2:00PM Water Cooler 5/7/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Senator Sherrod Brown, jobs: “I’ve seen the same promises — more jobs, higher wages. The jobs don’t materialize … the promises are remade” [CNN]. The failed and remade promises are true across the board, of course, not just for TPP.

Democratic 2016 Senatorial candidates lining up against TPP: Both Van Hollen and Edwards in Maryland, both Strickland and Sittenfeld in Ohio, Patrick Murphy in Florida [National Journal]. “Murphy’s statement comes as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed him, showing the very limited risk in bucking the White House, which is adamantly lobbying for the deal and TPA.” Of course, that’s the beauty of passing TPP with Republican votes; Democrats out of power get to be revolving heroes, while Democrats in power sell the country down the river.

Schumer won’t support fast track without a crackdown on Chinese currency manipulation [Post-Standard].


Deblasio plans to unveil a “Contract with America” for the left [Politico]. Not to engage in puffery, but here’s a handy baseline. Let’s see how well Deblasio does.


TPP: “I have voted against every disastrous trade agreement coming down the pike and helping to lead the effort against this Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would mean the outsourcing of more good paying job to low-wage countries. People have got to look at Secretary Clinton’s record” [CNN]. Hillary? Oh, H-i-l-l-l-a-r-y!!!

The S.S. Clinton

Exxon Mobil has decided not to be involved in the Clinton Global Initiative this year. Other sponsors, including Monsanto, are reevaluating their partnerships [WaPo]. Until this whole election thing blows over.

“[Hillary Clinton] is an undeniable component of the Clinton political-financial legacy that came to national fruition more than 23 years ago, which is why looking back at the history of the first Clinton presidency is likely to tell you so much about the shape and character of the possible second one” [Nomi Prins, Tom Dispatch].Good read.

“Hillary Clinton met privately here with a small group of potential high-dollar donors to Priorities USA. Mrs. Clinton will participate in more of these gatherings, including one in Los Angeles on Thursday, said officials, who described them as conversations with small groups and individuals” [Wall Street Journal, “Hillary Clinton Meets With Potential Super PAC Donors”].

Republican strategist on Clinton and immigration: “Republicans’ intransigence has created an obvious opportunity for Hillary to rip off our arms and beat us with the bloody ends” [WaPo]. More like this, please.

“Scant evidence exists in any poll to suggest that Clinton is anything short of beloved (or, at the very least, be-liked) by the party’s liberal base [WaPo].

Walker first in Iowa, then a scrum of Cruz, Rubio, Paul, and Huckabee. Carson (7%) leads Bush (5%) [Quinnipiac].

Republican Establishment

In Op-Ed, Jebbie proposes conservative nostrums to end “attack poverty” [Chicago Tribune]. It’s cute when Republicans pretend to care about poor people. It’s less cute when Democrats do, because watching a party run on brand fumes is so unpleasant.

Republican Clown Car

Fiorina against TPP [Daily Caller]. Sorry to link to Daily Caller, but strange bedfellows…

Stats Watch

Jobless Claims, week of April 2, 2015: “Claims came in at a much lower-than-expected 265,000 in the May 2nd week, holding on to nearly all their improvement in the prior week” [Bloomberg].

Gallup US Payroll to Population, April 2015: “Gallup’s measure of unemployment slipped” [Bloomberg]. “A special positive in the report is improvement in underemployment.”

Challenger Job-Cut Report, April 2015: “Price-borne weakness in the oil sector was responsible for about one-third of all layoff announcements in April” [Bloomberg]. Notes lag between announcement and actual layoff.

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, week of April 3, 2015: “fell 1.0 point in the May 3 week to 43.7 with optimism toward the economy at a 3-month low and buying climate at a 6-week low” [Bloomberg]. “Weakness is concentrated among those making less than $15,000 a year where sentiment is the lowest in more than 4 years.”

Chain Store Sales, April 2015: “Deeply lower year-on-year sales rates” [Bloomberg]. Blame Easter.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Second Circuit rules that the bulk collection of telephone metadata is unlawful, in a landmark decision that clears the way for a full legal challenge against the National Security Agency [Guardian]. PDF of the decision.

“[T]he NSA’s bulk collection of metadata of phone calls to and from Americans is not authorized by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act” [Dan Froomkin, The Intercept]. Excellent roundup.

