2:00PM Water Cooler 11/18/2015

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Patient readers, this will be a bit shorter than usual because it took me longer to struggle into and out of my yellow waders when I posted on Clinton and single payer. Every time I post on Clinton, this happens, for some reason.


“The International Trade Commission (ITC) on Tuesday (Nov. 17) predicted that its report on the economic impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will not be ready until May 18, effectively pushing congressional consideration of a TPP implementing bill past that date” [Inside Trade]. This is behind a paywall, though an additional snippet tantalizingly showed up at an aggregator: “This is because the ITC report traditionally accompanies a free trade agreement implementing bill when it is sent to Congress, although there is no formal requirement under the 2015 fast-track law that….”

SPS: “TPP guarantees that companies can provide SPS Committee consultations with their own confidential research in a similar way [to how the FDA exonerated glyphosate from being an endocrine disruptor based on pesticide industry studies], and that no outside scrutiny will be permitted unless those companies agree”  [TechDirt]. (SPS is “Sanitary and Phytosanitary”: food safety, and animal and plant health in agricultural trade.)

Congress: “Republicans are deeply disappointed with the deal negotiated by Obama’s team, as are many business groups, which have yet to embrace it. Some are suggesting the administration may need to reopen the negotiations, even if that means seeking an accord with a smaller number of countries” [The Hill]. Could be just posturing, though. (“No. I mean ‘What do you want?'” [opens briefcase].)

ISIDS: “Far from contributing to human rights and development, the international investment regime and ISDS have resulted in growing inequality among states and within them. Article 103 of the UN charter is clear: in case of conflict between the charter and any other agreements, including ISDS, it is the UN charter that prevails” [Guardian].

“While supporters argue that ‘no deal is perfect,’ sadly the main shortcomings of the TPP are not attributable to compromises among trading partners.  The deal is at its best where it embraces the interests of the global 99 percent.  It’s shortcomings are a straight-up sell-out to the highest bidders” [The Hill]. The author is a Fellow — non-resident, I grant — at Brookings. Still, Brookings. 



“Cruz to offer bill banning Syrian refugees” [The Hill]. Impressively rapid pandering to the bedwetting crowd. (Oh, and “Police believe attackers used forged passports to stigmatize refugees,” so banning Syrians won’t work. We’d better just ban the French and the Belgians instead. The lizard backbrain is great on rapid reaction, maybe not so good on strategy and tactics. Not to compare Cruz to a lizard.)

“The United States will have ‘absolutely no choice’ but to close down some mosques where ‘some bad things are happening,’ Donald Trump said in a recent interview, explaining his rationale for doing so” [Politico]. Unlike, say, child abuse in Christian churches. Or billions in ecclesiastical crime worldwide. “Bad,” after all, is just a word.

“[Bush] is emphasizing his 40 years of private sector executive experience and selling himself on the stump as ‘the steady hand,’ although he brings little direct experience in the foreign policy realm aside from being brother to the president who waged the U.S. war in Iraq” [Politico]. Help me.


“Democrats: ‘We lack a clear message’” [McClatchy]. I’m linking to this again because it’s so idiotic. Also too, there’s a nice big picture of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, with a look of quite possibly genuine concern on her face.

The Trail

“Donald Trump on Tuesday named Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) when asked about his possible running mate in 2016” [The Hill]. “‘Ted Cruz is now agreeing with me 100 percent,’ he said.” Cruz is good like that, isn’t he?

“Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday proposed a new government agency tasked with promoting ‘core Judeo-Christian, Western values’ as a means of combating the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other terror groups” [The Hill]. Impossible to tack back to the center after that one, so I guess Kasich will be joining Huckabee on the wingnut welfare circuit. Ka-ching.

“Ben Carson’s … took to social media to share a map of the United States in which five New England states were placed in the wrong location” [WaPo].

Stats Watch

“From British MPs to bank chiefs in the US – everyone seems to be worried about the lack of liquidity in the global fixed income markets” [Telegraph]. “It is worth pausing here to ask whether there is a certain amount of self-interest behind the warning from banks. Is this just a more creative way for them to chafe against demands that they hold more capital? And would they really throw themselves in front of falling prices for the greater good when the crunch came? Liquidity had a habit of mysteriously disappearing during previous crises, even before the new rules were in place.”

