the right is to be skeptical of our own position and to treat the arguments of the opposition with the gravity and respect they deserve. If they are being asked from a genuine perspective, then they need to be answered in kind, not mocked.

          Step three: Dismantle the arguments one at a time.

          Librarians have a complex belief structure that is self reinforcing. Attack one and the other myths will move in and shore up the gap. The only way to get through is to be systematic, taking apart each argument one at a time. This is not a quick process and may take years of persistence.

          Step four: Understand the harm you are doing to their world belief system.

          This is a big one that many of the left tend to ignore, and they do so at their peril. You’re not simply trying to educate a Librarian about reality. You are directly attacking a self image that is a part of their core being. Undermining that perspective frequently leads to deep and very real emotional trauma. To continue to be insulting only forces them to raise their defenses, giving them time to find some way to rationalize their way to where they started from. Deconvershion must be a safe and welcome space where Librarians who are challenging their ideas can feel safe and welcome, and make the transition under their own terms.

          I suspect that this will win a lot more converts than ignoring them.

          1. vidimi

            agree with you so much especially on points 1 and 4. these are hugely important and few people bother with them, preferring identity politics instead.

    4. OIFVet

      Hedge fund money buys lots of negative TV ads. My favorite: slamming Garcia for being a career politician. You see, the highly paid Wall Street internship Rahmses took after Billy left the Oval Office qualifies Rahmses as a common citizen who just wanted to throw his hat in the political ring cause he just cares so much for other common people, like hedge fund managers and such. My second favorite: slamming Garcia on property taxes. Cause Rahm will raise them, as would anyone else, but at least he didn’t say so. What a swell guy.

      1. optimader

        The opposition (Garcia ) had the opportunity to fillet the incumbent (R.E.) in oh so many ways like socratically eliciting from R.E. what viable alternative to property tax he proposes to work off the ~$30BB nut. Slamming Garcia on P.Tax actually was taking a position if Garcia chose to work it. He didn’t.
        Personally I think the TV ads were an overrated component in this election.

        Garcia might have actually done worse if he had the $$ to purchase more TV impressions because he wasn’t saying anything in the one he did place. C.Garcia should have run an underdog campaign w/ some real financial critiquing, (plenty of opportunity) then he would have gotten free media because IMHO Chicago was looking for a reason to vote against RE.

        1. OIFVet

          The TV ads may or may not have been overrated, it’s not for me to say. What I do know is that they were insulting to one’s intelligence, and annoying to the point of driving me nuts.

          1. optimader

            I am exposed to little network TV (other than WGN for Skilling’s weather) but I wonder about the actually efficacy of TV spots in elections?
            Some are purported to be effective, case in point Johnson’s “Daisy Girl, and Bush’s Wilile Horton / Dukakis in a tank (Roger Ailes/Lee Atwater’s work —admittedly propaganda gold)) but is it the case that they actually only help a weak candidate loose? I honestly don’t know, but when I see the ASTRONOMICAL campaign funding that is stovepiped into the (unbiased, lol ) Media juggernaught, I always have in the back of my mind Cui Bono?
            What would be the financial health of NBC, CBS, ABC and whatever other big time media conglomerates it they were not recipients of these HUGE regular and predictable cash infusions?
            I am thinking they would be very different organizations.

            1. A Farmer

              Look up Sinclair Broadcast Group. They should have gone bankrupt long ago from all their debt piled up by buying hundreds of local TV channels, but they can’t be hurt by their ridiculous right-wing politics (they were in the vanguard of the Swift Boat attacks) or by the ridiculous amount of ad money pouring into local TV markets.

  6. Chauncey Gardiner

    Seems the supranational corporate ISDS legal structures under the secret TPP agreement are being portrayed by Larry Summers as necessary to maintaining U.S. “superpower” status and U.S. dollar hegemony (What’s wrong with this picture?):

    “American leadership must have a bipartisan foundation at home, be free from gross hypocrisy, and be restrained in the pursuit of self-interest. As long as one of our major parties is opposed to essentially all trade agreements, and the other is resistant to funding international organisations, the US will not be in a position to shape the global economic system.

