2:00PM Water Cooler 6/9/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente



‘Some rural lawmakers are worried their districts could get short shrift from President Donald Trump’s plan to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and rails. That’s because the $1 trillion plan would largely depend on funding from private investors who typically favor projects that throw off steady streams of revenue and tend to be near big population centers’ [Wall Street Journal]. ‘To rally support, the White House says the president’s program will include federal grants for bridges, roads and waterways in rural areas, though details remain scarce.’ In two weeks….


Neera Tanden, unsurprisingly, doubles down:

Amazing that such a well-funded outfit filled with such “smart” people could expect such a sloppy work product to command respect; see NC here and here.


GA-06: ‘Eleven days out, the most expensive and built-up House special election of all time is still a Toss Up. Fueled by anger towards President Trump from all corners of the country, Democrat Jon Ossoff has raised $25 million to Republican Karen Handel’s $4 million, but at this point it’s a story of diminishing returns: for example, Ossoff has aired three Spanish-language ads in a district where the electorate could be only 5 percent Latino’ [Cook Political Report]. ‘Both sides are desperately scouring for any tiny advantages that could break this deadlocked race.’

GA-06: ‘The sub­urb­an At­lanta dis­trict looks a lot more like the ones that are go­ing to de­cide which party has the ma­jor­ity in Janu­ary 2019. Twenty-three House Re­pub­lic­ans are sit­ting in dis­tricts that Hil­lary Clin­ton won, and the 6th Dis­trict is one of the half-dozen or so oth­er GOP-held dis­tricts that Trump won but not by much—in this case, a bit less than 2 per­cent­age points. Demo­crats need a net gain of 24 seats to cap­ture the House’ [Cook Political Report].

GA-06: ‘[An Atlanta Journal-Constitution] poll of likely voters has Ossoff leading Handel by a margin of 51 percent to 44 percent ahead of the June 20 runoff. About 5 percent of voters are undecided. The margin of error is 4 percentage points’ [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]. ‘The findings show Ossoff has an enormous lead over Handel among women, leading 60 percent to 34 percent. The Republican is beating Ossoff among male voters by a margin of 52 percent to 41 percent. He has a solid advantage over Handel among younger voters, while she has a slim majority of voters who are over 65…. The conservative-leaning district has long been held by Republicans, and Ossoff has tried to appeal to both liberals infuriated with President Donald Trump and moderates and independents who typically vote for the GOP.’ In other words, it’s Clinton’s strategy in 2016 after she threw Sanders voters under the bus and appealed to suburban Republicans.

GA-06: Vacuous messaging is key:

“[R}espectful, decent, kind” but not respectful, decent, or kind enough to drag 25 million people out from under the bus by advocating #MedicareForAll, or even address “deaths from despair” in the flyover states. This is virtue-signaling in its crassest form.

GA-06: Boatloads of money are also key:

That’ll scale in 2018 and 2020, for sure.

Heath Care

This is useful:

Realignment and Legitimacy

‘How to get the most out of opinion polls without being led up the garden path’ [The Conversation].

“If I have to read one more article blaming liberal condescension toward the red states and the white working class for the election of Trump, I’m moving to Paris, France” [Katha Pollitt, The Nation]. Do it! You can hang out with Ta-Nahesi Coates!

Stats Watch

Wholesale Trade, April 2017: ‘In yet another negative for second-quarter GDP, wholesale inventories fell a sharper-than-expected 0.5 percent in April’ [Econoday]. ‘The draw is centered in autos… The wholesale stock-to-sales ratio holds unchanged at a still lean 1.28.’ But and: ‘Overally, I believe the rolling averages tell the real story – and they significantly declined this month. There is an obvious growth trendline in wholesale – but this was a bad month’ [Econintersect]. ‘Inventory levels returned to recessionary levels. To add to the confusion, year-over-year employment changes and sales growth do not match.’

Real Estate: ‘there are several warning signs for commercial real estate. As an example, even as the economy approaches full employment – and the demand for office space will likely slow – new construction is still strong and vacancy rates are already high’ [Calculated Risk].

Retail: ‘because grocery stores are one of the few businesses in which consumers provide most of the labor. Not only do shoppers assemble their orders themselves, but in many cases, they also process their own payments in self-checkout lines. This model is hard for e-grocers to compete with because they have to pay people to pick and pack orders’ [DC Velocity]. ‘[Boston-area startup] Takeoff’s model calls for the development of micro-fulfillment centers that use robotic shuttle technology to assemble customer orders, making fulfillment quick and relatively cheap. The micro-fulfillment centers would be located in high-traffic urban locations, making customer pickups convenient and reducing last-mile delivery costs for those wanting door-to-door service. (The cost of delivery from a warehouse to the customer’s doorstep is something that has plagued e-grocers in the past.) Online orders would be available for pickup within 30 minutes of order placement, which means a customer could order groceries online before leaving the office and pick them up on the way home. … At the heart of the Takeoff model is the Knapp OSR Shuttle, an automated storage system used to house and deliver products quickly to workers at the micro-fulfillment sites.’ Hmm. Finance costs for the robots would be? Once the stupid money for the startup stops?

Commodities: ‘North Korea’s global coal exports went down to zero in April, data released Friday shows, mainly due to China’s recent decision to ban imports from its nuclear-armed neighbour for the rest of the year’ [Mining. com].

The Bezzle: “Former Silicon Valley CEO Indicted for Allegedly Defrauding Employees of Tech Company Start-Up” [United States Department of Justice]. “The indictment alleges that Choi, while working at his company, known publicly as WrkRiot, falsely claimed that he received a degree from a prestigious New York business school, worked as an analyst at a major financial instution, had access to significant personal wealth, and was investing significant amounts of that money into the company. The indictment further alleges that after certain WrkRiot employees came to learn that WrkRiot’s bank accounts did not contain the capital that Choi claimed to have invested, Choi falsely claimed that a significant portion of the money he pledged to invest was tied up overseas and elsewhere.” I worked for such a company just before the dot.com bubble burst; such (alleged) companies do a lot of damage to everyone around them.

Political Risk: ‘We found that the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics has improved its source data and its collection practices, making its final official statistics higher quality than those of many counterparts in the developing world. However, due to the country’s complex economy and challenges posed by the transition from a command economy to a market economy, China’s economic statistics remain unreliable’ [Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis].

Political Risk: ‘Qatarstrophe?’ [Lloyd’s List]. ‘If the objective of the blockade against Qatar was economic isolation through confusion, the Gulf states headed by Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have succeeded beyond expectations.On day four of the crisis, shipping companies caught in the crossfire were still struggling to make.’

Honey for the Bears: ‘Everyone Is Muddling In Economic Darkness’ [RealClearMarkets], ‘As was once said, history doesn’t repeat but it surely rhymes. At the so far other end of the dot-coms in 2017 we find somehow similar processes particularly as they relate to stock prices. The market here and elsewhere around the world continues to find new record high prices, even though valuations are now in many ways comparable only to the late nineties and the dot-com era. That should be everyone’s first clue about what is going on.’ An interesting long read. I’d be interested in what people with money in the markets think. And I love the headline!

Five Horseman: ‘Facebook’s got the bit between its teeth, as the other horsemen take a break to graze’ [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood].

Five Horsemen Jun9

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 60 Greed (previous close: 55, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 57 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed. Last updated Jun 9 at 12:17pm.


