2:00PM Water Cooler 10/22/2015

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By Lambert Strether of Corrente


[R]egulatory cooperation presents a unique opportunity for corporate interests on both sides of the Atlantic to lobby for these standards to be brought down to the lowest common denominator” [Counterpunch]. “Many of the major corporate interests pushing for TTIP actually think this, not ISDS, is the aspect of the deal that is most important to them. … What’s most dangerous about regulatory cooperation is that it will make the trade deal a so-called ‘living agreement’. This means that negotiators will continue to dismantle regulation behind closed doors for years after TTIP is no longer the focus of media attention.”

“This think-piece presents a roadmap for countries to enhance regulatory coherence across jurisdictions by engaging in regulatory cooperation, an area of increased priority for trade and regulatory authorities alike. As is well documented, regulatory fragmentation results in unnecessary barriers to international trade as exporters need to not only customise their products so that they comply with different and sometimes conflicting regulations, but also often test and certify them multiple times over to ensure that compliance is proved to the satisfaction of the local authorities” [The E15 Intitiative]. Exactly. If US air pollution standards hadn’t been so much higher than European ones, honest VW would never have been forced to install its cheating software!

“[T]he European Union and the United States appear willing to go beyond traditional international treaty-making to explore new avenues of international regulatory cooperation. In addition to the traditional commitment to eliminate tariffs in free trade agreements, the central tenet of TTIP is represented by the Horizontal Chapter on Regulatory Coherence, an innovative [uh oh] approach to international regulatory cooperation (IRC)” [Cato Institute]. “Despite being neutral to the operation of each party’s constitutional systems, this agreement will inevitably entail some limitations on regulatory autonomy.” As in a race to the bottom?



“The media often places far too much emphasis on polls taken weeks (or in the United States, months) in advance of an election. In reality, voters do change their minds at the last minute. Many people are not as interested in politics as commentators who write or talk about politics for a living” [WaPo]. “But, like students who are not that interested in school, they may decide to “study” at the last minute and then vote. This appears to have been the case in Canada.” Big Mo!


“Facing nervous donors, [Jebbie’s] Right to Rise USA is airing a new ad nationwide on Fox News, even though its strategist called national advertising a “fool’s errand” in a recent interview” [National Journal]. Leadership!

The Trail

Best quote EVAH, from Jebbie: “Super Girl is on TV. I saw it when I was working out this morning. There’s an ad promoting Super Girl. She looked pretty hot” [Tampa Bay Times]. Who’s writing Jebbie’s material? Craazyman?

“Clinton Takes Her Adviser’s Side, Attacking Big Banks but Not BlackRock” [David Dayen, The Intercept]. Ka-ching.

UPDATE “Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign is moving swiftly but delicately to try to win over Democrats who wanted Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to challenge her for the party’s nomination, assuring them that she shares his devotion to hard-working Americans and that the darkest days of her campaign are now behind her” [New York Times]. I can almost hear the stenographer’s pen scratching with that “hard-working Americans.”

UPDATE “While this has been an incredibly unpredictable campaign season so far, those developments [following Biden’s withdrawal] will give Hillary Clinton clear command of the Democratic presidential race” [First Look].

“Trump nears 100 days on top” [The Hill]. Flash in the pan, totally.

The Hill

The House reminds me of an old couch with the stuffing coming out of it. So I’ve added some buckets to handle the mess.


Live transcript: Clinton testifies before House committee on Benghazi [WaPo]. And the livestream.

“Clinton Benghazi Hearing Is a Face-Off of the Frauds” [Ron Fournier, National Journal].

“Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony started with a bang” [Business Insider].

Trey Gowdy (R-Wingnut):

GOWDY: This committee is the first committee, the only committee, to uncover the fact that Secretary Clinton exclusively used personal email on her own personal server for official business and kept the public record … in her own custody and control for almost two years after she left office. You made exclusive use of personal email and a personal server. When you left the State Department you kept those public records to yourself for almost two years. You and your attorneys decided what to return and what to delete. Those decisions were your decisions, not ours.

He’s right. If public officials can privatize their email servers, as Clinton did, then freedom of information and the whole concept of “public records” is a dead letter.

Elijah Cummings (D-Black Misleadership Class):

They set up this select committee with no rules, no deadline, and an unlimited budget. And they set them loose, Madam Secretary, because you’re running for president

He’s right. Benghazi is a ginormous politically motivated fishing expedition. Unfortunately (see above) they caught a fish.

