2:00PM Water Cooler 4/9/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


New Democrat coalition chair Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Rep. Brad Ashford (D-Neb.) show “solidarity” with Obama on TPP [The Hill].

Jared Bernstein: ” All that said, if the TPP is really a good deal for the US, and since I haven’t read it I can’t say, then based on the first bullet above, I understand, conditional on greater effort than I believe has been expended thus far, that a currency chapter could kill the deal” [HuffPo]. Lotta words there….

Malaysia: Malaysia is not for sale, forward by former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad [Forbes].


Sir Michael Bloomberg: “Hillary and Jeb are the only two who know how to make the trains run” [New York Times]. On time, presumably.

The S.S. Clinton

Pre-Brooklin office campaign team working out of a supply closet in mid-town Manhattan [Los Angeles Times].

Quinnipiac Swing state poll: CO: Paul 44, Clinton 41; IA: Paul 43, Clinton 42; VA: Clinton 47, Paul 43 [Quinnipiac]. “[D]ifficult to see Secretary Clinton’s slippage as anything other than a further toll on her image from the furor over her e-mail.” (Nate Silver says Quinnipiac is good).


Jebbie calls for privatizing veterans’ care [Wall Street Journal].

Principled Insurgents

Rubio sets up a SuperPAC. Unlimited cash is always nice! [AP].

Paul on Walter Scott shooting: “I want to be careful we don’t paint with a broad brush that somehow all our police are bad” [Bloomberg]. Sounds like a dog-whistle, to me.

Cruz to set up multiple SuperPACs, each “controlled by a different donor family, and will likely develop different specialities, such as data mining, television advertising and polling” according to a “strategist” [Bloomberg]. The PACs are named “Keep the Promise I,” “Keep the Promise II,” and so forth. Makes the quid pro quo rather obvious, no?

Groups backing Ted Cruz raise $31 million in a single week [WaPo].

Walker to pack Wisconsin Supreme Court with referendum in light voting election [HuffPo]. Handy in case of indictment.

Clown Car

Donald Trump visits Iowa, speaks mostly of himself [Bloomberg].

Indictments may be near in Governor Christie’s George Washington Bridge scandal [New York Times].

“A Deep Dive Into Party Affiliation” [Pew Research]. “[W]here the parties stand among various groups in the population.”

Democrats don’t vote [The Atlantic]. I bet they’d vote for real Democrats instead of fake Republicans.

The Hill

Another Secret Service scandal, this one involving “potential criminal activity” [Los Angeles Times]. WTF?

Herd on the Street

Driverless cars, by their very design, will contribute to three of the big factors that cause motion sickness [WaPo]. But the techno-triumphalism on driverless cars is so strong….

Stats Watch

Headline: “Why Fed Officials Think the Job Market Can Run Even Hotter” [Bloomberg]. “Even hotter.” Bloomberg’s relentless pom-pom waving gets tedious.

Jobless Claims, week of April 4, 2015: Claims rise, but four-week moving average down [Bloomberg]. Easter week is tough to measure.


“California’s Deepening Drought: Ten Things to Know” [Weather Underground]. Excellent background.

More than a quarter of a million California households and businesses have no meters [Reuters].

Nestlé has made billions on bottling groundwater, and they’re exporting it from California during the drought [David Dayen, Salon]. Next up: Bottled air!

China’s construction of dams and the proposed diversion of the Brahmaputra could become another contentious issue undermining Sino-Indian relations [The Diplomat].


Rahm, asked whether he would serve in the Clinton cabinet: “I have no interest in another job. Zero, zilch” [NBC].

Workplace Watch

” JPMorgan Algorithm Knows You’re a Rogue Employee Before You Do” [Bloomberg]. So how about the executives?

“The full-stack employee” [Medium]. No introverts need apply.

Workplace context for the Germanwings controlled flight into terrain [Jacobin]. Seems like a system based on trust is gradually eroding, because markets.

“The [IRS] is so short on funds that some employees purchase their own office supplies, even though the IRS says they shouldn’t” [Bloomberg].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

How Feidin Santana, who took the video of Michael Slager shooting Walter Scott, came forward [WaPo].

How the NYPD message board reacted to the Scott shooting [Business Insider].

How the Scott shooting was reported before the video came out. Headline: “Attorney: North Charleston police officer felt threatened before fatal shooting” [Post and Courier].

North Charleson anxious to avoid “another Ferguson” [WaPo].

” After everything that has happened in Ferguson during the last nine months, 70 percent of people still couldn’t be bothered to make their voices heard in the most basic yet most consequential way” [Baltimore Sun].

