2:00PM Water Cooler 7/14/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Readers, by the time you see this, I will have been travelling down to Portland on the bus for the meetup for an hour or so, and I will not have had time to put a full Water Cooler together. That’s the second time this week, and I’m sorry; I hope these photos are pretty enough to be a substitute. I took them last night as the sun was about to go down.

This year, both from accident and intention, I’ve ended up focusing far less on vegetables and far more on flowers (which aren’t that easy to photograph; it’s always as if they have adapted to catch the slightest breeze).

1) This is a volunteer. I don’t know what the heck it is!

2) My tomato plants are not all scrawny!

3) Self-seeded sunflower (of which I have many, many).

4) Self-seeded borage, ditto.

5) Beach roses, invasive and thorny, but with a lovely scent.

6) Front garden, showing perhaps a dozen species and illustrating the general theory: Masses of color, as in a “grandmother’s garden.” The sunflowers, borage, and roses (as well as Black-eyed Susans, bee balm, raspberries, and honeysuckle, not shown) and even the tomatoes are all simple, vernacular flowering plants massed for color, and not showy individuals (set off with bark mulch, yeeech). Bees love all of them, and the environment is nice for sitting. That’s the theory.

Maybe some other time I’ll take more photos that show the general effect, but first I have to do some weeding (that is, remove plants I don’t want).

Talk amongst yourselves!

* * *

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. All today’s plants are above!

NOTE Readers, if you want your handle to appear as a credit, please put it in the subject line. Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. Thank you!

* * *

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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.

102 comments

    1. diptherio

      That’s what i was thinking too: chives. Only ours flower purple, not blue. Give it a nibble, Lambert, and see if it tastes garlic.

    2. ambrit

      Agreed. Looks like an ornamental garlic variety. Such are very popular down here for borders and to anchor flower beds visually. They can get quite large.

    1. shinola

      Doubtful that either of the Kochs would run for office. They are the puppeteers, not the puppets – and that’s the way they like it.

        1. different clue

          They would also have to expose themselves to public view. Themselves, their agenda, and their white persian cat.

        2. Art Eclectic

          They already bought the office, why waste money running for it?

          And certainly why run around the country talking to those dirty citizens and kissing their babies?

          Easier to just cut a check.

    2. justanotherprogressive

      No, Jamie Dimon been raging for quite a while that the US Govt is hurting his chances to be as rich as he wants to be……but making these comments on Bastille Day? I think he’s bucking to be the next Marie Antoinette…..

          1. No Way Out

            I read an interview a few years back with one of the Koch brothers, and he was asked about exactly that. To which he responded that he saw no reason why he shouldn’t have it all.

            These people don’t just seem like they don’t give a crap about the rest of us. They literally don’t.

        1. hreik

          When do people like Dimon ever have “enough” money?

          Never. B/c it’s not about the money. They lack something the rest of us have so no amount is every enough. Sad, really. If the phuckers weren’t so dangerous it’d be more sad. lol

        2. Randy

          The “money” doesn’t matter to them. It is just a way of keeping score. It is just a game for them, whoever has the most “wins”.

          Adults playing Monopoly with real money. Weird.

      1. Chauncey Gardiner

        Bastille Day!… and the French watchdog barks, the caravan moves on… continuing the long march climbing the Wall of Worry… with a little help from their friends at the central banks, of course. Still a ways to go to surmount the pass over Dotcom Peak on the Great Road to Riches. Ergo ego. Too bad about all that human detritus in the wake of the caravan’s passage, though.
        https://mobile.twitter.com/Schuldensuehner/status/885774809988304896

        1. justanotherprogressive

          Jesus! I wonder how many people know how grossly decadent these people are!

          I’m sure a maid paid minimum wage cleaned up after them…..

          But hey, nothing says Christmas Spirit like bragging to all your friends that you are so rich you can trash your own home….

  1. cocomaan

    Hey Lambert, can you ever get your borage seeds to overwinter? Not sure if PA has a cold climate or the chickens/songbirds eat all of them.

    1. JohnnyGL

      I’m in MA and had borage seeds that self-seeded overwinter. Wasn’t really expecting it. They came up in roughly the same place that they’d been the previous year and I’d piled on some leaf litter.

    2. DJG

      Question: Is the borage shown an edible variety or purely ornamental? In some places, they are considered an early spring salad green.

