2:00PM Water Cooler 2/17/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Globe & Mail columnist calls for scrapping ISDS to save CETA” [Council of Canadians]. “His conclusion is not that dissimilar to the one made in 2014 by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank founded by Charles Koch. The director of their trade policy studies centre wrote, ‘The inclusion of ISDS in trade agreements subverts prospects for trade liberalization. U.S. multinational corporations want access to ISDS, but they don’t need it. If the trade agenda is the proverbial airplane that is down an engine and losing altitude, throwing ISDS out of the cargo hold to lighten the load is the best way to reduce the chance of a crash.'” Me, I’d prefer a controlled flight into terrain.



“It’s a rough time for progressives who don’t believe in magic” [Paul Krugman, New York Times]. No, it’s a rough time for a thrashing and dying DLC hackocracy that thinks the way to start a negotiation is by asking for half a loaf and making clear that they’ll settle for less. (See here for how Sanders got CHC into ObamaCare by not following Krugman’s sage advice.) Of course, Krugman is also comparing a rotten apple to a small donor-driven orange. So there’s that, too.

“Hillary Clinton Should Just Say Yes to a $15 Minimum Wage” [New York Times]. Wait, won’t the Republicans obstruct that? Of course they will. So why even try?

“Hillary Clinton’s emotional call on Democrats to take systemic racism seriously” [Vox]. “Emotional” is one of those words, like “opens up,” that just screams manipulation. This reminds me of the financial crisis: “The mess is so complicated that only the people who created it can solve it.” Because they have experience! (Not that the Clinton Dynasty is responsible for systemic racism. But they certainly did their little bit to reinforce it, what with “welfare reform” and mass incarceration.

“Hillary, Bill, and Bernie: Free Trade & Industrial Decline” [HufffPo]. Photos of America’s industrial decline, and by “decline” I mean “deliberate destruction to make a quick buck.”

“Trump blasts Bush on Iraq and 9/11, and GOP voters shrug” [WaPo].

“But numerous military veterans interviewed at Trump rallies in South Carolina this week, including Mr. Jebens, said they had no problem with Mr. Trump’s comments [on Bush and the Iraq War], even if they did not entirely agree with him” [New York Times]. If I had a nickel for every time the political class has said “This time, Trump, you have gone too far!” I’d have a lot of nickels.

The Voters

“Clintonism and the ‘Presidential’ Democratic Party” [@Billmon]. Interesting thesis from “Poli Sci 101” (based on this paper). Apparently, the weak Democrat congressional bench isn’t a bug, but a feature.

“What a divided America actually hears when Obama speaks” [WaPo]. “I serve as a blank screen….”

“Actually overhauling the Democratic Party would mean reconfiguring its internal power relations as well as its relations with the state. The Democratic Party lacks not only the interest but also the institutional capacity to act as a class vehicle in American politics and that won’t change” [Jacobin]. “The Sanders campaign could perform a valuable task in raising consciousness, but it cannot on its own accomplish the indispensable task of building the political capacities of those who would benefit most from egalitarian policies. This is far beyond the scope of any electoral insurgency.” Read this, and then when people say “McGovern!” you can put that in the context of the success and failure of the “New Politics.”


“Sheldon Adelson and the inside story of Chinese casino money flooding our elections” [Mother Jones].

The Trail

“The Jonathan Capehart Saga, Or Why Progressives Have Stopped Trusting the Corporate Media” [Paste Magazine]. Important. Read the whole thing, but have your vomit bag handy. (Your vomit bag is not the same bag the press is in. That’s a different bag.) And now this:

“Rapper Killer Mike drew attention late Tuesday after saying during a rally for Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders that a ‘uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president'” [The Hill]. The Hill, unlike WaPo (see above), gives the full quote:

“When people tell us ‘hold on, wait a while’ — that’s what the other Democrat is telling you,” Michael Render, who goes by his stage name Killer Mike, told more than 4,800 gathered at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

“‘Hold on Black Lives Matter, just wait a while. Hold on young people in this country, just wait a while,’ ” he added, mocking Clinton.

“And then she get good, she have your own momma come to you, your momma sit down and say, ‘Well you’re a woman.’ But I talked to Jane Elliott a few weeks ago, and Jane said, ‘Michael, a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States. You have to have policies that’s reflective of social justice.'”

Now, I really deprecate Killer Mike’s synecdoche (in comments here) because it’s reductive and wrong; gender doesn’t reduce to body parts. And from The Department of Worse Than A Crime, A Blunder, it gives the other campaigns a handle. But in context? And presuming there’s a video in distribution? I doubt very much this will pull young women back to Clinton, which I assume is the object of the Clintonite frothing and stamping. Oh, and Sanders should have streamers.

“‘Single-issue’ candidate Bernie Sanders touches on 20 issues during a Michigan campaign stop” [WaPo]. Oh, sheesh. Clinton’s “single issue” talking point was two whole days ago.

“[W]hile the number of African-Americans in the state is small, it is also not nil. And many activists and leaders of civil rights organizations say that Sanders has turned a blind eye to their concerns” [Daily Beast]. This was Clinton’s talking point yesterday.

“”Ultimately, I will probably have an opinion on it,” Mr. Obama said of the Democratic race. White House officials previously had signaled that the president would not throw his support behind a candidate in the primary” [Wall Street Journal, “Barack Obama Declines to Endorse in Democratic Primary — for Now”]. I can’t imagine Obama would say say anything unless he’d been asked, so Clinton really is in trouble.

“After months of attention on Iowa and New Hampshire, the presidential race is at last shifting to two states — Nevada and South Carolina — that are actually experiencing the economic turmoil that has often dominated the campaigns of both parties” [FiveThirtyEight]. “[Nevada] was hit harder by the housing crisis than nearly any other state; six years after the recession ended, it remains mired in a deep economic funk… [South Carolina’s] median household income remains thousands of dollars below its prerecession level after adjusting for inflation. Racial disparities remain substantial: The unemployment rate among African-Americans, at 9.9 percent, is more than 2.5 times that of whites, one of the widest gaps in the country.”

