2:00PM Water Cooler 5/22/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Stupid gotcha by The Beltway Shopper Politico on Warren and ISDS retails oppo [Matt Yglesias, Vox]. No chin-stroking from Yglesias, so you know this isn’t even colorable. 


The S.S. Clinton

Readers: In some sort of kerfuffle, I lost the links I’d intended to add on the latest drama… of which this would have been one.

Clinton campaign turns its Twitter account over to supporter for a day [Corrente]. Smart!

“Hillary Clinton’s lucrative life of crime” [Ted Rall, Japan Times (!)].

Republican Establishment

“Jeb Bush massages New Hampshire woman” [CNN]. At least it wasn’t Angela Merkel.

Bush promises 20-year-old growth selling 40-year-old Conservative nostrums. It’s GENIUS!! [Reuters]. I wasn’t sure how long snake oil stays in the bottle without deteriorating. Come to think of it, I’m still not sure.

Perry on Jade Helm: “I hope people always question government, but don’t question your military. Don’t question the men and women who have put their hands up and sworn this oath to our Constitution and defended this country” [Talking Point Memo]. Last I checked, the President took an oath of office, though you wouldn’t know it over the past 15 years. Did I not get the memo?

“Nothing much is going on right now in the 2016 presidential campaign–unless you’re a Republican political junkie, in which case every day is Christmas or, perhaps, Halloween” [Joe Klein, Time].

New two-tier Republican debate rules set by FOX encourage the clown car to book lots of cable, spend money early [National Journal]. The real story is that FOX is now openly part of the Republican Party apparatus.

“Having washed their hands of the war and escaped further interrogation about it, [Republicans] can turn around and attack Hillary Clinton over the Iraq war from the left” [The New Republic].

Karl Rove is losing his mojo [New York Times]. Looks to me like the squillionaires are doing what lousy bosses everywhere do, aided by sycophants praising their brilliance while picking their pockets: Taking personal control.

Republican Principled Insurgents

Why Rand Paul’s Patriot Act filibuster was strainght-to-video and not much else [Christian Science Monitor]. Sigh. And I’d wanted to like the guy on this one thing.

Republican Clown Car

Twelve staffers from Fiorina’s failed 2010 campaign still haven’t been paid. Fiorina’s net worth is up to $120 million [Reuters]. What is it with rich people cheating their servants? Do they do it for fun?

“The crowd went wild and chanted Trump’s name even before he took the stage at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center to receive the ‘Statesman of the Year’ award from the local Republican party” [DailyMail]. Trump on Iraq: “We spend $2 trillion, we lost thousands of lives, we’ve got wounded warriors – who I love more than anybody – all over the place. And you can’t say if it was a bad thing?”

Chris Christie trails Ben Carson in the polls [@davidsirota]. Ouch.


PATRIOT Act throwdown with Feingold vs. Johnson in Wisconsin [The Intercept].

Left and right combine to end death penalty in Nebraska [Los Angeles Times]. See, strange bedfellows can work.

How liberal or conservative is your name? [Crowdpac]. Fun!

Stats Watch

Consumer price index for April, 2015: “Excluding food and energy, core prices rose 0.3 percent which doesn’t seem that much but is outside Econoday’s high-end forecast for 0.2 percent. It is also the highest since January 2013” [Bloomberg]. Hawks emit hoarse, rasping screams.

Readings showing pressure are outside energy including medical costs (up a very steep 0.7 percent in the month) and education costs (up 0.5 percent). Shelter costs, reflecting rising rents, came in at plus 0.3 percent for the 3rd time in 4 months which is the hottest streak for this reading since way back in late 2006 and early 2007. Also standing out are gains in furniture (up 1.3 percent) and used cars (up 0.6 percent).

Health and education looks like rising rents to me, too. Heh.

“Federal Reserve policy, which has historically focused on core inflation as measured by the core PCE Price Index, will see that the more familiar core CPI remains below the PCE the target range of 2 percent” [Econ Intersect].

On yesterday’s ATA truck tonnage: “Still headed south. Maybe just a few more rate cuts…” [Mosler Economics]. 

Dear Old Blighty

A helping hand for Labour [Mutterings from The Left]. Quoting a constituent:

I’m going to help you out here, Labour, because I have watched your decline for a long time and it seems clear that you have not the foggiest idea where you have gone wrong….

