2:00PM Water Cooler 11/25/2015

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

TPP/TTiP/TISA

“States’ Leadership On Healthy Food and Farming at Risk Under Proposed Trade Deals” [Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy]. 

ISDS: “Under NAFTA, Canada has been hit by 70 percent of all NAFTA investor lawsuits. Yikes!” [Citizen Action Monitor (tegnost)]. And check this out: “Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador should stick to their position that the federal government alone must shoulder the costs of the NAFTA fines.”

2016

The Voters

“Why Donald Trump’s demagoguery is winning over GOP voters, in one chart” [WaPo].

Policy

“Obama: No credible intelligence about plot against US” [AP].

“GOP Candidate Marco Rubio’s Tax Plan Has One Big Catch” [Wall Street Journal].

The Trail

I didn’t know Donald Trump had a family crest [The Hill].

“The GOP is becoming fasco-curious. Max Boot, John Noonan, and Steve Deace—surrogates for Marco Rubio, Jeb! Bush, and Ted Cruz, respectively—are worried enough about Donald Trump’s enduring poll lead that they’ve embraced the notion, propounded by liberals, that Trump is a fascist” [Brian Beutler, The New Republic]. I think Trump is an opportunist. But the playing field is tilted, all the nuts roll, the tilt is to the right, and there’s no stopping place. So Trump, running (to mix metaphors) to daylight, runs right, right, right, and right again. And no matter how far and hard he runs, he’s always on the field… On the other hand, anybody who runs left runs uphill and is gang-tackled immediately.

“Ben Carson set up a fund to help needy patients, but most of its money went to overhead” [Politico].

“Hillary Clinton skipped the MoveOn.org candidate forum, opting against answering questions from members of one of the nation’s largest progressive groups” [The Hill]. Look, I can understand kicking the left. But kicking MoveOn?!

Stats Watch

Lots of releases today. Just in time for the tryptophan to kick in!

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, week of November 22: “The consumer comfort index fell for the fourth time in five weeks” [Econoday].

Consumer Sentiment, November 2015: “Consumer sentiment fell back in the last half of November, and [the readings] unfortunately, point to a possible effect from the Paris attacks” [Econoday]. “Like yesterday’s very disappointing consumer confidence report, weakness is centered in expectations with this component.” And: “The latest sentiment number puts us 22.0 points above the average recession mindset and 3.8 points above the non-recession average” [Econintersect].

Personal Income and Outlays, October 2015: “The core PCE is the Fed’s most important inflation reading and it is not showing rising pressure, coming in unchanged in October, vs an expected gain of 0.2 percent” [Econoday]. “Spending shows flat readings across categories including only a small gain for services which usually are strong.” And: “The data this month showed stronger income growth (and at market expectations) – and spending growth remained weak (and was on the low side of expectations)” [Econintersect].

New Home Sales, October 2015: “New home sales are not surging, coming in near expectations” [Econoday]. “The median price, at $281,500, is down a very severe looking 8.5 percent in the month with the year-on-year rate at minus 6.0 percent.” And: “[T]he improvement was less than last month’s decline. 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].

FHFA House Price Index, September 2015: “Yesterday’s gains for Case-Shiller are now underpinned by a very strong FHFA house price report” [Econoday]. “Home-price appreciation is a central factor for household confidence and spending strength,” heaven knows why.

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of November 20, 2015: “After spiking sharply in the prior week when rates jumped and triggered concern they would move even higher, mortgage application volumes eased” [Econoday].

Durable Goods Orders, October 2015: “The factory sector is showing life with new orders in October up a very solid 3.0 percent which just exceeds Econoday’s high-end forecast”  [Econoday]. Excluding orders from the Dubai airshow, still up 0.5 percent. But: “The headlines say the durable goods new orders improved. The three month rolling average improved this month but remains in contraction” [Econintersect].

PMI Services Flash, November 2015: “New orders are the strongest since July with gains in both consumer and business categories” [Econoday]. “Strength is confirmed by a solid increase in employment.”