Housing Starts, October 2015: “Pulled down by a big drop in multi-family homes, housing starts fell a steep 11.0 percent in October to a 1.060 million annualized rate that is far below Econoday’s low estimate” [Econoday]. “And there is important good news in this report. Permits are up.”

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of November 13, 2015: “The jump in interest rates following the October employment report, and the risk that they may move yet higher, has tripped a surge in mortgage applications for home purchases, up 12.0 percent in the November 13 week” [Econoday]. And: Permits and starts are noisy data series, but both are decelerating based on three-month rolling averages [Econintersect].

Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations, November 2015: “Inflation expectations over the next 12 months remain unchanged, at a soft plus 1.8 percent in the Atlanta Fed’s business survey for November” [Econoday]. ” Actual costs are also unchanged, at an even softer plus 1.3 percent. Readings in this report have been very weak, underscoring the difficulty the Fed is having in raising inflation expectations.”

The Fed: “Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker, who was the FOMC dissenter in September and October, Wednesday told CNBC that he has his “fingers crossed” that conditions will finally be right for a rates liftoff in December” [Market News]. Not behind his back, one hopes.

Honey for the Bears: “Axa Wins Approval for Tallest London City Skyscraper” [Bloomberg. (See The Economist, “Towers of Babel,” for a handy chart showing how skyscrapers correlate to economic crisis.)

“The latest major terrorism event to strike the Western world proved once again that stock markets are largely immune to terrorism” [Barron’s].

“Apple is taking 94% of profits in the entire smartphone industry” [Business Insider].

“Constellation Brands, a $26 billion U.S. distributor of motley alcoholic beverages, has revealed some of the fizzy finances underlying craft brewing. Though its $1 billion acquisition of Ballast Point, maker of Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, is small beer compared to AB InBev’s $100 billion-plus takeover of SABMiller, it provides a glimpse into how much it is costing Big Beer to stay cool” [Breaking Views]. So they’ll crapify craft beer and get caught naked when the tide goes out? 

“Overt Monetary Financing – again” [Bill Mitchell]. This is, among other things, a takedown of John Cassidy’s recent New Yorker article, “Printing Money” (which sounds like a Terry Pratchett novel. But the writing isn’t nearly as good).

Mosler to speak to European Parliament [Mosler Economics]. That’s pretty cool.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 49 (+1); Neutral [CNN]. Last week: 63 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed).

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Report: D.C.’s Black Unemployment Rate Is The Highest In Country” [DCist]. Given Washington’s current dominance, organizing it would be a lot like organizing Paris in 1788.

“After days of protests, students occupy building at Occidental College” [Los Angeles Times].


“The total amount of groundwater on the planet, held in rock and soil below our feet, is estimated to be 23 million cubic km” [BBC]. “If this volume is hard to visualise, imagine the Earth’s entire land surface covered in a layer some 180m deep.” If only we could monetize it all…. 


“Michael Pollan’s Letter to the Future” [EcoWatch].

“Will the “Tobacco Strategy” Work Against Big Oil?” [The New Yorker].


“New coalition backing charter schools asks legislature to intervene, ‘fix’ Supreme Court ruling” [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]. See, the charter-backing squillionaires think it’s a great idea that charter schools get state tax money without actually being accountable to state voters for how their tax money is used; this is, after all, the sort of “fixed” deal they like for themselves. The Supreme Court disagreed.

Class Warfare

“If America was truly on the right track, would our plants and utilities have been operating at 85 percent of capacity in the 70s, 80s and 90s, and now only operating at 77.5 percent as of this October – despite trillions of dollars spent on unprecedented fiscal stimulus, Fed loans to Wall Street and three rounds of quantitative easing since the crash?” [Wall Street on Parade]. In Veblen’s terms, this is business sabotaging industry.

“Driver says Uber targeted his profile after he critiqued high-level executive” [San Francisco Examiner]. Stay classy, Travis!

