2:00PM Water Cooler 2/8/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“The predators behind the TPP” [Japan Times]. TPP is not about tariffs or trade:

[TPP] is political because it aims to change the power relations between transnational corporations and foreign governments. It is political because it will create patterns of colonial dependence through agricultural agreements. It is political because it seeks to place the governments of the participating countries under a kind of legal discipline that has nothing to do with the rights of citizens and everything to do with the ability of powerful corporations to become even stronger.



Clinton on abortion: “I’ve been on record for many years about where I stand on abortion, how it should be safe and legal” [Politico]. But Clinton in 2008 said “safe, legal and rare, and by rare I mean rare,” and “safe, legal, and rare” was her mantra for years. More-than-justified policy change? Pandering? Slip of the tongue? One thing is certain: “I’ve been on record for many years” is simply not true.

“Clinton traveled to Flint, Michigan, on Sunday to address the city’s water crisis, vowing to make a ‘personal commitment’ to help the city’s residents deal with contaminated water. ‘I will not for one minute forget about you or forget about your children,’ she said” [ABC News].

Sanders should really get on this. The deindustrialization of America, which set Flint up for the fall, was a product of trade deals in Congress and private equity on Wall Street, and those issues are Sanders territory.

The Voters

Bill Clinton: Sanders voters watch cartoons, and I don’t think he means the Simpsons [Yahoo Politics].

[BILL CLINTON:] “I understand why we’ve got a race on our hands, because a lot of people are disillusioned with the system and a lot of young people want to take it down. … I understand what it’s like for people who haven’t had a raise in eight years. There are a lot of reasons [to be angry]. But this is not a cartoon. This is real life.”

Way to infantilize the people who aren’t voting for you, there, Bill. Taking tips from Gloria? So when is Hillary going to stuff Bill back in his box? To be fair, blaming the voters is a constant theme with the Democratic establishment. As Brecht wrote:

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts.

Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

Non-apology apology from Steinem [MSNBC]. Steinem now: “In a case of talk-show Interruptus, I misspoke on the Bill Maher show recently, and apologize for what’s been misinterpreted as implying young women aren’t serious in their politics.” Steinem then: “When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys?’ The boys are with Bernie.”” Heck, yeah. What’s unserious about that?

Robinson Meyer, who coined the term Berniebro, regrets what has been done with his work [The Atlantic].

The Berniebro, as originally conceived, was a tragic figure; his loyalty and dudeish certainty made him a poor proxy for his favorite candidate. But what’s tragic about some Hillary voters is not really gendered in the same way or at all. The tragic Hillary voter, the truly pitiable figure, is the Democrat who would love to line up behind Bernie’s sunny ideals but knows that he just isn’t electable. I speak, of course, of the Hillarealist.

Stop digging, Robinson. Single payer isn’t a “sunny ideal.” It’s been implemented with great success in other countries.

“The rise of support for socialism among millennials is having an immediate impact on the Democratic Party. Many left-leaning Democrats rightfully detest the kind of modulated crony capitalism epitomized by Hillary Clinton” [Orange County Register]. “This could precipitate a civil war among major Democratic donors – notably in Silicon Valley.”

“They don’t like [Bernie] Sanders at all,” notes San Francisco-based researcher Greg Ferenstein, who has been polling Internet company founders for an upcoming book. Sanders’ emphasis on income redistribution and protecting union privileges and pensions violates the favorite notions of the tech elite. “He’s an egalitarian liberal,: Ferenstein explains, “these people are tech liberals. Equality is a nonissue in Silicon Valley.”

“I don’t see Sanders investing major resources like time and money into getting the Latino vote, which will be crucial to whomever wins the presidency” [Roberto Lovato, Guardian]. From a symposium on the Sanders candidacy.

“If anything, the Democrats’ defeat at the hands of Reagan reflected how isolated from their voters they were becoming. The culprit wasn’t reactionary white workers electing Republicans. It was elites and officials, Democrats and Republicans alike” [Jacobin]. “Ultimately, the kind of grand strategic vision that animated realignment is a prerequisite for both those who wish to see, at long last, social democracy in the United States — and those who wish to go beyond it.” Interesting article in a very good issue, “Up From Liberalism.”


Clinton on releasing transcripts of her Goldman speeches: “Let everybody who’s ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them. We’ll all release them at the same time” [Raw Story]. First, “everybody” isn’t running for President; Clinton is. Second, Clinton basically proves Sanders’ point: The political class, with rare exceptions, is deeply corrupt; hence the omerta Clinton is implicitly invoking and depending on. If they won’t release them, it’s for the same reason Clinton won’t. Contemporaneous paraphrase of Clinton’s remarks: “We all got into this mess together, and we’re all going to have to work together to get out of it.” No, we didn’t. And no, we haven’t. Somebody should ask Clinton if she’s seen The Big Short and, if so, whether she agrees with Sanders that the Wall Street business model is based on fraud (yes, he went there).

The Trail

“Advisors Hopeful Jeb Bush Finally Has Momentum To End Campaign” [The Onion].

Another surrogate eruption for the Clinton campaign, this time from Bill Clinton [HuffPo]. Following Chelsea, Madeleine Albright, and Gloria Steinem, the Big Dog, “unleashed,” woofs:

“Hillary’s opponent has a different view,” Clinton said, declining to mention Sanders by name. “It’s a hermetically sealed box. It’s very effective. The system is rigged against you by the big banks, and both parties are in the thrall of the big banks. Anybody who takes money from Goldman Sachs couldn’t possibly be president.”

The Times calls this a “stinging attack.” I’d call it a fair summary. However, on Goldman, the “Explainer-in-Chief” ignores the key point, beyond Clinton’s corruption, which is: The Sanders campaign proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you don’t need big money contributions to run a national campaign. If Democrat Party wants it, those days are over. And both, or rather all, Clintons, and the rest of the establishment, are running from this lesson so hard you’d think they enjoy sucking up to Goldman. Or maybe there’s something in it for them. Well, back to the Times: “The junior high school’s small gym was not full, and only a handful of reporters showed up.” So maybe Bill Clinton’s sad decline doesn’t matter very much.

“Sanders cites foreign policy advisers” [Politico]. Not impressive. Then again, the talent pool of sane establishment foreign policy advisors is even more limited than the pool of establishment economic advisors who are not neo-liberals. When you’ve seen the national security class lose two wars, a few trillion dollars, kill hundreds of thousands, set the entire Mediterranean basin on fire, and cause a refugee problem that’s fracturing the EU, it’s hard not to argue that an extremely thorough housecleaning is needed. So it’s hard to see what “impressive” would look like. Readers?

New Hampshire

Voting begins just after midnight tonight in Dixville Notch [WaPo]. Sad story; or maybe not.

CNN Poll of Polls, Democrats: “Sanders’ 54% to 40% advantage over Hillary Clinton is down slightly from a 55% to 37% lead in the previous Poll of Polls” [CNN]. Republicans: “Trump tops the GOP field with 31%, well ahead of Marco Rubio’s 15%. Rubio has picked up four points since the previous New Hampshire Poll of Polls, the biggest change in the averages in the last week. Ted Cruz follows with 13%, John Kasich at 11% and Jeb Bush at 10%.”