Forget Blairism. The con Blair pulled off worked once, but it will not work again in our lifetime, because there are things people don’t forget. Blairism gained Labour the support of a certain number of swing voters and that helped you as long as your core supporters loyally stood by you. Whatever made you think, though, that you could give up the goals and values of your real clientele and that nevertheless they would keep voting for you indefinitely? Sure, many people feel loyal to a party and are patient with it, and there is a certain inertia that needs to be overcome before some voters desert their traditional party. But if that party continually fails to represent their supporter’s interests, these supporters will eventually walk away. The sentence I heard again and again and again these last few months was this: “I have not left Labour, Labour have left me.” That is the core of the problem.

So listen to me well, Labour Party, because if you get this wrong again you will be done for, once and for all: Don’t try to appeal to Tory voters.

Her complaint seems oddly familiar….

“Cameron  announced a proposal to seize the wages of immigrants in the country illegally” [Los Angeles Times].

“Theresa May’s plan to censor TV shows condemned by Tory cabinet colleague ” [Guardian]. Censor in advance.

SNP could stop fox hunting [Mirror]. Should really be filed under Class Warfare.


For first time in nearly 40 years, California regulators will curtail pumping by those with senior water rights [Los Angeles Times].

California Water and Power’s $178-million billing system has screwed up thousands of accounts since 2013 [Los Angeles Times]. Another coding horror story among so many. But Silicon Valley triumphalists think moar code will solve everything… 

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

“ISPs resurrect Verizon claim that they should control speech on their networks” [Ars Technica]. When are these clowns going to recognize their job is to keep the Intertubes unclogged and running freely, and leave it at that? 

“How we’re fighting back against the UK surveillance state—and winning” [Ars Technica].

America the Petrostate

Plains All American Pipeline, who operate the pipeline that burst in Santa Barbara, got themselves exempted from county regulation 20 years ago, with the result that there’s no shutoff valve (!) [Santa Barbara Independent (emptyfull)]. A cautionary tale, as some states seek to eliminate country regulation of fracking.

Polar Code adopted [Tanker Operator]. Just what it sounds like: Code for operating oil tankers in polar waters. What could go wrong?

“Millions of barrels of untapped oil that U.S. shale drillers discovered during the boom years are about to disappear from their inventories” [Bloomberg]. Bumpsadaisy…. 

Climate Change

Paper: Yet another Antarctic ice sheet destabilized by warmer water from below [WaPo]. “‘This is one of now three really quite substantial signals that we’ve seen from different parts of West Antarctica and the Antarctic peninsula that is all going in the same way,’ said Jonathan Bamber of the University of Bristol, one of the paper’s authors.”

“President Barack Obama says climate change deniers are endangering national security” [Informed Comment]. Which would explain opening up the Arctic to drilling.

Avian Flu (H5N2)

Avian flu still spreading, egg prices rice, vaccine makers concerned [Reuters]. Not dangerous to humans, apparently.

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota: The virus “doing things we’ve never seen it do before. … Now we surely have a very dynamic situation in the Midwest” [NPR].

A huge incinerator is being set up at the Cherokee County [Iowa] landfill, and officials there plan to fire it up this week and have it burning for 24 hours a day. Although some hold out hope that the outbreak will die down this summer, when its harder for the virus to live in hot temperatures, others guess that states could be cleaning up for months or even years to come.

And I think “a very dynamic situation” is how we say “my hair is on fire” in government.

In my quick research this morning, I don’t see any explainers at the top what’s newsworthy, though factory farming is a very obvious suspect. Iowa, as everybody knows, is an early, retail politics primary state. Perhaps some candidates could be asked about this.

Police State
Canadian teen pleads guilty to 23 charges of swatting, harassing “mostly young, female gamers” who declined or ignored his friend requests on LoL and Twitter [Ars Technica]. But I’m sure it was about ethics in journalism. Anyhow, I’m filing this under police state, because without a militarized police force with hair trigger trouble, swatting wouldn’t exist.

Class Warfare

Poor and minorities shoulder college debt while Presidents write themselves huge checks [Wonkwire]. Step one to fix the university system is to gut the administrative layer, starting at the top.

“[T]he ‘lack of confidence’ women display in [job seeking] may just be a cold realism, not an inherent character trait” [Bloomberg]. Ya think?

