2:00PM Water Cooler 6/26/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Even the 1% understand the need for collective action. They’ve spent decades building organizations to convert their money into political influence, while they recruited, trained, and employed talented people (as shown by the bios in the SHAME Project, creating the equivalent of Jesuits for the 1%)” [Fabius Maximus].

“Obama realized right after Republicans took control of the Senate in the fall elections that his long-stalled push to enact the TPP suddenly had new life” [Politico]. Hmm. Not before?

Bold-faced names: Democrat trade traitors; see at Corruption. Readers, more like this, please (contact form below). List of traitors; is one of them “your” “representative”?



CNN/WMUR Granite State Poll: “Among likely Democratic primary voters in the state, 43 percent said they would vote for Clinton, with 35 percent going for Sanders” [Politico].

A look at Devine Mulvey Longabaugh, the political consulting firm that advises Sanders [Mother Jones].

Sanders does have an overall plan on how to beat Clinton. As Devine explains, it goes something like this: Raise enough money to devote significant resources to building a full operation and maintaining a media presence in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as Nevada and South Carolina. At the same time, develop a basic foundation for campaign organizations in other states, so if Sanders fares well in the initial contests, these preliminary outfits can quickly be built out. Devine and other Sanders advisers estimate they will need to raise $40-$50 million by the Iowa caucuses to be in such a position, and they claim Sanders is on track to hit that mark, mainly with thousands and thousands of low-dollar contributions.

So far, however, the Sanders campaign is looking like a one-man band. His lightweight, quick-moving little skiff (to shift metaphors) is a pleasant contrast to the massive S.S. Clinton, but ocean liners sail through storms that little skiffs can’t handle. Does Sanders even have a press office? A policy director? You can’t run a campaign out of a Senator’s office. Real campaigns, at some point, have personnel; if enthusiastic crowds were enough, marches would have stopped the Iraq war.

“Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-TPP), a Clinton backer, launched the sharpest attack yet on Sanders on Thursday morning. Appearing on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ McCaskill assailed him for having ‘an extreme message’ and being ‘unrealistic’ [The Hill]. McCaskill is a TPP traitor. Not only should nobody listen to her, she should be run out of the party. It’s shameful that the Clinton campaign is using her as a surrogate.

“Bernie and the Search for New Politics” [Jacobin].

By thinking institutionally and conceiving the Democratic Party as a terrain of struggle, it is evident that engagement with that party (or actors inside it) will sometimes be a valuable strategic move, depending on the particular political moment.


Where Sanders has pulled Clinton (not very far) left, on undocumented workers and mass incarceration: “[N]either would cost the Democratic Party’s donor class any money. The political test for Clinton will come in the area of economic policy, where Sanders has put out a comprehensive and, by American standards, quite radical manifesto” [The New Yorker].

Biden circles, shark-like, beneath the surface, waiting for Clinton to board the failboat [Salon]. Fix your position on discharging student loans in bankruptcy, my advice.

Republican Clown Car

“The image of Jindal as an anti-science hypocrite is largely the product of one man—Zack Kopplin, a 21-year-old history major at Rice University” [Mother Jones]. “Image”? To be fair, just because the Discovery *** cough *** Institute consulted on Jindal’s “teach the controversy” law that gave the “intelligent design” crowd classroom time — and funding — is no reason to think Jindal’s totally in the tank with the Agnotological Complex. Right?

Carly Fiorina redefines feminism [Medium]. “Aim high!” Like leaving Hewlett-Packard a smoking ruin [ka-ching]. Like Graham, Fiorina isn’t aiming for the Presidency, but to become a permanent fixture on FOX. And that made Huckabee a wealthy man, so what’s not to like?

Obergefell v. Hodges

“In historic decision, Court strikes down state bans on same-sex marriage: In Plain English” [SCOTUSblog].

“Explicitly refusing to hold off deciding the issue to see how other parts of society may deal with the rising demand for gay acceptance and legitimacy, the Court declared that two clauses in the Fourteenth Amendment mean that a “fundamental right to marry” can no longer be denied because the partners are of the same sex. It did not create a new right, but opened a long-existing one to those partners” [SCOTUSblog].

Scalia melts down [@stuartmiller159].

