By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Readers, I haven’t included any April Fools’ joke in today’s Water Cooler — honest! — because I don’t much like practical jokes, but if you feel differently, make up your own jokes!
“The rise in public awareness of the dangers of corporate sovereignty provisions in agreements like TPP and TAFTA/TTIP has brought with it a collateral benefit: academics are starting to explore its effects in greater depth” [TechDirt]. From a new paper from Krzysztof J. Pelc, who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, at McGill University in Canada (PDF):
Firms are litigating more and more, and they are winning less and less. To wit, investors win less than 10% of the indirect expropriation claims they bring against democratic countries. The design of the regime, which allows private standing [whereby private firms or individuals can themselves decide to bring a lawsuit against governments], has contributed to such frivolity: compared with analogous regimes like international trade, it features little of the restraint that exists in dispute settlement between sovereign states.
Frivolous ISDS lawsuits!
And then there’s this:
Every major internet company is endorsing TPP (aka f2cking users rights)https://t.co/iPO44qd40P #Rightscon pic.twitter.com/O0ywisUSZa
— Andrés Delgado (@AndresDelgadoEC) March 31, 2016
“President Obama’s attempt to diminish the serial crimes that Wall Street continues to inflict upon the public and to bury his head in the sand over the gaping holes Dodd-Frank has left unattended, is an insult to the Office of the President” [Wall Street on Parade]. “Given the fact that the President has a Harvard Law degree, it’s difficult to pass this off as ignorance. One might be forgiven for suspecting that the President is attempting to polish his legacy in his last year in office while simply refusing to allow the facts on the ground to get in his way.”
“Sachs: Clinton lead agent of every war we’re in” (video) [MSNBC].
“We’re going to war — either hybrid in nature to break the Russian state back to its 1990s subordination, or a hot war (which will destroy our country). Our citizens should know this, but they don’t because our media is dumbed down in its “Pravda”-like support for our “respectable,” highly aggressive government. We are being led, as C. Wright Mills said in the 1950s, by a government full of “crackpot realists: in the name of realism they’ve constructed a paranoid reality all their own.” Our media has credited Hillary Clinton with wonderful foreign policy experience, unlike Trump, without really noting the results of her power-mongering” [Oliver Stone, HuffPo]. “Hillary’s record includes supporting the barbaric “contras” against the Nicaraguan people in the 1980s, supporting the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia, supporting the ongoing Bush-Iraq War, the ongoing Afghan mess, and as Secretary of State the destruction of the secular state of Libya, the military coup in Honduras, and the present attempt at “regime change” in Syria. Every one of these situations has resulted in more extremism, more chaos in the world, and more danger to our country. Next will be the borders of Russia, China, and Iran.”
“Overall, in fact, the issue of electability is less important than any other issue offered to GOP voters. Specifically, exit pollsters ask voters which of four candidate qualities mattered most in deciding how they voted: can win in November, shares my values, tells it like it is and can bring needed change. The issue of electability has consistently been the least important of the four issues offered” [Cook Political Report]. “However, among voters who value a candidate who “tells it like it is” (about 18 percent of GOP voters) and those who prioritize a candidate who can “bring change” (about one-third of GOP voters), Trump dominates. No one else comes close. In other words, about half of the GOP electorate values shaking up the system more than sticking with the system.”
“Americans lost so much in 2008 — jobs and homes, incomes and wealth — that the recession still dominates the public mood three elections later” [Bloomberg]. “They lost something else too, something less talked-about on the campaign trail: a credit lifeline. For households before the crash, borrowing made good times better and hard times bearable. It held out the promise of a step up, even for the millions of working-class Americans whose wages had stalled. Paying down debt after 2008 had the exact opposite effect, amplifying the hurt and anger — and sapping the recovery.”
“Fossil Fuel Investors Are Pumping Millions of Dollars Into Hillary Clinton’s Campaign” [Vice]. “Approximately one in every 15 dollars given to Priorities USA Action, which took in $50.5 million in contributions last year, came from donors linked to oil and natural gas interests, according to data compiled by Greenpeace.”
“Sanders is slowly gaining on Clinton in New York ahead of the April 19 primary. Clinton now leads Sanders by 12 points in New York’s Democratic primary, according to a Quinnipiac Poll released Thursday. A poll in February showed Sanders 21 points behind Clinton in New York, and another in March showed him 48 points behind” [Mother Jones]. Will Clinton blow another lead?
“[The Sanders] campaign strategy for New York is to focus intensely on how his upbringing in the city and his family’s financial challenges helped shape him into a candidate intent on reforming Wall Street and addressing income inequality. He will also use his personal narrative — told through statewide advertising buys and back-to-back campaign events — to try to persuade voters that his time in the state makes him a better choice than his rival, Hillary Clinton, who is highlighting her years in the United States Senate representing New York” [New York Times].
“On Thursday night, the democratic socialist drew 18,500 raucous supporters to St. Mary’s Park in the South Bronx. Although the senator’s campaign has often been portrayed as the whitest thing since sliced Wonder Bread, the crowd in Mott Haven was a rainbow coalition: Among the Caucasian Sandersistas were significant numbers of African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, and even a smattering of Hasidic Jews. BernieBros and BernieBroads were out in roughly equal numbers. The only demographic that went underrepresented was “people who were alive when Ronald Reagan was in office” [New York Magazine]. “‘We have to talk to our parents, because the older generation — they on this Clinton thing,’ Lee said.” I remember in 2008 that some (voting age) children persuaded their parents to vote for Obama. Is that not happening this time, or is there some generational math I’m not doing correctly?
New York Debate: “in the runup to New Hampshire, with Sanders well ahead, Clinton’s people desperately sought an extra debate. Sanders agreed — in exchange for her promise to do three more, one of them in April. Will she renege?” [New York Post].
