By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
“The White House put Congress on notice Friday morning that it will be sending lawmakers a bill to implement President Barack Obama’s landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement — a move intended to infuse new energy into efforts to ratify the flat-lining trade pact.” [Politico]. Friday morning, oddly enough. “[But the deal is going nowhere until the White House addresses a number of concerns lawmakers have raised… [S]atisfying the concerns of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and other lawmakers about protections for a new class of drugs known as biologics. They say the pact provides too short a monopoly period for rights to research and development data. Other lawmakers have complained the deal would bar tobacco companies from seeking redress through investor-state dispute arbitrage for damages resulting from country regulations. Still others are seeking assurances that member countries will abide by their commitments to provide access for U.S. pork and dairy exports.” This is just horse-trading. If a President Clinton corrals Big Labor, giving just enough Democrats cover to vote for it, it’s a done deal.
From the Department of I See What You Did There: “Attention, Bernie Sanders supporters: Hillary Clinton wants you to know she does NOT support President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Not now, not ever.” So, relax! We’re on your side! [Amber Phillips, WaPo]. “‘My message to every worker in Michigan and across America is this. I will stop any trade deal , including the Trans-Pacific Partnership,’ she said in an economic speech outside Detroit on Thursday. ‘I’ll oppose it now, I’ll oppose it after the election and I’ll oppose it as president.’ That’s about as clear as it gets.” It is, but not in the way Phillips thinks. Clinton’s lawyerly parsing (helpfully underlined) opens the door for Big Labor to deal (and, naturally, sell out its members, but then you knew that).
“If we can beat the Saudi arms deal in the House, it will be a sharp, fresh indication that the House doesn’t care about geopolitical US leadership blah blah very much. Most Americans don’t care about Saudi Arabia or Yemen very much. So, if we can beat the US leadership geopolitical blah blah argument in the House on Saudi-Yemen, which most Americans don’t care about, why would anyone think the House should care about a US leadership geopolitical blah blah argument in the case of the TPP, where there is a real domestic political cost to supporting the TPP in terms of engaged public opinion” [Common Dreams]. “If we beat Obama in the House on the Saudi arms sale, the most likely way we win is like the cluster bomb vote: almost all Democrats and 40-50 Republicans. In other words, in rough measure, a lot like a House TPP vote.” True, all that does is send a message. But it’s not a bad message.
“Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from (Viktor) Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012” [WaPo].
“Among the high-profile lobbyists registered to represent organizations backing Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s government are prominent Democratic lobbyist Anthony Podesta and former Republican congressional leaders Vin Weber and Billy Tauzin” [Reuters].
“An area of ongoing scrutiny of the relationship between the [Clinton Foundation] and State is the appointment of a millionaire Clinton Foundation donor named Rajiv Fernando to the department’s International Security Advisory Board. Fernando, a securities trader from Chicago, did not have a national security background” [Politico]. “Asked by [FOX interview Chris] Wallace about Fernando’s appointment, McCaskill responded, ‘I’m not sure that was a good idea. … I don’t know why he was appointed.'” Why not? Because you’re an innocent child of six? Showing how this works, those are the last paragraphs of the story, whose headline is: “Claire McCaskill: Trump and Putin are the founders of the Islamic State.”
UPDATE “As we watch the Republican Party tear itself to shreds over Donald Trump, perhaps it’s time to take note of another conservative political phenomenon that the GOP nominee has utterly eclipsed: the Tea Party. The Tea Party movement is pretty much dead now, but it didn’t die a natural death. It was murdered—and it was an inside job. In a half decade, the spontaneous uprising that shook official Washington degenerated into a form of pyramid scheme that transferred tens of millions of dollars from rural, poorer Southerners and Midwesterners to bicoastal political operatives” [Politico]. And I bet they know it, too.
“When she speaks about poverty and inequality on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton often mentions one plan that stands out in its simplicity: Rep. Jim Clyburn’s ’10-20-30′ formula” [McClatchy]. “The concept championed by the South Carolina Democrat is simple: steering 10 percent of federal investments to neighborhoods where 20 percent of the population has been living below the poverty line for 30 years… Although Clinton tends to bring it up when speaking to African-American audiences, Clyburn is emphatic that the power of the formula approach is that it is impartial. Some poverty initiatives direct their funds based on proposals and panels that evaluate a slew of different criteria, he said, and the sophistication of the system can pass over the poorest communities if they are not politically relevant or lack strong advocates. Not so with the 10-20-30 plan.” Since Clyburn is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the epitome of the Black Misleadership class, I’d take anything he says with a dose of salts. Still, the 10-20-20 plan is a non uninteresting palliative.
“What The Mainstream Media’s Missing: Clinton’s Economic Plans Are The Most Ambitious Since WWII” [Joe Conason, The National Memo].
UPDATE “As secretary of state, Clinton recommended a plan to more aggressively arm the Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime, a policy that Obama was late to and has never fully embraced. Prior to departing the State Department, Clinton called for a much more assertive response towards Russian belligerence. When Vice President Joe Biden was toying with the possibility of jumping into the 2016 race, Clinton boasted her recommendation for a special forces operation to kill or capture Bin Laden in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, whereas Biden recommended the less risky choice of aerial bombing. Both Clinton and then U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice pressed Obama to use force against the Gaddafi regime in Libya to protect civilians. Republicans who favor a more assertive approach to national security, and critical of Obama’s approach, could find an accommodating home in a Hillary Clinton White House” [War on the Rocks].
UPDATE “Why the Next President Should Forgive All Student Loans” [Leon Bostein, Time]. “By forgiving student loan debt—which is largely held by the government—a tremendous economic stimulus would be generated, whose beneficiaries are people, not banks.” But military Keynesianism would benefit both people and banks (assuming the war stays nice and controlled). So it’s a two-fer, far preferable. That said, it’s remarkable to see a Debt Jubilee mainstreamed, though Botstein foolishly puts forward a new debt scheme, instead of advocating for free public college.
Our Famously Free Press
“Ivanka Trump Socializes with Old Friend Wendi Deng, Putin Rumors Intensify” [Snopes] (People story). I think Democrats concluded that the problem with the Republican Mighty Wurlitzer was not that it was a mighty engine of propaganda, but that there was no Democrat Mighty Wurlitzer. Now they have one. And they’ve lost their minds.
