2:00PM Water Cooler 9/4/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


The Voters

“Clinton’s trip [to Puerto Rico] is designed to project the sense to this politically potent group that Clinton takes the territory’s troubles seriously. She has already called for the federal government to take steps to ease Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, and on Friday she will sit with local residents to hear about the island’s healthcare problems amid its economic downturn” [Politico].


“Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Thursday that it is ‘absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberties.’ Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) called on ‘every lover of liberty to stand with Kim Davis.’ Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) was equally effusive” [WaPo]. Cf. Matt 23:13-14.

Paul: “A lot of people have talked about this for years — why not just privatize marriage? Have it in the churches, and people will just go to definition they agree with” [Raw Story]. Actually, I agree (as long as any tax implications or public services are driven by a license from the State, as opposed to whatever The God(ess)(e)(s) Of Your Choice, If Any, think marriage is.

The Trail

Clinton on email in Andrea Mitchell interview: “At the end of the day, I am sorry that this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions, but there are answers to all these questions” [CNN]. “And I take responsibility and it wasn’t the best choice.” Yeah, the best choice is not for a public official to privatize their email, since mixing of public means and private ends is the very definition of corruption. And then there’s this:

CLINTON: I started out listening because I think you can come with your own ideas and you can wave your arms and give a speech, but at the end of the day, are you connecting with and really hearing?

That’s not even grammatical. Connecting with whom, and hearing what, from whom? Not to mention an existential issue for Democrats.

Trump oppo: “Donald Trump’s oppo file is going to be the most magnificent document in history” [CNN]. From a colorful character, disciple of Lee Atwater…

Trump: “New Gallup data released Friday shows that Trump’s net favorability rating — the difference between the percentage of people who view him favorably vs. unfavorably — jumped 16 points in just the past couple of weeks” [Business Insider].

Trump: “I will be so good at the military, your head will spin” [New York Times]. Cancel the F-35?

“GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump will deliver an address on national security and veterans’ issues from the USS Iowa, a retired battleship, on Sept. 15” (picture) [The Hill]. I still don’t get what’s with the white shoes. I’m not seeing golf cleats, and Trump’s not a nurse, so WTF?

“Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign plans to spend more than $4 million reserving ad time in Iowa and New Hampshire throughout September and October, aides said Thursday” [CNN]. Christmas comes early for Big Media…

Stats Watch

Employment Situation, August 2015: “The unemployment rate fell 2 tenths to 5.1 percent which is below the low end estimate and the lowest of the recovery, since April 2008. And wages are strong. Debate will definitely be lively at the September 17 FOMC!” [Bloomberg]. “The participation rate remains low, unchanged at 62.6 percent.” “Seasonality, especially the timing of the beginning of the school year, always plays an outsized role in August employment data which are often revised higher. Policy makers are certain to take this into consideration at this month’s FOMC. There’s something for everybody in this report which won’t likely settle expectations whether the Fed lifts off or not this month.”

But: “The unadjusted jobs added month-over-month was well below normal for times of economic expansion – and the worst since the end of the Great Recession. Hey, if the kids were not going back to school (teachers being hired) – this report would have been a disaster” [Econintersect].And: “Job growth came in below expectations” [Jared Bernstein].

Then again: “This was a decent employment report with 173,000 jobs added, and employment gains for June and July were revised up” [Calculated Risk].

“While the drop in unemployment in the August report is encouraging, the overall report is not especially positive. There is no evidence that wage growth is accelerating and there is a real risk that employment growth is slowing. The big question is whether the 140,000 private sector job growth in August is the new trend or whether it was weakened by the strong growth in prior months” [CEPR].

The Fed: “The data offers a mixed bag for Federal Reserve officials as they contemplate raising interest rates for the first time since 2006” [Wall Street Journal, “Economists React to the August Jobs Report: ‘A September Rate Hike Is Basically a Coin Flip’”].