“The only time you don’t arrest is if the person is somehow connected to the police…There is a professional courtesy that gets extended to anyone with a badge…” [Keegan NYC]. Report on recent Gilbert Drogheo demonstration.

“[R]esearch strongly suggests that more sophisticated training could lead to more accurate threat identifications, correcting for racial bias that officers may not even be aware of” [The Atlantic].

“Why the Confederacy lives” [Politico].

Police State

“Can Police Who Kill be held Accountable?” [Juan Cole].

The Baltimore Police Department has used the Stingray cellphone tracking device thousands of times in recent years while following instructions from the FBI to withhold information about it from prosecutors and judges [Baltimore Sun].

Class Warfare

The poor you shall always have with you, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t make them suffer [WaPo].

“Economic disappointment is an increasingly global affair.” With handy chart [The Economist].

“In the absence of an ethical framework that says poverty and its associated suffering is wrong, a rational ruling elite should pursue a policy of using a combination of redistribution and guard labor to attain social stability” [Cory Doctorow, Locus].

News of the Wired

  • “How I achieved peace by crippling my phone” [Medium].
  • The Apple watch enables “digital touch” — e.g., for flirting [Daring Fireball].
  • “[W]hat the researchers called ‘tracking,’ Facebook argued should be called receiving ‘standard web impressions'” [Wall Street Journal]. While George Orwell please pick up the courtesy phone?
  • How Many Operating Systems Run in Your House? [Gizmodo].
  • Listening in on the Acela for fun and profit [Mr. Media Training].
  • How a small group of deranged trolls can ruin any event [Alternet].
  • Scientists seek source of giant methane mass over the Southwest [AP].

* * *

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 (Petal):


Looking out at the snow over the seedlings.

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. diptherio

    Don’t think I’ve seen this one posted here yet:

    On the Lam with “Bank Robber” Enric Duran ~VICE

    Being underground is not a condition Enric Duran always takes literally, but one night in late January he went from basement to basement. At a hackerspace under a tiny library just south of Paris, he met a group of activists from across France and then traveled with them by bus and Métro to another meeting place, in an old palace on the north end of the city. On the ground floor it felt like an art gallery, with white walls and sensitive acoustics, but the basement below was like a cave, full of costumes and scientific instruments and exposed masonry. There, Duran arranged chairs in a circle for the dozen or so people who’d made the journey. As they were settling in and discussing which language they’d speak, a woman from upstairs, attending an event about open licenses, peeked in through the doorway. She pointed Duran out to her friend, trying, barely, to contain herself. After the meeting was over, she came right up to him. “You’re the bank robber!” she said.

    In that basement Duran held court. Slouching, the 38-year-old anticapitalist activist had a space between his two front teeth, grizzly hair, and a matching beard—black except for stray grays mixed in throughout. He wore a white sweatshirt. His presence was discreet and stilted, yet it carried authority in the room. While others made small talk he looked off elsewhere, but his attention became total as soon as the conversation turned to the matter on his mind and the opportunity to collaborate.

    He had gathered the group to describe his latest undertaking, FairCoop, which gradually revealed itself to be no less than a whole new kind of global financial system. With it, he said, communities around the world would be able to trade, fund one another’s growth, redistribute wealth, and make collective decisions. They would hack currency markets to fund themselves while replacing competitive capitalism with cooperation. He proceeded to reel off the names of its sprawling component parts: FairMarket, FairCredits, Fairtoearth, the Global South Fund, and so on. “We will be able to make exchanges with no government controls,” he promised in broken English. To get the project going, he had hijacked a Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency called FairCoin. […]

    The only reason that the group was willing to even consider this bewildering set of possibilities was that Duran was, in fact, a well-known bank robber—the man who expropriated several hundred thousand euros from Spanish banks during the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis, for which he was still in hiding from the law. He had used the momentum from his heist to organize the Catalan Integral Cooperative, a network of cooperatives functioning throughout the region of Catalonia, in northeast Spain, which the activists in Paris were attempting to replicate throughout France. His undertakings tended to work. Perhaps even this.

  2. willf

    There are problems with that “Democrats don’t vote” story. I was struck by this paragraph in particular:

    Americans have a long and understandable tradition of not extending much sympathy to people who don’t bother to vote. (Staying home can itself be a vote, a way of registering disappointment, frustration, or disillusionment.)

    No staying home is not a way of registering disappointment. Instead, it’s a vote for the status quo. Better to go vote, and if there are no good choices, then write in the name of a candidate you like.

