2:00PM Water Cooler 7/21/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente


“Scott Garrett’s days as President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Export-Import Bank could be numbered as the president looks to drop his nomination amid growing resistance from industry, according to West Wing aides and Trump advisers” [Politico]. “Garrett has become a political headache for the White House and its economic agenda thanks to intensifying lobbying against the nomination by companies that rely on the agency to guarantee loans for foreign buyers of U.S. exports. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has also been pressing for the president to dump him, according to White House officials. Garrett, a New Jersey Republican who lost his House seat last year, opposed the existence of the bank while in Congress and has not convinced stakeholders that his views have changed. In 2015, he said the agency ’embodies the corruption of the free enterprise system.'” He’s probably right, but I’ve never understood why conservatives make the Exim bank a poster child, when there are so many other fatter targets, like the big banks.

“WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES ANOTHER DEPUTY USTR PICK: The White House filled out its picks for the top ranks at USTR late Thursday with the selection of C.J. Mahoney as deputy U.S. Trade Representative in charge of investment, services, labor, environment, Africa, China and the Western Hemisphere. Mahoney is a partner at the law firm Williams & Connolly, where he focuses on international disputes and arbitration. The Yale Law School and Harvard alumni has clerked at the Supreme Court for Justice Anthony Kennedy and at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit” [Politico].

“Politically, however, both [Mexican and Canadian] envoys appeared to recognize that Trump spent a huge amount of political capital promising to overhaul the nearly quarter-century-old agreement — so while they might not want to go as far as the U.S. administration may push them, they would have to take some steps to rework [NAFTA]” [Politico].



“Dems see huge field emerging to take on Trump” [The Hill].”‘We’re seeing huge excitement out there for Democrats as we fight for policies that support American families and expand economic opportunity, while Republicans are working to strip away healthcare from millions and are led by one of the most unpopular presidents in history,’ Sabrina Singh, deputy communications director for the Democratic National Committee, said in response to questions about the possible field of candidates.'” Eeesh. Can’t Singh even be bothered to use the mushy cliche “working families”? That wouldn’t play well with suburban Republicans, I guess….


Clearly, what Democrats need to do is double down on Russia.

About that new Democrat slogan (“A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages”):

Note again, that “better” does not imply good (Democrat to dying cancer patient: “How are you feeling?” Patient: “Oh, better, I guess…” Democrat: [Pumps fist, covertly checks the morphine drip for excess, because controlling costs is important…]).

And it’s not even original [Newsweek]. “The Democrats’ tagline is eerily similar to that of Papa John’s: ‘Better Ingredients. Better Pizza. Papa John’s.'” Another Democrat consultant cashes a fat check and blows town…

Health Care

“Can Republicans Do the Impossible on Health Care?” [Slate]. “Republicans have no path but a lot of resolve. It will require a miracle to pass one of these bills. But strange things can happen when the majority party insists on it…. If McConnell can find a way to keep all senators onboard, save Collins, through a mix of payoffs and pledges, they can get on the bill and begin the open amendment process…. The trick for McConnell will be to prove to the senators concerned about Medicaid cuts that this is enough money without losing the conservatives (or rank and file) who are getting seriously uncomfortable with the amount of money being thrown around…. And this is where we hit the dead end.” Still, you’ve got to kill it with fire. We saw TPP rise from the dead at least once before Trump killed in, and even so, The Trade Blob is using TPP body parts for other deals.

Trump Transition

I don’t generally talk of court news here, but this looks fun:

“Spicer resigns as press secretary, Scaramucci to be White House communications director” [WaPo]. The boy jumped off the burning deck

“Anthony Scaramucci is nothing if not likable. In fact he is aggressively likable because he figured out long ago that his ingratiating personality was his strongest trait. Let’s be honest, The Mooch is a salesman who somehow got involved with trading. SkyBridge Capital was a fund of funds, predicated not on strategy or investing acumen but on getting people’s money by putting their trust in Anthony Scaramucci. He’s not a financial genius but he is a staggeringly talented manager of relationships. In some respects, he’s the opposite of most of Trump’s senior staff. He doesn’t have the leonine business reputation of Gary Cohn but he is infinitely more liked than the widely despised Kellyanne Conway and harder to ignore than clowns like Sean Spicer or zealots like Steve Bannon? [DealBreaker]. “Scaramucci can do this job because he’s a hard charger obsessed with spinning things into gold. He’s the self-created success story and master salesman that Trump purports himself to be. In fact, if Trump is about to set his presidency on fire with a purposeful constitutional crisis, the only guy even capable of talking his way out of it is Anthony Scaramucci.” Pass the popcorn.