Democrats: “Bernie Sanders is now beating Hillary Clinton by 16 points- 56% to 40%, after he lost a point overnight, and she kept what she had” (local poll) [WHDH]. “Undecided is up to 4%, an increase of two points since yesterday.” That’s a big number on undecideds; robocalling? Republicans: “Donald Trump stays in the top spot, with 34%, after dropping two points overnight. Then, a tie for second–at 13%–after Marco Rubio lost a point, and there was no change in Ted Cruz’s support. John Kasich and Jeb Bush also are now tied, at 10%.”

“Time for the GOP Establishment to Panic” [Political Wire].

“Sanders’s Wall Street Attacks Strike Home in New Hampshire Town” [Bloomberg]. “Weekend interviews with more than a dozen voters in Rochester, a working-class city of 30,000 near New Hampshire’s border with Maine, showed that the impact of big money in politics is a prime concern for voters.” Pretty different from the northern suburbs of Boston in southern New Hampshire (ouch!), though.

“McEachern was the Democratic nominee for governor in New Hampshire twice in the 1980s, and only a few months ago he was featured in the pages of the Portsmouth Herald newspaper accepting a social justice award from Bill Clinton” [Los Angeles Times]. ‘When the campaign started out, I was figuring I would support Hillary,” he said. ‘When the Goldman money came out, I could not,’ McEachern said.” Clearly only one voter, but one wonders how widely his views are shared in the New Hampshire political class.

“A week in February 1992 revived Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign and made the state hallowed ground for the Clintons” [New York Times]. When Clinton exceeded expectations, he labelled himself “The Comeback Kid.” So watch for that, if Clinton loses by, say, only 10%.

Stats Watch

Labor Market Conditions Index, January 2016: “January’s reading indicates the lowest level of labor market expansion since April last year and also reflects the climbing trends in jobless claims” [Econoday]. “One big positive for the labor market, however, is the falling unemployment rate, at a recovery low 4.9 percent in January.”

Year of monkey, tiger, snake and pig beware: fortune tellers see conflict and chaos this coming lunar year” [South China Morning Post]. “But it’s not at all pessimistic. Despite the painful struggle brought by stock market fluctuation, fall in property prices and political clashes, a new world order will be born after the wrongs are weeded out.”

Commodities: “[T]oday, oil seems to be going the way of timber and steel, losing its strategic importance. Large amounts of energy will still be needed for the basics of modern life, including data processing and storage, but it will increasingly come from other sources” [Project Syndicate]. Hmm.

Honey for the Bears: “Signs of distress in financial markets are gathering force as concern over the state of the global economy deepens. A rout in commodity prices and a slowdown in emerging markets is hurting banks and sparking investor withdrawals and fund closures across the asset management industry” [Bloomberg]. “‘There’s been a sort of buyers’ strike,’ Christy Hajiloizou, an analyst at Barclays Plc in London. ‘In this kind of market nothing feels overdone.'”

Honey for the Bears: “[T]he world economy in 2016 will continue to be characterized by a New Abnormal in terms of output, economic policies, inflation, and the behavior of key asset prices and financial markets” [Nouriel Roubini, Project Syndicate]. “[H]ow long can this state of affairs – in which markets not only ignore the real economy, but also discount political risk – be sustained?” Longer than you can stay solvent…

Honey for the Bears: “Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (i.e., Alphabet) [FANGs] were four of the best-performing tech stocks that helped keep the S&P 500 in positive territory last year” [Business Insider]. “But as global markets sold off on Monday morning, these stocks were down sharply in premarket trading, even with little company-specific news on any of them. This follows a sell-off across the tech sector on Friday, as LinkedIn plunged 44% after weak earnings and Tableau Software lost about half its value. The FANGs are red year-to-date, as is the broader stock market.”

The Fed: “Over the next two weeks, we will publish ten blog posts that illuminate how market liquidity has evolved since the financial crisis” [Liberty Street].

“In the aftermath of the Subprime bubble, credit-money creation has come to a standstill across the OECD. In the period from 1955 till 1975, credit grew at 8.7% per year in the United States; from 1975 till 2008, it grew at 8% per year; since 2008, it has grown at an average of just 1.5% per year” [Steve Keen, Forbes].

“A villager from a far-flung rural community in China needs pesticides [sigh]. Or fertilizers [sigh]. Or maybe a tractor for his farm. Heck, maybe he just wants a 65-inch television” [Wired]. “So what does he do? In thousands of villages across rural China, he strolls down the road to the Alibaba kiosk, connected to the Internet for free on an Alibaba-provided computer, and places an order. And if he’s never ordered anything online before, an Alibaba service center manager who hails from the same town is probably by his side.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 19, Extreme Fear (previous close: 19) [CNN]. One week ago: 27 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 8 at 10:24am

Police State Watch

“Florida Cops Shoot Up Family’s Home After Responding to Wrong Address” [Photography Is Not a Crime].

“ME: High Court Finds Prosecutorial Misconduct, Lets Conviction Stand” [Prosecutorial Accountability].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“The morning’s [National School Choice Week forum at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs] panel began with a quick dismissal of the desegregation lawsuit filed in Minnesota last fall, which, if successful, could require the state’s charter schools to develop and implement integration plans. The panelists seemed to agree that the resegregation happening across the country now is simply due to ‘parental choice.’ [WaPo]. “Reichgott Junge — the Democrat — declared herself ‘not neutral’ on this topic, and told the audience not to worry because ‘this is not the civil rights era.'”

“The cash bail system should be eliminated rather than reformed” [Guardian].


“[R]anking officials in Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration were aware of a surge in Legionnaires’ disease potentially linked to Flint’s water long before the governor reported the increase to the public last month, internal emails show” [AP].

“Christie Signs Bill Privatizing New Jersey’s Water Supply” [The Contributor].

“18 cities in Pennsylvania reported higher levels of lead exposure than Flint” [Vox].

“Drought is still ‘very serious’ in California, despite near record snow” [WaPo].

“Contaminated Water Requires a National Public Health Mobilization” [Truthout (OregonCharles)].


“Why planting some trees could make global warming worse” [Christian Science Monitor (DL)]. Conifers.

“Lockheed Martin Signs Its First Major Renewables Deal for 30 MW of Solar” [RMI Outlet].

“Uruguay has shifted to getting 95% of its electricity from renewables in less than 10 years” [Science Alert].

Health Care

“Nationwide Children’s doctors face 100-mile non-compete ban” [Columbus Dispatch]. “‘I certainly never would have thought that in America your employer would have the power … to prevent you from being able to stay in your chosen career and move to another city,’ the spouse of one Nationwide Children’s physician told The Dispatch in an email.”

Guillotine Watch

“Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is preparing to borrow from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to help fund his new career in private equity” [Bloomberg]. I’m not sure why Jippy Mo would want to add Geithner to their stable, but doubtless they have their reasons. Unfortunately, I couldn’t include an image of a barf bag without seeming to endorse product placement…

“How Hollywood’s Favorite Juice Bar Owner Eats Every Day” [Elle]. Classy move by Elle, no product placement in the headline.

