2:00PM Water Cooler 4/13/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


Realignment and Legitimacy

GA-06: “[Ossoff’s] campaign has spent more than $5.3 million on radio, TV and cable ads since late February. He can afford it: He’s raised more than $8.3 million and spent the bulk of it on advertisements introducing himself, vowing he’ll stand up to Donald Trump and countering attack ads” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]. Recall that Thompson couldn’t get the Democrats to give him $20K for a mailer. DNC Deckchair Perez: “We need a 50-state strategy plus the territories, and that’s what we talked about down in Atlanta last week.” Really? When does it start?

GA-06: “Georgia’s 6th congressional district, which covers much of Atlanta’s northern suburbs, including parts of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties, is exactly the type of district Democrats will be eyeing as they seek to take back the lower chamber: An affluent district in a Sunbelt suburb that has backed Republicans for decades but where Trump significantly underperformed Mitt Romney in November” [Heavy]. In other words, Clinton’s post-Convention pivot to appeal to suburban Republicans all over again. (Here, the Times reinforces this message.)

GA-06: “The district is white collar, educated and doing well economically, with median household incomes of $80,000 versus $50,000 statewide, and nearly 60 percent of adults holding a college or professional degree, more than twice the statewide average. It is also increasingly diverse, and in recent years became a magnet for well-educated immigrants from India and other parts of Asia” [Reuters]. As above.

GA-06: “Jon Ossoff, a Democrat running in a suburban Atlanta district that once elected Newt Gingrich and which has voted only for Republicans for Congress since 1978, has captured liberal Californians’ political imaginations — and their checkbooks. He’s raked in $8.2 million in the past three months, almost all from outside of Georgia, thanks to a strong anti-Trump message. And he’s reported more individual contributions from the Bay Area than from his entire home state” [San Jose Mercury-News]. I’m surprised I haven’t seen the words “California carpetbaggers” in the Republican advertising…

GA-06: “On the economy, Ossoff says he will create ‘forward-looking, fiscally responsible economic policy that maximizes opportunity for entrepreneurs, workers, and investors'” [Cosmopolitan]. Neoliberal bafflegab. I’m shocked.

GA-06: “There’s certainly some irony in the fact that this supposed beacon of the Trump resistance is actually running as a pragmatic centrist, stressing that ‘cutting wasteful spending is not a partisan issue’ and ‘both parties in Washington waste too much of your money'” [The New Republic]. Irony? What irony?

UPDATE KS-04: “Democrats Say They Sometimes Need To Ignore Elections In Order To Win” [HuffPo]. The headline is accurate: “‘You do not get to the single digits in a district like this if you’re a nationalized Democrat,’ said Meredith Kelly, the communications director for the [DCCC]. ‘End of story. That’s just the way it is. There are just certain races where it is not helpful to be attached to the national D.C. Democrats. It is the calculation you make in even the most competitive swing district.'” First, Meredith needs to talk to Tom about that 50-state strategy. Second, the DCCC can’t even manage to launder $20K for a mailer? WTF?

UPDATE “Daily Kos Is Back” [HuffPo]. Markos offers a similar rationalization to Kelly’s: “Editorially, we refused to take sides when it really would’ve been easier to do so. Too many organizations on our side took the easy way out and worked to build their memberships by tapping into the Sanders movement.” Statesman-like. If we have any Kos readers in the commentariat, I’d be interested to see what they have to say about that, but I think it’s time to link once more to this truly classic post: “In The Vaults Where The Dry Powder Is Stored.”

“Why Americans Vote ‘Against Their Interest’: Partisanship” [New York Times]. ” Party affiliation has become an all-encompassing identity that outweighs the details of specific policies… Economic status, it turns out, is not so important in partisanship. “Class in American politics, rich vs. poor, is just not a very good predictor of party identification,” Ms. Lee said. For both rich and poor Americans, other identities take precedence.” And that’s just how the Times likes it!

“Katie, Remember Us When” [Credit Slips]. “Katie is leaving Credit Slips is to focus her efforts on her recently announced candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives in California’s 45th Congressional District.” More on Porter, who’s running as a Democrat.

UPDATE “Meet The Democratic Socialist Running For City Council In Brooklyn” [Gothamist]. On the Green Party ticket. “DSA, the largest socialist organization in the country, has gained national momentum with its anti-capitalist platform since Donald Trump won the presidential election and, as organizers put it, ‘used racism to divide working people.'”

UPDATE This (very long) thread where people tweet on “How I became a leftist” is intriguing:

Stats Watch

Jobless Claims, week of April 8, 2016: “Initial jobless claims continue to surprise to the downside” [Econoday]. And: “This marks 108 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970″[Econintersect]. And: “below the consensus forecast” [Calculated Risk].

Consumer Sentiment (Preliminary), April 2017: “[S]howing new strength” [Econoday]. “Strength is centered in the current assessment… This offers a positive indication for April consumer spending. Expectations are also higher… signal confidence in the jobs outlook… The report notes that divergence in its sample between Republicans and Democrats has fully narrowed on the current assessment but remains unusually wide on expectations where Republicans see strength and Democrats weakness… The 17-year high on the current conditions index, at a time when consumer spending is weak and GDP soft, is a reminder that high confidence readings have yet to translate to economic strength.” And: “The partisan expectations do not appear to have had an impact on current spending” [Economic Calendar].

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, week of April 9, 2017: “[B]ack at its best levels in March” [Econoday]. “Strength in confidence readings ultimately points to strength in the jobs outlook.” Or it’s another survey that turns out not to be reflected in real data.

Producer Price Index (Final Demand), March 2017: “[M]ore subdued than expected” [Econoday]. “The lack of pressure in services points to a general lack of price traction consistent with sluggish demand. Today’s report may lower expectations for tomorrow’s consumer price report.” And: “Mostly the data shows Producer Price data was treading water. In general, it is goods that remains on an inflation surge trend whilst services inflation has been generally unchanged over the last year. This month’s inflation data is better than expectations” [Econintersect].

Shipping: “North European shippers of heavylift and out-of-gauge cargo to the Middle East and Asia are being told by container lines there is no hope of shipment before June” [The Loadstar]. Time for the AN-225s! That is, the AN-225; only one has been built….

Shipping: “Surging trade at U.S. ports isn’t translating into a stronger trucking market, with some of the industry’s biggest fleets warning of smaller-than-expected first-quarter profits” [Wall Street Journal]. “Excess capacity has plagued the trucking industry, making it difficult for fleets to raise the rates they charge retailers, manufacturers and other shippers even when freight volumes rise.”

Supply Chain: “Amazon.com Inc. has joined a truck-driver on-boarding portal that will allow it to recruit thousands of owner-operators to haul for Amazon’s last-mile delivery services” [DC Velocity]. Hope the working conditions are better than warehousing. Or Uber.

Retail: “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is betting its physical stores will give it a leg up on Amazon.com Inc. as the two retail giants battle for online sales. Wal-Mart will start offering discounts on some online orders if customers agree to pick them up in stores” [Wall Street Journal].

Retail: “Burger King is launching a TV ad that triggers Google Home devices, and it has a potentially disastrous flaw” [Business Insider]. “The 15-second ad triggers Google devices with the command, ‘Ok Google, what is the Whopper burger?’ The ad’s command got our Google Home speaker — sent to us by Burger King — to recite the definition of a Whopper burger from its Wikipedia page…. Here’s where we encountered the major flaw with Burger King’s ad. Someone had edited the Whopper’s Wikipedia page to say that the burger is made of a ‘medium-sized child,’ instead of beef patty, and that it contains the toxic chemical Cyanide.”


Commodities: “Curious Case of Billion-Dollar Lithium Mine Sold for a Song” [Bloomberg].

The Bezzle: “Wells Fargo, Banned From Bond Work, Wins California Deal Anyway” [Bloomberg]

The Bezzle: “Top federal Wells Fargo inspector removed” [CNN].

Honey for the Bears: “The retail apocalypse is having a terrifying impact on one corner of Wall Street” [Business Insider]. “Nobody is predicting anything [as dire as the Crash] today, but CMBSs, which Morgan Stanley says account for nearly 10% of the $3.6 trillion commercial real-estate mortgage market, work similarly. They pool debt payments from several malls or other commercial properties and then splice them so that investors can buy the segment and take on the kind of risk they want.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 28 Fear (previous close: 28, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 43 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Apr 13 at 12:09pm.

Our Famously Free Press

“A new survey from BuzzFeed News and Ipsos Public Affairs also found that 54% of American adults trust news they see on Facebook ‘only a little’ or ‘not at all’ [Buzzfeed]. The article includes these charts. The first, on which posts are “news”:

And the second, on “why don’t you trust the news you see on Facebook”?

All in all, what I see in the charts is that Americans are reasonably discerning “consumers” of “news,” which does rather contradict the moral panic over “fake news.” Indeed, given that Americans tend to regard branded (“traditional”) news as the most trustworthy, it would seem that any problems with Facebook mis- or disinforming the public should begin with the news brands, and not with obscure sites or this week’s macédoine of offshore hackage, as indeed we see with the United story, where major venues can’t even agree on a basic timeline for a single, discrete incident.

Health Care

“There’s a growing movement of surgery centers and specialists that list their prices and don’t take insurance” [Business Insider].

“[M]ore than 60 percent of the [medical debt] complaints made one of the following contentions: that the debt wasn’t owed in the first place, that it had already been paid or had been discharged in bankruptcy, or that it wasn’t verified as debt the consumer actually owed” [New York Times].


“Jerry Brown’s administration blocks public review of Oroville Dam records” [Sacramento Bee]. “Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is using federal security regulations written to thwart terrorism to deny public access to records that experts say could guide repairs to the Oroville Dam and provide insight into what led to the near catastrophic failure of its emergency spillway. The administration also is blocking public review of records that would show how Brown’s office handled the February crisis at Oroville Dam that led to the two-day evacuation of nearly 200,000 Northern Californians.” Well, well, well….

“Oroville Dam spillway: Here’s where things stand now” [KCRA]. A status report. Dam geeks?

“What is the volume of water in lakes on Earth? Using a mathematical analysis, researcher David Seekell, at Umeå University, and his American collaborators now suggest that the mean depth of lakes is 30 per cent lower than previously estimated. Shallower lakes implies less fresh water and has consequences for our understanding of climate change and the carbon cycle” [Phys.org].

“After more than 20 years of mapping the need for a deep-water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, the Florida Senate voted 36-3 Wednesday for an ambitious proposal that will set in motion the $1.5 billion project” [Miami Herald].

“Oklahoma’s drinking water is at risk from fracking, new report finds” [Think Progress].


“TransCanada shuts down Keystone after oil seeps to surface” [National Observer]. “‘My understanding is that it was a passerby that observed it and called the company,’ said Nelson, chairman of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. If confirmed, this would mean that the company’s leak detection system failed to identify the incident.”

Class Warfare

“Why Socialists Should Believe in Human Nature” [Jacobin]. “The slogan is not, ‘Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains. Unless, in some cultures, people like being in chains, in which case, we demand that those people be allowed to keep their chains.'”