“Will Republicans Draw a Red Line on Trump Powers?” [NBC News]. Betteridge’s Law…

A propos:

Realignment and Legitimacy

“How the Left Can Win in the South” [The Nation]. “The Vermont senator lost all 11 states that made up the Confederacy to his opponent, Hillary Clinton—and most of them by huge margins… As the Democratic primary showed, the left needs to be able to win in the South in order to gain national power. This, however, will require a new approach, one that prioritizes the votes of working-class people of color over those of suburban Republicans losing their stomach for the antics of the Trump administration. There is historical precedent for such a multiracial progressive campaign in the South—including one that Sanders himself was a part of. In 1984 and 1988, Rev. Jesse Jackson ran for president on a platform that tied social-justice issues like police accountability, voting rights, and civil rights to economic issues like farm debt.” Yep. “They work every day.”

“Authenticity Is Key to Democratic Chances” [Charles Cook, Cook Political Report] [Just give me a moment to collect myself….] “‘In the end,’ [Democratic operative Jesse Ferguson] concluded, ‘there is no magic wand to create the type of candidate Democrats need to win in 2018—no perfect biography or policy agenda that will unlock the keys to those 24 districts needed to take control of Congress away from Trump. The surest path to victory in this uncertain political climate lies within an adapted version of Shakespeare’s wise words: to thine own self, and to thine voters, be true.'”

Lambert here: I should have warned the English majors to put down their coffee. Shakespeare, in Hamlet, puts “to thine own self be true” into the mouth of Polonius, the head of a sleazy political family at the Danish court*, who played a key role in getting the murderous and incestuous Claudius onto the Danish throne, and continues to service him. (In other words, Polonius is exactly the sort of person that a Democrat operative would identify with.) Polonius, who clearly considers himself an expert both in human nature and the arts of intrigue — hence his “To thine own self….” advice to his son — is also incompetent enough to get himself killed; Shakespeare’s irony, in other words, makes Polonius a John Podesta figure. Further, at least according to some interpretations of the play, Hamlet — I’m putting this very crudely — is conflicted between his own desires for procrastination and evasion, and his knowledge that avenging his father (hence, overthrowing the usurper) is his duty and that rising to the occasion is the right thing to do. If Hamlet had followed his own — and Ferguson’s! — advice to be “true” to himself, he would have booked for Wittenberg, left Claudius on the throne, and there would have been no play! * When I was in London, I went to see a production of Hamlet (Financial Times review: “Andrew Scott is an outstanding Hamlet at the Harold Pinter Theatre, London.”) The production made the sleaziness and modernity of the Danish court crystal clear. What a cesspit!

“Maine lawmakers back roads bond; GOP stalls LePage-backed student debt relief” [Bangor Daily News]. Maine Governor Paul LePage is nothing if not an authentic Mainer. But here he is, allying with Democrats (!) on student debt relief (!!). Of course, what LePage should have done, years ago, was gut the administrative layer of the University of Maine system, splitting the take between increased faculty salaries and decreased student tuition, and at a stroke defunding his liberal Democrat political enemies. LePage’s problem, really, is that he’s much too nice a guy. Oh, and note that, contra Cook and Ferguson above, LePage isn’t relying on authenticy alone he — just like Trump — is making a policy-based appeal as well.

Mike Huckabee takes out a Communist Party card:

Stats Watch

There are no official releases today.

Honey for the Bears: “Trumped up expectations as reflected in the various surveys continue to fade, and fall in line with the decelerating ‘hard data'” [Mosler Economics]. Good summary, with charts, of Mosler’s perspective on “the economy” generally. Being a Maine bear, I find it congenial. “Reporter: What do you think of the depression? Mainer: We’ve always been depressed!”

Disemployment: “Currently no state has an unemployment rate at or above 7% (light blue); Only two states and D.C. are at or above 6% (dark blue). The states are Alaska (6.8%) and New Mexico (6.4%). D.C. is at 6.2%” [Calculated Risk].