Stats Watch

Consumer sentiment, June 2015: “Optimism is absolutely as strong as it gets giving a major boost to consumer sentiment which jumped well beyond forecasts” [Bloomberg]. “This is a stunning report, lining up with other recent positive indications on the consumer including jobless data and yesterday’s strength in income and spending, the latter including big spending on autos. The consumer is very upbeat — earning more and spending more.” A bit more moderately: “The University of Michigan final Consumer Sentiment for June came in at 96.1, a small increase from the 94.6 June preliminary reading but still below the interim high of 98.1 in January. The latest survey findings were a welcome improvement following last month’s interim low” [Econintersect]. And: “This is a survey, a quantification of opinion rather than facts and data. The question – does sentiment lead or truly correlate to any economic activity? Since 1990, there seems to be a loose general correlation to real household income growth.”

“The Great Recession allegedly ended in June 2009, yet it has taken 6 years of wandering through the desert to finally get personal spending to surge” [Confounded Interest]. Fun blog.

“The Crucial Thing to Know About This Economy ” [Wolf Street]. See the first chart on “Real GDP per capita and Historic Trends.” Since the Crash, “[R]eal economic growth per-capita was minuscule.”  And the political class wonders why voters are cranky.

“Trucking Tonnage Index Recovers Partially in May 2015” [Econintersect].

“China shares tank ending nation’s longest-ever bull market” [Telegraph]. 8% in one day. Wheeeeee!

Jack Lew: “The Treasury Secretary also warned “Greece is going to have to make some very painful adjustments. It’s going to mean difficult fiscal policies, difficult reforms” [Markets News]. It’s like a law of life that people who recommend (or demand) “hard choices” are never, ever personally affected by them.

Health Care

“Obamacare has only enrolled about 40% of the subsidy eligible market in two years worth of open enrollments. That level of consumer support does not make Obamacare either financially sustainable or politically sustainable” [Health Care Policy and Market Report]. “[T]he Court just saved the Republicans from themselves.”

Roberts fights back against Scalia in sharply worded footnotes [Bloomberg]. Supreme Court upholds Heritage Foundation health care plan. Obots everywhere experience simultaneous Ogasm.


“A Planetisation of Finance: The Earth as a Going Concern” [Sustainable Brands]. Not sure what to think of an article by an author who actually has ” an experienced expert in … thought leadership” in his bio, but maybe there’s something here.

“A New Take on the Human Factor in Recent Extreme Events'” [Jeff Masters, Weather Underground]. 

However, there’s no question that sea levels have risen and global temperatures have warmed. Those unassailable facts may serve as the most direct link between climate change and extreme events, according to the Perspectives article Attribution of climate extreme events, published on Monday in Nature Climate Change.

Dáithí Stone, an attribution expert at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and leader of the Weather Risk Attribution Forecast, sent me this take on the paper: “Recent studies exploring the role of greenhouse gas emissions in extreme weather events tend to be conservative by working under the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ paradigm, but this paper argues it would also be useful to work under the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ paradigm, or something in between. This is really the precautionary principle and can certainly make sense for adaptation decisions: even though residents of a coastal city might not have been measuring sea level, they may still think it wise to assume it is rising. But looking at things in the innocent-until-proven-guilty approach can be wise too, as in the Western legal systems designed to prevent witch hunts. So which paradigm is better depends on the purpose.”

It remains to be seen which scientists will follow the lead of the new paper and focus more on thermodynamics (heat, moisture) and sea level rise, as opposed to circulation change.

But go on to read the science. A very measured take by Masters.

Big Brother

“The secretive nature of stingray use has begun to backfire on law enforcement, however, with states beginning to pass laws that require police to obtain a warrant before they can set up a fake cell phone tower for surveillance” [Scientific America]. And why leave this up to the states?


Bristol Palin [Wonkette].

“[Ron Wyden D-TPP] has also been working on legislation aimed at increasing logging on federal lands in western Oregon.  While the timber industry has preferred a bill sponsored by three Oregon House members, Wyden has gained support from many timber executives who normally tend to lean toward Republicans” [Oregon Live]. And then there’s this: “Wyden’s wife, Nancy, is a co-owner of New York City’s famous Strand Book Store, and many of his contributions came from the metropolitan area — which also happens to be the country’s financial center.”

He received contributions from an executive at Bain Capital, a firm co-founded by 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and an executive for one of the investment funds owned by financier Steven Cohen.  The latter’s company paid $1.2 billion in penalties to the Securities Exchange Commission last year for securities fraud.

Maybe somebody should go look for books on TPP at the Strand Bookstore. Just saying.

Dear Old Blighty

“Promised schemes are put on hold and others hang in the balance as track bosses admit costs have outstripped the cash available” [Sky News]. Thanks, Maggie!