      1. cocomaan

        That’s the variety I have and we’ve used the flowers in fancy salads for guests.

      2. Carla

        That borage is just gorgeous!

        —Medicinal Action and Uses—Diuretic, demulcent, emollient. Borage is much used in France for fevers and pulmonary complaints. By virtue of its saline constituents, it promotes the activity of the kidneys and for this reason is employed to carry off feverish catarrhs. Its demulcent qualities are due to the mucilage contained in the whole plant.

        For internal use, an infusion is made of 1 OZ of leaves to 1 pint of boiling water, taken in wineglassful doses.

        Externally, it is employed as a poultice for inflammatory swellings.

        http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/borage66.html

  2. polecat

    I’ve got Melissa, e.i. bee balm, as well as chamomile (german) seeding everywhere …. which is a good thing, in that I incorporate both, steeped in warm water w/ other herbs, to add to the syrup that I feed to my bees …. so the more that germinate, the merrier. The bees really like it ! ‘:]

    1. Oregoncharles

      Around here, lemon balm (Melissa) is quite a weed. If you’re paying attention, you can control it by shearing the plant to the ground just before it sets seed. It spreads by seed, not in the ground like mint. It grows back a nice mound of lemon-scented leaves.

      And if you need to remove it, it isn’t all that easy, as the base is woody. Pulling doesn’t get it.

      1. Watt4Bob

        An old man once explained to me that the best way to get rid of those sorts of plants, was to put a fence around them and add chickens.

        The chickens obsessively peck anything growing in their pen and can it of even the most hardy and stubborn plants.

          1. Oregoncharles

            The “blasted heath” effect. It’s been recommended to run chickens in orchards, because they clean up overwintering insect pupae and eggs.

  3. David, by the lake

    Does anyone live in a city which permits front yard vegetable gardening? I am working on trying to get our ordinance altered to permit this (currently forbidden). I’d appreciate links to code or cut-and-paste of any conditions/restrictions placed on such gardens. Trying to find a good compromise to thread the needle. Thanks in advance!

    1. Andrew Watts

      Portland, OR has allowed front yard gardens since 2011.

      Planter boxes in parking strips wider than four feet must:
      • Be located two feet from the curb face.
      • Be located one foot from the concrete sidewalk.
      • Not exceed 10 feet in length.
      • Maintain four feet of separation between adjacent planter boxes.

      Planter boxes in parking strips four feet wide or narrower may:
      • Be constructed with no separation from the curb and the sidewalk.
      • Not exceed four feet in length.

      The gardening proletariat shall soon achieve victory in the urban farming struggle. Viva la Resistance de blueberries!

    2. marieann

      I have masses of flowers in my front garden and I noticed a little tomato seedling coming up among them, probably from our compost. I have decided to leave it.
      Our bylaws states that the city can cut tall vegetation. I have had the flowers for about 8 years with no complaints, I have Rudbecia, Phlox,Peony, Rose Campion……all tall plants.
      I even wonder if the tomato would be noticed amid the plants….most folk don’t know that their food comes from plants.
      I also may grow herbs in the front garden and that would free up some space in the backyard.

    3. Dead Dog

      Thank you, David (by the lake sounds nice). Although an ordinance banning a veggie garden would make me move elsewhere…

      I am lucky to live on a residential block (in Queensland) where boundary fences, including the front, are permitted. This allows our two terriers and five chickens full roam on our 850m2, and we can bring our cars in as well.

      Partner has the green thumb, but am never surprised to see tomatoes, sweet potato and so on alongside persimmon, citrus, guava, passion fruit – and many others.

      I would plant a few vegetables to oppose such a law – see what happens…

      1. shewhoholdstensions

        David, by the lake was just elected to his local city council – I think he is actually trying to shake up the status quo.

        I just plant medicinal plants in the front yard, since they tend to be more lovely than annuals, imho. I’m not sure about any ordinances, but my husband is a planner for our city. I’ll ask him to check the wording in the code.

    4. HotFlash

      We have front-yard gardening in Toronto, the lady who pioneered it here is Lorraine Johnson. She first started refusing to mow her front lawn after mowing a toad, got cited and fined by the city repeatedly, fought back and eventually got the by-law changed. This is her book page; she is now working on legalizing urban chickens and native plants.