Pretty cool [Wall Street Journal, “Search Hillary Clinton’s Emails”].

Leadership Contest

“What is the House Freedom Caucus, and who’s in it?” [Pew Research]. “The Freedom Caucus does not officially disclose who belongs to it. Membership is by invitation only, and meetings are not public.” Who do they think they are? The Bolsheviks? (Here is an unofficial list.)

“Paul Ryan will be the next speaker of the House. Now what?” [WaPo]. I dunno. Reporting on this is extremely conflicted, and the “Freedom Caucus” is opaque. Ryan got the “support” of the Freedom Caucus but not their “endorsement.” So WTF…

Debt Ceiling/Government Shutdown Cliffs

“The Treasury this morning announced that it is postponing the 2-year note auction that was scheduled for October 27 pending a resolution to the debt ceiling impasse” [Across the Curve].

“I’ve made it clear we’re not going to default on our debt,” Boehner said Tuesday evening on Fox News” [Market News].

Stats Watch

Leading Indicators, September 2015: “[N]ot a positive for the outlook on growth which the report pegs at a moderate 2.5 percent trend. Pluses were led, as they often are, by the report’s interest rate component that reflects the Fed’s accommodative policy” [Econoday]. Building permits below expectations. (But part of what pulled them down was driven by a rush to build in New York before a tax break expired, followed by a drop.) However: “The index does not adjust for inflation or population growth, is not final for several months after being published, and is subject to annual revision” [Econintersect].

Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index, October 2015: “The Kansas City manufacturing sector came up for badly needed air in October, ending a long run of deep contraction. The composite came in at only minus 1”  [Econoday]. “The real positive is the new orders index.” However: “Of the three regional manufacturing surveys released to date for October, all are in contraction” [Econinterest].

Chicago Fed National Activity Index, September 2015: “September was a weak month across the economy” [Econoday]. “Production is the weakest component in the report, down 0.18 and reflecting in part export troubles in manufacturing. Sales/orders/inventories are at zero while the personal consumption & housing component is at minus 0.08. Employment is also in the negative column, at minus 0.11.”

Jobless Claims, week of October 17, 2015: “Jobless claims are pointing to very tight conditions on the unemployment side of the labor market with initial claims coming in at a lower-than-expected 259,000 in the October 17 week” [Econoday].

FHFA House Price Index, August 2015: “Home-price appreciation slowed in August, to plus 0.3 percent for FHFA’s house price index” [Econoday].

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, week of October 18, 2015: “The consumer comfort index fell back in the October 18 week, down 1.7 points to 43.5 and erasing two prior weeks of solid gains” [Econoday]. “[T]he reading is respectable …. solid going into the holidays.”

Existing Home Sales, September 2015: “Existing home sales bounced back very strongly in September, up 4.7 percent to nearly reverse the prior month’s revised decline of 5.0 percent, a decline that now looks like an outlier” [Econoday]. However: “Our analysis of the unadjusted data shows that home sales improved – but that the rolling averages declined” [Econintersect]. And: “Higher than expected, not directly a contributor to GDP or a measure of output. The change in fed mtg regs that caused the blip and mtgs and subsequent reversal needs to play out here as well” [Mosler Economics].

Ag: “The prospect of weaker returns may prompt an exit by funds from agricultural commodities, the World Bank said, downplaying the prospect of El Nino causing rises in world crop prices” [Agrimoney]. “The comments in fact contrast with data from the venture capital sector of an increased interest, with food and agriculture sectors combined attracting a record inflow of more than $480m in the July-to-August period, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.”

Honey for the Bears: “[Thomas J. Curry, Comptroller of the Currency] told his audience at an Exchequer Club luncheon in Washington, D.C. that “we are clearly reaching the point in the cycle where credit risk is moving to the forefront.” Curry’s laundry list of potentially problematic areas included leveraged loans, home equity lines of credit, subprime auto loans, and commercial real estate” [Wall Street on Parade]. And then there are derivatives… 

Fear & Greed Index, October 22, 2015: 55 (+5); Neutral [CNN]. Last week: 41 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed).

Health Care

An awesome article on Electronic Health Records (EHRs), by one who lives with them [ZDogg MD].

Dear Old Blighty

“[T]he [UK’s] Family Division of the Judiciary has put out a memo declaring exactly how it will remove children from the homes of anyone it suspects might radicalize those children” [TechDirt]. “Radicalize” means what?

“The Bank of England has entered the EU referendum debate. Its report, along with comments from governor Mark Carney, emphasise the benefits that membership of the EU brings the UK” [The Conversation].