Nevada (this Saturday)

CNN/ORC: “Overall, 48% of likely caucus attendees say they support Clinton, 47% Sanders” (margin of error 6%) [Business Insider]. I don’t know if we even know how to poll for caucuses (but remember that Sanders support was underestimated in both Iowa and New Hampshire). However, if the tone of my Twitter list is any indication, the Clinton campaign was felt the need to double down.

“To have two people [Federico Chavez, Sanders, and Dolores Huerta, Clinton] with such close ties to Cesar Chavez arguing for opposing candidates at the same event was extraordinary, something Federico Chavez acknowledged” [Roll Call].

South Carolina (Saturday, February 27)

CCN/ORC poll: “In the Republican race, Trump, at 38%, tops Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who holds second place with 22%. Behind those two, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio garners 14% support, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is at 10%, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has 6% and Ohio Gov. John Kasich is at 4%” [CNN]. “56% for Clinton to 38% for Sanders. Clinton’s lead rests heavily on the state’s black voters and women. Both groups made up a majority of voters in the 2008 primary there.” Then there’s this:

Still, Democratic voters in South Carolina aren’t as firm in their choices as Democrats in New Hampshire or Iowa were, according to pre-election polling. In surveys ahead of the first two contests, majorities said they had made up their minds. In South Carolina, however, just 43% say they have definitely decided whom to support with about 10 days to go before Election Day. Potentially troublesome for Clinton: Blacks were far less likely to say they are committed to a candidate than whites. About a third of black voters (34%) say they have decided on a candidate versus nearly 6 in 10 white voters (57%).

And New Hampshire voters are notorious for making up their minds at the last minute!

Scalia Trench Warfare

“The Long, Sophisticated Fight to Come Over the Supreme Court Opening” [Roll Call]. The “sophisticated” part is mostly digital strategists talking their books, but admittedly there are few parts of campaign 2016 that a Supreme Court battle wouldn’t touch. And the press loves conflict.

Stats Watch

Housing Starts, January 2016: “Housing starts and permits proved softer-than-expected in January, down 3.8 percent” [Econoday]. “Multi-family homes remain the center of strength for the housing sector with year-on-year permits up 19.9 percent, surpassing a very solid 9.6 percent gain for single-family homes. … The housing sector isn’t on fire but trends in permits do point to strength.” But: “Construction completions are lower than permits this month for the 13th month in a row (when permits exceed completions – this sector is growing)” [Econoday]. And: “The January housing starts slowdown is partially in response to the delayed arrival of winter weather in much of the US last month. As we have mentioned before, however, the pullback in the Midwest is likely in response to the slowing in the shale-region on the tail of continually low oil prices” [FTN Financial, Across the Curve].

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of February 12, 2016: “Falling mortgage rates continue to drive refinancing applications sharply higher” [Econoday].

Industrial Production, January 2016: “A sharp gain in motor vehicle production underpins a very strong industrial production report where the headline surged 0.9 percent in January,” far above consensus [Econoday]. “Vehicle production surged 2.8 percent in the month and drove the manufacturing component up by 0.5 percent…. The utilities component, up a monthly 5.4 percent and reflecting a temperature swing from a warm December to a more seasonably cold January, is the major factor behind the headline gain.”

PPI-FD, January 2016: “Producer prices showed life in January, at least outside of energy. Overall, producer prices inched 0.1 percent higher, low but 3 tenths above the Econoday consensus, with the ex-food and energy reading at a much stronger-than-expected 0.4 percent” [Econoday]. “Services are a plus in the report, excluding which and also excluding food and energy, prices rose an as-expected 0.2 percent.” But: “A handful of categories drove the core surprise. My first guess would have been the wholesale and retail trade margin categories, but they were mostly offsetting (up 1.2% and down 1.0% respectively). Instead, the main culprit seems to be the financial sector, as wholesale prices (whatever that means) for both banking and investment services jumped” [Amherst Pierpont, Across the Curve].

E-Commerce Retail Sales, Q4 2015: “Strength in non-store retail sales and reports of strength for holiday online shopping are only modestly confirmed by the e-commerce report where sales rose only 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter vs a downward revised plus 3.8 percent in the third quarter” [Econoday]. Not the narrative in the Xmas season!

Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations, February 2016: “Falling costs are not helping the FOMC in its efforts to boost inflation” [Econoday].

“People transferred $1 billion over Venmo in January, the company said today, showing that usage of the mobile money app is still growing fast. The $1 billion in transfers is more than 2.5 times the volume seen in January 2015, and ten times as much as January 2014” [Buzzfeed].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 43, Fear (previous close: 32) [CNN]. One week ago: 16 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 17 at 10:37am. We’re almost ready to shift over to greed!

Health Care

“Costs, changes led Obamacare enrollment to fall short of earlier estimates” [USA Today]. “The number of people who signed up for health insurance for 2016 on the state and federal exchanges was up to 40% lower than earlier government and private estimates…. CBO even said last June that 20 million people would have plans purchased on the exchanges this year. Just 12.7 million signed up for plans, however, by the end of open enrollment Jan. 31 and about 1 million people are expected to drop their plans — or be dropped when they don’t pay their premiums.” 20 million vs. 12.7? Sounds like a death spiral to me…

“Cancer Patients Caught in Red Tape” [AP]. ObamaCare’s tax on time is both high and regressive:

Hundreds of thousands of people lose subsidies under the health law, or even their policies, when they get tangled in a web of paperwork problems involving income, citizenship and taxes. Some are dealing with serious illnesses like cancer. Advocates fear the problems, if left unresolved, could undermine the nation’s historic gains in health insurance. … [Through Sept. 30 last year] more than 1 million households had their financial assistance “adjusted” because of income discrepancies. Advocates say “adjusted” usually means the subsidies get eliminated. “When people get that bill for a full-price plan, they panic and they cancel the insurance,” said Elizabeth Colvin of Foundation Communities, an Austin nonprofit that serves low-income people. Some worry the problem could undermine the law’s insurance markets, now in their third year.

“The big profits have come not from the insurance exchanges, but via the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, in which the largest insurers have been playing a major role. The same insurance executives who go out of their way to badmouth the ACA’s individual exchange plans talk as though they can’t get enough of the Medicaid business, especially its managed care component” [Los Angeles Times].