    1. NOTaREALmerican

      Participating in a corrupt system is also a “vote for the status quo”.
      The correct thing to do is admit that obsessing about who votes and doesn’t vote, and having an opinion about who votes or doesn’t vote, is a sign of morality OCD. Replying to posters who have morality OCD is also a sign of morality OCD. The first step is admitting you’ve got a OCD. I’m ok tho…

    2. Massinissa

      Oh for gods sake. Everything is a vote for the status quo. Both not voting, and voting third party, and voting for the lesser evil, all three can be interpreted in some way as legitimating the status quo.

      1. timbers

        I hear yah. But lots of people voted Obama as “the lesser evil” and look how that turned out. And many did it twice. (Note: I voted Green and Liz Warren. If a Green candidate was not on the ballot, I did not vote for that position).

    3. Paul Tioxon

      When we talk about structural features of the social order or systemic risk, we understand that by the 21st century, there really is a global system. And by systemic and global, we know this to mean that the forces of the social order of capitalism are just about everywhere. That does not mean wealth is everywhere, but that the system has incorporated just about every nation and just about everyone even slightly useful for some profit making role. And that the process extends continually with booms and busts that incorporate more and more of the world under the social relationships, systemically.

      So, with such an extensive world wide system, there is no place to run, no place to hide at this juncture in history. There is no political protest vote by not voting or intellectually justifying non-cooperation in the political process out of fear of being coopted, because there is really no territory outside of the system. Certainly, going to work, day trading, investing, swapping currency or whatever the main readers of this site come here for because it is a financial blog, is part and parcel of having very little choices to find some Shangri-La outside of the system. There is no somewhere over the rainbow. The rent has to paid. The lights have to stay on. You have to eat. And you have to earn money to do so. You may not vote because you think you are not going to be hornswoggled anymore and then go to work to earn money. You are not exhibiting political analysis or sophistication by rejecting the political process but then go to work, you are just a political bum, a free rider and a get over wallowing in the decadence that has not moved beyond a Huey Long or George Wallace “there’s not a dimes worth of difference between ’em” received wisdom.

      We all need jobs or some visible means of support to earn money to exist. So, if you are working and earning a living, you are co-opted. If you are not voting, you are lazy bum and should go out now and look for a political party.

      1. DJG

        Paul Tioxin: I like the way that you put it. I’d have put it more briefly: So not voting has really shown the powerful a thing or two, now hasn’t it? [Living here in Chicago, I am quite used to voting for the better candidate even as he or she goes down in flames. I did it on Tuesday, voting for Chuy Garcia. It is a small act of asserting one’s presence in a time when we are treated as an undifferentiated mass to be exploited and ignored.]

        1. Paul Tioxon

          It certainly has shown Mitt Romney and his Israeli doppleganger, Netanyahu. Instead of bombing Iran like Sen Cotton is assured we can do without missing an episode of Mad Men, we are negotiating with them. Far better all around. But here let me put it more succinctly. You work for capitalism, and don’t vote to show you are not a fool. (Of course, not the you DJG, but the you in general of ‘ I don’t vote’ fame, you know who you are, worry worts about evil) I rather not work and vote. There. Go on strike at work and use the time to sign people up to vote. Now that WORKS for me.


        2. hunkerdown

          But one has to weigh whether one’s presence, as observed within a tightly constrained format, constitutes solidarity wilth evil.

          The goal of not voting is to turn governments into thugs by withholding the consent of the governed. The infant willf must be on the payroll of some bullshitting firm, and the proper response to bullshitters, no matter what the pomp of the occasion, is a loud “STFU and STFD you quisling tool”. Yes, even to Hillary’s face.

          1. Paul Tioxon

            And the goal of working is to keep the thugs increasing their wealth and power by the profits we provide. Symbolism versus material contributions to the oppressors. I’ll keep voting for my own reasons. I want them to know that I do more than sell my labor in the open market and make them richer. I want them to know that the political process has not been completely abandoned by the weak minded quitters. When I vote, I don’t send them any money, unlike the people who avoid voting but keep making the wheels of commerce turn turn turn.

            1. hunkerdown

              So, instead of just selling your labor in an open, buyer’s market, you pledge allegiance to the buyers *and* sell your labor in an open, buyer’s market. Hmm. How your message is heard is for the listener to decide, and I get the feeling they’re appreciative of your support for the status quo. “Sending a message”… is a phrase I’ve only heard in conjunction with a bad case of denial, like drug warriors.

