2:00PM Water Cooler 11/2/2015

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


“Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Canada Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau agreed Friday that the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact will bring benefits to the region” [Japan Times].

“France says it is ready to pull out of talks over the controversial Transatlantic free-trade agreement between the EU and the US, because the “secretive” negotiations were favouring American interests over French ones”  [The Local]. “‘We do not feel the US is taking into account our wishes around services, nor on the issue of private arbitration courts. The negotiations should certainly enable our small and medium sized companies and farmers to have access to the markets,’ [France’s Secretary of State for Foreign Commerce Mathias Fekl] said.  ‘Europe has made offers in all areas, but the United States has failed to reciprocate, whether it’s access to the public contracts or agricultural markets,’ Fekl said.”



“When Texas fell to the wingnuts: The secret history of the Southern strategy, modern conservatism and the Lone Star State” [Edward H. Miller,  Salon].


“Billionaire Acquires Rubio Pending Physical” [Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker].


“Read the new debate demands Ben Ginsberg has compiled from Republican campaigns” [WaPo]. My favorite: “[D]escribe how far away the bathrooms are.” What, worried about a diaper change? Anderson Cooper’s first question to Clinton was “Will you say anything to be elected?”  But I didn’t hear Clinton whinging and blinding and stiffing about that. Or stamping her feet and issuing demands. Represent, dudes!

The Trail

“How Jeb Bush may have just outsourced a key part of his campaign” [WaPo]. The “leak” of Jebbie’s game plan against Rubio might have been a communication to the Bush SuperPAC (since campaigns and SuperPACs cannot, legally, coordinate). For the architecture of Jebbie’s campaign, see NC here.

“The [first Sanders television] ad titled ‘Real Change’ will air statewide in Iowa and New Hampshire and is part of a buy exceeding $2 million” (video) [The Hill].

The Hill

“Paul Ryan’s first challenge as House speaker: Getting the smell of smoke left by Boehner out of the speaker’s office” [Yahoo News].

Stats Watch

Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure, October 2015: “In October, Americans’ daily self-reports of spending averaged $92, up $4 from September.” [Econoday]. “[S]ignificantly higher than the October averages in 2009-2012, which ranged from $63 to $72.”

Construction Spending, September 2015: “Construction spending looks solid, up a better-than-expected 0.6 percent in September with gains led by housing components” [Econoday]. “The gains in this report, especially for multi-family units, are the outcome of a spike in permits during the spring. Permits, however, have not been showing great strength in recent months, in turn pointing to moderation for what still looks to be, however, a solid construction sector.” And: “The headlines say construction spending grew. The backward revisions make this series very wacky – but the backward revisions this month were upward making the data better than the headline view. In any event, construction spending is growing much faster than the economy in general” [Econintersect].

ISM Mfg Index, October 2015: “For a third straight month, the ISM is skirting near contraction” [Econoday]. “These readings do not point to contraction, which is what the factory sector has actually been in over the last year, but they are the lowest run for this report of the recovery.” And: “This is the 34th month of expansion. The regional Fed manufacturing surveys indicated little growth or contraction in September, and now the ISM indicates manufacturing shows weak expansion” [Econintersect]. But: “[W]ith the various regional manufacturing PMIs still firmly in contractionary territory, it will be some time before momentum begins to shift back in a positive direction” [Across the Curve].

PMI Manufacturing Index, October 2015: “Most measures of the U.S. factory sector are in contraction or, like the upcoming ISM report, in near contraction, but not the manufacturing PMI which continues to post solid rates of growth” [Econoday].

Ag: “Hedge funds cut bullish ag bets, amid China, meat cancer fears” [Agrimoney].

Silicon Valley: “‘For all the fascination we have with Silicon Valley … they are not finishing the job. They rarely bother with the question of how [new technology] will fit with older stuff, and the solution to that is left to other people,” [Gianni Giacomelli, Genpact’s senior vice president of product innovation] added. ‘To get that done at scale is a big issue.'” [CNBC]. Why, it’s almost like the Valley has become financialized…. 