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“In a 5-4 decision in [Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project], the court preserved a legal tool that has been used for decades to bring bias lawsuits over actions that have a discriminatory effect even with no evidence of discriminatory intent” [Reuters].

Class Warfare

“Think Outside the Boss: Cooperate alternatives to the sharing economy” [Public Seminar].

News of the Wired

“The Tactical Ice Cream Unit” [Center for Tactical Magic].

“Lady dismantles ATM with bare hands to retrieve swallowed card” [Shanghaiist]. That’s the spirit!

“The Reverse Turing Test: Pretending to Be a Chatbot Is Harder Than You Think” [Wired]. “No it isn’t.” “Yes it is.”

Maryland Governor does Baltimore a favor by cancelling boondoggle Red Line [Baltimore Brew].

* * *

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 (John):


The photo is small — but I wish to encourage people! John writes:

I’ve decided to submit a plant picture. I’ve started gardening as a new hobby about a year ago and I’m still stumbling around figuring out what I’m doing. I planted four raspberry plants last spring. These were twig sized little guys. Two of them died, two more hung on until the winter. None grew much that first season before going dormant. When spring hit, I forgot about them somewhat and accidentally yanked one out.

However, the remaining plant has had tremendous growth in the first half of
this growing season and is now about 3 feet tall. I’m not sure how typical
this is, but I’m impressed with it and feel like it’s worth celebrating.

Can any readers help John with his raspberries? I planted canes, and wouldn’t yank one out now without gloves to protect against the prickles; I have a giant wall! And then on the tomatoes: Tomatoes (I feel) are a sort of gateway drug. They are so delicious and verdant that one wishes to branch out into growing other vegetables. However, trees are also verdant and some are delicious, too, and they provide canopy. I grew tomatoes and vegetables for five years at least before I thought about trees and planted some. But if I had thought about trees five years ago, I would have trees now. What do readers think?

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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. NotTimothyGeithner

    Biden is too much of a clown and voted for the Iraq War. Unlike Hillary or Obama, he has no tokenism to run on. He is a little more dialed in than Obama, but Biden is still the guy who let Clarence Thomas become a Supreme Court Justice.

    Even if he changes his position on bankruptcy, the question should be why he was so wrong in the first place. His 30 year record in Washington is highlighted by saving Obama on gay marriage. The guy is a nothing.

    1. grayslady

      Agree on Biden’s record.

      That was an incredibly poor article by Salon in all respects, not just regarding Biden. Typical Democrat attitude that ethnic voter positioning is critical. Sanders understands that black issues are economic issues, women’s issues are economic issues, youth issues are economic issues. Mr. Brinker apparently wants to drag every candidate into the morass of issues that are potentially divisive, rather than focusing on issues we all have in common, such as full-time jobs, adequate wages and benefits, the right to privacy, and loss of our democracy to faux trade agreements. Truly a juvenile analysis, IMO.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          The entire American Political Class is like that Berkeley balcony that collapsed: externally looks reasonable but rotten at the core. That Wyden is on the Traitor’s Bus, alongside DiFi and NancyP, is completely depressing. Instead we’re offered Bernie, another old crank with *zero* chance of winning (like Ron Paul last time around). The Obots cheer as AWIB passes (American Welfare for Insurance Billionaires, otherwise known as ObamaCare) and JCFB passes (Jackboot Corporate Fascism for Beginners, otherwise known as the TPP), it’s Sunset in America time.

    2. Jess

      Agree that Biden is a nothing, but that doesn’t disqualify him. Look at others who are getting consideration for the same office: Jeb? Rubio? Cruz?

      If Bernie starts to destroy Hellary’s campaign (as I predict he will) then look for the Dem appartchniks to promote Biden as a compromise candidate, perhaps even coming out a brokered convention. I mean, who else? Kerry? Jerry Brown? (“He brought CA back from the edge of bankruptcy, yada-yada-yada.”)

      1. Adam Eran

        …even worse, if Bernie threatens to win–a real possibility–look for markets to tank and the signs of the apocalypse to be trundled out along with the Bat Signal. His opposition includes plenty of criminals (Bob Ruben! Larry Summers! Li’l Timmie Geithner!)

        …and I’m guessing he’ll get some issues resolved, even if he’s not elected, but many will succumb to the shock doctrine.

        1. abynormal

          i’ll go on record right here…Bernie won’t win because he’s going to lob Hilary his votes.
          unfortunately, Hilary will welcome Rubin & Summers AGAIN. ive been wrong plenty…hope i am AGAIN.