New York Debate: “Used to being treated as a cash machine for candidates, this year the Empire State presidential primary is competitive for both parties. New Yorkers deserve the chance to see the contenders duke it out” [New York Daily News]. I do think a Sanders pitch like, although less crude than, “Thanks to me, your primary vote counts this year” might work in both New York and California.
New York Debate: “‘There are private conversations happening, so there will likely be an announcement in the next few days about a new debate,’ a Clinton campaign senior adviser said Wednesday. Chief Sanders strategist Tad Devine confirmed that discussions are taking place between the rival camps” [Politico]. No dates yet…. Sanders could debate an empty chair, like Ursula Rozum did. Although that might be grandstanding, or call forth Clint Eastwood comparisons.
New York Debate: “[T]he Clinton campaign’s response to Sanders’ demand for an additional debate in New York was erratic and deeply weird” [HuffPo]. How Benenson muffed it on “tone.” And: “The Clinton campaign team strangely treats the actual process of campaigning as an unnecessary hardship that’s been somehow foisted upon them unfairly.” Exactly. They’d rather just fundraise. You meet a nicer class of people that way.
“‘I’m trying to live out my values,” [Deblasio] explained of his Clinton endorsement. ‘I have a long history with Hillary and a real belief that she’s put forward a real vision. I very consistently note Bernie has made tremendous contributions. What he’s doing is very helpful for this country and for the party'” [Politico]. The famously vengeful Clintons will remember the tepid quality of this endorsement. And then there’s this: “The mayor also hinted that his famous children, Dante and Chiara, who played major roles in his 2013 mayoral race and starred in campaign commercials for him, may be feeling the Bern. ‘We scrupulously don’t speak for Dante and Chiara,’ he said. ‘If they have anything to say, they’ll say it.'”
“Clinton: ‘I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me'” [Politico]. “A frustrated Hillary Clinton forcefully said she was “so sick” of Bernie Sanders’ campaign alleging she accepts donations from the fossil fuel industry.” Clinton may actually believe what she’s saying, and her bubble will support her, but she’s parsing.
According to a fact check, it is true that Clinton’s campaign hasn’t accepted donations directly from the industry — doing so would violate campaign law — and she hadn’t gotten contributions from PACs affiliated with the industry, either. But she has received more than $330,000 from oil and gas industry employees.
The Clinton campaign laundered a lot of the money through a PAC (“Greenpeace has found $3,250,000 in donations from large donors connected to the fossil fuel industry to Priorities Action USA, a Super PAC supporting Secretary Clinton’s campaign”; and oddly, Greg Sargent’s soft piece doesn’t consider that the idea that money from individual donors might have been bundled) but “all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.” More interestingly, the Sanders campaign seems to have gotten inside Clinton’s head; Clinton’s intemperate reaction to a random rally attendee is not a good look. The incident also demonstrates that Clinton simply does not do well on the campaign trail without a script; we might remember her graceless and insulting “Back to the issues,” when a #BlackLivesMatter protester confronted her in South Carolina. Finally, Clinton’s implicitly writing off both Sanders and Sanders voters; she doesn’t want them in the general. I mean, they’re liars; she said it. So why would she?
“Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton a real run for the nomination” [Eugene Robinson, WaPo].
He continues to draw big, enthusiastic crowds, and raises money so easily — basically, just by mentioning his campaign website — that he can afford to stay in the race all the way to the convention.
And why wouldn’t he? Calls for Sanders to drop out, at this point, strike me as premature and probably counterproductive. He embodies the views and aspirations of millions of Democrats — including many in large states that are yet to vote, such as New York, Pennsylvania and California. What purpose would be served by denying so many people the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice?
Just think: If the “firewall” had been in states that Democrats could actually win in the general, Sanders might well be the frontrunner. Odd. (Sadly, the Robinson column ends with a plea — really, a demand — for Sanders to play sheepdog for the Democratic establishment. Why would he?
“‘Some of his ideas for how to get here won’t pass, other just won’t work, because the numbers just don’t add up and that means people won’t get the help that they need and deserve,” Clinton said to applause from the audience at the Apollo Theater” [CNN]. Amazing, or not, to see the Black Misleadership Class helping Clinton manage expectations down. Apparently, the only aspiration a Democrat should have is walking around money from the local apparatchik. Good to know.
“Bill Clinton pointed to his support of Barack Obama in 2008 in defending the decision not to recuse himself as a superdelegate in the Democratic nominating process” [New York Daily News]. Last I heard, Bill Clinton wasn’t married to Barack Obama. Did I not get the memo? More seriously, Bill Clinton doesn’t seem to understand what “conflict of interest” means. Unsurprisingly.
“D.C. Democratic Party Chairman Anita Bonds said there’s time to correct the mix-up and that Sanders’ name will appear on the ballot for the June 14 primary” [AP]. It had better.
“Donald Trump is about to blow up the California primary. Here’s how” [Los Angeles Times].
“Appearing on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Thursday evening, Rove said a ‘fresh face’ chosen at the convention might turn the GOP’s fortunes around and win in November” [Washington Examiner]. Rove didn’t name names, but presumably Romney’s passed his sell-by date. Ditto Ryan (and what was with his temporary beard, anyhow? Gravitas?)
“Top Black Staffers Leave The Republican National Committee” [HuffPo]. They should go to work for Clinton; I’m sure they’d be quite comfortable there.