“BlackRock CEO Fink Says Trump Listens to Business Leaders” [Wall Street Journal]. “‘He is embracing business,’ said Mr. Fink, a longtime Democrat, at a dinner Wednesday hosted by the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. ‘I do strongly believe he is listening.'” Trump is an oligarch. Of course he’s listening to business!

“KY justice secretary responds to frustrations from medical examiners” [WKYT]. “[Justice and Public Safety Secretary John Tilley] said much of the problem is the ripple effects from a tidal wave of overdose deaths. ‘Our medical examiners are inundated with heroin overdose deaths. The frustrations are high and the resources are low,’ Tilley said.”

“A college professor has promised to consume only water and sports drinks after the university’s president overrode a nearly unanimous decision to grant him tenure” {Business Insider]. Administrators….

News of the Wired

“Five inmates from the Marion Correctional Institution (MCI) built two computers from spare parts, hid them in the ceiling of a training room closet, and used them to hack into the prison’s network” [Bleeping Computer]. Impressive. Shows initiative.

“We’re finding that aesthetic images can induce staggering changes to the body, including radical reductions in the observer’s stress levels” [The Conversation]. The story hook is fractals, and fractals are cool, but the effect of aesthetics is my takeaway. “The impact of nature’s aesthetics is surprisingly powerful. In the 1980s, architects found that patients recovered more quickly from surgery when given hospital rooms with windows looking out on nature. Other studies since then have demonstrated that just looking at pictures of natural scenes can change the way a person’s autonomic nervous system responds to stress.” Important!

* * *

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 (KR):

KR writes: “Back yard on a spring day.”

* * *

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. diptherio

    I know this proposal is maybe a bit pie-in-the-sky, but it’s interesting as an indication of the zeitgeist and some of the positive ways in which it’s…uh…geisting…

    How could users feasibly own & govern a tech platform like Twitter? Tune into our Platform Co-op Roundtable in 1 hr: shareable.net/ZUs


    1. ChrisFromGeorgia

      With a one-mile blast radius, it is pretty certain that sucker caused some “collateral damage.”

      As I think the Saker put it, Trump has achieved war criminal status in record time.

      1. RUKIdding

        Less than 100 days.

        Guess the reports that Trump was the anti-War POTUS were, uh, great exaggerated.

        Wonder his cut is with this bombing. I’m sure he’s making serious money on this.

        I’m equally sure that the CIA ensured this did minimal damage to the poppy fields. Collateral damage to humans doesn’t matter.

        1. Eureka Springs

          Wasn’t it day two Trump ordered the Yemen war crime… where among other things the seal team took out an eight year old American girl?

          The big tell to me. Well, that and his love of torture during his campaign.

          1. RUKidding

            Gah. Yeah. That was the big tell. So much crazy going on that I shudder to admit that I forgot about Yemen. OMG. Too many distractions is the goal & it’s working. Ugh.

          2. Jim Haygood

            It’s totally fitting, appropriate and symbolic that as Trump’s bombs go off in Syria and Quagmire Afghanistan, the 535 Kongress Klowns whose constitutional responsibility it is to declare war are ON VACATION.

            Most of them are hunkered in their bunkers with trusted campaign sponsors, as the peasants they “represent” march in the street with their pitchforks and flickering torches. The rest are probably in Israel on junkets.

            MAGA, comrades: Make America Gag Again.

            1. jrs

              let them stay on vacation forever, they’d just be passing their horrible budget (the domestic “bomb” to go alongside the foreign policy bombs) if they were there.

          3. Carolinian

            Yes the Yemen raid that was planned under Obama. Plus ca change and all that.

            Of course during the campaign Trump did claim he would be the anti intervention candidate–when he wasn’t threatening to bomb the sh*t out of Isis–just as Obama in 2008 said he would scale back American intervention but was “convinced” to do otherwise once in office.

            PBS just ran a two parter on America and WW1. Wilson’s 1916 slogan: “he kept us out of war.” The guy who came up with the slogan then led the pro-war propaganda campaign a year later.

            As Big Daddy says in that Tennessee Williams play: “too much mendacity!”

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              “I detect the powerful odor of mendacity…”

              (Let’s give T. Williams the full credit due)

              On the road, not to Damascus, but to the realization by a majority of Americans that their entire country is one big fat lie.

              1. Carolinian

                Thanks for the help. Obviously my lame paraphrase wasn’t doing Cat on a Hot Tin Roof justice.

            2. lyman alpha blob

              To paraphrase the sloshed Paul Newman’s retort –

              “That’s right Big Daddy. Mendacity is a system that we live in.”

            3. JCC

              “There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity… You can smell it. It smells like death.”

              – – Big Daddy

              In many forms, and in many places.

            4. AbateMagicThinking but Not money

              The odor of mendacity – cradle to grave, is so pervasive that like any bad smell which, after the initial shock, becomes hardly noticeable to the majority after lengthy exposure.

          4. BeliTsari

            I wonder if his National Security conferences resemble Bobby De Niro as Al Capone? We used to use BLU-82B daisycutters to clear LZs during Vietnam? Now, perhaps we can simply build YOOJ classy Casino resorts, with golden ̶c̶r̶u̶c̶i̶f̶i̶x̶ Ts, once all of the terrorists are CRUSHED. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermobaric_weapon#Effect http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/syria-chemical-attack-al-qaeda-played-donald-trump_us_58ea226fe4b058f0a02fca4d http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/afghanistan-43-percent-rise-estimated-opium-harvest-161023074029664.html

        2. Gary

          If this is the ordinance I am thinking of, it explodes a mile or so above ground like a nuclear bomb and creates a sudden vortex that causes your insides to implode. It was never used in Iraq because it was deemed to cruel even by Dick Chaney standards. It probably will do minimal damage to the poppy fields.
          Whom ever said “homo homini lupus” owes an apology to wolves.

          1. RUKidding

            Oh great. Deemed too cruel by Darth Cheney by happily embraced by the current psychopath in the White House. Good to know.

            1. River

              Probably not because it was too cruel. MOABs weren’t developed until 2007. So Dick didn’t have them. They did use Daisy Cutters in 1991 and beginning 2001 Iraq/Afghanistan. Which are “only” half-strength.

                1. redleg

                  They were originally developed in the Vietnam war. Very unusual delivery system.
                  It’s been a long time, but I’m not sure if military training programs are unclassified or not.

              1. bob

                There’s nothing new about the MOAB.

                It’s the same shit they’ve been using since the 1940’s. High explosive.

                What’s new, according to the guys selling them, is that they built a bigger one. More HE. That’s it.

                Why didn’t they build a bigger one sooner? Because it’s impractical.

                What if Raytheon comes out tomorrow with the Grandmother of all bombs- 50,000 lbs of HE in a shipping container.

                “OMG- it’s unholy!’

                Yup, and just a “barrel bomb”.

                This is a defense contractor ad campaign.

                The one “new” bit to the Moab is what they case it in- Hardened steel. But again, this goes back to the WW2 days. They used gun barrels at that time. The hardened steel helps the bomb dig deeper before exploding.

                It’s still not very good at digging. And, again, nothing new.

                1. bob

                  I just looked it up again. The Moab is not hardened.

                  It’s just more HE in one bomb than is practical.

                  Why is it impractical? You also have a have a big, heavy, slow target carry it.

                  I’m still waiting for someone to propose a great grandmother of all bombs GGMOAB, a railcar with 100 tons of HE.

                  It’s impractical in the sense that it needs a railroad to be built before it can be delivered.

                  Next up- GGGMOAB- 150 tons of HE on a barge. A bargain at 50 million. Just add a river, and it’s there….

                  1. skippy

                    As we both know its not dropped to go bang and blow stuff up on a huge scale like atomics…. its dropped to change atmospheric pressure and the results of that…

                    disheveled… sorta like that vid sent to Milosevic when he thought hiding tanks in tunnels would produce punitive western casualties….

                    1. bob

                      I just found the one I was looking for-

                      Grand slam bomb- the brits, almost the same amount of HE, and thus- blast. In 1944.


                      The worst bit is this-

                      ” Like the Tallboy, because of the low rate of production and consequent high value of each bomb, aircrews were told to land with their unused bombs on board rather than jettison them into the sea if a sortie was aborted.[8]”

                      Not only did they make the pilots TAKE OFF with that damn thing, if they survived that, they might have to try to land with it?

                      Fiscal responsibility. Another own goal opportunity.

                      Every time I see the “outrage”, I see another defense contractor getting paid.

            2. Edward E

              Careful, my take on it, a missile or bomb strike a day helps keep a President Mike Pence away.

          2. bob

            You’re thinking of a hyperbaric/thermobaric bomb.


            They use natural gas. They’re not that tech. They just seed the air with methane, then light a match. The ‘yield’ of them is the subject of much debate.

            The one big problem is that they create a massive EMF, that frys any electronics. Not good for any tech infrastructure. One of those “own goal” prone weapons.

            Yea, yea…the US has shielded everything. You wanna be the person to test that theory, from 30,000 feet?

            They are, from reports, probably “over the line”. What line that is is increasingly becoming harder to see.

            1. craazyboy

              Here’s one writeup on the rooskie FOAB.


              The “Father of All Bombs,” (FOAB) is four times bigger than the MOAB. It’s a thermobaric bomb with a destruction radius of nearly 1,000 feet and a blast yield of nearly 44 tons of TNT.

              Plenty of errors for a short article. For one, the US “MOAB” named version is supposed be like 20 tons of TNT so daddy is twice as big. Altho the Rooskie one supposedly weighs less. But Western Intel doubts the Russian specs.

              Either one is plain old chemical explosives, but the Russian one claims to make a bigger bang because they mixed in some new ingredients that burn twice as hot. The idea with these things is that the super hot burning in the warhead makes a heat driven shockwave that is intense and can cause damage for miles, because it is detonated before hitting the ground.

              Comparing them with a barrel bomb is rather silly. They weigh 20,000 pounds, and no one builds them in thier back yard.

              1. bob

                ” They weigh 20,000 pounds, and no one builds them in thier back yard.”

                They were built by Very Serious People in Very Serious Places.

                They are still gravity bombs. Drop HE from the plane, gravity does the rest. Some sort of “guidance” in the Moab, but I gotta wonder how much you can steer a 20,000 lb anything, in freefall, with “fins”.

                I know, it’s Precision. The P adds at least a few million, and Moral Superiority when you’re delivering 3 times the HE.

                1. craazyboy

                  The real problem is it would take a Trebuchet 2/3 the height of the former World Trade Center to launch these mof*cks.

            2. Propertius

              By what possible physical mechanism does a thermobaric bomb “create a massive EMF”?

        3. Rosario

          Trump may have beat Obama by the number of days but Obama receiving the Nobel Peace prize before his mandatory presidential rampage is impossible to beat in my opinion.

      2. Katharine

        Yes. From the Guardian on the same topic:

        >Designed for destroying underground targets but not itself a deep-earth penetrator weapon, the GBU-43/B has the explosive yield of more than 11 tons of TNT. The massive bomb is dropped from air force planes and detonates before reaching the ground, resulting in an enormous blast radius. Only the Massive Ordnance Penetrator GBU-57, which has never been used in war, is a larger conventional weapon.

        >The psychological effect on survivors or observers is considered an added impact of the weapon.