Jobless Claims, week of November 21, 2015: “Initial claims fell 12,000 in the November 21 week to a lower-than-expected 260,000 level that is near 42-year lows” [Econoday]. But: “The 4-week average, however, is not pointing to outright improvement, unchanged at a 271,000 level that is trending more than 10,000 above the month-ago comparison. And continuing claims are backing up, at least in lagging data.”

Ag: “Deere & Co unveiled a better-than-forecast finish to its 2015 financial year, and raised hopes for 2016 too, despite expectations of a continued decline in the world farm equipment market, particularly in the Americas” [Agrimoney]. I’m not sure heavy agricultural equipment is good for the soil… 

Shipping: “The Northwest Seaport Alliance of Seattle and Tacoma recorded modest growth in container volume in October, but it was sufficient to push the ports’ year-to-date performance into positive territory” [Longshore & Shipping News].

Mosler on output, inventory build, and market clearing [Mosler Economics].

if agents spending more than their incomes weren’t sufficient to offset agents spending less than their incomes the output didn’t get sold, and inventories build. This leads to reduced production, reduced employment, and reduced income, in a downward spiral that only reverses via agents spending that much more than their incomes. With the private sector largely pro-cyclical, the reversal most often requires govt spending that much more than its income, either by reducing taxes or increasing spending. This can be done proactively, or the ugly way — via reduced tax collection due to the slow-down and rising unemployment benefits, as most often is the case, at least initially. With the currency itself a (simple) public monopoly, and in this case the currency monopolist is restricting the supply of net $US financial assets, and a necessarily pro-cyclical private sector, the idea of markets clearing on their own to restore output and employment is entirely inapplicable once the downturn is in progress.

That’s the stuff to give the troops!

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 59 (+1); Greed [CNN]. Last week: 53 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed).

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Chicago releases dash-cam video of fatal shooting after cop charged with murder” [Chicago Tribune]. This is so appalling. First, the secret “interrogation center” at Homan Square; now this (and the CPD took a year to release the video). What kind of satrapy is Rahmn running? I mean, besides a deeply corrupt one?

“White Supremacists Shoot Five Protesters and MPD Attacks #Justice4Jamar Crowd” [Unicorn Riot]. I saw tweets to this effect in real time from Minneapolis, but no videos or photos. I don’t have time to evaluate the provenance here. Ditto for this. Readers?

“Police arrested three suspects in connection with the [Minneapolis] Monday night shootings that wounded five protesters, and social media posts reveal a fascination with guns, video games, the Confederacy and right-wing militia groups” [Raw Story].

“White Dudes Shoot Up Black Lives Matter Crowd, Minneapolis PD Maces Them. All Lives Matter!” [Wonkette]. An accurate summary.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

“How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce” [Bloomberg]:

Internally, however, Walmart considered the group enough of a threat that it hired an intelligence-gathering service from Lockheed Martin, contacted the FBI, staffed up its labor hotline, ranked stores by labor activity, and kept eyes on employees (and activists) prominent in the group. During that time, about 100 workers were actively involved in recruiting for OUR Walmart, but employees (or associates, as they’re called at Walmart) across the company were watched; the briefest conversations were reported to the “home office,” as Walmart calls its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.

Funny, Walmert management seems to think workers have a lot of leverage.

Police State Watch

“Confirmed cases of misuse of California’s sprawling unified law enforcement information network have doubled over the last five years, according to records obtained by EFF under the California Public Records Act” [EFF].

Health Care

“To reduce turbulence in Obamacare’s fledgling insurance markets, the Obama administration’s top health official is pushing to get more information to consumers about what they’ll actually pay for health care, which can include out-of-pocket costs as well as premiums” [Bloomberg]. Markets aren’t “fledging,” any more than democracies are “young,” because neither are organic beings.

“Forty-five percent of Americans now say they have a negative view of the Affordable Care Act, while 38 percent have a positive view. This represents a reversal from earlier this year when, for the first time in three years, a greater number of Americans were in favor of the law than against it” [HuffPo]. “Americans also stand divided on what they want to see done with the law. Thirty percent want Congress to repeal the law, 12 percent would prefer them to just scale back on how much power the law has, 16 percent want it to remain as is, and 26 percent want Congress to expand it.”

