2:00PM Water Cooler 3/17/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


“‘It’s hard to overstate how much the German chancellor, who aides say has been preparing for her visit to the White House for weeks, has riding on this meeting,’ Politico Europe’s Matthew Karnitschnig reports. ‘When it comes to the existential questions of the economy and security, the U.S. remains Germany’s indispensable partner,’ Karnitschnig writes. ‘What’s less obvious is what the U.S. gets out of the deal. Merkel’s challenge during several hours of both one-on-one and group meetings with Trump will be to convince him that the answer is ‘plenty.” To help sell her argument, Merkel is bringing high-profile CEOs of German companies to help the president recognize how much they invest in the U.S. and how many Americans they employ” [Politico].


New Cold War

“In a congressional investigation—particularly one as politically fraught as an inquiry into Russian meddling in U.S. elections—bipartisanship is essential to success. Tracking and analyzing any Russian contacts and activities will present huge challenges. It will require access to individuals and documents not only here at home, but in other countries as well. Some of the evidence will be classified. There may be leaks and false leads. Targets of the investigation will be defensive. Witnesses may obstruct the inquiry. There will be efforts to delay and efforts to seek back channels to weaken the committee’s commitment to the facts” [John Warner and Carl Levin, Politico]. “Despite all of these threats, the investigation can be successful, but only if those members of Congress leading the inquiry direct the majority and minority staffs to operate in a completely bipartisan manner—to link arms and hold tight.”

“The outcry over Russian machinations comes with a heavy dose of irony considering that, twenty years ago, the United States launched an even bolder interference campaign to ensure Boris Yeltsin’s reelection” [Jacobin]. A truly confident ruling class would do a lot less whinging than ours does.

Health Care

“U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday met with a dozen conservative Republicans from the House of Representatives and said all of them were now planning to support the bill to replace Obamacare after previously opposing or questioning it” [Reuters]. “‘All of these no’s or potential no’s are all yeses,’ Trump told reporters at a meeting with members of the House of Representatives’ conservative Republican Study Committee.”

“In a letter Thursday, governors from Ohio, Nevada, Michigan and Arkansas wrote Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan and said the legislation the House is considering “does not ensure the resources necessary to make sure no one is left out, and shifts significant new costs to states.” They said the bill “does not meet” goals set out by President Donald Trump about state flexibility and making sure people are covered” [Bloomberg]. Ohio and Michigan: Two important swing states Trump won.

“Sen. Collins says she can’t support House health care plan in current form” [Portland Press Herald]. “‘This bill doesn’t come close to achieving the goal of allowing low-income seniors to purchase health insurance,’ Collins said.” And Maine is the oldest state. ‘The Ryan bill does not adjust for geography or for income – except for higher incomes – so a 60-year-old living in Portland or Caribou would receive $4,000 to help pay for a health plan regardless of whether the enrollee earns $20,000 or $50,000. Also, health care costs can vary widely by region and are typically much more expensive in rural areas. For instance, a silver plan for a 60-year-old who earns $30,000 purchased on the ACA marketplace would currently cost $8,692 in Portland, but $13,317 in Caribou.” Portland is District 1 (went for Clinton). Caribou is District 2 (went for Trump). Collins was born in Caribou.

“[A] quieter group of lawmakers from districts that Trump either lost, or barely won, are assessing the plan, too, and some are already leaning against it. Tipping to conservatives’ wishes would risk alienating those concerned about phasing out Medicaid subsidies too quickly or about fallout from the Congressional Budget Office projections of higher premiums and an increase in the number of uninsured” [RealClearPolitics]. “The process, which could drag on through the next recess, could leave some of the already vulnerable members susceptible to attacks from constituents wary of health care changes. On this legislation and other measures, this group of lawmakers will be interesting to watch, particularly the 23 Republicans who hail from districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016.”

UPDATE “The real question is whether McConnell, Pence, and Ryan will wind up deciding the risk of gutting the filibuster is acceptable if the only alternative is the complete collapse of the Obamacare repeal-and-replace process, leading to angry ‘red-state’ mobs inspiring a new tea party movement, and perhaps a fatal intra-party split” [Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine]. “If nothing else, this approach could be a ‘break glass in case of an emergency’ fallback if all else fails, as it certainly looks like it may.” (That last link is worth a clickthrough, too; it’s fun to read a “Republicans in Disarray” story, for a change.) If the Republicans do this, the Democrats are going to look awfully foolish for not having done it in 2009.

“The Lessons of Obamacare” [Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff, Vox]. “Obama had a habit, back in meetings during the Affordable Care Act’s drafting, his former advisers recall. He would start twisting an invisible Rubik’s cube in the air, working his hands around to try to make the pieces fit together just right.” This is simply sycophantic, unsurprsingly for Klein, less so for the normally level-headed Kliff. The pieces to fit together shouldn’t exist in the first place. Medicare for All isn’t a Rubik’s Cube; it’s a simple, rugged, and proven solution. And here they simply rewrite history:

Jacob Hacker, a Yale political scientist who wrote his dissertation on the Clinton administration’s failed effort, distills the problem well. ‘When it comes to health care, it’s one thing to make the system better,’ he says. ‘It’s a whole other to remake it entirely. You can ask Americans to walk forward, slowly, knowing they can scramble back to the ledge if need be. You cannot ask them to jump.'”

Hacker was the primary academic proponent of the so-called public option, originally proposed as Medicare-like and of Medicare scale, that career “progressives” used to suck away all the oxygen from single payer, at which point, having served its purpose, it dwindled into nothing. If you look at the polls, and if you listen to the voters, including Trump voters — as Sanders is doing in Town Halls right now — you’ll see that people are, well, dying for Medicare for All. It’s the political class that’s trembling at the ledge. Klein and Kliff have themselves confused with people who matter.