        So psychological damage is an intended consequence, but they’re sure they haven’t harmed any civilians. Right.

        1. bob

          Wow, it’s all about selling these days huh?

          That bomb is closer to a “barrel bomb”. It’s 22,000 lbs of explosive. No one ever thought to make one that big before because you can’t attach that kind of weight to most planes, and have them fly.

          This is just an ad campaign for 1940 x 2.2. Nothing new, only the idea that you can do something with one bomb that 2 can’t do.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Oooh, MOAB like Evil Barrel Bombs!

            How about a little digging into what “barrel bombs” actually are: a couple of hundred pounds of explosives and rag-tag shrapnel, with a fuse lit from a cigar in the cargo area of a Russian-designed “Hip” helicopter and pushed out by a nervous Syrian enlisted man, at heights above 7,000 feet since US -supplied MANPADS missiles make the kind of low-altitude “precision bombing” done earlier in the conflict decidedly unhealthy for the bombardier.

            Here’s a substantive explanation, http://brown-moses.blogspot.com/2013/12/syrias-barrel-bomb-technology-relative.html, for anyone wanting to get past the “scare quote” level of understanding what these ad-hoc do-it-yourself munitions actually are.

            Put that up against the MOAB, a weapon just waiting (like so many other Great American Battlespace Innovations) for a place to use it, to “prove the concept,” and prime the production line and move the product out the distribution chain…

            It’s all, in the end, about body counts anyway.

            And for tonight’s laugher from the idiots making war on the landscape in Notagain?istan, here it is: “As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers, and tunnels to thicken their defense,” Gen. John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, said in the statement. “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.”

            Say again, General: What is the mission?

            1. bob

              “How about a little digging into what “barrel bombs” actually are: a couple of hundred pounds of explosives and rag-tag shrapnel,”

              How is that different that the MOAB? Because the US mil pays more.

              A moab is just HE plus metal, plus a giant profit for defense contracting middle men.

              A barrel bomb is HE plus metal.

              Is the problem here -the “morality” – that the barrel forgot to pay a kickback?

              Does the morality increase its yield? Or is it the selling that rids the bomb of any semblance of reality?

              1. JTMcPhee

                MOAB = 22,000 pounds of explosive, not dependent on shrapnel for effect but the collapsing of structures and the destruction of living humans by crushing their internal organs via “overpressure”, lying about waiting for “just the right target” so the procurers and brave Generals and Colonels in their Battlespace Manager ergonomic chairs can pat themselves on the back for a successful procurement, and “asymmetric deployment”. Kill the Wogs! Kill the Wogs! OO-RAH!

                “Barrel bomb” = 200 to 300 pounds of explosive, plus shrapnel, part of the constant drumbeat of Booms in places that used to be cities, some of them pretty healthy and beautiful in their way. “Deployed” frequently, part of the mass idiocy that is “conflict.” “Allahuh Akhbar! Allahuh Akhbar!”

                A lot more “civilians” killed by barrel bombs, but if one goes to statistics, one MOAB = claimed “200 ISIS-K” body count per strike, with the potential to kill tens of thousands per detonation. I bet the “barrel bombs” don’t average or mean out to 10% of that, though the total is (:who knows, “fog of war” and who cares about “collateral damage” or unity civilians intentionally killed? The Empire sure doesn’t — that real “first responders” from “our” side, War Department “spokespersons” and battle damage estimators, are tasked with denying, obfuscating, blaming and deflecting through a couple of news cycles. Takes some going to put them in the same category.

                On the “morality” consideration, both suck, both display the vast human capacity to invent interesting ways to kill other humans. I might give the immorality edge to the MOAB and its associated death merchants, just on volume, and intent, and that vast indifference to anything but producing ever more exotic and expensive and lethal devices.

                Mopes don’t matter. Though the pretext is “humanitarian.” “Protect”? My aching patoot. A plague on all of us, for being what we are to each other…

      3. bob

        “With a one-mile blast radius”

        Bullshit. Who ever said that is either selling them, or part of the fake news problem.

        It may have been big, but not that big.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Hey, for those wanting to try their hand at simulating a MOAB detonation over a personally disliked area (Pentagon, south end of Manhattan, [unnamed state capitol]), this article and the links therein will give you the thrill a mission planner gets at his Battlespace Manager station, as he or she lays out the scenarios… http://www.businessinsider.com/effect-of-moab-bomb-on-new-york-city-2017-4

          And “blast radius” simulation does not include the effects on the bodies of people within the weapon’s range — anyone that’s ever been near a reasonable-sized detonation and survived, knows that the internal organs like lungs take a pretty bad pounding, often resulting in bleeding and, you know, death. Half a mile, one mile, big difference, right?

          1. bob

            Neither of those- one mile, half a mile, for a “kill radius”, let alone a blast radius.

            Much less.

            It has a “yield” of 22,000 pounds of TNT.


            It’s 11 tons of HE.

            Fat Man, of WW2 fame-

            21,000 tons of HE equivalent, and a 1-2 mile “blast radius”

            So, 21,000 tons of HE to get a blast 1-2 miles wide.

            How far does 11 tons get you toward that 1-2 miles?

            11 / 22,000

            less than .0001 percent of the size of Fat Man’s yield DOES NOT EQUAL a one mile blast radius. Not even half a mile.

            Back when the military was about actually blowing shit up, instead of trying to sell shit, they found they could do a whole lot more damage with (10) 2,000 lb bombs. which equals 10 tons of HE, a little less than a MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS!!!!

            Most WW2 bombers took off with more HE on them. Are they as evil as a MOAB? Does splitting up the HE make it less evil? Yes? Then what about “cluster bombs”?

            What about the act of making 20,000 lbs of HE fit into more or less “bombs” makes it more or less evil? I can’t follow the math here. Is there an equation?

            Outrage advertising for the defense contractors. Selling WW2 “TNT” for a 12000% markup- because it pisses idiots off! Less effective use. More bang. Sounds like a winner, get marketing on it!

            1. bob

              WW2 B-29 bomb capacity-


              20,000 pounds. So not more than a MOAB, but about the same.

              The HE that was then spread across 10 or 20 bombs, put into one. Just wrapped up in one jacket.

              “Progress general! We’ve been able to duplicate what we were able to do during WW2”

              “That’s not very good. You know it’s 2017, right? WW2 was over 70 years ago, that’s not much progress”

              “but we named it “the mother of all bombs”, it’s really scary, you know, like your mother in law?”

              “har-de-har-har, SOLD! We get that at WW2 prices, right?”

              “You have quite a sense of humor. Of course not, it’s much scarier”

            2. Propertius

              t’s 11 tons of HE.

              Fat Man, of WW2 fame-

              21,000 tons of HE equivalent, and a 1-2 mile “blast radius”

              So, 21,000 tons of HE to get a blast 1-2 miles wide.

              How far does 11 tons get you toward that 1-2 miles?

              11 / 22,000

              The radius for a given overpressure scales as the cube root of the yield. So, the overpressure produced by a MOAB at 0.081 miles would be roughly the same as the overpressure produced by Fat Man (the 21kT Nagasaki bomb) at 1 mile. That’s a little over 425 feet. How that translates to actual blast damage on the ground also depends on the detonation altitude (which was 500 meters for Fat Man).

              1. JTMcPhee

                Glad that’s all settled, crushed humans at 0.081 miles and broken windows at 1 mile, in the neutral science of weaponry, and it is now ok, because the ice is broken so to speak, to “use” more of these things to “continue the momentum of the Coallition Mission” in Notagainistan.

                I do look forward to the eventual videos from the scene. And any leakage of accurate reporting on actual effects. If for no other reason than to make liars out of the procurers and deployers, who following the trail blazed by Bomber Harris and the Air Force, vastly overstate the effects and efficacy of Air Power.

                Basic point for me is that it’s all fokked. Just like the stuff I saw and was part of in Vietnam. “Wir konnen nich anders…”

                1. bob

                  It’s a completely useless weapon. It’s hard to deliver, and it’s not “better” at anything than what the US already has.

                  It’s just really really big, and it makes the “left” squeamish. That second part is the seller. Just like with gunz.

                  I still haven’t found any more details on it, just bomb porn. It’s the most boring kind of porn out there. They don’t have any story, no context, just the money shot. Over, and over and over….

                  I’d bet they had to deliver it on a day when the weather was ideal. They also had to be sure the deliverees were not capable of even rudimentary AA. They probably had to walk it in with the plane, before dropping it. A giant target, moving very slowly, filled with HE.

                  Based on the money shot, it was a good weather day. The very short time of the video could also be proof that it was delivered very close to the target by the c-130. They very well could have had to get within the range of a TOW, or an rpg, both of which could have, with a very lucky shot, turned the c-130 into the largest “own goal” ever. Small arms fire, with incendiary or tracer rounds are probably not a negligible threat when you’re trying to carry that damn thing.

              2. bob

                The “problem” with big blasts has always been that because its in only one spot when it blows, a very large bit of blast goes up, and away from your target. Very inefficient.

                That’s the cube. How much more blast do you need to go one more meter out in blast radius? This isn’t quite right, because there are other “secondary” effects that can take place at altitudes above the ground.

                If you’re trying to get rid of anything on the ground, you’re better off with numerous smaller blasts. They stay closer to the ground.

              3. bob

                The nuke test videos are a great way to see blast. In one of the newly released videos, you can plainly see the blast wave form.

                The “ground effect” is where the blast is at the “perfect” altitude for the “bubble” formed by the blast to “bounce” off the earth.

                It results not only in a overpressure, but also an underpressure, then another overpressure.

                Some test films have captured this. The debris get knocked camera left, then sucked back camera right, then pushed camera left again.

                It’s something they were actively trying to engineer with the tests. It’s also very difficult to get to happen, even under ideal conditions. The yield and the altitude have to be perfect. The ground also has to be flat.

    2. Jim Haygood

      “Someone had edited the Whopper’s Wikipedia page to say that the burger is made of a ‘medium-sized child.'”

      Likely true in the secret Burger King located in the bowels of the Mt Weather COG [Continuity of Government] center.

      Made of the tenderest Afghan ‘beef.’

      1. MoiAussie

        It gets better. A selection of other recent edits to the Wikipedia Whopper page:

        The Whopper is the worst hamburger product sold by the international fast-food restaurant chain Burger King

        The Whopper is the cancer-causing hamburger product sold by…

        Whoppers are malted milk balls covered with artificial “chocolatey coating” produced by The Hershey Company

        The Whopper is a juicy 100 percent rat meat and toenail clipping hamburger product

    3. RUKIdding

      The other question is: will Democratic voters be “upset” over this because Trump is a putative “Republican”?? Because I think they would’ve happily rationalized it in some way if Hillary was in charge.

      Yeah: I’m totally jaded.

      1. UserFriendly

        I already had this exchange on twitter:

        He is a fucking desperate, dangerous person who will have us in a major war…without allies.


        Oh, so bombing brown people would have been just fine if Killary got some buy in from Europe? She would have had us in war on day 2.

        1. Biph

          Both are awful and during the election reasonable people could disagree on who was more awful.
          Regardless of what HRC would’ve done Trump is more awful now because he is in the White House.