If insurance companies bail from ObamaCare, “there isn’t likely to be a lot of sympathy from conservatives still sore at the industry for helping to push the ACA over the legislative hurdles five years ago. Republicans will of course still be willing to help those companies, but it will likely come at a higher lobbying price” [CNBC].

Gaia

“Earth Might Have Hairy Dark Matter” [NASA]. “[W]hen a dark matter stream goes through a planet, the stream particles focus into an ultra-dense filament, or ‘hair,’ of dark matter. In fact, there should be many such hairs sprouting from Earth.”

“Age: It’s All in Your Blood” [SAGE]. Epigenetics, among other things, which is why I’m filing it here. Readers may wish to pick apart the study.

“When the first farmers from the Near East plowed into Europe 8500 years ago, they brought with them more than a new lifestyle—they also set in motion changes in genes that altered the way Europeans looked, digested food, and adapted to disease” [Nature]. “The team reported earlier this year how natural selection favored the spread of genes for white skin, tallness, and to digest sugars in milk. For today’s paper, the same researchers sequenced the DNA from additional skeletons and found that the transition to farming also favored genes to digest fats, as well as immune genes that protected against infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and leprosy.”

“100% global warming consensus in Exxon scientists’ research contrasted its $31m campaign to cast doubt on that consensus” [Guardian].

Corruption

“Albany on Trial” [New York Times]. So much corruption, the Times creates a page for it.

“What You Missed in Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos’s Corruption Trials” [New York Magazine].

Guillotine Watch

This how one (reaosnably honorable) person who lives on Capitol Hill thinks about terror (Robert Bateman) [Esquire]. I’ve often wondered why America’s elites think a tiny little military protectorate like Israel is a good model for a continental Federated systems security needs. Speculating freely: America’s elites live close to each other in tiny little neighborhoods, and, given blowback, have very good reason to feel under threat. So here we are, trying to scale Israel, which is, basically, about the size of San Berdoo. Tile roofs aside, there aren’t many other structural similarities. Again, except for elites!

“[T]he AFL-CIO has submitted shareholder proposals to six Wall Street banks and investment banks, asking for this practice of Government Service Golden Parachutes to end. The Wall Street firms involved are Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Lazard and Morgan Stanley. In addition to Jack Lew’s deal, the AFL-CIO states that Morgan Stanley’s ‘Chairman and CEO James Gorman was entitled to $9.35 million in vesting of equity awards if he had a government service termination on December 31, 2013′” [Wall Street on Parade]. So that’s the oil that keeps the hinges on the revolving door working so smoothly and soundlessly!

News of the Wired 

“A Muslim woman has thanked the public for standing up to a man who racially abused her and her sister on a packed Newcastle train” [Guardian]. A war for civilization (“I think it would be a good idea,” as Ghandi said).

“And as B.T. oscillated between identities, her vision flicked on and off like a light switch in her mind. The world would appear, then go dark”  [WaPo]. “Writing in PsyCh Journal, B.T.’s doctors say that her blindness wasn’t caused by brain damage, her original diagnosis. It was instead something more akin to a brain directive, a psychological problem rather than a physiological one.” One wonders about the implications for identity politics.

“Bertha: The big risks may lie ahead” [Crosscut]. Just in case Atrios didn’t see this one.

“U.S. aviation infrastructure–including airports, air traffic controls, and aircraft–is a vital link in the U.S. transportation system. Its relative performance and outlook, though, is mixed. More people travel by air in the United States than on any other nation’s system but the U.S. system ranks behind other major industrialized states in performance. Its airports perform poorly on international rankings, and no U.S. airline rates among the top performing global carriers” [CFR]. As readers who are flying this week are no doubt finding out!

* * *

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 (Marise):

Cork_Oak_Dublin_Botanic

A cork oak in the Dublin Botanical Gardens.

* * *

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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.

59 comments

    1. Vatch

      They should sell Credit Default Swaps instead. CDSs are insurance, but the government isn’t permitted to regulate them. Thank you, Phil Gramm and Bill Clinton!

  1. ekstase

    Trump waved off the historians’ criticisms in his own interview with The New York Times Tuesday.