“Skopos Financial, a deep-subprime auto finance company based in Irving, Texas, is packaging $154 million of loans made to borrowers with weak credit — and some without a credit score — into bonds rated investment grade. …  The offering is the latest prepared by privately backed auto lenders that offload their risk into securities bought by institutional investors….  Overall outstanding auto debt now exceeds $1 trillion, Federal Reserve Bank of New York data show” [Across the Curve]. What could go wrong?

“The most common denominator to those still actively looking for opportunities in the U.S. high yield sector is the strong conviction that the U.S. economy will prove resilient in the face of a global growth slowdown, the Federal Reserve expected tightening and the persistently strong U.S. dollar, and that spiking defaults in the energy, metals, and mining sectors will not spread to other areas of high yield” [Market News]. What could go wrong?

Honey for the Bears: “Idle boxship counts hits five year high, includes Maersk triple-E” [Longshore & Shipping News].

The Fed: “U.S. jobs data due in the coming week may hold the key to whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006 in December, signaling its intention to end an era of almost-free dollars” [Reuters]. I think people like them some free money. It’s going to be hard to take it away.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 71 (+1); Greed [CNN]. Last week: 60 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Why I Still Get Shunned by Taxi Drivers” [The Atlantic].

The 420

I always thought marijuana legalization would keep money local by benefitting small growers (and that corporations, and corporating marketing, should be kept well away. The millionaires bankrolling Ohio’s Issue 3 do not agree [New York Times, “On Ballot, Ohio Grapples With Specter of Marijuana Monopoly”].

Health Care

“From administrator: ‘Dr. Leap, Mr. Whatzit is a very, very important donor to the hospital. It’s critical that he get good care. Do you understand?'” [Life in Emergistan]. Of course, I could also file this under corruption. Or class warfare.


Entertaining byplay between the loathesome Illinois governor Bruce Rauner, and loathesome and corrupt Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel [Capitol Fax].

“While Chicago Public Schools continues to beg Springfield for $480 million to balance its budget and enrollment has dropped another 4,400 students, the Board of Education on Wednesday unanimously decided to open two new charter schools in the fall” [Chicago Sun-Times]. Everything’s going according to plan!

“The Machine” at the University of Alabama [AP]. “19-year-old Alex Smith was happy to be elected to the campus Senate as a representative of her Machine-aligned sorority earlier this year. Her excitement turned quickly to uneasiness, and it ended this week in the most unthinkable of ways: She publicly exposed The Machine in a first-person article published by the campus newspaper and she resigned from the group.” Good for her:

Smith, a sophomore honors student from Huntsville, wrote that she no longer could be part of an organization that uses pressure and intimidation to control campus for the benefit of fraternity and sorority members, who comprise about 25 percent of the university’s 36,000 students. “It is a corrupt system.”


“Forgotten trees from long lost orchards and 20th-century city landscaping are being rediscovered in urban areas, and their fruits are proving not only largely free of urban pollutants, but more nutritious than their retail counterparts” [Science Daily].

“Yes, you may have GOP presidential candidates who prefer to dispute volumes of data about climate change. Possibly, they are obliged to constituencies on higher ground” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]. “But you do have a class of people on the Georgia coast who see things with their own eyes and their own gauges. They are mayors, council members, county commissioners, scientists and even government bureaucrats. Republicans as well as Democrats. The sea is rising, and not everyone can wait for Donald Trump and Ted Cruz to change their minds.”

Dear Old Blighty 

“Did an app get Jeremy Corbyn elected Labour leader?” [New Statesman]. Sounds rather like the 2008 Obama campaign! And no wonder the Blairites were ticked: Using technology to bring in all these damned outsiders!

Class Warfare

“Wealth management is a profession on the defensive. Although many people have never heard of it, it is well known to both state revenue authorities and international agencies seeking to impose the rule of law on high-net-worth individuals” [The Atlantic]. Wait, what? Impunity?

“The rating systems used by [companies like Uber, AirBnB, and TaskRabbit] have turned customers into unwitting and sometimes unwittingly ruthless middle managers, more efficient than any boss a company could hope to hire. They’re always there, working for free, hypersensitive to the smallest error. All the algorithm has to do is tally up their judgments and deactivate accordingly” [The Verge].