    Other countries are legitimately frustrated when US officials ask them to adjust their policies — then insist that American state regulators, independent agencies, and far-reaching judicial actions are beyond their control. This is especially true when many foreign businesses assert that US actions raise real rule of law problems.

    The legitimacy of US leadership depends on our resisting the temptation to abuse it in pursuit of parochial interest, even when that interest appears compelling. We cannot expect to maintain the US dollar’s primary role in the international system if we are too aggressive about limiting its use in pursuit of particular security objectives.”


    Funny that we have gotten along for centuries without having these so called “trade agreements” imposed on us with their huge potential financial damages. Appears to me that democracy and our national sovereignty are being attacked by forces within the country.

  7. different clue

    “Co-ordination”? Birds of a feather don’t have to “coordinate”. They just know what to do with eachother by some sort of ongoing Vulcan mind meld.

    1. craazyboy

      This campaign stuff confuses me too. I just hope we can still throw uncoordinated candidates in the clown car, and someone else can arrest the coordinated ones, or whatever.

  8. NOTaREALmerican

    ____________ is emblematic of how [government | corporations | smart-n-savvy people] operate as carceral, mob-like states that view and treat the [peasants | dumbasses | citizens] as cash cows.

    Has there ever been any other way?

  9. DJG

    Chuy Garcia was a good candidate on his own. He wasn’t just some stand-in. The central problem is that he couldn’t get across the meaning of Chicago’s fiscal swamp: The corruption of elites and the diversion of tax monies is so egregious that no one truly knows how bad the city’s finances are. How bad could they be if the mayors are giving away the tolls on the Skyway, control over fare collection by means of Ventra, and control over the city’s own street parking? And then there are the TIFs, which are slush funds. There is little constituency for fiscal discussion. It’s like the Occupy Democrats–braying about declining budget deficits as some triumph of Obama, as if budget deficits truly matter. As to Homan Square and CPD, the tortured have no constituency. This is a further example of why torture is so corrupting. But I am looking backward, not forward, and I should be evolving or something. Also, with regard to corruption, and corruption is theme here, Chicagoans have a weird pride about being corrupt, not realizing that, like torture, corruption comes back and bites you on the ass. So you have a population acquiescing in its own humiliation. Am I being unduly glum? No. Executive Summary!: Chicago has a whole load of unacknowledged problems that aren’t going to be handled by the like of grifters like Rahm.

    1. optimader

      Chuy Garcia was a good candidate on his own

      Garcia was a weak candidate.

      The corruption of elites and the diversion of tax monies is so egregious that no one truly knows how bad the city’s finances are.

      What do you need to “truly know” beyond ~$30BB unpaid pension liabilities and ~$27BB City/CPS debt?? This is well beyond solving by moving the “diversion of tax monies” deck chairs around.

      1. OIFVet

        “This is well beyond solving by moving the “diversion of tax monies” deck chairs around.” True enough, but it demonstrates part of the Chicago corruption playbook: if the unfunded liabilities are allowed to pile up long enough, Da Mare can simply say “The TIFs (or whatever diversionary program you may choose) would only address a small part of the liabilities, so let’s talk real solutions here rather than politicizing the program”. Voila: Da Mare appears statesman-like, and as an added bonus he can legitimately argue for deep cuts to needed programs, accelerating the money giveaways known as PPPs and continue to divert property taxes to the Pritzkers and such, and go after the unions. It’s a Chicago-style three-fer.