Class Warfare

“Most Americans Say Government Doesn’t Do Enough to Help Middle Class” [Pew Research Center]. Interesting reading, but notice how the key chart doesn’t match the headline:


“A Story of a F*ck Off Fund” [Medium]. Widely shared, apparently.

“She knows how to make her politics acquiesce to pop’s pleasure principles. Even when our angriest protest artists — Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine, N.W.A. — sounded like they were gargling the blood of the GOP, they knew how to make it feel good. Beyoncé goes further, foregrounding the pleasure, pushing it from the celebratory toward the ecstatic” [WaPo].

“The strange death of British satire” [New Humanist]. “But where does this tone – with its strange mixture of the middle-aged and the adolescent – come from? The quick answer is class background. The tone of light but relentless ridicule, the pose of not being seen to take things too seriously, has its roots in the British boarding school.”

“In Response: “6 Reasons We’ll Always Need Fast Fashion” [The Fashion Law].

“Nick Farmer knows dozens of languages, so he invented one for The Expanse” [Ars Technica]. Called “Belter.” Yes, this link shoud be here.

News of the Wired

“Why Richard Pryor Marks the Beginning of the Modern Comedy Era” [Vulture].

“Here’s how Twitter’s new algorithmic timeline is going to work” [The Verge]. Or not work.

“India has blocked Free Basics, Facebook’s plan to provide free internet access in the developing world” [Business Insider]. “The service lets users access certain sites for free — but not the entire internet.”

“The Simple Secret to Winning Any Argument, According to a Harvard Psychologist” [Mic]. That’s not the secret!

“‘Woohoo!’ email stokes rumor that gravitational waves have been spotted” [Science]. “all of this remains speculation until the LIGO team announces its latest results—which according to [Clifford Burgess, a theoretical physicist]’s rumor could happen next week.”

“Been anywhere nice this year? Brain surgery where patients are kept chatting” [Guardian]. I probably should have filed this under “2016”….

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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 (pq):


Golden Gardens park, in Seattle. There is something very appealing about seeing a river through trees….

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Vatch

    Clinton on abortion: “I’ve been on record for many years about where I stand on abortion, how it should be safe and legal” [Politico]. But Clinton in 2008 said “safe, legal and rare, and by rare I mean rare,”

    I don’t want to appear to be defending Hillary Clinton or abortion opponents, but if easy to use contraception is widely available and affordable, and people are properly educated in its use, abortion will be much rarer than it is now. Contraception doesn’t just prevent pregnancy, it also prevents abortion.

    1. Pat

      And I’m sure that will be the tack that her supporters take as well. But to understand why the rare and especially the very rare do not mean support you have to get how ‘safe, legal and rare’ came to be and the climate it was used in. That phrase was politicians threading the needle. The appropriate response was safe and legal, or even safe, legal, and none of anybody else’s business, but rather than taking that tack pandering politicians chose to be understanding to the POV of the anti-abortion crowd. This became the slippery slope that has led to restricted access and medically bullshit bans on late term abortion. The very fear that led them to add the ‘rare’, led them to stop fighting for those rights. Everyone with any relationship with reality all knew the objection was as much to contraception as it was to abortion, everyone who paid attention knew that the people supporting and paying for these campaigns didn’t want women to have access to either. Still we were told that we were disrespectful of people for pointing this out. And it was all done so that politicians could pretend they weren’t going to alienate people by straddling the fence. Forget recognizing that this misogyny and religious bigotry rolled into one, forget calling it what it was – unconstitutional, nope that may be political suicide.

      It is the people who supported ‘rare’ aka abortion icky, and yes the importance of abstinence, and didn’t raise hell when women’s health programs were the first ones on the chopping block when the budget needed to be cut or compromises were needed for program passages that have least supported women’s reproductive rights. And yes, that includes Clinton. Hell it is part and parcel of her political leadership that it is only to opponents of anti-abortion programs, Iraq, bankruptcy non reform, and illegal surveillance that she ‘panders’ to, everyone else she provides the real support.

      1. Vatch

        Everyone with any relationship with reality all knew the objection was as much to contraception as it was to abortion

        Yes, that’s true about a great many abortion opponents, and it’s infuriating. That’s a reason why I like to emphasize that effective, affordable, convenient contraception prevents abortion.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Even more urgent to have them affordable, effective and convenient, with the threat of the Zika virus menacing around.

        2. Pat

          Yes we do have to make the case for safe and effective birth control. In fact we have to fight for it, not just to get it covered in insurance, but to keep it available.

          OTOH, if idiots hadn’t gone the ‘safe, legal and rare’ route but had held strong on abortion, we wouldn’t be reduced to fighting for it, anti-abortion foes would still be saying it wasn’t about birth control.

      2. PQS


        “Everyone with any relationship with reality all knew the objection was as much to contraception as it was to abortion, everyone who paid attention knew that the people supporting and paying for these campaigns didn’t want women to have access to either. Still we were told that we were disrespectful of people for pointing this out.”

        There are people TODAY who simply don’t believe the anti-abortion crowd is serious about restricting access to contraception. They can’t imagine people THAT out there, and indeed, this is a very extreme position. Yet, they went all the way to the Supreme Court and got their way: See: “Hobby Lobby”.

    2. trinity river

      ” . . . if easy to use contraception is widely available and affordable, and people are properly educated in its use, abortion will be much rarer than it is now.”

      Vatch, you are using the logic I would have used before I learned that a tea-party relative of mine had five abortions. It is sad to say but the entire world is glad she did.

  2. diptherio

    “I understand what it’s like for people who haven’t had a raise in eight years.” ~William Jefferson Clinton

    Really, Bill? Really???

    1. RP

      They were “flat broke” in 2001, don’t you remember?

      Just go out and generate hundreds of millions in “speaking fees” while running a multi-billion dollar influence peddling oper- er, charitable foundation.

      As people do.

      1. Pat

        I’m sure if I make up a flyer and offer myself as a speaker to Goldman Sachs, Aetna, etc at a rate of over $200,000 for a speech that last less than an hour they will make me rich as well. It is only that I do not have the same go to attitude of the Clintons that I don’t have millions or even thousands in the bank.

        I’m sure if I start a non profit I can also have an almost million dollar a year board position like Chelsea as well.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It was how he delivered his lines and his short range magnetic personality.

      You had to be there, in space and time.

      “I feel your pain. And I will open my presidential library for the homeless.”

    3. Blurtman

      It was so bad that daughter Chelsea had to get a $600,000/year job as an inexperienced reporter at NBC.

  3. abynormal

    hmmmmm…”A tree is beautiful, but what’s more, it has a right to life;
    like water, the sun and the stars, it is essential.
    Life on earth is inconceivable without trees.
    Forests create climate, climate influences peoples’ character, and so on and so forth.
    There can be neither civilization nor happiness if forests crash down under the axe,
    if the climate is harsh and severe, if people are also harsh and severe….
    What a terrible future! ” ~ Anton Pavlovich …tears.