      Citizen security is water and food security. Cities are responsible for citizen security. Most cities have 3 days-worth of food in their stores (usu supermarkets), that is what London (UK) found after a trucker strike. And it it typical, b/c that is the time-line that the retail grocery chains work on. What do we do after that?

      Local food is much more important for national security than F35’s and aircraft carriers. I find this a useful argument when talking to politicians :).

      1. marieann

        I have her book on Native Plants, it is very informative. I didn’t know she was from Toronto. I have long grown native plants in the front and back garden

        I think our by-laws are complaint driven and the folk here don’t seem to bother about their neighbours

      2. Arizona Slim

        Urban chickens were recently legalized here in Tucson.

        And you know what? Our local chicken keepers are some of the most courteous, thoughtful people I have ever met. They could give lessons to dog owners, who seem to think that it’s okay to let their barkers generate 24/7 noise pollution.

        They could also teach cat owners a thing or two about NOT allowing their critters to wander all over the place, leaving “deposits” wherever they go.

    5. Mo's Bike Shop

      Raised beds might be a thing to look into. There’s the leaded gas era, but I’m just generally a little reticent about eating directly from soil that has been enjoying 50+ years of everything in an auto exhaust.

      Here in that college town in NoCenFla, there are groups who will come and set up free raised beds if you ask for them, complete with very nice mulch. We have a SuperFund! sight in the middle of the city, so there’s that too.

    6. polecat

      Our entire yard : back, sides, front … is garden mixed w/ flowering perennials, with chickens on one side , and bees in the back. Have not asked for permission from our city, don’t care either ! … although many property owners are doing as we are, so I’m assuming it’s not a problem … I mean, it’s better than having to stare at derelict junk cars or garbage, right ?!?

    7. David, by the lake

      Thank you to everyone who offered examples. I greatly appreciate the help. Just as a side note, our city passed an ordinance last year (before I was on council, but while I was a citizen member of our Plan Commission) re the keeping of chickens — the Great Chicken Debate of 2016, as I refer to it. We allow up to six hens by right, with 10 foot setbacks, with allowance for a greater number of hens via a conditional use permit.

    1. cj51

      I bet he is trying to look astronaughty.
      looks like typical work clothes everybody wears around Cape Canaveral.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Hard to take Jeff seriously without a Glock protruding from his quilted jacket on his right, and a samurai sword on his left.

      Hilarious it would be to watch Gates, Buffett, et al flee the room as Bezos clanks in like Mad Max.

      They can run, but they can’t hide from his buyout offer. :-0

        1. Tertium Squid

          Or should we say, the more money you make the more you look like Vladimir Putin?

  4. G

    Here is the best discussion I’ve found of the Trump Jr. email collusion scandal: https://necpluribusimpar.net/trumps-collusion-russia-add-nothing-nothing-get-still-nothing/.

    Lemoine makes very clear how overblown the scandal has gotten and how it is most likely that Goldstone’s mention of Russian government connections were likely bait to get a meeting. As for whether “collusion” took place, he argues that the fact that no documents on Hillary’s Russian scandals ever emerged is proof enough that what Jr. said about the meeting (that it was a big nothing) is likely true.

    1. Buttinsky

      It is, indeed, a detailed look at the state of the “Russiagate” case, and though it’s true, as one commenter to the article notes, that one can logically argue that the lack of a convincing case so far doesn’t necessarily mean an investigation should look no further, the danger in the Democratic Party’s and elite media’s full-on pressing of the case is precisely that it is all being conducted in a kind of crazy fever that owes little to reasonable inference or rational judgment, or even consistency.

      Lemoine lays out the real cause for alarm:

      Since despite months of looking for [conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to subvert the U.S. election], no evidence of that sort of things was in sight, they are now pretending that, during all that time, they were always talking about something as banal as a campaign getting dirt on their opponent from a foreign government. But it wasn’t and, except for those who are completely delusional or didn’t follow that story very closely, they know it.

      And this is the undeniable horror on display in “Russiagate” — that perfectly decent, rational people, many of whom I admire and respect, are twisting themselves into pretzels to pursue a case that just has to be there is so demoralizing. Quite aside from the fact that it distracts from combatting the genuine, easily identified threats posed by Trump and his astonishing ignorance, arrogance, and greed, it is never fun watching otherwise sane friends gleefully setting their own hair on fire. It can come to no good for any of us.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > this is the undeniable horror on display in “Russiagate” — that perfectly decent, rational people, many of whom I admire and respect, are twisting themselves into pretzels to pursue a case that just has to be there is so demoralizing.

