2:00PM Water Cooler 6/24/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


Readers, I would like to do my little bit to hang the stinking albatross of TPP round the necks of the 14 Democrat traitors listed below. If you live in one of those districts, would you be willing to send me local links about anything especially nasty and/or corrupt that they (or their networks) do? My contact form is at the bottom of the post. For example, DiFi’s husband is selling our Post Offices off to his buddies for less than market rates, the loathsome corrupt weasel; like that. And I would bet that local coverage, especially coverage that local activists can force into the papers, is better than anything that appears in the national press, or anything I will turn up in search. Thank you! Here again are the traitors  (hat tip again to alert reader marym):

  1. Bennet (D-CO)
  2. Cantwell (D-WA)
  3. Cardin (D-MD) (Given a free “No” vote, but stood ready to vote “Yes.”
  4. Carper (D-DE)
  5. Coons (D-DE)
  6. Feinstein (D-CA)
  7. Heitkamp (D-ND)
  8. Kaine (D-VA)
  9. McCaskill (D-MO)
  10. Murray (D-WA)
  11. Nelson (D-FL)
  12. Shaheen (D-NH)
  13. Warner (D-VA)
  14. Wyden (D-OR)

Maybe we should make these people “bold-faced names,” like the New York Post does, albeit with a different editorial focus. I rather like the connotation of “bold-faced.”

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement would be the largest single trade agreement concluded worldwide for more than a decade. It would transform world trade governance in ways that are hard to predict” [VoxEU]. Just let me slip into copy editing, more here: “transform world trade governance.” Fixed it for ya.

Times manages to sum up the TPP debate without mentioning ISDS or the “living agreement” clause [New York Times]. It’s fascinating to watch a news blackout happen in near-real time; remember that ISDS was raised, and often, by a powerful establishment figure: Elizabeth Warren. Yet the Times omits that subject entirely. Here’s the contact form for the Times public editor.



“The Insiders: Bernie Sanders is on a roll and it is fun to watch” [WaPo].

“These days, socialism polls well among Americans because not enough remember exactly what it is” [Tyler Morning Telegraph].

The S.S. Clinton

Clinton’s Florissant speech: “Hillary Clinton’s 3-Word Misstep: ‘All Lives Matter'” [NPR]. Or a Sister Souljah moment? If not, inexcusably poor staff work. Background here. More on the speech here.

Republican Establishment

Between Cap’n Rubio and the Bush Dynasty, bet on Bush [The Week]. Buried: “If he’s selling his biography as a version of the American dream, he better have the details right.” Indeed. Out of curiosity, does anybody know the name of Rubio’s $80K boat, the one he bought with the $800K advance on his book from some unknown donor I would very much like to see lose their investment?

Republican Clown Car

@deray next to Santorum in the pew at service for Charleston victims [@deray].

That’s actually tactically awesome by Trump: 1) He evades the question, 2) offends no constituency, 3) gets a laugh, 4) comes out in favor of Motherhood. I so hope Trump makes it into the top-tier debate.

The Hill

Surprising move leftward by the Roberts Court [New York Times]. For some definition of “left”…

“A band of House conservatives is discussing whether to retaliate against GOP leaders for punishing rank-and-file lawmakers who voted against a procedural vote on trade earlier this month” [The Hill]. Interesting if true. I wonder if that would screw up the TAA deal… 

Stats Watch

GDP, Q1 2015: “The second revision to first-quarter GDP came in as expected, at minus 0.2 percent. Exports were near the top of the negative side” [Bloomberg]. “The heavy weather of the quarter contributed to an outright contraction in business spending (nonresidential fixed investment) and an abrupt slowing in consumer spending (personal consumption expenditures).” “Although there always will be some correlation between all economic pulse points, GDP does not measure the economic elements that directly impact the quality of life of its citizens” [Econintersect]. With lots of handy charts.

Corporate Profits, Q1 2105: “Corporate profits in the first quarter came in at $1.891 trillion, up a year-on-year 9.0 percent” [Bloomberg]. So it’s all good.

Q1 income losses in mining (oil collapse) and farming (drought) [Quartz].

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of June 19, 2015: “Inched higher,” “very strong” year-on-year [Bloomberg].

“European Central Bank Executive Board member Vitor Constancio said Wednesday that public debt is too high in some members of the European Monetary Union and must be brought down, arguing that primary surpluses are a crucial ingredient in achieving that aim” [Market News]. First, they came for the Greeks…. 