The Fed: “If markets continue to oscillate — as they did Friday and in recent weeks — the Fed will be forced to delay a rate hike, unless it wishes to test the robustness of the global financial system and risk damaging fragile and tentative real global economic activity” [Mohammed El-Erian, Bloomberg].

The Fed: “**Lacker [here], Unlikely Any ‘One-Month Blip’ In August Jobs Report To ‘Materially Alter’ Labor Market Picture, Monetary Policy <<Across the Curve].

The Fed: “Thus, for the closely watched Fed decision as to whether they will begin their rate-raising campaign later this month, today’s report poses a bit of a dilemma. The unemployment rate says ‘raise!’ The payroll number says ‘hold!’ What’s the Fed to do?” [Jared Bernstein]. “We’re clearly not at full employment so, especially given the absence of price and wage pressures, the correct answer is to hold for now. … Either way, for a data-driven Fed, it’s the same answer. For a Fed driven by other stuff—emotions, ennui, nervousness (“let’s just raise the damn thing already and break the suspense!”), nightmares from the late 1970s, or whatever…well, that’s a different story.”

The Fed: “Central bankers from around the world are telling their American counterparts that they are ready for a U.S. interest rate hike and would prefer that the Federal Reserve make the move without further ado” [Guardian].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“After Katrina, the second line became a symbol of New Orleans’ resilience. But the survival of the parades—and the neighborhoods the revelers called home—is far from assured” [Slate]. It’s like the people “rebuilding” New Orleans want to destroy everything that makes New Orleans New Orleans.

“An SPLC lawsuit in Montgomery, Ala., has stopped the jailing of indigent people who can’t pay traffic fines – a modern-day version of debtors’ prison that is finding new life across America” [Southern Poverty Law Center].

“Police in Texas Hospital Shoot Patient in the Chest” [Truthout].

How the new Texas public school textbooks write about slavery and race [Jezebel].

“I’m a black activist. Here’s what people get wrong about Black Lives Matter” [Vox]. “When we try to make sense of history, especially the history of capital-M Movements, we tend to mythologize a single-minded march toward justice. But the civil rights movement was diverse. There was a dominant theme, but there was dissonance, too. There was competition. There was strife.”

“Why Miley Cyrus shouldn’t tell Nicki Minaj how to talk about race” [Daily Dot]. Sure, entertainment, but aren’t a lot of these issues fought ought in that arena?

“In Praise of the Radical and Unapologetic Nicki Minaj” [Elle].

Police State

“[LA’s body cam] policy — approved by the Police Commission’s 3-1 vote in April — allows officers to review the footage before writing reports or giving statements to internal investigators” [Los Angeles Times].

“Police beat Washington Heights basketball player on crutches, severely injuring his Achilles tendon: suit (VIDEO)” [New York Daily News]. And: “3 California deputies charged in beating of man after horseback pursuit” [New York Daily News].

A police officer accused of shooting his own car ‘to concoct a story that he was fired upon’ may face charges” [Business Insider].


“Canada in recession a field day for opposition” [Toronto Star].

“Liberals and NDP promise marijuana reform but pot crimes could still haunt Canadians for decades” [The Straight].


“Earlier this week, the California State Assembly approved a bill that would order the state’s employee pension funds to eliminate investments in companies that make the majority of their revenue from coal. The bill has already passed the State Senate, and if signed by Governor Jerry Brown, it will make California the first state to take this step” [Ars Technica].

“A key instrument on a $1 billion NASA satellite has failed, reducing scientists’ ability to capture data to measure the moisture in Earth’s soil in order to improve flood forecasting and monitor climate change, officials said on Thursday” [Reuters].

“‘Organic’ has essentially become another way of saying ‘luxury'” [Quartz].

As a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found, the “premium” markup on organic food is 29-32%, when only a 5-7% markup would be needed to break even—making organic farms more profitable than conventional ones.