“If this were an ordinary election, the smart money would be on the race tightening down the stretch run, and coming more into line with economic ‘fundamentals’ that suggest the election ought to be close. Since this is how the polls-plus model ‘thinks,’ it projects Clinton to win by around 4 points, about the margin by which Obama beat Mitt Romney in 2012 — a solid victory but a long way from a landslide” [Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight]. Of course, if you believe in a Clinton landslide, you also believe that people should be free to “vote their conscience.” Right?
“[T]he survey shows Clinton trouncing Trump 56%-20% among those under 35, though she has failed so far to generate the levels of enthusiasm Sanders did — and the high turn-out that can signal — among Millennials” [USA Today].
“A collection of Republican donors and operatives loosely organized around several super PACs decided this summer to adopt newly aggressive tactics against GOP ‘obstructionists’ — or as John Hart, a former aide to ex-Sen. Tom Coburn, calls them: ‘Rebels In Name Only’ — after years of growing tea-party influence in Republican primaries and the halls of Congress” [Politico].
“Hillary Clinton and her third-party rivals Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are expected to benefit the most in Arizona, Maine and Nevada from initiatives that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Donald Trump and Republicans are counting on the National Rifle Association’s heavy spending to defeat ballot measures that seek mandatory background checks for gun purchases this fall in two of those states — Nevada and Maine” [Politico]. I’d say this was a wash in Maine, except in the Second District (which gets its own electoral vote) you can already recreate however you want out in your camp, and that’s also where you want your gun.
“So it’s probably worth noting that Trump is consistently underperforming his national numbers in polls of Pennsylvania, and that he’s consistently outperforming his national numbers in Florida” [The American Conservative].
Our Revolution to launch August 24 [Bustle]. Very notably, Sanders is not waiting until November 9 to fire the starting gun for the 2020 Democrat primary (well, a man can dream). “With Our Revolution, Sanders will attempt to propel the progressive movement forward by disseminating information and transforming leadership at all levels of government. The effort will require substantial volunteer participation and financial support from working class Americans, two factors that raised Sanders’ presidential primary campaign to the unexpected height it achieved.”
“Hostility oozed from South Florida TV screens Sunday morning as Tim Canova and Debbie Wasserman Schultz faced off in their first, and likely only, debate before the Aug. 30 Democratic congressional primary” [Sun Suntinel]. Sunday morning? Who scheduled that debate?
Put down your coffee [Wall Street Journal, “Democrats Brace for More Leaks From Hackers”] I am so sick of the rotten sourcing on these “stories.” See the helpful underlining:
Two websites created in recent months and whose operators
are believed to [note lack of agency] have ties to the Russian government now serve as portals for leaking sensitive and at times embarrassing information about the Democratic Party and its supporters.
[not all? and hired by whom?] in Congress both websites—the Guccifer 2.0 WordPress page and DCLeaks.com—have ties to Russian intelligence services and that the sites are using hacked information to try to influence the November elections.
So, three paragraphs down and we don’t know anything. Now, I accept that in an election year the political class hooks up a drip feed to the bloodstream of the American body politic. But the protocol has changed. Back in the day, the bullshit in the feed bag was diluted in some way; say, by reporting as opposed to stenography. But now the bullshit is pure. Even the Wall Street Journal just writes up the oppo. And interestly, it’s Democrat oppo, which is why I’m filing this under Realignment.
UPDATE Here’s another one: “As such, the year-long hack of the DNC — discovered in mid-June and traced back to Russian military intelligence by the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike — the archetypal “active measure” [disinformation campaign] described by [Michael Weiss, a senior editor at The Daily Beast], adapted to modern technology to have maximum impact” (helpfully underlined) [Business Insider]. Not that I’m foily, but when the only people willing to go on the record are consultants hired by the Democrats, and when Chelsea Clinton’s on the board of the parent company of the Daily Beast, my spidey sense twitches. Anyhow, what’s the issue? That David Brock hires American?
“Asked if Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, has arranged a ‘backroom’ alliance with the Bush family in order to attract the former presidents’ aides and officials, Carville said that the mass defections are a result of Trump’s poor political acumen rather than an establishment conspiracy” [The Hill].
“Scrum, shoving match interrupts county Democrats meeting” [Portland Tribune (MR)]. “Accounts differ, but several who were there say a few people in the audience — some who were allowed to vote at party meetings and some who were new to the group — tried to make points about procedure shortly after the meeting began, interrupting the committee chairwoman during a motion on training for precinct committee people. The whole thing flared into a scuffle as the chairwoman shouted down audience members and appointed two ad hoc sergeants-at-arms to escort some people from the building.” Hmm. Factions carefully unnamed throughout this report.
UPDATE “Modern American conservatism, I’ve long held, has succeeded. It essentially destroyed the labor movement, which was, in conservatism’s most recent incarnation in response to the New Deal, its original enemy. It also successfully beat back the Black Freedom movement, which was its second enemy. And it was able to defang the feminist movement, its third enemy. While all these movements are still around—the labor movement, only barely—they don’t have the same traction and forward momentum they once did” [Corey Robin] (and excellent on Presidential cycles). “It’s going to take a massive victory for the left—not at the polls but in the streets, as a comprehensive social movement of emancipation—for the right to recover its energy and animating purpose. Until that happens, the right might win an election here or there, but they’re essentially going to be in a free-fall.” In other words, for conservatives, as for liberals, the left is the real enemy. (And see Robin here on whether Clinton will be a re-alignment President. Spoiler: No.)
Clinton Email Hairball
“A Navy sailor facing the possibility of years in prison for taking a handful of classified photos inside a nuclear submarine is making a bid for leniency by citing the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton over classified information authorities say was found in her private email account” [Politico]. The fish rots from the head…
Empire State Manufacturing Survey, August 2016: “The New York region’s manufacturing sector remains flat based” [Econoday]. “Hit by weak global demand and weak demand for capital goods, the factory sector has yet to get in gear this year and this report, the first for August, doesn’t point to any improvement.” But: “As this index is very noisy, it is hard to understand what these massive moves up or down mean – however this regional manufacturing survey is normally one of the more pessimistic” [Econintersect]. “This survey has a lot extra bells and whistles which take attention away from the core questions: (1) are orders and (2) are unfilled orders (backlog) improving? Econintersect emphasizes these two survey points – and new orders improved and unfilled orders improved.”