  4. fakie wallie

    RE: “I don’t see Sanders investing major resources like time and money into getting the Latino vote, which will be crucial to whomever wins the presidency” [Roberto Lovato, Guardian]. From a symposium on the Sanders candidacy.

    Not if Trump ends up with the nomination! (Albeit seeming increasingly unlikely…)

    1. Pat

      And call me wild and crazy, but if I were Latino I’d be asking Hillary Clinton at every campaign event to explain how her policies regarding immigration and enforcement differ from Barack Obama’s and whether she endorses his deportation policies. But then her framing herself as the successor to him would scare the crap out of me knowing what I know about him. This is truly a case where the devil is in the details, and it is only in comparison with the Republicans, especially those running, where the President’s policies aren’t deadly.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I have a few thoughts on the Hispanic vote.

      -Hillary is just the default candidate. Her support is shallow.
      -mass incarceration, Healthcare, jobs etc are Hispanic issues
      -votes are won by decency not pandering
      -Hispanics didn’t come here on slave ships. Many were even already in the U.S. The borders moved and know their country of origin. Black has always been very much the other in our society, even when Jets and catholics were looked down upon in polite society, blacks were still the other. Liberal champions JFK and Bobby attacked Nixon over Nixon’s naacp membership. The black experience is shared by blacks but very different than how many of of us arrived here. Excluding native populations, who we collectively treat like garbage. African Americans have quality reasons to watch candidates closely because they are/have been excluded in so many ways.
      -Hispanic voters are clustered in a handful of states. It would be nice to see Bernie to explicitly link himself to Cesar Chávez
      -new Hampshire is tomorrow, and it wasn’t that long ago, candidates would have put out french literature and surrogates. I expect the campaign to adjust to each environment. Bill was wearing flannel and jeans today. My mom’s parents spoke French in the home (Vermont), real French too, not that post 1789 clap trap. Just as long as Bernie doesn’t suggest, New Hampshire has good maple syrup my mom is fine with Bernie. The campaign will adjust, but the core message will remain the same.

      I know Team Blue has been desperate to turn Hispanics into a captured group and I think it’s skewed our perceptions of what people, as because they have been so aggressive about using emotional appeals to win the Hispanic vote instead of running on good policy.

      1. Jagger

        Also my impression is that Hispanics are culturally conservative and have a strong religious devotion. If true, on those particular issues, the republican party would be more attractive than the democratic party.

        1. john kissinger

          odd, then, that the reps are doing everything they can to tell Latinos that they’re rapists and need to be evicted.

        2. ProNewerDeal

          I recall that Latinos in the Millenial age group, had the highest support of gay marriage, of any combined ethnic-race group & age group cohort. It is hard to generalize about the very heterogeneous US Latino population.

          Also, per the prior comment on Native Americans, many if not most US Latinos have Amerindian (between Alaska & Argentina, inclusive) ancestry.

  5. dk

    Apropos of nothing, and The Big Short (haven’t seen it yet)… I just watched Bridge of Spies (yes, on google… yes yes I am a bad person), and one of the major themes of that picture is the the intent and will to go beyond the minimum expectation, and also importantly, that application of skill is crucial to such endeavor. Which I perceive as also the major underlying theme of the current tension between the Clinton and Sanders campaigns.

    And having been to the Eastern part of Berlin before, during, and after the Wall, I can say that the depiction of conditions there was not very much exaggerated.

  6. allan

    “Timothy Geithner is preparing to borrow from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to help fund his new career in private equity”

    So, the ability to use consumer tax software correctly is not a requirement for getting a multi-million dollar loan?
    And apparently those nasty, onerous Dodd-Frank regulations haven’t killed off bank lending.

        1. perpetualWAR

          Funny you say this: I just went to my local building permit dept to obtain a permit for the building of a guillotine on my front yard. Because I am an artist, they told me that they cannot regulate art. So, I am going to begin soon.

          Stay tuned.

          1. CraaaaazyChris

            They can’t regulate art any more. It was deregulated in a little noticed rider attached to the Motor Carrier Act, signed by Carter in 1980. (I haven’t researched the regulations much, but pretty sure the CIA was on the wrong side of them with their weaponized modern art program.) There’s no accounting for taste either, but I think it’s always been that way.

          2. ambrit

            Please implore any deities you may revere to forgive me, but, I find the Sirens call of an obvious and outrageous pun irresistible. That project will cement your status as a “cutting edge” artist. (Don’t forget to build in a locking mechanism, with the blade down, for safeties sake.)

    1. alex morfesis

      Little tiny timmy g sat there and watched half of wall street disappear when he was running the new york fed and fumbled the economy when he was treasure chest custodian in dc…and now he wants to run his own little choo choo train…man this sounds like the worlds easiest short…just follow him around and bet against him…

      1. ambrit

        Watch out now. Since Timmy will probably have a position of “influence” in a Hillary Regime, I expect him to have a wondrous run of “luck” in commodities from now to the election.

  7. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for the link to the article from Japan Times in opposition to the TPP. And thank you for keeping this damaging agreement and its European sibling TTIP and TiSA agreements front and center, Lambert.

    Btw, the body of water in the photo shown in today’s links is not a river, but Puget Sound. And the park is a lovely place.

    1. Lois

      I was just going to say the same thing! Such an amazing body of water, love looking at it and I’ve lived near it almost 40 years.

  8. jrs

    “In the second, you have had the foresight to live humbly and direct the bulk of your income into a personal savings account (the “fuck off fund”). You are rewarded with the freedom to walk away.”

    well maybe you do but unless you are independently wealthy it’s hard to walk away unless you can actually GET another job. And jobs are so easy to get in this economy. Yea right … And being unemployed looks really nice on the resume … not. Your parents warned you about quitting without having something else lined up, right? They weren’t wrong, but it is true some situations are intolerable enough to leave without something lined up.

    “You know what to do. You’re just shocked to find you’re not doing it. You are not telling him to fuck off. You are not storming out”

    well no, that’s not what all the sexual harassment training videos say to do. They say: go to a higher up (bosses boss), then go to HR, then then seek outside council etc.. They don’t tell you to say “f off” even if that seems immediately gratifying.

    “All you’re doing is math. You have $159 in the bank and your car payment and your maxed out credit cards and you’ll die before you ask your dad for a loan again and it all equals one thought: I need this job.”

    unless you are independently wealthy it’s ALWAYS RISKY to leave a job without a new job lined up. Sure you have an emergency fund, but end up employed for 6 months or longer at get pegged as “long term unemployed” and watch yourself become unhirable. Although it’s true you will be given the kind of second chances at 20 something that middle age people would beg for. But really if you do want to leave, your dad probably loves you deeply (unless he’s as creepy as your boss), you are young and your parents are still around and not too old, unless they too are broke, why not let your dad help you? Also your parents will probably let you live there for awhile (unless they are as creepy as the boss or as abusive as the boyfriend).

  9. Chris B

    Regarding the language made up for the expanse, it’s always interesting when conlanging (constructing languages, e.g. Esperanto, Klingon, Na’vi, …) gets in the news. It generally only happens when someone gets paid to do it for money, although there are plenty of people who do it either as a hobby in itself or for their own, generally not commercially successful, works of fiction.