 “Thursday’s ruling did not come with any injunction ordering the program to cease, and it is not clear that anything else will happen in the judicial system before Congress has to make a decision about the expiring law” [Charles Savage et al, New York Times].

Lawyers threaten researcher with DRMA violation for high-tech picking of a high-tech lock [Ars Technica].


“Top officers of the former Wilmington Trust Corp. are among the highest-ranking bankers to face criminal charges and civil fraud charges for falsifying financial reports to bank and securities regulators and investors during the late 2000s financial crisis” [Philadelphia Inquirer]. That’s Pennsylvania. How about New York?

The first person to be tried for LIBOR rigging is, of course, a trader [Bloomberg]. Because the purpose of the C-suite is not to know stuff, but not to know stuff. 

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Handy step-by-step guide for policing a protest movement [The Nation]. Democrat mayors, you’re doing the heavy lifting on this, so please pay attention!

City of Ferguson mulls removing Mike Brown shrine from middle of street [AP]. So why not make it a traffic island?

Lead poisoning on the firing range [City of Baltimore]. If there is a lead-poisoning phenotype, it would be interesting to see if any of the Baltimore police present with it.

Madison police chief: Policies for deadly force are ‘not negotiable’ in review of police practices [Wisconsin State Journal]. 

“The leaders of two Wisconsin police unions say they are “deeply troubled” by a painting titled “Don’t Shoot” at the Madison Central Public Library” [Journal-Sentinel].

U.K. election

“[P]ollsters say the outcome of the vote is too close to call. Opinion polls suggest that neither party is likely to win a majority of seats as voters defect to newly popular fringe parties” [Wall Street Journal, “Britons Vote in Most Unpredictable U.K. Election in Decades”]. “Fringe” equates UKIP with the Greens and the SNP. The Beltway myth of centrism… 

“[I]f it weren’t for what is occurring in Scotland, where the Scottish National Party (S.N.P.) looks like it will sweep the board, Miliband would be on the verge of a great victory” [New Yorker].


Brown set goal of 25% reduction in water use, but California has achieved 8.6%, cumulatively, since last summer [Los Angeles Times].


“[I]t took Panera a year just to get the additives out of its Greek salad dressing” [WaPo].

Health Care

ObamaCare provider networks are narrower, but this doesn’t affect quality [Health Affairs]. This is the abstract. I’d love to have the paper.

Hispanics born in the United States have poorer health by several measures than Hispanics born abroad who immigrate to the U.S. [Bloomberg]. “They are likelier to be obese and smoke cigarettes and to suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer.” At a guess, stress and food-like substances.

Medical coding is law. Now pay up! [Slashdot].

Imperial Collapse Watch

“America’s Antiwar Correspondent” [The American Conservative]. William Pfaff. No encomiums for Pfaff from liberals, so far as I can tell; might be inconvenient for Obama or Hillary, I suppose, though there’s this from the Chicago Reader.

Class Warfare

“The best way to nab your dream job out of college? Be born rich” [Quartz]. Hardly fair. Everyone has a choice. Just choose the right parents before the sperm hits the egg!

“The reality of different trends [in differente countries] suggests that it is not global forces that shape the distribution of incomes but the country-specific institutional and political framework. Therefore it is crucial to understand the institutional settings that allowed some countries to achieve economic growth without returning to the old levels of top income inequality” [Max Roser]. Interesting article with lots of handy charts.

Survey: “Employees report that their responsibilities at work have increased while wages have largely stayed flat” [Wall Street Journal, “The 40-Hour Work Week Is a Thing of the Past”]. That’s not a bug…

Condo protesters take over Oakland City Council [San Francisco Chronicle]. From the photos, they actually seem to have taken over the projector. Impressive.

News of the Wired

  • Google’s designs for a grandiose new “campus” show a corporation with more money than sense [Bloomberg].
  • Silicon VC firm seeks to use crowd-funding platform [Buzzfeed]. 
  • Turmoil in Al Jazeera newsroom [New York Times]. “The station has been a nonfactor in news, drawing about 30,000 viewers a night.” A shame. Readers need alternatives to our famously free press, even from Qatar.
  • Disgust is a “surprisingly powerful” motivation for sharing on social media [Nieman Labs].
  • “[I]n every case optimism didn’t produce any measurable improvement in performance” [WaPo]. “Optimism isn’t merely unhelpful at times—it can be demonstrably counterproductive. Telling someone “you can do it” when they actually can’t doesn’t change the outcome, and it makes them more likely to exert time and effort on a fruitless task.” I don’t think this study is telling the NC commentariat anything new….
  • 1 in 200 men are descended from Genghis Khan [Discover].