Housing Market Index, August 2016: “one of the bright spots of the [whose?] economy” [Econoday]. “Components show gains for both present sales and future sales but continued weakness in traffic where first-time buyers are still scarce.”
Restaurant Sales: Fizzling out after recent boom [Mosler Economics].
Consumer Sentiment: “Respondents to the University of Michigan’s monthly survey of consumers showed that the net share of households who expected Clinton to beat Trump in November rose to 39 percentage points in August. That’s increased from 27 points in July and 14 in June. Note that the survey isn’t asking for a household’s preference between one candidate or another, but simply their expectations about who will prevail” [Bloomberg]. “Psephologists have shown that asking people who they think will win an election yields more accurate results than asking each individual for whom they plan to vote.” I suppose this is in the University of Michigan’s wheelhouse for this survey because of political risk (but then, what isn’t?). Still, when you see a supermajority of the political class, and a supermajority of the ruling class, deploy all their resources toward a common end, the results can be amazing to see, even in these decadent times.
Shipping: “Container industry revenues are contracting faster than carriers can cut costs, Drewry warns in a new report. First-half results so far suggest sales are down by around 18%, increasing the pressure to reduce costs” [Splash 247]. “‘With carriers waving goodbye to likely more than $50 billion of sales in two years since 2014 – in 2009 the sales reduction was about $66bn in just one year – it should be no surprise that most of the big players are losing money and that some are close to the financial abyss, or that a number of lines are merging in order to better prepare for such hard times,” Drewry noted saying the M&A moves thus far have been “defensive strategies forced upon carriers by the weak state of the market.’ Adding to carriers’ woes, the third-quarter peak season will probably be a washout too, Drewry warned.”
Housing: “McMansions 101: What Makes a McMansion Bad Architecture?” [Worst of McMansions]. “In this post, I will introduce basic architectural concepts and explain why not all suburban/exurban/residential houses are McMansions, as well as what makes a McMansion especially hideous.”
Retail: “Amazon.com generated around $111 billion in e-commerce revenue, of which over $71 billion was within North America” [James Sands, Seeking Alpha]. “Within the U.S., traditional retailers like Radio Shack, Best Buy, Sears, Office Depot, Staples and Sports Authority [and now Macy’s], among others have been some of the major casualties of e-commerce, namely Amazon. … Let it be clear that physical retail is still the most dominant platform for retail purchases with 2014 retail sales excluding motor vehicles and parts dealers at around $3.6 trillion. The electronic shopping and mail-order houses category was just under $400 billion and reflected around 11 percent of the retail sales total. … The demise of traditional retail is not solely an outcome from Amazon and e-commerce directly, but rather a slow shift away from what originally made retail stores great, namely customer service. Today’s retail experience is mostly based upon older looking buildings with less upkeep and improvements, and unmotivated employees (without incentives to work hard a lot of times) which is a perfect equation for lackluster service.” Disinvestment, screw the workers… Sound familiar?
The Bezzle: “How Hyperloop One Went Off the Rails” [Bloomberg]. That was fast. “Startups, including success stories Facebook and Twitter, often suffer founder clashes, executive churn, and squabbles over equity. But at Hyperloop One, a high-profile company spawned from an idea by Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk, things got very toxic, very fast. The dueling lawsuits and lurid accusations threaten to sully the company’s idealistic mission to create a new form of transportation.” “Idealistic mission.” Stop it! You’re killing me!
The Bezzle: “The suddenly vast scale of Pokemon Go adoption is matched by the game’s aggressive use of personal information. Unlike, say, Twitter, Facebook, or Netflix, the app requires uninterrupted use of your location and camera — a ‘trove of sensitive user data,’ as one privacy watchdog put it in a concerned letter to federal regulators” [The Intercept]. “All the more alarming, then, that Pokemon Go is run by a man whose team literally drove one of the greatest privacy debacles of the internet era, in which Google vehicles, in the course of photographing neighborhoods for the Street View feature of the company’s online maps, secretly copied digital traffic from home networks, scooping up passwords, email messages, medical records, financial information, and audio and video files.” That’s not a bug…
The Bezzle: “Alphabet Inc.’s Google Fiber unit is rethinking how to deliver internet connections in about a dozen metro areas, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas, after its initial rollouts proved more time-consuming and expensive than anticipated, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. In San Jose, Calif., and Portland, Ore., Alphabet has suspended projects while investigating alternate technologies” [MarketWatch]. Wow, so infrastructure is hard, and corporations can’t scale to do it, which is why we have governments. Same Silicon Valley stupidity and bubble mentality as with self-driving cars, which also require (non-existent) public infrastructure.
“Recent Libor spike isn’t about a ‘shortage of dollars per se,’ but a lack of a ‘particular kind of dollar-denominated asset,’ Wrightson ICAP economist Lou Crandall said in note” [Across the Curve]. Oddly, this is cited to Bloomberg, but as of this writing, I can’t find it there.” From Bloomberg terminal? “* 100bp spread between 12-mo. Libor and 12-mo. bills isn’t a ‘credit-risk phenomenon. It’s a regulatory artifact.'”
Co-ops: “‘It feels like a gift’: mobile phone co-op transforms rural Mexican community” [Guardian (DB)]. “a legal triumph by indigenous activists has cracked the monopoly enjoyed by Mexico’s powerful telephone magnates – including the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim – and opened the door to new services which will slash the cost of communication. The social cooperative has licence to install and operate mobile phone networks in 356 marginalised municipalities in five of the country’s poorest states: Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla and Veracruz.”
“To bolster the effort, Twitter is in talks with Apple to bring the Twitter app to Apple TV” [New York Times]. Please, Twitter has enough troubles without Apple’s designers crapifying its software.
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 79 Extreme Greed (previous close: 76, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 84 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 15 at 11:33am.
