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By Lambert Strether of Corrente
UPDATE “Are you a democratic socialist like Bernie Sanders? Take the quiz” [WaPo].
UPDATE Carson doesn’t support abortion in cases of rape or incest [The Hill].
“Sanders said that “In the last election, last November, 63 percent of the American people didn’t vote, 80 percent of young people didn’t vote, and today, millionaires and billionaires are buying the election. Is that what democracy in this country is supposed to be about? I think not…We need a political revolution” [Wall Street on Parade]. In a speech before the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum.
Here we go [@adamjohnsonNYC]. From the dank underbelly of the Democratic nomenklatura at Salon:
Note: this article provides zero evidence of misogyny from Sanders fans on Reddit. Literally. Go, ahead read it. pic.twitter.com/DiD3zm0WRu
— Adam Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) October 26, 2015
I’m guessing the Democratic playbook for Clinton in 2016 will be exactly the same as the playbook for 2008, except with “black” scratched out and “women” written in, and “racist” scratched out, and “misogynist” written in. A thick skin, and a sense of irony, will be essential survival tools, so get ready.
Ultras already fundraising off Ryan as House Leader [New York Times].
UPDATE “The Most Likely Next President Is Hillary Clinton” [Mark Halperin, Bloomberg]. An access journalist’s access journalist tells other access journalists who to suck up to, and why. In other words, it’s now open season on Sanders. As here.
“Bernie Sanders’s speech [complete version] Saturday was one long subtweet of Hillary Clinton” [WaPo]. Where “subtweet” is alluding to somebody without actually mentioning them. And I guess this Magic Marker thing could be catching on!
UPDATE “Protester Dragged Out of Trump Event by Attendee” [NBC Miami]. This video is ugly, and I’d very much like to know who the shaven-headed guy in the magenta golf shirt is.
“Bush family gathers to rescue Jeb” [Politico]. Let me know how that works out.
Christie kicked off the Amtrak Quiet Car for yammering on his cell phone [Gawker]. Well, at least some rules apply to the powerful!
“Biden explains 2016, through voice of his granddaughter: ‘You’re not going to leave me, are you, Pop?’” [WaPo]. Will the tear-jerking never end?
Larry Lessig on Tavis Smiley [PBS].
Clinton is lucky in her enemies [WaPo].
Debt Ceiling/Government Shutdown Cliffs
“I very much agree that the possibility of a [recession-inducing] policy mistake must be taken seriously. The debt ceiling is the biggest potential threat, and while I expect grownups will prevail, it’s a non-trivial economic mistake to even squabble about it (11 hours on Benghazi hearing, check! Raise the debt limit, uncheck…). A premature interest rate hike would also be a policy mistake, though 25 basis points will not tilt the recessionary balance” [Jared Bernstein]. Of course there’s a recession coming. Exactly as Clinton’s surplus sucked money out of the economy, leading to the Bush recession, so will Obama’s deficit reduction.
New Home Sales, September 2015: “The housing outlook just received a jolt! New home sales fell to an annual rate of 468,000 in September which is 67,000 below Econoday’s low-end estimate and the lowest rate since November last year. Making matters worse is a steep 33,000 downward revision to August. [Econoday]. And: “The rolling averages smooth out much of the uneven data produced in this series – and this month there was a deceleration in the rolling averages” [Econintersect]. “The bottom line is that the new home market is in an extreme depression and the apparent bottoming process has been dragging on for two years, if in fact the bottom has been reached.”
Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey, October 2015: “Contraction for the general activity index deepened” [Econoday]. “This report joins those from Empire State, Philly Fed, and Kansas City which are all pointing to another month of contraction underway for the nation’s factory sector.”
Rail: “U.S. freight railroads reported declining volumes of many categories of freight carried in the third quarter, continuing a year-long pattern, and anticipate more contraction in coming months, executives said” [Market News].
Ag: “Growing strawberries in California is 9796% more profitable than growing corn in the Midwest, Gladstone Land said, in the latest evidence of underperformance in row crop land” [Agrimoney]. Fun fact!
The Fed: “Here are five charts that explain why it’s safe to bet the Fed will pass on raising rates this week” [WaPo]. Taking free money away from people who already have bricks of it stacked up in their panic rooms would be totally contrary to the holiday spirit, and Xmas, as we all know, starts on Halloween, which is days away. More bigger stocking stuffers for everybody!New
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 61 (+3); Greed [CNN]. Last week: 48 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed)
Our Famously Free Press
“How This Reporter Uncovered A Corruption Scandal Everyone Missed” [HuffPo]. I’m quoting this at length because it’s important, and not just because it’s another turd in Rahm’s punchbowl:
Early in the summer of 2013, Sarah Karp was reading through a report on a Board of Education Meeting when she came across something suspicious.
Karp, one of just five full-time employees at an education-focused newsmagazine called Catalyst Chicago , routinely looked through these lengthy reports after board meetings. She knew that it was rare for a no-bid contract to be awarded to a company for professional development services that other groups in the area could provide. Karp became even more suspicious when she found that Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the head of Chicago Public Schools, had worked as a consultant for SUPES immediately before she started at CPS as a consultant. After about a month of reporting, Karp published a story drawing attention to the no-bid contract .
Karp didn’t know it at the time, but her story would help jump-start a federal investigation into Byrd-Bennett and SUPES. Earlier this month, that investigation culminated in federal bribery and kickback charges for Byrd-Bennett and two owners of SUPES. Byrd-Bennett, who resigned from her public school post in June, subsequently pled guilty to the charges.