‘May confirms intention to form government with help of Democratic Unionist party’ [Guardian]. ‘Accompanied by her husband Philip, and with her voice shaky at times, she said: ‘What the country needs more than ever is certainty, and having secured the largest number of votes and the greatest number of seats in the general election, it is clear that only the Conservative and Unionist party has the legitimacy and ability to provide that certainty by commanding a majority in the House of Commons.’

It’s simple math. The numbers: Conservatives 316, Labour 261, SNP 35, Lib/Dem 12, DUP 10, Sinn Fein 7. Sinn Fein sits out, SNP would never join the Tories, the Lib/Dems were badly burned by Cameron, so the only option left is DUP (316 + 10). #Awkward:

‘ On the stump, Corbyn has always been a first-rate yeller, with a nicely calibrated sense of grievance’ [Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker]. Professionals don’t yell, right? That said, this is good:

On Wednesday night, Corbyn gave the final speech of his campaign, in the stunning Union Chapel, in Islington, his own constituency. Near the end, he took out his reading glasses and gave a dramatic performance of a few melodramatic lines from Shelley. “Rise, like lions after slumber / In unvanquishable number! / Shake your chains to earth like dew / Which in sleep had fallen on you: / ye are many—they are few!” Corbyn was standing in front of a red background emblazoned with Labour’s slogan: “For the many, not the few.” He said that he and his audience had stood together in places like this for countless protest meetings over the decades—”protect this, defend that, support this person.” “Tonight is different,” Corbyn said. “We’re not defending. We’re not defending. We don’t need to. We are asserting. Asserting our view that a society that cares for all is better than a society that only cares for the few.”

I had no idea Labor’s ‘For the many’ was an allusion to Shelley. Amazing. More Shelley. Note the source (!):

Two pleasingly obvious examples of how, for liberals, “The Story” is always the conservatives, and not the left. First, the liberal New York Times:

Second, the liberal Washingon Post:

From The Department of Schadenfreudge, Obama’s liberal 2012 campaign manager, Jim Messina, was conservative Theresa May’s data expert (and worked for Tory Cameron, too). What a loser. From May 31:

(See NC on the YouGov polling here.)

From The Department of Schadenfreude, a double heaping teaspoon of #FAIL from Messina, talking his book:

From the Department of Schadenfreude, Tony Blair boards the FailBoat:

From the Department of Schadenfreude, Barack Obama joins Blair:

Say, maybe the President of the United States shouldn’t be meddling in other peoples’ elections? Just a thought.

“These past six weeks ought also to put an end to two theses about the post-Corbyn influx of members. The first is that they are paper members: the huge number of people on the streets canvassing and persuading – a tactic Labour activists have sometimes avoided in the past – disprove that argument. The second is that they are cuckoos in Labour’s nest: they are not, and they are here to stay. Acceptance of that fact will require some adjustments on both sides: the party institutions and the rough-and-ready newcomers. Accommodations will have to be found. But it is worth underlining that many of these people have been condescended to, smeared, insulted, reviled and abused for their joining the party. That must now end” [Verso Books]. This seems oddly familiar…

“Jeremy Corbyn, in contrast, had a good campaign. His speeches attracted the young, who voted in droves, as well as appealing to metropolitan pro-Europeans who were strongly against Mrs May’s plans for a hard Brexit. His manifesto was festooned with far-left pledges to tax business and the rich, to nationalise the railways and utilities, and to spend lots of public money. But his message resonated with voters fed up with austerity. His success puts him and his brand of socialism firmly in charge of Labour” [The Economist].

“It’s tough being wrong, but that doesn’t mean you have to carry on being wrong. Unfortunately, a number of Corbyn-sceptic commentators cannot accept the fact that Jeremy Corbyn ran a very effective campaign. The idea is emerging that, had there been a different Labour leader, the party would have won the election” [The New Statesman]. “Part of the reason Corbyn had these bad ratings is that he was not playing by the “rules” of an opposition leader – not communicating properly with the press, failing to unite his party, leading an often shambolic leadership operation and announcing left-wing policies that he refused to compromise on. No other candidate the Labour Party could have chosen would have done this, and so this election probably wouldn’t have happened. But aside from that, none of these imaginary more competent candidates would have run this kind of campaign. Corbyn’s big, old-fashioned rallies and bypassing of the usual channels to get his message across – he did very few print interviews, and shunned the wheel-out-the-spouse sofa interview – appealed to voters in a way that Theresa May’s stage-managed, distant approach did not.” I don’t think Corbyn is Machiavellian enough to play rope-a-dope, but it sure worked out that way, didn’t it?

So Corbyn — in addition to running on a platform of universal direct material benefits — turns out to be brilliant on the stump. Here’s that video from his speech to the Libertines concert again:

Again, I just think that video is extraordinary. Jacobin ran a cleaned up version that brings policy into focus, but this one includes the crowds chanting “Go Jezza Go” (Corbyn’s nickname), and shows Corbyn’s stance and body language much better. Can you imagine any other politician taking such a risk? And the risk paying off? Totally badass.

“How ‘groupthink’ in Theresa May’s Downing Street delivered another round of UK political chaos” [London School of Economics Blog]. Interesting:

The theory of ‘groupthink’ adds a useful extra insight here. First formulated by the psychologist Irving Janis, it specifically applies to tightly knit executive teams composed of a dominating leader and ultra-loyal assistants with a drive to maximize in-group solidarity. Suppose that in a first stage the team accomplished something extremely difficult, as May did in scheming her way to bid for the Conservative leadership. Especially important here was the intra-party arm-twisting of all the other candidates after the Brexit vote, so that she could ascend by coronation instead of having to fight an internal party election.

Janis argued that succeeding in this first stage struggle, against the odds, and with a centralizing and controlling leader, then induces in the leadership team a distorted view of their own insights and capabilities. Buoyed up by high morale, contemptuous of ‘outsiders’, and completely discounting any critical feedback received, the leadership team then goes on to make genuinely monumental second stage mistakes – as Blair did in committing to the Iraq war, and later sending troops to Afghanistan; or as Cameron did in his 2013 commitment to hold a Brexit referendum, and then his mismanagement of the doomy Remain campaign in 2016.

Or as the “executive teams composed of a dominating leader and ultra-loyal assistants” in the White House right now has done from Day One. (We might also speculate on what the effect of second-phase groupthink would have been in a Clinton White House; remember that Putin Derangment Syndrome was already floridly on display in October 2016, when everybody, not least the Clinton campaign, thought they would win. So, and speculating very freely, we would then have seen much the same tactics deployed from the White House that we see being deployed against the White House (and probably against the left as well; see WaPo’s McCarthyite blacklisting of small sites like NC).

Our Famously Free Press

‘Anonymous Sourcing Under Siege: CNN, NY Times Bungle Trump Reports’ [RealClearLife]. ”CNN’s publication and retraction of a story about the Trump-Comey conflict illustrates the biggest bias in journalism: the bias in favor of ‘8220;The Story.’ Similarly, the high-profile reporting by The New York Times on alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was at least partially refuted by Comey. He asserted that ‘in the main’ a February story about alleged contacts between Trump lieutenants and Russian government officials was not true. Hours later, the New York Times reported Comey’s comments, but largely stood by their original story.’ As I’ve been saying, if we’re going to unseat a President, it would be nice to be able to put faces and names to those with the evidence that backs up the unseating. Oh, and the evidence, too. Not statements about the evidence, but evidence.