        3. jrs

          Of course all this assumes the votes are counted legitimately as well. I’m not sure all the elections are illegitimate, but there are reasons to question the legitimacy for sure.

      2. jrs

        ” and a get over wallowing in the decadence that has not moved beyond a Huey Long or George Wallace “there’s not a dimes worth of difference between ‘em” received wisdom.”

        Maybe instead of the received wisdom moving, actual conditions have moved to make statements like this more true? In other words the flood of never ending money, much of it hidden as well, means they all ultimately serve their money masters.

        Now I can see voting in state referendums, provided one is not convinced the votes are not being counted. I can see voting locally sometimes. I can see primary-ing – but this is very tricky here as primaries are open primaries. I don’t even think all the Dems in the House are terrible, I’m not going to say they are good, a bunch of them will probably turn tail and help to fasttrack the TPP! But when your getting to voting for Obama and my wonderful Senator Feinstein and the like, really why bother?

      3. jrs

        Another interesting point a counterpunch article made recently, and it’s just high school civics, but actually made crystal clear is we can’t actually throw the bums out on a Federal level at least, that can’t work as a strategy. Suppose there was a mass decision to vote out everyone who voted for the TPP (because it gives away what is left of democracy period) or the unpopular bank bailouts say. Only 1/3 of the Senate is actually up for election each 2 years, so the majority 2/3s that is can not be “thrown out”. By 4 years later everyone has new political problems to worry about. The House, well yes it is up every 2 years, the question there is just how bad the gerrymandering is. The system itself resists change even in response to things that should generate it (mass desire to throw the bums out over something they have done). Political parties may be better than throwing the bums out, just at this point most of our problems are bipartisan and money floods them all.

  3. Kim Kaufman

    “Sir Michael Bloomberg: “Hillary and Jeb are the only two who know how to make the trains run” [New York Times]. On time, presumably.”

    And with oil, gas or coal in them.

    1. sd

      Clinton Bush 2016 would make a great bumper sticker. Unfortunately, half of America would not get it.

  4. roadrider

    Re: full-stack employees

    Reading this article made me physically ill. If this is the future of work then perhaps I should embrace my forced retirement (which I’m nearly two years into). If I had to interact with individuals of this ilk I would have to seriously reconsider my stance on non-violence.

    1. jrs

      Yes it makes me want to retire, but I’m too young, but who knows maybe I’ll be forced retired into poverty way before my time too, if this kind of work environment is the new future.

      The sad thing is I think there is some truth that it is becoming what employers are looking for, even if not quite to the level of crazy described in that article.

      ” the highest value employees are those who can handle ambiguity and synthesizing enormous amounts of information into strategically useful tactics.”

      FOR REVOLUTION!!! Oh opps, maybe I should say, for social change. But the article makes me wanna …

      “They’re curious about the world, what makes it work, and how to make their mark on it.”

      Excuse me, how can one be curious about the world and develop 10 million different job related skillsets? No time.

      The article talks about “support for health and wellness or family time” but only in the context of a level of work demands that in reality would make it impossible. Schedule a pow wow at any time, blur the lines between work and non-work time, and somehow this will allow one to raise young kids at the same time or something, like a baby sitter is going to be available at any time. But of course in reality it won’t. In fact for all their “curiosity about the world” and “support for health and wellness” these people are supposed to have so little time to cook that they eat soylent, their curiosity about the world is clearly not culinary, and health and wellness = packaged soylent as an excuse for food.

      1. hunkerdown

        The world, that is, the people and culture of a time. In other words, they want social climbers, careerists and psychopaths.

    2. armchair

      The full-stack article is vicious. If it were in the Onion with some punchlines, it might be redeemable, but in my opinion the full-stack piece is aimed to make people feel shame. The stuff about full-stack employees gladly supplying their own technology devices to the enterprisee seemed like parody. Full-stack gives an impossible set of standards that nobody can meet and dares anyone to come up short. Anyone that tries to meet all the requirements of a genuine full-stack employee will die trying, and die miserably. I feel sorry for anyone that follows the jargon geyser from the full-stack thing, and then signs up for all the short shelf-life stuff they are touting.. I feel sorry for young people that have to swallow all of it. The full-stack standard can find flaws in anyone, so you can always get kicked off, exiled or old-fashioned laid-off. A bad review can be manufactured any old time. More like full sack

      1. craazyboy

        Personally, I’m looking forward to a fully stacked workplace – if it’s the young hotties doing it. Obama Care should cover the operation IMO. That would make it an “externality” (hahaha) so it’s probably ok then. America the Beautiful! Stooopid robots won’t notice and just keep working. I may even apply for a job, if I could figure out what to put on my resume. Maybe there’s a robot that can help with resume writing? I mean, there is no college curriculum for a major in Fully Stacked – except maybe liberal arts which is always kinda iffy if you expect to get hired by anyone. Then if these futurists are telling us existing work experience and skills are no good anymore, then we’re screwed there too. Unless we all get an MBA in Upper Management – of robots and fully stacked coeds. See my dilemma?

