2:00PM Water Cooler 6/27/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Readers, I’ll be back in a bit after I’ve found out how the Republicans’ “gut check” lunch on health care went.


“Zombie Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement lurches on” [The Conversation]. ” Did the TPP die? Or is it now a bloody zombie? Many of the 11 remaining member countries have ratified the agreement, or plan to. Chile and Canada have both hosted meetings to consider ways to resurrect it.”

“Trump Administration Opens Marathon Nafta Hearings” [Wall Street Journal]. “Witnesses represent wide variety of interests, including entertainment, fashion, agriculture, [and] more… the variety of speakers shows the widespread interest in the pact, with a long list of industries, unions and activists looking to protect what they’ve gained since the 1994 launch, to make up for what they’ve lost, or to take advantage of the opportunity for change…. In the month after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s mid-May notification to Congress that the pact would be renegotiated, his agency got more than 12,000 public comments on the matter, crashing the server and forcing him to extend the comment period.”


Health Care

UPDATE “Still Short, GOP Delays Health Care Vote” [Roll Call]. “The Senate will not vote on Republicans’ health care bill this week, a Senate GOP aide said Tuesday, despite continued pressure from conservative activists and the Trump administration to act….Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander told reporters there is no path for voting on proceeding to the health care reconciliation bill until after the July Fourth recess.” Hoo boy (1)

UPDATE “McConnell told GOP senators that he wants to make changes to the bill, get a new Congressional Budget Office score and have a vote after the holiday” [CNN]. So now that we know how to read a CBO cost estimate, we can compare… And: “Behind the scenes, staffers for McConnell were trading potential legislative proposals with key offices, and McConnell himself met privately with Sen. Ted Cruz for nearly an hour.” Eeeeeew….

UPDATE “The decision Tuesday to delay the vote planned for this week follows announcements by at least five Republicans that they’ll vote to block Senate debate on the current version of the bill. McConnell needs support from at least 50 of the 52 Republicans to move forward with the measure” [Bloomberg]. “But the serious negotiating has yet to begin. McConnell and Senate GOP leaders haven’t discussed possible changes with members concerned about some of the bill’s provisions, two senators said. ‘I have not heard back from the leadership with any suggestions for changes,’ [Senator Susan] Collins said.”

UPDATE “Negotiations on Tuesday that leaders hoped would move senators toward yes only exposed the fissures in the Republican Party. Conservatives were demanding that states be allowed to waive the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition on insurance companies charging sick people more for coverage and are asking for a more expansive waiver system for state regulators. They also wanted more money for tax-free health savings accounts to help people pay for private insurance” [New York Times]. “Senators from states that expanded the Medicaid program — and Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine — would not brook many of those changes, especially the measure to severely undermine protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions.”

UPDATE “Mitch McConnell Isn’t Playing 13-Dimensional Chess” [FiveThirtyEight]. “McConnell’s strategy is fairly obvious: He wants to pass legislation that lowers taxes on the wealthy and reduces government spending to the largest extent politically practicable.” Because movement conservatism. “These sorts of opportunities are rare. Republicans hold both branches of Congress and the White House, and these periods don’t always last for very long; Barack Obama and Bill Clinton lost their House majorities after two years in office, never to win them back again, for instance. So McConnell has come out swinging for the fences.”

UPDATE “President Obama tried to move us forward with health-care coverage by using a conservative model that came from one of the conservative think tanks that had been advanced by a Republican governor in Massachusetts,” [Warren] told the Wall Street Journal. ‘Now it’s time for the next step. And the next step is single payer.'” [Roll Call]. Hoo boy (2). So, will she co-sponsor a bill with Sanders?

Everybody understands the stakes but the Democrat Establishment:

The feel-good moment of the year:

I mean, facing the biggest policy battle of the decade, what more do you need than a little virtue signaling? Now let’s talk about Putin.

The Finance 202: As health-care bill teeters, GOP donors eye a tax rewrite on deck” [WaPo]. “[T]he stuttering health-care debate is holding up action on a wholesale rewiring of the tax code, which, if successful, could translate into an immediate economic boost [ha ha].” Sure, but why not trade some tax advantages for one or two votes on BCRA? Because that’s all McConnell needs? Lateral move!

New Cold War

“Dead Man Talking: Comey Finally Delivers – Part Two” [Nina Illingworth]. “[D]espite making for very dramatic television, Comey’s testimony on the Russia parts of “Russiagate” really didn’t tell us anything new; we already knew Mike Flynn (and not Donald Trump) was under investigation, we already knew that the FBI took Crowdstrike’s word for it when blaming Russia and we already knew that the investigation itself had moved on to more important matters like Trump’s attempt to quash the FBI investigation into Mike Flynn and possible shady financial arrangements by Trump’s family. Overall, most of the former FBI Director’s testimony lined up fairly well with what we know about the most recent (largely defanged) iteration of ‘Russiagate’ and at no point in time did anything Jim Comey said actually prove or even attempt to prove the two (ridiculous) core accusations that originally made up the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory; even if pro-Kremlingate media are now purposely attempting to suggest otherwise… In other words; there are sharks from both sides of the American tribal divide circling and James Comey’s testimony has lined the waters with chum; expect carnage sooner rather than later my friends.” Most definitely worth a read.

“For once, Trump is right about Obama” [Richard Cohen, WaPo]. “Every once in a while, as often as a blue moon or a politician forgoing the use of the word ‘frankly,’ I utter a soft ‘Right on’ in response to something President Trump has done or tweeted. This occurred recently when he took Barack Obama to task for his weak — and tardy — response to Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election. For a moment there, Trump forgot that Vladimir Putin can do no wrong. But for that rare moment, the president was absolutely right. The Obama administration’s response to Russian meddling was ineffective and oddly torpid. It was also secretive.” Fascinating to watch the political class pivot!

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Democrats field a glut of House candidates in 2018 but remain divided on how to win” [WaPo]. “After a string of defeats in special elections this year, activists across the country are pitted against Washington-based leaders and strategists about what the message and the tactical plan should be to win the 24 seats needed to take control of the House. Democrats as well as independent observers believe that figure is attainable given historical trends, Trump’s and the congressional GOP’s sustained unpopularity and the ballooning number of candidates with gold-plated résumés willing to run. What they don’t agree on is how to do it — by exciting the base with a liberal economic message and fiery candidates in the model of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), or by keeping the party’s doors open to moderates and independents with centrist contenders, ideally with business or military experience.” Because the military has won so many wars, and business is trusted. Oh. OK. Let me translate here: “What they don’t agree on is a platform of universal direct material benefits for voters, especially working class voters or candidates that lame Democratic strategists think are vaguely charismatic — and above all, self-funding! — who will keep explaining why we can’t have nice things.”