Karp’s scoop, in other words, didn’t even require a whistleblower, and didn’t start with a source. No “access” was required. This is a form of investigative journalism and original reporting that Yves excels at, as you have seen from her work on private equity this year (and the troves of documents that NC maintains). We’d like to do more of that, and that’s what this final phase of the fundraiser is all about. And yet the “Original Reporting” thermometer is oddly low. 200 people donating twenty bucks each — not much for a year’s reading! — would pretty much do the job [and note that the Thermometer for contributors has been adjusted upward]. The Tip Jar is to your right! Thanks in advance!
“10 Technologies You Didn’t Know Could Fit In A Single Aircraft” [Lockheed Martin (Brand Publisher), BuzzFeed]. The F-35. Of course. #11: You can cook marshmallows on it when the engine catches fire. #12: Ejection seat unsuitable for pilots weighing less than 135 pounds (i.e., disproportionately women, though perhaps that’s not a bug, but a feature). Seems to be rather a lot of F-35 propaganda around, lately. Shouldn’t they be investing that money
buffing the turd in technical improvements?
On the Intercept’s drone leak scoop: “Since The Times has done so much on this subject, it is understandable that only a brief mention of The Intercept’s scoop has been made so far. Still, given the revelations in the released documents — — Times journalists might have served readers well to do more on ‘The Drone Papers.’ They also could consider doing so in the future” [Margaret Sullivan, New York Times]. Sullivan has stones, but in a more just world, the underlined sentence would be headline material, and not a delicately put interjection in the final paragraph of a Times Public Editor’s review. Given the Obama’s hatred and fear of leakers — and the unprecedented intensity and viciousness of his whistleblower prosecutions — the administration is surely treating this as a major story. So why isn’t the Times?
“If a Pulitzer-finalist 34-part series of investigative journalism can vanish from the web, anything can” [The Atlantic]. One of the many ways the web makes us stupider, not smarter.
“A review of studies that assess clinical antidepressants shows hidden conflicts of interest and financial ties to corporate drugmakers” [Scientific American].
Dear Old Blighty
“Martin Amis: Jeremy Corbyn is undereducated and slow-minded” [Spectator]. Corbynsteria continues.
“Tony Blair’s apologies over Iraq War are ‘spin operation’ ahead of Chilcot Inquiry report, says Nicola Sturgeon” [Independent]. AFAIK, Blair has merely emitted a “mistakes were made” non-apology apology.
“Seumas Milne and His Swivel-Eyed Detractors” [Counterpunch]. Milne is Corbyn’s press secretary: “What we have seen take place is nothing less than a feral and unhinged scream from the swamp of reaction that resides in our culture.” Good clean fun!
“Global non-linear effect of temperature on economic production” [Nature].
We show that overall economic productivity is non-linear in temperature for all countries, with productivity peaking at an annual average temperature of 13°C and declining strongly at higher temperatures. The relationship is globally generalizable, unchanged since 1960, and apparent for agricultural and non-agricultural activity in both rich and poor countries. These results provide the first evidence that economic activity in all regions is coupled to the global climate and establish a new empirical foundation for modelling economic loss in response to climate change with important implications.
Readers, how’s the study?
“Dead star demolishes planet – offering a glimpse into how the Earth could end its days” [The Conversation]. C’mon. This is too bearish even for me!
“Ten years into the natural gas boom, a PennLive investigation uncovered systemic failures on the part of state regulators to enforce environmental, health and safety standards for the multibillion-dollar industry” [PennLive]. Now that’s a shocker!
“So far this year, Indonesia’s fires [burning off forests for palm oil plantations] have produced more pollution than Germany or Japan does in a year. On 26 days from the period of Sept. 1 to Oct. 14, their daily emissions surpassed those of the entire US (the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China), according to researchers led by Guido van der Werf from VU University Amsterdam” [Quartz].
“The Denver Police Department arrested 10 people and destroyed ‘tiny homes’ activists set up for the homeless at Sustainability Park Saturday.” [ABC7]. Denver Homeless Out Loud organizers: “The Denver Housing Authority, which owns the property, has torn down hundreds of low-income housing units, and after allowing the Urban Farming Cooperative to use the land for a few years, has agreed this year to sell the land to a private developer.”
Public transport! (What genius thought that one up? When the word got out in America, they’d all want it!) I could now go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. The days of waiting for someone to pick me up in a car were over. For the first time I felt like my own person; I didn’t have to answer to anyone. It felt so right, like something I’d been waiting all my life for.
Turning “Guanxi” into a social credit system (not that kind), and creating an “algorithmic aristocracy” [James Seng]. Good insights for China watchers.
“The 20 percent raises Price implemented in 2012 were supposed to be a one-time deal. Then something strange happened: Profits rose just as much as the previous year, fueled by a surprising productivity jump—of 30 to 40 percent. He figured it was a fluke, but he piled on 20 percent raises again the following year. Again, profits rose by a like amount” [Slate]. But paying workers isn’t nearly as much fun as whipping and degrading them. Hence Price is an outlier.
News of the Wired
“An Interactive Guide to Ambiguous Grammar” [McSweeney’s]. “From time to time, writers may well find illustrative value in the lightest of phrases, sentences so weightless and feathery that they scarcely even seem to exist at all. These can convey details well beyond the crude thrust of the hulking active voice….”
“This 11-year-old is selling cryptographically secure passwords for $2 each” [Ars Technica].
“Two Shot at Wild Party Held in a Queens Mansion Rented Through Airbnb” [New York Magazine]. “The party’s host paid $1,000 to rent out the basement of the four-bedroom Bayside home for the night.” Did AirBnB rent the guns, too? I smell business model!