“Why We Have so Little Useful Research on ACOs” [Kip Sullivan, The Health Care Blog]. Sullivan did great work for PNHP in the single payer battle. He’s always worth a read.

“Nashville-based Jumpstart Foundry—located in the heart of the country’s healthcare belt—has launched a new healthcare innovation fund that plans to make as many as 20 investments this year” [Modern Health Care]. “But instead of getting pitched by entrepreneurs to fund the projects they want to work on, Jumpstart is taking pitches from would-be clients like HCA, Walgreens and the Blues and then matching them with the developers that can turn those ideas into reality.”


“According to the FDA’s report on Castle, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, “no parmesan cheese was used to manufacture” the Market Pantry brand 100% grated Parmesan Cheese, sold at Target Corp. stores, and Always Save Grated Parmesan Cheese and Best Choice 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese, sold by Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc., which along with its subsidiaries supplies 3,400 retail stores in 30 states. Instead, there was a mixture of Swiss, mozzarella, white cheddar and cellulose, according to the FDA” [Bloomberg].

Militia Watch

“FBI finds trench of human feces at cultural site on Oregon refuge” [Reuters]. Wait a millenia, and we’ll have coproliths!

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“After decades of growth, the U.S. imprisonment rate has been declining for the past six years. Hidden within this welcome overall trend is a sizable and surprising racial disparity: African-Americans are benefitting from the national de-incarceration trend but whites are serving time at increasingly higher rates” [WaPo].

“Mortgage lending discrimination is terrible. A black family that earns $157,000 a year is less likely to qualify for a prime loan than a white family that earns $40,000. White families borrow a super amount of money to move into these white enclaves. Black people, even if they saw these places and were shown them by realtors, they can’t get the jumbo loans” [City Lab].

“”Mark, I am publicly asking you for help”: Kanye West says he’s $53 million in debt and needs Silicon Valley’s support” [Quartz].

Our Famously Free Press

[ESPN reporter Sage Steele] asked [Arcade Fire singer Win Butler] for comment on the MVP award and the game, but he took the opportunity to speak about the American Presidential election. ‘I just want to say, as an election year in the U.S.,’ said Butler before music began to play over him” [National Post]. “‘The U.S. has a lot they can learn from Canada, health care, taking care of people.’ Before he could continue Steele cut Butler off, saying ‘We’re talking about celebrity stuff, not politics.'”


“Environmental Impact Statement; Introduction of the Products of Biotechnology” [Federal Register]. “We will consider all comments that we receive on or before March 7, 2016.”

“In 2015 49 activists – 45 in the Amazon – were killed, making it the most violent year since 2004, according to the Pastoral Land Commission (PLC), and representing a huge regression of policies put in place under the Lula administration to control violence and deforestation. Violence has been legitimized as a normal part of politics. It has become informally ‘acceptable.’ I’ve never seen, working for the past 10 years in the Amazon, a situation so bad” [Guardian].

Class Warfare

“I think it is fair to say that, a century after the system of direct personal taxation was introduced in the US, one really does not know what is the tax rate paid by the very top of the income distribution. It could be that Mitt Romney’s average tax rate of 13% is not that uncommon” [Global Inequality].

“Real earnings [in the UK] still stand 5¾% below the 2007 peak” [Touchstone]. “At face value the ‘lost decade’ looks like it will now be at eleven years long, and this is on the basis of official projections which are not known for their pessimism.”

“Are We Heading Toward a Charter School ‘Bubble’?: Lessons from the Subprime Mortgage Crisis” [SSRN]. Misses accounting control fraud, obviously important given that private equity is involved, and retails the Fannie and Freddie myth, but the analogy between mortgage originators and charter school authorizers is interesting

“Politico reports that Uber has hired one of the largest union avoidance law firms, Littler Mendelson, as union talk mounts in New York as well” [Pando]. Here, again, it’s so clear what the sky-high valuations of “sharing economy” startups are based on, besides breaking the law: Breaking workers.

“Since its start in 2010, the Kleptocracy [!!] Asset Recovery Initiative has grown to include a dozen government lawyers and teams from the F.B.I. and Homeland Security” [New York Times]. Apparently, however, it’s applied only to foreign leaders. That seems odd.

News of the Wired

“Lessons from Facebook’s Fumble in India” [Harvard Business Review]. Don’t be a colonialist? Cancel @pmarca’s account? No: “When an initiative is presented in one way — philanthropy, as was the case with Free Basics – and the service itself contained a “lite” version of Facebook and a selection of other sites, suggesting a different motivation, i.e. to secure profitable future customers, the tide of opinion can turn very quickly.” Poor Facebook. Nobody trusts them!

“Despite being written out of large parts of history, atheists thrived in the polytheistic societies of the ancient world – raising considerable doubts about whether humans really are “wired” for religion – a new study suggests” [University of Cambridge].

* * *

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 (Rex):


Feel that wind!

* * *

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. Water Cooler would not exist without your support.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in 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. Vatch

      I was surprised by the snow on the banks of the Rio Grande, until I refreshed my memory by looking at a map. The Rio Grande starts in Colorado, where there’s plenty of snow.

    2. Pat

      Or enchilidalas made with Hatch green chilies. I’m pretty having a supply of those babies roasted and frozen is one of the prime reasons for freezers. ;)

  1. dfg


    I’ve seen articles explaining why people are “wired” for optimism.

    I’ve seen articles explaining why police officers are “wired” for excessive force.

    I’m sure someone has a “scientific” essay on why people are “wired” for NASCAR, hot grits, and tailgate parties.

      1. shinola

        Hmm… I don’t watch foot-/basket-/baseball but I do watch NASCAR. Don’t care for grits or tailgating & I read NC almost daily.

        Might want to check your stereotypes.

        Daytona 500 is on this Sunday!

    1. Jessica

      Perhaps a study is called for into why people are wired to claim that people are wired for things.
      Snark aside, in the future when we are a self-aware species and have broad intellectual integrity, one major line of collective inquiry will be into what habits we developed during our many millennia as East African plains apes, how those habits show up in the vastly different context of modern life, and how to work with those habits to our general benefit.
      As one example, a sense of reciprocity and willingness to punish free-loaders is seen in many primates, so it probably runs deep in us, but in the modern context, it becomes a foundation stone for debt slavery. Of course, we need to find a way to change that.