    “How would they know that?” he asked of regional experts. “Were they there?
    ——
    I think many fields of study can now be refuted in this way. Think of the savings on education!
    Physics: How do they know? Can they see it?
    English: How do they know? Did they meet Shakespeare?
    Mathematics: How do they know? Do they have a billion short fingers?

    1. PQS

      The Creationists beat him to it. That’s their go-to when anyone questions their assertions about the impossibility of evolution. “Of course dinosaurs didn’t live with humans!” “How do you know? Were you there?”

      We are a nation of toddlers.

      1. Pavel

        Why don’t they ask Fred Flintstone? He’s got as much credibility as most of the Republican field IMHO. Remember when they were asked at the debate (NB this was last time) how many of them believed in evolution and none of them put up his or her hand?

        Mind you, Hillary seems to believe in “moderate Syrian rebels” who are up there with the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, so the Repubs don’t have a lock on living in fantasyland.

      2. different clue

        Are you a toddler? No? Well, maybe you are not part of the “nation of toddlers”. Maybe the “nation of toddlers” is some other nation which also lives in the Center Third of North America. Admitting that would begin to approach comprehending the size and danger of the problem.

  2. Hope

    Age and epigenetics

    There is nothing particularly wrong with the study other than it’s early and we really can’t read too much into it yet.

    Epigentics has not been around that long, but the idea – that aging is a byproduct of genes being switched on and off makes Intuitive sense with what we know about diseases of aging.

    I am more bothered by the hostility to research in this area

    1. It seems like it is motivated by views that the body is a complex machine. That is people want to see us as in control and follow metaphysical beliefs rather than programmed

    2. As a care giver I am encouraged by efforts to understand how new areas of science applies to long standing problems for which currently we only treat the symptoms.

    1. Steve H.

      I agree. The wisps of hope that the human genome project would be the cornucopia of well-being were undercut as hubris and exposed as marketing. Epigenetics switching genes on & off is obvious in retrospect when considering organisms development, but vastly increases the complexity of interactions needing to be considered. Add in symbiotic gut bugs with their own DNA, unavailable to analysis of the human genome and impacting (for example) serotonin levels, and the hope of global engineering solutions becomes intractable.

      It does, however, crack a window to the miraculous.

        1. Hope

          This is like comparing astrology to physics. Some fools running with early research not understanding it’s meaning by using the research inappropriately as “treatment” is not the same as invalidating the early research. If something from the early research is repeatable in subsequent research that means we know something is happening but not what. Running theories that need to be tested , again if early results are repeatable in humans, are that it maybe factors released in the blood earlier in life when certain DNA is still more active and not being turned off but are switched off later. However what it is is not going to be answered by just using young blood. I expect there are ghoulish people out there who don’t get the research but I try to separate their beliefs and behavior from the validly of the research bc despite them , if the research finds the factors that may be at work , it would mean a ieap forward in treating some of the underlying diseases of aging, which would be the real goal. Despite some ghouls I can foresee the goal being to replicate the outcomes , again if they are not falsified and we can figure out how it works, through other areas of research like stem cells or creation of drugs based on the factors. That would have more practical applications than some ghoul.

    2. hidflect

      I can alter your hormone levels just by showing you a simple picture. Say, of a naked person or a letter from the Police wanting to interview you about a murder. Then doctors will turn around and sneer at the idea something like acupuncture could ever have any influence over your body’s endocrine or autonomic system. I cured myself of type II diabetes by training my body to switch back on certain enzymes and hormones I lost after years of stress and bad diet. I won’t even bother trying to tell my GP why. I got ridiculed by them before and I won’t pay them money to give them another shot at it.

  3. jgordon

    I think this could go under “voters”:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/opinion/sunday/who-turned-my-blue-state-red.html?_r=0

    The take away: people who support increased social safety nets also tend to be poor nonvoters. I’m thinking that there is something in the psychology itself of having people rely on social safety nets to survive that causes them to be passive. Or maybe the most passive are drawn to social safety nets for survival?

    Anyway, I have a new idea: rather than a basic guaranteed income, I think that everyone should be guaranteed a basic diet of water, a starchy grain and vegetables (no sugar or meat for example), free (non-electronic) educational materials/instruction, and a place to sleep (without electricity, appliances or even indoor plumbing–a compost toilet will do). No money should change hands. Anything more that people want they have to form social relationships and/or work for.