Trump Transition

“While the White House has lofty aspirations with its proposed $1 trillion infrastructure investment plan, it looks like there may be some harsh budgetary realities to deal with first, considering the proposed cuts for the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) as per President Trump’s budget blueprint, which was released yesterday” [Logistics Management]. “[I]t sets out the administration’s governing priorities, including a stark austerity message for programs popular with both Republicans and Democrats. DOT spending would decline 12.7% from this year and the Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains ports and inland waterways, would cut its spending by one-sixth. The administration says some of that spending could come back if it can pass a $1 trillion infrastructure bill” [Wall Street Journal]. So no net stimulus? Apparently not–

“[T]he administration now says an infrastructure plan would come after Congress copes with health care and tax reform—two difficult issues laden with political minefields. One growing concern is that much of the investment may come in the form of tax breaks rather than direct federal spending, and so there may be few new projects beyond those state and local governments were planning anyway” [Wall Street Journal].

“[F]or all the pain it proposes, the budget summary is pathetically weak on substance and analysis. It deals only with discretionary spending, the roughly one-third of the budget for which Congress is supposed to appropriate money annually. Unlike the first-year, so-called skinny budgets offered by presidents going back to Ronald Reagan, it omits any figures on mandatory programs, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as estimates of tax revenues, interest payments or deficits, and any explanation of the document’s underlying economic assumptions” [Editorial Board, New York Times].

“The problem with Spicer citing the possibility of incidental collection, of course, is that Trump claimed the [“wiretap”] surveillance was targeted at him — and directed by Obama. Incidental collection is, by definition, incidental — i.e. unintentional. The wiretap wouldn’t be of Trump Tower; it would be of whomever was contacting Trump Tower” [WaPo]. Sure, if you have faith, as process liberals do, that (a) the distinction between wiretapping and other forms of harvesting conversations is important (this distinction bedevilled the discussion of Bush’s program of warrentless surveillance, when the NSA first began sucking up everything), and (b) that the (so-called) FISA Court would never, ever authorize a fishing expedition, where “incidental” collection was the actual goal.

“For the Record: White House budget director did not say Meals on Wheels did not show results” [WaPo]. I thought that talking point smelled funny; liberal and the Democrat Establishment tend to focus on programmatic “totem animals” (like saving polar bears because they’re cute, instead of saving entire habitats, far more important, and indeed, necessary to save the polar bears, too, but harder to fundraise off of, because habits are not cute, unless your John Muir or something). So liberal Democrats are vulnerable to defeat in detail when one of their talking points goes bad, as seems to be happening now with the Russkis flap. Of coure, if the Democrats were able to develop and communicate an actual governing philosophy, the details wouldn’t matter so much, now would they?


“Chelsea Clinton fuels speculation of political run” [The Hill]. “In the meantime, the mom of two small children has a full schedule: She’s vice chair at the Clinton Foundation, where she works several times a week, and is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, where she teaches a global health governance class.” “Several times a week.” Fancy!


“There are three dis­tinct­ive sea­sons in the bi­an­nu­al elec­tion cycle. The first is to fig­ure out what happened in the last elec­tion and why. The second is to re­cruit the strongest can­did­ates you can find. The third is the cam­paign it­self” [Cook Political Report]. “This year, Demo­crats be­came so con­sumed with the Demo­crat­ic Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee elec­tions that they didn’t really ex­am­ine what happened on a na­tion­al level.” The losers get to write the history (when they’re winners in the party).

2016 Post Mortem

“Wells Fargo executives were awarded more money in 2016 despite scandal, filing shows” [Charlotte Observer]. Just think. If Obama had met Loretta Lynch on the tarmac and gotten her to throw some Wells Fargo executives in jail, Hillary Clinton [genuflects] might be President today!

Realignment and Legitimacy

“[T]he urban/rural and exurban/inner suburban split we saw in the 2016 campaign is alive and well a month into President Trump’s tenure. Those who live in exurban and rural areas give him a 53-59 percent job approval rating, while those in cities and inner suburbs give him subpar job ratings. Just 35 percent of urban suburbanites and 23 percent of city dwellers approved of the job he was doing” [Cook Political Report].

Stats Watch

Quadruple Witching:

Leading Indicators, February 2017: “Leading indicators are showing a rare string of strength, rising in February for a third month at a very strong 0.6 percent rate. Emerging strength in factory readings have been driving the gain along with continued strength in consumer expectations and low and favorable levels for jobless claims” [Econoday]. “Stock prices have also been a plus. This report is pointing to accelerating conditions for the nation’s economy over the next six months.” But: “The rate of growth may be improving on this index. Because of the significant backward revisions, I do not trust this index” [Econintersect].

Industrial Production, February 2017: “Factory production, as signaled by record acceleration in advance anecdotal reports, is beginning to find its footing. The manufacturing component of the industrial production report jumped 0.5 percent in February to signal the largest increase in month-to-month volumes since July 2015” [Econoday]. “The gain includes strength in business equipment as well as auto production and is underscored by an outsized 3 tenths upward revision to January which also now stands at 0.5 percent….. For the last several months regional reports like Empire State and especially the Philly Fed have been signaling a major breakout for the factory sector, one that, until today’s data at least, had yet to appear in the numbers out of Washington. Today’s report may mark the beginning of a significant climb for a sector that limped through 2016.” And: “The market expected some improvement this month in industrial production – but got the opposite. Utilities were the wobble this month as both manufacturing and mining improved. This report actually is relatively strong. The manufacturing surveys all predicted improvement – and it was delivered” [Econintersect]. And: “below expectations of a 0.2% increase, but January was revised up” [Calculated Risk].

Consumer Sentiment, March 2017 (preliminary): “The consumer sentiment index, which unlike other confidence readings had been edging back slightly, is once again showing increasing strength” [Econoday]. “But it’s the expectations component, up 2 tenths to 86.7, that once again reveals a deep schism in the report’s sample. Expectations among Democrats are at 55.3 in a reading consistent with what the report describes as an imminent recession. In contrast, Republican expectations at 122.5 are consistent with extraordinary strength, described in the report as a new economic era. Independents are the swing factor and their expectations are right in between, at 88.3. The report notes that respondents are showing selective attention to economic news with Democrats concentrating on the unfavorable and Republicans on the favorable.” 21st Century Schizoid Confidence Fairy…

Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations, March 2017: “[M]oderate rate but still the high for this economic cycle” [Econoday].