    2. Foy

      Talking about wiring, I think it’s fascinating to see the results when people’s brains get ‘rewired’, although sadly the rewiring is usually the result of a bad accident. One of the best cases is Jason Padgett who went from an extroverted, skirt chasing, party boy with zero academic interests to an introverted geometric fractal seeing savant with unbelievable artistic skills after getting a severe knock to the head. Complete change in personality, now almost on the autism spectrum. His book is a very interesting read.

      The more I read about head injuries and changes in personality the more I’m convinced that everyone is wired from birth a certain way and ‘free choice’ aint what people think it is. You can modify it somewhat with training but the core stays as is. You wonder why some people are ‘driven’ and some aren’t, well it’s how they are wired. Some have a proclivity for religion and some don’t, the Bell curve of life means that certain percentage of the population have that disposition whether they want it or not…. When there are 7.2 billion people on the wiring Bell curve, there’s a lot of permutations available. My little theory on life…


      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I just think wiring is a very, very deceptive metaphor. Wires aren’t organic. They don’t grow. So we get these stories of massive external shocks, as opposed to stories of the brain changing and growing literally moment by moment, much like a squash plant on a sunny day.

        1. Foy

          Yes ‘wiring’ could be a deceptive or simple metaphor, its clearly more complex than that. But i also see examples of where brain tumours have similar affects, changing attitudes tastes desires etc, slowly over time or quickly depending on the speed of the tumour. What I find interesting is that the resultant symptoms are the same as others who have naturally occurring ‘wiring’. So my jist is that on the spectrum of human brains some naturally occurring ones have the same connections as those that have suffered injuries as the outcomes/behavoirs are the same. Things are more innate than people think, brain injuries seem to show that. It is elastic or malleable but that has its limits. Perhaps the 80/20 rule comes into play here, 20% elastic, the core doesn’t change much though.

  2. flora

    “[ESPN reporter Sage Steele] asked [Arcade Fire singer Win Butler] for comment on the MVP award and the game, but he took the opportunity to speak about the American Presidential election. ‘I just want to say, as an election year in the U.S.,’ said Butler before music began to play over him” [National Post]. “‘The U.S. has a lot they can learn from Canada, health care, taking care of people.’ Before he could continue Steele cut Butler off, saying ‘We’re talking about celebrity stuff, not politics.’”

    Sounds like a scene from ‘The Hunger Games”. Life imitates art.

    1. ProNewerDeal

      IIRC a ESPN “Human Interest” story on how a marginal Cincinnati Bengals NFL (“Not For Long”) player was bankrupted by his 4 yr old daughter’s cancer/medical bills. Apparently he made a “GoFundMe” type account, & Bengals fans donated enough for him to finish & pay for any remaining required medical treatment, & now the child is healthy & in remission.

      Contrast that story with this Win Butler pro-MedicareForAll interview. IMHO ESPN is hypocritical & possibly immoral for this.

      ESPN will pat itself on the back for celebrating 1 4-yr old USian being able to recover from cancer. ESPN censors the American-Canadian Win Butler for wanting to stop the man-made murder of ~30K USians/yr due to USian pols blocking CAN-style MedicareForAll. What about the 4 yr old girl or 44 yr old man that needs life-saving healthcare but lacks a NFL/celebrity connection and also lacks non-crapified quality health insurance/healthcare? Apparently the answer is “F em”, or Neoliberalism Rule “Go Die Quickly” (c) Lambert. F Sage Steele, her bosses who ordered the censoring, and ESPN.

      Win Butler for Senator &/or CAN Member of Parliament!

  3. Vatch

    CNN/ORC: “Overall, 48% of likely caucus attendees say they support Clinton, 47% Sanders” (margin of error 6%) [Business Insider]. I don’t know if we even know how to poll for caucuses (but remember that Sanders support was underestimated in both Iowa and New Hampshire).

    Do we know how to poll for the opinions of flipped coins? They should be 50% for each candidate, but in Iowa, the coins really liked Hillary.

  4. Kurt Sperry

    Taking my chances with SkyNet, here a link to a story in the Independent today where the subject of a guaranteed basic income has been breached by Corbyn. This will send my very conservative British friends into further hysterics, “Sorry old bean, is that fainting couch in use?” I’ve been very impressed with Corbyn, he makes Bernie Sanders look positively right-center by comparison.


    1. Clive

      What has impressed me most about Corbyn is that he demonstrably does not give a stuff about what the Westminster Village (which is a bit — actually quite a lot — like your Beltway) thinks, wants or thinks the voters should want.

      Okay, a BIG isn’t exactly my favourite policy idea. But it sure beats the heck out of being nice to business all the time because they might get mad and take their ball away. Or endless war. Or privatisation of healthcare. Or … Sorry. I grow weary. You can add the rest.

        1. Clive

          Yes, and it’s probably even worse because of the sneakiness. From The Independent Last week:

          The Health & Social Care Act is legislation to allow the privatisation of the NHS. It abolishes the government’s responsibility for the health service. It effectively means that there is no legal mandate to provide comprehensive services beyond emergency care, and thus enables unlimited rationing of services provided and the outsourcing of those services to profit-making companies. In 2014, out of £9.63 billion NHS deals signed, £3.54bn (nearly 40 per cent) went to private firms. The consequence of this is that private companies cherry-pick contracts, leaving the NHS with an even smaller pot of money with which to attempt to provide a comprehensive service.

          I think as you’d normally say at this point, ka-ching.

          1. kj1313

            TBF this is the reason why Corbyn was elected and it’s up to him to use the bully pulpit and help torpedo this.

    2. Uahsenaa

      Because Corbyn is well to the left of Sanders, particularly when it comes to the military. Recall, one of his campaign planks during the leadership elections was the partial dismantling of Britain’s nuclear arsenal (re: Trident).

    3. Clive

      Coincidentally, just had an email drop in from the Labour Party (rattling the tin for donations) but thought I’d share the video which will be run in the slots allocated on the main networks (BBC etc.) for party political advertising.


      It was, even to my jaundiced cynical eyes very effective. It left me thinking “what a bloody pathetic excuse for a country we’ve become”. Which, I suppose, was the intention. Not sure what US folk think of the message (compared and contrasted to Saunders).