Employment Situation, March 2016: “The labor market is growing with nonfarm payrolls up a higher-than-expected 215,000 in March and with the labor participation rate rising 1 tenth to 63.0 percent. The gain in participation, reflecting new job seekers coming into the market, is pulling the unemployment rate higher, up 1 tenth in March to 5.0 percent in what is the result of strength, not weakness, for employment” [Econoday]. But: “This month’s data is not quite as good as it seems as last months gains were revised downward” [Econintersect]. Since the press seems to be especially triumphalist on this, consider this chart, from the same article:
Econintersect goes on to say: “However, keep in mind that population growth is different for each group. Here is a look at employment to population ratios which clearly shows NO group has recovered from the Great Recession.” Nobody I know has been made whole for the Crash. When that happens, cue the happy talk.
Employment Situation: “The employment growth in March was largely in retail (47,700 jobs), construction (37,000), health care (36,800), and restaurants (24,800). Retail has added more than 180,000 jobs over the last three months. This is an extraordinary pace that is unlikely to continue. Construction growth also has been unusually rapid the last six months, rising at 37,000 per month. Health care employment growth sped up sharply in 2015 to almost 40,000 a month, from less than 25,000 a month in 2014. That pace appears to be continuing into 2016” [Dean Baker, CEPR].
Corruption: “Oil company Unaoil and the homes of its bosses have been raided by authorities in Monaco as part of a UK-led corruption investigation involving several multinational oil businesses” [Splash247]. Surely it’s a more than little remarkable that a shipping vertical writes up the Unaoil story — they didn’t just pull something off the wires — but (as of 12:45PM, April 1) the Financial Times, “a global 24 hr multichannel news organisation,” has not. From the FT’s About page: “With a team of almost 600 editorial staff in more than 40 countries, [the FT] continues to be one of the world’s leading news organizations, recognised for its integrity and independence.” Time to revise? To be fair, I admire many of the FT’s writers greatly. But something’s not right here; “’24 hr” means “24 hr.” Where’s the coverage? The same mysterious silence is true for the Wall Street Journal. Although a scandal of equivalent scope (1MDB) is front-paged, there’s nothing on Unaoil.
Shipping: “The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) today advanced by 21 points to 450, the biggest daily increase posted since September 17, 2015” [Splash247]. “Big increases were also seen in the Baltic indices for panamax and capesize bulk carriers, while the handysize and supramax markets stayed static. The period market also saw a brace of panamax fixtures.”
“Advanced Economies Must Still Make Things” [IEEE]. “[M]anufacturing is still important for the health of a country’s economy, because no other sector can generate nearly as many well-paying jobs.” Which, when you think about it, is rather the Achilles heel of capitalism; it’s not, after all, about creating jobs, but capital. I mean, duh.
PMI Manufacturing Index, March 2016: “Growth in Markit Economics’ U.S. manufacturing sample is marginal,” “up only slightly from February” [Econoday]. “Yet for now, the manufacturing sector is just dragging along, evident in durable goods data and also this morning’s data on factory hours.”
ISM Mfg Index, March 2016: “A big surge in ISM new orders is certain to shake up what has been a very downbeat outlook for the manufacturing sector” [Econoday]. “But it’s the new orders index, getting a boost from exports, that steals the show, surging nearly 7 points. ISM’s new orders index, which is widely watched and is actually a component of the index of leading economic indicators, fits in with what may be emerging talk of a June rate hike.” That, and we have to claw back any wage increases. And: “New orders have direct economic consequences. Expanding new orders is a relatively reliable sign a recession is NOT imminent. However, New Orders contraction have given false recession warnings twice since 2000. This month new orders remained unchanged but is sightly in expansion” [Econintersect].
Consumer Sentiment, March 2016: “There’s plenty of complaints about low wages and plenty of confusion surrounding the presidential campaign but they’re not dragging down consumer spirits” [Econoday]. “Personal spending posted on Monday was a big disappointment, pointing to slow growth for the consumer sector during the first quarter. But this report, together with Tuesday’s consumer confidence report, do hint at a bounce back.” And: “So the latest sentiment number puts us 21.7 points above the average recession mindset and 3.4 points above the non-recession average” [Econintersect].
Construction Spending, February 2016: “A 0.5 percent decline for February masks what is otherwise a very solid construction spending report that includes upward revisions and gains for the residential component” [Econoday]. “It’s the non-residential component that dragged February’s totals lower, down 1.3 percent with weakness in the manufacturing, educational, and highway & street subcomponents.” Infrastructure spending down. Madness!
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 74, Greed (previous close: 73, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 66 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Apr 1 at 1:10pm.
Dear Old Blighty
“In the battle to win over U.K. voters ahead of June’s referendum on the European Union, the rival “in” and “out” campaigns have been tapping up businesses and wealthy individuals for cash. Just how much, may never be known” [Bloomberg].
“Tax-avoidance Gibraltar firm behind anti-EU campaign group” [Guardian].
Imperial Collapse Watch
“There are only 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq—about what a colonel usually commands. But for this ISIS war, as many as 21 generals have been deployed. Why?” [Daily Beast].
“George Mason law school to be renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law” [WaPo].
“One of the reasons that Ken Griffin’s net worth has more than doubled from $3.7 billion in 2008 to today’s $7.6 billion, is that he pays taxes on his hedge fund winnings at a tax rate lower than that paid by plumbers and nurses. The tax dodge is respectably called “carried interest'” [Wall Street on Parade].
“If we allow companies to increasingly push employees into part-time status, we have to strengthen our nation’s public social safety net correspondingly to replace the things that are being lost with the loss of full-time employment. That means a strong public health care system, a strong Social Security system, and widely available social services for all” [Gawker]. “Otherwise, you’re not just pushing workers off the books. You’re pushing them off a cliff.” You say that like it’s a bad thing!