“Meet The Gay Wunderkind Just Elected Secretary Of The DNC” [New, Now, Next]. “The 27-year-old LGBT activist joined the DNC at 17, before he could even vote.” Great. Where is he on #MedicareForAll? Probably nowhere; he supported Clinton (“never, ever”) not Obama. On the bright side, he wants to be President someday.

“Trump won, and Amy Siskind started a list of changes. Now it’s a sensation.” [Margaret Sullivan, WaPo]. Clickbait headline, interesting project. “Soon afterward, Siskind began keeping what she calls the Weekly List, tracking all the ways in which she saw America’s taken-for-granted governmental norms changing in the Trump era.” I’m suspicious, however, of this “norms” talking point, since it seems apolitical but isn’t; it takes the power of those who set and enforce the norms as a given. Isn’t “taken-for-granted governmental norms changing” — note lack of agency — another way of saying “We used to make the rules and now we don’t?” Of course, norms can be valuable; the Clintonite redefintion of corruption as only a quid pro quo will prove to be enormously destructive. Not to say that the Administration isn’t violating plenty of good norms all on its own; but the degradation of America’s political class is clearly a systemic, and not a partisan, issue.

Stats Watch

S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI, April 2017: “Early Spring turned out a disappointment for the housing sector and is reflected in Case-Shiller’s home price index” [Econoday].

Consumer Confidence, June 2017: “Unusual strength in the consumer confidence report” [Econoday]. “But the message of this sample continues to be one of outsized strength. When this strength, however, will translate into outsized gains for consumer spending has been a central question for the economy all year.” Survey vs. data yet again….

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, June 2017: “Manufacturing activity in the Fifth district expanded for the eighth consecutive month in June and bounced back to a stronger pace after May’s sharp slowdown” [Econoday]. “[T]he drag on the June improvement surprisingly came from the employment front.”

State Street Investor Confidence Index, June 2017: “The State Street Investor Confidence Index fell 1.6 points in June to 101.0, showing global institutional investors still increasing their equity allocations but to a lesser degree than in the previous month. Confidence declined most among Asian investors” [Econoday].

UPDATE Commodities: “Gold Plunges After 1.8 Million Ounces Were Traded in One Minute” [Bloomberg].

UPDATE Commodities (I suppose): “Fake news of a fatal car crash wiped out $4 billion in ethereum’s market value yesterday” [Quartz].

The Bezzle: “Fake news of a fatal car crash wiped out $4 billion in ethereum’s market value yesterday” [Quartz].

The Bezzle: “Google faces $1bn Brussels fine for abuse of dominance in search” [Financial Times]. “EU antitrust officials have formally recommended that the search giant be found in breach of competition regulations for using its near-monopoly in online search to steer customers unfairly to its own Google Shopping service.”

The Bezzle (one hour ago): “Google Fined Record $2.7 Billion in E.U. Antitrust Ruling” [New York Times]. “By levying the fine against Google — more than double the previous largest penalty in this type of antitrust case — Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s antitrust chief, also laid claim to being the Western world’s most active regulator of digital services, an industry still dominated by Silicon Valley. ‘In Europe, companies must compete on the merits regardless if they are European or not,’ she said on Tuesday. ‘What Google has done is illegal under E.U. antitrust rules.'” Look, rentier is a European word, mkay?

Political Risk: “A letter obtained by POLITICO is circulating without letterhead or signatures among members of Congress and rages against what supporters of the powerful American tech industry say are heavy-handed, politically motivated EU antitrust tactics levied against American companies. Lobbyists are trying to get U.S. lawmakers to sign on to its message” [Politico]. “The letter being circulated in the U.S. Congress is unlikely to faze Commission officials. More concerning from their point of view is how U.S. President Donald Trump reacts upon discovering Brussels is levying a large fine on Google — no friend of Trump, but still an American icon.”

Political Risk: “Why Americans Feel So Good About a Mediocre Economy” [Bloomberg]. “Why the divergence between the “soft” numbers of confidence surveys and the “hard” numbers of the real economy? One possibility is that this is just a momentary spot of economic weakness, and the numbers that measure sentiment point to better days in the near future. But survey numbers have been rosy for a half-year now, so if these surveys were doing their job of forecasting the real economy, it seems like the good times they predict would have started to show up in the data by now.” As Langston Hughes did not exactly write:

What happens to a dream deferred, when the surveys and the data diverge?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Honey for the Bears: “Bankruptcy guru Edward Altman sees similarities to 2007 in the credit market today” [Yahoo Finance]. “‘It’s been a terrific market for investors for quite a long time and if anything is concerning it’s that we now are more than eight years into a benign credit cycle,’ Altman, a professor at NYU Stern School of Business, told Yahoo Finance. ‘We’ve never had such a long benign cycle. And just that one little fact is something that we should be concerned about because if it comes to one and it could come to an end very dramatically.’ … Altman is perhaps best known for the Z-Score, a formula he created 50 years ago that’s used to predict bankruptcies. Since that time, he noticed that bankruptcies have gotten increasingly bigger. ‘[What] I’ve seen over the years is larger and larger companies filing for bankruptcy on a regular basis. On average, in the United States, something like 15 more than $1 billion companies, in terms of liabilities, go bankrupt every year, on average,’ Altman said. ‘This year already it’s 13. Last year, it was almost 40.'”

UPDATE The Fed: “U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that she does not believe that there will be a run on the banking system at least as long as she lives” [Reuters]. Damn. What’s that sawing sound?