* * *

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 (Kurt Sperry):


I’d like yet more pictures of people’s gardens; I have some, but not really quite enough. They don’t have to be pretty! (And they don’t have to show your whole garden.)

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


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

Talk amongst yourselves!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on by .

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. mle.detroit

    “[T]hose making less than $15,000 a year” have any “Consumer Comfort”?!?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think the War on Terra/Clash of Civilizations/ZOMG!!! Islam thing is Graham’s meal ticket, his permanent sinecure in the wingnut welfare system.

    2. Jagger

      Regardless of her good work against the neolibs, never forget that Elizabeth Warren is a Neocon. I am not sure which is worse, a neoliberal or a neocon. For the life of me, I can not understand the bland brutality of a neocon. But all evidence I have seen indicates she is a neocon. So if she ever gets in a position of power pertaining to national security, don’t be surprised, as so many were by Obama, when she follows in the footprints of Bush and Cheney. And which is worse, the mass bloodletting of the neocons or the robbery and starvation of the neolibs?

      1. norm de plume

        Well, Bernie Sanders isn’t much of an improvement in that regard. A difference of degree rather than kind.

  2. WanderingMind

    1 in 200 mean are descended from Genghis Khan

    If you meant 1 in 200 “mean men” are descended from Genghis Khan, I can believe it, given his reputation. :)

      1. Garrett Pace

        It’s also 1 in 200 men have his y-chromosome. Some much larger fraction “are descended from” him.

    1. Jack

      Eh. Chinggis Khan gets an overly negative rap, mostly because he beat the pants off of everyone and conquered peoples struck back with a vengeance when it came time to write the history down. There’s been a lot of recent history that turns a critical eye to revisiting many traditional assumptions about the Mongols (though some of it goes too far in the opposite direction of praising them). It goes without saying that, as a conqueror, he inherently had a lot of blood on his hands, but I’d say as imperialists go he was one of the better ones. His policy of making examples of any city that resisted probably saved lives in the long run, since there wasn’t a bloody siege for each and every place. I’m convinced that the casualty figures that have traditionally given for the Mongol conquests that number in the tens of millions are pure nonsense. The way he and his immediate descendents went about running their conquests was downright enlightened by the standards of the time, and the (more or less) unified rule ensured a safe and stable Silk road for at least a century, which had a significant and widespread impact.

      One of the problems is that there was a lot of conflating of Chinngis with Tamerlane, who was over a century later and claimed descent from Chinngis. Tamerlane actually did go about making giant piles of skulls and similar.

      1. Robert Dudek

        If you haven’t listened to Dan Carlin’s podcasts on the Mongols, it is exceptional. He looks at all the sources he can get his hands on and if anything he is more pro Genghis than a typical historian would be. One thing he emphasizes is how brilliant the man was, as a leader, military strategist and administrator. But he also points out that according to all the primary sources, including the Mongols’ own chronicles, Mongol society before during and after was marked by a brutality and severity even relative to the age. Genghis’s multifaceted genius meant that that brutality was exported to most of the known world at that time.

  3. Oregoncharles

    While out-of-office Dem candidates run against the TPP, Ron Wyden, also a candidate next year (we assume), is right out in front pushing for it. He probably figures he’s pretty safe, Oregon being such a blue state and all.

    The Oregon Pacific Green Party has made it a goal to take him down. If the Dems are going to insist on making us into “spoilers,” we might as well play it to the hilt. Who knows, maybe we’ll reach 10%. That’s enough to swing most elections.

    To do that, we’ll need a candidate with some prominence and support from liberal cause organizations and unions in Oregon. The TPP is a deadly threat to all of them. So we’re searching for one. The main thrust is to ask those cause organizations and unions for suggestions, but I’ll try here, too. I know there are quite a few Oregon readers on NC. There are some requirements: the candidate needs to be registered Green, and known to us – which means they need to start participating soon. And they have to sign off on the principles of the party.

    If you have suggestions or are interested in running, please contact us via the website, http://www.pacificgreens.org.

  4. Jackrabbit

    The failed and remade promises are true across the board…

    The “I’ve got a plan…” cool-aid is so refreshing.

    Talk is cheap. Commitments are reserved for paying customers.