“Researchers know that it’s expensive to be poor. But they are only beginning to understand the sum of the financial, psychological, and cultural disadvantages that come with poverty” [The Atlantic]. “A broader solution begins by seeing this fuller picture of Total Inequality. There are inequities that one cannot account for with income tables no matter how far back they go.” The author confuses wealth with capital. Capital is a social relation, and therefore has “financial, psychological, and cultural” aspects.
“Demand for robots in China has quadrupled in the last four years, making it home to nearly a quarter of the world’s industrial robots, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). Demand for such machines doubled during the same period in the U.S.” [NBC].
“Is a Cambrian Explosion Coming for Robotics? (PDF) [Journal of Economic Perspectives].
News of the Wired
“A teen on why teens are abandoning Facebook” [Daily Dot]. Read the article, because reasons are actually more subtle than the reason given in this YouTube, but I like it so much I’m going to play it anyhow:
“The word [the Montana Salish] use for automobile means “that it has wrinkled feet,” which is, incidentally, an example of how the words you have reflect your culture. If you’re a tracker, you’re going to be noticing the tire tracks—the focus of that particular word” [The Paris Review]. Neat article on “language leakage.”
“An Indianapolis pastor has pleaded guilty to manufacturing nearly 100 tons of “synthetic” drugs in an extraordinary conspiracy that involved his fundamentalist church, a married couple who are crooked cops, a music producer and a school teacher” [The Influence]. Tell me it’s not a great country!
“In “Game Of Thrones” Litigation, South Carolina State Court Enters Judgment Against George R.R. Martin” [Abnormal Use]. From the opinion:
Adopting McCammon’s laches theory, the Court observed that “art, unlike molasses, must move quickly, and thus, an artist’s unreasonable delay in releasing a promised work must subject that creator to liability.” (citing In Re: Chinese Democracy Litig., 61 F.3d 21 (W.D. Tex. 2007) (mandating that the rock band Guns N’ Roses release its long overdue album “with all deliberate speed”) and Shearer v. Lewis, 572 S.E.2d 492, 652 (Ga. Ct. App. 2009) (finding that it was “well within the Court’s inherent power to order the release of defendant’s unreleased film, The Day The Clown Cried”))
I agree. It’s about damn time!
Readers, I still need to fix my fershuggeneh contact form! Hopefully noting that fact publicly will serve a lash and a spur to my endeavors. (Meanwhile, thanks to readers, who already have my email address, who sent in images of plants!)
See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (Kokuanani):
I like margins like this; the flowers between the mulch and the ground cover.
Readers, thanks, and Fridays’s reminder: Water Cooler is self-supporting; NC fundraising does not cover it. Your tips ultimately determine my level of effort (which, with the 2016 election, is considerable). So please consider tipping regularly.
Throughout 2015, tips came in regularly, every day or so. Not only did the tangible sign of support feel good, it was nice to know there might be something in the tip jar to pay the bills. For whatever reason (perhaps the two weeks I took off over the holidays) this pattern stopped in early 2016. Thanks to your help, I’m now where I would have expected to be, had 2015’s pattern continued. Thanks!
So I’m going to take Bullwinkle down on Monday, but in future:
If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. Water Cooler will not exist without your support.
With the news these days, April fools day is just like any other.
Oh c’mon, today’s antidote should be the video of Hellery chewing out a rally attendee for asking an uncomfortable (yet valid) question. Hey it’s worth 17 seconds of your life, I promise. Hahaha.
So with the renaming of GMU Law School to Antonin Scalia School of Law, do we call it ASSLaw, or ASSoL?
Scalia was never one for subtlety, so how about the Antonin Scalia School-House Of Law-Education?
Maybe Liberty University can name theirs the Roger Taney School of Law after an equally deserving reactionary (although to be honest Taney did make one great call during the Civil War when he said that so long as courts are in session the government can never use military tribunals to try citizens; Scalia has no such decision in his favor).
Seem to remember hearing something about that.
Fantastic! Thank you.
Even though you said you hadn’t included any April Fool’s Day jokes, the South Carolina court ruling against George R.R. Martin really is an April’s Fool Joke, right?
I was really hoping the story about ASSoL was.
U.S. elections head used political ties, then curbed voting
Citing legal precedent in the mythical G&R album, AND the “lost” Jerry Lewis movie! LOL. Harry Shearer has told the story of actually viewing that film at a surreptitious showing.
I’ve avoided GOT since I’m afraid I’ll become obsessed. I’ve got plenty to follow between Ukraine, NZ shell co.’s and HRC going off-script. Hmmm…maybe I could use some fantasy.
GoT has nothing on Unaoil if you want some underhanded politics.
I love that woo woo commercial too!!! I love so many commercials, they are the poetry of TV: short, sweet and to the point, with more meaning symbol for symbol than the competition. I remember a social scientist back the 1970s talking about how sophisticated and well crafted so many TV commercials were and how memorable to us an individuals. Not just the sing song little ditties embedded to help us remember that we deserve a break today, get away to Mickey Ds, written by Barry Manilow, pre-pop star of course.
The prof was trying to impress upon us how much intellectual power was brought to bear on the time constricted format of a 30 second commercial and that to conquer this obstacle, the heartfelt attachments, the kind that speaks without intermediaries directly to what is the most important desires, and longings that we possess or possess us. The woo woo commercial cracks me up, because as we all know, anything that has anything to do with our moms is something we must run as fast and as far away from as possible. There is another mom commercial, about how they always call at the wrong time, they are moms and that’s what mom’s do, call at the worst time. In the commercial, the son is fighting for his life like some kind of Jason Bourne agent about to be inundated by a swarm of killer bad guys with a helicopter rising up behind him, and of course, mom calls for no particular reason out of apparent boredom.