The Fed: “The lopsided tug-of-war [between vendors and buyers] goes some way to explaining why Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her colleagues are having such a hard time lifting inflation to their 2 percent goal. For companies from arts-and-crafts retailer Michaels Cos. to industrial giant ABB Ltd., the focus is on cutting costs, not raising prices” [Bloomberg]. “An increasingly ingrained corporate mindset sees pricing power as a relic of the past after years of minimal inflation. The brave new world is one dominated by stiffer competition from technological breakthroughs and globalization, and downsized demand from a slower-growing and aging population. In spite of that, Fed policy makers are pressing ahead with plans to tighten credit by raising interest rates and reducing the central bank’s bond holdings. They’re betting that a scarce supply of workers will force companies to pay employees more and then boost prices to protect their profits, in line with a theory called the Phillips Curve that’s about six decades old.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 56 Greed (previous close: 53, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 48 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed. Last updated Jun 27 at 1:20pm.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

The bankruptcy of identity politics:

Our Famously Free Press

“David Pecker decides what will be on the cover of the following week’s National Enquirer. Pecker is the longtime chief executive of American Media, Inc., which owns most of the nation’s supermarket tabloids and gossip magazines, including the Star, the Globe, the Examiner, and OK!, as well as the flagship Enquirer. Pecker’s tabloids have few subscribers and minimal advertising. Virtually all their revenue comes from impulse purchases at the checkout counter. … Pecker is now considering expanding his business: he may bid to take over the financially strapped magazines of Time, Inc., which include Time, People, and Fortune. Based on his stewardship of his own publications, Pecker would almost certainly direct those magazines, and the journalists who work for them, to advance the interests of the President and to damage those of his opponents—which makes the story of the Enquirer and its chief executive a little more important and a little less funny” [Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker]. Of course that nice young Jeff Bezos is not only going to dispose of Becker’s checkout counters, he owns his very own tabloid. So there’s that.

Dear Old Blighty

“Six injured after protest turns violent over death in police custody” [Metro UK]. My cabdriver did say “London is angry”….

But the Queen’s hats tho:

More from Corbyn:

Health Care

“Maine’s e-prescribing mandate for opioids offers window into similar legislation in other states” [MedCity News]. Dirigo, in the saddest possible way…


“No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously” [Vox]. “The actions necessary to hold to 2 degrees, much less 1.5 degrees, are simply outside the bounds of conventional politics in most countries. Anyone who proposed them would sound crazy, like they were proposing, I don’t know, a war or something. So we say 2 degrees is unacceptable. But we don’t act like it is.” Good summary of the field of play, well worth a read.

Class Warfare

Saw this headline yesterday in the 7-11:

I put to the online version in Links today, which has a headline that expresses a smaller truth: “These workers’ lives are endangered while contractors running nuclear weapons plants make millions.”

“As more young people decide to pursue four-year degrees, college towns are siphoning students out of the rural heart of the Farm Belt and sending them, degrees in hand, not back to Oskaloosa but to the nation’s urban centers” [Wall Street Journal]. Colonialism… Ghandi getting his law degree in London, the imperial metropolis, for example.

No new jobs north of 38° latitude…

News of the Wired

“Did UK Producer Goldie Just Confirm the Identity of Banksy?” [Vulture]. “In a recent interview on Scroobius Pip’s podcast Distraction Pieces, UK jungle producer Goldie might have done just that by potentially letting slip the first name of Banksy: ‘Give me a bubble letter and put it on a T-shirt and write ‘Banksy’ on it, and we’re sorted. We can sell it now. No disrespect to Robert, I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over.’ The ‘Robert’ Goldie mentions could be none other than Robert Del Naja, a lifelong friend of Goldie’s and a member of the band Massive Attack.?” All shipshape in Bristol fashion… Any Massive Attack fans (note capitals) in the commentariat?

“World’s first ATM machine turns to gold on 50th birthday” [ATM]. “[D]ecades since it heralded a transformation in the way people obtained and used cash, the world’s first ATM was turned into gold for celebrations of its fiftieth anniversary. The brainchild of Scottish inventor Shepherd-Barron, the first ATM (automated teller machine) was opened on June 27, 1967 at a branch of Barclays bank in Enfield, north London, the first of six cash dispensers commissioned by the bank. English actor Reg Varney, who starred in the British TV comedy show “On The Buses”, was the first person to withdraw cash from the new machine.”

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allegic to PayPal, and (d) 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:

Evening, near the house.

UPDATE Now that that the 2017 Water Cooler fundraiser post is up, I can say that directions for sending a check will include a request to send me a parallel email so I can thank you. I was not able to thank all you sent me checks this year, because I was unable to connect physical mail identities to online identities. Apologies!

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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. Louis Fyne

    UPS ending/freezing its traditional pension plan for non-union employees. http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/06/27/ups-said-to-join-growing-list-companies-freezing-pensions.html

    But of course voters in GA-06—down the road from UPS HQ—don’t worry about retirement security.

    GA voters worry more about wasteful govt spending and how to bring biotech jobs to Georgia according to the Ossoff brain trust. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c21XYk8bLYI

    —–“Why Americans Feel So Good About a Mediocre Economy”—-

    how about if you feel miserable about the economy—they hang up on anyone who cold-calls about a survey about the economy?

    1. Vatch

      A bit like the Literary Digest 1936 poll that predicted a victory for Alf Landon in the Presidential election? He managed to win two of the 48 states (Maine and New Hampshire).

      1. different clue

        Actually, I think that Vermont was the other state Landon won besides Maine.

        The reason I think that is because the results of the 1936 election changed the old saying ” As Maine goes, so goes the Nation.” to . . . “As Maine goes, so goes Vermont”.

        1. Vatch

          You’re right! My apologies to all denizens of Vermont and New Hampshire. Sometimes I don’t want to bother looking something up, and that’s when I misremember.

    2. Roger Smith

      Didn’t those GA fools see that cool add with the digital lines running through cool looking modern buildings of business? What clowns! /sarc

      I’d wager they were more concerned about the lines that are now appearing where numbers used to in their bank accounts.

      1. different clue

        For those who want to invest their effort in a third party, i think a compelling, attractive and not-repulsive name for it might be a good thing. Also, the name might spell out what it wants to stand for most of all. It could stand for other things beside what’s in the name, of course.

        If a wannabe-third party had a name like Fair Trade Single Payer Party, that might attract my interest.

        The FTSP Party. Fair Trade Single Payer. Easy and clear.

  2. Mark Gisleson

    Jason Rae cannot speak English. His DNC reports to WI Democrats were so densely jargon-packed that it was often all but impossible to read them. He’s apparently been a full-time political consultant for a while now despite being from a state where Dems do nothing but lose. This is ID politics. Being gay and blessed with a talent for self-promotion gets you a plum gig. Trying to actually win elections gets you nothing but grief and kills any chance at working for the party.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      I don’t know who this Jason Rae is, but what does his being gay have to do with being the Secretary to the DNC? Is he a “wunderkind” because he is gay? Is this the author’s snide way of saying he got the job only because he was gay? Or is this just some more of the Democrats same old same old “identity politics”?