“In the case of TTIP, the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) has identified numerous risks to public health and potential conflicts with the policies called for in its recent manifesto” [Journal of Public Health]. “The 1995 Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS) Agreement, a key element of the WTO regime, has already been used to challenge European health and safety regulations, notably in the area of hormone-treated meat for human consumption. The European Commission, which negotiates TTIP on behalf of EU member countries, is promoting ‘SPS-plus’ provisions that go far beyond those in the 1995 agreement.”

“[T]he corporate transparency nerds of Corporate Europe Observatory finally received documents on exchanges between the tobacco lobby and the Brussels institution concerning TTIP and the EU-Japan trade talks. The punchline of the story? Most of the documents were redacted” [Guardian].


“New York Gov. Cuomo Silent On Effort To Force General Electric To Clean Up Its Pollution From Hudson” [International Business Times].

Wretched Excess

“Eyewitnesses at [the Four Seasons] have seen crates of gilded furniture and accessories being wheeled into the posh hotel over the past several days, culminating in a home-away-from-home fit for the billionaire Saudi monarch,” King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia [Politico].

“UW, Alaska Airlines agree to naming-rights deal for Husky Stadium’s field” [Seattle Times]. Another football program with a college attached…

Class Warfare

“In Search of Our First Trillionaire” [Too Much Online]. Interesting discussion of the power curve in wealth distribution.

“On July 22nd, Facebook filed a new patent for a product the company could sell to creditors to analyze someone’s creditworthiness based on their social network” [Shadowproof]. “It is also worth noting that the methodology for this product is most useful if social networks are highly class stratified. Indeed, Facebook and its potential enterprise customers are literally banking on someone’s social media network accurately reflecting their economic status — that those of high creditworthiness primarily associate with others of high creditworthiness and that those of low creditworthiness primarily associate with others of low creditworthiness.”

“Federal workers launch White House petition for a ‘meaningful pay raise’ above 1.3 percent Obama is giving” [WaPo].

“Of all the incidents in which someone died at work in 2013, 9 percent were due to homicides, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent data. In total, 397 people were murdered while at work. That’s more than were killed by fires and explosions, getting caught in equipment or machinery, and exposure to harmful substances combined” [Think Progress].

News of the Wired

“Mountain Jane Doe and more than 10,000 others like her make up a bleak national list of people found deceased without an identity. The FBI estimates there are some 80,000 people missing on any given day” [Reveal].

“Survey: More than 1,050 University of Kentucky students sexually assaulted in one year” [Lexington Herald-Leader].

“Britain’s Atlantis: Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past” [Independent].

“Scientists discover that the world contains dramatically more trees than previously thought” [WaPo].

“An Interactive Guide to Ambiguous Grammar” [McSweeney’s]. When reading the news, always look for lack of agency!

* * *

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:


It’s easy being green… If you’re a plant! From the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. This is turning into a tough month, and I need to keep my server up!


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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. Eric Patton

    The state should not be in the business of sanctioning particular types of living arrangements. Consenting adults should be able to make their own choices.

    Paul is still an idiot, though.

    1. DJG

      Paul: “A lot of people have talked about this for years — why not just privatize marriage? Have it in the churches, and people will just go to definition they agree with”

      No. Giving the rituals and sanctioning of marriage to the churches is not privatizing marriage. You go from one public sanction to another form of public sanction, from one hierarchy to another. (Or you end up like Israel, where there is no civil marriage, and just what does one do as an unbeliever?)

      So the alternatives are weddings at home, witnessed by the family, as in ancient Rome. In traditional Japanese marriage, the man spent three consecutive nights and the couple was thereby hitched. Lots of hi-jinks in the Tale of Genji, as he tries to avoid that dangerous third night. Or pagan hand-fastings. Of course, the family brings up those wonderful issues of patriarchy.

      So you can see, then, why civil marriage by an impartial and secular state is not such a bad solution to the matter (assuming, too, that one of the main purposes of marriage is transfer of property, holding property in common, and succession arrangements).

      1. Bridget

        What are you saying? Either a home brew wedding or a wedding according to the diktat of the state? Slippery slope, that. Nice gig for home brew weddings, however.