My son seeing this commercial just said out loud, yeah, that is what mom’s do!!!!! Something about individuation, being the hero on a journey, going to a far away land to prove yourself in a transformational vision quest, and then returning as your true self, and not just the product of your parenting. Or maybe mom is just too annoying for words, either way, it still cracks me up. The dot analysis is also along those lines.
I thought this was a pretty good April Fools article especially for those MMT-inclined people.
Here’s an April Fool’s joke. Hillary released the transcripts of her Wall Street speeches.
And have you ever heard Hillary speak? She is a crashing BORE!
You’d think that, for at least an hour during their marriage, Bill would have given her some tips on effective presentations.
Methinks that those transcripts will be MUCH more interesting than her delivery.
Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow estimate of 1st quarter Groaf rose to a feeble 0.7%, after today’s employment and ISM reports. But it makes no impression on that rare bird, the FOMC hawk:
Fractional percent Groaf, one percent inflation, and the conclusion is — raise rates?
Since Mester bears a distinct resemblance to the late Dr Spock of Star Trek [see photo in link, in which Mester’s hairdo hides her pointy-topped ears], likely it’s some convoluted Vulcan logic difficult for us Earthers to grasp.
Mester’s not promising any starship money drops, that’s for sure.
Jim, where are you on this?
Over at the Links, you mentioned recession Jeremiahs, and here, you describe the 0.7% as feeble groaf.
Feeble groaf is not recession.
Even negative groaf is not necessarily recession, if it doesn’t last too long.
Q1 2014 GDP was -0.9%, not a recession.
Q1 2015 GDP was +0.6%, also not a recession.
Apparently the pattern of weak 1st quarter GDP continues this year.
I feel like it will continue to be weak (or get weaker), unless, of course, to chaperon Hillary to the coronation, ‘they’ try to lift the economy a bit.
Fiscal policy is frozen at a deficit of about 3% of GDP, mildly stimulative.
The Fed’s monetary policy rate is about -0.6% in real terms, also mildly stimulative.
All benign enough. But there’s little prospect that “they” make any big changes to these settings this year. We’re on autopilot for now.
It’s down to animal spirits, with the S&P 500 just 2.7% below its record high set on 21 May 2015.
Fortunately Dr Hussman is still shouting doom from within his observation cell. So Ms Market may yet have room to run.
So we’ve had 7 years of ZIRP and QE Up The Kazoo. And the pooch barely has a pulse. I say we rip out the life support tubes and see it the pooch comes out of the coma – or not. Hahahaa.
Been reading Black Elk Speaks lately. I was interested to discover that the Lakota word for white people, wasichu, means “multitudinous”. The used the same word for the herds of Buffalo they hunted. We called them “red men,” because we’re obsessed with skin colors, they called us wasichus because they understand where the really important difference between the two peoples lay — in their numbers.
What is the Lakota word for ‘too multitudinous?’
In the case of us whites, it’s the same word.
I heard “Wasichu” means “eats the fat”. A term for the white man that meant ultimate starvation.
Really? I remember once reading that “wasichu” literally meant “takes the fat”. Is my memory wrong?
…well, that’s what Black Elk says, and I think he’s a reliable source. I’ll find the quote for tomorrow.
For HRC fans:
“He’s going the distance.
He’s going for speed.
She’s all alone
In her time of need.
Because he’s racing and pacing and plotting the course,
He’s fighting and biting and riding on his horse,
He’s going the distance.”
-Cake, “The Distance”
$15/hr Good News from CA, NY and could it be? Maybe even NJ!!
NJ may have a $15/hr min-wage ballot item in Nov. 2017 CA and NY have passed min-wage laws, with specifics that differ, but here is the good news from the National Employment Law Project:
” California Approves First Statewide $15 Minimum Wage
This week the Fight for $15 jumped to the state level, with California lawmakers approving the nation’s first $15 state minimum wage. Under the plan, the state will phase up to $15 statewide by 2022, with an additional year for small businesses, after which the wage will be annually adjusted for inflation. It passed the state legislature yesterday and awaits the governor’s signature.
When fully phased in, the measure will boost wages for 5.6 million low-wage Californians—one in three workers in the state—increasing their earnings by an average of nearly $4,000 a year, and guaranteeing full-time workers an annual income of at least $31,000.
This landmark achievement comes just three years after the Fight for $15 movement first launched a series of strikes and protests, led by fast-food workers and others calling for $15 per hour and union rights. NELP has been pleased to partner with this national movement, nurtured by SEIU, that is beginning to reverse decades of pay inequality and dramatically changing the national conversation around wages.
New York State Approves $15 Minimum Wage
On the heels of California’s announcement, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature reached their own historic agreement this week to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15. Although Governor Cuomo’s strong statewide $15 wage proposal was weakened by the Republican-controlled state senate, it still sets all regions on a path to a $15 minimum wage: New York City goes to $15 by December 2018, the suburbs go to $15 by December 2021, and upstate New York goes to $12.50 by December 2020, and then will increase to $15 over a period to be determined by the state budget director.
Once phased in, close to one in three working New Yorkers—almost three million in total—will receive raises of more than $4,000 per year. Together with California, the New York agreement means that nearly one in five workers in America will be covered by a $15 minimum wage, cementing $15 as the national benchmark for strong action on wages.
Since the campaign’s launch last September by a coalition anchored by SEIU, NELP has supported the effort with research and advocacy, including testimony, policy analysis, fact-checking of opponents’ erroneous claims, and reports on topics such as why a subminimum “training wage” would be harmful and how workers in the most affordable upstate regions will need at least a $15 wage just to afford the basics by 2021.