Labor Market Conditions: “The US Labor Market Conditions Index (LMCI) rose 1.3 in February following a 1.3 gain the previous month” [Economic Calendar]. “The overall increases in the index have, however, been relatively subdued over the past few months with the largest monthly gain only 1.3. The readings are well below the increases seen during 2014 and 2015.”

Retail: “As the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart has a uniquely large impact on many state economies, and it is the largest employer in 23 states” [247 Wall Street].

Rail: “Week 10 of 2017 shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) marginally improved according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data” [Econintersect]. “Although the data was better this week, the intuitive portions of the data remain soft.” Again, “stuff” is moving. But…

Shipping: “Back in the 1980s, the last time shipping had plummeted so low, a slew of well known shipping brands were scuttled, never to trade again. The difference between then and now is two-fold – 30 years back interest rates were running at 15%, today they’re next to nothing. Also back then, American banks in particular – and to a certain extent French ones – were far more prominent, and their brutal attitude when things hit the fan was to deploy lawyers and clear out fleets fast” [Splash 247]. “Nowadays, we live in different times where vultures lie in wait and struggling lines are picked up for a pittance and carry on, prolonging the agony of what has been one of most protracted recessions in the history of commercial shipping.”

Fodder for the Bulls: “The global economy enjoys a synchronised upswing” [The Economist]. “The past decade has been marked by false dawns, in which optimism at the start of a year has been undone—whether by the euro crisis, wobbles in emerging markets, the collapse of the oil price or fears of a meltdown in China. America’s economy has kept growing, but always into a headwind (see article). A year ago, the Federal Reserve had expected to raise interest rates four times in 2016. Global frailties put paid to that. Now things are different.”

The Fed: “Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said yesterday that “the economy is doing well” as she announced the Fed’s third benchmark rate hike since the Great Recession. Yet there are important arguments against the rate hike: Unemployment hasn’t fallen to the level it reached in the late 1990s; wages are still stagnant; people of color are still unemployed at much higher rates than white workers. So it may be far better to let the economy “run hot” (i.e., risk a bit of inflation) than to lock in this labor market for the long term” [Lenore Palladino, Medium]. “There’s also another key issue that’s discussed far less frequently: Increasing the target rate means increasing the interest payments that the Federal Reserve makes on the excess reserve balances that private banks hold with the Fed.

These payments aren’t small change. Back-of-the-envelope math tells us that the Fed paid an average of $8 billion a month in excess reserve interest payments just since January of 2014 — and payments have been above $10 billion per month since the Fed raised the core rate in December 2015.[2] Should these payments continue, as the benchmark rate rises and the economy is judged to be ‘doing well?'”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 50 Neutral (previous close: 53, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 61 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 16 at 11:50am. Trump euphoria wearing off?


“Animal behaviour: World of webs” [Nature]. “Arachnid Orchestra & Cosmic Dust: The Multiverse Tour” is an exhibit in Buenos Aires, starting Apriil 6. So, for our Argentinian readers!

The 420

“One of the unintended side effects (probably) of legalizing marijuana for recreational use could be a drop of 7.1% in retail sales of beer, or about $2 billion, according to the Cannabiz Consumer Group. In states where recreational use is already legal, 27% of beer drinkers claim they have already substituted (or would substitute if it were legal to do so where they live) cannabis for beer” [247 Wall Street].

Guillotine Watch

Metaphor along the Acela corridor:

Class Warfare

“The Increasing Significance of the Decline of Men” [New York Times]. The future is female…

“Credentials, Jobs and the New Economy” [Tressie McMillan Cottom, Inside Higher Ed]. (This is Tressie MC, who wrote that excellent report on a Trump rally at a time when the mainstream press was even more filled with useless drivel and propaganda than usual.) Important: “[O]f the 109 students formerly or presently enrolled in for-profit colleges that I interviewed between 2011 and 2015, no one talked about the context of their college choices in ways that would suggest that more accurate or clear job-placement data would have changed their circumstances or decisions. Instead, they talked about a credential as insurance against risks they could not continue to bear alone… What JJ really needed was to not need a credential at all. It was only when the conditions of the labor market devalued his and Janice’s experiences that they considered college.”

News of the Wired

“P. G. Wodehouse’s American Psycho” [McSweeney’s]. Finally!

“Google Home is playing audio ads for Beauty and the Beast” [The Verge]. Glass bowls

“How to Clear a Path Through 60 Feet of Snow, Japanese Style” [Atlas Obscura]. Vertical feet…

* * *

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 (Lee):

Lee writes: Dark Star Ceonothus (CA native), Emeryville, CA 03/15/17.

Taking me back… Musical interlude:

Readers, Water Cooler is a standalone entity, not supported by the very successful Naked Capitalism fundraiser just past. Now, I understand you may feel tapped out, but when and if you are able, 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.


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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Altandmain

    Has anyone read up on the US Navy’s nuclear plans?


    It could make a bad situation worse.

    In terms of other interesting tidbits, the American Conservative is calling for diplomacy between the US and North Korea:


    Sad to see the paleoconservatives going for diplomacy, while the Clinton liberals in bed with the neoconservatives.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Diplomacy between the US and North Korea? It’s about friggin’ time!

      I once read a book by a negotiator named Herb Cohen. He was a legend in the field. What was his secret? To keep both sides talking!

      The more they talk, the higher the likelihood of an agreement at some point.

      1. Paid Minion

        I got a better idea……….declare Victory, and go home Let the South Koreans, Chinese and Japanese sort it out. No need for us to even participate, other than working out a deal to finish recovering our MIAs from Unsan, Chosin, and “The Gauntlet”.

      2. Altandmain

        Sadly it’s the paleoconservatives calling for diplomacy, not Donald Trump and Kim talking together, or through diplomatic intermediaries.

        I fear that Trump will be more business as usual.

    2. Bill Smith

      The Navy’s new fuses… Wasn’t this here the other day?

      Don’t really see it as big a deal as they claim. Same thing could have been done in 1998 or 2008. If you are going to wipe out the Russian ICBM force in a first strike why does it matter that you use 50% or 90% of your SLBM’s? What are the remaining ones for? And the US ICBM’s? And the aircraft delivered stuff.

      Now they are claiming they just don’t need as many as before.