    Given that the whole point is to construct means of communication, it’s ironically a very non-social hobby. It requires an awful lot of academic knowledge to do well, and an awful lot of time if you want a lexicon of any significant size, most of that time spent alone since collaborative efforts rarely work out.

    Most conlanging communities fail due to the difficulty of doing the activity together and the effort taken to even appreciate someone else’s work, and the ones which don’t fail tend to have a low signal to noise ratio. And since most people aren’t able or prepared to read hundreds of linguistic papers and books and spend thousands of hours alone on each language, turn-over tends to be extremely high. People get interested because of Tolkien or Star Trek, but they don’t stay interested when they realise that it’s one of those things that they’re going to have to do mostly on their own as its own reward.

    Then there’s the problem that even appreciating the result is hard for third parties, except at a very shallow level. If your hobby is football or knitting, the result of gaining the skills can be appreciated even by outsiders fairly easily… somehow it’s not quite the same when you hand someone a 300 page grammar you’ve written of a language that no-one in the real world speaks. You know when you create it that the chances of anyone else appreciating the level of thought that went into it are low.

    Actually, it probably has a lot in common with being outside the economic mainstream. It takes a lot of work to understand everything and have arguments for why current policy is so wrong, then 99.99% of the population either won’t be interested or won’t be capable of understanding what you’re going on about. And it probably doesn’t even make you happy, since nothing ever changes, but now you know exactly how stupid the status quo is!

    1. Plenue

      “It takes a lot of work to understand everything and have arguments for why current policy is so wrong.”

      Does it though? Because from my reading political economy is nowhere near as complex as the Serious Economists would want you to think. MMT is downright simple for example, a lot simpler than the muddled mess of an explanation that the orthodox accepts.

    2. ambrit

      I remember the game, “Empire of the Petal Throne” from TSR had Tsolyani in it. Like Tolkein, the deviser of the Tekumel world was an instructor in ancient languages at University. Klingon has become so ‘respectable’ that every year, Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is done on stage in Klingon as “Scrooge Has No Honour.”
      Imagination is humanities’ greatest strength.

  10. fresno dan


    As there were so many comments on the vaunted brain that knows all, AKA Krugman, in the links section today, here is a great take down of krugman’s all so serious all seeing eye of how Sanders cannot be elected.
    Dean Baker:
    We should be clear on the question being asked. If the issue is keeping the Republicans out of the White House, then the question is not whether Bernie Sanders could beat the Republican nominee. The question is how likely is it that Sanders could defeat Clinton for the nomination, and then lose a general election that Clinton would have won?

    In this respect, it is important to recognize how much the nomination process is stacked towards Clinton. It is not just a question of her having the vigorous support of a former Democratic president and largely controlling the Democratic National Committee. She is also likely to have the overwhelming support of the super-delegates (Democratic members of Congress, state office holders, and other prominent Democrats).

    The super-delegates are just under 15 percent of the total number of delegates. If Clinton wins this group by a margin of 80 percent to 20 percent (she has more than 95 percent of the super-delegates who have already made a commitment), then Sanders would have to capture more than 55 percent of the elected delegates to get the nomination.

    This means that Sanders could not get the nomination just by scraping by in the primaries; he would need a decisive victory. The question then is, if Clinton were to lose decisively in the primaries to a candidate who has all the weaknesses touted by the experts to whom Krugman referred us, how likely is it that she would have been able to win the general election if Sanders had not gotten in her way?

    The point is important, because if the argument is that Sanders can’t win an election that Clinton would not have won either, then we aren’t arguing over control of the White House, we are arguing over who gets to make the concession speech on November 8th. There is the issue that the margin would be smaller with a Clinton candidacy and this would help Democrats lower down on the ticket. This is an important issue worth considering, which is point.

    Baker actually engages his brain. If Krugman supports Hillary, that is his right – but the obnoxious attitude that you must be stupid to think that Sanders could win really shows a lack of objective, critical thinking and a POOR, UNINFORMED analysis.

    And it comes to strategy of the losing party. When the repubs lost, Mitch McConnell said
    the repubs would fight Obama on the beaches, would fight Obama on the landing grounds, would fight Obama in the fields and in the streets, would fight Obama in the hills; we shall never surrender. (apologies to Churchill – but McConnell straightforwardly pledged no cooperation with the new president)

    So, I would expect the same kind of speech from Sanders if he loses the election. No mister nice guy and no helping your enemy.

    What would Hillary say? I expect because the dems and the repubs are both controlled equally well by Goldman Sachs, that there will be some nonsense about cooperating for the good of the country, that once every 4 years the greatest nation on earth peacefully resolves its disagreements at the ballot box, yada, yada, yada….
    BALDERDASH! Any cooperation that occurs is for the good of Goldman Sachs.
    If the repubs saw no good reason for cooperation***, I see no good reason for dem cooperation – but that assumes we have a dem that doesn’t believe in the Goldman Sachs agenda to begin with.

    ***CAVEAT: of course, that is with the caveat that all the supposed disagreements between the parties is pure Kabuki theater for the sake of disguising that they all work for Wall street…so there is plenty of cooperation so that TPP can get passed.

    1. flora

      Great questions.
      Baker: “The question is how likely is it that Sanders could defeat Clinton for the nomination, and then lose a general election that Clinton would have won?”
      More questions.
      How likely is it that if Sanders wins the nomination the Third Way (Bourbon*) Dem establishment hopes he loses in the general to discredit his platform? How likely is it that if Hillary ( a modern Bourbon Dem*) wins the nomination the Dem base stays home and she loses, which the Dem establishment then uses to bash the the DFH to try and discredit Sanders’ platform? How likely is it that if she wins she ignores the Dem base demands for reform?
      Obama’s 2008 election; Occupy; Sanders’ campaign; how likely is it that the demand for reform will go away, no matter who is elected?
      I keep thinking of William Jennings Bryan (Dem) and Teddy Roosevelt (GOP). Bryan was hugely instrumental in the progressive movement on the Dem side, as was Roosevelt on the GOP side. The country was ready for progressive reforms. ‘An ideal whose time has come’, and all that.

      *see: ‘Bourbon Democrat’ on Wikipedia.

      1. flora

        adding: the fact that it was GOP Teddy Roosevelt who was positioned to take up good government reforms and Trust busting, particularly the railroad trusts crushing farmers, turned the Midwest into a GOP bastion for over a century.

    2. Cry Shop

      Yes, Bernie needs to win decisively, as in well over a 20% lead in delegates. Sanders needs lot more than 20% lead in party voters. That is thanks to the effects of districts on concentrating voters for outside candidates. Jill Stein provided a reminder that Hillary has a complete lock on super delegates which are 20% of the votes (as well as the party leadership which controls local party machines).

      Green Party Candidate Jill Stein on Bernie, Hillary & a “Green New Deal” (Interview w/ Cenk Uygur)

      Now Jill and the Greens are another example of what happens to even the best intended political parties when they become to too dependent on “professional” management. If she would just get it into her head that she’s run for president enough, then she should be looking to be a party elder and get some other new blood to run instead.