“A group of Sidwell Friends alumni are raising concerns related to the private school’s decision to purchase a nursing facility that neighbors the District campus, a land deal that will displace more than 100 of the home’s sick, elderly residents” [WaPo]. Well, everybody has a kid at Sidwell Friends. So that’s alright, then.

News of the Wired 

“Google Search ‘grows up’: App now understands the meaning of questions and can answer more complex queries” [Daily Mail]. (Hilariously, this article shows up when I type in its sample question “who was the US president when the Angels won the world series.” Too meta!)

“Hundreds of thousands of Texas women attempted self-induced abortion – study” [Guardian]. Mission accomplished!

“After Paris Attacks, Here’s What the CIA Director Gets Wrong About Encryption” [Wired].

“How Islamic State Teaches Tech Savvy to Evade Detection” (with handy chart) [Wall Street Journal].

“Many physicists believe that entanglement is the essence of quantum weirdness — and some now suspect that it may also be the essence of space-time geometry” [Nature].

“Mr. and Mrs. B” [Longreads]. A beautifully written and lavishly leisurely character assassination of William F. Buckley, not there’s anything wrong with that.

* * *

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 (KS):


If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. Winter has come, I need to buy fuel, and I need to keep my server up, too.


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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. Synoia

    a nice big picture of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, with a look of quite possibly genuine concern

    Possibly true, but concern over what?

    1. Too much exposure to the people on democratic debates?
    2. She’s constipated?
    3. Broke a nail?
    4. Not ineffective enough and might case democrats to elected?
    5. Not enough funds for Israel? (What is enough)

    Please add your own Washerwoman Wasserman-Schult “concern”.

    1. Anon

      That she had the foresight to hold Dem debates during the most congested times of the year? The next one is MLK weekend, I think.

    2. Pavel

      I don’t have a dog in this hunt (is that the saying?) in the sense that I can’t vote but if I did and could I’d be tempted to vote for The Donald just to spite DWS.

      Though of course Hill, Bill, Chelsea, Huma et al will do fine no matter who wins the election.

      From “flat broke” on leaving the presidency to $100-200 million dollar fortunes, and running a “charity” whose president earns $500K+ per year. Only in America, folks!

      [Immediate correction: also in the UK — cf Tony Blair and his “Foundation”.]

      1. Synoia

        I believe Blair would not have been welcome in Wilson’s or Callahan’s Labor party.

        He have been told to fo, and join the Tories.

        A Public Schoolboy as a Labor Party leader? The socialists are all rolling (leftward) in their graves.

        1. cyclist

          And yet the likes of Martin Amis are decrying the fact that Jeremy Corbyn is under-educated and third rate (i.e. not a public schoolboy and Oxbridge).

  2. Synoia

    “Many physicists believe that entanglement is the essence of quantum weirdness — and some now suspect that it may also be the essence of space-time geometry”

    I wonder if the “folded dimensions” postulated by string theory (I seem to remember 10 dimensions being postulated) could have a bearing on entanglement.

    Distance is relevant in the dimension we perceive. If a dimension is very small, could that be a key to entanglement-action? Action at very little distance?

    1. craazyman

      maybe when you fall into a tiny folded dimension it becomes huge.

      I remember a Star Trek once where Kirk went inside a fairly small alien space ship and when he was inside it was as big as a football stadium. But outside it was only about 20 feet across. I think it had to do with advanced physics the aliens had mastered.

      I wish New York apartments worked like that.

      1. craazyboy

        The Tardis space-time travel machine on Dr. Who worked like that too. It looked like an old English telephone booth from the outside, but when you entered the door you emerged in a space that like looked like a Goth version of the Enterprise Bridge. But Tardis is an alien. It was just created that way by the Alien Creator.

        But if we make it to the 23rd century, New York apartments will have to work like that. Necessity is the driver of innovation.

        1. John Zelnicker

          Tardis is the abbreviation for Time And Relative Dimension In Space. The outside is a copy of the blue English Police emergency call boxes, rather than a regular phone booth, which was red. The interior has undergone a number of changes, particularly in recent years, and isn’t so Goth nowadays.