Police State Watch
“Dallas Police Want to Suppress Bomb Robot Evidence That’s ‘Embarrassing'” [Vice]. No doubt!
“Flooding in Louisiana over the weekend forced tens of thousands of people from their homes, including more than 7,000 who had to be rescued, and left at least three dead, Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a news conference Sunday” [CNN].
“We’re under attack from climate change—and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII” [Bill McKibben, The New Republic]. “Turning out more solar panels and wind turbines may not sound like warfare, but it’s exactly what won World War II: not just massive invasions and pitched tank battles and ferocious aerial bombardments, but the wholesale industrial retooling that was needed to build weapons and supply troops on a previously unprecedented scale. Defeating the Nazis required more than brave soldiers. It required building big factories, and building them really, really fast. ”
“Who owns the wind? We do, Wyoming says, and it’s taxing those who use it ” [Los Angeles Times]. “‘The benefits of wind are disproportionately on the West Coast, and the costs of wind are disproportionately in Wyoming — and I mean the social costs,’ said Cale Case, a state senator and economist who serves on the Legislature’s revenue committee. ‘This tiny reflection of the impacts back here, I think it’s just kind of a fair trade.'” Same in Mai\ne. Of course, Maine is blessed with a lack of hydrocarbons, including coal.
“More than 800 golf courses have closed over a decade. Now clubhouses are going up in flames” [Bloomberg]. I notice Obama’s still golfing with Bill on the Vineyard. So everything’s fine in the bubble.
Review of The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The US Standard of Living Since the Civil War, by Robert J. Gordon. “[I]n the most recent years, particularly since 2000, the decline in average income growth was further exacerbated for the lowest income groups by a declining share of the total. So, for the bottom fifth, the growth in real income declined from 3 percent at the end of the special century [1870 – 1970] to essentially zero in the last fifteen years. Of this catastrophic decline, about half was due to the slower overall growth, while half was due to rising inequality. Gordon has an extensive review of the sources of rising inequality, but his emphasis on the role of declining productivity growth is an important and durable part of the story of stagnant incomes” [New York Review of Books].
“Commodification of what was hitherto a non-commercial resource [e.g., free time, as with Uber] makes each of us do many jobs and even, as in the renting of apartments via AirBnB], capitalists. But saying that I work many jobs is the same thing as saying that workers do not hold durably individual jobs and that the labor market is fully ‘flexible’ with people getting in and out of jobs at a very high rate. Thus workers indeed become, from the point of view of the employer, fully interchangeable ‘agents.’ Each of then stays in a job a few weeks or months: everyone is equally good or bad as everyone else. We are indeed coming close to the dream world of neoclassical economics where individuals, with their true characteristics, no longer exists because they have been replaced by ‘agents'” [Global lnequality]. “The problem with this kind of commodification and flexibilization is that it undermines human relations and trust that are needed for the smooth functioning of an economy.”
UPDATE “Wolff has taken in the breadth of Marxist economic/political literature and recognized that the end goal of all the various parties and movements has been workplace democracy, which in simpler terms is defined as an economy made up of worker self-directed enterprise (WSDE) cooperatives that are unique in a substantial way from the twentieth century worker-managed cooperatives that entailed great problems. Now our goal is to create a cultural revolution that will make this a reality” [CounterPunch]. Combine that with a Jobs Guarantee…
News of the Wired
“Windows 10 defaults to keylogging, harvesting browser history, purchases, and covert listening’ [Boing Boing].
“[T]he more I look at Cortana, Windows 10’s inherent virtual assistant, the more creeped out I get” [ComputerWorld]. “When it’s working as your virtual assistant it’s collecting your every keystroke and spoken syllable…. With the recently released Windows 10 Anniversary Update, hereafter Windows 10 SP1, you can’t shut Cortana off. Maybe you don’t mind Microsoft listening to your every word so it can catch when you say, ‘Hey, Cortana.’ I do.”
“The long, incredibly tortuous, and fascinating process of creating a Chinese font” [Quartz].
“Why You Should Never Use MongoDB” [Sarah Mei]. Actually part of the sad history of the Diaspora project.
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 (mgl):
From Anchorage, Alaska!
Readers, if you enjoyed what you read today, please use the dropdown to choose your contribution, and then click the hat! Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. Water Cooler will not exist without your continued help.
So apparently Ms. Clinton’s “Ambitious” economic plan is infrastructure investment? Didn’t the guy we have now try that already?
Without getting into the weeds in whether HRC’s $275b infrastructure plan and the $105b that was in Obama’s ARRAis bigger or better, it is necessary to appreciate the Xmas tree that HRC is offering us in return for our support. It is not until the spending bill moves through Congress that the presents under the Xmas tree are wrapped and the givers and the gifted are known. If I’m lucky maybe I’ll get free Wi-Fi and cut my cable and wouldn’t that be a Xmas miracle!
It’s a case of Trump pulling her in that direction. She’s only campaigning on infrastructure investment because Trump has been campaigning on that.
Although I detest Clinton, don’t think that is true. This is her bipartisany opportunity to give the economy a boost while giving corporations a big tax break (to repatriate money) and private companies and Wall Street a big bonanza (“private-public partnerships”). Win-win-win in the Clinton philosophy.
This calls to mind Obama’s “shovel-ready jobs” joke (not sure who the joke is on), the audio of which I just heard yesterday on some podcast:
Obama Cracks Jobs Joke: ‘Shovel-Ready Was Not as Shovel-Ready as We Expected’
That famous Obama sense of humour in action — you can hear it at the link above. Presumably he went out to the golf course about 15 minutes later.
Whatever happened to high speed cheap broadband all over the U.S., especially in the rural parts?
Unnecessary in the wastelands…
If fracking does not do it the climate will…
But c’mon, give 0bama some credit for creating many thousands of shovel-ready jobs™ for relatives of brown overseas folks killed in the War on Terra. Now, sure, those grave-digging gigs were alas unpaid, but rich in the ‘dignity of shared work’, and highly stimulative of the US MIC’s GDP!