    2. grayslady

      Paul is not an idiot, but he certainly presents himself as a religious extremist.

      As to why the state is involved in “living arrangements” aka marriages:

      1) Not all of us are religious. The idea of going into a church for a wedding is an anathema.
      2) Is the church, or some other private institution, going to grant you a divorce? Or oversee the equitable distribution of marital assets?
      3) The state has an interest in the welfare of its youngest citizens. We pay for their schooling, we all chip in to make sure they have enough to eat through school programs and SNAP, and we support their health through s-CHIP. So yes, the state, representing all of us, should make sure that our youngest citizens are looked after, whether it’s protecting them from abuse or making sure they will be taken care of in the event of a divorce.

      1. cwaltz

        I’d double down on Paul being a religious extremist and I’d add a bigot to boot. Exhibit A)
        Paul has also cosponsored the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which would prevent the federal government from acting against businesses and non-profits that discriminate against same-sex married couples. That must be because he really, really believes that same sex folks deserve the same rights as the rest of us. Not.

        I also disagree with the idea of ceding the term marriage to extremists. As it stands I see exactly what has been done by them when it comes to a woman’s right to choose. Give them enough time and they’ll have anyone gay sporting rainbow armbands so they can freely discriminate.

  2. Eric Patton

    Police in Texas Hospital Shoot Patient in the Chest

    Okay, the cops can stop shooting folks any fucking time now. The dude they shot — who wasn’t white, and I am truly shocked — was a mental health patient. I mean, fuck, dude was in the hospital because he was having psychological issues.

    So naturally, some cop busted a cap in his torso. WTG, “thin blue line.” You guys rawk, what with you keeping me all safe and everything.

    1. Oregoncharles

      My first thought: so hospitals don’t have orderlies any more? – who, theoretically, were trained to deal with this kind of situation, and didn’t carry guns.

      Which apparently is so, given all the stuff about “budget-cutting.”

  3. spooz

    Maybe Trump’s intention is to appear the patriotic choice with his flag inspired color combo. Do you think navy or red shoes would have worked better?

    1. Another Anon

      White shoes, with white soles, are worn in boats because
      one wants to minimize deck cleaning as darker shoes
      and soles produce more visible scuff marks. That was the second thing my
      mum taught me about boating. The first thing was always wear a life jacket.

  4. Eric Patton

    Survey: More than 1,050 University of Kentucky students sexually assaulted in one year

    Okay, while yes, men might get assaulted too, this article seems to bend over backwards to act like this isn’t predominantly a gender issue. The article’s only references to “women” are

    “We know we have good services, but there is a large amount of under-reporting, and that’s a challenge,” said Diane Follingstad, director of UK’s Center for Research on Violence Against Women.


    UK has been held up as a national model for sexual assault prevention because of earlier surveys, the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center and Green Dot, a national training program created at UK to prevent sexual assault. In 2004, UK found that nearly 40 percent of women on campus had been victims of some type of violence, whether stalking, physical abuse or sexual assault.

    The words “female,” “girl,” and “rape” do not appear in this article.

    Seriously? Could we at least have a little damn honestly about who exactly is being assaulted? Can we stop worrying about offending the “men’s rights” crowd? Fuck those a-holes anyway.

    Women are being raped. Maybe we could try taking it a smidge seriously?

    1. hunkerdown

      “It’s not true, but the fraud sells better” is the basis of your post, Eric. Are you sure that we should keep a victim narrative alive that’s been shown to be incomplete at best, just because it happens to be salesful?

  5. TarheelDem

    Trump’s white shoes? Pairs with the hat on the theme “Making America white again.”

    I thought we all had learn to read dogwhistles by now.

  6. griffen

    First trillionaire, the answer is easy. Peter Weyland, founder and CEO of Weyland/Yutani.

    Building better worlds, indeed. He likely won’t offer to help people like the Gates Foundation has managed to do (education, malaria, etc..