“France and Italy may not be able to avoid a financial crisis. Real GDP would need to increase at more than twice projected rates to stabilise and then reduce government debt-to-GDP ratios” [Satyajit Das, Financial Times, “Greek problems mask the rising risks in Italy and France”]. Following ECB’s lead?


One more ugly part of [Post Office privatization] is the incestuous relationship between the USPS, privatizers and the corporate politicians. The contract to close post offices was awarded to the CBRE [here] real estate firm whose CEO, Robert Sulenticis, is on the Staples board of directors. Richard Blum, CBRE board chair until late last year, is married to California Senator Dianne Feinstein. CBRE will make hundreds of millions from the deal” [Counter Currents]. How CBRE does business: “The inspector general’s report described something akin to a shakedown, with a kickback thrown in” [David Dayen, The Intercept]. Note the bold-faced name….

Black Injustice Tipping Point

National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman evolves position on Confederate flag [Roll Call]. All good, but it we want to get serious, we’ll follow the money, starting with real estate. I was horrified to discover that FDR’s HOLC program — which kept people in their homes, as opposed to Obama’s HAMP, but now I understand how compromised the success was! — segregated neighborhoods based on a classification system developed at the Chicago Fed. Now imagine how that policy decision affected the accumulation of wealth across generations, since most Americans’ wealth, such as it is, is (or was) condensed into housing.


“NOAA Quietly Rescinds Faux El Nino” [Econintersect]. Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

Imperial Collapse Watch

“Putin’s Plot to Get Texas to Secede” [Politico]. “Foreign minister” for the Texas Nationalist Movement appeared last Spring at a far-right confab in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Wretched Excess Watch

“Museum of Modern Art Reveals Glenn Lowry’s Whopping $2.1 Million Pay Amid Staff Protest Over Benefit Cuts” [Artnet]. Silly article. How else is Lowry going to get what he deserves?

Class Warfare

“This epic chart shows the average wage for almost every job in America” [Business Insider].

“This is your brain on poverty” [Global Citizen]. The deprivation of concrete material benefits has concrete material effects.

“Migrants Storm Trucks In Calais Port Strike” [Sky News]. Eurostar halted; continent cut off [France24]. Now resumed.

“Office Depot shareholders approve sale to Staples. With only one company left with the scale to deliver office supplies on a large scale, the FTC could see the potential of a market being cornered” [AP]. Ya think? One big corporation selling nothing but commodities. Why don’t we just turn office supplies into a public utility? Sell it all out of Post Offices.

“According to the White House budget office, the expected recovery rate for defaulted Parent PLUS [student] loans is a remarkable 106 percent, a testament to Uncle Sam’s unique power as a collection agency. Overall, the program is expected to return $1.23 on every dollar it lends this year” [Politico]. So, even the United States government is getting into the loan-sharking business. Idea: Sue Germany for lost profits under TTiPs ISDS system because their system of free college education means we can’t do loansharking there.

“Airbnb and Uber’s sharing economy is one route to dotcommunism” [Paul Mason, Guardian]. Depending on who allocates the surplus from the rental extraction, perhaps.

79-year-old Texas Minister: “I have come to believe that only my self-immolation will get the attention of anybody and perhaps inspire some to higher service” [WaPo] (complete letter).

News of the Wired

“Adobe pushes update as latest Flash bug allows a system takeover” [9to5Mac]. Yikes, for two reasons: First, you should update this plugin in your browser if you have it. Second, every time there’s a Flash update, I notice users have problems with the site, so clear your browser’s cache and cookies, and restart it.

“[Microsoft’s Clippy] was also the product, I learned this week, of a male-dominated design process” [The Atlantic]. Microsoft did a focus group: “Most of the women thought [Clippy was] leering at them.” Excellent article; read for the air bag example.

“In Defense of Being Average” [Medium]. Or, since class is graded on a power curve, being “on the long tail.”

Hard to believe, but Ayn Rand typed a novel that was so bad she decided not to publish it [New Republic]. So she’s an altruist after all.

Was the word “bullshit” invented by T.S. Eliot? [Language Log].

“An Illustrated Guide To Beneficial Bugs In Your Garden” [Econintersect].