  5. JTMcPhee

    The neoliberal business model: More and more work, from fewer and fewer workers, for less and less pay, to produce crappier and crappier products, with more and more damage to our shared environment.

    1. Brindle

      ….More and more multi-tasking with less and less training—throw workers against the wall and see which ones stick.

      1. kimsarah

        Whatever the current model, it is certainly absent any priority on consumer demand — except for more debt.

  6. Vince in MN

    “Contract with America for the left”.
    Can’t they do better than this. It sounds so corporate. And immediately I think of Newt Gingrich.

  7. optimader

    The best way to nab your dream job out of college? Be born rich” [Quartz]. Hardly fair. Everyone has a choice. Just choose the right parents before the sperm hits the egg!

    A Harvard PhD in sociology selling her book, who apparently has “nabbed her dream job” burying herself like a tic at Northwestern. B-Arc material.

    The best way to nab your “dream job” (WTF is that about?) is to have a education aligned w/ a marketable skill set.

    Lauren Rivera joined the Kellogg faculty in 2009. Her research investigates how people evaluate merit and social status in real-life, organizational contexts. She has written extensively on hiring and promotion practices in elite professional service firms. Her work has been featured in the Atlantic, Economist, Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune, Huffington Post, New Yorker, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. A cultural sociologist by training, her work draws from both qualitative and quantitative techniques and bridges micro- and macro-levels of analysis. Before joining the MORS Department, Dr. Rivera received her Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University, her B.A. in psychology and sociology from Yale University, and was a Consultant at Monitor Group.

    ughh, utter bullshit, get a job.


    Golgafrincham is a red semi-desert planet that is home of the Great Circling Poets of Arium and a species of particularly inspiring lichen. Its people decided it was time to rid themselves of an entire useless third of their population, and so the descendants of the Circling Poets concocted a story that their planet would shortly be destroyed in a great catastrophe. (It was apparently under threat from a “mutant star goat”). The useless third of the population (consisting of hairdressers, tired TV producers*, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, management consultants, telephone sanitisers and the like) were packed into the B-Ark, one of three purported giant Ark spaceships, and told that everyone else would follow shortly in the other two. The other two thirds of the population, of course, did not follow and “led full, rich and happy lives until they were all suddenly wiped out by a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone”.

    The B-Ark was programmed to crash-land on a suitably remote planet on one of the outer spiral arms of the galaxy, which happened to be Earth, and the Golgafrinchan rejects gradually mingled with and usurped the native cavemen**, becoming the ancestors of humanity and thereby altering and distorting the course of the great experiment to find the question for the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, or so Ford Prefect presumes. A lot of them didn’t make it through the winter three years prior to Arthur Dent’s reunion with Ford Prefect, and the few who remained in the spring said they needed a holiday and set out on a raft. History says they must have survived.

    1. Mojah

      Yeah because her example itself totally does not set an example or anything…oh and research is totally not a job guys, ’cause like I said so!

  8. hunkerdown

    “Optimism isn’t merely unhelpful at times—it can be demonstrably counterproductive. Telling someone “you can do it” when they actually can’t doesn’t change the outcome, and it makes them more likely to exert time and effort on a fruitless task.”

    Not a bug.

    1. optimader

      Well, optimism is a bias that usually places one on the wrong side of risk assessment.
      I believe Yves had a post along these lines.

      Amundsen’s corollary was “Adventure is just bad planning”

      1. hunkerdown

        Right. I’m looking at mainstream society’s continuing efforts to capture all free value into centralized stores, and thinking particularly of the idealistic twenty-something major-label campaign workers. Just imagine if that energy were to be used against the machine, rather than burned off in play so the kids sit still at the dinner table.

      2. Carolinian

        Yay for Amundsen. More Amundsens, fewer Scotts I say (although his notion of non-adventure was not for the squeamish….he fed half his sled dogs to the other half in order to make it).

  9. rich

    Brooksley Born: Still Telling the Uncomfortable Truths About Wall Street

    By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 7, 2015

    In her talk at the conference, Born takes on the preposterous proposition that markets can self-regulate. During her time at the CFTC, Born said Wall Street had poured billions of dollars into deregulation lobbying which was “supported by the fallacious beliefs championed notably by Alan Greenspan that financial markets are self regulating and that financial firms are capable of policing themselves.”