“Rolling Stone at 50: How Hunter S. Thompson Became a Legend” [Rolling Stone]. “Thompson was also reshaping what it meant to write about politics. He filed 14 dispatches for Rolling Stone from the 1972 presidential campaign trail. He lacerated the ‘waterheads,’ ‘swine’ and ‘fatcats’ of D.C. culture – a tone far different from the reverent approach of the time – and lifted the curtain on the mechanics of press coverage. He exposed ‘pack journalism,’ puff pieces born out of schmoozing sessions between journalists and campaign aides. Many of Thompson’s observations ring true today: ‘It’s come to the point where you almost can’t run [for president] unless you can cause people to salivate and whip on each other with big sticks,’ he wrote. ‘You almost have to be a rock star to get the kind of fever you need to survive in American politics.'” We need a giant like Thompson so badly, today.

“Aaron Cantú, a staff writer at the Santa Fe Reporter, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he participated in a riot while working as a journalist during protests in Washington, DC on Inauguration Day” [Santa Fe Reporter]. “Cantú was not named specifically by prosecutors as the cause of any of the destruction, as some defendants were. Instead, the indictment named him as being present while the damage happened. The arrests have been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union, other civil rights groups and newspapers as overly broad and lacking hard evidence.”

Class Warfare

“The fashion industry is a complex web of connections – and this might prove to be more of a liability than an asset. Yes, fashion is something of a byzantine ecosystem borne largely from the industry’s failure to look outside of its closest circle of stylists, consultants, journalists, ghostwriters, etc. for talent. The result is a significant overlap of roles – a magazine editor styling a brand’s runway show, a critic writing a brand’s show notes, or the same handful of casting directors determining which models walk in shows during a season. It also ensures that the iron-clad establishment stays in power” [The Fashion Law]. “As we have noted in the past, this set up tends to give rise to conflicts and as a result, a need for transparency. Yet, the notion of candidness and clarity is increasingly obfuscated because it could potentially dismantle the delicate balance – between advertisers and editors, designers and editors, influencers and brands, and still, some further variations thereof – upon which the fashion industry so heavily relies. (Note: this is in no way a fashion industry-specific phenomenon). Italics in the original; indeed! I’m always suspicious of “transparency” as a remedy for power imbalances; as for example the idea that transparent mortage contracts would have prevented the foreclosure crisis.

News of the Wired

“The Benefits of Talking to Yourself” [New York Times]. “The two types of self-talk you’re likely most familiar with are instructional self-talk, like talking yourself through a task, and motivational self-talk, like telling yourself, “I can do this.”… The study concluded that motivational self-talk worked best on tasks based on speed, strength and power, while instructional self-talk worked best with tasks that involved focus, strategy and technique.” Interesting, if true.

On Corbyn, let’s not lose all perspective:

Happy dance!

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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 (via):

Double lotus blossoms in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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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. Jim Haygood

    Michael Hartnett, Chief Investment Strategist of BofAML, observes that central bank balance sheets have ballooned to a monstrous $15.1 trillion, up from $14.6 trillion in late April. Central banks have bought a record $1.5 trillion in assets YTD [Year To Date], according to his figures — “the largest central bank buying on record.”

    As this chart shows, Mario Draghi of the ECB and Haruhiko Kuroda of BOJ have morphed into modern day John Laws, pumping $200 billion a month [12-month average] of keystroke kurrency into overheated asset markets:


    You don’t need no PhD Econ to grok that something is drastically unhinged when these counterfeiters with badges are gunning the printing presses 24/7 during what is ostensibly a global economic expansion.

    In a second chart, Hartnett demonstrates the striking correlation between G3 [US, Europe, Japan] central bank balance sheets and the colossal climb of our own Five Horsemen of the Techpocalypse:


    Goldman Sachs helpfully adds that the Five Horsemen (which they call FAAMG) are 13% of the S&P 500 but account for 40% of its YTD gains. Likewise, they’re 42% of the Nasdaq 100 but contributed 55% of YTD gains. [Goldman dare not call them FAGMA, even though FAAMG is unpronounceable.]

    Despite today’s anguished cries of Who broke the Nasdaq?, stocks soldier on into the stratosphere as Draghi and Kuroda continue their heroic helicopter drops of jellied gasoline onto the blazing tank farm fire of Bubble III.

    At every mistake we must surely be learning
    Still my Qatar gently weeps

    — John Lennon

        1. david lamy

          Eric Clapton played lead guitar on the recording of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on “The Beatles” album.
          Not to take away from the clever riff on the lyrics by Jim Haygood.
          Hopefully, the the copyright holders won’t make NC take the riff down. IMHO copyright is for far, far, far to damn long a time.

          1. david lamy

            Two too many spellings of to to keep track of!
            Still IMHO copyright is granted for far too damn long a period of time.

      1. craazyboy

        It was when George was hanging out with Clapton – Clapton wrote it.

        But Paul disapproved – not the Beatles “sound”
        – fully indoctrinated into Martin pop marketing?

        BTW: Best Beatles song, evah!

    1. knowbuddhau

      A #Resistance cell at GS has tipped its hand with this sly swipe at Trump. It’s obvious they’re refusing to use #MAFGA. /s

      Clintonites to the “Left” of me
      Jokers to the Right
      Here I am
      Stuck in the middle with you

      Apologies to Steve Miller

      1. Jim

        Stealers Wheel, not Steve Miller. Sheesh, people, let’s get the attribution right! Or are all of us who were around when these songs were current losing our faculties?

        1. paul

          …and to think when he wrote that, if his studio mates accidentally took a swig of his ‘breakfast orange’ they’d be flat on their back for the rest of the session.
          RIP gerry

  2. voteforno6

    Love the “Hung Parliament” tweet – that made me laugh. The comments sections is pretty good, too. My favorite: “There’s a Clinton I’d vote for!”

        1. JohnnyGL

          I spent an hour or two yesterday trying to explain to people around the office that we are:

          “One nation under a groove, getting down just for the funk of it. One nation and we’re on the move. Nothing can stop us now”

          My bad joke fell flat amongst the millenials. A few of the elders cracked a smile.

  3. Vatch

    Eleven days out, …

    Aw, crud! For some reason, I thought the Georgia special election was scheduled for June 10, tomorrow. This means I’ll be getting email messages about this for another week and a half!

    1. petrel

      As a member of GA-06 whose wife donates to the Democrats (!), you wouldn’t believe the fucking amount of mail we’ve gotten on the Ossoff election. We are now getting mail inserts/miniposters/letters at the rate of two every three days. Big, color, professionally produced inserts that serve to clog garbage cans all over Brookhaven.

      I shudder to think at how many trees were killed to try to push Ossoff over the finish line. While Ossoff is following the standard Democrat playbook – seal up the base, then tack so hard to the center as to become a Republican lite – the Republicans amazingly are running their standard playbook, namely that Ossoff is a friend of Nancy Pelosi and is just bad, bad for America. Not even a hint of eau de Trump in the Republican campaign. (Of course, who knows what mailers the Republicans are getting?)

      I’ll be one happy pappy when this thing is over.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘Ossoff is a friend of Nancy Pelosi’

        Oh my! *wipes brow* That’s pretty small beer.