“[I]ndependent data analysis of its business practices in numerous cities has revealed that Airbnb has morphed into a giant loophole for professional real-estate operatives. Airbnb is allowing an increasing number of these professionals to evade city laws that are crucial for preserving the housing stock for local residents. Consequently, Airbnb’s service eating up affordable housing” [San Francisco Examiner].

News of the Wired

“A study led by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers suggests that awakening several times throughout the night is more detrimental to people’s positive moods than getting the same shortened amount of sleep without interruption” [Psypost]. Methodology: Paragraph 2 (abstract of original).

“Women, sex, and the Arab Spring” [Harpers].

“My six nation Haudenosaunee passport is not a ‘fantasy document'” [Guardian]. If the tribes are sovereign, they get their own passports, right? Apparently not.

The Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics is going to fire up a stellarator, a fusion technology that competes with the tokomak [Science].

“How a group of neighbors created their own Internet service” [Ars Technica].

“How the Internet’s most earnest evangelist became its fiercest critic” [WaPo] (and also). “Staring at a glowing rectangle,” he’ll say several times, “is no way to live.”

“Wikipedia is a classic example of how the next big thing often starts out looking like a toy” [Wikipedia]. Anybody seen any interesting toys lately?

“The Twelve Networking Truths” [IETF RFC 1925]. “With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.”

* * *

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 (Donna):


Donna writes:

Here are some jade flowers which grow wild on the side of our house on Maui. They make up into lovely lei.

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. Winter is almost here, I need to buy fuel, and I need to keep my server up, too. And thanks so much for the donations during the annual fundraiser. They are much appreciated, both practically, and as signs that you enjoy the work.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on by .

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. Jeff

    RFC 1925 is from April 1st, 1996.
    There are other such documents on April 1st of every year, and they do illustrate the ‘internet meme’ of the season. I do remember the coffeepot MIB and the ‘electricity over MPLS’ RFCs.

  2. Daryl

    > I always thought marijuana legalization would keep money local by benefitting small growers (and that corporations, and corporating marketing, should be kept well away. The millionaires bankrolling Ohio’s Issue 3 do not agree [New York Times, “On Ballot, Ohio Grapples With Specter of Marijuana Monopoly”].

    For anyone not following this, it is worth a read. Exploiting a sensible cause to plunder a market that doesn’t exist yet.

    1. Carla

      It gets better, Lambert and Daryl. Horrified at the prospect that Issue 3 might pass, panicked Republicans in the Ohio Statehouse came up with handy, dandy Issue 2, which according to the Republican Secretary of State would prohibit special interest groups from amending the Ohio constitution to create monopolies, oligopolies or cartels.

      HOWEVER, organizations from across the political spectrum examined Issue 2 with an increasing sense of dread. Many of them have concurred with the centrist, non-partisan Common Cause Ohio, which concluded its statement opposing Issue 2 as follows:

      “No one likes a monopoly. But that’s not really what Issue 2 is about. Issue 2 would give Ohio’s partisan ballot board a poison pill with which to kill citizens initiatives it opposes. Because Issue 2 would undermine direct democracy while empowering Ohio’s hyperpartisan ballot board, Common Cause urges Ohioans to vote No on 2.”

      Common Cause Ohio did not take a position on Issue 3.

      1. savedbyirony

        Carla, i live in Ohio and was a little surprised that the League of Women Voters came out in favor of issue 2. Politically speaking, do you happen to have any insight as to why that organization would have done so? (They give no up or down to issue three, just their description of the what is being voted on.) thanks

        1. Carla

          Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the Ohio LWV really did not study the language of the issue carefully and seemed to take it at face value. Republicans pushed the initiative through the legislature in a record 2 weeks. People all along the political spectrum smell a rat. Here’s what the very conservative 1851 Center for Constitutional Law says, repeating points that have also been made by centrist and also pretty leftist organizations:

          “Ohioans Beware: State Issue 2

          Proposed Constitutional Amendment would prohibit tax reform without stopping monopolies or marijuana legalization as promised.”


          I’ve been bonding with conservatives on this issue — we don’t agree on anything else, but we certainly agree we’re voting “NO!” on Issue 2.

    2. different clue

      Plunder? Or outright corner?