      1. ambrit

        You are making the mistaken assumption that the Greens have a coherent National Party apparatus. Several commenters here who have had hands on experience with the Greens have mentioned this lack. Mz. Stein serves a useful function as “Mover of Overtons’ Window.” Sanders’ campaign seems to be enjoying the fruits of the Greens, and Mz Steins’ labours. When in the last hundred years have we seen a serious candidate linked to the word Socialism? Today Sanders can get away with it.

    3. rusti

      I think either party using superdelegates to choose a favored insider who wouldn’t have won otherwise would be a kiss of death in election year 2016 when “Washington Insider” is a toxic label. Dan Carlin posited in a recent Common Sense podcast that they will hesitate to use this nuclear option because most Americans aren’t aware that it is within the power of the parties to do so.

  11. GlobalMisanthrope

    Somebody should ask Clinton if she’s seen The Big Short

    Somebody should ask Clinton if she’s seen The Titanic.

  12. Pavel

    Politico reports that Hill and Bill are unhappy and want to shake up their campaign team. This after precisely one caucus and on the eve of the NH primary.

    Hillary and Bill Clinton are so dissatisfied with their campaign’s messaging and digital operations they are considering staffing and strategy changes after what’s expected to be a loss in Tuesday’s primary here, according to a half-dozen people with direct knowledge of the situation.

    The Clintons — stung by her narrow victory in Iowa — had been planning to reassess staffing at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters after the first four primaries, but the Clintons have become increasingly caustic in their criticism of aides and demanded the reassessment sooner, a source told POLITICO.

    The talk of shake-up echoes what happened in 2008 – when Clinton was on the verge of sacking her campaign manager and several top communications officials – before her surprise win here bailed out her beleaguered staff. Over time, however she slowly layered over top officials, essentially hiring old hands – like Hillaryland stalwart Maggie Williams and pollster Geoff Garin – to run the campaign while the previous staff were quietly relegated to subsidiary positions.

    Clinton weighs staff shake-up after New Hampshire

    God forbid that it might, er, be a problem with the candidate?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Axelrod noted the problems might be the candidates today. I’m pretty certain Axelrod hates Clinton Inc.

  13. Vatch

    “Christie Signs Bill Privatizing New Jersey’s Water Supply”

    Let’s see, which New Jersey city will become the new Flint? Camden, perhaps? They have a very low average income, which should qualify them as lead ingesters.

    The photograph of Christie in the article is a gem. He looks like the subject of a Thomas Nast cartoon.

  14. Legendary Bigfoot

    Golden Gardens Park is north of Shilshole Marina on Puget Sound; across the water is Bainbridge Island and the passage to the Navy’s Puget Sound Base complex. To the south is the Chittenden Locks past Salmon Bay, or if one follows the coast Seattle’s Elliott Bay.

  15. ekstase

    “The strange death of British satire” article is fascinating. That sort of faux satire, smirking at all things equally, is very toxic, and not limited to the English. And the explanation of its roots in seven year olds’ boarding school humiliation, or the imitation of that behavior by other adults, just scathing. It would seem that real satire is still pretty threatening to the powers that be.

    1. Uahsenaa

      When I was a teenager, I loved Monty Python, Fry and Laurie, etc. As I grew older, I found them, with some exceptions, to be rather grating, though I remain a huge Terry Gilliam fan, which makes sense, as he was the only American Python. A few years ago, a friend suggested watching Little Britain, based on my ancient love of “British satire,” and I found the whole thing to be absolutely repugnant–an excuse to make fun of people whose lives are, at best, difficult and who make many bad life choices as a result.

      I realized it’s just like the kind of mockery you see in Japan, where the point is to get people to conform to “acceptable standards,” not point to the underlying absurdities of our lives and have a good laugh at ourselves.

      As stuffy as it may sound, I’d take Moliere or Aristophanes any day over that bilge.

      1. windsock

        “Little Britain” was repulsive. I could never understand its popularity, nor the motivation behind “liberal” Walliams and Lucas in making it. The worst thing about it was that Tory politicians did not think of it as satire – they seemed to treat it as documentary. Hence I avoid Walliams’ and Lucas’ work now at all cost.

        And I might be over-thinking things here – I think the most subversive entertainment I have seen in a long time was the Lego movie.

  16. Pavel

    Wow, I just noticed there are 2600+ comments on the NYT piece about Bill Clinton attacking Sanders.

    Team Clinton is getting absolutely slammed in the comments. As at least one commenter suggested, maybe Bill strayed off message. In any case this is really going to blow up in their faces. Here is one sample comment:

    This is a very poor call by President Clinton. Bernie Sanders is clearly a decent man and has been consistent in voicing his political stances over decades. To describe him as a hypocrite is utterly false and will not stick. At least not to Sanders.

    My sense is that this move will backfire horribly on Hillary’s campaign. This is just the kind of personal assault Sanders has studiously avoided engaging in; indeed, he has refused to go there when reporters have tried to lure him into doing it.

    And it’s not as if the Clintons lack fuel for such personal attacks. “Hypocrisy” comes readily to mind when thinking of the Clinton presidency, allegedly a Democratic one which “triangulated” itself right into Republican territory. The charge also rings true when thinking about Hillary posing publicly as a watchdog of Wall Street, even as she accepted vast sums of money for private speeches to Wall Street oligarchs — and she won’t release the texts of those speeches.

    This is a poor call by the Clinton campaign. It raises questions of judgment that directly pertain to her suitability for the Oval Office.

    But above all else it smacks of desperation, like the terror-baiting “Who will you call?” ads in 2008, which were taken straight from the Republican playbook. It was at that point that I threw my hat into the Obama camp. I wonder how many will now join Sanders because of this ill-thought-out savaging?

    Comment by Gfagan

    For what it’s worth, that comment has 833 recommendations.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Mark Penn is back with Team Clinton. Without Mark Penn in 2008, we would be discussing an Obama candidacy for President as a successor to Hillary. Big Dog and Hill Dog (these are their fundraising nicknames) love Mark Penn despite he even more than the Clintons themselves cost them the election. I’m just shocked Penn was brought back. Needless to say, the utter nastiness of the last week is all Mark Penn.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Concerning the last bit of the quoted comment, the flip side is how many people is this a bridge too far from Hillary. GOTV is probably dead in the general with Hillary. How many votes has she permanently lost?

    3. cm

      Surprise, surprise. I saw the comments about 7 hours ago, but strangely enough, now (at least for me) they aren’t visible. Seems lately (since December) comments on the NY Times are very “fluid.”

      1. trinity river

        I had the same thing happen. I wasn’t sure what happened but I got the comments back later just by clicking into the site several ways over a period of 15 minutes. Weird.

        I clicked on the NYT selected comments and some comments were listed more than once. Just plain strange.

        Any logical reasons why this happened?

    4. Jeff W

      I just looked through almost all of the 2297 “Reader’s Picks” and, quite literally, there were about two or three that were favorable to either Bill or Hillary Clinton, even among self-professed Clinton supporters, or negative toward Sanders.