        And by so doing they’ve collectively turned themselves into the political equivalent of an asset class. The Clintonites have poisoned the well (especially for any lefties who bought into it, like Stein did) for a long, long time. It’s like they burned the frontal lobes of their own supporters. Horrible.

  5. Edward E

    Working out a plan of action with my brother for fighting the kudzu. Flamethrower! Ha, ha, ha, ha!

      1. Oregoncharles

        Yes. The Japanese feed the tops to livestock and eat the roots – makes a useful starch.

    1. Jim Haygood

      From the article:

      “The greatest tragedy is we are still exactly where we were on the orphan works question. That stuff is just sitting out there gathering dust and decaying in physical libraries, and with very limited exceptions, nobody can use them. So everybody has lost and no one has won.

      Indeed. This is how western civilization declines: copyright locks up works for a century, putting scientific information, out-of-print books and even our own culture out of reach till long after our deaths.

      Meanwhile “pirate” sites such as Sci-Hub offer 62 million academic papers that academia and academic publishers keep bottled up behind paywalls, and restricted to students and faculty.

      Long term, workarounds such as Sci-Hub ultimately will benefit more collaborative cultures at the expense of locked-down, corporate-dominated regimes like the USA, where the calcified Congress that created absurd copyright durations has no intention (as the article notes) of permitting the liberation of Google’s intellectual treasure trove.

      As ol’ Jerry Rubin used to say … Steal this book!

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      Five paragraphs to the lede. This is tiring.

      At least we don’t have to teach their Captcha’s any more, since GBooks imploded.

    3. Yves Smith

      Google was going way way beyond scanning “orphan books” which sounds noble.

      It was stealing intellectual property on a large scale basis. It took sections of ECONNED without my or my publisher’s permission. We are the ONLY copyright holders. When I was researching ECONNED, I would regularly find book not only clearly still in their original copyright, but also readily available, like The Shock Doctrine, where Google had hoisted ~ 75%.

  6. Robert Hahl

    Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068: II. Air, “Air on a G String”
    Oregon Bach Festival Chamber Orchestra, Conductor Helmuth Rilling
    https://youtu.be/Oc5AC3xw6FQ

    Antonin Dvorak – Serenade for Strings, Op. 22: II. Menuetto
    https://youtu.be/hdWA5HcpSSI

    Valentina Lisitsa – Rachmaninoff Prelude in g minor op. 23 #5
    https://youtu.be/4QB7ugJnHgs?list=RDuNi-_0kqpdE
    One piece in a fine youtube mix of classical music. This is an encore. I think there were four.

    The First Nowell (English Traditional)
    https://youtu.be/dIYtVwXGuz0?list=PLxaSq8isb8f8lg2oeOFCNeQyi-dlUMFK4
    The whole album is good.

    Prince & Miles Davis
    https://youtu.be/7UoLkFQlmMI

    Manu Dibango – Big Blow
    https://youtu.be/_Sw6IjuCHmY
    I think the title is in tribute to Fela Kuti.

    Don Cherry, Ed Blackwell – Voice Of The Silence
    https://youtu.be/J9XGRR2TCdY

  7. Huey Long

    Lambert/Downeast NC’ers:

    Enjoy tonight’s meetup and travel safe!

    Since Lambert’s taking a travel day, I’ll take the liberty of posting some bezzle links:

    The Bezzle: WeWork is now worth more than Vornado, Boston Properties

    https://therealdeal.com/2017/07/11/wework-is-now-worth-more-than-vornado-boston-properties/

    Lifted from comments:

    To the outside world of VC WeWork is: HOT! NEW! SEXY! FLASHY! FUN! SUPER FAST GROWING! DISRUPTIVE! TECH COMPANY!

    To the real (real) estate world of quiet billionaire shmucks WeWork is a massive non-credit worthy tenant subleasing space.

    Be. Careful.

    The Bezzle: Wheel of misfortune: New York Wheel project now “indefinitely delayed”

    Lifted from comments:

    As if we didnt see this coming. This idiotic project has been a cesspool since its inception.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Maybe they can move the Wheel to NJ’s American Dream Meadowlands mall, formerly known as Xanadu at inception in 2003 … and rumored to be on again 14 years later.