      I have not studied in detail, but I think here in Michigan there are two competing “legalize it” initiative groups competing for signatures. One initiative would favor big companies and regulate in their favor. The other would extend much better functional legalization to home-scale subsistence growers. Too bad its too late for Ohioans for peoples’ legalization to craft a monopoly-free people-friendly initiative and seek to get that on Ohio’s ballot.

      Perhaps such people could organize a Kill Proposal 3 movement, and after they get it defeated, can
      write a people-friendly proposal and get it signatured onto the next ballot. They could call it Proposal 4, if such things are permitted.

  3. tommy strange

    With very much respect, Lambert, can we get more marco econ date, besides econo day and econo intersect? I mean I’d post my own links, but that doesn’t carry the weight. Those two sights, though I know you know more than me, seem like back and forth noise. What about overall drop in ‘everything’. from commodities to spending, to ‘wealth’ about the ‘rich countries’. You do post that too. Ugh, I guess I am just getting dizzy seeing those two sights everyday. Do they really have any weight, with any actual real economists’ overview? Is there really any analysis, other than constant pseudo objective qualifying?
    I’m not suggesting zero hedge. I do go there daily. That site’s posts can be real or absolute filth.

    1. Yves Smith

      Huh? Lambert regularly posts from a wide range of sites with analyses of the stat releases of the day.

      And we don’t place much stock in economists qua economists here, given that just about none of them saw the crisis coming.

  4. rich

    Vancouver real estate is a Mainland Chinese buyers’ market, study says http://theprov.in/1Mb6Ziz

    The dominant influence of Chinese investors in Vancouver has finally been proven with comprehensive data.

    In a recent six-month period about 70 per cent of all detached homes sold on Vancouver’s west side were purchased by Mainland China buyers, an academic case study shows.

    Even more stunning, the study shows that of all self-declared occupations among owners — on homes worth an average $3.05 million — 36 per cent were housewives or students with little income.

    And 18 per cent of the 172 homes purchased were not mortgaged by banks. That means roughly $100 million in questionable cash was poured into Vancouver’s west side from August 2014 to February 2015, much of it from China. Total value of all homes sold in the study period was $525 million.
    The study also showed that five of eight homes owned by “students” were bought outright with cash at an average value of $3.2 million.

    Tax experts have raised concerns that offshore investors are exploiting tax code loopholes to evade GST and capital gains. Housewives and students with little or no declared income can live briefly in Vancouver and flip properties tax-free, reports say, while claiming a home is a primary residence. In some of these so-called “astronaut” family arrangements, the real homebuyer lives and works in China while flowing money through relatives into Vancouver in order to store wealth.

  5. Oregoncharles

    The 420:

    Including the Ohio Green Party. I’m not so sure I would – legalization is progress in itself; the monopoly problem could be fixed later. It’s still better not to be putting people in prison, preventing them from getting life-saving medicine.,

    Overall, a strange dilemma that probably reflects the huge expense of getting initiatives on the ballot and campaigning for them.

    1. Carla

      Actually, it reflects G-R-E-E-D on the part of rich investors determined to keep not just some–but ALL future profits for themselves. I’ve been amazed, actually, that most of the dedicated pot smokers I know say they’re voting NO on Issue 3. It’s fatally flawed, and we have to do better.

      Initially, OregonCharles, I agreed with you: just get it done, and fix it up later. I’ve been persuaded that the current issue is too egregious. I’ll vote for a better one that will be on the ballot next year.

      1. hunkerdown

        Is there a home-grow right in Issue 3? If so, that seems like a good reason to vote yea and let the Anointed Ten shake down tourists. Community has its rewards. Issue 2 seems like a rollback of the initiative process; I wouldn’t vote yea on that with someone else’s voter card.

        1. Carla

          If tourists are going to be shaken down, why shouldn’t the poor, long-suffering people of Ohio benefit and not just 10 fat-cats?

          I think Issue 3 allows home growers to grow four plants each.

          1. hunkerdown

            Oh, the broad people of Ohio absolutely should partake of the benefits, no pun intended. A friend visited Colorado recently and essentially all her stoner friends had little basement grows, so in such time as Issue 3 becomes law there might be a fair amount of surplus unsaleable herb floating around in a few months. Four plants in 4 m² makes up to four pounds. You’d have to walk around like a chimney to consume it all, if you could even walk. And think of the gift economy!