        When the R party claims that Ossoff is Nancy Pelosi’s gigolo and washes her lingerie, then you’ll know they’ve got the burning desire to win.

        What ever happened to good old southern mudslinging, like when Uncle Earl Long used to mock his gubernatorial opponent DeLesseps Morrison as “ol’ Delasoups”?

        Turn it up to eleven … ;-)

      2. different clue

        I am a very Bitter Berner. If I were living in GA-06, I would vote Republican to MAKE Ossoff the Clintonite lose.

      1. Vatch

        The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) sent me one today. It’s not very interesting, but here are a few sentences:

        Republican Karen Handel, on the other hand, supports Trump’s horrific decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, believes the federal government should play a limited role in combating climate change, and at a debate earlier this week, said proudly that she “[does] not support a livable wage.”

        This race has already become the most expensive House race in history — if polluters are able to outspend Jon Ossoff in the final week, he won’t have a chance. Electing a pro-environment candidate in this typically Republican district is truly now-or-never. We can’t pass up this opportunity.

        I wonder how much LCV donated to James Thompson and Rob Quist?

        I’ll probably get some email messages from the Daily Kos over the course of the next week, too.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          “Horrific” is another filter-word for me, along with “terrifying.” None of which makes a policy statement; it’s just that with all the knobs turned up to 11, I can’t hear a thing.

        2. Massinissa

          “if polluters are able to outspend Jon Ossoff in the final week, he won’t have a chance.”

          That framing is an outright lie. Ossoff is basically drowning in funding compared to Handel. Its Ossoff that is outspending Handel, not the other way around.

    2. Ernesto Lyon

      I’m praying for an Ossof loss. It would be the demoralizing loss that could drain the swamp at the top level of the party.

      1. Altandmain

        I imagine that the Democratic Establishment would blame the Russians for the loss in Georgia.

        Seriously though they would insist that it is a sign that they can win if Ossof wins. I would argue that the left wing voters should vote Republican or just stay home.

      2. Allegorio

        With an Ossof victory you might as well elect a Republican. The word “unaffordable entitlements” I am sure will figure high into his vocabulary. It is Ossof who is unaffordable. It will take more than an Ossof defeat to drown the Clintonite carpetbaggers.

    3. kimsarah

      Reminder, there is also an SC 5 election June 20. The seat is that of former Rep. and current budget director Mick Mulvaney. It’s Republican Ralph Norman vs. Dem Archie Parnell, who just received a $300,000 cash boost from the DNC. Norman is ahead in the polls.

  4. allan

    The arrests have been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union, other civil rights groups and newspapers as overly broad and lacking hard evidence.

    There is a nice contrast in the Daily Beast of how Cantu and other reporters are being persecuted
    with how a Trump multi-millionaire supporter was slapped on the wrist with a wet noodle for
    sexually assaulting a hotel maid during the Inauguration.

    The D.C. US Attorney’s office seems to have a more than adequate supply
    of [Godwin Law violation]’s Willing Executioners Prosecutors.

    1. different clue

      Does it really violate Godwin’s Law if the comparison or invocation is apt and informative?

  5. WobblyTelomeres

    Re: Robots

    “Finance costs for the robots would be?”

    I did the simple math a few years ago on the cost of a burger assembly bot for some robotics students (before Momentum Machines, but similar enough to prompt me to check out their primaries to see if one of my students had popped up there). Turned out that they are readily competitive with $10/hour humans assembling the standard macwhopper.

    Every bump in the minimum wage will make them even more competitive (easier sales pitch, even if the salesman has to walk the customer through the math). I don’t think the finance cost will be prohibitive. Fetching a basket of goods shouldn’t be that hard a challenge, especially, ESPECIALLY, if the rows and shelves are designed for robotic retrieval.

    1. Jim Haygood

      If Elon Musk uses solar panels and batteries to power burger bots, federal tax credits could make them effectively free.

      Let’s keep this to ourselves, shall we?

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > ESPECIALLY, if the rows and shelves are designed for robotic retrieval.

      Yikes. Makes me wonder whether the Amazon warehouses are already designed for that.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        As I understand their current system, they are converting their warehouses over to a hybrid system where short stout robots fetch large bins and deliver them to humans to pluck out the ordered item and then return the bin to its proper place. So, yes, they are designed for the robots – wide enough for two bots to run, wide enough for one bot to grab a bin, extract it, and rotate into “driving” position, embedded positioning data and communications networks built into the runways, scheduling computers dictating every motion, both human and machine.

        Prior to the robots, humans were being micromanaged through the aisles where they had to walk up to 30 miles a day retrieving items for shipment (typical Taylor environment). So, I guess the new way is an improvement.

        What I was thinking for the grocery order bot would have shelving that dispensed items in a manner similar to soup can dispenser racks, but for all offerings. Would require repackaging some things. Design-for-Robotic-Retrieval vs DFM.

        Some day it will arrive. Hope we have universal health care and basic income in place for that day.

        1. Allegorio

          “Hope we have universal health care and basic income in place for that day.” @wobbly telomeres

          When that day comes hope we don’t settle for JUST basic income and universal health care!

      2. HotFlash

        Fortunately, those order-pickin’ robots will be pickin’g orders for all those other robots, right?

        1. paul

          ….and they will return all those dildoes and beauty products to their rightful owners © Andrew Mellon, increasing turnover,market penetration and tax deductions.

          All for the electricity,personal maintenance and hydraulic fluid they need to avoid the scrapheap those that they replaced had muttered about in a dying,robotic murmur.

    1. RUKidding

      Nice! Good luck to Gomez.

      Gomez has promised to push for universal health coverage, while congressional budget analysts say Republican legislation remaking the nation’s health care system would leave 24 million without coverage by 2026.

      Unlike Ossof in GA and Nancy Pelosi, both of whom say: No way, Jose, can we ever ever ever EVER EVAH!!! have Single Payer. It’s Off the Table. But vote for us because we say we’re “Democrats” (while crossing our fingers behind our backs).

      Another friend asked me to donate to Ossof. I said I would if he promised to push for single payer or something like Medicare for All. All I got was a blank look from my friend. Like: Do you even know what this man stands for??? But, but but he’s a Democrat!!1!

      So: that’s money I don’t have to waste on yet another NeoLiberal Waste of Time “Democrat.”

      1. SoCal Rhino

        Issa took a lot of heat at his town hall last week over hit vote for the republican health insurance plan.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        Don’t confuse “universal coverage” with single payer, because the argument can be made that this or that solution (the Netherlands solution, the Swiss solution) will be “universal.” Some even claim that ObamaCare is universal.

        My argument is follow the precedent of Canadian single payer because it’s the most conservative play (i.e., isn’t some weird 1o%-er market-based experiment). It’s hard to conceive of a better “controlled experiment” than the US vs. Canadian medical system. Of all the countries on earth, they’re the closest to us, so why not just [family blog]-ing copy what they do?

    2. Adam Reilly

      Jimmy Gomez is the only career politician in a race that initially had 23 entrants (16 Democrats) and was a Hillary backer in the only LA district that went for Bernie. He was backed big money as well.

      1. a different chris

        Well like I said about Blairites — the wind blows hard enough and suddenly they spin.

  6. NotTimothyGeithner

    “I’m voting DUP”

    Am I only the one who sees “I’m voting Durp!”?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Oh, I noticed the “red arrow” pointing to the right. Gee, where I have seen that before?