      The whole idea of a first strike being successful is just crazy.

      I’ve always been amused by these articles as they never discuss things like the fratricide between the first nuclear weapon denotation and the follow on ones. To get the second warhead there, what is the probability of successfully navigating multiple humongous electromagnetic pulses to arrive at the target with a functioning warhead? Stuff just doesn’t work like that.

      Other problems too, once you move from a Hollywood set to real life. Lucky for us – so far – I guess.

      1. Altandmain

        It’s not whether the US can do it or not that’s the problem.

        It’s how the Russians interpret it. If they do see it as hostile (and frankly I can see why they might), risk of a nuclear war goes up.

        1. alex morfesis

          mutual assured stupidity…it takes more than 50 decent sized nukes to cripple either side…the dust cloud from just one side being stupid enough to use 25 nukes will ensure that both sides lose probably 50% + of each others population due to crop and food losses over the course of 3 years, with limited capacity to factor in who will actually survive beyond 5 years, if anyone…no food, no commerce, disrupted weather cycles…

          also, there is that problem that rockets really don’t work as well as they are marketed…and the chance the weapons explode at attempted launch, or just fall back down on your own country are fairly large…

          The money is in creating fear, not actually going to war…

          100 years ago, the russian nobility thought all they had to do was get rid of Nicholas 2

          History almost never plays out as planned…

          there is no reason for microsoft to have passed by all its competition, and no reason for apple to have been resurrected…

          RCA traded at 169 in march of 1928 & depending on how you calculate it, probably never saw that price again…

          I would be more worried about pakistan and india farting nukes at each other and not giving much thought to the effects on their own populations nor the world at large…

          but as described above, as to korea…declare victory…remove the troops…watch onedumbsun freak out when the great devil is no longer there to scare his unknowing minions…

          china could no longer claim it can’t “deal” with onedumbsun without leaving the us of a with troops on its border…

          the north would now have his bluff called, since he is sitting on basically 1950’s and 1960’s technology…

          and the south would have to figure out how to either deal with or integrate the north…very expensive, either way…

          but sadly, methinx president don trumpioni has gone all MacArthur and is getting close to running out of card tricks…oh well…onto to 2018…

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      It should be fixed now; if not, please refresh.

      The stupids at Google changed the embed code, and also changed the embed UI so it’s not possible to customize the size of a YouTube anymore.

  2. Darius

    Japan has universal single payer health care except employers can opt out and be the insurers for their employees. This is what I thought the public option should do. Make everyone eligible for Medicare but allow employers to continue providing healthcare if they choose to or unions bargain it. This would address the “can’t I keep my health care?” issue.

    1. Uahsenaa

      It should be noted, though, that the national insurance scheme and employer provided ones are not functionally different. All medical procedures have a fixed cost in Japan, set by the government each year, so coverage is fundamentally the same since, unlike the US, there is no negotiating what gets covered, how much of the costs the insurance company pays, etc. The employer plans cover all the same things in exactly the same way the national scheme does.

      That said, healthcare in this country has nothing to do with cost; it’s simply a matter of political will. The US is the richest country in the world, and if we can manage to “find” (read: print) trillions of dollars to buy toxic assets off nearly insolvent banks, then I think we can “find” a trillion here or there to make sure people don’t die of perfectly treatable ailments.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If we can talk about free college education, we can talk about free health care for all.

        National health insurance is good, but free health care for all is the best.

  3. shinola

    Wow Lambert – that’s a fairly hardcore Dead Head cut.

    Haven’t listened to that particular album for a while – thanks!

    1. Tvc15

      Yes, thanks and a perfect transition from my corporately indoctrinated brain to my human being brain.

      After reading Chelsea’s picture book and given her exceptional credentials, I realized I need to start donating to her 2020 campaign! Maybe an all female ticket with Debbie or Donna would be fantastic.

      1. craazyboy

        Debbie AND Donna. Yeah! That’s the ticket! Two VPs. Then you can do something like a coronation style campaign – the Queen To Be and her Two Ladies in Waiting. Fuggetabout pantsuits. Just sounds wrong. A cape! Debbie and Donna hold the ends of the cape and keep it from touching the ground!

        How awesome. Can’t wait to get back to work and have someone do that up in Photoshop. I’ll look sooo Majestic! Then we’ll have to think of a costume for hubby. Something cheery, yet subservient. Court Jester! I love those shoes that curl up in the toes! I’ll pick up a pair on Broadway on the way home. It’s hubby’s birthday again – he’s under house arrest and trying to do time faster. He’ll be so surprised. What a fine day this is turning out to be. I need chocolates. Debbie! Where are my chocolates?

    2. stefan

      The first time I attended a Grateful Dead concert was at Manhattan Center in April 1971. I was 18. A year later I was in the Army, and a year after that I was a Chinese linguist in Det. N, 500th MI Group! OMG, loved Dark Star!

      1. sleepy

        I hadn’t heard Dark Star in years. Forgot how much I liked it also.

        I too was fortunate enough to see the Grateful Dead/New Riders of the Purple Sage over 4th of July weekend in 1970 at the Fillmore East complete with Merry Pranksters shooting off roman candles. The show started at midnight and ended around sunrise. Going outside to then dirty and grungy Manhattan was a real downer. Harshed my mellow for sure!

        1. footnote4

          I also saw the Grateful Dead and New Riders of the Purple Sage together around then.
          I think not!

          1. FluffytheObeseCat

            “Nor went to jail for….”

            No. Of course not. None of them were ever set up like a bowling pin, or knocked down… in a way that’s wearing thin. No members of the 27 club among them at all.

            It actually was different back then Skippy. Don’t “believe me”. Just Google it. The impetus behind many of the aged bitchers here is their memory of how different ‘It’ was 50 years ago. They honest-to-Gawd remember when famous guys went to jail same as the rest.

            1. skippy

              Giving acid out to the front row of Uni students as a marketing ploy was a triumph…. back in the day….

              The GD were quite aware of what went down in the zoo parking lots and the results of such environments… crickets…

              disheveled…. ahh… the halcyon days when I did blood work…. so much money and life style… romanticism through a small window… that sometimes offers a desert rather than English country side…. which was really…. real….