      1. craazyboy

        Butt, butt, butt
        The story sings the song!

        Butt, butt, butt
        When’s the DNC ever wrong???

      2. different clue

        Probably wunderkind because he is so young and has already been serving the Clintonites so long.
        And yes, its Gaydentity Politics. And its so the Clintobamacrats can accuse any objectors of being homophobic.

        ” Would Bernie Sanders prefer a New Deal Reactionary in the position? We didn’t know Sanders was homophobic in addition to his being antiblackitic, which we already knew.” That’s part of why this fine young man has been installed.

      3. optimader

        I don’t want to know him, and I really really don’t want him/the DNC to inform me about his sexual preferences

    2. Tom_Doak

      He masterminded the Democrat effort in Wisconsin?

      He has a bright future as a Republican secret operative — whether wittingly or not !

    3. Left in Wisconsin

      Yes, interesting that neither the puff piece or his Wik1 profile mentions his day job, which is as a political consultant for a firm run by a Republican that works both sides of the aisle.

      HRC in 2020. It’s her turn. Still.

      1. different clue

        I don’t mind saying it over and over and over again.

        If the Dems nominated HRC all over again, then I will vote for Trump all over again.

        Now, if the Reps nominate Pence or some other RepParty mainstreamer in 2020, then I will have to vote for some vanity Third Party. Because a choice between Republican or Democratic Clintonites is no choice at all.

    4. hemeantwell

      His DNC reports to WI Democrats were so densely jargon-packed that it was often all but impossible to read them. He’s apparently been a full-time political consultant for a while now

      It sounds like you’re describing the symptoms of a developmental arrest which, if you think about it, is what becoming a centripetal political consultant entails, and then also spreading the disease.

    5. Art Eclectic

      Most young professionals go through a stage where they can’t communicate in any language other than jargon. I find that they either land in company where they rise quickly based on jargon skills or they land in a company where someone forces them to learn to communicate effectively in order to advance.

      It’s always a shame when someone young and talented gets assimilated by the jargon borg.

  3. Anonymous

    If Fake News is as powerful as they say, isn’t there a moral duty to appropriate it for the forces of good?

    Think of all the good we could do for the environment, anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-immigrant, and so on.
    The fact that is only used by the forces of evil (i.e. Russia) is something that must be reconsidered.

    There is nothing wrong with lying as long as one has good intentions, in fact it is the only right thing to do.


    1. Montanamaven

      If Russia is running around the world “meddling” in elections by exposing the truth, then isn’t that why the establishment media and elites are going bizerk? They do not like “the truth”. It’s there function to produce fake news and misinformation. Truth is the enemy and thus Russia. And, let’s face it, even though Russia is now capitalist and Christian, they still have a tendency to think and act collectively. And that is really really scary to the establishment also.

    2. Tom Stone

      There’s lots of fake news.
      I , for one, do not believe that Debbie Wasserman Schultz has an unnatural fondness for banana slugs, it’s merely a deep spiritual affinity.

    3. different clue

      Its a good thing you added the sarc tag.

      Because a blog thread is a poor place to try sarcasm or satire or irony. It is not easy to tell which is what in a thread comment.

      1. Toske

        It used to be quite easy once you got good at it, but in recent years reality has so often exceeded the wildest caricatures that, as I’ve heard someone put it, satire has become obsolete.

  4. taunger

    Massive Attack has held spectacular artistic supremacy over Goldie for more than 2 decades, despite their close connection; it seems that Del Naja’s graphic arts success finally got to his old friend. The Massive Attack/Banksy connection has been widespread knowledge among fans for years, though there is not any particularly important content connection between the two projects. The use of traditional formats (figure/rhythm and blues) reimagined/deconstructed and reimposed out of context might describe an aesthetic common strain

    1. a different chris

      >The use of traditional formats (figure/rhythm and blues) reimagined/deconstructed and reimposed out of context might describe an aesthetic common strain

      Wow I am just going to savor that sentence. Don’t know what it means, but will savor it all the more because of that.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Massive Attack has held spectacular artistic supremacy over Goldie

      OK, I’ll bite. Who the heck is Goldie?

      Adding, random Massive Attack video. Pretty neat. The kids are alright:

      1. Lightningclap

        Goldie is one of the top names in Jungle/ D&B. Still, not at all on the level of Massive Attack.

      2. HotFlash

        Um. ““Did UK Producer Goldie Just Confirm the Identity of Banksy?” [Vulture]. “In a recent interview on Scroobius Pip’s podcast Distraction Pieces, UK jungle producer Goldie…”

        Yes, *that* Goldie. He’s in Wikipedia, too.

    3. vidimi

      i believe we’ve had this discussion in comments of an old links or water cooler thread in the past. i have long suspected a link between 3D and Banksy; their artistic fingerprints are very similar, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

      massive attack are great live, though they haven’t much changed their set list in ten years.

  5. craazyboy

    Top 10 job? cities

    Austin, San Diego, Raleigh – All SV wannabees.

    Will need Uber and pizza delivery support…

    1. RUKidding

      Yes and imitating SV in terms of getting more and more expensive and crowded to live there.

    2. Altandmain

      Yes and their rent will soon be rising in the key areas to the point where it is not affordable.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        Oh, that’s been going on in Austin for at least the last four years, and for no good reason other than those who own the buildings can do it. And Uber and Lyft are right here for y’all, thanks to the state lege and the governor, who passed a law saying municipalities are no longer allowed to decide how to operate.

        HOAs have blocked projects to build affordable housing, and every week the Biz Journal announces some other enterprising developer will be putting up luxury apartments/condos.

      2. Sutter Cane

        Yes and their rent will soon be rising in the key areas to the point where it is not affordable.

        In Austin this already happened years ago. It is a full-on tech bubble mini-sv. Not as expensive as sv, but the jobs don’t pay nearly as much as in sv, either.

        Edit: ah, the page wasn’t refreshed on my phone, I didn’t see that other comments already said the same thing…

    3. perpetualWAR

      And Jacksonville is where all the bank crimes are committed. So, its nice to see the Bank Mafia is gearing up for expansion.