    1. armchair

      In Seattle, there are tent cities, and encampments under the freeway. No indoor plumbing there. I think they’re beating you to the punch. Just where would people be placed under your plan? In large empty fields? I would let go of your idea.

      1. 3.14e-9

        Maybe refugee camps next to large slaughterhouses. No one else wants to live there, and they would supply a steady pool of replacements for workers suffering from OTJ injuries and PTSD. In times when the assembly lines are fully staffed, they could shovel sh–. As a bonus, for every day they worked, they could get a pound of meat off carcasses that failed inspection.

      2. jgordon

        My suggesting is for a basic guaranteed living standard that everyone has access to. Everyone should be free from stress and free to pursue whatever intellectual pursuit they desire via books and training. I would also envisage that people be first and foremost given free seeds, and free saplings of fruit trees, and be given free training on how cultivate plants in an ecological friendly way around whatever plot of land they happen to (freely) reside on. People who don’t have jobs/money are not worthless or useless, and this basic guaranteed living arrangement that requires no money would illustrate that.

        1. jrs

          Well first we need to give them free land, land redistribution, hmm if the revolution includes that, I’m liking it more and more.

    2. DJG

      You first, please. Then you can report in by steam-powered computer from your pre-modern safety net while you figure out a way to boil your gruel.

      1. jgordon

        My most favorite thing to do in the world is sit under a tree and read a book. I also spent many years sleeping outside under a trailer, and other years sleeping in a boat (that was on dry land on cinder blocks), with nothing to do but read books I checked out from the library and that I dug out from the dumpster of a bookstore in town (with their covers torn off). In fact, that’s how I grew up as a teenagers. So I know perfectly well what the difference between a luxury and a necessity it; apparently that’s something that most Americans are completely deluded about though–and I have no doubt that that’s also what is causing most of the ills and self-destructive tendencies of our society.

        Well my suggestion is only a basic guaranteed standard of living. And it’s extremely healthy both psychologically and physically if implemented well. Sugar, meat, television, computers and electricity/appliances in general are all toxic and corrosive to humanity. If people want to poison themselves with them that’s fine, but they shouldn’t be getting handouts from everyone else to do it; that’s immoral–like giving a heroine addict heroine is immoral.

        1. Vatch

          giving a heroine addict heroine is immoral.

          So it’s immoral to give the latest paranormal romance novel to a “Twilight” fan?

          Sorry, I couldn’t resist taking advantage of your typo. Mea culpa!

        2. cwaltz

          So let me get this straight…….handouts to rich farmers, big corporations, not a problem even though those are essentially ALSO social safety nets. So what are you proposing for them since it’s such an outrage(like giving heroin to heroin addicts) that your money goes to pay for their handouts?

          Or is it just the poor you are into kicking?

          1. cwaltz

            He isn’t talking about a “basic income guarantee?”

            He’s essentially saying the poors should be only allowed basic subsistence like water, a starch, a vegetable and access to a library because it’s unfair to ask taxpayers to pay for anything else.

            Meanwhile I don’t see him saying we should force farmers to farm and not give them any subsidies. Nor do I see him suggesting we cut off subsidies for anyone other than the poor. Apparently taxpayers are only “concerned” that poor non voters might take advantage of them. They are perfectly fine when it’s rich insurance company execs that are on Uncle Sugar’s dole. It’s a ridiculous argument.

            Personally, I think if Uncle Sam is going to hand out money than he ought to hand it out to everyone, not just the rich and well connected.

      2. jgordon

        I have in the past, and I will in the future. Such a living arrangement is an enhanced quality of life that I look forward to, away from the toxins and stress and desperate and incessant need to scrounge up money to pay bills constantly.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      “having people rely on social safety nets to survive that causes them to be passive.”

      I agree. The Blue States should withdraw their subsidies from the Red States at once. That will build their character.

    4. jrs

      Yes the poor don’t vote more often they they “vote against their interest”. Of course voting duopoly at all at this point is pretty much “voting against the interest of the 99%”.