    2. craazyboy

      I read a mathematician once that said you can solve any problem in physics by adding dimensions. I think he said if you go to 13 dimensions, you can make the “dark matter” conundrum go away.

      1. Joe Renter

        Think, Wheels within Wheels, and as above, so below. Is there not space in an atom, which reflects in some way the space in a Universe? Pretty amazing creation in my mind. Someday when we are more evolved it will make sense. But, I hear the the highest entity in our solar system only knows a part of plan of the total existence, due to the limitations of it’s consciousness.
        It works in theory since there really is no such thing as time in the big picture. The past, present. and future are all unfolding at once.There is no end to evolution (growth of consciousness), and you can’t get off the bus. Only, stay at the stop for some cycle or two. Sorry, got to go. I need to get back to the space ship near the crop circles. Mars is calling.

  3. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: “Hundreds of thousands of Texas women attempted self-induced abortion – study” [Guardian].

    Sharia Law with a texas twist.

      1. Daryl

        Expect your children to grow up eating Tex Mex/BBQ and attend rodeos. Soon we will take over everything.

        (As a less silly aside, up till now Texas was one of the few red states not dependent on federal benefits and with a balanced budget, albeit this was gamed. Expect this to end with the price of oil and recent regressive tax cuts by the Texas congress).

        1. PQS

          “not dependent on federal benefits”….

          You mean excluding all those military bases and contractors? Or perhaps all those ag subsidies are excluded from the “federal benefits” calculation?

          1. craazyboy

            hahaha. AZ always shows up as one of the worst offenders on those “federal benefits tit sucker” lists. Reason? It’s a retirement state and people move here after working their whole lives and collect SS and Medicare!

            But on the “plus” side, we have a pretty good sized defense industry too.

    1. Daryl

      As I understand it, sharia is Arabic for “legislation,” and generally refers to laws prescribed by religion. Sharia al-Masih would refer to the religious laws of Christianity, e.g. what Republicans push in the United States. Of course since the only Biblical mention of abortion is how to perform one on a cheating wife, it could also be that they just want to punish women for having sex.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        “…… it could also be that they just want to punish women for having sex.”

        Ding. Ding. Ding.

        While the person the woman is having sex WITH, shall remain blameless, shameless and nameless.

      2. Paper Mac

        Shari’ah” is Arabic for “path” or “way” and is a much broader concept than “legislation”- it refers to the sum total of the Islamic way of life, despite the popular misconception that the word refers to some kind of dusty 7th century law manual. “Fiqh” is “jurisprudence” and is the subset of the shari’ah composed of a body of legal opinions generated by scholars on particular issues of concern to the community.

        As a particular, relevant example of how this works, there is no “shari’ah law” regarding abortion. There are a large number of fiqh opinions offered by qualified members of the community (referred to as fuqaha), loosely grouped, in Sunni Islam, into four schools of law. The majority opinion of the Hanafi school is that abortion is permissible, while this is a minority opinion in the other three schools. Because disagreement exists on this issue, the individual Muslim is bound to follow their conscience in selecting the opinion that seems most moral, consistent, reasonable, etc. to them.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          “Because disagreement exists on this issue, the individual Muslim is bound to follow their conscience in selecting the opinion that seems most moral, consistent, reasonable, etc. to them.”

          Sounds suspiciously like the “freedom” that “they hate us for” to me.

          1. ambrit

            Don’t blame ‘them’ Katniss. We hate our own ‘freedoms’ even more. We’ve been giving ‘them’ away since Nixons’ day.
            I used to joke about having the ‘nutters’ running the government. I wasn’t cynical enough.

      1. MojaveWolf

        Ted Cruz speaks for Chthulhu.

        I recognized him as The Avatar the moment I watched the second (I think; twas the only one I watched) Republican debate. Watch him in that debate, then read Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross. Or probably better visa versa to achieve maximum visceral effect.