    4. different clue

      Eventually the various Norths ( Great Lakestan, Rust Beltistan, Prairieana, etc.) will be so forgotten by the Rest of the Nation that we will finally become default de factor free to try various new and different approaches.

      For instance, we might start studying, REAL-y STUDying how it is that the state in India with one of the lowest per capita incomes (Kerala) is also the state with the highest literacy rate, the longest average lifespan, the lowest infant mortality rate, the lowest population growth rate, etc. in India. ( Or at least I read it was in the start of McKinnon’s book Deep Economics). We could really study about Keralanomics in depth. We could figure out how to apply certain Keralanomic methods in the various Norths.

      1. s.n.

        the state in India with one of the lowest per capita incomes (Kerala) is also the state with the highest literacy rate,

        Kerala’s extraordinarily high literacy & social statistics are well known and have been for decades. Might have something to do with decades of Communist Party rule.

        However Kerala is by no means “the state in India with one of the lowest per capita incomes”. According to 2016 statistics [see link below] it is placed at nr. 11 [out of 33]. The bottom five states are Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Assam & Jharkhand


  6. Terry Flynn

    I lived in Bristol 1998-2009. A friend was introduced to Banksy early in that period at a party (not realising the significance and before Banksy began to get serious media attention). I should check with him if he remembers his name…. but in any case I gather his identity is pretty well known locally and IIRC has been quoted in the national press already.

    Unfortunately I never took any interest in the band or Banksy himself.

    1. relstprof

      I think it was last year that a whole host of articles were published identifying him as Robin Gunningham. Due to GPS tracking? It seemed to fit the scant knowledge about Banksy.

  7. Jim Haygood

    False positive:

    OVIEDO, Fla. (AP) Karlos Cashe spent 90 days in jail after police officers who stopped him for driving without headlights said white powder found in his car was cocaine.

    Cashe tells WFTV he repeatedly told officers in Oviedo the substance was drywall. But after running a check they found he was on probation for marijuana and cocaine charges in 2015. Cashe says a K-9 alerted on his vehicle and an officer’s field test was positive for cocaine.

    Court records show he was denied bond because he was accused of violating probation. It took nearly three months for lab test results to determine the powder in the handyman’s car was actually drywall [i.e., gypsum].


    The medieval superstition of the Salem witch trials has nothing on the 21st century fanaticism of the Jihad on Drugs. Its 47 years have produced the world’s largest prison population, along with an overdose epidemic that’s killing tens of thousands annually.


      1. fresno dan

        June 27, 2017 at 3:38 pm

        After a formal investigation in 1907, psychologist Oskar Pfungst demonstrated that the horse was not actually performing these mental tasks, but was watching the reactions of his human observers. Pfungst discovered this artifact in the research methodology, wherein the horse was responding directly to involuntary cues in the body language of the human trainer, who had the faculties to solve each problem. The trainer was entirely unaware that he was providing such cues.
        I have read in a number of sources that the trainer was INADVERTENTLY tipping the horse off. I think this unconscious bias pervades police work, and is undoubtedly responsible for so many police shooting.
        So….was the police dog fired?

        1. a different chris

          I could see that — first anxious that the horse wouldn’t tap enough (“he’s not going to make it, not going to make it…”), changing to a slightly different flavor of emotions when the horse hit the right number. “That’s it!!… ohmygod please doesn’t tap again…”.

          Impossible for us stupid humans to pick up but might as well paint it on our faces as far as a horse would be concerned. The real problem is getting a horse that actually cares what you are thinking.

    1. different clue

      If a third party which called itself the Fair Trade Single Payer Party also adopted the platform plank ” We will declare a Unilateral Peace With Drugs; it might become popular.

    1. flora

      I have hunch that Ossoff’s loss in GA upset some GOP game plans. No way the GOP can triangulate this bill by pointing to Dems. The GOP base needs healthcare, too.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Oh, look, it only took an important Dem *decades* to come over to a policy that 1.) massive percentages of her constituency favors; 2.) has been working successfully around the globe forever; and 3.) would help prevent the early deaths of millions of people.

        Next up? America’s Permanent War policy, that 1.) massive percentages of her constituency would favor ending; 2.) massive percentages of the world’s population favor ending; and 3.) would help prevent the early deaths of millions of people.

        Maybe we can somehow shorten the journey between politician position and massively popular policies that save tons of money and tons of lives

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Maybe we can somehow shorten the journey between politician position and massively popular policies that save tons of money and tons of lives

          Hopefully. Walking the same path over and over again tends to straighten out extraneous loops….

          In the meantime, we want advantage as opposed to perfection.

          1. different clue

            Some of us want advantage as opposed to perfection, yes.

            Others want perfection as opposed to advantage. They will be a problem going forward.

        2. RUKidding

          Eh? Color me cynical beyond belief.

          NOW Warren is calling universal healthcare?


          After all, Warren famously supported Clinton who resoundingly adjured us peons – well TOLD her wealthy doners, bc, after all, the Emperess in Pants Suits couldn’t deign to actually talk to, you know, disgusting peons below the upper 5% in income, ick, yuck, smelly, etc – that Medicare for All/Single Payer/Universal Health care was not going to be addressed EVAH.

          And Nancy Pelosi followed up with a Ditto.

          Feh. I could say more but Family Blog.

    2. JustAnObserver

      The ACA – Obamacare – has driven the Republican wingnut base to expend enormous effort in a stream of (mostly) futile court challenges. With the side effect that the shambolic disaster of US healthcare has been kept solidly in the minds every person in the country for the last 8 years.

      My feeling is that its these almost daily reminders of how bad an unregulated, private insurance based, system driven by profit at every level is that has opened the window, ever so slightly, to single payer.

      Will we end up having to thank the “Freedom Caucus” for single payer or Medicare for all ?

      Strange days indeed.

      1. Art Eclectic

        Will we end up having to thank the Freedom Caucus”for single payer or Medicare for all?

        The irony there would be so delicious.

    3. Carla

      I saw it on Huffpost so I know it’s true.

      But remember Planned Parenthood was for single payer in California until California Assembly Speaker Rendon whispered in their ear and they said “But just not right now. Someday.”

      1. Eureka Springs

        The author, Ryan Cooper, sounds like a journo who has never heard of H.R. 676. His description of the kind of changes he wants sure fit that Bill.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Warren apparently is calling for universal healthcare:

      No, “single payer” and in so many words. (“Universal health care” is a bit weaselly, because the markets first people can say “Of course, we’re universal, we give access to everyone,” and liberals can start distracting with “Should be be like the the Netherlands? Or the Swiss? Or Singapore?” [but never, ever Canada….]