    2. Jim Haygood

      Dunno about you, NotTim, but I’m voting DUPE.

      Bend me, shape me
      Anyway you want me
      You got the power to turn on the light

      — The American Breed

  7. roxy

    “If I have to read one more article blaming liberal condescension toward the red states and the white working class for the election of Trump, I’m moving to Paris, France” [Katha Pollitt

    Boo hoo. Au revoir Katha.

    1. Allegorio

      I’m sure she will be so happy with Rotschild banker President Micron. Au revoir and good riddance.

  8. different clue

    Wouldn’t it be neat if Bitter Berners set up a collection-fund to raise money to pay Katha Pollit’s costs for moving to France? Just to have that fund sitting out there in plain sight as a reminder that lots of Mean Blue People also would like Pollit-the-Clintonite to move to France?


    1. Kokuanani

      What a sacrifice for Pollit to move to Paris, France. [She’s going to need those dollars, whether raised by Bernie Bros or a Go Fund Me.]

      Why not Parma, OH or Waco, TX?

      1. Sputnik Sweetheart

        A golden opportunity for her to demonstrate the empathy and kindness she claims to have…

      2. different clue

        I believe the point of the fund would be to encourage her to leave this continent and leave this hemisphere. It matters not if the place she goes to is fun.

        Let her not stay upon the hour of her going but go at once. Katha Pollit, in the name of God, GO!

        1. JTMcPhee

          But… but… they have actual active TERRORISTS in Paris! So Katha is showing how deeply she abhors the Developing Consensus! enough to put her lily-white pearls in Serious Jeopardy!

      1. Bugs Bunny

        My comment below but I’d certainly welcome someone as literally decent as Katha Politt in exchange for a few Frenchmen who pass as intellectual commentators.

        At least she has functioning empathy.

        1. witters

          “At least she has functioning empathy.”

          And it will work better in Paree?

          (And where is all the empathy for those digusted at the condescenion? Hang on, Paree is starting to make sense…)

  9. alex morfesis

    Jezza is machiavelli enough and should be crowned the drunken monkey king…and his ascension would be good for a fair UK deal on brexit…apparently before the DUP deal was announced, Barnier, obviously thinking Corbyn would be leading the UK, tweeted “Let’s put our minds together on striking a deal”…

    Corbyn will be doing his michael corleone with DUP over the weekend, reminding them that sooner, rather than later, those youngins who voted for the manifesto will vote the platform into being…

    DUP will have conversations with the Tory Reform Group who might mediate a Cameron based coup against May…

    eurocrats have no interest in sitting across the table from Theresa and her krewe…

    they are signaling they would be nicer to a Corbyn led government…film at 11…

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > eurocrats have no interest in sitting across the table from Theresa and her krewe…

      Yes, I had a link to that effect from Handelsblatt (!!) the other day.

      1. Emma

        It would be better if those around the table were to focus on achieving a square deal ie. constructive interest in accomplishing greater economic growth for one and all……encouraging that, despite Brexit, might make them a European Union…..

        1. paul

          That does not seem to work, the various/elites/establishments will pursue their interests to the end(of all).

          They want us to change so they don’t have to.

          That is the universal,timeless constant.

          Get that into your nut and we’re off to the races,or,at least,survival

            1. Emma

              …….Well, if Jeremy Corbyn is supposed to be Dumbledore……….or not – see: https://jacobinmag.com/2017/06/corbyn-jk-rowling-obama-blair-macron )
              are the ‘elites’ really like the Dementors (those foul, dark, gliding creatures employed by the British Ministry of Magic….)?

              Or is it that all ‘non-elites’ are the real Dementors according to all the ‘elites’ given how Corbyn won: https://jacobinmag.com/2017/06/jeremy-corbyn-election-results-labour-theresa-may-left………..And as Fraser Nelson at The Spectator also pointed out “Jeremy Corbyn has just increased Labour’s share of the vote more than any other leader in any other election since Attlee in 1945″.

              But then who on earth are the eurocrats?!
              Death Eaters?!
              Does that then mean Jean-Claude or Mario is…….”he-who-must-not-be-named”?!!

  10. Sputnik Sweetheart

    Here’s from the Nation article by Katha Politt:  “Sorry, self-abasing liberal pundits: If you go by actual deeds, liberals and leftists are the ones with empathy. We want everyone to have health care, for example, even those Tea Partiers who in the debate over the Affordable Care Act loudly asserted that people who can’t afford treatment should just die.”

    This seems a bit hypocritical with the Daily Kos article cheering for the coal miners who lost their health insurance, as well as the tweets from the person who wished for the death of Bernie Sanders, the art with Trump’s severed head, etc, etc. If there’s anything that’s clear about this election, it’s that the discourse from both sides (of the same out-of-touch coin) has broken down and smug, self-serving barbs have been replaced by a violent shouting match.

    When will there be a serious party that looks past the incessant virtue-signaling discourse and takes action to promote economic equality? Will it be a lifeboat of the sinking Democratic Party ship with Sanders, Turner, and Gabbard at the helm? Or shall we march to the docks and build one on our own?

    1. PKMKII

      When will there be a serious party that looks past the incessant virtue-signaling discourse and takes action to promote economic equality?

      When people start voting on policy and not on political branding that appeals to their inner view of themselves.

      1. Sputnik Sweetheart

        I agree with you and also think that one of the issues is the temptation of lesser-evil voting, where you are given two options, neither which of are good, while having the other options (Green, Libertarian, etc. shut away, underfunded, and denigrated). You end up thinking that perhaps you prefer their platforms better, but they’ll never win, because no one else will vote for them. You’re thinking this, along with an enormous number of other people, so naturally this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and in the end, if you’re cynical enough, you vote for Clinton in the primary (instead of Bernie) or you don’t vote at all, because you’ll just be disappointed anyway. I used to phone bank during the Democratic primary and a lot of people would hang up the phone, but some were open to having conversations about why they didn’t want to vote, and it was mostly because they had tried for a long time but just given up.

        What a circle. What a society.

        1. skippy

          I like Dr Seuss…..

          “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

          Here’s a clever rhyme to get you motivated, realizing that things get done in the world by people who care, who try, and who give their best to what they’re doing. Look around and you’ll see that if no one cared an awful lot, not much would get done, and nothing would have ever improved. It’s easy not to care about things, because a whole lot of things need changing and it can be overwhelming. But if you focus your attention on one thing that needs improvement in your own world, you can make a measurable difference just by amping up the amount of care put towards it.

    2. different clue

      Let’s let the Good Ship Democrat sink first, and lets make sure to rescue Sanders, Turner, Gabbard and all their sort of people. Then lets let the rest drown.

      1. different clue

        ( Unless of course we can somehow mutiny and take over the ship. Then we can find a nice little political Pitcairn Island to leave all the Clintobamacrats behind on.)

  11. cocomaan

    I have no idea where else to post this, but it’s probably Bezzling, it’s definitely crapification, but does anyone else get bombarded with telemarker calls these days?

    There are two phones in my life, one for work, one for personal. Both get several calls a day. They are on the Do Not Call List.

    One way that I reduced the amount of calls was to mess with the telemarketers. Answer the phone, act like you are senile. When they ask you questions, lead them on. I reduced the amount of calls greatly.

    But what in the world happened? Where’s the enforcement? Is this just me?