          There’s Something Wrong With The World Today and It’s 1995
          the yak has lg potholes…but the charts don’t lie

          L.Summer: The major challenge for the United States is whether it can become the first outward-looking, continental, nonimperialist power in history. :-/

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Obama will be blamed. Market ownership share has shrunk. The markets were great last November, and the Blue Dogs were massacred. Because of the last bailout, people won’t tolerate another one.

    1. Garrett Pace

      Today was a catastrophe for them – now they’ll have to campaign on issues that their core constituency is opposed to.

      1. JTMcPhee

        The core does not appear to have noticed, or has pre- forgiven, or has fully embraced the other guy is worse idiocy.

        Consequence free, as always, because “we” don’t go after what “we” NEED. Dumb, bovine, easily manipulated, buried under old defunct images, fuddled by the ” leadership” that is just organized, not competent or “representative.”

        Noishing, take your place in the line, shuffle up the chute and wait for the guy with that little thing that goes “thunk” to drive that steel rod into your brain stem… Do your part, now…

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s a disaster for the current Team Blue elite. They can’t blackmail well to do gays anymore with GOP threats.

  2. Garrett Pace

    Gay marriage

    The legal and social drama has been interesting to watch. The gay dignity movement is also an interesting contrast to my polygamous ancestors, who just wanted to be left alone and not thrown in jail.

    I don’t think today’s polygamists will be so quiescent. Lambert, you should start a polygamy dignity countdown section of your water cooler updates.

    1. hunkerdown

      A number of my polyamorous friends (and myself) would be happy to be left alone, or treated no different than any other family. They simply expect that the secular courtesies extended to partners in a dyadic relationship be extended to all their partners in their own relationships: hospital visitation, health insurance, etc. The chains of marriage are so heavy it takes two to carry them, sometimes three, as Dumas put it.

  3. Carla

    Re: gardening. Does everyone know that all daylily blossoms are edible? Indian cuisine does wonderful things with the almost-ready-to-bloom buds, including dipping them in a batter of chickpea flour and then deep-frying them.

    But the easiest thing is to pick a couple of blossoms just before dinner, tear off the colorful petals, and sprinkle them over your salad as a beautiful garnish. This way, you enjoy the blooms in the garden all day, then consume them just before they shrivel up.

    One warning: this is a garnish, not a main course. Eating too many daylilies can cause (ahem) gastric distress.

    And while you’re harvesting the daylily blossoms, pick a few pansies or johnny jump-ups with which to beautify your salad, too.

    1. Laughingsong

      Nasturtiums and borage as well.

      Re: planting trees – depends on how much space you have and if you want to still have veg, etc. Take into account that amounts of shade change what might grow there. Also take into account how quickly a given species can grow and whether they tend to grow up or out. Finally, some trees’ detritus actually inhibits the growth of other plants, like oak, or walnut. This inhibition fades only very slowly even after the trees are gone.

      1. juliania

        Yes. I did the opposite of Lambert, planting my trees first. For most of my garden’s life (it was a clothesline habitat previously) the dear things inched along, so I planted veggies happily around them, and more trees – all fruit trees by the way. And also prized the seedlings that appeared here and there. (Don’t let anyone try to fool you; own root is best.)

        Then this spring came rains aplenty. My astonished trees leapt from their moorings, and my garden disappeared. But ah, with global warming the sun is nobody to be fooled with, and I am loving the shade.

        Thank you, trees.

    2. different clue

      I was in a couple of botany classes at different times where the professor warned us that a few randomly-distributed clones of daylily contain some kind of chemical whereby eating the flowers produces very painful testicular swelling. They didn’t say “don’t eat daylillies”. They were implying to be careful at first and eat just a couple blossoms or buds from your particular daylilly source . . . and if nothing bad happened, go ahead and eat more. I read recently that the Stella de Oro variety bloomed all summer and could be regarded as a summer-long source of a few daylilly buds and/or flowers at a time.
      There may be even newer all-summer-blooming daylilies by now.

      Daylilies were one of many plants discussed by the organization Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future has an online presence, a book that they sell, and etc. Here is the website.

  4. readerOtTeaLeaves

    Sanders seems to be creating the closest thing to a politicalStartUp that I can remember watching. Ever.

    There’s something passionate, almost politically entrepreneurial, about the man that I just cherish.