        1. optimader

          “The TIFs (or whatever diversionary program you may choose) would only address a small part of the liabilities
          Also true, but proposing a logical revenue side plan to start chipping away at those icebergs, while challenging the incumbent to cough up his better solutions that incidentally had not been instituted the last four years, would have been the sensible strategy in this election IMHO.
          The “efficiencies” to be gained by “rooting out corruption” could have been tossed in as parity digits in the plus side of the ledger (with valuation assumptions that could have reasonably been approaching slander for debate sake) could have managed RE to untenable (for him and his peeps) positions.
          I just conclude Garcia had no grounding or confidence to aggressively fight a fiscally based campaign which would go to root cause the dysfunction in Chicago –CPS funding, privatization of municipal assets, misuse of bonds, TIFF misallocation, Again, it could have been a target rich environment for an aggressive candidate comfortable in those kinda waters.
          It could have been a real horse race.

          1. OIFVet

            Root causes: the area where there is very little that can be done at this point is privatization of public assets. Sanctity of contacts and all that (except those with public employee unions). Especially in regards to the parking meter lease, which Rahmses and CPM modified to make it even worse. In effect The city reaffirmed the lease contract which makes it impossible to fight in court. To make matters worse, the city fought against Krislov’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the deal. That’s a lot of money that will never be recovered.

            I’m afraid that Chicago is only going to get in deeper trouble, with Emanuel entering into ever more PPPs that drain revenue from the city. Hell, he is not even bothering to seek money for public assets: think Obama Library and the Lucas museum.

            1. optimader

              the parking meter debacle… Any contract can be unwound, but I believe in this case Daley had that money substantially spent within 12-18 months. No way to walk it back. Pathetic. This is a case IMO for mass public pushback making the machines inoperative/ not paying them til a negotiated settlement w/ the city to take the system back is offered.

            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              Sounds like the POTB have already sent Chicago into a Detroit-like death spiral. So, naturally, they would accuse the other guy of threatening to do what they have already done….

  10. DJG

    Hillaryland: “Google’s director of product management for civic innovation and social impact.” And I am the Local Director of Product Deterioration for Title Inflation and Cupcake Ensmallment.

  11. Llewelyn Moss

    Too funny how they followed the Fascist Police Playbook with officer Slager. Accused the dead victim of grabbing the cops weapon. DA forcefully repeats the lie, local news eats it up. UNTIL a video surfaces which can’t be explained away. Opps.

    I guess from now on they’ll have to shoot all witnesses just so things don’t get “messy”.

    And of course, the cop ain’t convicted yet. A jury can be steered to think Saint Slager had to do it. We’ll see. My bet is the cop walks.

  12. optimader

    Headline of the day: “Chicago Waiting to See if Runoff Truly Has Humbled Rahm Emanuel” [New York Times]. I think not…. but I’m hesitant to generalize beyond that. Chicagoans?

    I put this in Links, but I’ll toss this grenade in here too


    April 8, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Rahm sucks but C.Garcia was no prize either.
    It was C.Garcia’s election opportunity to loose. Frmr alderman now radio talking head Cliff Kelley’s analysis was correct. C.Garcia offered nothing. In such a target rich environment, Chuy “should have been issuing two white paper a week” critiquing Emmanuel but C.G. and his peeps apparently didn’t have the horsepower to do that. The two TV commercials that C.G. was running were counterproductive because he had no message. ” I am for neighborhoods” and “I will listen to you”. Ok , that’s great, now what?

    I thing C. Garcia’s fate was pretty well sealed when http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toni_Preckwinkle refused to endorse him. IMHO, She is one of the smarter elected officals in Chicago and she sized him up. Frankly T.P. probably could have been an excellent candidate in this “anyone but Rham” window of opportunity, but I guess she is happy consolidating her power where she is presently as president of the cook county board..

    Karen Lewis? No way.

    As far as the “Chicago Black Vote”? That was pretty much written and sealed in an envelope.

  13. bruno marr

    Water use in Cali:

    Leave it to the LA Times to find a distinction without difference. Since practically ALL the water available for treatment in LA comes in through pipes, the environmental use (fish, riparian areas) of rainfall/snow that gets trapped in reservoirs has never been considered part of the “available” water for anthropocentric use. Agriculture does use 80% of the available water in California. Trees intercept 20% of rainfall; is that to be considered an environmental use?