          1. UserFriendly

            Not at all what I was saying. I was mocking his willingness to be onboard for bombing poor people if only we can get some friends to drop a couple bombs too…. like that matters in the slightest.

    4. JTMcPhee

      Whoops, America — it appears Russia has out-bombed you again! “We” have the “MOAB,” rendered by creepy GIs as the Mother of All Bombs, but the ever-competitive Rooskies have apparently fielded the “Father of All Bombs,” reportedly four (4) times as explosive as the MOAB (known in milbabble as the GBU 43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast. Here’s some details of both, including effects: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_of_All_Bombs

      We should be proud of our species for coming up with these game-changing (sic) innovations — creative destruction on a big scale!

      1. jrs

        Again though isn’t America the only one to have used a MOAB, just like it’s the only one to have used the nuclear bomb? USA! USA! USA! America is exceptional!

    5. Rosario

      By this point I thought the neocons would have learned from Obama that a bit of subtlety in the US perpetual war goes a long way. Look at how much of their agenda Obama accomplished by buying up mercenaries (al-Nusra, al-qaeda, etc.) and using JSOC/CIA with naught but a peep from the homeland liberals. He knocked off one on their list, Libya, and was well on his way to accomplishing the second, Syria. Then Trump comes in and gets convinced to go the W route. Tsk, tsk. I guess Trump couldn’t resist the opportunity to bomb bigly.

    6. Michael

      From McClatchy on the same topic:

      Trump promised to ‘bomb the s—’ out of ISIS. And then he did.


      “The 21,000-pound conventional bomb was dropped from the back of a U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo plane. While the U.S. had never used it before, the military had dropped more than 12,000 bombs on Afghanistan in President Barack Obama’s second term. In 2016, it dropped 1,337 bombs on the country.”

      “Nicholson told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February that several thousand more troops are needed to break the “stalemate” in their fight against the Taliban.

      There are currently 8,400 U.S. troops in the country, conducting counterterrorism operations against insurgents and training and advising Afghanistan’s military. Another 6,400 troops from other NATO countries also are in Afghanistan. Last year, Obama announced that he would keep that number until the end of his term instead of dropping it to previously planned troop levels of 5,500 by early 2017.”

      So after 16 years, the US Military has fought to a “stalemate” with the Taliban, says Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

  2. diptherio

    “The impact of nature’s aesthetics is surprisingly powerful. In the 1980s, architects found that patients recovered more quickly from surgery when given hospital rooms with windows looking out on nature. Other studies since then have demonstrated that just looking at pictures of natural scenes can change the way a person’s autonomic nervous system responds to stress.”

    My personal experience supports this. I was seriously considering moving from Montana to Staten Island, to an intentional community there, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I started having anxiety dreams, which are very unusual for me, that continued until I decided not to move to the city. When people asked me why I didn’t want to come, my explanation was “I can’t look anywhere and see un-built environment.” I’m so used to being surrounded by trees and mountains, even in the heart of my little city, that not being able to see that stuff anywhere was just too overwhelming.

    1. j84ustin

      I read yesterday of a study where in poor urban neighborhoods researchers monitored heart rates of people who walked past vacant lots as is and vacant lots that were spruced up and inviting/nice to look at, and that those who encountered the latter had lower heart rates. Makes sense.

        1. Big River Bandido

          Most people who live in poor neighborhoods probably don’t have that kind of time on their hands.

          1. clinical wasteman

            Exactly. Neither the time nor the place: if the vacant lot has been made ‘nice to look at’ with any sort of municipal/approved private sector involvement, that probably means the ‘urban poor’ can no longer afford to live in that area, and almost certainly that their adult children won’t be able to stay there unless they never leave the two-bedroom childhood home. In which case walking past and seeing the ‘spruced-up’ environment is unlikely to be a psychic balm, because the person walking was probably forced out years ago, so that she now visits her old haunts only to practice the Bitter, the Hollow and the Mirthless laugh (all rise for Samuel Beckett) in that order.
            None of which invalidates the work of those fine gardeners mentioned by jrs and ulysses and also active just around the corner here, where they are precisely the enemies and potential victims of the real estate developer/city council alliance against human and built ‘eyesores’, i.e. the relatively poor majority and the objects they/we rely on.

            1. Big River Bandido

              Don’t get me wrong. I think community gardens are a great thing. But their presence usually means the people who tend to them do not have a daily struggle to survive.

    2. clinical wasteman

      I recognize & sympathize with that overwhelming ‘NO’, because I experience it in reverse: i.e. as genuine panic at more than a few hours’ exposure to a non-urban view from the window. Particular thanks then, diptherio, for describing it so well as subjective need (and no less real for that) rather than in terms of “nature is good for you/cities bad” (or the insufferable flipside, the virtues of the ‘vibrant’, ‘creative’ asset-backed city so beloved of Richard Florida, Demos and countless European metro-area mayors). Having witnessed — and occasionally, as a privileged invited guest, been drawn into — others’ intense attachment to certain non-urban places, I really do suspect that your gut response and mine have more in common than not, just with the terms reversed. And definitely more in common with one another than either has with the sort of status-calculation (BIG house = ‘achievement’), aesthetic atrophy, top-down class hatred and straight-out racism that gave us upscale exurbs. (The return of the exurbanites to colonize the cities and kick out the poor is another story, already a long one now.) The mini-McMansion/pool and two garages/gated community idyll seems to presume that what the luck owner sees out the window simply doesn’t matter, because all meaningful life (outside the thrill of career competition) happens inside the nuclear-family bunker (and its outpost, the apartment-size car). Whereas — perhaps — the need for mountains/trees/rocks/sea out the window and the need for street noise pouring through it at 4am both have something to do with a sensitivity to human and inanimate surroundings. Maybe those of us devoted to wilderness and those bound to cities share a lack of gated self-satisfaction, so that we require our immediate surroundings to be alive and seething with finely detailed meaning. Witnessing my brother and members of his adopted Ngati Porou whanau ‘read’ the subtlest natural encryptions of the forests of Te Ika a Maui (formerly NZ ‘North Island), I have repeatedly been struck by the similarity to the way my elective whanau/Genossen/innen here in London ‘read’ our never-silent, never-‘vibrant’ streets.

      1. Swamp Yankee

        clinical wasteman,

        This is a splendid comment, and jibes very well with my own experience in a small Massachusetts town among the cranberries and pines and my good friend’s 45 miles away in Boston (each of us grew up in each respective place). You summed up my own experience and his as well, based on our conversations, very well.

        Suburbanization, McMansionization, destruction of the manifold Commons (ecological, social, economic, etc.), gentrification — these are the enemies of both the City Mouse and the Country Mouse!

        As the old music hall song put it — “it’s the same the whole world over!”

      2. aletheia33

        >perhaps — the need for mountains/trees/rocks/sea out the window and the need for street noise pouring through it at 4am both have something to do with a sensitivity to human and inanimate surroundings. <

        wasteman, great comment!

        and it is too bad that so many people are forced by economic (and political, for immigrants) pressures they cannot resist to make their homes in environments–urban, suburban, or rural–that do not suit their makeup and cause them great stress.

    3. Lee

      Having spent a fair amount of time in and around Yellowstone, mostly wolf watching, I would likely move to Gardiner if not for various family obligations and health issues. I’ve been there in all seasons except winter, which my son, who spent a year in Bozeman found barely tolerable. Should circumstances allow, I’d love to spend a month up there watching wolves in winter.

    4. aletheia33

      diphtherio, i am like that. i fled the big cities for good 22 years ago, seriously ill, and have never returned. there are quite a few urban refugees like myself in the small vermont town where i live. people leave cities for many reasons. i’ve encountered a surprising number here who found themselves forced to do so for one reason: city living made them sick in body and/or mind.

      it hasn’t been easy making a living outside where the jobs and opportunities are. but i count myself very lucky. my heart breaks for those who need to get out and cannot. i wonder how many of them there are, not the ones who miss the presence of nature around them and manage to cope but the ones who experience that absence down to their cores and know their souls are slowly dying from it.

      1. jerry

        Thank you for this awesome comment! This is me right now.. not all the way in the big city but close enough to feel the soul-death. The challenge is of course the jobs and making a living as you say. But the alternative is too much to bear.

        1. vidimi

          suburbs are way worse than big cities. they are the worst of both worlds – neither the closeness to nature of the country, neither the culture of the city.

    5. crittermom

      diptherio, my personal experience supports this, as well.
      I love trees, mtns, critters, uninhabited places.
      I can feel my normally low blood pressure rise whenever I must enter a big city.
      I chose a rural life long, long ago. I realized even as a child that nature nourishes my soul.

      While my choice may not be for everyone, I realized it’s what’s best for my own sanity and well-being.

      BTW, Montana is one of the places I’ve wanted to visit for decades and I still intend to (along with Alaska). Still missing Colorado, where I spent over half my life.

    6. Jeremy Grimm

      But what about cute furry animals and other creatures of nature? Lambert is the plants guy. Are there no links to support Ives critters? [I like plants and nature — and abstract art.]

      1. aletheia33

        jeremy grimm, do you mean something like, you want to see links to studies that show being around animals is good for people, not just studies about being around plants?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I put ice-free roads (with no means testing) before tuition-free college education…unless we do both, and free healthcare for all.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Jut made me think that we move all sorts of elements and compounds around, just changing their concentrations in different areas at different times. People freaked out over Exxon Valdez, but where did they think all of that oil was going to end up anyway? In the ecosystem, just in different concentrations. Of course brand-new manmade substances like Plutonium 238 could be considered a different case.

  3. Toshiro_Mifune

    GA-06 – The district is white collar, educated and doing well economically, with median household incomes of $80,000 versus $50,000 statewide, and nearly 60 percent of adults holding a college or professional degree, more than twice the statewide average. It is also increasingly diverse, and in recent years became a magnet for well-educated immigrants from India and other parts of Asia

    So they’ve gone out of their way to find a district that fits their ideal in order to prove their message is correct.

    1. Deadl E Cheese

      It’ll be hilarious when these fainting-couch frauds lose this district by a larger amount than when the underfunded Berniecrat lost Kansas.

      Liberals have at this point completely bought into the self-serving lie that most of the top 5-30% are in their tank, they just need to be a little woker. They simply can’t bear the thought that overal support for reactionary politics are correlated with wealth, because that would render their appeal and thus political ethos a top-to-bottom lie.

      1. Marina Bart

        Do we know for sure Ossoff can’t get to 50+1% in this round?

        I think it’s very important he lose. The idea that the Ds might be able to swing the House seems unlikely, but it will clearly be better if they can’t swing it at all. We need to flush those rats out if at all possible; all other paths forward are much slower or risk even more violence.

        Today’s news is just so comprehensively depressing.

    2. nippersdad

      Always given their ideal is the type of place that votes for Newt Gingrich. I can remember back when the Northern Atlanta suburbs were represented by the two leaders of the impeach Clinton movement (Gingrich and Barr); it is ironic that that is now their preferred demographic.