Please, the majority of the ‘stimulus’ was tax breaks. The shovel ready projects were things that they trotted out whenever they wanted to indicate they were interested in helping areas hardest hit by the crash, but the Republicans were too mean to let it happen. Don’t forget that even as part of the administration was out there touting a further infrastructure bank and further stimulus with shovel ready projects the Wall Street group were busy talking about all the ‘green shoots’ and the successful recovery…
Stephanie Kelton has a chapter in the new book ‘Rethinking Capitalism’ in which she describes the stimulus as $275 billion in tax cuts and $500 billion in increased spending which made its way into the economy as infrastructure investment and direct aid to cash-strapped state and local governments. But she gives Paul Krugman credit for noticing in ‘Deficits Saved the World’ that automatic stabilizers like unemployment insurance and food stamps were actually more important. She goes on to note that current austerity measures are counterproductive.
This book is interested in saving capitalism rather than promoting socialism but still notes in the introduction that
“Public policies are not ‘interventions’ in the economy, as if markets existed independently of the public institutions and social and environmental conditions in which they are embedded” and
“Recognition of the role of the public sector in the innovation process informs the third key insight. That is that the creation of economic value is a collective process” and
“They can help tilt the playing field towards the achievement of publicly chosen goals.”
Auto-stabilizers are all that kept the Great Recession from becoming the Greatest Depression, IMO.
Although bailing out the banks actually helped too, I think. The wrong thing done was not bailing them out, but the way it was done. The manifest unfairness of it was in not: 1) nationalizing them, 2)prosecuting the executive officers, and 3) bailing out the underwater mortgage holders.
Hay Federico Peña is still kicking…
I wonder if he could re-brand the ethnic leg up bidding program, um, maybe a LBGT thingy which is promoted as adding “market competition” against the old white boys club….
Disheveled Marsupial…. weird how turned out… just the opposite… but hay he failed upward… tis the neoliberal way..
How much of the guy we have now’s “stimulus” bill was really stimulus? How much was upper class tax cuts eagerly sought under cover of pretending to have to appease the Ladies From Maine? Wasn’t there just enough stimulus to discredit the idea of stimulus . . . without really stimulating very much?
If we want a stimulus that really stimulates, plus leaves us with something worth having at the end of the process, I should think we have enough decrepit and decaying roads/bridges/pipleines/water systems/dams/ etc. that if they all fall down unrepaired they would take American civilization down with them. So fixing them all . . . ALL . . . would be a worthwhile stimulus.
“Sunday morning? Who scheduled that [Wasserman Canova] debate?
People who don’t care about churchgoers?
Shabbat is Saturday.
meh churchgoers. sunday is my morning to sleep in.
The top shovel-ready project should be to bury the Clinton campaign. There is enough dirt left over to inter a few on-the-take shillster hypocritical adjective-inducing MSM outlets, too. The next round of Wikileaks cubic yards of documents needs to arrive soon.
The October Surprise that’s when it needs to arrive and then let her twist in the wind!
They could reveal that Hilary eats babies for breakfast and the press headline would be “Hilary’s new diet contains optimal balance of protein and fiber”
It would probably be: “Trump Hates Nutritious Children!”
I just got ginger ale on my keyboard through my nose.
Is there actually anything supposedly in the works?
If, like me, you try to understand why you want to vomit, this is a fantastic site!
Now I can better verbalize my hatred for 90% of the housing stock on the market. Thank you.
Yes, its great. Its always good to be reminded of the basics. It really is shocking how many ‘designers’ of those houses ignore basics of architecture that are simple, work, and have worked for 2,500 years.
Well-designed presentation, too. Integrity is when the explicit matches the implicit.
My biggest peeve is when the garage swallows the house. And literally all you see when you drive up to a place is a massive garage with a tiny person door tucked away in a shadowy alcove. I realize why it happens, I just hate how it looks.
It reminds me of when Ford Prefect visited the Earth and mistakenly assumed automobiles were the dominant form of life. Thus his choice of name.
I share your peeve, reslez. Drives me crazy to see all the houses with the big garage in fromt. Ugly.
They’re called “snout houses” by planners.
Yes. It’s a hilarious. The missing front doors and structurally unsound columns really spell out what the problems of the owners may be.
A Pattern Language
full book as a pdf. ENJOY!
One of the sweetest books ever written;
The second of three books published by the Center for Environmental Structure to provide a “working alternative to our present ideas about architecture, building, and planning,” A Pattern Language offers a practical language for building and planning based on natural considerations. The reader is given an overview of some 250 patterns that are the units of this language, each consisting of a design problem, discussion, illustration, and solution. By understanding recurrent design problems in our environment, readers can identify extant patterns in their own design projects and use these patterns to create a language of their own. Extraordinarily thorough, coherent, and accessible, this book has become a bible for homebuilders, contractors, and developers who care about creating healthy, high-level design.
“A wise old owl of a book, one to curl up with in an inglenook on a rainy day…. Alexander may be the closest thing home design has to a Zen master.”–The New York Times
“A classic. A must read!”–T. Colbert, University of Houston
“The design student’s bible for relativistic environmental design.”–Melinda La Garce, Southern Illinois University
“Brilliant….Here’s how to design or redesign any space you’re living or working in–from metropolis to room. Consider what you want to happen in the space, and then page through this book. Its radically conservative observations will spark, enhance, organize your best ideas, and a wondrous home, workplace, town will result.”–San Francisco Chronicle
“The most important book in architecture and planning for many decades, a landmark whose clarity and humanity give hope that our private and public spaces can yet be made gracefully habitable.”–The Next Whole Earth Catalog
A true “desert island book” (literally). My mother introduced me to it via the Whole Earth Catalogue when it was first published. It is a treasure and full of heart… some pages (particularly the last short chapter) make me weep.
And as relevant as ever. If I had to recommend a single book this would be it.
Thanks for pdf!
That McCaskill is a real braniac. Glad I live in a state where the senior senator is more distinguished and thoughtful. Oh wait…
Meanwhile this seems to be the gist of your second Corey Robin link
Just curious how anyone in a galaxy far far away ever thought Clinton could be a “realignment president” and felt the need to wonder about it. Robin, and some others like Charlie Pierce, are worried that Clinton may accept an endorsement from Dr. Evil himself, Henry K, while ignoring the fact that the Clintons and Kissingers are already so close that they vacation together on a Caribbean island.