  5. Brindle

    re: Krugman…

    He essentially outs himself here as a severe pessimist who has internalized status quo narratives to the point of seeing true change as primarily coming from the right—not the left. He is next to useless.

    —“But nothing like that is going to happen in America any time soon. If we’re going to have any kind of radical change in the next few years and probably the next couple of decades, it will come from the right, not the left.”—

    1. ScottW

      Most condescending and outrageous was Krug’s conclusion that African Americans support Hillary over Bernie because unlike young White Voters, they understand change is hard to achieve. Sounds like a theory concocted after a few drinks. Follows fellow NYT’s columnist Blow’s concocted opinion that African Americans don’t like Bernie because they are tired of being told to dream big, only to be let down. Was that an unintended slight to Obama?

      I guess African Americans just dream small so they don’t get disappointed. The elites once again preaching to the minions they need to dream small.

      1. cwaltz

        Do AAs really support Hillary? That poll in SC suggests that they’re undecided. Not that I expect that would stop Krugman from advancing his Hillary talking point.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We will find out in a few more days.

          If they go with Sanders, that means they are high information.

          And if they go with Clinton, they will still be correct, however they vote, or will we say they are low information?

          1. cwaltz

            I’m not going to say anything. I may not agree with their choice but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are low info.

            I do reserve the right to call 1/3 of Donald’s voters low information though. I’m sorry but if you believe the country would have been better off if the South had won the Civil War than I reserve the right to call you an idiot.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            I really don’t accept that “high information” / “low information” trope. For one thing, it plays into the “progressive” “I’m smarter than you” trope (which explains 2010 and 2014 so well). For another, when so much information is crap, “high information”/”low reality” is a real possibility (see above on Krugman). What people really mean by “high information” is “high in good information,” or “high in my information,” which is question begging, reinforces tribalism, etc. And after all, it’s adaptive to come to good conclusions on incomplete information…

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          There are three issues at play.

          AAs tend to be renters which means greater rates of transients. This leads to registration issues and no land lines especially today.

          Younger people across the board don’t have land lines and have moved to texting as a former of communication over phone calls.

          Enthusiasm is the third issue. Sanders supporters are definite voters. Hillary is in many ways the candidate of default, the two sweetest words in the English language, DE fault. Many Hillary voters are closer to, “yeah, I’ll vote for Hillary if Netflix is out that day but not If it’s raining,” than “yes, I can.” Not all, but many. This is a major concern for Clinton Inc. After all, Hillary has run exactly two campaigns to date. Did the GOP have a candidate in 2006? Hillary won by 12 points in 2000 compared to Gore’s 25 points against a deranged right wing candidate with no name recognition and a short campaign because he replaced Guiliani. Hillary mismanaged her way to a 2008 defeat. In 2000, Gore, Bill’s successor, let it be close enough to steal. In 1996, Bill couldn’t crack 50%, largely as a result of low African American turnout.

          A fourth issue is black turnout has grown as a result of organizing, but organizing requires enthusiastic volunteers. Rides to the polls, absentee ballots, registration, ID requirements, knock and reminding to vote are all dependent on volunteers, not ads. There was work done In Virginia in 2005, but much of 2006’s Democratic sweep was a result of squeezing every vote in urban areas and driving African American and to a lesser extent Hispanic and urban white turnout. Again there were people, smiling happy faces who did it. 2008 was a repeat. Outside of Hillary, every other Democrat would have put up numbers similar to Obama, even Edwards with a discussion of where his mistress would live. In 2010 and 2014, the activists left and youth and minority turnout collapsed. In 2012, Obama’s numbers rose after he found his voice late in the Summer and in places where civil rights and vote protection efforts drove home the message that the GOP was trying go steal the vote. This drove minorities especially blacks to the polls In huge numbers. Here is Hillary’s problem, Bernie isn’t trying to stop anyone from voting. Hillary’s campaign Is based on identifying celebrities and counting on them to lecture votes to the polls, but John Lewis was a hero 40 years ago, Lena Dunham is an idiot, and Steinem is outright insulting. They aren’t canvassing or creating the conditions for volunteers to go out and prosper at the doors. The UVA student (he might have graduated) who was slammed into the ground by police a couple of years ago is down in South Carolina campaigning for Sanders. Here is ago victim of police violence speaking out for Sanders. Police violence matters to him. This is powerful. Hillary’s campaign isn’t offering this.

          1. GlobalMisanthrope

            Blacks are mostly renters, but only by a small margin. Black home ownership was 46.2% in 2009, according to the USCB. So, while that’s significantly lower than Whites, it’s still about half. I would also point out that as with all sub-groups, the preponderance of voters are to be found in the middle class. That means that a very high percentage of Black voters are likely to be home owners.

            Agreed that a massive get-out-the-vote effort would undoubtedly alter those dynamics. But, still, according to Politifact, Black voter turnout in 2012 exceeded the rate of white voter turnout, even in the states with the strictest voter ID laws.


            So I think there are way more wild cards in this deck than any of the pollsters or pundits are acknowledging/grasping.

        3. vidimi

          i think the more patronising, rich, white people will make the claim that AAs support Hillary, the more they will abandon her.

      2. Jeff W

        Most condescending and outrageous was Krug’s conclusion that African Americans support Hillary over Bernie because…they understand change is hard to achieve.

        We can all appreciate how African-Americans (and others) wisely didn’t push for an end to Jim Crow and segregation but simply sought to make the promise of equality in “separate but equal” a reality. Change, after all, is hard to achieve. No believing in magic there.

  6. GlobalMisanthrope

    From the City Lab article:

    Steering is rampant. There are all sorts of studies that show that black middle-class families are steered to parts of the suburbs where the schools are racially integrated, and white families are told that those same schools are no good.

    Only nouns verb. Steering by…

    And maybe the interviewer could have bothered to find out the details of at least one of the “all sorts of studies” that show buyers being steered according to race. The article makes incendiary claims. Although they have the ring of truth, I would prefer to be able to evaluate them on my own.

  7. Jim Haygood

    When doves cry:

    The minutes [of the Jan. 27th FOMC meeting] portray a central bank struggling with the fog of war. About the only thing they could agree on was that uncertainty had increased.