Cameron: “It’s no good simply talking about violent extremism. We need to confront all extremism” [BBC]. Yikes!

Two women waving Tibetan flag near Xi’s vehicle arrested for “conspiracy to commit threatening behavior” [Quartz]. By whom? The Ministry of Silly Walks?

“David Cameron is likely to preside over the largest sustained fall in NHS spending as a share of GDP since 1951, an analysis by the King’s Fund says” [BBC].

“[Living within our means’ may sound like common sense, but this platitude has no place in 21st-century economics” [Guardian]. “[Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell] pointed out that running a budget surplus means taking demand out of the economy, so there is an economic illiteracy in wanting to run one more or less permanently. He also argued that surplus should be run only on the current (consumption) component of the budget, and that deficit could – and should – be run on the capital (investment) component of it. His view was that if you borrow to invest, the debt will more than pay for itself in the long run as the investment matures and raises the economy’s output, and thus tax revenue.”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Open Letter to DeRay Mckesson on TFA and Racial Justice in Education” [Working Educators]. “As the social justice caucus within the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, we were surprised to see that you are coming to Philadelphia to speak alongside leaders of Teach for America (TFA). The Caucus of Working Educators (WE) is committed to racial justice in our schools and society, and we stand in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement…. We view the hiring of cadres of racial, cultural, and geographical outsiders with very little teaching preparation as part of a larger neoliberal effort to privatize education and replace unionized teachers (many of whom are teachers of color) with young, inexperienced teachers (most of whom are white and do not intend to stay in the teaching profession and commit to the long-term improvement of their teaching practice).” They’re polite; they don’t use the word “scabs.”

“How Black Lives Matter Uses Social Media to Fight the Power” [Wired]. When technology triumphalism about a social movement enters the mainstream, that’s often a sign of things going rancid.

“DNC gives blessing to Black Lives Matter presidential town hall — but won’t add debate” [WaPo].

“Church drummer Corey Jones was shot and killed by police after his car broke down; details about the shooting are scarce” [Miami Herald]. No doubt.

“Accelerant used to set another church on fire overnight, authorities say” [KMOV].

Ferguson Considers Settling Suit Over ‘Debtors Prison’ Abuses [HuffPo].

“Lawsuit challenges Mississippi ‘debtor’s prison’” [MSNBC].

Class Warfare

“John Locke advocated for a world based on expropriation, enslavement, and serfdom” [Jacobin].

“Charles Koch: The Popular Mechanics Interview” [Popular Mechanics].

News of the Wired

“Smilingly Excluded” [Richard Lloyd Parry, London Review of Books]. Western expats in Japan, and expatriation generally.

“Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to developers: We’re sorry” [Fortune]. And so they ought to be, when they closed Twitter to outside developers.

“Gravity is both glue and lubricant; holding stones in place and slipping them apart. Opposites are at work at all times and that dichotomy is at the heart of dry stone construction” [Dan Snow]. Building a dry stone wall in Boise, Idaho.

“[The] so-called Influence Machine [is] a term psychiatrists borrowed from the study of static electricity to describe the elaborate mechanical contraptions drawn by [Nineteenth Century] schizophrenics to explain their delusions [The Verge]. And the Internet of Things looks an awful lot like an Influence Machine.

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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 (OregonCharles):


Camellia sinensis, a tea flower, I believe. I like the experience of finding something beautiful to photograph in shadow.

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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. Massinissa

    Love that John Locke piece. Thanks Lambert.

    You know, i’m getting tired of everybody, on both sides of the aisle, lionizing the founding fathers. Its getting pretty old.

    Most folks don’t question it, because this civil religion of founding father worship is taught as early as kindergarten in many cases.

    1. Vatch

      I was curious about this, and I found an interview with historian Holly Brewer, who thinks that Locke’s ideas on slavery evolved over time. His work on the Carolina constitution occurred early in his life, in the 1670s, during the reign of Charles II. She claims that Locke’s views on slavery changed following the English revolution of 1688. I don’t have convenient access to his later writings, so I don’t know how true this is. Here’s the interview:


      When he was in a position of real power, he did everything he could to change the course of empire. This is after the Glorious Revolution, the Stuarts have been displaced, and with them their ideas. And instead, there is much more emphasis on government based on the consent of the governed, on the principle that all men are born equal at least — even if they’re not perfectly equal, but at least they should be equal under the law — and Locke really tries to implement those ideas in the empire and to undercut slavery.