New Jersey $15 Minimum Wage May Be Headed for 2017 Ballot
Buoyed by developments in New York and California, New Jersey legislative leaders are pushing a plan to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 over five years; they expect to put the measure on the state ballot in 2017 to sidestep a likely veto by Governor Chris Christie. Despite New Jersey’s high cost of living, its minimum wage is just $8.38 per hour. It had been stuck at the federal $7.25 rate until a 2013 ballot measure raised it following a Christie veto earlier that year.
“Clinton responded that she did not “believe that there is any reason to be concerned” about attending the fundraiser…”
All is well. Pay no attention to the fundraiser, the $600,000/year Chelsea cub reporter plum, the Wall Street speaker fees, etc….
Fighting for us.
I wouldn’t write Ryan off just yet. He’s making the same kind of “aw, shucks” noises he made when he wasn’t interested in being Speaker, and his recent conversion to really understanding the impact of poverty is a clear attempt to make him appeal to the blue-collar workers supporting Trump. And Charlie and Dave like him.
I believe the beard was an attempt to look more like Aaron Rodgers during football season. Also beards have become very common in Wisconsin, as they have become more common across the country. I am the only clean-shaven male at the place I work, for example. The trend hasn’t broken through into politics yet, ever since women’s suffrage politicians have feared the beard.
The answer to the “Gig Economy” and the TRUE cost of poverty, joblessness, job insecurity is Basic Income Guarantee…or Citizen’s Dividend. A guaranteed livable basic income regardless of education, job status.
Replace Social Security, welfare, SNAP, etc, with Basic Income. Make it impossible to suffer poverty. This would also FORCE companies that need/want employees to actually pay enough to entice people to WANT to work (vs use their NEED to work).
We guarantee income to a few nations.
Why not ourselves?
Think this could be presented as a national defense issue to get conservative support?
Maybe keep the categories straight? “We” don’t guarantee income (wealth transfer) to “nations,” only to a very select few parasites who happen to be friendly with the people among “us” who push the buttons that transfer that wealth… “Color” events, the Israelite military and Likudnik types, all those post-national corporate officers who contribute to the World’s Greatest Military Machine, and so forth… To the mopes, the ordinary people? Ask a Ukrainian how that works, or a Palestinian, or a Yemeni, or an Egyptian, even a lot of Israelis who are not part of the central powers… and whole rafts of Central and South Americans, and how about all them Africans, hey?
And who is “we,” again?
Or, as I like to call it, the Frig Economy. Because it keeps frigging people over.
why so many generals in iraq? i believe the ever astute ted geisel has the answer:
Let us remember that upper level officers, besides living like royalty, http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2013/07/24/the-pentagon-has-too-many-troops, are also known as “battlespace managers” in the vast, Global Interoperable Network-Centric Battlespace. There are all those screens, with all those ergonomic chairs settled so confortably in front of them, and all that real-time data to ingest and ever so wisely act upon, directing the movements of lowly individual Troops, in activities that are predestined to fail (in the traditional military-victory-success sense).
Gotta know the actual game one is playing…
Yes yes we should all sue George R R Martin. Heck that might be the only way we get the 8th book before we all die. :p
I thought the article about George Mason University renaming their law school for Scalia was an April a Fools Joke. Honest. I couldn’t believe it was real until I cam e to the end of the article and no punchline….. We live in bizarro world….
Lambert: No practical jokes? And then you announce that the iconic Bullwinkle is coming down on Monday? We’re talking The Bullwinkle. It isn’t as if he’s been writing columns for DailyKos.
O tempora. O mooses.
according to the mighty moose muscle moose, the plural of moose is “meese”.
You’ll recall Rocky and Bullwinkle’s enemies: Boris Badinoff and Natasha Fatale. Seems we have come full circle.
(Though I did note that Putin is apparently dating Rupert Murdoch’s ex….does that count as “glasnost”?)
Forbes Magazine weighs in on the Boeing layoffs. And as usual, it’s the government’s fault.
The usual rants about “illegal subsidies”. As if Boeing didn’t get any from local/state/Federal government. As if those damn furriners has a right to believe that they should have an aerospace industry of their own, instead of being force fed whatever product Boeing built, and the State and Defense Departments allowed to be exported.
Of course, the wretched refuse will have to take the hit to make Boeing more competitive.
Never asked is HOW Airbus stays competitive, with all of those Socialists and die-hard Union members on the payroll.
Or how Boeing created some of their own problems with costs, by dumping the Wichita Division, now owned by Spirit Aerosystems. Who are, BTW, now building Airbus components alongside Boeing components.
Or how the 787 program is still a financial cesspool, wholly due to poor business decisions by Boeing management.
Or why they continue the “Mr. Potato Head” philosophy of aircraft design, continuing to “stretch” a 50 year old design, instead of starting a “clean sheet of paper” replacement airplane about 10 years ago (using all of the money pizzed away in cost overruns designing and building the 787)
Which leads me to this dumb question: Why is Boeing still in business?
KA-CHING! And of course you know the other answers…
Let us not forget things like the time the people’s representative for Boeing managed to get an earmark added to a bill so that the Pentagon had to buy quite a few aircraft that they had no use for AND had stated that they didn’t even want! She said that it had to be done in order to keep Boeing financially healthy in hard times – a matter of national security dontcha know?
“because I don’t much like practical jokes”
Thank you, I don’t either. Life is hard enough.
I don’t like practical jokes, therefore I’m not voting for Hillary. Or should that be pragmatic jokes? Anyway whatever kind of joke she is I’m not voting for her.
“There are only 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq—about what a colonel usually commands. But for this ISIS war, as many as 21 generals have been deployed. Why?”
How else are they going to rate Combat Action Badges??