    FTC responds: http://www.wcpo.com/money/consumer/dont-waste-your-money/why-the-do-not-call-list-isnt-working-anymore?page=2

    Janice Kopec runs the FTC’s Do Not Call division, and handles all those complaints.

    So what’s the problem? New technology, she says. Thanks to cheap programs that allow scammers to disguise their numbers, through what’s known as “caller ID spoofing,” they can make you think they are someone else.

    “The spoofed number that comes up on the caller ID can look like it is a local call. So you can be fooled into picking it up thinking it’s your pharmacy or your school. You can no longer rely on the caller ID to let you know if the call is safe or not,” Kopec said.

    In addition, the law has never stopped scammers willing to break federal law. And that’s who makes most calls these days.

      1. cocomaan

        They are getting pretty good. Unfortunately, I’m on several lists that give me unknown numbers, including honey bee swarm retrieval, and our non profit. So I pick up.

        But here’s the way to handle it:

        When I was doing something mundane at work, I led on SE Asian scammer company (trying to get me to install a script on my computer that would let them do god knows what) for about 40 minutes.

        Then I ripped off the mask and revealed myself as a filthy, sadistic demon. They freaked out. Called in a supervisor, chastised me. I asked them if they thought what they were doing was moral and they hung up.

        The best part was that I think I was put on a secret Do Not Call list, one that the scammers hold for lunatics like me who spam them back, because the call volume went to zero for several months.

      2. fajensen

        Ah, but, “They” fix that by having people you do want to talk to, like the doctors, use hidden numbers!

      3. John Zelnicker

        @Lambert – Actually it can extend pretty far. I have had a telemarketer spoof the same number they were calling. My first thought was “how is my phone calling itself”. Of course, I realized it was a telemarketer, and didn’t answer, but if they can do that, I see no reason they couldn’t spoof a number that belongs to a friend or associate that I would recognize. However, it would probably be random luck to pick one.

    1. DJG

      cocomaan: Lately, I have been getting robocalls that are dumb enough to leave messages. I, too, have both lines on the National Do Not Call List. I report abusive messages the same day. Over time, the DNC list does seem to kick in. In general, I have fewer and fewer lunatical calls.

      Unless: Are you the one calling and claiming to be from the FBI Division of Tax Enforcement, on your way over to arrest me?

    2. Angie Neer

      In my experience, reputable companies who are traceable by U.S. authorities comply with Do Not Call. But scummy spammers and scammers with spoofing capability (and overseas addresses) don’t have to fear punishment. As you say, most calls these days are placed by criminals. I’m sure spoofing could be defeated with improvements to the network, but no telecom company wants to spend money on the wired phone network if they can possibly avoid it. I’m afraid the network is in a death spiral.

    3. Arizona Slim

      I’m getting hammered with scammer calls. It’s gotten so bad that I don’t answer the phone unless I recognize the number.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        Me too! If it is number I don’t recognize and they don’t leave a voicemail, then I’m not going to bother with them….

      2. UserFriendly

        I don’t know if anyone here would like my solution for spam calls, but Google Voice does an excellent job of filtering spam. It’s free and I give that number out to everything I expect might end up in the hand of spammers. You can set it up to forward calls and texts to one or more numbers, make unknown callers announce who they are before it connects you, and get a transcript of voicemails emailed to you. It’s a great way to not worry about giving out your number to possibly shady people. Plus it has free international texting… or at least it used to. You can even make calls from that number either by installing the App on your cell (it lets you choose to always use your cell #, always you GV #, or always ask) or through the web portal or chrome extension. It’s by far the best google product, except maybe youtube.

        1. katiebird

          !!! I am saving your comment as a FAV, UserFriendly -— Having never looked at google voice, it sounds very confusing to me. But I am going to try it out today.

          Thank you!!

    4. Alex Morfesis

      Robocall is a private right of action issue…you are giving away 500-1500 per call by not properly documenting the calls…

    5. Carl

      Dunno what happened, but I changed phones a few months ago. The new one is pure Android, and I get a bunch of calls each day (just like with the old phone) but these are “pre-marked,” I assume by something in Android, with the caller ID “Scam Likely.” It really does help to weed out the endless spam calls, and I don’t know who’s responsible but h/t to whoever came up with it.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      Let’s see if he actually does – or if this is just more of his “trash talk”…..

    2. darthbobber

      I’d bet dinner that never happens. One constant with Trump is that he’s always willing, indeed, virtually guaranteed t to various things at an undefined future point. But never in the present. And he’s been allergic to being under oath even in his business career. So unless and until it happens, I suspect it isn’t interesting at all.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I was trying to think of an example where Trump had placed himself under oath and couldn’t come up with one.

        Nevertheless, we’ll see how it plays out. That process is what is interesting. So far, Trump has managed to evade every assault. But now he seems to put himself in the line of fire. What happens when somebody calls his bluff?

        1. Darius

          Trump’s just doing his Roy Cohn act. Always. Everything is always a nonstop mindfuck. Just say whatever is the most aggressive thing he can think of at any given moment then change the subject and move on to the next lie. Lie so much he buries the truth under a torrent of lies. The truth no longer exists. Just an enormous house of mirrors.

          Comey is trained to lie but Trump is pathological. I thought Bush was a compulsive liar. Obama lied habitually with such dignity and grace. But Trump makes them look like choirboys. I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or just stare, like you would at a train wreck in progress, or the sinking of the Titanic.

    3. Benedict@Large

      Under which oath was he referring to? And will he place his hand on the Bible or a shovel as he does so?

    4. Peter Pan

      It’s a Trump bait & switch on the “we’ll get back to you on the taped conversation”?

      Just change the topic about the tape. Headlines will follow.

  12. DJG

    “We want respectful, decent, kind leadership.” For some time, I have also been perplexed by the (incorrectly styled) slogan, Kindness is Everything. (Which is last in a list of various bromides like “No Person is Illegal.”

    This isn’t politics. One of the remarkable things about Comey’s testimony is his stress on his feelings, on his fear of being alone in a room with Trump. We aren’t talking policy. We are talking the non-politics of the upper middle class, which, whether rightwing or liberal, has been all too happy with economic inequality, the decline of the public schools, endless wars that their children aren’t drafted into, and “green” solutions on the order of a Cadillac Escalade. I recall that weird squib after the election of the upper middle class guy who was afraid to be in his apartment with his plumber. Lots of fear going around these days. Lotsa feelings.

    Yet you can, and should, file such blather under class warfare. These are the people who are kind to their servants and who always(!) tip 20 percent to the waitstaff who have had to make fourteen substitutions and take back three bottles of wine. But these folks never, ever want to see single-payer health insurance in their lifetimes. Because they want to be the judges of who is kind. And they don’t want people make decisions on their own.

    This is also gender-based blather, because we all know that women are so much more in tune with their emotions, like the FB postings this morning of how Comey understands how women feel around an abusive boss. So how did Carly Fiorina manage to stay in a room with herself?

    So much psychobabble, so little commitment to a democratic (small D) mindset, which is skeptical and rather severe in its assessments of the powerful. I don’t want institutional kindness: Politically, I want the full Senate torture report to be published, with indictments afterwards. In short, I want some seriousness.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > One of the remarkable things about Comey’s testimony is his stress on his feelings


      > I don’t want institutional kindness: Politically, I want the full Senate torture report to be published, with indictments afterwards. In short, I want power.