    Born told the crowd that the dangers have only grown since the collapse:

    “The power and influence of the financial sector threatens a continuation of the regulatory capture that contributed to the financial crisis. Financial firms, too often, have significant say in the appointment of high regulatory officials. The tendency of some former government officials to obtain highly lucrative positions in the financial sector after leaving government may well act as an inducement to those remaining in government to serve the interest of the financial sector rather than those of the public.”

    Born reminded the audience that since the enactment of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, the country has witnessed more frauds, manipulations and reckless behavior on the part of the very same financial firms, adding:

    “With respect to derivatives trading, JPMorgan lost $6 billion through speculative trading of the London Whale and both MF Global and Peregrine Financial went bankrupt after allegedly engaging in misappropriation of customer funds. In light of all this, we must ask ourselves whether the financial and political power of our largest financial firms poses a threat to our policy making on financial regulation and seriously undercuts the administration of justice.”

    Born also cautioned the public against believing that the derivatives’ market has been fixed, stating:

    “Dodd-Frank gave the Commodity Futures Trading Commission an enormous new responsibility to impose regulation on this previously unregulated market which was a significant cause of the financial crisis and which is currently estimated to be $400 trillion in notional amount [face amount] in the United States and almost $700 trillion globally. It’s actually larger than it was at the time of the financial crisis…The jury is still out on whether the regulatory regime under Dodd-Frank will be adequate to address the dangers of this market…”


    1. Marko

      Thanks to Yves for asking an “uncomfortable question” at the INET conference , regarding the self-evident necessity of shrinking our bloated financial sector.

      I thought the response by the panel was pretty lame , though in the following panel the “singing banker” ( sporting multiple tats , no less ) engaged in some refreshing truth-telling. I hope Yves got a chance to talk to her.

  10. dcblogger

    I do not see how the man who appointed Bratton can run for Prez to the left of Hillary.

    1. hunkerdown

      Then you don’t understand that politics is performance art, at best, for some value of “art”. SCOTUS said politicians can lie as part of their freedom of speech right. After that, what kind of simp would look UP at ANY member of the Establishment?

  11. micky9finger

    I’ve lately wondered about the “use of deadly force” police policies. By the way the article did not reveal what Madison’s policies are.

    From my own Army experience of guard duty and my loose knowledge of the law, I’ m pretty sure they include fear of severe injury or death. A person running away does not satisfy that requirement.

    Cops, you cannot shoot a fleeing suspect. According to law fleeing from the cops alone is not against the law. And besides where’s the risk to your body? I know they do it all the time on television. And, evidently, in real life. One recent episode was on Justified. I love Raylyn shooting the bad guys face to face but this incident shocked me.

    Is there one legal reason to shoot a fleeing suspect? I doubt it.

    1. Anon

      A point so poignant, you don’t even need to read the whole article (but it wouldn’t hurt anyway):

      STEPHANOPOULOS: So if you lose in this nomination fight, will you support the Democratic nominee?

      SANDERS: Yes. I have in the past.

      STEPHANOPOULOS: Not going to run as an independent?

      SANDERS: No, absolutely not. I’ve been very clear about that.

      1. Alejandro

        No h/t? no matter…I would still like to know, given his expressed concern for workers, if he would advocate for a federal job guarantee as part of any “trade” deal?

      2. cwaltz

        Meh. You’re missing the point. The point is to drive the debate to the left. Who you plan to vote for prom queen at this point is less important than making an expansion of social security a discussion on crony capitalism and it’s effect of our society and a discussion on topics like how our country handles health care or education part of a NATIONAL CONVERSATION. If Bernie loses you don’t have to vote for Hillary just because he is willing to, you do realize that right?

        You can’t win a debate on an issue by staying home and holding your breath.

        1. Carolinian

          You also don’t win a debate by pre-endorsing your opponent. Since Sanders almost certainly won’t be the Dem nominee that’s what happened in his answer to Stephanopoulos. The correct answer was “no comment” or “we’ll wait and see.”

          There’s nothing wrong with running as form of issue advocacy, but by running as a Democrat–and casting his lot with them–Sanders does risk becoming little more than a fig leaf or “sheepdog.” To prove otherwise he is going to have to attack the Democrats and their neoliberal policies–not just “billionaires.”

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Ballot access rules being what they are, it’s highly unlikely Sanders can run as an independent; and the Greens have had bad experiences parachuting non-Greens in.

            I think Sanders makes sense on this point. No point wasting energy on really hypothetical hypotheticals.