    1. Plenue

      Can we talk about what a monumentally stupid phrase ‘Judeo-Christian’ is? In reality, I mean. For the mean-spirited authoritarians that predominate in American Christian circles the Old Testament is perfectly valid, but part of the entire ‘Christ’ part of Christianity is that he overrode all the ‘eye for an eye’ and Ten Commandments stuff. The Judeo aspect is essentially supposed to be reduced to an interesting historical novelty. Especially maddening since these are precisely the same people who complain about ‘kikes’ in their private conversations. Never forget, Billy Graham can be heard on the Nixon tapes warning Dick about the ‘Satanic Jews’: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/17/us/billy-graham-responds-to-lingering-anger-over-1972-remarks-on-jews.html

      1. Christopher Fay

        It’s a clever phrase. It’s been an effort to institutionalize the “Judeo” part with “Christian” in order to put Israel interests first

  4. PQS

    Hundreds of thousands of Texas women attempted self-induced abortion – study

    I wondered how long before these consequences became obvious.

  5. allan

    “… report on the economic impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will not be ready until May 18, effectively pushing congressional consideration of a TPP implementing bill past that date”

    So, Lame Duck 2016 looks to be as fruitful, from an oligarchic point of view,
    as Lame Duck 2010 and Lame Duck 2012 were.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’m putting this out here on a “First I’ve heard” basis, and apparently the date is derived from custom, not law (not that law bulks large in Obama’s considerations of anything). So, a watching brief, as it were.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        I don’t bet but it seems like a no-brainer that TPP will be an end of 2016 lame duck vote.

  6. Daryl

    > “Ben Carson’s … took to social media to share a map of the United States in which five New England states were placed in the wrong location”

    This is amazing. It’s like the man goes out of his way to be wrong. How far do you have to dig to find such a messed up map of the United States?

      1. optimader

        A result of future State Border skirmishes after eastern seaboard coastline re-profiling due to climate change driven severe weather?
        Or just a part of Ben Carson’s comedic performance art mistaken as a POTUS campaign?

        1. Daryl

          Maybe he did some self-experimentation once.

          “Well, getting the brain out was the easy part. The hard part was getting the brain out.” – Professor Farnsworth

    1. Christopher Fay

      Well, Taxachusetts is not really part of the States, it’s where the deep state’s a few Americans are expendable in order to install the Security Kartel ops are run, 9/11 frequent flyers, Boston Marathon bombers backed by Saudia, etc

      1. Joe Renter

        If only Santa Ana had his shit together. Kind of a lame general. Damn Alamo played on the heart strings and Polk was a total expansionist. Meaning too bad it is not part of Mexico any longer.
        Just spent 12 days in Mexico City and got schooled on the Mexican American war.

    2. craazyboy

      I think I’ve figured it out. Carson’s real agenda is to get a spot on Fox News. Maybe the Huckabee -Carson Quarter Hour. Huckabee can be the smart one, and Carson can drawl it out slowly for the folks that can’t keep up with Huckabee.

  7. rich

    Exposed – The Clinton Foundation is Running a $20 Million Private Equity Firm in Colombia
    Michael Krieger | Posted Wednesday Nov 18, 2015 at 1:58 pm Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 1.43.04 PM

    The Clinton Foundation is operating a $20 million private equity firm in Colombia, raising concerns from government and consumer watchdog groups who say the practice is unusual and could pose a significant conflict of interest.

    The line between the firm and the Clinton’s nonprofit world is hazy. Fondo Acceso is run out of the Clinton Foundation’s Bogota office and staffed by foundation employees, a representative at the office told the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday.

    A charitable foundation running a private equity fund is “not something one hears about commonly” and is “very concerning,” according to Craig Holman, the government affairs lobbyist at the watchdog group Public Citizen.

    Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group, said the lack of transparency was a troubling. He said the public has a right to know whether any of Fondo Acceso’s companies received U.S. government support while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

    – From The Washington Free Beacon article: Clinton Foundation Running Private Equity Fund in Colombia

    1. Daryl

      The Clinton foundation seems like a really serious problem at this point. If it doesn’t get a serious inspection during the election, I expect Republicans to drag it into congress.