      Indeed. Not there yet, which is the downside of Corbyn, Berniecrats in CA, Sanders (although “Bernie would have won applies to the general, not the primary). But you lose until you win.

      1. Kim Kaufman

        Imo, Comey yesterday was professional IC performance art to throw Trump way under the bus, especially with repeatedly calling him a liar. For one thing, I think, he’s still pissed Trump fired him the way he did. For another, I think, he knows Mueller has his back. Also, Comey said definitely Russia hacked DNC emails and voter registration but still with ZERO evidence.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Comey Is a piker at performance art. I am reminded of the Oscar-worthy performance of Ollie “I am a serious Patriot” North, in his “testimony” (after what, six months of intensive Bernays Preparation by the what, “deep state?”) to those so very serious, flaccid members of Congress. Here is a nice recap, with a bit of skeptical snark to it, of the whole performance, capping what ought to have been a kind of Constitutional Crisis, if the Constitution that weasel had sworn to “support and defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic” had any meaning: “Understanding the Iran-Contra Affairs,” https://www.brown.edu/Research/Understanding_the_Iran_Contra_Affair/h-on-gallery.php A nice recap, with lots of granularity and links out to actual video and stuff, and a reminder that this sh!t has gone on and will go on until this species is but a fossil entry into the geological record of the planet…

        I’m hoping, as I age, that my memory neurons will fail quickly and precisely enough to excise the stuff I have seen and learned about the motions of the Elites and the rest of the worst of us, in all their horrid parts, and I will be left with nothing but generous recollections of pre-global-warmed late summer days, lying on the grass under the perfect maple tree that grew in front of the neat little house my dad bought in a quiet bedroom suburb of Chicago, using his GI Bill benefits, looking up at the dappled beauty of bits of blue and reflected afternoon sunshine among the rustling palmate leaves, eating a peanut-butter-and-spun-honey-on-Wonder-Bread sandwich my mom had so carefully made, sticking “maple helicopters” to my nose and fingers, even savoring the sulfur-laden smoke and fumes from the great steam locomotives that rumbled past, towing the loot of the continent and the Captains of Industry and their minions down to the Loop and back, on the tracks only a hundred feet from our fence…

  13. Jess

    Sic Semper Tyrannis is going dark:

    08 June 2017
    17 million page views for SST and gone


    I am leaving you. Guest authors, commenters and the various troll nations may continue if you wish. I may start another blog under “Pat Lang’s Blog” but there will not be comments. pl

    1. Liberal Mole

      This is too bad. I always liked reading his blog to get an experienced foreign policy view that wasn’t nuts or neocon/neoliberal.

  14. a different chris

    >with far-left pledges to tax business and the rich

    Well, yes only the FAR left would even consider taxing the rich…

  15. gonzomarx

    So a party that has shared platforms with and has links with terrorists is now in government!
    the bittersweet irony given the hysterical of the Sun/Mail during the election.

    DUP has been criticised for loyalist links

    Why is the DUP so controversial? The party’s stances on abortion, gay marriage and climate change explained

    Kensington and Chelsea is still is to close to call! …..Kensington and Chelsea!!! for fecks sake..

      1. clinical wasteman

        Thanks for the update: constant attention to the Guardian timeline was beyond my feeble powers.
        The Kensington result is almost as funny and strange as it sounds, but the “richest place in Britain” tag needs some context. The ridiculous amounts of wealth in part of that area are enough to generate that sort of an “average”, but in 2010 the former “Kensington and Chelsea” seat was split up, with the “Chelsea” part attached to Fulham to the South and “Kensington” reattached to North Kensington and parts of Ladbroke Grove. Both North Kensington and Fulham are drastically “poorer” (i.e. there’s a higher concentration of surviving council and ex-council housing scattered among the mansions, some of which used to be tenements) than South Kensington, Ladbroke Grove or Chelsea, but the concentration of unwealth is highest in North Kensington around the Westway flyover, where for some reason the Tory municipalities of West London haven’t class-cleansed their council estates quite as thoroughly as neoLabour did in the East and South, perhaps because they forgot that the people on them even existed. Then a lot of South Kensington is embassies and museums, plus the very rich need their Lebensraum, so that not so many of them fit into a square kilometer. (Their servants are “foreign” and can’t vote.)
        All of which means it’s less odd than it may appear that “Kensington” should vote narrowly that way, but this is worth mentioning only because that stereotype of a “wealthy area” is often applied — in international media but also (with the utmost cynicism, by journalists who actually live in the upscale parts of London) to London as a whole, most notoriously to Islington, statistically one of the 10 or 15 “most deprived” parts of the UK but carved up by a few streets of head-spinning wealth. The wealth-free parts of it to the North, eg. Holloway/Seven Sisters Rd, look like the Bowery in 1994 (in bad and good senses at once), and coincidentally or not are represented in parliament by one J. Corbyn.

      2. Barmitt O'Bamney

        And Labour picks up something like 31 seats. So how long until the Guardian solemnly calls for Corbyn’s head?

    1. darthbobber

      And with powersharing having collapsed in Ulster, and self-government from Stormont potentially done for unless a deal can be brokered to restore it, picking this moment to put one of the two parties to the standoff into the UK government probably puts paid to the possibility of Westminster as broker.

      Also, what the DUP usually demands in these situations is very transactional. Pork-and plenty of it- for all sorts of projects in Ulster. Callaghan’s minority labor goverenment limped along for years, I think, with the Paisleyites as partners, but there was a new ransom to be paid every couple of months. And with the tories still committed to a wide assortment of austerity measures, lots of pork for Ulster will be seen by many as at the expense of English and Scottish constituencies.

      Worst-case scenario: We find out in the near future how many weapons the Provos avoided decommissioning.

  16. clinical wasteman

    yeah, I think a happy but still nervous dance is called for, at least until Ms M*y is done skyping Ian Paisley in hell. Thanks Lambert for the soundtrack. Thanks NC Genossen/innen at large for willing the officially impossible to happen, from great distances and all kinds of political perspectives. And particular thanks to Plutonium Kun for pointing out (hyper-hypothetically, it still seemed at the time) that a narrow Labour win would likely have led to disaster, probably at the hands of Labour machine politicians, whereas the hanging of the parliament (which is actually too good for most of them) throws much of the risk back at the self-reproducing automata of both parties.
    None of which justifies all that much optimism about what happens next — social democracy in still-potentially-electable shock! But there was audible celebration on the streets of Hackney today, and any chance of the transmetropolitan [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxv0t7lVKgM] working class barging our way back into history “in unvanquishable number” justifies the line from Shelley’s ‘Masque of Anarchy’, however badly the campaign slogan butchered it and whatever becomes of Corbyn and my local MP Diane Abbott*. Or to put it another way, if what Corbyn says in that speech about “asserting instead of defending” turns out to be even somewhat true, that will matter more than parliamentary arithmetic, and it will be the first time I can think of here since June 18, 1999.
    [*Diane Abbott could only ever pass for a “leftist” in the curdled imagination of the Daily Telegraph or maybe the BBC, but the curators of “Middle England” detest her with breathtakingly racist, sexist zeal, in part because they detest everything about the “deracinated” but dangerously functional working-class community they think she represents. This time she was vilified into a breakdown by liberal and Tory media alike, then vilified for breaking down. Then she was returned with 75% of the vote].