      2. Gaianne


        Yes with its bizspeak and heavy load of empty with-it buzzwords, this article should have been in the Onion.

        Conversely, what they are describing is the ultimate empty suit: All flashy CV and no real work or accomplishment.


    3. cnchal

      I think the article is meant as satire.

      Despite the challenges of being a full stack employee, there are many upsides. For one, they have more freedom to work the way they want, where they want (with services like Teleport helping them find inexpensive places to work), when they want.

      Here is a quote from the teleport link.

      I moved back to San Francisco CA to work at Facebook and because its the center of the tech industry currently”

      “Location changes affect me financially in so many ways, usually to the negative initially. Poor understanding of the local cost of living, tax structure, and pay scales can cause one to under negotiate or to have expectations on living standards out of line in comparison with past cities.”

      . . . back to full stack

      Moreover, we’re only a decade into, and before, the presence of working robots. As robots take over repetitive tasks like writing sports news stories or driving and package delivery, humans will need to re-articulate the roles they’re best suited for. Likely among them will be roles where human sensibilities and synthesis are at the fore, or where human language, nuance, and empathy are necessary to perform complex or sensitive tasks. The full stack employee will help us transition to this future, as they will be key to the new hybrid economy.

      it will be the full stack employee’s job to convince people to read sports stories written by robots while being driven around by a robot, using fake empathy as a tool. How sensitive.

    4. sd

      Good lord. “Full stack employee” is just a fancy way of saying faceless masses. What an absolute crock of shiftiness. With little to no emphasis on developing a suite of skills, it’s random wet spaghetti thrown on the wall, see what sticks that you can make some money off of and move on. A guarantee that absolutely nothing of lasting quality and value will actually get produced and that no usable skills will be mastered over time. All flash, no substance, meager quality. What an absolutely horrific standard to aspire to. I suppose if everyone talks fast enough with big smiles no one will notice.

      An observation. This same attitude is quite accurately reflected in today’s art world which finds itself filled with meaningless “concept” art. Loud, narcissistic, and void of any personal or emotional commitment.

  5. NotTimothyGeithner

    Quinnipiac is good, but Hillary’s favorables went up after she became a good team player after the 08 election. As time progresses, there will be enough voters out there who simply will not vote for anyone who voted for the Iraq War. It might not be the email scandal as much as the reasons she couldn’t beat the current clod in the White House.

  6. sleepy

    On IRS workers buying their own office supplies—

    In the past year I did some economic survey work for the US census. We were so short of supplies I ended up making copies of handouts and brochures at home. Also when I had to travel overnight, I had to pay my hotel bills upfront with my own credit card, then wait up to four weeks for reimbursement from the census.

  7. rjs

    fast track to fly next week:

    Pritzker Says TPA Bill Expected To Be Introduced In Senate Next Week

    Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on Thursday (April 9) said senators are expected next week to introduce a bill to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as fast track, becoming the first administration official to publicly endorse that timeline.
    Fast-Track Bill Work Moves To Ancillary Issues, Including Add-Ons

    As of last week, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee appear to have narrowed their differences on a core procedural provision of a fast-track bill enough to have aides work out options for members to consider upon return from Easter recess, and begin focusing on ancillary issues, according to informed sources. 

    (from an industry paywalled site)

    1. craazyboy

      If Congress fast-passes it and the rest of the Pacific Rim still refuses to sign it, can everyone still sue us for imaginary profits?

      1. hunkerdown

        I believe there’s a quorum. It takes two signatories to tango, if I remember right.

  8. Kim Kaufman

    “Democrats don’t vote [The Atlantic]. I bet they’d vote for real Democrats instead of fake Republicans.”

    Yes, and we’ll never know if Karen Lewis could have beat Rahm. I think she could have.