  7. Kurt Sperry

    “I still don’t get what’s with the white shoes. I’m not seeing golf cleats, and Trump’s not a nurse, so WTF?”

    It’s antistyle. They zig; you zag. Plus, it’s retro.

    1. optimader

      Its his way to fck w/ people at the molecular level.
      Think Caddyshack, think Rodney Dangerfield
      Al Czervik: A member? You think I actually want to join this scumatorium? The only reason I’m here is because I might buy it!

    2. Oregoncharles

      It’s conspicuous consumption; white shoes are very high-maintenance. They announce that you have servants.

    3. craazyman

      white pants, white shoes. what’s there not to get?

      If it were me, i’d probably wear shiny black shoes due to style cluelessness and lack of fashion conscious handlers. i’m trying to remedy that with careful shopping at places like Paul Stuart and Crockett & Jones, but that’s no gaurantee.

      it could be that or maybe a nod in the direction of Love Boat Captain Merrill Stubbing.

      Being president is kind of like being Captain of the Love Boat. Isn’t it? You need to look like you’re a captain and Donald Trump looks the part.

      1. optimader

        Trump is using Crockett & Tubbs..
        Style clue, if you only own black shoes and black socks you cant screw up..
        unless its a night out on the town and you’re sporting a checkered Seersucker shirt and Tartan plaid shorts.. oh hell. just wear the black wingtips and black socks and its all good. BTW, carry a dagger in the sock and no one will mess w you.

        1. ambrit

          Try a Tartan plaid kilt. As long as you don’t have knobby knees, you’ll wow them. Keep the stiletto in the sock.

          1. Oregoncharles

            That’s a “skene dhu.”

            One grandmother was named Skene – a minor Scots clan, indeed named for the knife.

            1. ambrit

              I’m going to have to ask her the next time I see her, but my Mum is Scots and has a Tartan. I’m considered a Southie, and I guess the kilt would burst into flames if I tried to wear it. (I have been known to dance widdershins around an old oak tree on Beltane.)

    1. Vatch

      Some of those formerly prosperous engineers and programmers may have lost their jobs to H-1B or L-1 replacements, so they may really need the $6K.

  8. ProNewerDeal

    I heard a clip of some right-wing radio guy (Hew Hewitt iirc) asked Trump Chump some middle east/War on Tera TM related question, e.g. “do you know about Hamas, Al Bagdadi, the Kudz force” etc.

    Trump conceded he did not know these names, said Hewitt gave him a “gotcha question” (Sarah Palin 2.0 Trump?), “but believe me, when I am President, within 24 hours, I will know more then you’ll ever know”

    It reminded me of the Univision journalist Jorge Ramos confrontation with Trump, where Trump told Ramos “believe me, my heart is far bigger than yours”.

    Any mental health pros in the NC Commenting House? Does Trump Chump have some bizarre mental illness/extreme egomania where he claims to persons he just met, that he has far superior to them in a personal attribute, even in the case when he has 1 of day of study, and the person he insults may have lifelong experience? I feel as this is a behavior some 9 year old kids might exhibit, but I can’t recall and adult, much less a 69 yr old “adult” like Trump having this behavioral trait.

    I get the sense TrumpDumbDumb would claim he could take a free intro Physics 101 course from say edX/MITX, and then proclaim “My History of Time is Far Briefer than Yours, Dr. Stephen Hawking”, or take a few tennis lessons, & then proclaim that he could school Roger Federer.

    What a “DumbDumb”, Trump.

    1. craazyboy

      I haven’t devoted much of my professional attention in The Donald’s direction – but I think The Donald means that in his first 5 minutes in the Oval Office, he will be deluged in Top Secret CIA reports on his desk and multiple Powerpoint presentations running simultaneously on all four walls, ceiling and floor, detailing the ME situation and all the terrorists’ pictures will be neatly labeled with the terrorists names, in accordance with CIA policy.

      Personally, I want to vote for someone who flunks the ME Terrorist Name Quiz Show.