HRC isn’t in danger of inadvertently making the “bloodthirsty elements in the right-wing firmament” respectable–she jumped into bed with them long ago. Robin needs to stop being so disingenuous about Clinton and the Dems. Who cares what happens to either wing of the bird of prey?
“Who cares what happens to either wing of the bird of prey?”
Maybe the people who continually bitch about the media being for Clinton?
I don’t think vultures classify as birds of prey…
“this whole left/right thing is passe’, it’s top and bottom now”
tegnost said this yesterday
Absolutely brilliant insight, IMO. Let us forget about Left and Right (Repub and Democrat). It is now all about the Top (1%) and the Bottom (99%). It is a new paradigm, as they say. Disruptive, innovation. We have been distracted looking side to side, when all the action is happening in the up and down.
Classic pick pocket technique. Distract and filch.
Bombshell revelation in the People story: `Deng Murdoch was actually responsible for setting up Trump and Kushner. ‘
So, our evil genius Vlad traveled back in time to get his (and Tony Blair’s) future gal-pal to play matchmaker to the editor of a right wing rag and a trustafarian, so that Wendi and Ivanka can meet in the present day without anyone noticing. Except People magazine.
It’s not that the Dems have lost their minds, it’s that they badly need to take Creative Writing 101.
“It’s not that the Dems have lost their minds, it’s that they badly need to take Creative Writing 101.”
I like that.
I feel that way each time I read anything saying, “The Russians did it!”
i feel like i’m watching any given republican, from the cold war to reagan at least. somehow the dems wrested the red baiting franchise from the republicans. usa! usa!
News of the Wired….
I occasionally use the Google Maps App as a navigation system but I have never registered with Google or saved my home or any other address in any Google system including the Maps App.
A few days after I installed an update to the app, I drove to a nearby store. When I left the store and got in my car, I found my phone with a notification from Google Maps indicating I was “seven minutes from Home, and traffic is normal”. The App has also identified both the route and timing of my commute to work and anticipates when I will leave or return and it tells me traffic conditions without prompting.
From what I can tell, if I want to turn this feature off, I need to register as a user of the app. Otherwise it will track and retain my activities until I do. I think I need to delete the app before this seems normal and acceptable.
It’s “location services”. Google is evil. If you want to use any of the “maps” you have to turn it on, then there is a two way link between your phone and google. Your phone continues to look at what RF it sees, and then sends that info back to google. Google takes the info that your phone reported, does some math, and then sends back your location to your phone.
Your phone has no clue where it is. It has to ask google.
It’s not GPS. I continue to wonder who is in charge of “location services”. RF mapping was and is a big part of the google street view probe. “listening” for RF (wifi, cell, etc) takes a lot less power than GPS, which is hardly ever used within phones anymore. Most don’t even have the GPS chip anymore.
Android was also a mobile OS from the start. It was developed with “knowing where the phone is” at the center of the OS. Turning it off probably doesn’t turn it off. It probably just stops telling you anything. It’s still tracking.*
*tracking and reporting. New Wifi points and locations are probably reported by your phone and then updated by the googlegod. This is the most sinister part, IMO. They are using YOU to do their mapping.
People have said that you could turn on airplane mode if you didn’t want to be tracked. Under a strict interpretation of this, the phone can still be “listening” while in airplane mode. Listening and recording RF points, for transmission back to google the evil after the phone is back in a “normal mode”.
Again, that’s if you believe that they actually stop transmitting while in airplane mode. I have my doubts.
start leaving your phone at home… you’ll find it is a very refreshing and retro feeling.
Somehow I managed to live 45+ years without being contactable every minute of the day (or being able to phone people likewise).
I mentioned to a friend today that I was recently in Singapore, where seemingly every person under the age of 40 had a smartphone surgically attached to their hands. At the hotel swimming pool easily 90% of the people were staring into their phones whilst lying in a beach chair in their bathing suits.
What a brave new world…!
I have my cell phone calls (not a smart phone) forwarded to my home phone. The cell phone is for texting questions to my husband or emergencies. I HATED getting calls when I was doing errands or driving. Now it never happens. Also, I only have to check one answering machine…
Unless I’m at work, in transit to and from work, or at home, the phone isn’t with me. And I do enjoy my “free range” time.
Leaving your phone at home will still allow google to know where your home is.
What if you wrap it in tin-foil?
Then it’s called a brick.
Why is the brain at the top, and not, say, below a person’s stomach?
Is that a built-in bias in favor of the brain organ, over all other organs in the body?
In zazen, one empties one’s mind. With a smartphone, or just the Modern Age, it’s the other way – one over-loads one’s brain…one indulges in information gluttony.
It seems, we are trying to get rid the rest of our body, except the brain and maybe the not-necessarily-for-reproduction organ.
Short protected signalling pathways to the eye, ears pituitary gland, nose and mouth.
Which were originally anterior, the first parts of a moving organism to encounter variations in its immediate environment.
Just buy a sheet of emf shielding fabric and cloth or leatherette adhesive backed patches and make a stylish phone pouch. Have your mother add a snap.
You will need tostore in airplane mode thogh or the ohone battery will discharge as it persistently and unsuccessfully looks for a tower
Sumple problem simple solution
train typing ! HAHA
In any case .. make your own faraday cage pouch if youworried about privacy
Disable cellular data for Google Maps.
There’s a very good Android mapping application called Osmand which stands for Open Street Maps Android. You can download offline maps for the entire country if your phone storage is big enough and it does Garmin style offline routing although this only seems to work on trips of less than 100 miles. The Open Street Maps maps are very good and up to date and I believe are now the basis for Apple Maps. There are other OSM map apps available but this is my favorite.
As for Google, they spy on you and in return give you free stuff. Personally I don’t have a problem with this. As Snowden said, if you don’t want your phone spying on you then pull out the battery. He has also been pushing some sort of detector–in software I believe–that will reveal if the phone is using its radios even while in Airplane mode.
Re: forgiving student loan debt piece Lambert comments: “Botstein foolishly puts forward a new debt scheme, instead of advocating for free public college.” My thought exactly, Lambert. Very disappointing.