* * *

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 (Joe6pac):


Joe’s actually started weeks ago. I wanted to plant blueberries this year, but never got around to it… But if I had, my harvest would be weeks off!

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. I need to keep my server up! And pay the plumber….


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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. Ned Ludd

    Obama and the Logic of Massacre, from Birmingham to Charleston

    When the resistance in Baltimore and Ferguson raged, instead of waxing eloquently about racism and its deadly impacts, the president vociferously waged a verbal charge against Black youth fighting for their existence by calling them “thugs” and “criminals.” Yet the only thing the Administration has done proactively about the issues of police brutality and fraudulent grand juries is the establishment of a useless Task Force on 21st Century Policing. […]

    The Obama Administration and the Department of Justice have forfeited any legal or moral legitimacy by exonerating the killers of unarmed Trayvon and Michael, thus providing the perfect storm, that Dr. King called, ”the system, the way of life, the philosophy” which produced a war against Black people that exploded at the Emanuel [African Episcopal Methodist] Church.

  2. Brindle

    Dem Traitors TPP

    I just called up the DC office of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). I told the staffer that because of his vote and support for TPP that I would for the first time in my life be donating to his GOP opponent next year and that I hope Bennet is removed from office. I don’t live in CO and I stated as such.
    Actually donating to a GOP candidate was an exaggeration but it felt good to put it out there..

      1. roadrider

        Yeah, I guess by “slowing down the fast track” she meant waiting another week so everyone would forget about it and then showing her true colors. Inside Trader Nancy at her “best”.

        1. ishmael

          The Seth Lord Feinstein is listed as well as Murray. Ask me if I am surprised. Later article talks about Feinstein’s PE husband and the USPO. Feinstein even attempted to seize some property granted to veterans for in perpetuity and have the real estate developed by promoters. I never vote Democrat and these two liars as well as Pelosi and Clinton continually reinforce why!

            1. ambrit

              It might well be an emanation of the Sethian teachings. (Seth was supposed to be Adam and Eves third son.)
              Almost an equal opportunity Gnosis, right up The Dread Lady’s alley.
              That “Sith” business is a much later corruption of the Elder Lore.

    1. Ned Ludd

      TPA opponents also dropped the ball. Any time a senator is allowed to speak, they can filibuster using Rule XIX. While a senator has the floor, they cannot be interrupted, which is the basis of the talking filibuster.

      1. James Levy

        I sympathized, but they’d just be viewed as annoying fools by the people who matter–their colleagues with whom they have to work and from whom they need to extract votes. If you watch Al Franken you see that he knows the score but like all of them he keeps his mouth shut. The real deal is that we don’t count. The audience for everything is other members, born or elected, of the elite who run the country. How many of them are there? I can only guess. Over the years I’ve guestimated that between 50 and 70 thousand people own and control the country. Most are out of government, a small number are in, and more and more straddle the line as part of the revolving door system. We are just spectators, and a filibuster as you describe it would be playing to meaningless audience of outsiders.

    2. jgordon

      Let’s not forget about the “villain rotation”. 60 votes seems like an awfully suspicious number. I’m absolutely positive that if they’d need 62 or 63 votes instead, those votes would have been magically magicked up from somewhere in the Democrats. If you don’t consider that ever Democrat was responsible–even the “good” ones–then you’re a rube.

      Actually though I’m glad that the TAA passed. I’m a bit thrilled thinking that it’ll be one of the major contributing factors to the mass lynchings and Guillotinings on the horizon. I have to smile thinking about how these morons in power are willing to throw themselves under a steamroller chasing pennies.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Someone who gets it. This has been in the bag from the beginning. Democracy theater is for hopium addicts.

      2. hunkerdown

        They’re not morons. They just expect, from carefully studying the data sheets and supervising their fabrication, that their riot helmets will protect them from whatever the hard hats will throw at them.

    1. JohnB

      Ya the correct update for that Flash vulnerability is to just uninstall Flash – as I’ve happily done around 10 years ago.

        1. Anon

          One day, HTML5 will catch on. Probably. Also, interestingly enough, checking for Flash updates through the automatic updater takes you to a page where it says that version is the latest version. Once again, Adobe is faster about letting new people stay up to date as opposed to the automatic updater being given the same diligence. Well, there’s also Chrome, but…

  3. Chris in Paris

    May I presume that one Gov. Jindal has entered the clown car rather than the Principled Insurgents rubric? I can’t figure out where, possibly, financing for this bid would come from?