    Having been around TRUE job creators (as opposed to MBA poseurs like McRomney), he exudes a vibe that ispassionate, driven, focused, strategic.
    It can’t be created by PR.
    It’s based on absolute mastery of a subject, plus relentless curiosity.

    Here’s hoping his campaign team serves him brilliantly.

  5. Ann

    “Obots everywhere experience simultaneous Ogasm.”

    It took me a split second to realize that this was not a typo. LOL.

  6. phred

    Regarding stingray use, your question, “And why leave this up to the states?” may be rhetorical, but the obvious answer is because the federal government has made it very clear that they do not see the need for warrants. At all. Ever.

    And since the courts insist Reynolds secrecy closes the courthouse doors, it is unlikely we will get a federal remedy there. So at times like this, I find myself grateful for states rights, in spite of the fact that unfortunate expression tends to be invoked almost exclusively to further the goals of bigots (c.f., reaction to Obergefell decision).

    1. JerseyJeffersonian

      Indeed, your point is well taken. I for one think that we still have these vestigial things called “states” within the Borg known as The United States. They may yet have their uses in fighting back as the wheels come off, as assuredly they ultimately will. They were envisaged as more than just administrative districts under our Federal Constitution (contra Alexander Hamilton’s notions, for more on which see today’s enlightening post on AH).

      Whatever happened to the idea of states as “laboratories of democracy”, eh? Well, this notion began to die earlier than you might think, when the Federal Constitution was amended to have Federal Senators elected directly, altering the prior general practice of having them elected/appointed by the duly constituted legislatures of their respective states. Think about it…the need for Federal Senators to pay real attention to the perceived interests of the citizens of their native states was significantly eroded by this. The power of both national political parties, and national level interest groups to co-opt the allegiance legitimately owed to their state’s citizens and their interests was thereby greatly enhanced. You certainly can’t say that those whose interests lie with increasingly centralized, rather than regionalized and particularized, political culture don’t take the very long view, can you?

      That the Constitution is a Federal Constitution, and that states were to retain powers and rights is insufficiently appreciated, and further that this arrangement was viewed as another “balance of power” similar to those envisaged in the tri-partite division of the Federal government is considered “quaint”.

      Personally, I’m not that keen on answering – with little recourse – to power-aggrandizing, disinterested elites in Washington, D.C. and New York. Strangely enough, that seems to be the current arrangement. Huh.

      1. hunkerdown

        I thought it died as soon as it was decided that the US was a republic, not a democracy. If anything died, it might have been the fantasy that the Tenth would not have been rendered in modern times as “We reserve the right to changes these terms with or without notice at any time. Your sole remedy is to whinge ineffectually via speech that, being free, is worthless.”

    2. different clue

      You already said what I was thinking. Why leave this to the States? Because there is no one else who is going to do anything about it. Certainly not the agents of the DC FedRegime.

    1. allan

      “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it” turns out to have been directed at the .01%. Who knew?

      1. jrs

        Like I’ve long thought “now make me do it” might be, “well unless your on the verge of revolution, good luck getting me to serve anyone but the 1s” (sometimes I imagine him then sticking his tongue out). And as always if there actually WAS that much political activity, we wouldn’t NEED Obama or even Sanders.

        Yes the problem with those who will still support Obama is they really don’t know who to trust. And this is widespread. But I’m not sure I’ll even accept “Obama isn’t’ all bad”. Obama is bad, he truly is a terrible person.

    2. P Walker

      Of course he did. He has to ensure his daughters end up comfortable in the American nomenklatura.

      1. different clue

        That was already assured regardless. He wants genuine dynastic wealth for them.

  7. grayslady

    Regarding raspberries: Raspberries can be tricky to establish, but if a plant takes to its environment, it is likely to be with you forever. Don’t move it, don’t fuss with it, and it will produce for years to come. Only critical disease to keep an eye out for is verticillium wilt, in which case the plant will have to be destroyed, and you won’t be able to plant another raspberry bush in the same location again (verticillium persists in the soil for years).

    1. Watt4Bob

      …but if a plant takes to its environment, it is likely to be with you forever.

      An old-timer taught me how to get rid of an unwanted raspberry patch; put a fence around it and pen in some chickens. Those chickens will peck every living thing out of the ground behind the fence, raspberries included.


    2. Watt4Bob

      …but if a plant takes to its environment, it is likely to be with you forever.

      An old-timer taught me that to get rid of an unwanted raspberry patch all you have to do is fence it in, and add some chickens. Those chickens will peck every edible living cell from the fenced-in patch of dirt, including the raspberries!