  4. Linda

    Amtrak video.

    Some wag mentioned it’s the Trump Train with Hillary supporters on the side.

  5. PH

    Poking North Korea worries me. Escalating involvement in Yemen worries me.

    Destroying EPA worries me.

    These are things Trump controls, and Congress will have little to say about.

    The spectacle of health care arguments and surveillance allegations dominate the news, but it will all seem petty in retrospect if there are nukes fired on the Korean Peninsula

    My gloom for the day

    1. RenoDino

      N. Korea will soon be a smoking pile of kimchi courtesy of Trump within the next 18 months–or before if they launch any long range ballistic missiles–so you’re dead on about your concern. This move will be the fire that purges all the problems Trump has amassed up until that point. Hate to say it, but N. Korea has it coming given the fact they are the most vile nation state on the planet. It’s a perfect marriage of need and necessity. Maybe China can make they them back down and give up their nukes, but I doubt it.

      1. Darius

        My understanding is North Korea has thousands of artillery pieces aimed at Seoul and could destroy it at a moment’s notice. That would be a risk of an attack on North Korea.

        1. Mark P.

          [1] That’s correct about the artillery pieces trained on Seoul. Though God knows what state of repair they’re in after all these years.

          [2] It also would be par for the course for the Norkeans to have dug a tunnel deep and far enough under S. Korea that they could deliver one of their nuclear weapons along it by track or truck. No doubt this possibility has also occurred to somebody in S. Korea and the U.S., but whether the technology exists to detect such a tunnel and its location with sufficient accuracy and reliability I don’t know.

          [3] China has little control over Pyongyang, despite what many Westerners wish to believe. To the contrary: the Kim regime is a bigger headache for the Chinese than for us.

          [4] Still, it’s a big headache for all of us because if that part of the world goes up in mushroom clouds and fire, that’s the curtailment of our global technological civilization, as the majority of Planet Earth’s computer chip fabs and much other high-tech manufacturing capability is now located in S. Korea, Taiwan and South China.

          [5] It gets worse. The Kim regime essentially is aiming at nuclear compellence rather than simple deterrence.

      2. Bugs Bunny

        This is an unacceptable possibility. You should not wish for this.

        Look at a map.

        North Korea could destroy the entire Seoul metro area within hours of a military move against the Kim regime. I can’t believe that any South Korean government would support such a move, even if the Pentagon jarheads assured them that those anti missile defenses were foolproof.

        The response would be a US nuclear attack on all of North Korea. What do you think China would do?

        Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread…

        1. Mark P.

          Bugs Bunny wrote: ‘This is an unacceptable possibility. You should not wish for this’.

          Agreed to all of this.

          Also, I know of no anti-missile missile systems that has ever actually, you know, worked well enough that anybody with two brain cells to knock together would contemplate relying on it. The Patriots were 100 percent useless despite what you heard. The THAAD system looks cleverer, but I can see big holes in it and that multi-missile release by the Norkeans a fortnight ago was them sending the message that they do, too.

          And incidentally against a nation-state with modern nuclear weapons like China, Russia, and India no anti-missile system has a chance. A technologically modern state can MIRV its missiles — put Multiple Independently targetable Reentry Vehicles on a single missile. Nowadays, too, the Russians and the Indians have a range of impressive delivery technologies like nuclear cruise missiles, scramjets and ramjets

      3. witters

        “N. Korea has it coming given the fact they are the most vile nation state on the planet. ”

        Really? Really? Or do you mean ‘on that tiny bit of the planet?’

        I have a different candidate in mind, and for it “most vile nation state on the planet” fits.

    2. ABasLesAristocrates

      North Korea is unlikely to use a nuke. It would remove their only bargaining chip: the possibility that they might use a nuke. And it would avail them nothing. Their tenuous “friendship” with China would likely end, and the US/RoK would finally have the cover they need to end the Kim dynasty and reunite the peninsula by force.

      Anything’s possible in brinkmanship, but if they do it they lose everything, and despite Western propaganda that says otherwise they’re not stupid or crazy.

      1. Mark P.

        “It would remove their only bargaining chip: the possibility that they might use a nuke. And it would avail them nothing … they’re not stupid or crazy.”

        Agreed. (Or at least if Pyongyang is crazy, they’re crazy like a fox.)

        But think of it in these terms: if nuclear deterrence has a business model, how’s it work?

        Because a nuclear player has to do more than just acquire nukes. A transaction needs to happen.That is, that nuclear player has got to inject risk and uncertainty into the strategic calculus their adversary reckons with, so that adversary believes the player — Pyongyang in this case — would really use the things

        Thus, if you’re a smaller player with an inferior arsenal – which will still devastate a far more powerful adversary, given nuclear weapons’ vast destructiveness – the more you increase your enemy’s uncertainty about when you’ll use your nukes, the more deterrence you’ll gain.

        The catch is, while a smaller state wants maximum leverage from its weapons, it obviously doesn’t want to use them – it’ll get obliterated if it does. So how can it convincingly appear volatile and unpredictable? The answer is, the more risk it injects into its adversary’s strategic calculus the more leverage it gets, and the simplest way to do this is by keeping its nukes on hair-trigger, launch-on-warning status. Pakistan already does this.

        Now think of how many accidents we and the Russians have had (and whatever you’ve heard, the reality was worse) with our far superior failsafe procedures and technology. And consider that when a state is running its nuclear strategy on hair-trigger, launch-on-warning status that state is essentially running a fail-deadly nuclear strategy.


        Then consider that Pyongyang has backward, cheesy detection and early-warning techologies

        Are you feeling better?

        1. RenoDino

          Tillerson has set out a very simple track for negotiations that completely eliminates second guessing. Either give up all your nukes or be annihilated. Their numerous threats and their successful ballistic missile tests are the nails in their coffin. Will an overwhelming attack on Kim mitigate damage to South Korea? It’s N. Korea’s only real way to launch a counter attack. Beefing up any and all defense systems for the protection of South Korea is an imperative.

          Speculation about how N. Korea will take its place among the nuclear powers is now over. South Koreans, who have seen many similar situations in the past come to nothing, need to know this time it is not a drill. They need to take the necessary precautions for themselves and their families.