    1. ambrit

      Bobby Jindal is a “success story” and an arch conservative. He’s much liked by the Fundamentalists for his unwavering “Christianity.” He’s also the governor of Louisiana, so oil and gas interests view him kindly as well. As far as money goes, there are now 536 billionaires in the US, according to Forbes. There’s only one in Louisiana, but 51 next door in oil and gas heavy Texas. That’s just billionaires. I dread to step down and check on Hundred Millionaires. All that money sloshing around, and more money to be made if the “Right People” get into office.
      Except for some reactionary theocrats, most people in Louisiana will laugh if you mention the concepts of ‘principles’ and politicians in the same sentence.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        But there needs to be oxygen for a candidate to succeed. Paying LeBron James twice as much money won’t make him better. It’s the same with candidates. Personally, I think Bernie has brought more to the race than was uttered in all of the 2007/8 cycle simply because there is room for more than the obvious stories, and discussing Hillary’s gender and it’s importance to the race and history has been done. There is actual discussion about Bill’s presidency.

        Looking around the GOP. Trump as an outsider of sorts has something to feed on at least for the moment, but “Bobby” crashed and burned with his staircase SOTU rebuttal. Santorum had no money and never embarrassed himself on a msm stage and made a race against Romney despite a late start. Rand has a base of sorts. The rest are just dull retreads. “Bobby” isn’t lily white, but he’s done nothing to raise his profile. Obama didn’t either, but he ran against a loser in Hillary and was a novelty at the same time.

        Pataki and Chaffee are running, but they are both less militant versions of Hillary.

        Fundies aren’t unified. Huckleberry did jack in 2007. Jindal might be liked, but not every theocrat went to Pat Robert son’s church. I liken it to how I like the Vandy baseball program (except for David Price) but tonight they can go to hell. It’s the same with fundies. Remember, the fundies wound up loving a guy who probably never went inside a church in his life in Reagan. The secret was he couldn’t offend religious sensibilities.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        If he makes it to the debates, he might provide the most fodder for late night shows.

      2. John Zelnicker

        In a survey of 1,200 likely voters, Jindal received one vote; not one percent – one likely voter out of 1,200.

        Sorry, don’t have the link, but it was either on Raw Story, Alternet or Salon.

  4. timbers

    Corporate profits growing 9% when the economy is growing at or near 0% means that can only happen by non-corporate income shrinking or fraud or both.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      Or Piketty’s formula is on to something? r > g, gee empirical event consistent with his overall analysis. The trick of capitalism is the creation of money, profits, over and above all costs for inputs. And if there are still inputs to squeeze, wages, pensions, health and other bennies, sure, rate of return exceeds growth. How? profits are not growth, but derived from pricing, not economic activity. It is fictitious capital, seemly defying the growth of the economy. No matter how much the economy grows, in order for there to be profits, price must exceed what is actually produced.

    2. paulmeli

      “Corporate profits growing 9% when the economy is growing at or near 0% means that can only happen by non-corporate income shrinking or fraud or both.”

      Novel. Someone who actually understands arithmetic, and it didn’t take 1000 words. Kudos.

  5. dc_buc

    Typo alert: Cardin is from Maryland – not Missouri. As a Marylander, I’m going to give him (or his staffer) a piece of my mind the next time I’m on the Hill…

  6. giantsquid

    “NOAA Quietly Rescinds Faux El Nino” is a bit behind in it’s reporting. In April, NOAA announced the arrival of a weak El Nino. However, currently the consensus of forecasters is for the development of a strong El Nino with an 85% chance of lasting through the 2015-2016 winter.

    “Nearly all models predict El Niño to continue throughout 2015, with many predicting SST anomalies to increase into the late fall 2015 (Fig. 6). For the fall and early winter, the consensus of forecasters slightly favors a strong event (3-month values of the Niño-3.4 index +1.5oC or greater), relative to a weaker event. However, this prediction may vary in the months ahead as strength forecasts are the most challenging aspect of ENSO prediction. A moderate, weak, or even no El Niño remains possible, though at increasingly lesser odds. There is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere fall 2015, and around an 85% chance it will last through the 2015-16 winter (click CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome for each 3-month period).”