            Issue 3, from what I can tell, establishes a monopoly that, in the event some foreign investor throws a buck in, might be enshrined permanently by ratchet clauses in those lovely trade agreements. Issue 2, from what I can tell, seems to allow political appointees a veto that diminishes the power of the ballot issue process. Yet, Bob Cesca editorializes in favor of 3 and against 2, so there must be an angle — the 24 Democratic donors that own the 10 growers in waiting, perhaps. And with home grow, how much retail action would there be? That’s a mess, and a hell of a coordination game for y’all to have to play. All I can really do, then, is cross my fingers for neutering the drug war and organized crime one way or another and send my best, most hopeful regards to the front.

            (In Michigan we might have a clean legalization bill on the ballot next year. Here’s hoping.)

  6. giantsquid

    “The mortality rate for whites 45 to 54 years old with no more than a high school education increased by 134 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2014”.


    This increased mortality can be attributed almost entirely to suicide, alcohol poisoning and drug overdose. A similar thing happened in Russia, I recall, beginning just prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union and accelerating in its aftermath.

    “[According to] Samuel Preston, a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on mortality trends and the health of populations, who was not involved in the research. “This is a vivid indication that something is awry in these American households.”

    I think he meant “in these United States”.

    1. fresno dan

      Important article
      And as always, there are averages, medians, and quin-tiles. and the 0.01%
      So the averages can be good, even if paradoxically most people are doing worse…

    2. LifelongLib

      Maternal mortality rates up too:


      Somewhat related to these, death rates are rising for U.S. white women:


      The U.S. tolerates degrees of poverty and lack of access to health care that other advanced nations don’t. Not holding my breath that this will change any time soon.

  7. NeqNeq

    re: Neighborhood Internet piece

    Its nice to see underserved areas coming up with solutions. It would be even better if this kind of community service could be leveraged in other locations. I speak from experience when I say, however, that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in “lucrative” markets. Between being (effectively) locked out of interconnection, being sued by other players for bypassing state “acess” laws, or “complaints” about interference to FCC, there are too many options to prevent grassroots infrastructure from becoming a viable option in most communities.

  8. JTMcPhee

    That Gallup stat: does that indicate anything other than real rate of inflation of all those excluded-from-govt-accounting actual necessities? Just curious- or are “we” back on the iDiotic iTreadmill of iConsumer iDiocracy? Or both, or neither?

  9. optimader

    Clearly Paul Ryan is spending his dry media powder out of the gates on the really important stuff to “fix this country’s great problems. ”

    ….But first things first: Ryan needs to get the cigarette smell left by his predecessor, John Boehner, out of the speaker’s office. Seriously.

    They have these ozone machines, apparently, that you can detoxify the environment,” Ryan said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “ But I’m going to have to work on the carpeting in here.”

    Yes, “they” do…apparently it’s some sort of occult science magic! My cynical side hopes the guy is ignorant enough to “sleep in the office” while the ozone machine is running. Am I the only one here guessing that the “I’m” is a figure of speech as related to cleaning the carpeting?

    I try to sit as far away from him as I can in meetings that I know are going to be stressful,” Ryan told Time magazine last year. “I just hate getting that smell in my clothes.”

    I am thinking that Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House is not a career story that will end well.</st

  10. Anon

    Re: Health Care

    You know, that article sounds an awful lot like the premise to an animated work called Monster, which is about a doctor choosing between saving a wealthy donor to the hospital or a young boy who was shot, with some repercussions. I’d link to it, but Wikipedia would spoil the whole thing.

  11. Rayne

    Is this website, where so many commenters adored Obama back in the day, the same one where commenters now adore Sanders?

    Perhaps I’m confusing one bunch of internutz with another.

    1. Yves Smith

      Yes, you are very confused. Daily Kos is that way.

      We have a clearly displayed search function and I challenge you to find a single Obama-boosterist post in 2007 or 2008. This site wasn’t even writing politics save very narrowly, as it related to the financial services industry, prior when Matt Stoller started posting here, which IIRC was in 2010.

      And you also appear not to read at all carefully. We have plenty of readers who are not keen about Sanders, others who like only parts of his message (as in they detest his failure to call for a big cut in our military spending), and still others who like his message but wonder if he can govern. There is all of one newbie commentor who is gushy about Sanders.