    To get around [a] communications problem, Fed officials discussed adding fan charts to their economic forecasts to convey to the public the uncertainty surrounding their forecasts.

    But this proposal ran afoul of a sore point for Fed officials, whether the band around the path of the federal funds rate should extend below zero.

    In the end, the Fed decided to continue to work on a way to communicate their own uncertainty about the economic outlook.


    Comical, just comical.

    Dressing up in evil clown suits would be an effective way to communicate a deadly combination of cluelessness, incompetence and recklessness.

    As would annotating their fan charts using brightly-colored crayons to scrawl Dr Seuss quotes:

    Inflation’s on its way up!
    It’ll be seeing great sights!
    It’ll join the high fliers
    Who soar to high heights.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      They’re literally squabbling about chart design? That’s beyond bizarre.

      I think you’ve read Parkinson’s Law? Reminds me of the meeting where the nuclear power plant approval took five minutes, and the roof to the bicycle garage took over an hour. And then the meeting moved on to coffee in the canteen…..

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Sounds like MA is staying pretty consistent. In 2012, Elizabeth Warren beat Scott Brown by about 8%. Same scenario, one candidate saying “Rein in Wall Street”, the other wishing to “Let Wall Street to Reign”.

  8. diptherio

    Another anecdote on the ACA front:

    A friend was recently accepted for Medicaid after Montana expanded coverage. He was psyched to be able to finally get some dental care. However, his freelance business also did better this year than ever and after he does his taxes, he thinks he’ll get kicked off Medicaid and have to sign up for an ACA bronze plan with a $6,000 deductible. So now he’s trying to get dental work done before he does taxes, which he’d like to do now to get his return. Catch 22…

    1. Cat's paw


      exactly my experience with the damn thing. Forget preventative care for most people when the deductible is that high–and the monthly premium is not small potatoes anyway. So, really, what is one paying for then? Best I can tell is an ineffectual assuaging of the fear of catastrophic illness.

      I’m in Montana too by the way…

      1. frannylee

        What counts against the deductible? Annual checkups don’t. What else doesn’t count against the deductible???????????

      1. ambrit

        Really now. This is a classic case of ‘a sure fire business model’ waiting to be implemented. A program aimed at re-aligning the “Citizen” with the best interests of the Nation. I call it, “Reality Adjustment Training” (RAT.)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To the extent others can’t inherently meet their needs, it is beneficial.

      If that ability robs others of their own ability to meet their needs, it creates a dependence problem (among other problems).

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I should add that their ability to meet all the world’s needs is getting better, as they acquire more corporations abroad, such as Syngenta and Ingram Micro, even as they confront their nonperforming loans and capital outflow.

    3. HotFlash

      Capitalism, AKA ‘efficient markets”, are all about producing goods that can be sold for a profit, not about allocating materials (eg, food, clothing, shelter) to people who need them. So we have flat-screen TV’s priced to sell while people starve and are homeless. Oh, and growth. /s

    1. HotFlash

      Yeah, but as a person who deals with film co’s a lot, where did the cameras come from? I doubt the Bad Guys were allowing camera crews to film the beatings. Not saying it couldn’t/didn’t happen, but I doubt it was as portrayed. Somebody found a ring *and* a ring box, both undamaged? Kinda like that passport that so conveniently floated to earth, undamaged, after 9/11?

      Colour me skeptical.

  9. DJG

    Atheism of the ancient world. The religious views of the ancients were indeed complicated. That’s why Christianity spent so much time wiping out Herakleitos, the Epicureans, even the Stoics, all potential “atheists.” But what is remarkably different about the ancient world is that the gods were imminent rather than trascendent. The gods were arranged in rather ungainly trinities and dozens. Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva? Demeter, Persephone, and Neoptolemos? Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades? Monotheism can’t even compare with the imagination of the ancients when they put their collective minds to religion–and when they put their minds to lack of religion. Witness Lucretius. And there is the Buddha, who became a Greek in Gandhara. [And I have a feeling that many Romans who were atheist-minded still left out offerings for the household gods. But monotheists wouldn’t understand that artfulness in religious matters.]

    1. JerseyJeffersonian

      As synapsid hints at, immanent is likely the word you mean. From the Oxford English Dictionary, the general pronunciation/description/etymology, along with definition 1, the one relevant to your meaning:

      immanent, adj.

      Brit. immanent#_gb_1.mp3 /ˈɪmənənt/ , U.S. imminent#_us_1.mp3 /ˈɪmənənt/
      Frequency (in current use):
      Etymology: A borrowing from Latin. Etymons: Latin immanent-, immanens, immanere.
      < post-classical Latin immanent-, immanens indwelling, inherent (from 14th cent. in British sources; also in continental sources), use as adjective of present participle of immanere to remain in its own place (Vetus Latina; early 3rd cent. in Tertullian), to dwell (5th cent. in Augustine) < classical Latin im- im- prefix1 + manēre to dwell, remain (see remain v.).

      Compare Middle French, French immanent performed entirely within the mind of a subject (1370 in an isolated attestation), inherent (1690).
      In sense 3 after German immanent (1781 (in immanenter Grundsatz , in the passage translated in quot. 1838) or earlier in Kant in this sense).

      1. Chiefly Philos. and Theol. Existing or operating within; inherent; spec. (of God) permanently pervading and sustaining the universe. Freq. in predicative use, with in.Sometimes contrasted with transcendent adj. 5.

      1535 D. Lindsay Satyre 3460 Quhen our foirfather fell, Drawing vs all, in his loynis immanent, Captive from gloir.
      1611 T. Higgons Serm. Pauls Crosse 13 He hath an immanent loue dwelling in him.
      1659 J. Pearson Expos. Apostles Creed ii. 170 The power of miracles cannot be conceived as immanent or inhering in him.
      1738 Gentleman’s Mag. Jan. 21/1 Prescience is immanent in the Deity.
      1858 J. Martineau Stud. Christianity 310 They have not cared to recognize it [sc. the external world] as the shrine of immanent Deity.
      1898 J. R. Illingworth Divine Immanence iii. 71 It remains then that we..conceive of God as at once transcending and immanent in nature.
      1917 R. H. Dotterer Argument for Finitist Theol. ii. 16 ‘Liberal’ theologians..have said that all events are supernatural, since all are produced by, or are particular expressions of, the immanent God.
      1965 College Eng. 26 485/2 Frost’s dark poems..give the reader an almost physical experience of the horror immanent in the commonplace.
      1986 J. T. Cook in M. Grene & D. Nails Spinoza & Sci. iv. 204 The fixed and eternal ways in which God thinks, which are present in, as immanent cause of, every idea.
      2004 J. Thomas Archaeol. & Modernity i. 32 The Western tradition rejected any notion of ideal forms, whether existing in some other sphere or immanent in worldly things themselves.