    3. curlydan

      I planted 2 raspberry bushes a couple of years ago. Nothing for the first two years, then voila, I looked at it earlier this week and finally saw some raspberries coming in. Very happy for now!

      1. Chris

        My raspberries seem to like being left alone for the most part. I don’t trim the canes in the fall as they mostly come back and provide support to new growth in the spring. I trim any tops not showing new growth by late May as winter kills some tips. Other than that all I do is sprinkle a light handful of plant-tone organic 6-4-4 around the bases very early in the spring. They are so thick now that there could be a family of badgers living inside them and I wouldn’t know it. Give them time and you’ll have more than you can handle.

  8. JohnnyGL


    Thanks for my (errr….my raspberry plant’s) moment in the sun. I feel very special now that I’ve made it on the water cooler!

    That’s a valid point regarding tomatoes. The relatively quick turn around (for gardening, at least) provides encouragement. I’ve got a pair of cherry tomato plants that are doing well enough. Great for salads!

    1. abynormal

      Hi5 Johnny! submit more pics/updates. i miss the smells, early hours and taste…popping something in my mouth straight off the vine is freedom. i’ll return to gardening someday…couldn’t be soon enough.

      In politics I am growing indifferent – I would like it, if I could now return to my planting and books at home. Ulysses S.

    2. sleepy

      Yes, there are few things in life better than gardening. I retired a few years back, dug up my front yard and naturalized it with native Iowa grasses and wildflowers, expanded my vegetable garden to include corn, turnips, and potatoes in addition to a bunch of vegetables I’ve grown for years. Perennials all over the place. At 64 I can see myself being one of those 80 yr olds that has something growing on every square inch.

      Try potatoes if you’re looking for something new. Super easy to grow. As far as “hilling” them goes-which is a pain in the behind–an old grower told me to forget it, they do fine without it, and he’s right.

  9. Kokuanani

    David Dayen’s astute observation about “the decisions:”

    We don’t get many historic weeks around these parts, but let’s remember that it’s historic in a very specific way. At the same time that the country edged toward tolerance on one discrete front that has become socially acceptable – a very important and profound shift that has happened in a record amount of time, partially in my view because there is no natural separation for the LGBT rights movement based on class – the country’s Congress, through “fast track” trade authority, handed over legislative powers to an executive branch agency composed of former corporate lobbyists, who can now engineer policies desperately sought by Big Business interests, provisions which affect the health, safety and well-being of every American and would have no chance of passing on their own as separate bills.

    In other words, the country moved toward social equality within days of having its lawmaking powers put more into the grasp of multinational corporations. It’s not something anyone wants to reckon with on a day like today, and I don’t mean to minimize the achievement. I’m very happy that we have full marriage equality in America. But identity-based victories do tend to overshadow and in an indirect way benefit the elite project toward further economic immiseration of the public. There’s more than one piece of our union that needs to be made more perfect.

    1. Garrett Pace

      “Full marriage equality in America”

      Phrases like this convince me that people aren’t really thinking about what they are saying today. If “full marriage equality” is the goal then this is just an incremental step.

      1. hunkerdown

        It’s “full” marriage equality as concerns the liberal bourgeoisie, who are clearly the perfection of humanity to unfailing, gaudy, machine-like performance. They’d much rather keep their own (in the strict property sense) dyads intact and use their other intimate relationships to exercise their downward kicking.

          1. hunkerdown

            I’m shocked that you would say such a thing. Some of their best friends are trans!

      1. different clue

        I heard that on my public MSM radio station. It sounded a little forced and overdone to me, but still largely faux-credible for all that. I am sure his desperately-wanting-to-believe audience was transported to raptures of validation with it.

        It reminded me of hearing Patrick Buchanan on CSPAN once. He was talking to a Southern audience and he had a passable replica-Southern accent. ” In politics, sincerity is everything. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

    2. jrs

      Is marriage really more important to people than their jobs and working conditions etc.? What do they all have the delusion they will marry rich or something (whether gay or straight)?

  10. Vatch

    Oh, so now Scalia is upset that a majority on the Supreme Court can overrule the voters. Where was he when 5 Supremes chose George W. Bush to be the winner of the 2000 selection? Yup, he was one of the 5 who decided that the candidate with the second highest popular vote total would be the President, despite obvious and severe problems in the Florida election.

    1. Clive

      Yes, his dissent was the definition of a tautology. He ended up arguing in effect there shouldn’t be a Supreme Court. Why didn’t he just fess up and say he didn’t like gay marriage on the basis that he thought it was stinky? Wouldn’t have been any less puerile than the reasoning he used in his Opinion.