McMansions and the MongoDB links… are you reading Hacker News then, Lambert? I stumbled across both of those earlier today. Shame about the Diaspora project… Maybe they should start a non-invasive version of Pokemon instead of a Facebook clone?
BTW in the Links earlier today I posted a, well, link to a Charles Ortel podcast about the Clinton Foundation; somehow it disappeared into the ether, so I’ll post it again. It’s just over an hour and it is a very articulate summary of the charity fraud that he alleges (with good cause) the CF has been committing all these years. Ortel also expresses appropriate outrage over HRC’s email server frolic, pointing out as you have many times that she basically stole government property:
Charles Ortel: Clinton Foundation & Crooked Hillary in More Trouble (60 mins Youtube audio)
I cannot recommend this enough to NC readers… it is a real eye opener on the Clinton slush fund, combined with carelessness, greed, and arrogance. In other words, nothing new under the sun I guess.
“Clinton’s Economic Plans Are The Most Ambitious Since WWII”
Sure they are. And they could be even more ambitious because the Goldwater Girl can rest assured — and quietly reassure her big-money backers now — that they won’t go anywhere with a House of Representatives firmly in GOP hands.
If there were any chance of a Democratic House, she would be triangulating even more emphatically to the right.
she does NOT support President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal
Parse to BHO’s TPP , not TPP. Take out the clause on slide-ruler trade protection and she’s all good.
Trump and Putin secretly got together to create IS/ISIS/ISIL because Putin supports Assad and Assad invited the rebels into Syria. Probably one of those fancy handwritten invitations, we hear so much about.
McCaskill, on the other hand, voting to fund Syrian Rebels had nothing to do with providing support that IS acquired. Nor did the other 78 Senators that voted yes in 2014.
Although it is does seem likely that the serious funding for the various Syrian rebel factions did not involve much in the way of Senate votes.
Did we suspend our cash drops to the group that is beheading sick children? Last I heard we were “considering pausing” the flow of US taxpayer dollars to them. But then a
Department of Bloodthirsty WarmongeringState Department guy said we would not let a few isolated incidents deter us.
Trump / Manafort problem. Best detailed article on Trump is on the Financial Times 8/14. I posted it on the NC morning page…perhaps too many negative details on Trump et al.
Being a retired person, I can’t afford their price for more than free access, so someone here will have to drag it out again…if in fact they are concerned about DTrump and his flirtation with Russia / mafia. Or not.
Amazon shmamazon…retail killed itself…the bean counters confused legacy “brand” with dismissable patrons…in a world where movies dont last more than two weeks at the top of the heap, retail can’t put together anything of value since there is no value…there are plenty of products but it takes so long from concept to manufacturing to the refusal to produce in the good ole u s of a…amazon can keep plucking the eyeballs out of dead retail…but as always is the case, someone will wake up and fill the void…
Heck, simply enforcing the ada would require doubling of retail square footage as almost most aisles are non conforming…too many shelves…too high up…but that would require someone caring…
Not sure how it applies to the larger retailers — haven’t commercial rents helped kill off small retail? — Not disagreeing with your observations — just wondering whether there’s more. I miss the little guys more than the Macys.
I feel like increasing sprawl also had an impact. Some of the most successful remaining department stores and retail shopping districts are in highly walkable cities in Europe/Asia. It is almost a social thing of going for a stroll, maybe picking up something, or otherwise seeing/being seen. In the US, without walkable cities there is a hassle with going shopping. You have to drive to the mall and loop around until you find parking. Or you can sit in the comfort of your home and shop online now.
We used to have a Macy’s near my house. It was on the Country Club Plaza but then, as the suburbs moved farther and farther out, Macy’s moved too — to the farther and farther away malls. The nearby shopping closed down. It was a decision, but based on what I have no idea…It’s not like there aren’t tons of people in midtown Kansas City. Perhaps they were chasing the tax increment financing, I don’t know. Well, now they’re far enough away that if I want to buy something Macy’s sells, I go to the internet. Because I am not going to drive 1/2 hour plus to buy a saute pan or some nice sheets and towels. And once I’m at the internet, I probably won’t buy it from Macy’s…
I was SHOCKED to discover that there are no department stores at all on The Plaza. My sisters and I traditionally spend an afternoon there when they visit but last time… Wow. Just specialty boutiques. It was a shocking disappointment. Even Halls is gone now….
Not only could you get those nice sheets and towels in an old-style department store, you could just go to another department on another floor and get hats sized to fit, or shoes, or ribbon in any width from 4″ to baby ribbon and any color or finish, taffeta, satin, or grosgrain…. Now instead of just browsing in one well-organized building you have to hunt all over–and of course in the case of the ribbon you’re out of luck because they simply don’t make that quality any more.
Finding what you actually want is harder, and good quality and usefulness have been replaced by meretricious ticky-tacky. They can call it progress if they like, but diseases progress too.
But globalization has made that ticky-tacky affordable for everyone – didn’t you get the meme?
Oh, and if that ribbon is not quality you only get one use out of it, so you need to buy the ticky-tacky ones over and over, which the people making it thought was a winning idea.
So much failure of thought and understanding.
The Portland Tribune account of the Multnomah County Democrats’ meeting was vague, wasn’t it? This is one rare instance when the comments are actually illuminating — and oddly enough, the most trollish comments there are what give the whole thing away.
Too much nonsense to waste on a transcription. Basically, it’s what you’d expect from the thugs in today’s Democrat Party.
Just a thought. If Microsoft Win 10 is vacuuming up ever little bit of key entry on a machine — have the BlackHat guys been looking for a fun zero-day to run through that doorway to Microsoft?
No need to look too hard, M$ themselves are leaking the keys to the backdoors they built in for the feds – http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/08/10/microsoft_secure_boot_ms16_100/
Something for guillotine watch? Chicago Gold Coasters lose their minds over not getting the specific gelato they wanted (the one that comes shaped like a flower and in a cone) in the park and having to cope with “improper” gelato instead:
Judy Steinreich needs to get laid.