    3. Carolinian

      I once lived in Ga 6 and Newtie was my congressman. While I haven’t been following the race I’d be very surprised if the Dem wins, particularly now that Trump has taken up the mantle of Obomber. The district has both a major defense plant and an active air base. F-18s would do touch and gos and fly over your house at, like, 200ft. While the area has been changing since I moved away and has more suburban sprawl Georgia in general has become more Republican since the Jimmy Carter era.

    4. Vatch

      The Democrat Ossoff has a good chance of finishing in first place in the primary, since the Republicans are so fractured. But this won’t elect him to Congress unless he wins more than 50% of the vote. A likely outcome is first place for Ossoff with 35% to 45% of the vote, followed in succession by several Republicans, who will probably get more total votes than the five Democratic candidates get.

      In the runoff, it will be Ossoff versus the Republican, and the Republican will almost certainly be the winner. Millions of dollars will have been wasted by the Democrats, and a small fraction of that money would have gained them a victory in Kansas.

      1. Carolinian

        If memory serves Gingrich moved to District 6 from a different district precisely because it was considered such a safe Republican district. Back in the 90s it was the great Dem dream to get rid of Gingrich by defeating him in District 6 but they never did.

      2. Big River Bandido

        I am certain that you are correct about how the race will shake out. The idea that the same kind of neoliberal nonsense that failed for the last 39 years will somehow, this time, manage to win is straight out of Dante. Except that in the Democrats’ case this is not insanity but “strategy”.

        As for “millions of dollars will have been wasted by the Democrats”: this is nothing compared to the billion dollars Hillary Clinton tossed in the shitcan last year. Besides, the word “wasted” is opinion and its truth depends on who you ask. Yes, the Democrats have been a sinkhole of liberal dollars for 3 decades. But those aren’t “wasted” dollars — they have suckled a huge astroturf industry and an army of professional grifters for a generation. Those people, at least, will have secure jobs — no matter how many more elections and opportunities the Democrats lose.

    5. Craig

      Seems we have a natural experiment on which of the approaches might work. After the results are in on GA-06, we can do a compare with KS-04 and learn a tiny bit. And I applaud any Dem willing to run in such districts, not sure how we get to a 50 state strategy by trashing candidates.

      1. Darius

        The DCCC wouldn’t be pouring millions into GA06 unless Ossoff was a Hillary Obama type Dem. Democrats won’t win if they keep to a strategy of appealing to people with advanced degrees plus minorities plus LGBTQ. They don’t get enough turnout because identity politics doesn’t motivate people who are struggling economically.

        They need to appeal to and organize working class people of all ethnicities, orientations, etc.

        1. PH

          I looked at all 5 campaign websites (including Ossoff).

          No one for Medicare for all.

          No one who is against war.

          No one with an anti-Wall Street position. No one for tax the rich.

          No one with detectable grass roots support, except maybe the former state senator, but that is hard to tell from the campaign websites.

          All candidates seem to be trying to fit in — tell a story the district wants to hear. Probably all the Dems are thinking “this is basically a Repub district, so . . .”

          Well, I think that approach is conventional wisdom, but wrong. But if we are going to challenge conventional wisdom we need candidates who say controversial things — like “I hate war.”

          1. Vatch

            You’re right, none of the candidates wants to be perceived at being too far to the left.

            Ragin Edwards seems to come close to Medicare for All, without actually saying it.


            Healthcare reform is one of the most talked about issues in American politics today. We must make sure that Healthcare becomes affordable for all Americans. No person should die because they cannot afford treatment, or because they have a pre-existing condition.
            Medical bills are the #1 reason why Americans are in debt today. We must work to make Healthcare affordable for all Americans.

            Richard Keatley is somewhat opposed to how Wall Street behaves. He combines environmentalism with some criticism of banking:


            I responded in a recent forum to Republican candidates stating that climate change should be dealt with at the local government level by saying “this is not your garden.” This statement should be self evident in saying that release of carbon emissions and global warming are a problem for the world that needs to be taken seriously and dealt with in our lifetime. I will support the EPA’s mission of keeping our rivers, forests and streams clean and safe for our children and their children. We also need to protect our outdoor industries that create more jobs for our economy here in the 6th district than the banking or pharmaceutical industries.

            Like Edwards, Rebecca Quigg inches towards Medicare for All without actually getting there:


            The ACA is not perfect, but as a doctor, she knows that it was a historic first step in getting America on the right track.
            The fundamental question that drives her is; “Why wouldn’t we want everyone in the 6th District to have access to the best healthcare? Why wouldn’t we want the people serving us our food and taking care of our children to be healthy and free of communicable diseases? Why would we want to let our fellow residents die because they cannot afford to get well? The simple answer to all these questions, is we would not want that. Particularly when every other industrialized nation has figured out how to do it.
            Dr. Quigg will support a comprehensive healthcare solution that keeps in place existing protections that ensure women and patients with pre-existing conditions are not charged higher premiums, and aren’t restricted by annual or lifetime limits.
            With more than 25 years of experience, she will work across the aisle to expand and improve the ACA. She will never repeal healthcare for the millions of Americans that depend on it.

            Richard Slotin, the former state senator, has a nice statement on environmental issues:


            Together, we must protect our clean water, clean air and green spaces. Our district is bountiful with trees, parks, rivers and outdoor life. We must support alternative energy sources. Ron will support tax credits for electrical vehicles and solar energy for our homes and businesses. He will also advocate for the Clean Power Plan to protect our air quality for generations to come.

            Slotin also supports raising the minimum wage.

  4. diptherio

    File Under: Politics, Guillotine Watch, Class Warfare, Co-ops

    the left wing can bring back the manufacturing sector by mass producing guillotines through worker-run industrial co-ops.

    1. pretzelattack

      i was thinking of a tumbril business during the recent unpleasantness (the election). got to get those heads to the guillotine in the first place.

      1. clinical wasteman

        Self-driving tumbrils, or one more dimension of multitasking for Uber drivers/delivery riders?

  5. dcblogger

    Kos built his site on the Dean, Lamont, Obama, and Elizabeth Warren campaigns. Now he has become part of the professional Democratic loser class he used to deride.

    cynical Ghandi: first the ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then they buy you.

    1. Ernesto Lyon

      DK is unreadable now. Used to be a fan a long time ago, but they started cracking down more and more on what was allowed to be talked about and it got to be a bore.

      I gauge a site’s level of truth by the range of opinions of allowed, even if some of those opinions are distasteful or impolite. If the site is doing heavy editing and selection of reader comments you can be sure it’s doing the same thing on its content.

      1. Darius

        Obama’s election ruined Kos. It was just a place for useless cheerleading. I abandoned Kos soon after Mr. Awesomely Awesome Awesomeness took office. The stupidity was unbearable.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The “Obama and Clinton Pie Fights” were simply appalling. The misogyny and racism on display were outrageous. Its always amusing to see the “Kos has changed” stories every Friedman Unit. It was probably always a disaster.

    2. L

      Ye. I was a big Kos reader until the primary. Then his longstanding love of Clinton became a basis for outright derision of Sanders voters. For a while there he was so smug in his confidence that she would win, must win, that it seemed he couldn’t muster up the effort to be nice, let alone understand that people may have a point.

      Now I click in occasionally but the whole feeling of “looking forward not back” is too much to ignore.

      1. Marina Bart

        Come to r/Way of the Bern. The Kos refugee mods are doing heroic work trying to figure out a way to facilitate left discourse on a commercial platform in the age of Correct The Record/Shareblue.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        “…and then was permanently banned…”

        You and a fairly significant percentage of the readership here, often for telling the truth he and the other neoliberals didn’t want to hear. I remember one person being banned simply for mentioning that John Edwards really was a cad….

        If the numbers in that HuffPo piece are true and 60% of readers were supporters of Bernie in the primary, my guess is that little Markos has been reaching out to his network for some good PR to try to get some eyeballs back. Must have been very hard for him to stay ‘neutral’ during the primary and refrain from his normal hippie punching which he’s been doing since Dean was eliminated from the 2004 primary. This fundraising is nothing new – just more PR trying to convince the rubes that it’s a site geared towards ‘progressives’.

        Markos is all about one thing and that’s making money for Markos. He contributes very little and depends on his commentariat to do all the work for free to bring eyeballs and ad dollars to his site. He had that business model down way before the Ubers and other appmonkey squillionaires came along.

      2. Milton

        Props to you. The commentariat is brutal. I never heard such language from liberals since I walked out of Whole Foods with my groceries double-bagged with plastic.

    3. NDP

      Kos’ b.s. shilling for Hillary began in May of 2015, just about one week after Sanders declared his candidacy.

      After about nine months of trying to wrangle his progressive herd not no avail, he went full authoritarian. Here’s when the site died:

      I kind of think he got paid.

  6. Vatch

    Meredith Kelly, the communications director for the [DCCC]. ‘End of story. That’s just the way it is. There are just certain races where it is not helpful to be attached to the national D.C. Democrats. It is the calculation you make in even the most competitive swing district.’

    Thank you for pointing out how foolish her statement is. Georgia is just as conservative at Kansas is, yet the Democratic party has firehosed millions of dollars into the Georgia special election. As you point out, the Ds could have provided a few tens of thousands of dollars for Thompson in Kansas that would have been used for advertising, with absolutely no aroma of the national party tainting it. Will they do anything to help Rob Quist in Montana? Stay tuned.

    There’s a slight chance (very slight) that people can have some influence over how the establishment tools spend their money, but we have to make noise.

    DCCC: (202) 863-1500
    DNC: (202) 863-8000
    Sen. Chuck Schumer: (202) 224-6542
    DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Lujan: (202) 225-6190
    Sen. Dick Durbin: (202) 224-2152
    Rep. Nancy Pelosi: (202) 225-4965
    DNC Chair Tom Perez: ???
    DNC Vice Chair Keith Ellison: (202) 225-4755

    I hope Democrats around the country vote against most Democratic incumbents in the 2018 primaries, but I won’t hold my breath.

    1. Marina Bart

      I think calling them is a good idea, but only because we want holding these jobs to be unpleasant enough for them that they decide to retire to spend more time with their donors.

      They’re too strongly incentivized personally to keep doing this to respond in a meaningful way to citizen demands.

      What’s more important is to continue reaching out to the grassroots to keep rescuing people from the herd. We can’t stop deluded celebrities from giving the Ds money and driving around for horror shows like Ossoff like car puppies (http://buzz.blog.ajc.com/2017/03/27/ossoff/). We just need Ossoff to lose. And then the next Ossoff. And the one after that. We need to stiffen the resolve of those who are waffling.

    2. Big River Bandido

      Save yourself the time, effort, and blood pressure. None of those organizations exist to serve the public and their officers aren’t obliged to listen. They have proven that, time and again.

      The campaign committees are fundraising businesses run by members of Congress and elected officials in the party structure. Voters have absolutely no say in their decisions.

      1. Vatch

        None of those organizations exist to serve the public and their officers aren’t obliged to listen.

        Absolutely true. But if people call, the callers will have personal experience with the non-responsiveness of these organizations. I called the DNC and the DCCC yesterday, and nobody answered the phones. I had to navigate their intentionally obscure voice mail system before I could leave a message. And now I can tell people exactly what happened.

        It will be interesting if anyone who calls is able to talk to a real person. I would enjoy learning about that, if it ever happens.