            Given those givens, Sanders has to appeal to Democrats. Threatening to hold his breath until he turns blue if he doesn’t get nominated is not the way to do that, especially in retail primaries chock full of loyalists in Iowa, New Hampshire, and even South Carolina.

            1. Oregoncharles

              Somewhere in here I naively said that the UK election would be “inspiring.” I just checked the news, and according to the exit polls, NOT. The Tories are winning – in defiance of the prior polling.
              And here I was hoping for weeks of chaos.

          2. cwaltz

            You should preface the comment he is going to have to attack Democrats and their neoliberal policies with the words IN YOUR OPINION.

            Personally my opinion is he should attack policies, not people. The reality is that whoever wins is going to have to work with the Congress they have not the Congress they wish they had.

            As far as running as a Democrat, it’s a mixed bag. The reality is that last year parties like the Green were uninvited to the debates(they had to have their own.) The reality is by running as a Democrat he can explain and get ideas like single payer or a tuition free college education(two policy positions that the Greens actually had last go around) into the mainstream. The point is to get these ideas as part of a national conversation in much the same way the GOP advanced ideas like homeschooling.

        2. jrs

          If driving the debate to the left was all that, didn’t even Obama do it while campaigning in 2008? Yea I know he meant none of it. But if rhetoric could save us … Maybe it can’t.

          1. cwaltz

            You thought Ronald Reagan was from the left side of the aisle? That’s the guy Obama stated he admired as a President.

            I don’t know what record and debates you were watching but the ones I saw definitely did not portray Obama as a lefty. He was to the right of Clinton on domestic policy and lied through his teeth on foreign policy(after proclaiming Hillary’s sole accomplishment in foreign policy was “tea parties” he promptly placed her as his SOS.)

    2. Carolinian

      This is the same thing Nader has been saying. However I slightly object to including Jesse Jackson among the “sheepdogs.” Back in the 80s there still seemed to be a smidgen of hope for the Democrats. Whereas for Sanders to now stand by the brand shows he likely not, in fact, serious.

      The real objection to Hillary is not her fealty to Wall Street–which will doubtless remain true whoever becomes President–but the horrible foreign policy instincts she revealed while Sec State. Sanders doesn’t talk about this because he probably agrees with many of those views (but not all to be sure).

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      BAR has a disconcerting track record of being right early.

      That said, all that I personally require from Sanders (and Warren) is dragging the Overton Window left. So far, that’s been happening. Of course, not enough! (Which should be our default stance….)

      1. cwaltz

        I think the BAR is short sighted to see this as an either/or at this juncture. There is nothing stopping a progressive activist from signing a petition to get a third party candidate on the ballot AND congratulating Sanders for getting items like TPP the notice it needs( He spoke out today about the President’s intent to visit Nike and about the fact that Nike used NAFTA to outsource it’s jobs to places that pay 56 cents an hour and still charge $320 for their shoes and that Nike supports TPP because it is a continuation of allowing them to outsource to obtain cheap labor.) Furthermore, a vote for Bernie in the primary does not necessarily translate to a vote for Hillary in the general. Bernie can tell his supporters what he wants but there is nothing forcing them to vote the way he wants.

    4. ProNewerDeal

      Any support should be conditional based on H Clinton (or whomever) doing a public news conference with B Sanders publically endorsing at least some of the key specific Sanders policies, like Medicare for All, or anti-TPP style rigged trade/IP monopolist Wefare Queen agreements. Backed up by a commitment to follow, investigative journalist style, a Pres H Clinton’s actual behavior on say Medicare For All, and a willingness to primary challenge or support the Green candidate in the next election, if a Pres H Clinton “pulls an Obama on the public option” traitorous act of supporting a policy (such as Public Option health insurance) in the campaign, then personally killing the policy when in office.

      Promising to support Hillary/the Dem nominee unconditonally seems foolish.

    5. kimsarah

      Good column on Bernie the sheepdog.
      That has been my take as well. First of all, the Dems are experts at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. It wouldn’t be a surprise if that is their ultimate end game, though it seems far-fetched.
      Second, if Dems actually want to win the WH and perhaps the Senate in 2016, they must realize that they have no grassroots support. The party has, and continues to ignore local and state elections and is content working only for the Washington Wall Street neolib Dems. Therefore, to get support from the left they trot out Sanders and Warren to do the heavy lifting for Hillary. Then both step aside and funnel their supporters to the pre-determined nominee, Clinton.
      Of course it all has to play out first. So kick back, enjoy the kabuki, then support none of them.