If you get gelato, you don’t have to worry about global warming…
When I was in grad school in Columbia MO, I volunteered to work at a phone bank for her 2006/2007 Senate campaign. I wanted to participate in the political process but was a bit naive back then. While sitting there making calls, I read through her campaign materials. What really struck me back then and still sticks with me today, was that she was all about building that Mexico border wall. She wasn’t even going to get Mexico to pay for it! I don’t remember the other specifics, but I left after the first break and never went back. I think that was the first time that I learned the D next to the senator’s name didn’t mean what I thought it meant.
I like the McMansion link.
So many bad architectural fails that people bought into that are now stylistically badly aging residential boat anchors that will demand haircuts.
The worm has turned on ppl trying to get out from under these monstrosities in my geography.
The new home construction I see now tend toward smaller (by no means “small”) high quality construction w/ identifiable architectural styles, instead of the ubiquitous and unidentifiable commercial sized structure arranged as a side load Garage w/ attached House with a set back Marriot Lobby entrance and finished with the AutoCAD cut and paste “You like peaks?” “Here, click of a mouse, you have seven peaks! and a odd lot of random dormers!”
Wish that were true. There’s a charming neighborhood of older homes. The houses are systematically being torn down and replaced by McMansion eyesores that are completely out of scale and character for the neighborhood. They are so large that they leave very little open space on the lot and just end up looking foolish. What’s the point of building a “mansion” if the neighbors house is 3′ away?
Harold Zook homes torn down :o(
PSSG- Peeks, stainless steel and granite. Sold!
I read the Politico article on the Tea Party. [Actually the author goes a bit off the rails at the end, praising the Kochs, but anyway . . .] The main point of the article is the “sign our petition” trick, which is then used to extract $$$$ from rubes, very very little of which makes it to support or fight the causes for which it was solicited.
The focus, of course, is on causes near & dear to Tea Party folks — and the scuzzy creeps who pocket all the change. However, I’d like to see a similar “expose” done on lefty causes. I’ll bet there are similar patterns.
Interesting article. I recommend it.
Not to mention the “Save Our Social Security” mailings. All it takes to do said saving, the missives aver, is to send a donation to “them.”
The latest DNCC begging letter to my wife was returned in an envelope addressed to “The Lair of Nancy ‘Big Bucks’ Pelosi” c/o the address. Well worth the postage and envelope.
The next one, should ‘they’ not get the message, will contain some Trump campaign literature.
“If a President Clinton corrals Big Labor, giving just enough Democrats cover to vote for it, it’s a done deal.”
Then for sure it’s a done deal. :(
““What The Mainstream Media’s Missing: Clinton’s Economic Plans Are The Most Ambitious Since WWII” [Joe Conason, The National Memo]. ”
Well, of course he’d say that – he’s a total Hillary supporter and has been all through the primary.
Please you underestimate him, Conason has been a Clinton apparatchik since Bill was in the White House. I’m not sure he intended to become that, I do give him the benefit of the doubt about how he started as he really didn’t start out intending to become an instrument of propaganda. But he was one of the journalists most involved in ‘debunking’ the right wing media attacks on Bill Clinton, to the point of even writing, with Arkansas resident and journalist Gene Lyons, the accepted Bible regarding their victimhood “The Hunting of the President”. I remember because their work was some of my go facts, during that period back when I still believed the Clintons were innocent victims of a witch hunt rather than a battle of two corrupt groups battling over the spoils.
I searched Google Scholar for “effects of conflict and war on climate change”. Almost nothing!!!!!
Here is something from 16 years ago.
If we care about our environment and our climate (I do), we must stop waging perpetual wars! I live happily in a cold climate, without central heating. If it is cooooold, I keep one room warm, if I am at home and awake. (I turn the heat off when I sleep).
I am exasperated at being lectured by hypocritical “know it alls” about the environment. (They live like royalty, while berating the rest of us). Any rational person who cares about This Gorgeous World will absolutely oppose the War Mongers of any political persuasion. (IMO)
More details on the DNC and what really went on that you missed if you weren’t there. A 15 minute video:
Behind the Farce of the DNC Convention – EXPOSED!
Thanks much for the link, I hadn’t seen that one.
Here’s more silencing of the truth. Jill Stein’s statements are *not* present in the longer AAPI video from the other day.
I just don’t understand why when you have millions or billions of dollars, why these people are so obsessed with getting more. Was They Live a documentary?
“Wolff has taken in the breadth of Marxist economic/political literature and recognized that the end goal of all the various parties and movements has been workplace democracy”
Um…what Marxist literature is he talking about? Because a hostility to genuine democracy is a common attribute of Marxism. The proletariat are mostly idiots, says the Marxist, and so must be lead by a Vanguard class made up of the learned and oh so superior (the Marxists, obviously), who will lead the idiots to a glorious future. Maybe you’ll have a party congress and an appearance of democracy to dupe the rubes, a la Lenin, but that’s it. If Marxists really want workplace democracy, explain why the USSR and China were/are so opposed to people unionizing. ‘The Party knows best, always give the Party total control’ is the typical Marxist position.
Then you have the unholy melding of Libertarian Marxists…. wheeeeeeeee….
It would be a hostility to bourgeois democracy that they oppose. They’d argue that bourgeois democracy isn’t really democratic anyway. And looking at the US or Europe or Japan, it’s kinda hard to disagree with that.
Japan was explicitly set up to be a one-party dominated sham democracy after the US decided it needed an unsinkable aircraft carrier in the far east.
(hypothetical) Commerce department webpage advising customers about TIP, etc:
rejecting your connection, please try again
we hadn’t heard that complaint, please message back
pitchforks? you mean which side are we on?
?they won’t eat dogfood?
It’s 2.2222222222222222……times as good as Herman Cain’s plan!
Vanderbilt to remove the word ‘Confederate’ from dormitory facade after paying United Daughters of the Confederacy $1.2 million [NYDN]
Giving new meaning to `graymail’.
” “With Our Revolution, Sanders will attempt to propel the progressive movement forward by disseminating information and transforming leadership at all levels of government.”
Does anyone know what that actually means? It sounds like political boilerplate.
We’ll know better after the launch on August 23. Meanwhile, let me note that functioning political entities have boilerplate. It’s basic blocking and tackling.
Oh, it also means assaulting the Democrat Party where it’s weakest, at the state and local level. And, one hopes, with the money and the skills to do it.