News of the Wired

  • Medium now believes “Total Time Reading” is a misleading metric, and is changing its business model [Medium]. I never trusted Medium from Day One — even though, apparently, they paid for long-form content (!) — because I always figured they would head in the walled garden direction, and we don’t need a second Facebook, even with better authoring tools. I have enough bad faith in my life from Mark Zuckerberg already, thank you. Now, I may have been both wrong and unfair about Medium’s original intent, but in one of life’s little ironies, my fears may come true anyhow. Too bad. It’s not their fault Zuckerberg poisoned their well.
  • History of the English language animated [Brain Pickings].
  • “A study indicating that gay canvassers could convince voters to support same-sex marriage just by talking to them has been retracted after it turns out that one of the researchers may have fabricated the data” [LAist]. That was fast.
  • Depression and sleep apnea [Los Angeles Times].
  • “Happy To Be Here” [Popehat]. Powerful piece on depression.
  • “Trouble will find me” [Bangor Daily News]. On leaving Portland. Or not!
  • “My Negative Fortune” [Buzzfeed]. Long form on Somali immigrants, who we are lucky to have in Lewiston.
  • “I Don’t Think David Brooks Is Okay, You Guys” [Gawker]. Overly long, but as I recall there were reader questions about “snark.” This is weapons-grade. And so very, very deserved.
  • “U.S. HOUSEHOLD DEFICIT SPENDING A Rendezvous with Reality (PDF) [Rob Parenteau, Levy Institute]. Dated 2006, so #JustSaying.
  • “The Lexicon of Global Migration” [Seventeen EightyNine]. Very true!

* * *

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 fifth of Gardens, Week Three (Jeffrey):


These guys made it through a killing frost in Montana! Jeffrey:

I feel ample guilt for what we have sowed and wrought on the innocent flora and fauna around us… Carbon 400 , baby!!

I don’t; I feel plants are smarter than we are and will long survive us. How’s your garden coming? Make this Zone 5b guy jealous!

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. It’s the soil, seeds, flats, and planting season!


(Readers will notice that I have, at long last, improved the hat!)

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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

    Interesting read on Gluttony, Corporate Style. [Forbes]

    Vampire CEOs Continue To Suck Blood

    The problem today is that the super-sized executive compensation isn’t a regrettable but tiny sideshow. It has grown exponentially and is now macro-economic in scale. It has become almost the main game of the financial sector and the main driver of executive behavior in big business.

    Even as the members of the C-suite [CEO, CFO, et al ] are delivering less and less return on assets and on invested capital, the poor performance has yet to register in their paychecks. In the period 1978 to 2013, CEO compensation increased by an astonishing 937%, while the typical worker’s compensation have declined.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Hahaha. Gee, ya think?
        Sam Palmisano (IBM CEO) extracted $225,000,000 from IBM in 10 years. (2002-2012, Chief Looting Officer)

      2. inode_buddha

        … all those years, I thought it was the high taxes that did it, not the executive compensation. Fool me once, and all that.

  2. timbers

    Imperial Collapse Watch:

    “The U.S. military has begun to publicly challenge Chinese island-building on disputed reefs in the South China Sea, creating fresh tension in a potential global tinderbox as both countries shift forces into the area.”

    Because we’re only bombing 7 nations.


    “President Obama told West Coast graduates climate change threatens military readiness….”

    What O-bomb-er should have said is his militarism is causing climate change.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Obomba needs to replace the Afgan war with a fresh war before he leaves office. War with China to be gifted to Hellery before he leaves office.
      Woohoo. More troops into the meat grinder.
      Long live the MIC.
      Death to the American Taxpayer.

  3. Michael Hudson

    Rich people cheat their servants for the same reason that musicians work so hard to get to Carnegie Hall: Practice, practice, practice.

  4. diptherio

    “Noam” scores a 9.7L

    Most common names I put in score on the conservative side. Not my common name, but most of them, which makes me wonder how scientific this actually is…

    1. hunkerdown

      It’s not scientific — there’s no hypothesis to test, and it erroneously uses a costly signal (material support of terrorism Establishment parties) to quantify a relatively costless phenomenon. But it is kinda fun!

      Interestingly, the few less-Anglicized names I tried (Juana, Juan, Valery, Svetlana, Francisco, Pedro, Pierre, Julien), are almost all “left” of their notional “center”, except “Julian”, and “Boris” (0.0C). (Natasha is the most liberal name in their database at 9.9L. Hey, Rocky (6.1C), watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat…)

    2. barutanseijin

      Ebenezer was 100% Liberal. It’s based on the names of political funding donors. An amusing game, but kind it excludes folks whose politics isn’t D or R or money based.