      1. Yves Smith

        I disagree vehemently. Bernine has never been a Democratic party loyalist. In this case the Senate liberals really are fighting to break Wall Street and oppose the TPP. So “sheepdog” isn’t right for them. By contrast, DeBlasio is exactly that.

    6. Oregoncharles

      I’ve said this before, but it stands repeating: Sanders’ decision to try for the Democratic nomination is a very mixed bag. On the one hand, there’s a real danger he’ll serve as a stalking horse for Hillary, lining up progressives behind the Democratic whoever. But I’m not sure that’s necessary.

      OTOH, barring the unlikely event that he gets the nomination, it means he WON’T be in the November election, when it counts, and will leave left field open – presumably for the Greens. In fact, his supporters may just be angry enough to jump ship. If he did run in November, he’d be splitting the left-wing vote. It behooves his supporters to think seriously about their strategy AFTER the primaries.

      The election is still a year and a half off. We still have time to organize, organize, organize. The UK election promises to be inspiring.

  12. Elizabeth

    Two comments – first, Hillary. On her next “listening tour” I wish someone would ask her how she expects to be a champion of ordinary Americans when she takes huge corporate donations and big bucks from squillionaires. She’s in SF meeting with the high dollar people, and all events are closed to public and press. Sounds like another transparent admin. if she gets her turn.

    Yesterday Jerry Brown told people who oppose his gigantic tunnels in the delta to “shut up” because this plan has been studied for one million hours. This plan will suck water out of the Sacramento River and send it all down south for his big ag friends, and additionally, destroy the ecosystem of the delta. He reminds me of Chris Christie without the heft.

    Lambert, I want to send you photos of my front garden, but PGandE is out front digging up the street to put in new gas lines. The sidewalk has been roped off for two weeks, now, and it’s a mess.

    1. hunkerdown

      California… Uber Alles…

      Jello Biafra called out Brown decades ago. Man, y’all are too big to be run by a single executive without getting robbed blind.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Gigantic tunnels in the delta to send water South? Do tell.

      Let’s just hope the hook-ups are metric, because pretty soon we’re gonna need pipes from Canada….

      Adding… I look forward to your photos; we have all summer. If they don’t finish by fall, you can always send pictures of the excavation!

  13. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Dems: “a party running on brand fumes”, nice turn of phrase. But maybe they’re not even fumes, they’re just smoke. A smokescreen that conceals a much darker reality.
    As with Obomba, people want to suspend their disbelief that we have nothing but two oligarch parties solely serving elite corporo-fascist Permanent War interests. I hold the record in my peer group as the first one to smell a rat with Obomba: as soon as he said he would appoint Little Timmy Geithner as Treasury Secretary. When does the Epiphany Moment come for giant swaths of good people to realize they’ve been completely hoodwinked by an entire party? It’s the ultimate mis-direction: “oh oh, look, it’s a young black man saying all those nice things” becomes “oh oh it’s a woman saying all those nice things”. What will they do in 2020: “oh oh look it’s a transgender person saying all those nice things”.
    At least the old school fascism of people like Dick Cheney was easy to recognize…an old white guy with a snarling face.

  14. edmondo

    What will they do in 2020: “oh oh look it’s a transgender person saying all those nice things”.

    Do you seriously believe that Lindsey Graham will become a Democrat?

  15. Paper Mac

    Link-as-source rather than link-as-title might be a good look for the daily links too

  16. AlanSmithee

    “The best way to nab your dream job out of college? Be born rich” [Quartz]. Hardly fair. Everyone has a choice. Just choose the right parents before the sperm hits the egg!

    If that’s so, then why is David Brooks such a trainwreck?

    1. jrs

      Ok I know now I’d way rather read David Brooks than that piece on David Brooks, and yes that’s saying something, because who doesn’t consider David Brooks rather silly.

  17. charles 2

    ““The best way to nab your dream job out of college? Be born rich” [Quartz]. Hardly fair. Everyone has a choice. Just choose the right parents before the sperm hits the egg!”

    What about the parents’ choice in the first place ? Veil of ignorance doesn’t apply to them, especially if they are NC readers…

    1. cwaltz

      What about the parents’ choice to begin with? Our choices are limited by the resources we have to make them. Bristol Palin’s kid essentially won the lottery. Bristol’s got parents that have the resources to help her navigate things as a teenage parent and that gives her kid an advantage. Her decision making skills weren’t superior to any other teenage mother, however the outcomes will be different because ……..resources like money and power.