      One word that recurred several times was “desperate.”

      More than one commenter expressed sentiments similar to this one: “Thank you, Bill. Now I know where my vote will go, and it will not be for Mrs. Clinton” by Sang Ze of Cape Cod (with 643 recommends).

    5. MikeNY

      My sense is that this move will backfire horribly on Hillary’s campaign.

      From those lips to God’s ears.

  17. Jay

    RE: “A Story of a F*ck Off Fund”, I think this nails the reason young people and young women are flocking to the Sanders campaign. To a young person, it doesn’t matter if there’s a woman in the oval office if you’re stuck doing temp jobs for minimum wage, up to your ears in debt, and lack the financial independence to give a bad boyfriend the boot. Voting for Barack Obama was supposed to fix that, right? Wrong. Money talks, bullshit walks, and what Sanders proposes is kitchen-table politics in the form of a $15 minimum wage, accessible health care (not insurance), and taking it to the man. Not the ephemeral, wishy washy self-defeating political base-eroding bullshit that Obama has been peddling to no effect for eight years, and now Clinton is calling “experience.”

    1. Steven D.

      Obama’s model was Booker T. Washington, not WEB DuBois. For Obama it should be enough for black people, and everyone else for that matter, just to see him in the White House, even though they’re arguably worse off than they were before. To make it even better, he’s all cool and hip hop. Why would anyone not be more than satisfied that he’s a great leader? DuBois’ model was to build and seize power. That’s way too icky for no drama Obama and totally not centrist, realist and public-private.

      1. alex morfesis

        Which web dubious did you read about ?? Capricious sob who only mellowed up when he got super old…the twin sisters who were dentists in harlem…web dubious made sure they set up shop on the second floor picture window of the building that was marcus garveys office…and made a big deal of having people see him getting dental work where garvey used to sit…booker tee did his best ike…not political ??? To the klown that be go the history books…web dubious led from the rear…

        As for oh barry chaney obama…let us not forget he is not american black…so its none of the above…he has no ties to the black american history of being oppressed…none…

  18. Chris Geary

    RE: Sanders Foreign Policy:

    I think Tulsi Gabbard would be excellent. She’s come out very strongly against the current strategy in the Syria debacle Kerry & Co. are leading on. I don’t know much else but based on that I think she probably has a less mainstream FP which is a lot.

  19. flora

    ” “[Sanders is] an egalitarian liberal,: Ferenstein explains, “these people are tech liberals libertarians. Equality is a nonissue in Silicon Valley.” ” Fixed it.

    1. aliteralmind

      Eeeeeeverybody’s a libertarian when they know they happen to be on the side that won’t suffer.

    2. PQS

      Got your equality riiiiight here: how many homeless people in Silicon Valley, again? 3000? 5000? More?

      Those people aren’t liberal anything, unless it’s with spoiling themselves.

      1. jrs

        Probably not anymore than in the other big California cities. 54,000 people in Los Angeles city and county are homeless. So if SF only has that many it’s indeed a tiny number, but granted it doesn’t have L.A. county’s total population. No Silicon Beach is not big enough to account for that, laughable.

        1. polecat

          Re Silicon Valley, I’d like to see them soiling themselves! With the way the markets are trending, that just might happen !!

  20. giantsquid

    Re “Drought is still ‘very serious’ in California, despite near record snow”

    This article contains some egregious errors. We haven’t had record rainfall in California this year. In fact, Southern California has had below average precipitation. And California snowpack is only 105% of normal, not 130% as the author suggests.


    Finally, forecasters indicate that Los Angeles will have no precipitation over the next 2 weeks, which is very odd indeed for an El Nino February. Considering nearly 30% of California’s total precipitation has come during El Nino winters in the past, I’d say conditions are trending toward ominous.

    The good news: I expect that xeriscaping, which was somewhat popular in my neighborhood last spring, will become quite fashionable this year.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Yes, it seems ominous.

      Let them drink potable water, not wine, unless apres 2 weeks, le deluge.

  21. timbers

    The Twilight Zone were each episode repeats itself every 8 years:

    “Clinton weighs staff shake-up after New Hampshire”

    “The Clintons are not happy, and have been letting all of us know that,’ one Democrat says.

    “Hillary and Bill Clinton are so dissatisfied with their campaign’s messaging and digital operations they are considering staffing and strategy changes after what’s expected to be a loss in Tuesday’s primary here, according to a half-dozen people with direct knowledge of the situation.
    The Clintons — stung by her narrow victory in Iowa — had been planning to reassess staffing at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters after the first four primaries, but the Clintons have become increasingly caustic in their criticism of aides and demanded the reassessment sooner, a source told POLITICO.”


    Bill thinks it’s about “digital operations” and Goldman Sachs and “there will never ever be” affordable universal healthcare has nothing to do with it because the stupid young chics listen to their bros.

  22. Daryl

    > Stop digging, Robinson. Single payer isn’t a “sunny ideal.” It’s been implemented with great success in other countries.

    It’s a really amazing line of reasoning, isn’t it. Like if every country other than America had running water, then mainstream political thought in this country would say “stop being such an idealist; burying your shit in the backyard is the only workable solution!”

    1. Jeff W

      My thoughts exactly. It’s so crazily parochial and defeatist.

      The other thing is—if single payer (or any other idea put forward by Sanders which is followed by advanced countries around the world) is a “sunny ideal” because, no matter how meritorious or popular the idea, the forces arrayed against it are too powerful to even imagine prevailing—well, we’re in way deeper trouble than we think.

      Sanders: “Let us wage a moral and political war against the billionaires and corporate leaders, on Wall Street and elsewhere, whose policies and greed are destroying the middle class of America.”

      “Sunny ideal” response: We can’t do that! Billionaires and corporate leaders run the place.

    2. RUKidding

      Although my hiking groups studiously tend to avoid talking politics, somehow the issue about health insurance/health care, etc, came up yesterday. Two very loudly avowed Republicans really couldn’t come up with any reasons at all – whether good, bad, or indifferent, as to why we couldn’t implement something akin to Universal Health Care or single payer. I’ve been noticing this recently.

      Some people still clap and cheer for ObamaCare, but I’m noticing more people not ranting and tirading about the horrible awful terrible health care systems in Canada and Europe anymore and how it would be simply impossible to implement such a system here.

      Not that our 1% Masters will ever want to implement such a travesty as Single Payer… wherever would all the Doctors, Hospitals, Insurance CEOs, BigPharma CEOs, etc, be able to gouge the rubes for all we’re worth?? What will the Martin Skrelis (sp?) of this world find to rip off people with?? The horror… the horror.

    3. TedWa

      Besides the TBTF banks, the main street media is a monopoly that needs to be broken up – Sanders.

  23. allan

    Charles Lane, currently one of Fred Hiatt’s `even the liberal’ columnists at WaPo,
    but probably best known as Stephen Glass’ clueless editor at Even The Liberal New Republic,
    goes full-blooded red-baiting on Sanders this afternoon via Twitter (you can find it @ChuckLane1):

    In early 60s, income inequality touched historic low in US, Sanders joined Trotskyist Young People’s Socialist League

    Bernie Sanders was a Trotskyist presidential elector far more recently than HRC was a Goldwater Girl.