      With an indoor ski resort and a giant Ferris wheel looming over the Turnpike, beleaguered taxpayers are sure to make a fortune on their “investment.” /sarc

    2. Arizona Slim

      Oh, for Pete’s sake. A coworking space that’s worth that much? Come on!

      Yours Truly has been a coworking space member for a couple of years. And, let me tell you something:

      The business side of these things is NOT rocket science. Simply put, a coworking space is a place that’s filled with offices, desks, meeting rooms, and common areas for eating, drinking, and being merry.

      The trick is to get those offices rented and keep them rented. And that’s a challenge because there is constant turnover. (Hot gossip: Uber just gave up the office that was around the corner from my desk.)

      So, you need a really sharp sales and marketing crew. And rules and regs that members follow. For the most part, we do. Yes, I will confess to getting a bit irritated this morning, when one guy had his radio tuned to some talk show that was going on and on about Russia! Russia! Russia!

      My solution? I put my [family blog] mouth on lockdown, donned my headphones, and started on that video tutorial for improving my photography. BTW, that tutorial is really good. And, shortly after I began watching it, Mr. Radio Listener left for the weekend.

      Oh, then there are the BS tells. We talk a lot about them here on NC.

      But in this coworking space, there are people who use terms like “innovative” and “disruptive” and take them quite seriously. I’ve been tempted to devise a drinking game to play with my fellow beer lovers, but the current selection just isn’t up to my standards. (Pacifico. Blarghhhh.) I’ll wait until something local returns to the keg.

  8. Oregoncharles

    “Maybe some other time I’ll take more photos that show the general effect, but first I have to do some weeding (that is, remove plants I don’t want).”

    Goddess, yes. The compost pile keeps getting bigger and bigger…
    Using fertilizer (bone and blood meal) as deer repellent (it does help) has its consequences. As does accepting a lot of self-sowers – my wife is very fond of forget-me-nots, which at this point are gray, not blue. I finally figured out where the name comes from: they have burrs, which stick to you and then wind up everywhere. Nothing sentimental about it. I have to pluck myself before I come inside.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t think I’ll worry about deer this year; they can take what they want! (Though I may do the fishline trick; that worked the last time.)

      > self-sowers

      I rather enjoy this. Every spring is different, and I transplant (some of) the self-sowers from where they set themselves where I want them. I’m going to move some of the borage and some ferns over to a neglected shady side of the house, for example. And I’ve got so many sunflowers this year because of where I planted them last year. (The Black-Eyed Susans, however, have mysteriously disappeared; I used to have two banks of them. A few survived, and I’m transplanting them too.)

      1. Oregoncharles

        Black-Eyed Susans are short-lived.

        In my experience, deer will take the raspberries. They’re pretty intense here. Hunting is technically legal but not safe – it’s a patchwork of 5-acre properties, so there are houses in all directions. The river creates a safe-passage area for them.

  9. Jim Haygood

    Oh no-o-o-o-o … today’s Greed & Fear index — 64 Now: Greed

    Both the S&P and Dow Industrials reached record highs. The Nasdaq Composite finished a skinny 0.14% off its June 8th record.

    Wake me up when Greed gets into the 90s, and feels like the 100s. ;-)

    1. Huey Long

      Wake me up when Greed gets into the 90s, and feels like the 100s. ;-)

      Is that when we start shorting stuff?

      1. Jim Haygood

        For most people, simply getting out of the way into safer assets will be sufficient. Ten year Treasury notes gained 17 percent during the crisis year of 2008, as the only port in a storm.

        Unfortunately, pension funds across the land are locked into stock allocations ranging from 50 to 70 percent of their [already underfunded] portfolios.

        Like Captain Edward J Smith, Calpers and its hundreds of little brothers will go down with the Techtanic, as beneficiaries weep to My Heart Will Go On. Arguably, for them, shorting would constitute a hedge, not a speculation.

  10. aletheia33

    lambert, meanwhile you’ve produced 2 great articles, so please, no apology needed.
    hope the meetup goes great.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        The quote:

        “Many individuals with less education are finding it difficult to be placed in jobs that are middle income jobs,” Yellen said. “And so this perhaps intensified during the recession, but it is a much longer lasting trend. We’ve seen now unfortunately this is likely tied to the opioid crisis.”