    2. DJG

      Thanks Synapsid, Jessica, and JerseyJeffersonian. What if I say that the gods of the house were distracting me and punished my skepticism by impairing my spelling? They are immanent. (And imminently will mess up the spell-check function.)

    3. Vatch

      The article mentions the book Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World, by Tim Whitmarsh, which was published in Britain this month. The book has been available in the U.S. since November, 2015, and I read it. Some the cases of potential atheism might really have been skepticism about specific gods, myths, or attributes of gods, rather than actual atheism. However, I think the author makes a strong case that there were ancient atheists. There were intelligent people capable of logical thinking thousands of years ago. Superstition has a long history, but so does resistance to superstition.

      On a somewhat related topic, some people might be interested in the possibility of pagan monotheism. A few books have been written about this, such as Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity. Many of the pagan gods were modified to be somewhat equivalent to angels. The same thing probably happened in Judaism, too. Psalm 82 is clearly polytheistic, although most of the gods are subordinate, and were probably in the process of being converted to angels.

        1. Vatch

          In some parts of the country, where the cost of living is lower than the national average, such as parts of Alabama and Mississippi, a minimum wage of $12 would be acceptable. In other parts of the country, such as Manhattan or Silicon Valley, a minimum wage of $15 would be completely inadequate.

  10. hemeantwell

    re “Hillary Clinton’s emotional call on Democrats to take systemic racism seriously,” I’m inclined to see it as an attempt to paint the call as genuine, it just wells up from her soul, bypassing all calculation and resonating with the impassioned cries of those who suffer, etc. M’gawd, ain’t she real.

    As some have argued – Habermas used to do good stuff before he traded Europeanism for Marxism – once you get into a legitimation crisis attempts to restore authenticity to debunked symbols only drive the crisis forward. Disgust augments distrust. Yay!

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    There is an interesting article at Marketwatch about ‘So, who’s going to pay for you to live to be 100?’

    Or maybe just 80 or 90.

    From the article:

    Say you start working at 20, retire at 62 and live to 100. Using conservative investment and wage assumptions, you’d have to save about 31% of your earnings every year from the time you started working until retirement to maintain your pre-retirement income until you hit the triple-digit age, calculates Henry Aaron, economist at the Brookings Institution. A life expectancy of “only” 80 years? Your annual savings rate would still need to be a hefty 20%!

    You don’t have much to look down on someone in his/her 20’s who has little saving, even if you have quite a bit of money in your bank account.

    You are not in much better shape yourself.

    Too bad you didn’t save 37% of your earnings while you worked.

    And remember, very few are rugged individuals in their 90s.

    1. Jess

      But shouldn’t “maintaining pre-retirement income” be unnecessary anyway? Isn’t the idea — with universal health care — that by the time you reach retirement age all the big ticket things have been paid for? Kids are through college, mortgage is paid off, no more need for kid’s dental work and school clothes?

      Seems to be some along the trail have forgotten that the original idea of pensions and having “adequate” retirement income was to have enough to life in modest comfort during your golden years, not for everyone to afford a 40′ motor home, overseas vacations, a second home in a warmer clime, etc. Of course, those are all great things if you’re fortunate or capable enough to provide them for yourself, but they shouldn’t be the baseline definition of adequate retirement income — esp. when it come to the higher end of public employee pension plans.

      1. Hobbs

        Trust me, my public pension will fall far short of allowing me to buy ‘a second home’ or take many vacations overseas. This myth of the blood-sucking public employee is right up there with the ‘welfare queen’ meme of the Reagan years. Some pensions are good (cops, firemen); some are modest (teachers); others are very poor (custodians). In other words, even the four old guys from Yorkshire wouldn’t call most of them them luxury.

        1. jrs

          But if those pensions are not a luxury what do you call no pension at all, which is increasingly what everyone who isn’t working for government has? Homelessness and starvation I suppose.

      2. bob

        You continue with this meme-

        “esp. when it come to the higher end of public employee pension plans.”

        What about the high end of private employee pensions? You know, C-level golden parachutes?

        You find the highest end “public employee pension” that you can, and I’ll find the private.

        I bet the private beats the public by a factor of…millions

    2. jrs

      Doesn’t almost every other country on earth have better retirement benefits somehow without requiring people to save 30% of their income (probably of a pre-tax, pre-health insurance income they never even see that is).

  12. DakotabornKansan

    Paul Krugman and his merry, worry wonk-brigade are now citing former Chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers for Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, who “are concerned to see the Sanders campaign citing extreme claims by Gerald Friedman about the effect of Senator Sanders’s economic plan—claims that cannot be supported by the economic evidence.”


    Krugman, “Sanders needs to disassociate himself from this kind of fantasy economics right now. If his campaign responds instead by lashing out — well, a campaign that treats Alan Krueger, Christy Romer, and Laura Tyson as right-wing enemies is well on its way to making Donald Trump president.”

    He’s definitely at Greenwald’s STAGE 7: “Full-scale and unrestrained meltdown, panic, lashing-out, threats, recriminations, self-important foot-stomping, overt union with the Right, complete fury.”

    Note that Professor Friedman doesn’t work for the Sander’s campaign; he only offers an analysis of Sanders’ plan:

    His memo to Sander’s policy director:

    On a brighter note, Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein refute Hillary Clinton and others [Krugman’s wonk-brigade] charge that Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-All plan would disrupt and threaten Americans’ health care. http://pnhp.org/blog/2016/02/17/medicares-history-belies-claim-that-medicare-for-all-would-disrupt-care/

    Please contemplate their arguments against your delusions, Krugman.