      1. optimader

        detailing the ME situation and all the terrorists’ pictures will be neatly labeled with the terrorists names
        Maybe you’re on to something. on inauguration day he could tell them all they’re fired!

    2. James Levy

      He’s used to a media world in which assertions pass for arguments. One day when teaching a Freshman class I realized that many of my students had never heard an argument. Their lives were a blur of assertions passing for facts. If you add the fact that Trump is also probably quite rich and surrounds himself with yes-men, he has spent most of his adult life in an environment where he says stupid shit and everyone around him says “Brilliant!”. Who’s going to contradict a wealthy bully?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        You might like this. I only saw the Jeb Bush response to Trump’s latest, and Jeb said something to the effect that a candidate for President can’t just say he is going to hire people to tell him what to do. I almost died laughing.

  9. allan

    “On July 22nd, Facebook filed a new patent …”

    To the back of the line, Zuckerberg:

    Allstate wants to spy on its auto insurance clients, patent reveals

    A newly discovered patent filed by Allstate Corp. proposes to use new and existing technology to monitor everything related to the company’s auto insurance clients, from driver seat position to stereo volume.

    Titled “Traffic-based Driving Analysis,” the patent was filed August 11 and would allow Allstate to access many monitors and cameras already featured in most vehicles, including telematics devices installed by the insurer. It also provides for new technology and methods Allstate could use to check up on its customers.

  10. Oregoncharles

    “why not just privatize marriage?”
    Indeed. Ever been to a hippy wedding? Nobody asked if there was a license or a minister involved. Quite a party, though. Gays and lesbians have been able to get married IN CHURCH all along – they just had to pick the right church, or start one. You can get a perfectly good minister certificate on line.

    The furor is about the state LICENSE, and the perqs that come with it.

    The essential mistake was in calling civil contracts by the same word as church rituals. The solution is that we ALL have civil unions, and those who want a church marriage go arrange for one. Having priests and ministers sign off on state licenses is an unconstitutional establishment of religion.

    I’m not optimistic that this rational reform, and renaming, will actually happen, but it would solve the whole silly mess.

  11. Vince in MN

    Trump’s shoes: It’s the old misdirection play. If you are looking at his shoes, you can’t be looking at his hair.

  12. Brindle

    2016 / Sanders

    Bernie Sanders to campaign with Cornel West next week in South Carolina. S.C. is one of Clinton’s firewall states—so smart move by Sanders to spend more time there.

    —- Sen. Bernie Sanders – the Vermont independent hoping to catch up with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton ahead of next year’s presidential primary elections – will visit Rock Hill next Saturday for a campaign rally at Winthrop University.Sanders will appear at Winthrop with Cornel West, prominent political activist, former Harvard professor, and member of the Democratic Socialists of America.—


  13. GroundZeroAndLovinIt

    Appreciate the link to the ambiguous grammar guide at McSweeneys. That was a thing of beauty.

  14. McKillop

    A bit back, August 6, specifically, it was reported that the day marked the seventieth anniversary in which an atomic `bomb fell on Hiroshima, A few days later the second bomb ever used in warfare fell on another city in Japan. The network was the Canadian CBC.
    `Lack of agency`, indeed.
    My ears could not be believed.

    No need to have unnecessary angst caused.

      1. craazyboy

        No,no,no…..”one day a atomic bomb exploded in Hiroshima, followed by second explosion in another Japanese city.”

          1. JEHR

            The Americans dropped one bomb on Nagasaki and another bomb on Hiroshima. The bombs killed thousands of Japanese people.

            1. ambrit

              Hundreds of thousands of people. The “official” casualty tolls are not only reductionistic, but usually fail to include later early deaths from radiation caused illnesses. Both cities are ports. What about the effects of the radioactive fallout on the ecosystems of their bays? That’s where to begin in predicting the long term effects of the Fukushima reactor melt downs on the Pacific Oceans’ ecosystem.