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        In the end, we get people like Obama because we celebrate them for not running pedestrians over in their car.

        Obama let Manning be tortured and rot in prison while the perpetrators of the crimes Manning exposed walk free. Obama deserves no credit, and he doesn’t have a mixed legacy. He has a poor legacy at best. He should be treated as a pig for the rest of his life, not forgiven when he takes up sculpting and hosts art shows with Shrub.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I just can’t help myself.

      There is a lot of garbage out there about Obama droning kids all over the world, but most kids aren’t being droned right now. Do you ever hear about them? Obama could have ended the child poverty problem with drones, but does he ever get credit?

    2. stillfeelintheberninwi

      Obama commuted Chelsea Manning because he wanted to pardon Gen James Cartwright. Cartwright was to be sentenced in Jan 2017.

      In case you don’t remember what he did:
      “General Cartwright, who was a key member of Mr. Obama’s national security team in his first term and earned a reputation as the president’s favorite general, pleaded guilty late last year to misleading investigators looking into the leaking of classified information about cyberattacks against Iran.”


  17. purplepencils

    Thank you for the LSE blog post – very interesting and illuminating.

    Some City folks I know have begun grumbling about Corbyn lost and how dare he declare victory, goes to show how low expectations are. All this without thinking about precisely why expectations were so low and how disadvantaged he was going into this to begin with! And the dilution of Corbyn’s shocking success begins…

      1. purplepencils

        “She is completely lacking in charisma and not very bright.” Ouch.

        Wasn’t there a Loughborough study into media bias during the election? It was pretty damning.

  18. timbers

    Reportedly Comey said Loretta Lynch pressured him to rename his investigation into Clinton by calling it a “matter” not an investigation.

    Isn’t that Team Obama doing just what the MSN is accusing Team Trump of doing – covering up an investigation? And Hillary at Secretary of State/Clinton Foundation institutionalized on a grand scale pay for play, making what Trump & Co are accused of look like petty theft in comparison. Plus the emails thing she’s admitted to repeatedly breaking the law over a long period of time.

    Yet I’m not seeing headlines on this in the MSN. Speaks volumes.

  19. purplepencils

    An intriguing tidbit here: “Theresa May’s authority has been destroyed”

    “There was a spectacular example of that last weekend, and it would have made front-page news but for the terrorist outrage. Downing Street was briefing that as soon as the election was over, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, would be sacked. In the final phase of a campaign, that is a crazy way to behave. Suppose Mr Hammond had cut up rough and said that in response, he would resign there and then. Imagine the headlines and the political crisis, four days before polling day. Mr Hammond is far too much of a gentleman to behave like that, but others noticed the way in which team May exploited his decency, having none themselves. It was further proof that the PM’s advisers were so puffed up with arrogance that they had lost all contact with common sense.”

    I tried googling but found nothing online from last weekend suggesting that Hammond was going to be sacked. Of course, the rumours had been going on for awhile and May herself refused to confirm if Hammond is staying or not.

    And to think she is a vicar’s daughter. Someone needs to remind her of Christian charity.

    1. steelhead

      Just remember who the primary donors are to “Established Main Stream Western Religions” . These people are narcissistic, sociopaths and psychopaths who believe that they are God fearing and will be rewarded. They are doing their best to “help the common man”. Not. This involves Robber Barrons like Rockefeller to the past and present Cardinals and Popes. Screw the 99% as long as someone believes that a family dynasty is actually a way to Heaven.

  20. Altandmain

    Kind of funny, but very sad what is going on with Boeing:

    Yeah that is all about short term profit. In a few decades, I think that the Chinese and Japanese will do to the US aviation industry what the Japanese did to the big 3 US automotive companies.

    So they’ve looted the pensions of workers, outsourcing their work to a ton of other nations, and now this.

    This executive greed will be the end of America.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      There is no more America. There’s Apple: a handful of designers here; wage slaves on suicide watch in China with no health care, no retirement, and no indoor plumbing; and a boatload of money sitting outside the reach of U.S. tax laws. Rinse and repeat for the rest of the SP 100.

      1. Altandmain

        Yes but where the manufacturing goes, the innovation follows.

        I’m sure that with time, there will be better Japanese and Chinese aircraft

  21. Bugs Bunny

    Can we trade you a few male French “intellectuals” for the always relevant and decent Katha Politt? I’m thinking the first to go is Bernard-Henri Levi? I’ve got a list we can work with. Zemmour? Adieu.

    Vous êtes la bienvenue Katha !

  22. Tim

    I can personally attest that citizen outreach, getting ear time or better yet, face time with the legislative advisor, not the actual congressman, is how things get done.

    Sending a rant to the congressman or even just calling the congressman’s office where the front desk folks managing the phones answer, will get you on a tally, but not in the consciousness of the person the congressman depends on for inputs into potential legislation.

  23. stillfeelintheberninwi

    It going to happen in Wisconsin. The Guv is going to have a real challenge. Mike McCabe is running.

    Here is a link to a video interview released today. http://www.wiseye.org/Video-Archive/Event-Detail/evhdid/11629

    Go watch, it’s so very refreshing to have honesty, integrity and the ability to speak clearly in a candidate. Universal healthcare! Affordable postsecondary training! Not putting road bills on the credit card!

    This is going to be a game changer and it will be an interesting test of the people vs the money. Mike will not take the big donors. Guv W will call him a socialist and a liberal, but will that counter the fact that the Guv takes all the big money and is bought by those donors? I think not.

    Mike will rely on the people. He knows lots of people in WI and they are all over the political spectrum.
    The Bernie people in Wisconsin know Mike. He’s been a part of the grassroots movement they favor. At the end of the interview, he compares the race to that of Bernie in presidential race.

    I can’t WAIT for him to take on the GUV. Mike is incredible at speaking on his feet and he isn’t mean or full of blame, this is going to be fabulous. His only real problem will be the Dems who don’t like him. Stay tuned.

    1. MoiAussie

      Business as usual. There’s nothing in this military fanboy article or other reports to suggest an escalation in tensions, just another day at the office in the Baltics.

  24. allan

    U.S. joins battle as Philippines takes losses in besieged city [Reuters]

    U.S. special forces have joined the battle to crush Islamist militants holed up in a southern Philippines town, officials said on Saturday, as government forces struggled to make headway and 13 marines were killed in intense urban fighting.

    The Philippines military said the United States was providing technical assistance to end the siege of Marawi City by fighters allied to Islamic State, which is now in its third week, but it had no boots on the ground. …

    ” …technical assistance … no boots on the ground … ”

    I’ll take U.S. Military Adventures that Ended Badly for $1000, Alex.

  25. Ptolemy Philopater

    “Amazing that such a well-funded outfit filled with such “smart” people could expect such a sloppy work product to command respect” in re the Center for American Progress “Marshall Plan for America”

    Smart and corrupt are not mutually exclusive. As Upton Sinclair said “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

    In fact, I don’t know if there’s been any study about it, but I believe the smarter and more educated someone is, the more likely they are to be corrupt. It takes ambition and a competitive nature to take note of things educate oneself and often ambition knows no limits.

    Being smart and being moral are two distinct characteristics. Morality often means acting against one’s own self interest in the interest of the whole, society, culture, planet. In our society “being smart” is only measured by material and career success, hence the dichotomy between “smart” and moral.

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