    2. craazyman

      Even the lionizing of lions gets overdone. They kill and eat gazelles with their bare hands and nobody calls them out on it. I go to a grocery store and only buy meat after it’s dead.

      1. fresno dan

        “Best quote EVAH, from Jebbie: “Super Girl is on TV. I saw it when I was working out this morning. There’s an ad promoting Super Girl. She looked pretty hot” [Tampa Bay Times]. Who’s writing Jebbie’s material? Craazyman?”

        craazyman: are you going to take that?
        I’ve seen craazyman’s stuff – and its much insaner and funnier than that. And Super Sex…

        And I imagine Jebbie’s workout is to get up at the crack of brunch, and his work out is lifting 3 oz martinis to his lips…

        1. craazyman

          Wow, I never even knew there was a Super Girl. That’s what happens when you don’t have a TV and you live in Magonia.

          But after Googling it using the Earth-based internet technology, I’d say he’s right!

          Why is this even an issue for Earth people to argue about? Are all the guys out there stirring up controversy about this gay or what?

          1. Carolinian

            Jeb’s just trying to show he’s not a “low energy person.” Next he’ll be hiring supermodels.

          2. craazyboy

            I heard of Super Girl recently, but I assumed it was the name of Janet Yellen’s new autobiography.

    3. Clive

      Yes, over here we have a mild, politely different public view of the Founding Fathers which both acknowledges yet also simultaneously glosses over the reality of how they were thought of and treated contemporaneously. Which is that they were (thank you Prime Minister Cameron for this; it is all you’ve done for anyone) to borrow a phrase, extremists. Or, rather less politely, a bunch of religious crackpots. We were, by all accounts, glad to see the back of ’em.

      Strange how we can say this quite ordinarily and in England it gets discussed in high school history class (or anyway, it did in my day) and suchlike in the same manner as any other historical event.

      Of course, if anyone starts taking aim at the monarchy, then a typical English person will go on like you’ve insulted their mother’s cooking…

      1. Uahsenaa

        British devotion to the queen makes about as much sense to me as American devotion to firearms, though I suppose in the former case, a toddler is highly unlikely to kill herself with a loaded queen.

        1. Plenue

          The entire affair essentially amounted to substituting a local aristocracy for a distant one, but in the end I’ll take the Constitution and the American Republic with all its flaws and hypocrisies as at least a halfway decent foundation to work from. At least we have enshrined legal rights to yell about when the government tramples them. Meanwhile Cameron can apparently seriously talk about taking away citizens children because he doesn’t like what they’re being taught.

          And also it’ll be a cold day in hell when I bow to a freaking monarch, however vestigial and effectively powerless. I’m reminded of a Doug Stanhope joke. Wait, the UK still has a Queen? Do you have wizards to? What is this dark age nonsense?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think he got evicted from his North Pole apartment.

          Rent got too expensive, thanks to ZIRP.

          “Only cheap, sorry, cheaper import toys from now on.”

  2. Massinissa

    “[T]he [UK’s] Family Division of the Judiciary has put out a memo declaring exactly how it will remove children from the homes of anyone it suspects might radicalize those children” “Radicalize” means what?

    So in other words, theyre just going to take Muslim children from their parents now?

    Or are we talking about taking children from Corbyn supporters?

    ‘Radicalize’ can mean anything.

    1. Jagger

      During the medieval timeframe and earlier, it was common to remove children from dubious underlings or conquered enemies and have them raised by the Lord or the King. They served as hostages while being brainwashed. Game of Thrones may be fiction but it captures the concept well.

      1. DanB

        This will only create really radical people among those who are related to, are friends of, or have empathy for children stolen from their parents by the state. This is one more sign of the contradictions of noeliberalism as it enters its desperation-calls-for-repression to maintain control phase.

        1. Massinissa

          Your mention of Neoliberalism gets me thinking: Will the kids be sent to private orphanages that are paid with public money? Will the private orphanages lobby to take more muslim/whatever children from their parents?

          I hope the above is crazy talk, but, Neoliberalism is crazytalk so I cant be sure.

          1. abynormal

            you’re from GA and don’t remember this (i’m think’n you were pretty young): Newt Gingrich, the soon-to-be Republican Speaker of the House, was eager to flex his muscle. Minor controversy erupted over remarks he made about welfare reform and orphanages. Some Republicans had suggested that the nation could reduce welfare rolls by placing the children of welfare mothers in orphanages. The idea was to prohibit states from paying welfare benefits for two groups of children: Those whose paternity was not established and those born out of wedlock to women under 18. The savings, according to this proposal, would be used to establish and operate orphanages and group homes for unwed mothers.