    3. cwaltz

      Really? I put all of my family’s names in and only one came up conservative, Robert, my oldest son. My daughter’s name, my name, my son’s name and my husband’s name(also the name of my other son) all came up liberal on the spectrum.

  5. diptherio

    “Swatting” is, like, a thing? I mean, we have a word for this now? Jeebus…

    1. dcblogger

      Sadly swatting is a thing. If you know you are being targeted, you send the link to the item online discussion board (usually 8chan) and tell the police you are a target. They still come when swated, but at least they knock on the door as opposed to kicking it in. We didn’t have SWAT before Nixon, who gave us the no-knock search warrant.

      In any case, the item about the Canadian swatting teen should be filed under War on Women, because if women were not the target of this trash the FBI would have shut it down long ago.

      1. hunkerdown

        Are you quite sure it wasn’t because the targets were pursuing modestly leftist politics, just the sort of thing the FBI was created to suppress? Seems a more Occam-compliant explanation than the self-aggrandizing clash-of-civilizations narrative Democrats smear on everything like Vegemite.

      2. Septeus7

        Unfortunately, the headline is false. It was not 23 cases of swatting as no one charged with “Swatting” he was charged with but 23 offences of extortion, public mischief and criminal harassment. – See more at: http://www.tricitynews.com/news/coquitlam-teen-admits-to-swatting-1.1941402#sthash.pqYufT9j.dpuf

        What is more concerning is how easily he hacked the University of Arizona email database and twitter to steal personal information but the reporting is suspect because what kind of idiots have their “social insurance” (Social Security?) information linked to their twitter? It doesn’t make sense. You don’t give out SS or credit card information to have a email or twitter.

        As for having a notorious online reputation what does that mean? Was he LizardSquad?, LulzSecurity? Who exactly noticed him and are they being investigated?

        Stop linking to clickbaiters like Art Technica.

        1. reslez

          Ars Technica is a venerable and respected source for tech news. I don’t know what you have against them, but they are no more click bait than any other news site.

        2. hunkerdown

          what kind of idiots have their “social insurance” (Social Security?) information linked to their twitter?

          If the UA data and the Twitter data both had mobile phone numbers or some other unique identifier in common, the exercise of linking them together (“joining” on the phone number, as database programmers say) would take a few seconds on any reasonably provisioned PC.

    2. reslez

      Apparently the story is even worse than that. According to people who are familiar with the background, the 17 year old who was charged had a ring of admirers around the web who helped him amass PII on the victims. Many of the victims were female “streamers”, people who stream video of themselves playing video games with added commentary for other fans. The experience drove some of them out of the gaming community entirely, so that’s awesome too. /s Some of the victims he blackmailed for nude pictures — and some of them were underaged. He and his friends traded the pictures online. Apparently he was a very manipulative individual who used a lot of the same tactics used by “pick up artists” to shame and deceive women. Sometimes he got home addresses by offering to send his victims pizza, other times he had his goons track down their email addresses and hacked into their accounts. Of course, this person will have his day in court, but he was pretty well known in certain corners of the web.

    3. Jack

      Oh yes, that happens pretty regularly. I imagine SWAT teams just sit around waiting for the alarm, like firefighters.

        1. Jack

          Oh, I wasn’t being sarcastic. I know it happens, it’s a fairly common occurance in streaming. Trolls love the idea of someones live video game session being interupted by a cop raid.

  6. Ron

    California regulators will curtail pumping by those with senior water rights [Los Angeles Times].

    This is an interesting gambit by the farmers to off a portion of there water rights in exchange for a 100 year exception from further cuts. The problem boils down to what if the drought continues for the next 10-20 years and the water flow becomes nothing, what happens then? Is the state then required to bring in water to make up the difference for the farmer? This does not impact Salinas which is the major row crop producer and has pumped ground water for years. Projection continue that the drought may last a very long time but one never knows but if it does Calif AG is toast.

    1. Carolinian

      We may learn the truth of Mark Twain’s famous observation.

      Whiskey is for drinking—water is for fighting.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      Irrigated agriculture is always a little precarious–even more so long term probably than non-irrigated. The obvious remedy is to move a greater portion of food production into areas that receive in-season rains. Luckily the US has a lot of untapped as it were potential for doing so. The crop mix will change and winter availability and selection will suffer. Might need root cellars again. I’m surprised how well farmers do with non-irrigated crops here in W Washington State, some years the corn only gets waist high but most years it does fine, and we don’t get much summer rainfall, in spite of our wet reputation. Farming sustainably without a lot of oil or other external inputs is surely the future of US agriculture, and that means taking good care of the soil and planting recognizing appropriate climactic environments. It also means few will be eating fresh lettuce and tomatoes in the winter.