    1. vidimi

      He’s definitely at Greenwald’s STAGE 7: “Full-scale and unrestrained meltdown, panic, lashing-out, threats, recriminations, self-important foot-stomping, overt union with the Right, complete fury.”

      i prefer Gandhi’s 4-stage programme

  13. HotFlash

    Ok, looks like I’ll be the first one talking about Killer Mike. Well, not exactly about him, there is the fact that he is quoting Jane Elliot. But still, whoever said it is correct, and I know that for sure. How do I know? I have a uterus (although only one ovary anymore) and I most certainly am not qualified to be president. QED.

    Carry on!

  14. Greg T

    We should go back into Krugman’s archives circa 2009. We’ll find him railing against President Obama’s pre-negotiation tactics; he criticized Obama for giving up his bargaining chips before presenting his stimulus plan to Congress. Of course, most of us on this site now know that the pre-negotiation was by design, not an honest error, but that’s another story. Anyway, sometime between then and now, Krugman decided Obama is a great president, and asking for what you want is no longer realistic. So, its with a completely straight face he can say he supports single-payer health care, but then he decries Sanders supporters for wanting to implement it.

    I’m glad many of his commenters aren’t letting him get away with this.

    1. Yves Smith

      It seems to have happened after he was invited to meet Obama, IIRC, in early 2009. Kruggie went silent on Obama matters for a while and then turned cheerleader. Was he shown a horse’s head?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Fear of the Obots was a powerful motivator, and Obama didn’t collapse, he faded away. Despite there being no Obama Democrats, Team Blue elites are bound to Obama from the constant defenses of Obama. When Sanders was just a side show, everyone threw their lot in with Hillary because they have no where else to go.

  15. Jim Haygood

    Peak Brooklyn?

    Two developers have submitted plans in recent weeks for a 1,066-foot building in Downtown Brooklyn, which would be almost twice as high as anything surrounding it. The complex, at 9 DeKalb Avenue, would also bring the current surge in supertall towers across the East River from Manhattan.

    The 73-story structure, to be built by JDS Development Group and the Chetrit Group, would be more than double the height of the 512-foot Williamsburgh Savings Bank building, which was once the tallest in the borough.

    The Brooklyn structure, with nearly 500 units, is planned as a rental apartment building … and would set aside at least 20 percent of the units as affordable housing.


    Beware the skyscraper curse.

  16. Jay M

    guess nobody could have envisioned that somebody in Stage 4 cancer might be crossing the timelines of the Affordable Care Act

  17. Darthbobber

    Aargh. The Krugman bit.

    I love the “many people share my concerns” bit, and then the link to the silly “left-wing economists” article, which involved nobody who could be legitimately considered a left-wing economist, but did, in an admirable bit of circularity, link to -wait for it- Paul Krugman as one of the left-wingers with misgivings.

    He forgets his own rather loud misgivings about the stimulus low-balling, and to me completely misses the reasons for the 2010 electoral bloodbath.

    As I recall, the ‘mocrats went into the 2010 cycle with their two centerpieces being
    1) The ACA, a piece of legislation that few fully understood, and in any case was benefiting NOBODY YET., and
    2) The much-ballyhooed “summer of recovery”. I’ll never forget Biden’s prematurely triumphal bit about how stupid the Republicans were going to look when the economy came “roaring back.”
    And they stuck with this rhetoric long after it was apparent to even the most optimistic that there weren’t going to be numbers to justify any such grandiose claims. “We slowed down the bleeding” would have been about as far as you could go without jarring up against the real, lived experience of actual people.

    Now- they could have had other things. Not the least would have been that $10 per hour minimum wage indexed to the cost of living. Remember that? A campaign promise that would have been almost impossible to fail to pass when the Repubs were still on the back foot and the Democrats held huge majorities. But that wasn’t even introduced as legislation. And that would have been a real, tangible, large benefit to a large chunk of the population.

    Card check would have been harder, but there were fewer votes that needed to be horsetraded for than with the ACA. So not undoable, though maybe not possible to lead with both that and the ACA.

    Personally, I’ve always taken it as axiomatic that if you want to build momentum and try to win you open with delivering clear, unarguable benefits, preferably ones that actually strengthen elements of your base. Then you can move on to something hideously complex if you wish, hopefully from a stronger position than before. This isn’t “liberal” vs. “moderate”, btw. Its 101.

    Where Krugman’s crystal ball indicates that any major changes will come from the right for the next couple of decades, I don’t know. Guess he’s not setting much stock by that guaranteed Democratic triumph that the magic demographics are supposed to bake in. He’s right in a sense, in that if “the left” is content to play defense behind its Maginot Line you will get major rightward change in considerably less than 2 decades. Because the Democrats will have become the clear status quo party, and the status quo is going to continue to deteriorate, taking down whoever is stupid enough to lash themselves to it.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “Taking Wapo on Killer Mike’s word” isn’t even grammatical. The full context is in the post. WaPo didn’t give it. What’s your point?

      We also don’t do assignments. Don’t use the imperative mode.

  18. Darthbobber

    re: Daily Beast on Sanders and black community in Vermont.
    An activist “feels” negated and invisible because Sanders tells her at the State Fair that he won’t push Conyers’ reparations study bill. (Of course, when Conyers actually became the committee chair in ’07, he didn’t push it either. Preferring to put it in his desk until the Dems lost the majority in 2010 and it could safely be introduced again. So Sanders takes it no more seriously than its sponsor.)

    As to Reed’s “Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity”, here’s its website:

    I’ll leave it to other readers to judge whether this is more appropriately described as
    a) a grassroots black political organization, or
    b) a “non-profit” grant-seeking and consulting racket.

    Going to great lengths to make a story of not very much.

  19. vidimi

    wait, the kanye west link is under black injustice tipping point?

    the guy is a world-class bellend and a troll. he says that they shouldn’t be building wells in africa but giving him millions instead.

    i’d say it’s more worthy of guillotine watch. more bailouts for the rich.

  20. Ulysses

    “Going to great lengths to make a story of not very much.”

    That seems to be the floundering Clinton campaign’s core strategy– kinda sad, really.

Comments are closed.