        But you’re right about the blood pressure — some people should probably avoid calling, because it could be bad for their health.

        1. polecat

          You know, reading …. and commenting about how awful things have become over the last decade (at least !!) has certainly affected my health … !
          The problem is, is that this continual train wreck we’re all on has become like an addiction of sorts. A visual metaphor would be the miscreant Alex, in Kubrick’s film ‘A Clockwork Orange’ … strapped to that chair, and forced to watch retchedness for hours, his eyelids having been clipped wide-open, his head immobile ! The icing on the cake is virually everyrone else know is mostly clueless as to the issues at hand …

  7. Katharine

    Regarding the tenure story, a slightly later item:

    The president supposedly based her decision in some significant part on student reviews, which would be a source of amusement to anyone who has ever read a pack of them. It would be cause for concern if they were uniformly bad, but that seems unlikely. His department was solidly behind him, and colleagues are capable of noticing inadequacy too. I think it likely the one vote against him on the tenure committee was the provost, who has probably joined with the president in what appears remarkably like a plan to milk faculty for seven years of work and then replace them with cheaper models.

    1. Uahsenaa

      Rarely is someone put on the tenure track who is not expected to stick around long term, which is why, for the most part, people who get tenure make no waves whatsoever. Generally, they make the opposite of waves. They are anti-waves. But because academic politics are really that petty, all you have to do is mildly irk someone for a completely innocent reason, and they’ll derail your entire career.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        What wisdom can our academicians teach, in light of this?

        Should we send out children elsewhere?

      2. Gaianne

        “Rarely is someone put on the tenure track who is not expected to stick around long term”

        This may be true at some universities, but at others it is not. In the town where I live, lure-and-discard is a normal approach to tenure track in many university departments.

        Something you have to factor in when you take an appointment, if you don’t want your career to die unexpectedly.


  8. hemeantwell

    “Class in American politics, rich vs. poor, is just not a very good predictor of party identification,” Ms. Lee said

    That’s because the parties themselves are not a very good predictor of the class orientation embodied in their policy goals. I expect to run into people calling the Democrats “the Left,” but for someone posing as an expert to do so indicates she’s more into ideology reinforcement, not analysis. TINA!

    1. Art Eclectic

      My observation has been that party division is more accurately predicted on a a person’s view of human nature.

      1) Believes humans are basically good and need only gentle guidance to do the right thing.

      2) Believes humans are basically lawless and need a firm hand to keep them in line.

      Whichever side of that line you fall on tends to dictate party preference.

      Personally, I think humans are mix. Or more accurately, the mix is gender related. Men need a much firmer hand than women, so they’ve invented for themselves religion, government, and the military mostly to keep other men in line.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        1) Believes humans are basically good and need only gentle guidance to do the right thing.

        Does that guidance come from basically good humans (who need guidance) themselves? Or does it come from something external to humans?

        2) Believes humans are basically lawless and need a firm hand to keep them in line.

        What or who will provide the firm hand to keep these basically lawless humans in line? From outside, again?

        I think about these and I don’t know. Do we know? Do we need someone or something outside for answers?

        Do we seek answers from trees, cats, dragons, etc?

        1. clinical wasteman

          And I think I detect a trio of Begged Question alarms ringing louder and louder somewhere.
          1. “Lawful” = “Good”?!
          2. “Guidance” has less in common with an invasive “firm hand” than the two share with each other?!
          3. “Good”, “bad” and “lawful” are all personal qualities of the person so described, not something to do with effects on other people?

          Goodness and gentleness are not just unlawful but positively forbidden in many jurisdictions (except in the form of “charity”, i.e. toss a coin to your victim’s caseworker after delivering the last kick). And vice-versa.
          The opposite of gentleness has far more to do with institutional policy than individual nastiness, and “lawfulness” is its trump (pardon) card.
          If anyone is ever going to change all that, sign me up for the long march of the Lawless, not the blameless petitioning of the Good.


          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Good questions…good in the sense of positive effects on others, not the qualities of the questions themselves.

            Maybe good laws are good and bad laws are bad.

            So, goodlawful = good, and badlawful = bad?

            1. Aumua

              Ok, there’s lawful and there’s chaotic. Then there’s good and evil. And there’s neutral. So we have lawful good, lawful neutral, and lawful evil.

              Do you guys know nothing?

      2. Huey Long

        I dunno about the gender thing. In my experiences with the fairer sex, many of them enjoy being naughty and breaking the rules just like men.

      3. Marina Bart

        I’m leery of getting into a gender based fight here at the moment, but I completely disagree. I do not believe men innately need a “firmer hand” than women. I don’t think there is a trace of evidence you can show to demonstrate this. Social and cultural conditioning starts very early to prod humans into two sharply delineated genders far beyond what operational differences would exist absent all that conditioning. Then all the institutional structures that force people down various cattle chutes on the basis of these artificial gender differences also impact their experiences and thus their beliefs. Much of this current conditioning and these structures are designed to facilitate patriarchal capitalism; it isn’t natural by any definition, and it brutalizes most men as well as most women to deliver its bounty to the tiny group at the top.

        Some men are authoritarian followers. So are some women. Some men are greedy bullies. So are some women. The men I personally know well need no firm hand. Like a lot of women who have rebelled against our conditioning, I have personally suffered more often from women trying to police my behavior — although I have, as related previously here, suffered my share of sexually-based oppression and punishment.

        1. craazyman

          what happened when they tried to police your behavior? did you flip them the bird?

          that’s what I’d do. I had a senior colleague once who gave me a hard time — an ex-Navy guy but I actually knew him pretty well. I won’t tell the whole story but i wanted to come and work for him not for a jerk I was workign for. He told me I needed to prove myself! I had over and over and over — to his benefit!

          I told him what a bunch of fkkng nonsense that was and I cursed him out to his face right in his office.

          He was fairly shocked. But he did what I wanted within a month and he hired me into his department! LOL No lie. he did! He never gave me any attitude once after that at all either. Not once. And he was a crusty guy who the office sheep feared like he was some kind of macho dude, which he really wasnt.

          See that’s the good thing about guys is you can tell them to go eff themselves & flip them the bird and they can get over it. Or most can. I’m not sure if women would get over something like that. It’s not something I’d say to most women, but if one was my boss and she was trying to boss me around I sure as hell would. No lie.

          that must be why the reptilians flipped the bird at Neil Armstrong when he landed on the moon — they were upset with something NASA did evidently. It’s a well known fact that doesn’t require me to defend it — from a veracity standpoint. It wasn’t personal withh Neil, no doubt. And I bet we could work it out with the reptilians if everybody chilled and thought about what was true.

      4. Yves Smith

        I agree 100% with Marina. Conditioning of girls to be quiet and well behaved is intense and starts early. By contrast, a very successful guy I know commented on the age at which it became clear to him that he’d be cut slack (he instigated a rebellion in class, the teacher knew he did it but he was not punished because he was a good student). He said based on his talks with other successful men, they’d all had similar realizations pretty early on. By contrast, I misbehaved in school a few times at a much younger age than when his incident occurred and was clearly a bright kid and not mean or destructive, just a bit willful. Yet I was expelled once and beaten with a belt another time. I can pretty much guarantee nothing like that would have happened to a male, it would have been laughed off as “boys will be boys”.

        1. TK421

          I can pretty much guarantee nothing like that would have happened to a male, it would have been laughed off as “boys will be boys”.

          I hate to burst your bubble, but…

          1. craazyman

            No kidding. . . .

            Born down in a dead man’s town
            The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
            You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much
            Till you spend half your life just covering up now

            Born in the U.S.A.
            I was born in the U.S.A.
            I was born in the U.S.A.
            Born in the U.S.A., now

            -Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA lyrics

          2. Darius

            But what? Gender differences in the treatment of boys and girls is pretty well documented. We should all be glad Yves retained her feisty ways.

          3. Aumua

            But it really depends on the particular situation, what would or wouldn’t have happened. And we should avoid generalizing as much as possible.

        2. Fiery Hunt

          And beyond the conditioning by “society” and its institutions, there’s what I have always believed to be the most important factor in who’s gonna need a firm hand and who doesn’t….Upbringing.

          I guarantee boys raised by single moms (who teach them to respect women) are far fiercer defenders of the weak than daddy’s spoiled girls…

        3. Oregoncharles

          You came through with spirit remarkably intact. As in, it just didn’t work.

          I went to a boys’ boarding school in the late 50’s. One friend was running a contest with a girlfriend to break all the rules. She had about twice as many – so I’d say you have a case about the general culture, at least in the past.

        4. UserFriendly

          Well at least in my experience it was certainly not the authority figures that were doing that conditioning. I very intentionally give off a vibe of ‘don’t talk to me’ especially when I was in school. I also happened to wear nothing but black, had a ton of piercings, and dyed my hair every color of the rainbow. None of that was because I had any problems talking to people, I just had no interest in talking to the kind of people that were bothered by something as stupid as my choice in clothing. Some of my best friends made the exact opposite fashion choices but came over and said wow I love your hair or something like that.

          Anyways, as a masculine gay guy who really didn’t feel the need to make my personal life public many people weren’t sure about my sexuality and I always told my friends that if someone wanted to know they could ask me and I’d tell them but otherwise it was none of their business… That let me float between my straight female friends and straight male friends as not threatening.

          From what I saw, almost all social conditioning came from mass media being one upped. You had this impression that guys in highschool were all getting laid all the time and so of course plenty of guys lied and said they were, and then it just became self fulfilling. In reality, most of them thought it was hollow and didn’t really want to do it, but the one upmanship and the need to fit in…

          Girls on the other hand were usually taught to feel insecure about some body feature, and that they needed to not be seen as a slut so they needed to find one guy to date for as long as possible, because they like sex too but they knew all the other girls would tear her to shreds if she admitted that she liked banging a different guy every weekend. Where as a guy might just as well not have to worry about putting himself out there to be judged by girls every weekend but he would usually have at least one friend who would give him shit if he dated the same girl too long and kept encouraging him to play the field.

          Some much of it came straight out of insecurity of what their peer group would think of them. But I never saw authority figures go ‘boys will be boys,’ if anything I saw female teachers give male students crap for trying to get away with stuff like that.

          Which is why I guess being a gay guy is the best of both worlds in that respect. It has never taken me more than 3 hours to find a hookup if I am so inclined and I don’t get judged for doing so. But considering my life is a cluster**** I haven’t been bothering with that much lately.

          1. Fiery Hunt

            Nice, UserFriendly. We’re all broken/insecure in some way but I’m glad my friends at least know they are.

            Am reminded of The Offspring’s lyric…

            “We all just want to re-arrange.”

            Fix You

          2. Marina Bart

            Social conditioning begins at birth — if not before. The instant a woman knows which sex she is carrying, she and the world around her treat her and the fetus differently depending on which one it is.

            There are lots and lots of studies to back this up. Women will eat more protein for a boy fetus — or their families/partners will make them. Girls are more likely to be aborted or left to die in the woods. There are differences in how and how often they are picked up and touched from the moment of their birth. Reactions to crying, sleeping and climbing are all gendered, by EVERYBODY the baby comes in contact with — parents, relatives, caregivers, strangers in the store. So babies are being conditioned with both positive and negative reinforcement as soon as they breath oxygen.