Sarah Silverman on why she’s voting for Bernie:
Nails every point, with the kind of forthrightness that only a comedian can get away with. Brilliant.
I may need that after reading a transcript of an interview with Tony Kushner, Clinton supporter. Mind you other the telling you she has been around for years and is AWESOME, he really doesn’t cite any evidence for his opinion that she is a great choice for President. I also loved the she had to say all that at AIPAC because we need the Jews to continue voting for Democrats justification. Apparently this very, very smart man missed her slamming gay marriage for years until it was a done deal and she had no choice, her support of tracking, her support of regime change and her entire record of at State of having a hair trigger ready to invade or blow up everyone and then ignoring the results of her ‘advice’ and claiming she was brilliant! And he says HE doesn’t understand Sanders supporters. I’m wondering how he has missed Clinton’s being on the wrong side of pretty much every major issue of the last decade and a half except for some half hearted ‘I have to be for icky abortion’ support and having to back track.
Gaius Publius at Down With Tyranny has something to say about Hillary’s anger about that fossil fuel stuff
Hellery Email Hairball just got bigger. I assume this is talking about the 30,000 emails that got deleted.
Cough, Wheeze, Cough.
Now if the FBI lawyers will just read some of them instead of just doing a global search for the key word “Top Sekret”.
since it’s friday:
flush goes the hairball. move along, now..
Well State may have gone ‘nothing to see here’ while wearing blinders and flushed, but the FBI hasn’t nor has Congress. So apparently there was too much shit in the hairball for it to go down. We’ll see if Lynch (and Obama) have a big enough plunger to get it sent out to sea, but as of right now it is just stuck there in the bowl waiting to cause a messy overflow.
as the well-read golfer said, “metafore!”
to me, this seems like step one in the purge, a step so the public says, “well, state cleared her name ¿see?”
i imagine mr. obama et al. have plenty of drain-o ready.
You are probably right, but much as I am not fans, those folks at Judicial Watch and Congress are not under his control. And from what I can see the Clintons have been making enemies of the Judges hearing the various Judicial Watch suits so I don’t expect they are going to help Obama out on that one either.
Do I expect that a Democratic administration will make sure that the Clintons and most of her aides to be treated as badly as Sterling or Nishimura or the various other people who have been beaten to crap by the Obama administration et al for the same or less than they have done? No. But I also have faith it is going to be there and front and center not just for the general election, but for long after – because unfortunately for Clinton there is a there there. And the Republicans probably aren’t going to be interested in tanking their candidate and helping her especially if this is it for Trump.
TPP ‘worst trade deal ever,’ says Joseph Stiglitz http://bit.ly/1N0RWFA
Stiglitz takes issue with the TPP’s investment-protection provisions, which he says could interfere with the ability of governments to regulate business or to move toward a low-carbon economy.
Multinationals have right to sue
It’s the “worst part of agreement,” he says, because it allows large multinationals to sue the Canadian government.
“It used to be the basic principle was polluter pay,” Stiglitz said. “If you damaged the environment, then you have to pay. Now if you pass a regulation that restricts ability to pollute or does something about climate change, you could be sued and could pay billions of dollars.”
There were similar provisions in North American Free Trade Agreement that led to the Canadian government being sued, but the TPP goes even further.
He said the provision could be used to prevent raising of minimum wages or to overturn rules that prevent usury or predatory lending practices.
Stiglitz argues the deal, which is a 6,000-page mammoth and extremely complex, should have been negotiated openly.
“This deal was done in secret with corporate interests at the table,” he said.
He also forecasts the deal will have little impact on trade volumes, especially in advanced countries like the U.S. and Canada, where mostly capital-intensive goods are exported and labour-intensive goods are imported.
Rules of origin provisions
and while we’re on the topic ¿how is it that mr. obama says we have to keep the terrorists away from nukes when iraq and afghanistan are covered in “depleted” uranium?
he’s not a hypocrite, he’s a hypercrite.
“Researchers know that it’s expensive to be poor. But they are only beginning to understand the sum of the financial, psychological, and cultural disadvantages that come with poverty”
Is this a case of “not understanding what you’re paid to not understand”?
Because I recall reading “The Other America” in the Jurassic 1990s, and it was from the Cambrian 1960s and said essentially that being poor carries HUGE disadvantages that can’t be easily overcome. Good Grief.
OMG, this is getting nauseating, to say the least.
It amazes me how many people are willing to sacrifice their credibility for the Clintons.
especially the clintons themselves.
poor socks – the things he must have seen..
“Engaging in innuendo suggesting, without evidence, that Clinton is corrupt is, at this point, basically campaigning on behalf of the RNC”
Oh there’s many directions this could go but it’s not even necessary. The money she takes is evidence of corruption by itself. And pretty much everyone in the country gets this. Even Trump supporters get that much, unlike NYT “intellectuals”.
“Second, it’s time for Sanders to engage in some citizenship. The presidency isn’t the only office on the line; down-ballot races for the Senate and even the House are going to be crucial. Clinton has been raising money for other races; Sanders hasn’t, and is still being evasive on whether he will ever do so.”
FROM WHOM? From whom is she raising money? It makes all the difference in the world doesn’t it? Is it from small donors? Is it from Wall Street? Is it from fossil fuel companies? Is it from promoters of the TPP?
Since Sander’s campaign claims to be financed via small donors, maybe given that, it’s all he can do to raise money for himself. But at least it’s not dirty money. Pocketful of silver money. Blood money.
Besides what Sanders lacks in raising money for downticket candidates he could more than make up for in his sheer popularity drawing people to the polls. Only he doesn’t have to sell his soul to get that like Hillary does for her money.
“Engaging in innuendo suggesting, without evidence, that Clinton is corrupt is, at this point, basically campaigning on behalf of the RNC.”