Shipping: “The ongoing trend of consolidation in the ocean cargo carrier arena is being confronted with more scrutiny by regulatory agencies” [Logisitics Management]. “Two agreements related to the west coast and trade flows between the United States and Asia were addressed this week by the Federal Maritime Commission, as were recent developments regarding government linked ocean carriers… The FMC reviews agreements under the Shipping Act to assure that participating parties do not engage in anticompetitive behavior that results in unreasonable increases in rates or decreases in service, or other prohibited acts.”

Shipping: “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is telling its for-hire motor carriers that if they also haul goods for Amazon.com Inc., they will have to stop doing so in return for keeping Wal-Mart business, a leading transport and logistics consultant said today” [DC Velocity].

Retail: “Sears Holdings Corp.’s new agreement with Amazon.com Inc. marks an important step for the troubled retailer and for the online giant that’s provided Sears its biggest competitive threat. Sears will start selling its Kenmore line of refrigerators and stoves on Amazon’s website: [Wall Street Journal] “[This] pushes Amazon more deeply into the large-appliance business, one of the few corners of retail where it has yet to penetrate deeply. Both companies will upend their supply chains to make the plan work. Amazon will buy the Kenmore inventory, but it will reside in Sears’s warehouses, and a Sears distribution unit will ship the goods to customers’ homes and have them installed. Sears is hoping the tie-up brings more foot traffic while Amazon is effectively taking in more real estate, and a distribution operation to go with it.” I know I’ve asked this question before — and it may be a stupid one — but since Amazon keeps doing this, why isn’t it valued more like a large appliance business, or a low-margin food business, or an airfreight company, as opposed to being a high flyer? The expection of future monopoly rents?

Retail: “Amazon’s Treasure Truck is rolling out nationwide” [Los Angeles]. “Amazon customers can receive a text message highlighting the deal of the day when the circus-themed Treasure Truck is nearby. Offerings appear to be a hodgepodge of products, including must-have electronics, meal kits and pool floats. People who opt to buy the day’s featured item from their smartphones can then pick it up at the truck, so the vehicle is kind of like a mobile pop-up shop.” This reminds me forcibly of the vendor carts and night markets of Southeast Asian countries like Thailand. Of course, that’s Third World stuff… Anyhow, short the dollar stores?

The Bezzle: “FTC probing allegations of Amazon’s deceptive discounting” [Reuters]. “The FTC is probing a complaint brought by the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, which looked at some 1,000 products on Amazon’s website in June and found that Amazon put reference prices, or list prices, on about 46 percent of them. An analysis found that in 61 percent of products with reference prices, Amazon’s reference prices were higher than it had sold the same product in the previous 90 days, Consumer Watchdog said in a letter to the FTC dated July 6.”

The Bezzle: “The Decline Of Investment In San Francisco Startups” (charts) [Tom Gunz]. “The slowing of venture investment more broadly across the US serves as a backdrop to San Francisco’s particularly strong correction… Ultimately, I don’t believe there’s any real driver for a reduction in San Francisco startup fundraising activity that’s meaningful or important. It’s just so happens that startups in the valley are having a strong six months while San Francisco startups are raising less.”

The Bezzle: “Over the last four years, The Iron Yard has led the code school industry in preparing students for careers as software developers. The industry as a whole is still young and its leaders face the challenge of a nascent market, as well as the demands facing all institutions in the higher education marketplace” [Iron Yard]. “In considering the current environment, the board of The Iron Yard has made the difficult decision to cease operations at all campuses after teaching out remaining summer cohorts. We will finish out summer classes completely, including career support.” For-profit coding bootcamp goes belly up. Idea: Move to Appalachia!

The Bezzle: “In A Desperate Bid To Provide Shareholder Value, Snapchat Enters The Can’t-Miss Legacy News Business” [DealBreaker].

Media: “Audiobooks get a glitzy makeover” [The Economist]. “Audiobooks have come a long way in the last decade. What was once the dustiest corner of the publishing industry’s shelf is now growing faster than any other, with sales in the UK worth an estimated £99m a year. “For years the industry was focussed on ebooks,” says Philip Jones, the editor “The Bookseller”, a magazine for the book industry. “But in a sense audiobooks are the true revolution, thanks to the availability of downloads on smartphones.” Once upon a time, listening to an audiobook on the go meant meant lugging around multiple cassettes and a Sony Walkman; these days all you need is a phone and headphones.”