      1. inode_buddha

        One thing I have long wondered. Since New Orleans is constantly being pumped out 24×7, why not pipe that water to the Colorado River (and thus to Calif.?) After all, if we can build oil pipelines we can easily do the same for that much water. Its readily available in large diameters. Pretty sure the collective farmers along the way would be willing to pay for it. The price of a head of lettuce might go up 2 cents.

        1. John Zelnicker

          inode_buddha: You made me smile. That would be a great idea, except…. the pumping in New Orleans doesn’t go on 24×7, although it may seem like it sometimes. The city is generally well protected by the system of levees surrounding it and continuing up the Mississippi River. Pumps are only needed during heavy rain (which is frequent enough) and in the event of storms or storm surges that can overwhelm the levees.

          1. John Zelnicker

            I wanted to add that the pumps are quite amazing. If the streets are flooding, they can empty the entire city within 30-40 minutes after the rain stops.

              1. John Zelnicker

                Lambert – You remember correctly. Unfortunately, by the time of Katrina there was no one left who really knew how to repair those old pumps and replacement parts had to be made in the local machine shop. They were mostly (all?) replaced during the post-storm rebuilding with, naturally, crappified modern pumps that were no match for the old ones.

                1. Kurt Sperry

                  One cool thing that technology allows now is you can accurately measure and store all the dimensional data on all the parts in your stock and if you have a material spec you can make good spares quickly on demand and on site for long discontinued parts. At least for the smaller ones and ones that don’t require a lot of fabrication steps like welds. This allows keeping old machinery (sometimes better in some important respects than current production) useful and in operation.

                  Let’s not forget either that the original flood pumps were electrically powered off the grid (what could possibly go wrong?) and there’s little reason I’m aware of to believe that newer pumps in place won’t meet their specified performance. The baffling hydraulic pulsing that afflicted the new system after installation was remedied by higher rate springs being fitted in the hydraulic motors that directly drive the impellers.

          2. ambrit

            We lived in New Orleans for several years. The levees are indeed amazing. I remember watching oceangoing ships pass on the river many times from the levees behind the stables at Audubon Park. This was ‘ye olde days’ before the stables moved into the Park proper. At spring high water on the river, the superstructures of those ships would tower high above everyone and everything. Seeing this a night was an eerie experience, like a lit up office building gliding by in the night sky. Mobile has levees too, doesn’t it?
            The point being; the pumps make living below the water table possible. The Dutch managed it with wind power. Today we use powered pumps. After fossil fuel feasibility fails, we might go back to windmills, who knows?
            The other civic endeavor New Orleans is known widely for in the more technical circles is public water filtration systems. All of New Orleans’ public water comes from the river. The City manages to make it potable, after it has collected the discharges of a quarter of the land surface of America. That’s a real accomplishment. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that purification of water will be much cheaper than long distance pumping, even for agricultural scales of use. That and a return to dry land farming methods should get the job done.

            1. John Zelnicker

              No, ambrit, we don’t have levees here in Mobile. The downtown area is slightly above sea level and the Mobile and Tensaw rivers, which empty into Mobile Bay, aren’t nearly as big as the Mississippi. Most of the city is at higher elevations from 100 to 200 feet above sea level.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          The tweet I got this link from has a guy who’s obsessed with piping the water from the East Coast all over it. All very well, until there’s a drought in the areas crossed by the line, in which case people will tap into it, and you end up with the Colorado River of pipelines with a trickle on the California end.

          Simpler to invade Canada and ship by rail, plus you get a smidge of military Keynesianism.

          1. John Zelnicker

            ROFL. Your comments on the items in the post this afternoon were some of your most trenchant. I always get a kick out of the way you express your sensibilities.

            Hope your garden is successful this year.

          2. Carolinian

            Readers of Marc Reisner’s great Cadillac Desert know that there was once a serious proposal to pipe water from Canada to the Western states.

            The book was adapted for a four part documentary on PBS in the ’90s and Google reveals that it is available on Youtube.


    1. cwaltz

      Well at least she’s negotiated something for it. I bet my putz was just told to lie down and think of the queen while he was representatively screwing the state of Virginia over(but hey we’ve got a port so it’s all good.). He’s such a good party lapdog.

  7. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

    Vox link isn’t working. (I checked google for it, seems they took it down or are editing or something.).