I am Krugthulhu, Destroyer of Worlds. And I approved this message.
The “it’s not corruption because everyone does it” defense no longer flies. Which is one of and perhaps even the biggest accomplishment of Sanders’ insurgent campaign. You can’t play the “everyone does it” card ever again. Everyone doesn’t do it. It’s corruption, it’s always been corruption and what’s worse it’s now been proven that it isn’t even necessary. This is all self evident enough that even a small child would grasp it. I threw some toenail clippings away the other day smarter than Paul Krugman.
Trump isn’t doing it either. He gets free publicity. The RNC pols who feed at the hands of the plutocrats, Jeb, Rubio Cruz are out or on their way
Excellent comment and analysis. I saw this article on HuffPo and just about puked.
And legally he cannot give his campaign money to other campaigns, that money was given to him for his campaign. He would need a Super Pac for that.
The other aspect of that is bullshit, he has been making appearances with down ticket candidates and has asked for people to support them. He just has not been coordinating that fund raising so that someone can give him five figures and he can keep 90% and give 10% as a bribe to other candidates – especially ones that are wives of a television news personality.
Every mustache needs a beard. It’s all about framing.
The mustache, sometimes known as Tom Friedman, covers a very small area, not even using 10% of his facial hair production ability. This makes his message more palatable to some. It’s easier to package, less aftertaste.
The beard, however, goes full facial, for the real graphic view of things. He uses every inch of his god given ability to grow facial hair. It’s too much for many, but others, who deem themselves “radicals”, see it as part of his charm, and therefore, his logic.
The frame is the face. Mustache or Beard. Anything you want, as long as it’s a mustache or a beard.
Women? Sideburns? People who shave?
You are not one of the NYT readers. You have not risen to the level of understanding facial hair.
twice in one day!
yep, ol’ paul strikes again. are treasury secretaries allowed to have beards?
That’s why, since Bernie will win Wisconsin and probably Wyoming, then still has a lot of time to campaign in NY, he may surprise some people, which he has been doing since Day 1.
What’s this about Bullwinkle? Somehow I missed something, or I’m not “in” on the reference.
A big part of my education in political economy and appropriate cynicism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rocky_and_Bullwinkle_Show
And slightly more up to date: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0131704/
This just in:
Sheesh, and people wonder why the Bernie supporters will never back Shillary? One way or the other, the “New Democrats” are destined for the dustbin of history after this election cycle. Better late than never I say.
Glen Ford says the Republican base is ignoring their own establishment while the heavily AA Dem base is still in the tank for theirs
Fecesbook owns Instagram, WhatsApp, and probably following a pattern will buy Snapchat or what ever replaces it in the fickled future. Once a tool like Zuc gets sufficiently capitalized, they can spin it out for a long time, buying what is perceived as the next Woo Woo. If they are like Amazon, it doesn’t matter that they keep losing money every year… until one day it does.
Separate post with link – ’cause Skynet.
The article represented Twitter as a growth company. :-9
Remember when VC Tom Perkins compared Occupy to Nazism and criticism of the super-rich to the Holocaust? The broad array of free interchangeable software components, developed and open-sourced as a matter of portfolio or market share or community or whatever, powers, drives, and/or glues together the next generation of surveillance technology. (See also Boundless Informant for an example)
Anyone else see the change.org petition expressing outrage that the venue chosen for the GOP convention bans the carrying of firearms, demands an explanation of why they would choose such a constitutional rights trampling place for it and demanding free open carry? The petition seems to have been initiated satirically and for all I know the people supporting it may be doing so as a joke too, but it’s a damn good point. If everybody else in every other situation is supposed to be safer when everyone’s packing, why shouldn’t the candidates at the GOP convention benefit too?
The USA is the only nation that hasn’t made the pledge to not use nuclear weapons first, so what Duck Trump said is actually official policy, he’s problem is being bold enough to rub everyone’s nose in it.
Obama, himself a nearly 8 year running April Fools Joke, has himself never stated that he wouldn’t be the first to use nuclear weapons in Europe, or anywhere. In fact NATO’s defense of Europe was (and remains) predicated on using tactical nuclear weapons. Unlike Trump, he just won’t let anyone in the compliant press ask him the same questions.
All I can say is that if the voters of NY f*ck us like Wall Street has, they will think OWS was a street party. This time the guillotines will be rolled onto the square.
There is something really bizarre going on – I went to the St Louis Fed site to redo the graph of employment population ratio of men, but for a longer time period.
The graph I get for the total of all data shows that blacks consistently have a lower ratio, almost always having 10 percent less employment ratio, unlike the graph presented.
I also couldn’t find a graph for Hispanic /Latino men over 20.
Is there a link to that graph?
Here is the graph I got from the site:
Looking very carefully at the key of the graph above, the category is “white” not specifying men or above 20.
“[M]anufacturing is still important for the health of a country’s economy, because no other sector can generate nearly as many well-paying jobs.” ”
Well, not entirely false, so I’ll let it pass. The reason manufacturing is important, is because it makes things, and we still need things! Duh.
As to why it’s better to make them here, than over there: well, since hardly anybody has heard of, let alone read, most 19th century American economists like
or Simon Patten
I’ll just put forward this little quote ascribed to President Lincoln who used an executive decree to direct USA railroads run by the Union Army during the war, to buy rails from USA manufacturers, rather than Great Britain:
If we buy the rails from England, we get the rails and England gets the money. If we buy the rails here, we get the rails, and the money as well.
How can anyone, ANYONE, no matter how well educated (I’m looking at you, President Obama), still be for “free trade” after the mountain of evidence piled up since NAFTA that free trade is a race to the bottom?
Payolla post presidency.