        Tears from a liberal crocodile. In retrospect, would Larry Summers — “L Cool S”? — really have been that much worse than J-Yel?

  11. savedbyirony

    Since this is an open thread, this is a question for Carla (or anyone with some insights on the issue). Do you have any good info on the prescription drug price ballot issue coming up in the fall in Ohio. I’m seeing all these typically unhelpful and contradictory commercials constantly now but struggling to find any actual in depth info on the upcoming vote. Do you have any information or insights about this ballot initiative?

    1. Carla

      Wow, sbi — I see your problem. Have to confess that unless it’s Expanded and Improved Medicare for All NOW, I don’t pay a lot of attention to health care issues like this when there’s still plenty of time before the election. Because you asked, I was feeling ashamed of myself for being so ill-informed (and I don’t watch TV at all, so haven’t seen any ads) — so I did a quick search and came up with nada that was helpful. I’m sure you knew that already. Our pathetic Ohio media wouldn’t know how to investigate a simple ballot issue to save their souls. I don’t particularly like that this supposed “citizens’ initiative” was started and is being bankrolled by a California group. Not exactly Ohio grassroots, eh?

      I did put in a call to one person I trust who probably knows more about it than just what’s in the newspapers. If she gets back to me soon, I’ll post her response on this thread.

      1. savedbyirony

        Thanks!
        I have been asking people about the issue for awhile. People who i thought might have some substantive info like Doctors, members of the local League of Women Voters, a couple of people i know who work as pharmaceutical reps and plenty of people who are serious local activists in other political causes where i live (mostly dealing with fracking issues) but no one seems to know much. i even tried asking about it at a recent local Dems meeting attended by a couple of City and County pols but that was not helpful, either. Right now, i am leaning toward supporting it but would sure like to no more, if only to talk it up better (if it is a good initiative) to others.

        And it is those ads which make me very suspicious of the whole thing. They have started early, neither side seems to be interested in making a CLEAR case to the public in any form of public communication, and both sides seem to be well funded.

        If this is actually a legit way to help control the cost of prescription drugs in Ohio for all our citizens, i certainly want to support it.

  12. ewmayer

    Trio of Reuters articles from my newsfeed – to evade Skynet’s filters on multi-link posts, I ask the interested reader to simply append the article ID in [] to http colon slash slash www dot reuters dot com slash article slash :

    o After passenger dragged, Chicago says police will handle airport incidents [us-ual-passenger-idUSKBN19X2SX] — So we can expect free upgrades from getting dragged to getting shot?

    o Amtrak considering tighter airline-style economy class seating: executive [us-usa-amtrak-idUSKBN19X2UJ] — At the same time the average American ass gets relentlessly larger, the average transportation seat gets smaller. What could go wrong?

    o U.S. attorney general says to hire 300 prosecutors to fight crime [us-usa-justice-crime-idUSKBN19X2H4] — No mention of going after ‘transnational gangs’ such as GS, JPM, DB, etc. Odd, that.

    And a Mish link: PPI Shows No Price Traction: Dear Econoday Parrot | MishTalk

    [Quoting Econoday] ‘Inflation data, wherever one looks, are weak’ — I look at by far my single largest expense, rent, and 7% increase YoY – roughly the average annual increase since 2009 – does not strike me as ‘weak’. Then again, I’m nowhere near credentialed enough to do what the professional economists do, replacing ‘actual prices of stuff’ with sophisticated ‘alternative metrics’, e.g. replacing prices actually paid for housing with fantasy-sports-style ‘owner’s equivalent rent.’

  13. witters

    As an open thread WC, let me take the opportunity to thank the NYT for attacking Lee Camp and NC for posting Camp’s response. Made me look at LC on RT, and my eldest son (17) happened to see it. Now, finally, he’s interested in the way the world works (“Dad, this guy makes sense! Not like everything else on the news.”) My wife says this is because LC is Russell Brand crossed with David Letterman. Not being Usian like her, I don’t get the last bit. But thanks LC & NC & ultimately NYT (see, it can lead you to the news!)

  14. meeps

    The clarity and color saturation in these photographs is amazing. Thanks for sharing your garden.

  15. Kurt Sperry

    I agree the photos are bangin’. Nice composition, the dark bits are dark (many fail here), the bokeh is wonderful, and the subject plants are attractive.

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