    1. kimsarah

      Wyden’s press releases should include a roll of toilet paper, made by Georgia Pacific.
      What a redcoat. King George III would be proud of him.

    2. twonine

      According to Chris King’s website:

      We recognize a responsibility to the local and global community.

      Given that he’s now Ron Wyden’s poster child for fast track, he may need to revise that.

      Though, I doubt he know’s any more about TPP than Wyden’s told him, I’ll still not be able to put his (very good) components on my bicycle.

  18. Garrett Pace

    Google’s new campus:

    “With cafes and stores on the ground floor, and 5,000 units of proposed housing within an easy recumbent bicycle ride, there may be no reason for workers to ever leave.”

    That’s the point. A lovely pairing with the goodbye-40-hour-workweek article.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Perhaps, but unlikely. See Parkinson’s Law. From Chapter 6:

      It is now known that a perfection of planned layout is achieved only by institutions on the point of collapse. This apparently paradoxical conclusion is based upon a wealth of archaeological and historical research, with the more esoteric details of which we need not concern ourselves. In general principle, however, the method pursued has been to select and date the buildings which appear to have been perfectly designed for their purpose. A study and comparison of these has tended to prove that perfection of planning is a symptom of decay. During a period of exciting discovery or progress there is no time to plan the perfect headquarters. The time for that comes later, when all the important work has been done. Perfection, we know, is finality; and finality is death.

      Thus, to the casual tourist, awestruck in front of St. Peter’s, Rome, the Basilica and the Vatican must seem the ideal setting for the Papal Monarchy at the very height of its prestige and power. Here, he reflects, must Innocent III have thundered his anathema. Here must Gregory VII have laid down the law. But a glance at the guidebook will convince the traveler that the really powerful Popes reigned long before the present dome was raised, and reigned not infrequently somewhere else. More than that, the later Popes lost half their authority while the work was still in progress. Julius II, whose decision it was to build, and Leo X, who approved Raphael’s design, were dead long before the buildings assumed their present shape. Bramante’s palace was still building until 1565, the great church not consecrated until 1626, nor the piazza colonnades finished until 1667. The great days of the Papacy were over before the perfect setting was even planned. They were almost forgotten by the date of its completion.

      Other instances include Blenheim Palace, Buckingham Palace, Versailles, and the League of Nations…

  19. words

    Garret Pace, as regards:

    Google’s new campus:

    “With cafes and stores on the ground floor, and 5,000 units of proposed housing within an easy recumbent bicycle ride, there may be no reason for workers to ever leave.”

    That’s the point. A lovely pairing with the goodbye-40-hour-workweek article.

    yep; from a person who witnesses the ever transmorphingly bloated googolplex [“googol” not really a typo as that googol definition clearly appears to be the operating root word behind the whole, stunningly dehumanizing, “DOD” Funded, from Day one, ‘project’] firsthand, every time they need to visit someone else horridly falling through the cracks about twenty minutes northwest of them off of Sly Con Valley’s ‘High Way 101.’

    Further, what I really do not get, is why so many still insist on using Google services, particularly GMail, while online sighing about how dangerous Google is …. yet only allowing contact via a GMail ‘account’????????.

    1. abynromal

      your link is not all that’s BrokE
      “With less than 1 percent of its more than 1 million production jobs located in the United States, Nike perfectly depicts America’s lost-jobs, low-wage future under the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Elizabeth Swager, director of the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
      “Still, decades after various scandals that seriously eroded the brand’s power, the sneaker giant’s workforce consists of less than 1 percent of U.S. workers out of its 1 million employees, while it produces all of its shoes outside the United States – especially in Vietnam, a country included in the TPP. The United States now imports 98 percent of its footwear from abroad. Now, attempts to keep some of the remaining footwear manufacturing in the country, with companies like New Balance, would be seriously be curtailed if the TPP passes.”

      1. pdx

        Your link’s better anyway.

        “Obama to Visit Nike to Promote Free Trade Deal.” Also to meet any sports stars he may have missed over the past several years.

  20. Jeremy Grimm

    I expected to find a prior comment about the Wisconsin painting noting how the style, technique, and content reflected very similar graffiti art done in Egypt in conjunction with their recent popular uprising. Has the Sad Panda come here too?

Comments are closed.