            I thought this was a horrible idea. In a speech before the New York Women’s Agenda on Nov. 30, 1994, I criticized Gingrich.

            Gingrich swung back: “I’d ask her to go to Blockbuster and rent the Mickey Rooney movie about Boys Town [an orphanage]. I don’t understand liberals who live in enclaves of safety who say, ‘Oh, this would be a terrible thing.'”

        2. Ulysses

          “This is one more sign of the contradictions of noeliberalism as it enters its desperation-calls-for-repression to maintain control phase.”

          Yep. In theory our Bill of Rights should protect U.S. citizens from this kind of tyrannical over-reach. In practice, the surveillance state has accelerated the evisceration of our civil liberties, since 9/11, to the point where they are honored more in the breach than the observance.


    2. Clive

      Yeah reds, oh, sorry, my mistake, er, I meant to say, radicals under the bed is so definitely our most pressing problem right now.

  3. Pat

    The obvious partisan witchhunt aspect of the Benghazi hearings has helped to blunt whatever outrage there might be about the emails.

    I agree that while it might have been technically legal, it was counter to the intent of various laws already in place and very clearly an attempt to make sure that Candidate Clinton was not going to be blindsided by a FOIA investigation into Secretary of State Clinton, It was an arrogant and blatant screw you to the idea that the public has a right to know what its officials are doing and the very real fact that public was her employer.

    But now almost no one cares because Benghazi…

  4. Pat

    God forbid we enter into a trade agreement with the goals that it support quality products, better environment, safest working conditions, and wide reaching protections for employees and customers in every country. Nope, lets always race to the bottom except for the the half dozen people in each country who will reap all the benefits.

  5. cwaltz

    Jebbie’s comment requires me to bleach my brain. There’s nothing more ick for me than men lusting after women that are essentially younger than their grown children. Just ewwww.

    (And yes, I’m equal opportunity, I was appalled when I heard 40 year old women were throwing their underwear at a 17 year old Taylor Lautner.)

    Grown people should treat people as more than the sum of their body parts.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Good luck with “should…” You are talking about a species whose principal interests an genius lie in but two realms: Fu__ing, and killing/death.

  6. Tertium Squid


    Reading about the internet of things makes me weary of this world.

  7. Frenchguy

    It’s a detail but existing home sales are a direct contributor to GDP (via brokers’ commissions) and their impact can be significant toutes proportions gardées (hard to translate that…).

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Hmm. Do fees really contribute to GDP? I’m working through Hudson’s Killing the Host and though now, as I recollect, they do, but there’s no reason to think they should.

      1. Frenchguy

        They do. See the Handbook of the BEA on this:


        (p. 17: brokers’ commission are estimated with “Number of one-family houses sold times mean sales price, from Census Bureau data on new home sales and from National Assn. of Realtors data on existing home sales, times BEA estimate of average commission rate. “)

        Here’s the link to the relevant series (128.5 bn$ in 2014):


        And they should contribute to GDP, selling a house is a service like any other after all.

  8. Eric Patton

    Oh, I love this:

    [S]ince we’re one of the biggest manufacturers in the country, we are going to have among the highest emissions … Do you want to go back to living in caves and having nothing?

    Yes, because those are the only two options…

    Then there’s this:

    [T]he Republicans are only taking us down the road to serfdom at 70 miles an hour and the Democrats are taking us there at 100 miles an hour.

    C’mon, Chuck. Serfdom? You mean you are your brother are worried you may have to start eating Ramen noodles someday just to get by?

    You know, I like to put a can of tomato sauce in my Ramen noodles. Boil them in less water though, otherwise you’ll have too much liquid. And get the picante chicken. I mean, the picante beef kicked ass, but they stopped making those. And put a little Tabasco in.

    Just trying to help, Chuck. Times are tough for everyone these days, ya know?

  9. fresno dan

    Cameron: “It’s no good simply talking about violent extremism. We need to confront all extremism” [BBC]. Yikes!

    Sorry, but that is just irresistible to my quote fetish. Its like waving gazelles in front of lion hands…
    Barry Goldwater: I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

  10. abynormal

    MY EYES MY EYES re: C. Koch…”We could have the greatest boom in history, with these innovations by all the great innovators and entrepreneurs among the American people. So the question is why aren’t we?