      Of course if the system is by and large controlled by plutocrats anyway (as per studies, plutocrats get their way in the U.S., the masses don’t), then such passivity is fairly rational. Oh sure to resist it is heroic, but not exactly so rational.

      from the article:
      “The people in these communities who are voting Republican [as opposed to not voting] in larger proportions are those who are a notch or two up the economic ladder — the sheriff’s deputy, the teacher, the highway worker, the motel clerk, the gas station owner and the coal miner.”

      Half of those have government jobs, so yea their government pensions provide their safety net. For shame on them to deny even a more meager safety net to the rest of us.

  4. Chauncey Gardiner

    Regarding the final note in “News of the Wired” section today regarding the deficiencies in U.S. aviation infrastructure, I would like to mention another deficiency. That has to do with the issue of aircraft contribution to global warming, which could be materially reduced through aircraft upgrades using existing technology. Will be interesting to see if progress is made on this issue in Paris.

    http://www.theicct.org/transatlantic-airline-efficiency-2014

    1. Eureka Springs

      Veal Pen MoveOn will be there for her no matter what. It’s the reason they exist at all…. give false pretenses and occasionally take kickings only to turn around and kick their members into the party fold.

      Their motto should be –

      Stand for nothing – Fall for everything MoveOn

      1. 3.14e-9

        Well, they weren’t there for her in the 2008 primaries; thus her bitter and borderline paranoid remarks reported in the HuffPo article. And they had a petition going to draft Elizabeth Warren, which they suspended, with this response to members asking whether they will endorse another candidate:

        “We will encourage all candidates to embrace the Warren agenda on the economy, pursue diplomacy over war, fight to get big money out of politics and address climate change, and present an agenda that speaks to the growing demands of the Movement for Black Lives, the need for immigration reform, and the whole of the progressive coalition. We’ll look for opportunities, once the field is set, to have all the candidates engage with and make the case to 8 million MoveOn members on key issues they care about, as we did in 2008 and in previous years.”

        I don’t know how much more “set” the field needs to be, and in fact there’s a petition with more than 12,000 signatures asking them to endorse Bernie Sanders. So you may be right. If they do endorse Hillary in the primaries, it will be interesting to see how they contort her record to fit into their agenda.

        FWIW, I stopped my subscription to their e-mail long ago over their ridiculous “progressive” positions.

  5. grayslady

    While my oven is preheating, awaiting the entry of an apple pie, may I take this opportunity to wish Yves, Lambert and all American NC readers a happy Thanksgiving, spent in the company of those you care about and who care about you. For those non-Americans, come visit us for Thanksgiving some time. It’s a non-religious holiday, and I think you’d enjoy the feast and the friends.

    1. wbgonne

      Very nice comment. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. I agree that Thanksgiving shows Anerica at its best (usually). And particular thanks to Yves, Lambert, the other NC “front-pagers,” and to the delightful array of commenters who make this such an edifying and interesting place. Gracias.

  6. Jessica

    About “Age: It’s All in Your Blood”,
    am I the only one who is convinced that somewhere out there, there are squillionaires who are taking their role as parasitic vampires to the next level?
    Nothing sexy or romantic, just paying young enough people of the right blood type to sell blood to their private blood bank.
    The scientist in me would be disappointed if no one were trying this out.
    The human is me is appalled at the shape this must be taking.

  7. cripes

    Oh sure, jgordon, because our biggest problem is the overly generous accomodations for 1/2 our population that is destitute or near destitute.
    Keep flogging Reagan’s propaganda that the poor are mainly welfare queens, even though big majority of the poor are working poor, elderly, children, disabled and their caregivers.
    Wow, what an asswipe. Why are you here again?
    Unless, snark, ineptly delivered.

    1. Massinissa

      Its not snark. Hes been here for years and hes always been serious.

      Hes basically the only right wing conservative commentator we have. Not that thats necessarily a bad thing, sometimes its nice to have a different perspective, but other times hes being ridiculous.