  9. shinola

    The apparent murder-by-cop of Walter Scott brings up a question that’s bothered me for quite some time.
    According to the reports, the cop fired 8 shots but Mr. Scott was suffered “only” 5 wounds. Where did the other 3 bullets go?
    I first got to thinking about this several years ago when the police in a neighboring suburb made their very first fatal shooting of a suspect in over 40 years of the department’s existence. Two cops fired a total of 11 shots at the suspect, outdoors in a residential neighborhood. The suspect was struck 4 times. I never read anything about any houses or cars being struck. Do cops have some sort of “magic” bullet that vaporizes if it misses its mark?
    Maybe it’s just the way things are reported, but there seems to be a tendency these days for cops to “unload” their clips at suspects but nary a word about collateral injuries or property damage. How can this be?

    1. pdx

      The murder charges bring up the question whether Slager’s views on the death penalty have changed in the past week.

      1. hunkerdown

        It is extremely unlikely that he would be executed for doing his real job: reproducing a subordinate, cowed, working class that fights against itself instead of power. Polite society needs dirty cops more than dirty cops need polite society. Without trigger men, the guillotines come out, and they know who they’re for.

    1. different clue

      Well, as I said in a comment a few threads ago, China will turn all the great rivers of Asia into crusty ribbons of shit. And there is not a damn thing anyone can do about any of it.

  10. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    I was going to post a comment, but all that came up was bile. And regret. The entire sh*tshow, from the TPP to Hitlery to US police killing more people in the month of March than UK cops did in the last 100 years, it all feels like we’re hitting terminal velocity towards a very bleak future indeed. All we seem to have to look forward to is more toxic corporo-fascism, loss of life, liberty, property, and forget about the pursuit of happiness.
    I’m reading Memoirs of Hadrian…you know, the guy who inscribed Humanitas, Libertas, Felicitas on his coins? I wonder what some future writer would say was inscribed on the coins of our realm? Avarus, Iniuria, et Letum (letum is death, annihilation, ruin…)

  11. DJG

    The Pew article on its supposed deep dive into U.S. politics is thin gruel: It makes the mistake of taking a whole bunch of qualitative variables, lining them up, and not telling us (1) what they mean and (2) how many people in the U.S. fall into each category. Mormons are the most Republican group, and they are, what, 15 million? That’s 3 pecent of the population. Catholics are some 20, 22 percent (or 70 million). You can see why the article would have been more enlightening if it gave a sense of what the variables mean and how many votes each represents. And what is a white Southerner? Someone from Maryland? Catholics from Louisiana? People from eastern New Mexico?

    The most enlightening data, though, are the Republican majorities among white Southerners and Evangelicals, which are two highly overlapping groups. But let’s say that they make up 25 percent of the populace. That explains a good part of Republican economic backwardness, traditionalist politics, and the anti-science stances.

    Another datum worth nothing is the flight of Asians to the Democrats. Asians aren’t the biggest group–maybe 5 percent of the population–and they are poorly defined: Turks plus Japanese plus Malaysians? Yet they are the fastest-growing group in the U.S. And the Republicans have driven them out. Chinese-Americans used to be fairly solidly Republican. No more.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Query whether any of the entrail-studying actually means anything — The Obama people were proud of their at-all-the-margins manufacturing of just enough confusion and consensus around that “Hope’n’Change” thing, and the people that are in the business of manufacturing negatives in huge enough quantities to drown any candidate or issue that might in any way challenge the hegemonic kleptocracy only need to know what buttons to push and avoid stepping on each others’ toes or other members.

      I recall a 2007 interview of one of the Obama operatives on NPR, where the interlocutor got a little off the script and actually asked substantive questions about actual policies and positions on health care and war and banksters and stuff and, on getting non-substantive responses, called a little bullshit right to the operative. Who glibly offered that “well, the voters are just gong to have to be satisfied with hopenchange [stated as a monad] then.” Marking it clearly for the idiotic fishbait that it was. I pointed that out in a “diary” on dailykos at the time, to the expected crows-mobbing-a-cat response. Meanwhile, birthers and he’s-a-closet-Muslim-ers were getting their amygdalas titillated…

      Measured by my grade-school and even college civics yardsticks, the system is broken. Those yardsticks are of course reduced to lots of toothpicks for the Elite to remove bits of Kobe beefsteaks from between their carefully capped canines…

    1. sd

      Have you ever been to Solheimar? Fantastic place and the art is really amazing. Be sure to visit at a time when you can stop into the gallery. Hours are limited.

  12. JTFaraday

    “The Apple watch enables “digital touch” — e.g., for flirting” [Daring Fireball].

    We’ve come a long way from the cuckoo clock …or not.

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