      1. grizziz

        Single payer sounds like an appropriate term for a State run plan like CA or NY. Shouldn’t a national plan be called Medicare for All? AFIK the Medicare program would be extended and no one is promoting a new stand alone plan. The end result is important and not that I have a naming preference, I’m just looking for a consistency in messaging.

        1. toolate

          Medicare for all: it is familiar, well liked, easy to understand and American as Apple Pie.

    1. carycat

      I just got a cold call from a nationally known university whose claim to fame is football (and a peek at wikipedia for a list of their famous alumni is almost exclusively jocks and politicians). I blame this on then getting wind that one of my kids just graduated from HS. I’m pretty sure we’ve never ever requested information about that school, and nobody in the family is remotely interested in any of the sports they are so proud of. And now is pretty late in the season to be looking for university admission. So there may be something to this decline in the higher ed racket if they have to troll for marks :-)

    2. jrs

      People enroll in college in a recession who wouldn’t be there otherwise, it’s what people tend to do when there are no jobs, and none on the immediate horizon. 5 years ago many places were still reeling from 2008.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Count me as one of them. I was hoping that the lousy late-1970s economy would improve by the time I graduated. Wrong-o. The 1980s were even worse for me and a lot of other young ‘uns.

        1. craazyboy

          Ya, workin’ in the 80s really sucked, especially the Volker years. It’s just that ya didn’t know any better!

          Fortunately, the free time was extra good, and kinda made up for it. At least at the CA beaches, bars and ski hills.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Tell me about it. To this day, I fail to understand why Volcker is regarded as such a good guy.

            1. craazyboy

              In reality, he was stuck holding he ball. His predecessors screwed things up with easy money for Johnson and Vietnam. Then Nixon did his half assed experiment with price controls, which failed, probably as designed.

              That made historical entry into the political-economy and got mis-appropriated as “successful evidence” that Big Guv shouldn’t meddle.

              Monetary Doctrine enshrined it, and the only Kosher policy move left was raise interest rates to the moon.

  8. visitor

    Why the divergence between the “soft” numbers of confidence surveys and the “hard” numbers of the real economy?

    This has been going on for quite a while, as far as I can judge by following NC, but that disconnect seems to affect other sectors as well.

    Most notable is the divergence between polls and election results — blatant in the recent cases of the Brexit, Trump’s election, and the UK parliamentary elections, but also partially during the second round of the French parliamentary elections (where EM received a substantial majority, but on the order of 50-120 seats less than predicted by polls).

    In the past, I remember to have read that new forms of adjustments had to be introduced to population statistics because of larger than expected divergences between frequent sampling and exhaustive censuses. As well, questions about how much of the GDP is actually captured by current statistical tools have been growing — and those fancy adjustments like guesstimating prostitution and other illegal activities are a sign of perplexity.

    And of course there are corporate figures, where active valuations in the books are often revealed to be at odds with the actual risk once somebody looks into them.

    Somehow it seems as if the feedback and measurement tools used by elites to steer the socio-politico-economic system return values that keep drifting away from the real situation. A bit as if the indications given by the speedometer, revolution counter, indicator of temperature, odometer on the dashboard of a car did not match the actual physical variables.

    Is it because the measurements tools have been systematically subverted by some parties interested in them returning “pleasing” values to achieve their own goals? Or is the disconnect indicative of something much more fundamental and general going on in our society?

    1. Ranger Rick

      They can only call land lines, by law. I’ll give you one guess who still has one. Time’s up: homeowners. And if you own a home, the current economy is fantastic.

      1. visitor

        This is, at best, a partial explanation. The issue occurs in other countries as well — UK, France — where such a law does not necessarily exist.

      2. Sam Adams

        Ain’t that a kick in the head. Every pollster and marketer seems to have my cell number

    2. Terry Flynn

      I will try not to sound like a stuck record (to those who’ve seen my polling comments) but polling cannot get the right result these days when the are multiple dimensions people use. Sampling etc is just another issue. The core problem is heteroscedasticity on the latent scale. In lay language if two respondents basically vote the same sort of way across dimensions (e.g. economic policy, social policy, trade, identity politics) but one has a much larger error term than then other then a discrete outcome (voting) model produces BIASED answers if you aggregate without adjusting for this. Pollsters cannot by definition quantify this as they don’t have multiple observations in the relevant (short) time period. Thus heteroscedasticity is a critical weakness of these models in a way it isn’t in models with a continuous outcome. This was proved in the statistics literature in 1985. Polling is not fit for purpose full stop in the modern world.

  9. FML

    Sacramento is well north of the 38th latitude. So, more accurately, no new jobs north of the 39th.

  10. fresno dan


    One can, if one wishes, view the convergence of those ample benefits and this long line of reckless stories on Russia as a coincidence, but that seems awfully generous, if not willfully gullible. There are substantial professional and commercial rewards for those who do this and — at least until the resignation of these CNN journalists last night — very few consequences even when they are caught.
    The importance of this journalistic malfeasance when it comes to Russia, a nuclear-armed power, cannot be overstated. This is the story that has dominated U.S. politics for more than a year. Ratcheting up tensions between these two historically hostile powers is incredibly inflammatory and dangerous. All kinds of claims, no matter how little evidence there is to support them, have flooded U.S. political discourse and have been treated as proven fact.

    And that’s all independent of how journalistic recklessness fuels, and gives credence to, the Trump administration’s campaign to discredit journalism generally. The president wasted no time exploiting this latest failure to attack the media:

    Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
    Wow, CNN had to retract big story on “Russia,” with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!
    A long list of examples of retractions. And as Mr. Greenwald points out, ALL suspiciously of the same slant. If one puts on one’s triple layered aluminum hat, one might say they are REALLY all in the tank for Trump and are doing this so that POTUS has tweet material…
    I happen to still think Trump may be involved in good old grifting with Russia, but the media seems heck bent on discrediting any legal basis for charges completely by associating any such charges with leaks that show NOT only the media bias, but the bias in the government itself. (I don’t think the vast majority of the leaks are made up of whole cloth – see how Comey was reported prior to congressional testimony – a good example of what is left out being more significant than what is included….)