        2. RMO

          It should be noted that North Korea only dropped out of the NPT and started full development of their own nuclear weapons after the U.S. refused to fulfill it’s part of the agreement both nations had entered into (apparently because the U.S. thought the North Korean regime would collapse) and after the Iraq debacle where a nation with no nuclear weapons program was attacked on false pretenses. I’m sure it occurred to a lot of nations that if Iraq actually HAD any nuclear weapons they would almost certainly not have been invaded. That event sure gave any nation not on the U.S.A.’s BFF list reason to consider getting their own nuclear arsenal regardless of any international opprobrium.

  6. bob


    Kai Ryssdal‏Verified account @kairyssdal Mar 16

    People: please please please stop saying the WH wants to spend $1T on infrastructure. It’s $150bn in tax credits. Not at all the same thing.

    Saw that on twitter. Very, very true.

    This has been true for a while, and is becoming policy. All bonding authority is to be used to make wealthy people more wealthy, with projects that they support and control. It has NOTHING to do with what used to be called infrastructure.

    1. PH

      The other popular con often matched to “infrastructure” proposals is the “repatriation” of corporate profits

      Popular tax giveaway

      Are there any unpopular tax giveaways?

      I swear, the only thing that holds them back are the crazed deficit hawks

      Strange world, Capitol Hill

  7. BrianC

    Clearing Snow – The Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier National Park has the “Big Drift”:

    I seem to remember as a kid that this would get to 120 to 130 feet. But the wiki article says only 80 feet.

    They used to survey the route with rod and transit and then start the cut. I remember one year they were a lane off when they got down to the road. For awhile it was one way only.

    The road over the divide was completed in 1932, and Roosevelt came to the park to dedicate it in 1933. (If I remember correctly.) Back when this country *did* infrastructure…

    1. Carolinian

      Cool info. That highway is the one used in the opening shots of Kubrick’s The Shining. Supposedly the daylight exteriors are the lodge at the base of Mt. Hood and the rest is studio.

  8. Paid Minion

    “Several times a week”

    Going into the office for a half hour to use the fiber-optic connection to watch Youtube vids at 9:00am, then again at 4:30 could be interpreted as “several times a week”.

    You might as well stick a fork in them, if Democrats persist in this “Chelsea is the Future” plan.

    1. PH

      The entrenched will never change.

      We need primary challengers. Need new people.

      Need more than that, but primary challengers are a necessary first step.

      I cannot imagine recruitment will be easy. Need tough, dedicated people with common sense. Those kind of people will most likely be drawn to other life choices. Battling the Borg is a tough row to hoe.

    2. WheresOurTeddy

      Never accomplished anything, husband failed at his Greece-speculating hedge fund (must be a brilliant guy), kowtows to people with more wealth and power than her & looks down on those who don’t,never had a real job, “tried to care about money but just couldn’t”.

      Sounds like the modern Democratic party to me. They’d rather be Clintonite Third Way scum and lose.

      Where’s Henry Wallace when you really need him…

  9. kgw

    “The Increasing Significance of the Decline of Men” [New York Times]. The future is female…

    Hahaa! We’re f****d!

  10. RenoDino

    “They (governors) said the bill “does not meet” goals set out by President Donald Trump about state flexibility and making sure people are covered”

    “State flexibility” means one thing and thing only to Trump and Ryan and it has nothing to do with more coverage. To them it means states will get a fixed amount of medicaid money and they will have the flexibility to drop or deny coverage accordingly if they don’t want to use their own money. Trump gets to blame the states for denial of of his beautiful insurance.

    1. Jen

      And then they’ll say “we’re not going to spend it on programs that cannot show that they actually deliver the promises that we’ve made to people.”

      See WaPo link above about meals on wheels.

  11. LT

    RE: 2018 Cook Political
    “Some moderates and establishment-oriented Democrats are concerned that Democrats will nominate a lot of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren devotees, not just in relatively liberal jurisdictions but also in constituencies that would prefer less ideological candidates…”

    There it is again. The establishment and radical “center” promoting the concept that they have no ideology or that somehow their ideology is less intrusive than others. It’s why term “neoliberal” has really started to eat at them. They want people to believe “TINA” and anything else is some kind of wild idea.

    Also, Sanders and Warren aren’t radical. They are painted that way by a radical and violent establishment. Still waiting on Sanders to write the single payer plan he spoke about (although there is one out there already written). I don’t even hear Warren coming out full force for single payer.

    It brings me back to Corey Robin’s post from yesterday on the site:
    “The genius of the American system is how the Invisible Hand works to produce systemic vice rather than incidental virtue.”

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      Bernie is a 1950s New Deal democrat, and not particularly leftist for that time period. Liz is a 1950s North Eastern Moderate Republican. Overton Window pulled rightward for 70 years.

      As far as I can tell “The Modern Democratic Party” ™ exists to make sure we *never, ever* use government to help people who actually need it.

      Russians hacked the election for Trump, eh? What about the idea that in the 1980s Republicans hacked the Democrats and assimilated them like the Borg from Star Trek? “TINA” is just another way to say “Resistance Is Futile…”

    2. PH

      I understand what you mean, and I agree. But there is certain numb belief in their own bulls*t among the bluedogs.

      I think the big picture was caving into racism in the early 80s. Resentment was directed toward “welfare queens” and so some Dems distanced themselves by saying they were in favor of a third way — not entlements. Similarly, blue Dogs insisted they were big military supporters, not pacifists like hippie Dems. Both reacting to what Blue Dogs viewed as negative reputations coming out of 1960s. Often trying to hold onto seats in south or border states.

      Then they marinated in corporate money and the delusions of grandeur that came along with the bubble of the 1990s. A mess a long time in the making.

      But what you see on Capitol Hill are a lot of Dem staff who pride themselves on having little concern about policy. For 15 years, at least, it has been like that.

      Instead they pride themselves on reading political tea leaves, and riding along with the most conventional approach to avoid political mistakes that could cost a seat.

      Sad, but true.

    3. fosforos

      Doesn’t any single-payer (improved-medicare-for-all) bill involve spending and raising a lot of money, and doesn’t the constitution require all such bills to originate in the House? So why would anybody wonder why Senator Sanders doesn’t introduce such a bill?