    1. jo6pac

      I’ve been watching this also and if it happens then great. I know last time this came rolling through all the lakes were going to takes years to fill back up. It rained and snowed so hard it was a done deal in 1yr. The problem is govt./people in Calli have such short memories they just go on their happy way and never addressing the real problem of just flat out waste of water in the state. As a native I can’t tell how many times I’ve seen this and we really need to think this weather changing thingy out. To much to hope for I’m sure.

  7. Larry B.

    Cardin (D-MO) (Given a free “No” vote, but stood ready to vote “Yes.”

    Don’t know who this is, but is not from Missouri. Our senators are Blunt (as in “not sharp”) and McCaskill, the bluest of the of the blue dogs.

    1. Vatch

      He’s from Maryland: “MD”. “MO” is an easy typographical error to make for “MD”.

    2. Kokuanani

      McCaskill, the bluest of the of the blue dogs.

      Don’t you mean the “doggiest” of the Blue Dogs?

      Or perhaps “most flea-infested”?

  8. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Now that the fascisti are passing the TPP, led by the soi-disant “Democrats”, maybe we should all get on board. I mean why can’t Pirate Bay sue for lost profits due to being blocked in the UK and Australia? Any time a state drops solar tax credits, sue the bastards! Health care providers can sue for lost profits in NYC due to restrictions on trans fats. No reason Lockheed-Martin can’t sue for lost missile profits if there is ever an Iran deal.
    Or better: find any industry that is about to have new regulations, set up a shell company, pretend you’re in a business that will be adversely affected, and just shake down the citizenry.
    There is probably also a great business consulting to governments that can now shut down all those complicated and expensive judiciary branches. Cut all those obsolete judges and courts, eliminate government waste.
    Hey this corporo-fascism stuff is easy!

  9. juliania

    Beneficial insects post thinks woodlice are benign – not sure I buy that completely, though they are cute little critters. The ones in my neck of the mountains where aridity is a fact of life climb and chomp on anything green on the occasions of dense rain; and at various points of their little multiplication tables love to nibble away at my squash seedlings and beanstalks even though I try to sequester the little dears in invitingly decaying compost heaps strategically placed away from my growing stuff.

    I’ve taken to collecting the roly polies in jars and chucking them out among the cacti. Harsh treatment I admit, but it’s better than biffing them up onto my scalding roof, which I do to the occasional slug. ( I hasten to say my love of worms will ensure my place in heaven, and it is truly true that the more worms, the less woodlice – a condition I continually strive to achieve.)

    P.S. I also love my dangly-legged wasps, but move very carefully around them.

    1. russell1200

      Most people around here call Wood Lice – Rolly Pollies (both ‘o’s long). I have read, in a book on the long extinct trilobites that they are an excellent example of convergent evolution. The other interesting trilobite factoid that I recall is that there eyes were made of calcite. In other words they were made of stone.

  10. Kas Thomas

    Second, every time there’s a Flash update, I notice users have problems with the site

    Yes, so how about you do the right thing and get Flash the hell off your site?

    Hard to believe, but Ayn Rand typed a novel

    Um, yes, that is rather hard to believe, because Ayn Rand never typed a word in her life. She wrote longhand.

    1. Yves Smith

      We don’t have Flash on the site. We have ads served by our ad service. We need ads to have this site at all. So if you don’t want ads, please write us a very large check. This site is a free service to you, so you are hardly in a position to complain given that we incur costs to deliver it to you and those need to be funded.

  11. MikeNY

    LOL on Ayn Rand. I’m reminded of Dorothy Parker’s famous review of (I believe) Atlas Shrugged:

    “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly; it should be thrown with great force.”

  12. MikeNY

    I so hope Trump makes it into the top-tier debate

    You and me both. I’ll host. I’ll provide the drinks. You bring the popcorn.

  13. KMSM in California

    Re: TPP traitors and corruption

    I’ve sent Lambert some local article links that detail the corruption of TPP Traitor Dianne Feinstein’s husband, Richard Blum. Blum has quite a long history of self-enrichment (not limited to the USPS) and is very connected financially and politically. Currently he is a member of the President’s Global Development Council at the White House. I’ll bet he’s a key player in the passage of TPP.

    “Blum’s preferred means of personal enrichment rely on strong nation-state interventions in markets and societies to promote unfettered corporate domi­nance of national economies and distant lands. It should come as no surprise, then, that he and “DiFi” are among the leading proponents of the Interna­tional Monetary Fund/World Bank/US Treasury nexus’ notion of how economies ought best be devel­oped.”