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      CNN is run by Jeff Zucker, the Trumpster’s old buddy from The Apprentice. It is a clever, though brazen, piece of misdirection to have Trump and the right continually refer to CNN as the Clinton News Network.

  11. Left in Wisconsin

    Zizek with an interesting post at Counterpunch:

    Until recently, the political space was dominated by two main parties which addressed the entire electoral body, a right-of-centre party (Christian Democrat, liberal-conservative, people’s something-or-other) and a left-of-centre party (socialist, social democratic something-or-other), with smaller parties addressing a narrow electorate (ecologists, neo-fascists, and so on).

    Now, there is progressively emerging one party which stands for global capitalism as such, usually with relative tolerance towards abortion, gay rights, religious and ethnic minorities; opposing this party is a stronger and stronger anti-immigrant populist party which, on its fringes, is accompanied by directly xenophobic groups. …

    Macron entered the scene alongside le Pen’s xenophobic populism. His role is best described by a word used by some of his supporters: in the last years, Marine le Pen gradually came to be “de-diabolised”, that is to say perceived as part of the “normal” (acceptable) political space, and the task is to “re-diabolise” her, to show to the political public that she remains the same old xenophobe not to be tolerated by society. …

    Historically, it was the task of the left to raise such questions, so no wonder that, with the diabolised enemy, the radical left conveniently disappears from the picture. Recall how, in the last elections in France, every leftist scepticism about Macron was immediately denounced as a support for le Pen. So we can venture the hypothesis that this elimination of the left was the true aim of the operation, and that the demonised enemy was a convenient prop.


    1. Sputnik Sweetheart

      Zizek is right, Melenchon’s approval ratings dropped heavily in the two weeks before the second round of the elction because he refused to endorse Macron (although he had endorsed Chirac in 2002 and Hollande in 2012) and the media attacked him (and the abstainers) viciously for that, using the opportunity to paint them as responsible for the possible victory of the FN. (http://www.acrimed.org/Les-bacchanales-de-la-vertu-retour-sur-l-entre)
      It’s very depressing to see what people will believe/ agree to do when they’re afraid. This was also probably one of the reasons why people didn’t vote for him in the legislatives as well.

    2. EoinW

      Xenophobic. I’m curious as to a specific definition as to what it means to be xenophobic. Let’s be honest, the word is a generalisation. Basically to characterize anyone on the Right whose views offend the Left. Being a vague slur serves no useful purpose. Left-Right dialogue and understanding will never be possible so long as one side uses words like communist, while the other side pulls out the “X” word.

      I’m not against an open dialogue – otherwise the 1% wins every time – however a writer using a word like xenophobic is openly declaring they are not interested in dialogue.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        Not to defend Zizek’s choice of words but I think you are missing the point of the piece. The argument is that Le Pen has fringe followers (whom Zizek calls xenophobic = fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign) and that the effort of the “global centrist party” to make sure that the Le Pen’s of the world are always labeled by their most appalling followers is anti-left, not anti-populist nationalist.

      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        From Merriam Webster

        Definition of xenophobia: fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign.

        This does not necessarily map to the left/right divide.

  12. craazyboy

    *****Heartbreaking News! *****

    Chelsea Named Commander In Chief By Dalic Nation

    Dalic Nation Claims Milky Way Galaxy For Dalic Federation Of Subservient And Soon To Be Exterminated Planets.”

    Story: Dalic Envoy contacted Chelsea thru a back Dimensional Channel at her private NYC yoga club women’s’ only locker room shower head. Witnesses say Chelsea was so exited she swallowed the shower head.

    Chelsea was subdoed(sic*) at first, talking to a shower head that was screaming at her in this terrifyingly horrific, screaming voice. Then it asked her what she wanted, and she focused her attention quickly. Almost, blurted out Pres… as one may expect, but then caution prevailed. Can a shower head really make you Prez, and what if these yappy girls watching me start laughing and telling all their girlfriends??

    So Chelsea said, “Ivanna Milky Way!”

    Dalic Envoy, “You vanna Milky Way – You mean you Ivanka? Last week you vant Russia noise to stop! Please to make up mind !!!” the Dalic screamed in the trademarked tone.

    Chelsea, “I don’t care what Ivanka wants. The Bitch. I want a Milky Way. Today!”

    Dalic Envoy, “OK, Ok. I thought you want something difficult, like be Prez of USA. But Milky Way Galaxy we can get you, easy peasy.”

    Chelsea, “What’s a Galaxy??”

    Dalic Envoy, “It is big bunch of stars. All around us, in big space.”

    Chelsea, “Oh! Yeah! I knew that too. Hahaha! Well, that would be something new for the girl that has everything. Do we have to bribe anyone or do any big favors? Like character assassination?”

    Dalic Envoy, ” Oh, no, no. We have “people” for that. All of them. You just sit back, take shower head out of throat, and we be in touch back.”

    Chelsea, ” Oky Dokey, then. Be seein’ ya! Chao! Happy Exterminating!”

    Trump slaps thighs and laughs uproariously with hand picked Golf Club buddies.

    Trump, “Shit! got Chelsea goin’ there! The Bitch. Wonder what we do for an encore?”

    “Righty” – The One Armed Golf Dupe, ” We make that a priority, Sir!”

    Trump, “Ya know, Tiger, I’ll pay you to carry my golf bag if you indulge me this bet. I bet we can convince The Dumb Bitch she’s to meet the Dalic Envoy (hahaha, such irony. Turnaround’s on them, for a change!) in Moscow and Putin will make the introduction. We got Putin interested by telling him Chelsea can deep throat a running shower head. Putin said, “You say shower head run from The Bitch too?” But we know he’s joking – clever guy he is! Then we sent him the vid of Chelsea’s tonsils, dancing in the waterfall. Ha! That clinched the deal. I gotta right thet knew buk soon. Gonna be HUUUUGE!”

    Tiger says, “I take that bet and double it, Sir!”

    *sometimes I do typoes and they’re too good to leave alone.

  13. Jim Haygood

    Obama’s in Bali this week:

    Since leaving office, Obama has visited late actor Marlon Brando’s private island; the Four Seasons in Bali — where rooms cost upward of $2,000 per night; a Palm Springs estate; Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island; the exclusive Mid Pacific Country Club in Oahu; the 13th-century Borgo Finocchieto in Tuscany; and the Rising Sun, Hollywood studio mogul David Geffen’s private yacht.