      1. LT

        He introduced a single payer bill (915 or 916) to the Senate a few years ago.
        The musings recently probably have to do with revisions yet to be seen?
        And of course they are usually co-sponsored and have to go through the house first.

        But then I read about how the Dems have him out shilling for the ACA and I face palm. You could chalk it up to him not wanting things to get worse before they get better, but then you look at the party he’s attached himself to in the Beltway and the pessimism sets in.

  12. Ken Lieb

    ” If you look at the polls, and if you listen to the voters, including Trump voters — as Sanders is doing in Town Halls right now — you’ll see that people are, well, dying for Medicare for All.” Sorry, can’t buy that, as much as I would like. In Colorado, where I reside, a state that went solidly for Clinton, a “medicare for all” initiative was on the November 2016 ballot. It lost 80/20. That’s 4 to 1 in a solidly blue state. Whatever the merits of Medicare for all, it is a long long way from being politically feasible.

    1. AnnieB

      Many of us in Colorado voted against the single payer initiative because it didn’t make clear how it would affect Medicare recipients. It was also unclear how the new bureaucracy would be set up and who would be in charge of making decisions. So there was still a lot of work to be done on the initiative before people could feel comfortable voting for it.

      A little Colorado history may help explain the reticence. We have the Tabor Amendment of 1992 (tax payer bill of rights) which severely restrains the state’s ability to tax and spend without a ballot vote. This has turned out to be a real problem for schools. Anyway, some citizens feel burned by Tabor and are skeptical about radical new ballot measures that don’t answer important questions. But there are plenty of citizens who still support it and don’t want government to do anything.

    2. dcrane

      Can’t speak for Colorado, but to me it seems quite different to vote for a unified national scheme than to vote to have your own (small) state try to do it on its own.

  13. bob

    ” In states where recreational use is already legal, 27% of beer drinkers claim they have already substituted (or would substitute if it were legal to do so where they live) cannabis for beer””

    That’s why NYS will never allow it. The booze/beer industry in NYS is owned by the mob (or, rather, the mob became the Upstanding Industry), and the mob owns a lot of the booze industry outside of NYS. Just like with finance, NYS/NYC dictate policy.

    1. human

      Oh, I don’t know. I seem to remember (?) that I always drank more beer when stoned. Maybe it was just the environment, one leading to the other? Either way, listening to the Dead usually brought on more of both … with additional refreshment and stimulus …

  14. justanotherprogressive

    Love that train video. A metaphor for today’s world?

    A train coming into station, about a foot of snow on the tracks….hmmmm…
    It’s what happens when you put your brain on hold……

    1. JustAnObserver

      More than a foot. The snow was a foot or so above the platform level & the rails 1 or 2 feet below => 2-3 feet.

      Also: Those on the platform were very slow to start moving. Looking at the clock on the video stream it seemed they had 5-6 seconds before the snow wave hit them & they just stood there like dummies.

      1. Randy

        The three in the foreground were entranced by their smartphones and some of the people further back were made oblivious to their surroundings by smartphone use also.

        It never ceases to amaze me that people can be so hypnotized by a damn phone that they are totally unaware of what is happening around them.

  15. Oregoncharles

    “The Increasing Significance of the Decline of Men” [New York Times]. The future is female…”

    So now THEY’RE going to support US. I like it. (yes, sarc – to a degree.)

    Only there’s a fly in the ointment: (from the article) “Women have strong mate preferences such that they do not want to mate or marry men who are less educated, less intelligent, and less successful than they are.” How very traditional of them. IOW, there are aspects of the formerly male role they refuse to undertake. Not only is this unfair, it creates a lot of personal misery as women move into higher-paying echelons and are, on average, more successful than their male peers (which is the point of the stats in the article).

    There was an article about this on Alternet years ago, based on interviews. It confirmed the professor’s quote – and showed that the new situation, devoutly to be wished though it is, is confusing and frustrating to the young people, of both sexes, involved in it.

    Assuming that it isn’t biological, I blame the Women’s Movement (and yes, I was an intense observer). Aside from the losses and deterioration by men, the present situation was intended. It was the goal, so completely foreseeable. Yet there seems to have been no effort, certainly that I saw, to educate people, and especially women, about what was coming and how they would have to change. We can’t be sure that would have made a difference, but it was certainly a huge oversight.

    Anyway, your hopes for a nice career as a boytoy are probably forlorn.

      1. Massinissa

        I’m not really sure I understand what this means. Could you please clarify or explain?

        I’m not doubting you, I just don’t entirely understand what you mean by this.

      2. Oregoncharles

        Which changes and which expectations? Is the professor wrong?

        As far as I can tell, partly from my son’s experience but also from published sources, including here, courtship norms have changed shockingly little – if anything, they’ve backslid since the 80s. At the same time, women’s role in the workplace has changed dramatically (even if there’s still a long way to go), and to some extent marriage has had to change to accommodate that.

        Like Massinissa, I’d love to know what you mean by this.

      3. Yves Smith

        I’m shocked you guys need to have this explained.

        I’m old enough to have been a half generation into the period when women had a decent shot at real careers, meaning not being the spinster aunt that taught school (although in fairness, teachers also had better relative pay and social status back then, but with some very limited exceptions, that was about as far as women could get, career-wise). Until the mid-late 1960s, college educated women who had the same educational chops as men could be hired only as secretaries or if they had professional degrees, into feminized areas, like matrimonial or family law. The first class at HBS that took women was the class of 1965.

        Let us put it another way: when I graduated from HBS, the grandmother of one of my college friends had run a retailing business in the 1930s after her husband died (she would travel by herself to the North to buy for the stores, which was unheard of then), meaning she was a remarkably independent woman for her era. Her daughter, who had both a college and graduate degree and a substantial inheritance, still clearly chafed at the way she was expected to serve her husband (and mind you, the daughter often traveled on her own, kept her assets separate and thus didn’t have to account to her husband for her clothes shopping and other personal expenditures, and was an A level donor in Los Angeles, meaning she was very active in the community).