      1. MikeNY

        LOL! I’m amazed by two things: i) that he and Ginsburg are apparently great friends, and ii) that he hasn’t choked on a donut.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I can’t trust people who are friends with Republicans. I mean it’s okay to be amicable, but Republicans are just so unseemly.

      2. Vatch

        I just found this, and I really wasn’t looking for it. It’s from a 2013 interview with Scalia:


        [Jennifer Senior] Can we talk about your drafting process—
        [Antonin Scalia][Leans in, stage-whispers.] I even believe in the Devil.

        [JS] You do?
        [AS] Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.

        [JS] Every Catholic believes this? There’s a wide variety of Catholics out there …
        [AS] If you are faithful to Catholic dogma, that is certainly a large part of it.

        [JS] Have you seen evidence of the Devil lately?
        [AS] You know, it is curious. In the Gospels, the Devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn’t happen very much anymore.

        [JS] No.
        [AS] It’s because he’s smart.

        [JS] So what’s he doing now?
        [AS] What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way.

        [JS] That has really painful implications for atheists. Are you sure that’s the ­Devil’s work?
        [AS] I didn’t say atheists are the Devil’s work.

        [JS] Well, you’re saying the Devil is ­persuading people to not believe in God. Couldn’t there be other reasons to not believe?
        [AS] Well, there certainly can be other reasons. But it certainly favors the Devil’s desires. I mean, c’mon, that’s the explanation for why there’s not demonic possession all over the place. That always puzzled me. What happened to the Devil, you know? He used to be all over the place. He used to be all over the New Testament.

        [JS] Right.
        [AS] What happened to him?

        [JS] He just got wilier.
        [AS] He got wilier.

        [JS] Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?
        [AS] You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.

        [JS] I hope you weren’t sensing contempt from me. It wasn’t your belief that surprised me so much as how boldly you expressed it.
        [AS] I was offended by that. I really was.

        1. abynormal

          You’re looking at me as though I’m weird.
          no darling your not weird…your common!

          They took away his vote and gave instead
          The right, when he had earned, to eat his bread.
          In vain — he clamors for his “boss,” pour soul,
          To come again and part him from his roll.
          Offenbach Stutz/Devils Dic.

        2. Garrett Pace

          I thought that was satire. Scalia must be an amazing dinner companion.

          Interesting development he mentions later in the interview:

          “When I arrived, there really was not what you could call a Supreme Court bar—people who appear regularly. But now we have people who appear four, five times a term. What has happened is the big law firms have adopted Supreme Court practices. I’m not sure they make money on it, but they get prestige from it. So we get very good lawyers. Many of them ex–solicitor generals.”

        3. Adam Eran

          Too bad Jennifer didn’t know that Satan is the father of lies. That means he doesn’t appear as a demon with a pitchfork, he appears as a respected clergyman, perhaps with a taste for little children, or even a respected Supreme Court justice.

          Takes one to know one…. Just sayin…

  11. AJ

    I once volunteered for McCaskill. Once. This was during the hotly contested 2006 election. I was young and wanted to get involved in politics. While reading through her stance on different issues in the midst of making calls, I discovered that she was in support of building a wall between the US and Mexico. It was then that I realized we weren’t really on the same page. I still ended up voting for her because the republican would have been worse, but she got no more of my time or effort.

    1. Adam Eran

      …and this is the problem. The right can fund an opponent to primary anyone disagreeing with them, but the left hasn’t got this luxury, so public policy tends to tip rightward. We have to be willing to hold our noses and let the right win rather than hold our noses and vote for the likes of McCaskill and the rest of the Democratic turncoats.

      1. different clue

        The thing is . . . we don’t really have to. We can let ( or make) the Wydens and the McCaskills and etc. loose. We can either purify the Democratic party to some kind of New Deal roots or we can exterminate the party altogether if we are able to do so.

        The price of that is enduring the overt pain inflicted in the meantime by Repubs until enough people and officeseekers come together into a New Class Warfare Dealfare party to reconquer the government with.