    Dug up the Tiger Beat On The Potomac original by Edward-Isaac Dovere and Doug Palmer.

    You were right to not bother linking to them.

      1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

        It works now for me, too. I think it was being edited or some such at Vox.

  8. nippersdad

    Thanks for the Brooks link! There should be a spew warning just before the part where he is seen to be walking around in his shower curtain. That was some seriously funny stuff.

  9. NOTaREALmerican

    Can’t cut the top layer of administration (of anything) without (gasp) “austerity”. “Liberals” hate government austerity, hence the top layer of administrators keeps increasing.

    What’s the opposite of “austerity”? Trick question… there’s actually no such thing as “austerity” for the people who run the place: the “humble administrators”.

  10. Carolinian

    What is it with rich people cheating their servants?

    Total lack of empathy. By contrast people who have once depended on tips for a living tend to be good tippers.

    1. hunkerdown

      War being the health of the state, and status being the measure of how much of one’s trespasses and arrogations society will tolerate, stiffing the help could serve no other purpose than a gesture of reinforcing the dependency relationship, i.e. “reminding one of one’s place”.

    2. John Zelnicker

      I’d like to know how much of the .1%’s wealth comes from scamming and cheating employees, vendors and so on, as well as the tax cheats, especially the employment taxes for household employees. That one has caught a bunch of people appointed to government posts. I bet it’s a good sized chunk.

    3. optimader

      yep, what I remember are tired feet walking on shittily carpeted concrete, and that was when I was a kid.

  11. abynormal

    HOLY BONEHEADS: Secret Bank of England taskforce investigates financial fallout of Brexit

    News of undercover project emerges after Bank staff accidentally email details to the Guardian including PR notes on how to deny its existence
    Bank of England officials are secretly researching the financial shocks that could hit Britain if there is a vote to leave the European Union in the forthcoming referendum.

    The Bank blew its cover on Friday when it accidentally emailed details of the project – including how the bank intended to fend off any inquiries about its work – direct to the Guardian.

    According to the confidential email, the press and most staff in Threadneedle Street must be kept in the dark about the work underway, which has been dubbed Project Bookend.

    It spells out that if anyone asks about the project, the taskforce must say the investigation has nothing to do with the referendum, saying only that staff are involved in examining “a broad range of European economic issues” that concern the Bank. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/may/22/secret-bank-of-england-taskforce-investigates-financial-fallout-brexit?CMP=share_btn_tw

      1. Oregoncharles

        My thought exactly – though these things do happen. The Internet is a large and mysterious place.

        OTOH, and to be fair: wouldn’t it be grossly irresponsible if they WEREN’T researching this? It’s the secrecy that’s the scandal.

  12. Marianne Jones

    H5N2… I read somewhere that there is a projected 18 month timeline for restoring egg production and domestic inventory. I think vaccine producers are probably already requiring egg growth medium for this fall’s vaccine production. Suspect that the next two annual flu seasons might be rather bumpy!

  13. barutanseijin

    I was an undergrad with Pete Ricketts. He was a friend of a friend and i met him once. All i remember was him telling racist jokes about native Americans. With most folks you’d say well maybe he’s grown up and learned a few things since then. In his case, that has happened. What an ass. Nebraska dumping the death penalty is just that much sweeter for happening on his watch.

  14. jjmacjohnson

    Me thinks the Portland writer that it is less about Portland and themselves and drink. Or the giving up.

    1. jrs

      or the economy sucking everywhere … But yea if they were drinking a lot giving it up will mess with the brain.

  15. optimader

    Chris Christie trails Ben Carson in the polls
    Rice Cristies done gone all soggy :o/

  16. Oregoncharles

    “Why Rand Paul’s Patriot Act filibuster was strainght-to-video” – as was Bernie’s, a while back.

  17. Oregoncharles

    From the second Ars Technica article: “Fortunately, in October 2013 the original group of NGOs had launched its own legal challenge at the European Court of Human Rights ”

    Here’s the real reason Cameron wants to renegotiate Britain’s EU membership.

  18. cwaltz

    Perry is an idiot. I’m pretty sure Congress ALSO gets sworn in as do those “judicial activists” that are seated on the courts. So who was it again we weren’t supposed to question because they took an oath?

  19. cwaltz

    It’d be nice to see Feingold back in the Senate. Bernie and Elizabeth might be able to make themselves into a coalition of 3(which I still think is to small to make much of a difference other than occasional speeches.)

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