            It’s not that only girls get punished for being rambunctious. It’s HOW they get punished — not just what the teacher does, but how the other students react to it, how the parents react it. Boys also suffer when they don’t sufficiently fit acceptable gender behavior. I wasn’t saying — and I don’t think Yves was saying — that only girls get punished for acting up. It’s the nuances that matter. We all swim in an endless, all-encompassing river of gender conditioning 24/7, which is designed to divide all of us against our own natures, to make us more malleable to the system that enriches the few.

        5. vidimi

          i had a female teacher who, i speculate had gone through an acrimonious break-up, hated the boys in the class. she terrorized me more than the others because she knew i had authoritarian parents who would be on her side. it took probably two decades to recover my self-esteem, and i never did make anything of myself.

          i do suspect that successfull people don’t tend to have their personalities broken down in childhood, but i also piss on the way our society defines ‘successfull’.

      5. redleg

        2016 presidential contest was between Chaotic Neural vs. Lawful Evil.
        I’d cite an author but i don’t remember where I read it.

  9. oho

    Letter: I was on United flight 3411. Here’s what I saw.

    …..disgusting mishandling of the situation included everyone from the rude ticket agent who demanded that this man give up his seat on the flight United overbooked, to one of the officers laughing in the midst of the incident, to the violent, abusive way the passenger was dragged off the plane by the officer. It was the worst possible model for my students, and frankly, was traumatizing to many of us who watched this from such close proximity…..


    1. JTMcPhee

      Traumatizing? “Let that be a lesson to you. Do not resist.” Too bad so many of us are so polite and fearful when it comes to thugs wearing outfits that say, implicitly or in Black and White, “POLICE.” Of course resistance will get you battered, tazed or shot — unless a bunch of people get a sudden case of backbone and stop worrying about what’s “legal” and act on what is right. Looking at the video captures, at least one young woman seemed to be going after the trailing “POLICE” in their “POLICE” jackets — or maybe she was just rushing to the bathroom…

      1. aletheia33

        >a bunch of people get a sudden case of backbone and stop worrying about what’s “legal” and act on what is right<

        i seem to remember an all-passenger rebellion on some (non-u.s.) flight awhile back, over something far less egregious. maybe someone here will remember enough to find a link.

        at any rate, i will not be surprised if such passenger uprisings do start to happen here. i suspect a majority think the abuse of dr. dao was unacceptable. the peasants are getting restless, and there are more and more of them, with less and less to lose, every day. . .

        1. aletheia33

          and another, not a revolt, just passengers booing:


          refusing to move (within the airport):

          refusing to board:

          refusing to buckle seat belts: http://www.france-today.com/2010/12/investigation-to-be-launched-into.html

          leaving the plane:

        2. Aumua

          Yeah, not a single passenger stood up and said “Hey, you know what? I’ll go. It’s fine. Stop hurting this person.” That’s a part of this I find particularly poignant.

      2. oho

        the Dr. did not commit any federal or local crime. Per the carriage contract, the Doc had a 100% legal right to be in that seat since United allowed the Doc to board and sit in his seat—aka Doc was not a trespasser.

        The doors did not close on that flight. The Doc. was not disruptive.

        The matter was 100% a contract dispute between UAL/Republic (who were the ones unilaterally breaking the contract) and the Doc before it escalated when the security cops arrived.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Just to be clear:

      Voters who voted for Obama and then did not vote in 2016 are racist, deplorables not worth spending money on.

      Voters who voted for Mittens and will likely vote for Republicans are “moderates” Democrats need to win!

  10. Huey Long

    Chuck Spinney’s take on the Trumpster’s 59 tomahawk tweet:

    The Malleable Bi-Partisan Utility of Poison Gas

    If there was a centerpiece to Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign for President of the United States, it was her struggle to convince the American people that Donald Trump was congenitally incapable of reacting rationally when surprised by a dangerous international crisis. She struggled futilely to contrast her experience and gravitas to Trump’s reckless impulsiveness. In a rational world, the recent Trumpian brain fart of firing 59 cruise missiles (worth about $90 million) at a nearly empty — and forewarned — Syrian airfield should be a candidate case study to test Clinton’s psychological theory. But it won’t be. Mr. Trump merely did what Ms. Clinton called on him to do (see this video) a few hours prior to the attack. Moreover, the political response to Trump’s attack has been one of widespread bipartisan support, with particular enthusiasm among senior Democrats [e.g, see 1, 2 3]

    Read the rest

    1. vidimi

      good on the PD for firing these thugs

      of course, they will probably sue back for wrongful termination and win.

  11. TK421

    “On the economy, Ossoff says he will create ‘forward-looking, fiscally responsible economic policy that maximizes opportunity for entrepreneurs, workers, and investors’”

    Finally,.someone is thinking of the invstors! Where’s my checkbook?

    1. Marina Bart

      His mom runs a PAC.

      That’s not even a joke. It is literally true. Your corporate Democratic Party, ladies and gentlemen!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      So an Obama speech? Zing.

      “The world has shrunk. It is interconnected. All of you represent that interconnection. Many of you are catalyzing it and accelerating it. It promises to bring extraordinary benefits. But it also has challenges. ”

      “Now, supporting entrepreneurs isn’t just something we do around the world. It’s also a key part of how we create jobs and fuel innovation here in the United States. ” -Barack Obama at a dialogue with Mark Zuckerberg


      Ossoff is a test run for “uncool” versions of Obama the Democrats will try to roll out.

      1. neighbor7

        Sounds like Obama channeling Tom Friedman? Catalyzing the shrunk interconnections and accelerating that? Better keep the matches away from the innovation fuel!

      2. Darius

        How about full employment? Like Democrats used to do. Not Obama’s entrepreneurial blah blah.

  12. G. Wilgus

    Re: Daily Kos is Back.

    I wear my banishment from the Kos community as a badge of honor. My infraction was to suggest that progressives will sit out the election or vote Green rather than vote for Hillary since the corporate Dems have thrown labor and working Americans aside . . . after Kos decided that further discussion except to support Hillary was a thought crime.

    I found that community to be rife with magical thinking and denialism with the unctuous pronouncements by Kos and his front-pagers designed more to qualify him as an oh-so-serious-person rather than to be a force for electing better Democrats.

    BTW – Has anybody been following the movement for the March For Science on April 22? I find it interesting where I am (Traverse City, MI) that while there was an outpouring to march for the pink pussy hats earlier this year, there is no verve for a public support of science. I guess that is the difference between identity politics and supporting a reality that organizes our understanding of the Cosmos. I will be marching at another location. But I also wonder: how is it that politicians who decide otherwise from the scientific consensus really don’t want to own their decision? The default stance is science denial rather than a clear exposition of their reasoning.

    1. Huey Long

      RE: March for Science

      I think the March for Science’s dearth of public support as compared to the pink pussy hats has more to do with the pussy hats having Mighty Wurlitzer backing than with actual public support for science.

      If our media can manipulate Americans into giving a crap about the Kardashians or supporting the war-du-jour, I’m fairly certain they could drum up support for a science march if TPTB gave the order.

      1. jrs

        But where are they now when there is stuff to protest by the boatload? I realize some of them are involved in some issues. But for most, I can’t help thinking the hats were in fact perfectly apt, too p*s*y for a real fight.

        1. G. Wilgus

          For those who aren’t in protest for a real fight I call Pendejos. A very apt description of the pink pussy hat crowd.

      2. polecat

        Choose your monk’s monastery wisely …. the historical scientific documents and artifacts may need to be put into hiding …. for, perhaps, the rest of the millennium, until things get sorted …

    2. Marina Bart

      On a non-political note, is Higher Grounds still producing excellent coffee, or has it gone the way of Intelligentsia? I had the most amazing coffee there. Juggling ceramic mugs without lids in a rain storm because they wouldn’t allow anything disposable was a huge hassle, and yet still totally worth it.

    3. Ernesto Lyon

      I don’t exactly know what the “March of Science” supports.

      Am I marching for sustainability science or biotech?

      Am I marching for scientism?

      The notion that science is an indisputable body of knowledge that can only be argued and
      decided by scientists is a problematic one. It completely ignores the fact that much of the
      science done today is intended to create corporate profits first and foremost. Scientists are
      usually direct or indirect employees of corporate concerns, not monks of truth.

      1. G. Wilgus

        Don’t quite catch your drift and wonder if you have been paying attention to the anti-science thrust of the republicans and understand that science, as a discipline, are the techniques along with free inquiry and communication that allow us to answer questions about the physical universe. It’s applications are technology.

        I’ve done basic research a long time ago in molecular genetics and experimental pathology and did work in the corporate world applying statistical design of experiments to demonstrate the quality and reproducibility of processes. Yes, even though my area was not considered a profit center, it allowed a highly regulated corporation to make money. However my first and last thought was “am I comfortable putting this in my veins or those of my family.” Some product managers tried to avoid me since I could point out, after sampling a production run of material they wanted to import, just how the manufacturer was spoofing the process rather than building in quality.

        I march to decry the science denial rampant in my country that equates ignorant opinion with my knowledge. I march because I expect that even if they do not like the findings of science, politicians must recognize those findings and own their decisions that act contrary to the scientific consensus. And, just pointing out that scientific consensus is not easily reached without an insane level of confidence, because no scientist ever made a name for themselves by doing me-too research.

        OK, sorry, a bit wordy.

      2. witters

        Logic King of the Day!

        “The notion that science is an indisputable body of knowledge that can only be argued and decided by scientists is a problematic one.”

        Look up the meaning of “indisputable”.

    4. TK421

      The “March for Science” is being driven off a cliff by social justice extremists who care more about inclusivity than science. For instance, Bill Nye was being lined up as a speaker, but he’s a white heterosexual man so that won’t do.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Thanks for saying that. When next Saturday rolls around, I will have better things to do.

  13. Jim Haygood

    Not only did our Mighty MOAB send stocks lower, but also — and more significantly — it sent Treasury yields tumbling as well.

    Today the 10-year T-note fell to a yield of 2.23%, its lowest since mid November. Meanwhile, the Fed has hiked the Fed Funds rate — the overnight rate which it controls — twice since then, to about 0.90%.

    When short-term rates rise toward longer-term rates, this is called a flattening of the yield curve. Generally it signifies lower growth expectations.

    Despite all the rah-rah campaign rhetoric from the Orange Flake, the US economy will be severely challenged to even eke out 2% GDP growth in this calendar year. That is, about the same feeble growth we had under the Peace Laureate.

    As a female voice (rumored to be Stevie Nicks) audibly remarks during the intro to Tom Petty’s song Even the Losers … “It’s just the normal noises in here!

    1. Oregoncharles

      Precious metals are up significantly, too; silver seems to be stabilizing around 18.50/oz. In accord with the Greed/Fear Index.

  14. tony

    I have a child. Sure its name is Student Loan Payments but still…I pay out just as much as any mother would for her bastard child.


    Reddit was asked why young people are not having kids. Answer: Most can’t afford it.

    Reminds me of David Harvey stating that under capitalism the wage for most people is what is required for labour to reproduce itself, but with immigration you can go even lower.