  12. Anne

    on the raspberries – I only have experience with Heritage Raspberries (an older ever-bearing variety that sets all Summer with a final huge crop late in the season), but hang on; raspberries can wait to be established before fruiting. I’ve grown them both in ground and in containers (recycling bin, chifferobe half) and they’re awfully forgiving of less than perfect location in my experience. I do feed them in spring with a handful of organic fertilizer; this year adding vermipost periodically too. Interplanting with garlic can retard leaf pests. Once your raspberry is established, it should “walk” – sending out wee plants a few inches from the base. These can be left to develop or easily removed for transplanting (I’ve actually mailed these starts to friends, and they’ve survived just fine). Best for you and your raspberry ! (And, as I’ve never posted here before – NakedCapitalism is a treasure ! Thank-you all for your work here !)

    1. Yves Smith

      We’ll see what the Eurogroup and Eurzone leaders do tomorrow (the big honcho meeting has been extended into Saturday) but if they don’t extend the bailout, which seems pretty much impossible with no commitment from Greece on structural reforms, this looks like a way for Tsipras to pretend he’s not making the decision to default when that is what this amounts to.

      Greece will go into arrearage with the IMF on June 30 and will default on the ECB on July 20. The ECB will decide what it decides, but most observers think it will stop funding ELA increases or maybe even cut off the ELA entirely as of the ECB default, and perhaps sooner (as of the IMF default or when they have their next bi-weekly meeting to re-approve the ELA, it is subject to two-week renewal). In other words, his posture seems to be “Why can’t you guys wait a week?” when he should know full well that each and every one of 18 countries has to go along with this. With this move being dropped on them at the 11th hour, when he could have just as easily done this 2-3 weeks ago, this is is not going to be welcomed.

      This means the odds are high that Greece will be in emergency response to default mode by the time the vote comes around, making a vote not just moot but bizarre.

      1. phred

        “With this move being dropped on them at the 11th hour, when he could have just as easily done this 2-3 weeks ago, this is is not going to be welcomed. ”

        By the Eurocrats, but I suspect the Greek public needed to see things go down to the wire to accept the fact that the EZ would just as soon sacrifice Greece on the altar of austerity as consider any reasonable compromise. Perhaps by July 5th, the Greeks will choose to leave and rebuild, with all the pain that will entail. Tsipras and Syriza will need their buy in. Either they will get it. Or they won’t.

      2. JTMcPhee

        “…the most persistent principles in the universe are accident and error…”

        All this talk about the rules and protocols. The Game looks to me at least like old battlefield combat, the overwhelming cavalry salutes their opposites before lowering the lances and riding the peasant army down. A barista’s artful froth of Process with a sprig of oregano stuck in it, but underneath it’s all grunting and screaming and daggers seeking gaps in the armor. The only rule in mortal combat is to beat the other guy to the vital stab or slash or skull-crushing bash. The survivor gets to strip the corpse, and enslave the women and children and take the land and other chattels.

        The discourse here seems to make it pretty clear that there is no “law” or “order” and certainly damn little honor. While the fields and haystacks and granaries burn, and the corpses rot in the well, the looting continues, with brigands and ghouls slipping in to take what they can.

        What was the observation about this microcosm of the larger human political economy? “This can’t end well…”

      3. The Insider

        I think there’s a slim but nonzero chance that the creditors reel out enough credit for Greece to stay alive until the referendum. They’ll go into arrears with the IMF, but the ECB could conceivably hold off on cross-default clauses for a short period of time.

        Another way of putting my line of thinking: don’t underestimate how much Europe would like to find any excuse to kick the can down the road.

  13. Keenan

    RE: Trees

    Lambert, an old proverbial Q&A:
    Q: When is the best time to plant a tree ?
    A: Twenty years ago

    Q: When is the next best time to plant a tree
    A: Today

    RE: Tomatoes
    I hope you may have planted some old heirloom varieties for their wonderful flavor. Brandywine and Mortgage Lifter are especially delightful.

  14. jrs


    To confirm that U.S. troops were exposed to poison gasses by the military is to confirm things merely hinted at by my father, who did say once they exposed him to poison gas. He blamed reoccurring bouts with bronchitis on it and thought his leukemia in old age may be due to it. Although he actually lived a long life. And he raised his kids to never ever ever join the military! How ALL decent parents should raise their kids of course! Never the war machine!

  15. Doug

    The Five Horsemen (and One Horsewoman) of Europe’s Monetary Apocalypse
    by Don Quijones


    “No region of the world has been more exposed to this incremental process of financial centralization than Europe.”

    “This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements, arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland; a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. The growth of financial capitalism made possible a centralization of world economic control and use of this power for the direct benefit of financiers and the indirect injury of all other economic groups.”

  16. dodahman

    I see Bernie and think of George McGovern’s nomination(and subsequent horrific election loss).

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