    I think it’s because of misguided policies by both political parties. This starts with irresponsible, out-of-control spending that’s bankrupting the country and destroying opportunities for all but the chosen few, and when I say the chosen few I’m talking about those in power, and the crony-ists and people who are advocating corporate welfare, where businesses don’t put their emphasis on competing by producing and innovating to create better and better products and services that their customers value more, but by getting subsidies, mandates and special privileges that enrich them at the expense of the disadvantaged, mostly, and of their customers.”
    Koch Brothers likes to champion themselves as crusaders against the welfare state. But a new report shows that they took $88 million of your taxpayer dollars while demanding that governments stop wasting taxpayer dollars. In total, $110 billion goes out to corporate welfare projects from state and local authorities. This does not even include money coming from federal sources.
    back 2 Koch: “And, you know, if somebody can point out we’re wrong, that what we advocate is making America worse, boy we don’t want that, so we’d change. But let’s have a reasonable debate, an honest, scientifically, based intellectually honest debate, a conversation rather than name-calling.
    Describe what it feels like when you visit one of your companies and you see some sort of industrial marvel happening before your eyes.

    This has been my life’s work, so I get very excited when I visit with the people. “Gosh, how’d you guys do this?” …so much for an intellectual converfuckingsation

  11. Carolinian

    Charles Koch interview:

    Describe what it feels like when you visit one of your companies and you see some sort of industrial marvel happening before your eyes.

    This has been my life’s work, so I get very excited when I visit with the people. “Gosh, how’d you guys do this?”

    Not exactly the Mike Wallace treatment.

  12. fresno dan


    There are these things called medical codes that is part of the problem:
    Walked Into a Lamppost? Hurt While Crocheting? Burn Due to Water Skis on Fire? – There’s a Code for that.

    The federal agencies that developed the system—generally known as ICD-10, for International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision—say the codes will provide a more exact and up-to-date accounting of diagnoses and hospital inpatient procedures, which could improve payment strategies and care guidelines. “It’s for accuracy of data and quality of care,” says Pat Brooks, senior technical adviser at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

    Billing experts who translate doctors’ work into codes are gearing up to start using the new system in two years. They say the new detail is welcome in many cases. But a few aspects are also causing some head scratching.

    W61.11XA: A code for injuries related to macaws.

    Some codes could seem downright insulting: R46.1 is “bizarre personal appearance (see code),” while R46.0 is “very low level of personal hygiene (see code).”

    It’s not clear how many klutzes want to notify their insurers that a doctor visit was a W22.02XA, “walked into lamppost, initial encounter” (or, for that matter, a W22.02XD, “walked into lamppost, subsequent encounter”).

    Why are there codes for injuries received while sewing, ironing, playing a brass instrument, crocheting, doing handcrafts, or knitting—but not while shopping, wonders Rhonda Buckholtz, who does ICD-10 training for the American Academy of Professional Coders, a credentialing organization.

    Code V91.07XA, which involves a “burn due to water-skis on fire (see codes),” is another mystery she ponders: “Is it work-related?” she asks. “Is it a trick skier jumping through hoops of fire? How does it happen?”

    I have to say, I truly wonder how many people get burned due to their water skis? And who knew macaws were so vicious? And I wonder if you can ever have the second encounter with a lamppost expunged?

    1. JTMcPhee

      Oh please, let us be careful and serious about this undertaking, which I read was in part undertaken to defeat the IP lockup a certain large professional association had on ICD-9. The “billable encounters, first and second,” refer not to idiot re-collision with a lamp post, but the often, increasingly often, idiotic “encounters” with your fee-billing physician or other provider.

      “Please strip, Mr. McPhee, and don this paper gown, while we prep you for your simple wallet biopsy… You may feel a little pinch…”

  13. Oregoncharles

    About tea: a camellia, tea is hardy to about Zone 6, hence in a large part of the US. Coffee, OTOH, can be grown in the US only on Hawaii. My tea bushes survived a freeze below 0.

    This is significant for permaculture and for local economic autonomy. A large portion of our population is dependent on caffeine, and tea is a good source. It’s also a handsome evergreen with fragrant fall flowers. The harvesting and processing are labor-intensive, but addicts will do anything.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Can you describe your setup for camellia bushes? Are they sheltered from the wind? How’s the afternoon sun in the Summer? I’m not certain it will be hardy enough. I may have a spot in the Spring. I think a tree is high enough to shade partial shade plants in the afternoon.

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