    1. Huey Long

      I’m in my mid 30’s and lots of couples I know in my age cohort seem to be getting dogs in lieu of having children.

    2. petal

      I’m in my late 30s and I just haven’t been able to afford it. I keep thinking over things, trying to figure out a way to swing it. It’s breaking my heart and will be my biggest regret. So instead, I have two rescue dogs. Friends of mine have one child. There’s no way they could afford a second with jobs being so insecure, and day care and rent being so expensive. This seems to be common and people think it’s too risky to have more. One is difficult enough-or they just aren’t having them at all.

    3. BobW

      The place I work seems to be a baby factory – off the top of my head I would put it at ~25% of the women or wives of co-workers in the last couple of years. Must be something in the water. Or maybe it’s because the workforce is almost entirely evangelical. I’m not complaining, their mind-set took me from homeless to middle-class (I checked, officially in the bottom third of the middle-class) in just a few years, first working part-time then full-time. They even put up with some of my red-flag waving rants. Tumbrils were mentioned in conversation more than once.

    4. Kokuanani

      I thought this next item on that Reddit thread was even better:

      You’re not alone. At least little Sallie Mae ran away but now I have her bigger bitch of a sister navient to deal with along with the other two bastards

  15. djrichard

    CIA Director Pompeo Calls WikiLeaks A ‘Hostile Intelligence Service’

    “It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is,” he said, “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.

    Wonder when this net will be cast wider and applied to other sites that are not on the reservation.

    Giving it some more thought, isn’t each individual a non-state actor when it comes to intelligence – can any of us ever really be trusted by the state? I guess as long as we’re not hostile, we’re “harmless”/”mostly harmless”.

    1. Rosario

      Haha, yeah I love that description, “a non-state hostile intelligence service.” Some US citizens and nearly all people outside the USA would use that descriptor for the CIA. They are barely accountable to the elected government short of executive appointments and highly corrupt oversight from congress.

      I guess they are pissed because Wikileaks forces them and the NSA to “work” harder?

    2. Pat

      The thing that makes me saddest about this is that some people will buy that flaming pile of excrement, and that even pointing out the reason for the our Constitution’s position on a free press is because it was exactly the kind of reporting that Wikileaks has been doing that was part of the reason that this country was formed won’t make them realize that the problem isn’t that Wikileaks is exposing government secrets it is those secrets.

      Speaking truth to power should never be discouraged. But currently between ‘fake news” and “non-state hostile intelligence service” a whole lot of people in power are doing everything they can to do just that. Any thinking people should be questioning just why that is.

    3. MoiAussie

      Hmmm, I guess, by blob rules, revealing inconvenient truths is the hostile act, worse than mere thought-crime. Revealing them to a wide audience exponentially amplifies the felony. So better be careful if you want to keep that “non-hostile” classification. (Actuallly, I just looked you up and you’re tagged as “potential threat”.)

  16. Matthew G. Saroff

    Kos is lying.

    He was in the tank for Clinton before the Iowa Caucuses, and he pushed as hard as he could without jeopardizing the success of the site in that ditection.

    1. Pat

      I left Kos in the aftermath of the ACA disaster. Lets just say I don’t believe in cheerleading obviously bad ideas, especially when it is clear better things were possible. So I cannot speak to this lying personally, but I still call bull. If someone willing to check the message boards here from the period during the primaries could find a fair amount of evidence that Markos was lying. There were continual reports of his heavy handed treatment of Sanders supporters, and Clinton doubters.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      What good is the Great Orange Satan? It couldn’t deliver Hillary over the finish line. Hillary raised a billion dollar, and then there were the various PACs. What kind of action did Kos see in promised ad revenue? Exclusives?

      The Podesta emails reveal Hillary promised the VP slot to virtually every Senator, so its a reasonable hypothesis to conclude Hillary’s campaign made promises to the gatekeepers who helped beat her last time.

  17. UserFriendly

    “We’re finding that aesthetic images can induce staggering changes to the body, including radical reductions in the observer’s stress levels.

    Interesting method of determining stress level in the full paper. They use skin conductivity, presumably because you sweat under stress.

    I like the conclusion that viewing nature without fractals isn’t stress reducing, I’ve never been a nature person but the few nature images I like usually have some interesting geometries in them.

    I never would have thought of Jackson Pollock as using fractals either.

    1. UserFriendly

      p.s. the best way to get science papers is on reddit.
      Be sure to read the sidebar where the latest links to the Library Genesis database and Sci-hub can be found, as well as instructions for how to find a paper’s DOI to search those sites, and finally how to make a post if those sites don’t have the paper.

      And if anyone wanted the full paper on the science link Lambert mentioned.

    1. hunkerdown

      From the twitterverse:

      Hey @Support,
      Is “starting war” in violation of your code of conduct? Just curious. Thx.

      The Associated Press @AP
      BREAKING: North Korea’s vice foreign minister says President Trump is “making trouble” with “aggressive” tweets.

  18. Carolinian

    This column by Marcy Wheeler seems a fairly plausible assessment of DT’s pivot to DC conventional wisdom. She says the recent moves are the result of family intervention, not out of concern for Syrian babies, but rather to save the Trump brand as his sons try to expand the business.


    It’s also reassuring because a Trump who is cynically just polishing his own apple as president is a Trump who is less likely to carelessly blow up the world. Bad for business.

    On the less reassuring side, in order to keep the press at least partly off his back and maintain brand reputation he may have to side with groups who seem a lot less concerned about rational self interest than he is. What, one wonders, will Ivanka tell him to do…..

    1. Marina Bart

      I’m just hoping Trump’s clear belief in dynasty means he’ll refrain from doing things that will make the earth unlivable for Ivanka’s many children. It’s pretty clear Hillary couldn’t care less about that.

  19. ewmayer

    In the 1980s, architects found that patients recovered more quickly from surgery when given hospital rooms with windows looking out on nature. Other studies since then have demonstrated that just looking at pictures of natural scenes can change the way a person’s autonomic nervous system responds to stress.” Important!

    I wonder what effects on recovery allowing a friendly kitty to snuggle on the patient’s hospital bed would have? Fuzz therapy! Of course watching kitteh hack up a giant hairball might subtract a bit of therapeutic value. Probably best to stick to the room-with-a-view idea.

  20. 2009 reader

    “TransCanada shuts down Keystone after oil seeps to surface” link in Gaia is an old link in 2016 by the way.

  21. Gaianne

    “Brown’s administration is using federal security regulations written to thwart terrorism to deny public access to records that experts say could guide repairs to the Oroville Dam and provide insight into what led to the near catastrophic failure of its emergency spillway.”

    This is funny. There are some really good reasons why Brown will suppress the truth at all costs–if he can! His hope, of course, is that they fix the main spillway before the rainy season, in which case everybody will forget about the disaster.

    I have no direct knowledge of geology, but a geology blog that I read but failed to bookmark basically said that the bedrock, which lies near the surface of the hills that contains the lake, is inherently weak or rotten down to a depth of one hundred feet. We believe that because we saw how rapidly the hill eroded when the emergency spillway was over-topped for a few hours.

    The emergency spillway was never meant to be used, so somewhere along the way they cut corners on cost and built it in such a way that it could never be used. Brown certainly does not want that coming out. Also, the new repairs, while clearly better than nothing, are not inspiring. Basically they poured concrete over the rotten rock, which should certainly be stronger, but not a lot stronger. For example, I saw no sign that they vibrated it, which is a technical detail most people don’t know about it, but if you don’t do it you get embarrassing weaknesses in the concrete. So how much water can go over that thing before it fails again? More than last time, but not a lot. So again, they are not expecting to use it.

    So everything hangs on the main spillway. That thing is huge–a slab of concrete as wide as a freeway–not just freeway lanes, but median, shoulders, landscaping, everything. It may have been built right–I don’t know–but it certainly was not maintained right, and once water got through the crevice and started eroding the underlying rock it was a goner. As we saw.

    So now they are rebuilding it. If they rebuild it in the same place, they will have to rebuild the foundation as well. So? So nothing, it is just a big job, that is all. They are under some intense time pressure: They have to get it done before the next rainy season–probably November.

    I approach my point: The folks in California were just incredibly, incredibly lucky that the rainstorm predicted to follow by a week the rainstorm of the crisis never happened. The danger that loomed then still looms.

    Now, during the crisis, they pointed out over and over how both spillways were not near the dam itself, so the failures posed no threat to the dam. The first half of that is true and a good thing. The second half is not true–for there is danger anyway.

    The reason there is still danger is that a lake behind an earthen dam can not be emptied suddenly. Inside the dam itself is an impermeable barrier, which stops water from seeping, but has no strength of its own. The strength comes from the earth piled on either side, which is strong against the steady force of the lake’s pressure but without any resistance at all to flowing water. The earth on the upstream side of the barrier is saturated with water. If you lower the lake slowly that is no problem; the water will seep out of the earth and flow away. But if you lower the lake rapidly, the upstream earth will slump. This removes physical support to the barrier and it fails. When the barrier fails the whole dam fails.

    This past winter the emergency spillway began to erode back toward the strong lip at the top. They reopened the main spillway despite the massively increased destruction to it to avoid the bad scenerio.

    The bad scenerio is this: If water is pouring over the emergency spillway and the rock of the mountain erodes back to the lip, the rock underlying the lip will then erode in turn, and the lip will fail. When the lip fails the water will then rapidly cut a channel down to one hundred feet, emptying about a third of the lake. This is already bad, but what happens next is worse: The upstream side of the earthen dam slumps into the lake, the barrier fails, and then a channel cuts itself through the remains of the earthen dam and empties the rest of the lake.

    This is what did not happen this winter, but will happen next winter if the main spillway is not ready.


    (Footnote: No civil engineer will talk about this if he is still in the business. The reason is that there is no upside. Engineers who say scary things in public have trouble with their licenses, or at a minimum, with finding work. It’s not your concern anyway, unless the job is yours to work on, and then you should be fixing it, not talking about it. Politicians feel the same way only more so. Much more so.)

  22. IDontKnow


    Conversations about airline regulation are often framed in terms of neoliberalism and its discontents. That’s dumb. On purely neoliberal terms, airlines were never a good candidate for “the magic of competition” to do its work. Neoliberals should support some form of regulation of air travel for precisely the same reason they support the limited, regulated monopolies provided by patent and copyright protection. Just like inventing stuff or writing novels, air travel is a high fixed cost, low marginal cost business. The prediction of the Economics 101 reasoning that animates neoliberal thinking is that, if competition is let to do its work, price will fall to marginal cost, and all the airlines will go out of business. And that’s right. That basically was the result of airline deregulation. It was, of course, nice for consumers during the period when competition drove price towards marginal cost. But that was a classic Stein’s Law moment, and it is silly to imagine it can be indefinitely repeated. Airline investors may be dumb, but even they eventually learn. Plus, the subsidy provided to airline consumers by loss-making airlines was not provided only by foolish investors. Ex post, airline creditors, employees, retirees contributed to the subsidy by having their debts, pensions, and benefits written down. Taxpayers contributed to the subsidy by bailing out the airlines. If we mean to keep air travel cheap via some form of socialized subsidy, we can do a better job of designing it.

    The second bold text is a design feature, not a defect.

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