      BTW straw manning our views is against our written site policies. And you are also engaging in what amounts to an ad hominem attack, another policy violation.

      It appears that you equate antipathy for Hillary with begin gaga over Sanders. If so, that’s yet another straw man. I suggest you develop a better acquaintance with logic. “Not A” is not the same a “B”.

      I suggest you be more careful when you make remarks about this site and its commentariat, since you are rapidly accumulating troll points.

  12. BDBlue

    A study led by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers suggests that awakening several times throughout the night is more detrimental to people’s positive moods than getting the same shortened amount of sleep without interruption”

    Any new mother (or parent, really, but especially a breastfeeding mother who can get stuck with every late night feeding) could tell them that.

  13. MikeNY

    First Stephen Roach, now Paul Singer, ringing the alarm bell on “unsound markets” and the effect of prolonged ZIRP and financial “innovation”.

    If only Mrs Magoo could pry her eyes off the rear-view mirror. Well, someone at the Fed will probably forward the articles to her after the next crash.

  14. JTMcPhee

    One more reason why Humanity will never have nice things:


    Does it not comfort us, that billions and trillions of dollars are spent on idiotic shit like these Improved Global Battlespace Power Projection Devices? With the fierce and usually fraudulent competition that goes on between suppliers?

  15. JTMcPhee

    And in case anyone is feeling like a couple of the people followed in this documentary about medevac and MASH-type treatment in Notagainistan, as in WTF is the Mission again/WTF are we doing here, guess what? Obama is committed! Stay the course! It all really has no meaning, except wealth transfer and hegemony…


  16. prostratedragon

    Whoops. Something I said might have got me caught in a filter. The subject was sleep, and the booboo might have concerned a little-known sleep apnea symptom to look out for.

    Upshot: One who knows says interrupted sleep is very bad. If you experience it regularly, look into a sleep test.

  17. Gio Bruno

    These scientists are being circumspect. Shit is about to hit the fan in California this Winter from the El Nino. Recent high tides arrived 8″ higher than anticipated (seas were calm, surfing without wet suit). Come January big surf is likely to pound/pulverize the coastline.

    1. JTMcPhee

      And here was I (and a lot of others) back in the 60s, all worried that it was gonna be Yellow Red Commies pounding the California coast…

  18. MojaveWolf

    I feel almost stupid commenting on the UofA “Machine” piece, but I suppose it’s relevant for how it may reflect real politics. (that sounds condescending and I don’t mean it to, apologies; I didn’t think student gov’t important even when invovled, sort of). I just had to say I’m shocked that it even can be “exposed.” It’s been there for over a century and this is hardly a secret. In the mid-80’s I worked on the campaign of the first independent (non-frat/sorority, non-machine) elected SGA president or whatever it was called (I truly didn’t care about student politics and was just helping out friends, tho most of my h.s. friends joined frats/sororities and the Machine president was in some of my classes and we were friendly enough on a casual basis) and it was kind of ridiculously nasty. Nothing at all compared to the next year tho. The friend who enlisted me in that first campaign was running himself the next year, and appeared a lock to win when he was essentially blackmailed out of the race a couple of weeks before the election. (not giving details for obvious reasons; he did nothing wrong and we argued rather strongly over his decision) We drafted a last second replacement for him (with his help) and she actually looked to have a good chance to win and then she dropped out after falling down stairs and breaking something (can’t remember exactly what; it’s been a long time)(she swore it was not an assault, fwiw). The black independent running for treasurer that year (he won) had a cross burned in front of where he lived.

    I ignored stuff mostly after that (was undergrad 6 years due to cancer and aftereffects and a few medical withdrawals) until my final year, when my girlfriend was working on the campaign of another independent running who looked like he had a good chance to win (can’t remember if he did or not). His father owned a local independent pizzeria right by campus, and obviously the frats/sororities made up a huge chunk of their business. They threatened to boycott if he didn’t drop out, he didn’t, and wow did that place take a huge hit in business. Nice people, there. I’m assuming they cared so much because they were that worried about future resume stuffing? Or just pathetically entitled little shits? Pick one or both.

Comments are closed.