    -“Richard Blum: The Man Behind California’s “Developing Economy”,” by Will Parrish, Feb. 3, 2010, Anderson Valley Advertiser – http://theava.com/archives/3874

    Also, if you visit muckety.com and put his name in their search box, you can see the numerous connections Blum has.

  14. NOTaREALmerican

    Well, thank god this TTTPPP thing is over with. Can we get back to obsessing about what the Coke Brothers are gonna do to the environment now?

    Oh, and how ONLY the Blue Team can STOP THEM! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!

  15. Chris

    Nice blueberries. If they were mine there would be two Robins after every berry in the pic. As soon as a berry turns even slightly blue they are on it like flies on a rib roast. So I put up netting- which of course leads to Robins somehow getting trapped inside an all-you-can-eat buffet. They’re unbelievably tenacious.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Hillary can’t face questioning. Net roots Nation demands it. Hillary can only embarrass herself by attending. Her supporters are by and large ignorant.

  16. Bernard

    i have a wonderful fruitful pear tree that the squirrel finish off before they even get to grow. year after year i curse the squirrel(s) worse than i curse the Democrats or Republican overlords. these squirrels are tireless. they eat all my pears, peaches, and even attack my orange/satsumas at times. i Hate squirrels almost as much as i hate Republicans who voted Louisiana into Red Hell every election.

    say what you will about Bobby Jindal, he is such a glaring symbol of the success of Faux Noise and the Corporate takeover/sellout to the Oil Gas Industry here in Louisiana, the La. way since the 1930’s. and i used to think Democratic Gov. Edwin Edwards was bad. Edwards screwed us over so completely the Republicans, like Senator “Diaper” Dave Vitter, our next Gov., can cakewalk to victory in the elections. the history of politicians here in La. is one worth leaving the state for. all the rich people have scammed/stripmined our state leaving us with Redneck Heaven. with such “infamous “scammers” like, Tony Perkins, Jimmy Swaggart, David Duke and numerous other “Evangelical” or Right wingers selling “salvation” to the highest bidder. Steve Scalise is #3 in the Republican hierarchy. the Rich white folks who live in our exclusive white New Orleans suburbs love Scalise, and constantly re-elect him. Racism is alive and thriving here in the NO area. Robert E. Lee Blvd./Lee Circle, Jeff Davis Parkway and PGT Beauregard still have monuments in our city. Shows how the War of Northern Aggression is still alive and pervasive in our culture.

    Living here in New Orleans is hard with such “stars”. if it weren’t for the food, the French Quarter and the joie de vivre, La. would be worse than Texas. and Texas is beyond description. Bobby Jindal has done his magic to the “white folks.”

  17. hunkerdown

    Agnotology under attack!

    First the Archdruid hits it out of the park:

    most people these days seem to have lost the ability to grasp that the other side can learn.

    And, in much the same vein from the other end of the techno-spectrum, I, Cringely, on who’s killing the US computer industry and why. Notable for invoking the dread names of Jensen and Meckling, perpetrators of the shareholder value movement, and charging them with “creat[ing] the very problem they purported to solve – a problem that really hadn’t existed in the first place.” The worthy quote:

    We’re right on the edge of losing our computer industry. As the market moves to Intel servers, anyone can become a big player. Where does that leave HP and IBM? The quality of “services” is so terrible right now the market is hungry for a better provider. If one emerges in Asia where does that leave HP and IBM? When that new spunky company makes it to the CIO’s office HP and IBM will be in serious trouble.

    Honest to God, these American companies think that can’t happen.

  18. Sam Kanu

    “These days, socialism polls well among Americans because not enough remember exactly what it is”

    This is a funny one. Socialism isn’t a matter of the past: it is what most western European countries practiced until very recently when the “austerity” monster was used to whip them into the neoliberal line.

    But many European countries are still socialist, including all of Scandinavia, where the average America would probably give an arm an a leg to live right now. Which is ironic, given that the wealth of the US as a nation is far higher than those countries in gross terms and probably even per capita for most of them except maybe one. So we have enough wealth in this country for people to live decently – just that it is distributed in a perverse manner. Can be any surprise then that socialism is attractive to more and more americans.

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