    1. curlydan

      yeah, that article made a number of points in the farmers’ favor, but the author seems like he was getting fairly fast and loose with his logic.

      And what about evaporation? That greedy Cali sun!

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Yes, yes, yes to the need for humanities.

    Too much focus on science and technology.

    By the way, Zen mediation or any meditation will also do nicely.

    Hurrah for navel-gazing!!! OK, calm down. Do not get too excited. Ommmmmm…

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Tea party hires actors….

    They say in India that everyone is an actor. Only the bad ones appear on TV.

    I think that is true everywhere.

  16. rj chicago

    Re: Chicago election – There is NO WAY in hell the bond holders would ever have allowed Chuy to be elected. No way – that is all.
    Chicago politics are just corrupt –
    Chicago is bankrupt
    Moodys’ preparing for another downgrade in near future
    Last weekend 2 murdered and at least 10 wounded – less than typical weekend in the big C
    Weather sucks
    Rickets have rickets – ball park fans pissing in cups because there are not enough trough urinals at Cubs park
    Pot holes
    CPS – worst in nation
    Demoralized police dept – McCarthy gotta go
    Unfunded pensions at City and state level – now over 120 billion and counting – See Civic federation reports
    On net Chicago has been losing population for the last decade
    and on and on…..

  17. barrisj

    Love reading the US media and its “reporting” on the fighting in the Yemen. It appears as perhaps 3-4 weeks ago, the call went out from DC to major newspapers, news agencies, network news types et al to begin to refer to the Houthis as “Iran-backed Shi’ite rebels”, as just suddenly this is now the term du jour used in any and all articles mentioning the conflict. The same articles of course refer to “the Saudi-led coalition forces”…wait, why not say “American-backed Saudi…etc, etc???? Why am I not getting here?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Internationally, ‘coalition’ equates to ‘bipartisan’ domestically.

      It’s the consensus of the people, and it’s always good.

      Is something troubling you, comrade?

  18. Foppe

    “Agriculture uses 80 percent of the state’s water only if you exclude water that is reserved for environmental purposes”. Insofar as it talks about vegetables, perhaps. But I find it quite peculiar that there are only 2 lines in there about beef and milk, even though there are a huge number of cows being “farmed” in california. So why don’t they split that out? Cows don’t grow on trees, and all that; and animal protein can easily be replaced with plant protein, which requires much less water to be grown than cows do between the time their mothers are impregnated, and they reach their slaughter weight. Democracy Now! actually said something about this today. Brief quote from the DN synopsis/introduction:

    “According to The Pacific Institute, 47 percent of a Californians’ water footprint is in meat and dairy products. We are joined by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, directors of the documentary, “Cowspiracy: the Sustainability Secret.” The film contends livestock is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution despite many environmental organizations’ relative silence on the issue.”

  19. ewmayer


    o I’m still having tooth-grindingly frustrating problems with my routers.

    If woodworking were easy, more people who could work wood, would work wood. (And I hope your dental reference was not meant literally, though such use certainly could cause problems with one’s routers, even with carbide-tipped bits. I mean, I’ve heard of some bad tartar buildups, but really now…)

    o I had no idea that “LFO” (Legal Financial Obligation) was an acronym.

    Neither did I, perhaps because it’s not an acronym but an initialism. ;) (Can I get an f-yeah on that?)

  20. Jim in SC

    The article in SC’s ‘State’ newspaper was very interesting. It didn’t mention that the Solicitor who dismissed charges against one of the officers mentioned is black, or that his father was the former Chief Justice of the SC Supreme Court. It may be the ‘State’ assumed their readership knew it, or that it was irrelevant. I can’t think of any case of black officer/white suspect shootings where race has been relevant. Usually the press doesn’t mention the race of the officer if her or she is black. But these cases do exist, and they mar the narrative of ‘white cops shoot black suspects because they are racist.’

  21. Demeter

    Where does Hillary stand on TPP? She’s for it, of course! She just won’t say so, because she’d never get past the first primary.

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