    Trotskyists, anti-Stalinist, became anti-Soviet, hence many 70s neo-cons had Trotskyist roots. The Bern, interestingly evolved in a kind of anti-anti-Soviet direction after his early Trotskyism, judging by USSR honeymoon, Nicaragua affinity

    Team Hillary is a class act.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Top secret plan is to drag the party down in case of downfall.

      “The Party has failed me.”

    2. flora

      This is funny. Does Lane think this antique argument has traction with most voters now that Red China is one of our biggest business partners ?

      1. Daryl

        Perhaps we can brainstorm some even more antiquated political slander for them. Bernie Sanders doesn’t believe in the divine right of kings!

      2. Paul Tioxon

        CHIcoms, not Red China! There is only one China and its commie! You won’t be laughing so hard when the ChiCom Tofu Cartels are the only source of protein we can afford!!

    3. Darthbobber

      But did he sit on any boards with William Ayers? Obsessives about the irrelevant want to know.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      You don’t need a climate researcher to know which way the globe warms, I mean, ya look outside the window and ya see the weather, that’s what we got here, WEATHER, am I right or am I right?

  24. d

    The deindustrialization of America…

    Detroit currently ranks as the poorest major city in the United States.

    “Detroit is the paradigmatic zombie city.” – Dora Apel, Beautiful Terrible Ruins: Detroit and the Anxiety of Decline

    Capitalism’s sacrifice zones – the ruins of Flint, Detroit, Gary, St Louis, Baltimore, Camden, etc. – places that capitalism left behind, are America’s ruins. The victims are too often blamed and shamed rather than the corporate and bureaucratic perpetrators.

    What do our responses to theses ruins say about us?

    “My world, my Earth is a ruin. A planet spoiled by the human species. We multiplied and fought and gobbled until there was nothing left, and then we died. We controlled neither appetite nor violence; we did not adapt. We destroyed ourselves. But we destroyed the world first.” – Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

    A 2014 report by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center said that all societal collapses over the past 5,000 years have involved both “the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity” and “the economic stratification of society” into elites and the masses. Historical collapses were allowed to occur by elites who appeared to be oblivious to the catastrophic trajectory. “The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent.”

    Yes! Sanders really needs to get on this.

  25. craazyboy

    The Fed: “Over the next two weeks, we will publish ten blog posts that illuminate how market liquidity has evolved since the financial crisis” [Liberty Street].

    The Fed: “Over the next two weeks, we will publish ten blog posts that illuminate how market liquidation has evolved since the financial crisis” [Liberty Street].

    There. Fixed it for ’em. bwahahahahaha

  26. PQS

    Bill – this IS a cartoon. The American People are the coyote. You and your rich bankster friends are the roadrunner. Complete with cheap Acme goods and utter indifference about the pain being inflicted.

  27. cm

    Reddit has an “Ask Me Anything” post by Bert Koenders, minister of foreign and European affairs of the Netherlands who states: “We currently hold the presidency of the EU. As president, we want a European Union that focuses –among other things- on innovation and transparency. I’ve always felt that innovation has a big role to play in achieving that. We’ve launched an App Competition on EU-transparency and will host the first-ever European TransparencyCamp in Amsterdam in June.”
    Hilariously, he dodges any questions on the TPP and Dutch arms shipments to questionable countries, instead focusing on his junk food preferences.

  28. Jagger

    Brain surgery where patients are kept chatting


    Wilder Penfield did a lot of this work back in the 40s. He was a neurosurgeon working with patients with severe epilepsy. His brain operations on conscious patients allowed him to map out how the brain interacts with the body and the mind by stimulating the conscious brain. He discovered that electrical stimulation of the brain primarily produced either vivid memories, involuntary body movements or paralysis of certain functions. He also discovered the on-off switch between the brain and the mind located in the upper brain stem-(NC had a related article on the on-off switch a couple weeks back.) What he hoped to find, but failed to achieve, was a brain manipulation which would allow the introduction of an original thought or belief into the mind/consciousness.

    Even though he was able to introduce memories into the mind, the mind contained two separate streams of consciousness with one as the memory and the second as the clear concise mind awareness and evaluation of the memory.

    The on-off nature of the mind is puzzling if the brain produces the mind. If so, then brain stimulation should produce original thoughts and beliefs or mind action. Instead Penfield’s brain manipulations would only switch the brain on or off. His conditional conclusion was the brain and the mind/consciousness are two semi-independent entities. The mind influences the brain and the brain influences the mind but both are independent and linked entities. He does not believe the brain alone is capable of performing the actions of the mind.

    He was nominated for a nobel prize for his discovery of the body-mind link in the upper brain stem but didn’t win. If interested, his book on his work is “The Mystery of the Mind”.

    1. Jagger

      If so, then brain stimulation should produce original thoughts and beliefs or mind action. Instead Penfield’s brain manipulations would only switch the brain on or off.

      PS: He was able to introduce memories and sensations to the mind but these are stored and activated within the brain rather than original experiences. Also the introduced memories/sensations were evaluated by a separate stream of independent awareness/consciousness of the active mind.

  29. john kissinger


    Hill must have started the negotiation with Goldie suxbucks at no less than her 300k minimum she charges to Univ… so maybe they did offer 225k each and she accepted the quantity discount.
    So somebody should ask what she originally asked to speak at Goldie? Maybe next debate?

    What she said… must have been something like,
    ‘I know you guys are critically important to our economy, and that some like Warren think we can do without you. But I know better, and I’ve got your back. There is no need for over-zealous regulators that don’t know how our economy really works, or how tough it is to compete on the global stage, and how we need a little bit of flexibility in interpreting some of those very complicated regulations. You will be safe to continue your good works so long as I’m president. Lloyd has been so nice to introduce me, I hope I can count on the rest of you for your support.’
    After all, at that point she would have been thinking she had to promise at least as much as Jeb! simply to be competitive.

  30. Darthbobber

    The article on Chris Christie signing a bill to privatize the state’s water supply manages to make do with mentioning only Christie himself and a single Republican from Monmouth County among the politicians.

    Given that the composition of the NJ Assembly is 52D-28R, and that of the Senate 24D-16R, they choose to just leave it a mystery how this bill came to be on Christie’s desk. The names of all the Democrats affiliated with the Norcross machine would be a useful place to start.

  31. Darthbobber

    Featured piece on Daily Kos today, puffery for the Hillary tax surcharge on what you make above $5 million. (I assume this is because those just knocking down from 1 to 5 mil are part of that “middle class” we can’t raise taxes on for any reason whatsoever.) Note how they portray the fact that the Clintons actually seem to pay their taxes as being heroism above and beyond the call of duty, and how if you hold your head just so and squint just right, taking kazillions in fees and paying your taxes can be seen as almost identical to taking money from all the bad actors and “giving” it to the government, which is sort of treated as a worthy charity to which one donates. Comments are equally amusing.


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