  15. ewmayer

    Re. the multiple items in Stats Watch that start with “The Fed”, sorry – I see any headline invoking these arrogant self-anointed financioeconomic demigods anymore and I just silently say “F*** the Fed” (or whichever central bank the piece is about) and move on. The only headline of the sort I might treat differently would be where the next few words following “The Fed” are along the lines of “agrees to disband self, having caused enough harm to the nation and the world”.

    As with “Hillary speaks!” headlines, it’s mostly at-best-useless-if-not-outright-offensive noising, anyway.

    And just to make sure I got the number of dingbats (of the asterisk-in-place-of-a-letter, not the human, variety) right, I’ll say it again: F*** the Fed. And the horse it rode in on, too.

  16. abynormal

    i had no idea about this sculpture…i keep getting smaller
    In the city of Bayonne (New Jersey, United States) on the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks there was a dedication ceremony for Tsereteli’s 175-ton sculpture entitled “To the Struggle Against World Terrorism” consisting of a 100-foot tall rectangular bronze block with a fissure down the middle creating the tension and drama of the sculptural image, in which a teardrop in memory of those whose lives were lost is suspended. Nine pathways lead to the 11-sided granite base where names of 9/11 victims as well as victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings are engraved.
    One of the most distinguished artist’s achievements was a rebirth of the ancient technique of cloisonne enamel. The master raised the art of enamel fabrication to a higher level of quality. He enriched the color spectrum and introduced innovations in the production technology. Tsereteli widely used his perfect enamel panels when he decorated the interiors of embassies of the Russian Federation in the United States, Brazil, Portugal, Japan, Syria and other countries. At the same time the artist continued his work and experiments in stained glass. Synthesis, freedom in the use of various materials and media, including such rare and labor consuming as stained glasses and cloisonne enamels contributed to his success in the design of big architectural and landscape ensembles.

      1. abynormal

        from Russia with Love…TooFunnee sd!

        Where something is thin,that’s where it tears.
        A wolf won’t eat wolf.
        russian proverbs

    1. low_integer

      It has been speculated that the teardrop actually represents the steel structure of the WTC buildings being turned to molten metal, and that Russia’s ‘gift’ in fact symbolized something along the lines of “we know what really happened.”

  17. allan

    Blackstone CEO Steve “Taxing Private Equity Carried Interest Would Be Like When Hitler Invaded Poland” Schwarzman gets a beat-sweetener on Dealbook:

    “Blackstone is not really a business per se,” Mr. Schwarzman said. “It’s a mission to be the best.”

    This must be Andrew Ross Sorkin’s idea of celebrating Labor Day.

  18. Freda Miller

    The amazing part of this story for me is that the monument is a gift from Vladimer Putin, etc. Thanks for your comment.

  19. MikeW_CA

    Why not just privatize marriage? A reasonable question, but let me suggest an alternate one: Why not just stop separate Civil Marriage from religious marriage, like many, if not most, developed countries do?

    1. sleepy

      Civil and religious marriages are already separate in the US. Anyone can get married by a judge and, if they fit whatever the criteria imposed by a specific religion, married by some religious figure.

      But regardless of how a couple chooses to have their vows formalised, they still need a marriage license issued by the state. Are you proposing that those licenses be done away with?

      1. LifelongLib

        Well, you need the marriage license if you want the marriage to have any legal status. I suppose you could have a church etc marriage without a license, but then it would be like a baptism or a bar mitzvah — maybe of great religious importance but meaningless legally.

  20. Bridget

    A veritable trove of water cooler scoop, and the comments are all about Himself’s White Shoes. This is significant in ways I can’t even begin to explain.

  21. JTMcPhee

    Re getting rid of all the stuff that made The Big Easy The Big Easy: Not to worry, man — the Brand will stand, and that’s what counts, right? Fulcrum for yet another leverage?

  22. Sam Kanu

    ….”“Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Thursday that it is ‘absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberties.’….”

    So a supposed “libertarian” believes that govt employees should ignore govt regulations and the law, and instead impose their personal believes on taxpayers who are using govt services.

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