    2. alex morfesis

      not to defend anything the arkensasianz do…well…technically they are new yorkers now…but…impact investing by non profits or foundations is not a bad thing in that it can avoid the trickle tickle fart of funds in foundation endowments going for blood diamonds and carbon burping while only a percentage of the returns on those investments make it into any real work getting done…non profits barf up a small percentage of just the returns they have from their endowments…most glow under the “education and outreach” portions of the IRS non profit code…they only have to dole out 5 percent of the endowment…1 million bux…5 % but, the funds can be spent on direct endowment activities…or handed off to some 501(c) your third cousin twice removed just formed last year…drum roll please…well do the math…not much real money for those in need…it is the ultimate tax loophole if you have a big wad of cash…hand it off to some self proclaimed enterprise…staff it with your cronies…spend money with your friends…have conferences in places no one in need can actually get to so that they can’t disturb the peace by actually having input…pay for private study and services from members of the club…golf…lunch…travel…whats a plutocrat to do…not that it should not maybe have some light shined upon it…but every where you turn there is someone doing the same thing…the clintons are just pikers compared to other organizations…why…i remember bumping into the head of the united way while he was in chicago when I was doing some work for habitat and a few other organizations…my my how they did not like the idea that I was pointing out the UNiWay was handing out most of its money to just 20 organizations and not the hundreds he was claiming in his adverts and marketing…well…I hope he learned something from his time in klubfed…probably not…need to keep sending these plutokrats on to the tennis training facilities…let them work on that back hand…

  8. Oregoncharles

    Trump: ““‘Ted Cruz is now agreeing with me 100 percent,’ he said.””

    Cruz supports single-payer and opposes the TPP?

  9. Katniss Everdeen

    “Update, Nov. 18: On Wednesday, the French government announced that, “to avoid additional risks,” it would not allow large marches during the upcoming Paris climate summit. Nicolas Haeringer, a spokesperson for 350.org in France, one of the groups organizing the marches, said in a statement: “The government can prohibit these demonstrations, but it can not stop the mobilization and it won’t prevent us from strengthening the climate movement. Our voices will not be silenced.”

    Here’s a tip for “security professionals.” When attempting to “predict” future “terrorist” attacks, concentrate on locations where large numbers of “dissidents” plan to gather in protest of neoliberal imperialist policies.

    Two birds with one stone: scare the sh$t out of the population so many beg you for “protection,” and shut the rest of the loudmouths up.


    1. jrs

      So does 350.org plan to go ahead with the marches or not? Bloviation or civil disobedience? I’m going with the latter. Yea sure you can prohibit marches, and by the way destroy the planet, but we sure can sure use rhetoric!

  10. craazyboy

    “[Bush] is emphasizing his 40 years of private sector executive experience and selling himself on the stump as ‘the steady hand,’ although he brings little direct experience in the foreign policy realm aside from being brother to the president who waged the U.S. war in Iraq” [Politico]. Help me.


    Bush I – Iraq I
    Bush II – Iraq II
    Bush III – Iraq III

    Then there are the grandkids.

  11. John Zelnicker

    Lambert – Could you explain how the numbers work in the Fear & Greed Index? Today you have the index at 49 with +1 in parentheses, and last week’s number is 63. I thought the number in parentheses was going to be the change since last week, but that can’t be right, so what does it signify? Thanks very much.

  12. skippy

    Global non-linear effect of temperature on economic production

    Growing evidence demonstrates that climatic conditions can have a profound impact on the functioning of modern human societies1, 2, but effects on economic activity appear inconsistent. Fundamental productive elements of modern economies, such as workers and crops, exhibit highly non-linear responses to local temperature even in wealthy countries3, 4. In contrast, aggregate macroeconomic productivity of entire wealthy countries is reported not to respond to temperature5, while poor countries respond only linearly5, 6. Resolving this conflict between micro and macro observations is critical to understanding the role of wealth in coupled human–natural systems7, 8 and to anticipating the global impact of climate change9, 10. Here we unify these seemingly contradictory results by accounting for non-linearity at the macro scale. 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 change11, 12, with important implications. If future adaptation mimics past adaptation, unmitigated warming is expected to reshape the global economy by reducing average global incomes roughly 23% by 2100 and widening global income inequality, relative to scenarios without climate change. In contrast to prior estimates, expected global losses are approximately linear in global mean temperature, with median losses many times larger than leading models indicate.


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