        The grandmother, when she heard about my starting salary at Goldman, immediately said, “Isn’t that wonderful. She won’t have to get married.”

        Men do not understand that marriage is an institution designed for men. Women are expected to stoke male egos and do more housework then men, and that’s on top of bearing most if not all of the childrearing duties if there are kids. And despite everyone getting sentimental about children, actually raising the isn’t a great job. Why do you think generations of aristocrats handed that off to wet nurses and nannies? Why do you think women who have professional careers generally try to go back to work even when after paying for the child support it is not a net plus budget-wise (I know MANY women in NYC for whom this is the case, they’ve said as much to me when I haven’t even asked)?

        Even a friend who really relished raising her kids (she’d majored in behavioral psych and also particularly good at finding things to do that were stimulating for her and her kids) managed to work out a great largely at home research gig where she still had lots of interaction with grown-ups on the phone. It’s clear to me at a distance that she wasn’t doing this mainly for the money, that she really needed more adult company than she would have as a full time mom.

        The early feminist literature is heavily about the alienation of being a full time mother/housewife, that women increasingly felt it was an insufficient outlet for their energies and hopes, that they were trapped.

        Women were understood to be subordinate to men in marriage because they were economically dependent. Yes, the movies of the 1930s through the 1950s showed that it was often way more complicated than that, women were regularly able to manipulate men and men even understood that and played along.

        Only the very wealthy would/could get divorced. Getting divorced was socially stigmatizing to women, much more so than to men plus women used to get terrible settlements. I know someone whose mother was divorced in 1968. He and his two siblings lived on the edge of poverty, and from the age of six he had to keep his mother from committing suicide. His father, who made millions a year, remarried twice.

        So women getting reproductive control and access to jobs meant they didn’t have to get married and could thus be fussier about who they married and the terms of the marriage. The fact that far more divorces are initiated by women than men is a proof of that. Women expect more equal treatment, however you define that, and not all men are on board. You see this in an extreme way in Japan, where gender roles are particularly unequal. “Parasite single” women are refusing to marry at all and continue to live with their parents, basically on a permanent basis.

        1. PH

          Read Sisters of Fortune, about the Caton sisters circa 1815 to 1845. I think you might enjoy it.

          One of the sisters became an accomplished bond trader in London. Remained unmarried for a lot of the time.

          Their dad was political farmer during the revolution, and a leader in Maryland. The women gravitated toward Dolly Madison. Still, a bit stifled in US.

          After war of 1812 concluded, suddenly had opportunity to go to London. American women were novelty at court, and they had charisma, and two never left. Interesting book.

          Might interest you especially because in that period government bonds were the main security traded, and inside information at court was considered valuable and normal. Rothschild empire was built upon it. But never easy. Rothchilds often felt under stress, from what I’ve read, trying to keep informed, and to anticipate market directions. I am sure the periodic market crashes contributed to that.

  16. LT

    Glad you linked back to the 2012 write up on “The Obama Enablers Lie.”

    Something as basic as all of us remembering makes a big difference when trying to wade through so much political spin.

  17. allan

    Trump administration rolls back protections for people in default on student loans [WaPo]

    Days after a report on federal student loans revealed a double-digit rise in defaults, President Trump’s administration revoked federal guidance Thursday that barred student debt collectors from charging high fees on past-due loans.

    The Education Department is ordering guarantee agencies that collect on defaulted debt to disregard a memo former President Barack Obama’s administration issued on the old bank-based federal lending program, known as the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. That memo forbid the agencies from charging fees for up to 16 percent of the principal and accrued interest owed on the loans, if the borrower entered the government’s loan rehabilitation program within 60 days of default. …

    he action does not affect any borrowers whose loans are held by the Education Department, according to the department. It could, however, impact nearly 7 million people with $162 billion in FFEL loans held by guarantee agencies. …

    Fortunately, there are no WWC borrowers among them, amirite?

    1. sd

      That she actually thought Clinton was too stupid to answer a question without help is really quite telling. Clinton must be dumb as a post. Any half intelligent person would see it as an insult.

  18. dontknowitall

    British press (Telegraph and BBC) are reporting the White House press secretary is apologizing to GCHQ accusing them of tapping Trump for Obama…considering the recent resignation of the GCHQ chief ‘to spend time with his family’ and the fact the White House has never admitted the Brits spy on American cables to allow NSA to bypass protections this sounds more like they are protecting plausible deniability and useful presidential tools than about Trump tapping…the GCHQ chief fell on his sword and all is forgiven now.

  19. ABasLesAristocrates

    Adjunct professor, huh? So even a Clinton can’t get a tenure-track position anymore.

  20. allan

    Betsy DeVos’s Hiring of For-Profit College Official Raises Impartiality Issues [NYT]

    As chief compliance officer for a corporate owner of for-profit colleges, Robert S. Eitel spent the past 18 months as a legal point man for a company facing multiple government investigations, including one that ended with a settlement of more than $30 million over deceptive student lending. [Sounds legit.]

    Today, Mr. Eitel — on an unpaid leave of absence — is working as a special assistant to the new secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, whose department is setting out to roll back regulations governing the for-profit college sector. …

    Bridgepoint — a publicly traded company that operates Ashford University and University of the Rockies [Who? What?], enrolls roughly 50,000 students, and primarily offers online degrees — has come under frequent scrutiny by federal and state watchdogs. …

    Definitely a win-win for the back row kids.

    At what point do the Trumpbots admit that either they’ve been scammed or that they’re scambots?

    1. knowbuddhau

      About the same time Clintonbots and Obamabots do likewise. Got it penciled in for 2/30/20ohnevermind.

      Snark aside, I think the people who made a rational choice could turn on him. But I expect those who made a gut choice to go to their graves defending it/him.

      Saviors can’t fail. They can only be failed. #Sameasiteverwas.

  21. LT

    Re: Cottom..Inside Higher Ed

    Love the way she lays that out in layman’s terms. She explains the economics of credentialism in ways that any high schooler should understand and MUST understand.
    It’s the last article. Check it out.

  22. homeroid

    Thanks fer the tunes Lambert. My copy is in a box in the storage loft-and it is a cassette. I got plenty Dicks picks though.;}

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