  8. Peter Schitt

    @jgordon: if that is not sarcasm, you display a mind-blowing ignorance of reality. Those books you found in the dumpster – were they Mein Kampf and Atlas Shrugged by any chance? Either way, your dream of living out of a shopping cart may not be suitable for people with jobs, kids, mortgages, sick relatives, etc. Oh, you are also so sanctimonious. “No meat or sanitation but let them read Sartre”. Give me a break. Last thing: I’m pretty sure you meant “heroin” and not “heroine”. Perhaps you read to much romantic fiction because you are obviously living in a fantasy land.

    1. ProNewerDeal

      I’m not a public health pro, but afaik the near-universal access to indoor toilet/plumbing in “developed” nations like Murica (unlike universal healthcare, Barbaric Murica is actually civilized on this indoor toilet access issue) prevents several illnesses, some of these which may even be airborne-communicable to those “deserving” 1%ers

  9. Gio Bruno

    On the Cork Oak:

    Those of you unfamiliar with this tree species would probably like to know that the bark of this tree surprises many that come to touch it. The bark is spongy cork.

  10. bwilli123

    Worth wider viewing, even if not exactly news to regular NC readers.
    “Google’s actions between 2011 and 2013 show how they dodge legal bullets: by molding elite opinion, using the support of experts and academics as a firewall against criticism. The donations to George Mason and professors at other universities reveal that Google purchases that privilege.”

    http://www.salon.com/2015/11/24/googles_insidious_shadow_lobbying_how_the_internet_giant_is_bankrolling_friendly_academics_and_skirting_federal_investigations/

  11. abynormal

    hypnotizing Opti…ever heard of poodle moths?
    “En este extraño mundo, esta mitad del mundo que ahora está a oscuras, tengo que perseguir a un ser que se alimenta de lágrimas”
    Harris/Silence of the Lambs ‘)

    1. Optimader

      I like the BBees low spped controlled flight manuvering

      The poodle math looks mad. Would not want to meet a 200lb one in a dark alley!
      Have a great Tday Aby

  12. abynormal

    @ambrit…something to share at your feast tomorrow:

    “If you are you, breathe. If you breathe, you talk. If you talk, you ask. If you ask, you think. If you think, you search. If you search, you experience. If you experience, you learn. If you learn, you grow. If you grow, you wish. If you wish, you find. And if you find, you doubt. If you doubt, you question. If you question, you understand and if you understand, you know. If you know, you want to know more. If you want to know, more you are alive.”
    National Geographic Society


    Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not. Jung

  13. bob

    ““Albany on Trial” [New York Times]. So much corruption, the Times creates a page for it.”

    As the narritve goes, this is all a result of the moreland comission, who was shit down early, but resurrected by the feds. Complete BS.

    The more accurately name Moreland Omission was shut down so that they didn’t have to air Albany’s dirty laundry. No final findings, or records were released.

    It was claimed in the media that Preet “subpoenaed” the records of the Omission. False, no such filing was ever made, in any court. Preet simply went to the Omission chairs and asked for a case against silver. They gave him one, solid, case against silver. Not the case against silver, but a case against Silver.

    Silver is at least all of the scum sucking pol he is portrayed as, don’t get me wrong. What I take issue with is how this one instance of Silver being tried is now “cleaning house”.

    Done!

    As is stands, Moreland Omission Co-chair fitz, still has all of those records, on all of those pols. Fom a guy like him, who has made a career on making people afraid of him, this is dangerous. Cuomo, of course knew this, and made sure to keep fitz’s wife’s re-appointment to state court hanging over fitz. How’s that going to work after the appointment?

    I fear Silver may have been the good old days.

  14. Oregoncharles

    ” “Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador should stick to their position that the federal government alone must shoulder the costs of the NAFTA fines.””

    Indeed. Firestone(?) told us that’s the case in the US. So how does the federal government change state or local laws? Could be a really big SCOTUS case, with federalism itself at stake. Cohservatives would be in quite a bind.

  15. Virginia Simson

    Lambert, my OccupyWrites friend and I are attempting to put together a small essay about the #4thPrecinctShutDown shootings; background and where we think it will all lead. You could see these shootings coming as the MPD did nothing when they saw the photos of the white supremacists with guns. The Mpls “media” has been complicit in not exposing what is really going on and trivializing the shootings. (Now multiple incidents.) Fascist organizations have a long history in Minneapolis.

    This is a story that needs to be shared.

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