    “These are some of the most luxurious travel destinations in the world,” said Kendra Thornton, owner of luxury travel agency Royal Travel. “Necker Island has a nightly price tag of $80,000. Anyone who stays at these properties does so because they want the best of the best.”

    Borgo Finocchieto is actually not really a hotel, at least of the kind ordinary travelers come to expect. It’s a restored medieval hamlet with five villas and 22 bedrooms that can only be rented for a three-day minimum, in its entirety. Obama touched down at a nearby airport in a private jet escorted by six Eurofighter jets from the Italian Air Force.

    Presumably, the former president scored a deal on the stay since the Borgo Finocchieto is owned by one of his appointees, the former Italian ambassador John Phillips.


    So perfect: an ambassador who purchased his sinecure, rewarding the ex-pres who nominated him with … *drum roll* … an escort from the Italian Air Force.

    CASHING IN (while earnestly advocating for working folks): it’s the American Way. Who says virtue isn’t rewarded?

      1. RUKidding

        As usual, Fox is LYING through their teeth.

        All of my D friends are still worshipping at their Obama shrines singing Hosannas in his holy name. If I dare to point out all of these ultra-expensive, uber-extravagent Vacays, I’m given the stink eye and resoundingly lectured about how their High Holy Lord & Master deserves even BETTER than that.

        I’m only exaggerating a tiny bit (really). It’s thoroughly puke-making.

        Color me disgusted at his deplorable behaviour.

        Color Obama saying “I got MINE!!!!!!! Eff YOU!!!!!!”

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Was saddened to read that The Boss was on Geffen’s yacht with Obama. Ah, another balloon bursts.

      2. grizziz

        Among others, John Oliver and HBO:

        The left-wing media is also worried about Obama’s luxury vacations.

        “I’ll tell you who should kick back a little less,” said HBO host John Oliver in an interview with Seth Meyers on Late Night Monday. “This might be controversial – I’m a little sick of seeing photos of President Obama on vacation with Richard Branson. Just tone it down with the kite-surfing pictures. I’m glad he’s having a nice time – America is on fire.”

        Oliver then pointed out that President Obama was accused of being out of touch with the American people during his presidency.

        “I’m not sure he’s ever been more out of touch than he is right now,” Oliver said.

        1. Carolinian

          Good for him, although note the timid, apologetic way he says it. Don’t want to be black balled by The Resistance.

    1. Carolinian

      Note the idiot Haley is once again in the thick of it. If Trump would just say Nikki, you’re fired we here in S.C. would gladly take her back for the sake of the country, the world.

    2. different clue

      Ohh . . . the coming attack won’t be “fake”. The chemicals won’t be “fake” chemicals. It will be a real attack using real chemicals. Real Syrians will really die.

      Perhaps the word you were reaching for is “false flag”? It will be a “false flag” attack. The Cannibal Liver Eating Jihadis will launch the attack to get the TrumpAdmin to blame Assad for it and attack Assad and the SyriaGov and the Syria Army.

      The question is . . . what will Trump really be thinking and believing? Does he really believe that Assad diddit? If he really believes that, then he will view the coming false flag attack as Assad defying the will of the Mighty Trump. And Trump will order serious Personal Vengeance strikes.

      But all the legacy establishment filth in the PermaGov who are arranging this false flag attack know exactly what they are doing. I am very disappointed that Trump has been converted to Foreign Policy Clintonism. I thought I would be dealing with the side effects of Trumpery which I WAS predicting. I did not expect Trump to go Full Metal Clinton in every foreign thing.

    1. different clue

      He will see it as an attack on America. He will try to extort the EUropean authorities to cancel the fine.

    1. flora

      adding: general security precautions.
      1. patch your Windows computer/server with all the recommended/important patches. (possibly excepting the video patches.)
      2. backup your computer – you can rebuild in the event of ransomware attack.
      3. be extraordinarily skeptical of the torrent/bittorrent sites you use. Torrent sites are notorious for downloading uninvited malware onto unsuspecting users computers.
      4. never pay ransom. it’s wasted money. you won’t get your data back.

      1. flora

        adding, adding: while most of the ransomware attacks are targeted on the Windows operating system because it is the largest install base by far, other operating system users should not be complacent. If you are using X os or a flavor of Linus os keep your systems patched and backed up. Yes, I do like to state the obvious. Saves me from having to think too hard.

        1. flora

          adding, adding, adding: (apologies for going on, but this is my area)……

          Hackers and bad guys aren’t attacking you and your computer. Bad guys are running programs that go out over the whole web and rattle windows, twist door knobs, looking for an unsecured entry point. As the 1930’s Chicago mobsters are reputed to have said: “Dis ain’t personal. It’s bidness.”

    2. jrs

      from the article:
      “It’s easy to want to assume that this could be a nation state attack, given that blame is usually pointed at Russia for major cyberattacks or political meddling. In last month’s cyberattack, North Korea was a key suspect.

      But there’s no evidence at this time to suggest a government is behind the attack.”

      says the same article that before that said it was based on an NSA exploit. Oh a government is most certainly behind the attack even if inadvertently, that government is that failed state and terrorist backer known as the U.S. government.

  14. Propertius

    No new jobs north of 38° latitude

    I think you mean 39. Sacramento is 38.58 north. ;-) I know Western geography is a bit challenging for you Right Coasters.

  15. different clue

    @Lambert Strether,

    I thought of a slight change to ” what happens to a dream deferred, when the surveys and the data diverge?” that might help it scan just a little better and more rhythmically.

    ” What happens to a dream deferred, when the surveys and the facts diverge”? If you like it, feel free to adopt it. If not, then it can just quietly disappear.

  16. different clue

    So, the CBC wants Uber to hire black people into its executive slots? That would be an interesting Darwin filter. Any person dumm or evil enough to become a Uber executive NOW . . . when we are SO CLOSE to seeing Uber exterminated from existence and wiped off the face of the earth . . . will pay the reputational and career price for being so dumm stoopit iggnerant.

    Suppose no Black wannabe executive is that dumm or that evil? Will the CBC try to extort and pressurise someone fine young black people who know better than to sigh on to Uber to do so anyway? And if any did, and met a well deserved career-end, what would that do to the reputation of CBC?

  17. ABasLesAristocrates

    Oh, Janet. Never give a quote that will be used in the meme that circulates when the thing you said would never happen happens. This is gonna be your “Dewey Defeats Truman”.

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