“Only Perfect Hedge Is In a Japanese Garden” [Across the Curve]. Best headline EVAH! Good to see AtC back in action.

Five Horsemen: “With its 10.6% gain since July 6th, Facebook has caught up to Amazon” [Hat tip, Jim Haygood].

Five Horsemen July 21

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 72 Greed (previous close: 76, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 64 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed. Last updated Jul 21 at 1:35pm. Back to mere greed. Pour Mr. Market a double!

Health Care

UPDATE “Spare Us Your Technocratic Handwringing Over Single Payer: This is Life and Death” [In These Times]. If the left doesn’t have a crisp answer to the neoliberal question: “How ya gonna pay for it,” then the left deserves to lose, NNU muscle or no. This article in fact makes a start by discussing taxes (and in California, Proposition 13). The article does not, however, make the point that it would be best for the currency issuer (i.e., the Federal Government) to handle the funding, not the states, to protect citizens against funding drops in downturns, if for no other reason.


“July 2017 Stormwatch: Climate Change” [Ecosophia]. This the new blog from John Michael Greer (the Archdruid). Greer gives the Naked Capitalism blog a nice shoutout, so I’m linking to his post as a courtesy; as usual, it’s interesting and well-written. Sadly, at least for readers, links to a Greer site are guaranteed to break. Not my blog, of course, or my content.

“Head of USCG warns that US not ready to tackle an oil spill in Arctic” [Splash 247]. “[US Coast Guard (USCG)] Admiral Paul Zukunft told a forum of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Washington DC that conditions in the frozen northern region would be far more difficult than those encountered in other places. Speaking from his experience as the federal on-scene co-ordinator for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Admiral Zukunft said that that incident – when an oil rig exploded and a well gushed crude from the ocean floor for nearly three months – managed to recover only 15% of the spilled oil. That was in calm conditions and with 6,000 ships helping in the recovery operation, the admiral said. A similar event in the Arctic would have to contend with much more hostile weather and wildlife, not to mention much less infrastructure. Fewer vessels and people would be able to help.”

Guillotine Watch

“Why Economists Fail to Make ‘Rational’ Judgments and Why You Should Too” [Philip Pilkington, Econintersect]. “[A] whole bunch of professional economists [were surveyed] to see if they could answer a basic question on the microeconomic theory of the ‘opportunity cost’… The results were not so good…. [T]here is only one correct answer!” Pilkington concludes: “The point is that the idea of opportunity cost is counter-intuitive to how many people (apparently 78% of economists!) actually think when they are weighing up their subjective preferences. This casts serious doubt on whether any theory of behavior based on it is useful for describing the real world. What’s more, trying to subject people to a normative view of how they should view this is an act in moral indoctrination. It has little to do with economics in any sense I understand that word.” Interesting twist!

Class Warfare

“The Survival Rate of Very Small Establishments” [Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis]. “Of the establishments that were operational in January 2007, the authors found that the smallest ones had a much higher exit rate by 2010. In particular, when weighted by employment, very small establishments closed at about twice the rate of larger ones. ‘Among workers at very small establishments, more than one in four were displaced because their shop did not survive the Great Recession, while that number was about one in six for workers at larger establishments,’ the authors wrote.”

“Drivers at FedEx Freight’s facility in Croydon, Pa., east of Philadelphia, voted yesterday to de-certify the Teamsters union as their bargaining representative, the second time in less than two weeks that unionized workers at a location of FedEx Corp.’s less-than-truckload (LTL) unit have voted out the Teamsters” [DC Velocity]. “Of FedEx’s three business units, only pilots at its FedEx Express air and international unit are unionized. FedEx’s ground delivery unit is non-union, and its drivers are independent contractors. There have been several unsuccessful efforts to organize at FedEx Freight. … Of the 16 petitions that were filed to represent workers at FedEx Freight, the Teamsters either lost or withdrew 12 of them. Besides Croydon and Charlotte, workers in South Brunswick, N.J., and Stockton, Calif., have voted for union representation.”

News of the Wired

“James Frederick Housel” [Seattle Times]. In memoriam Naked Capitalism commenter Isolato, who created this triptych for Water Cooler. Isolato gave me a lot of help and encouragement offline. And then, one day, his email server started bouncing everything…

“Original illustrations of our favorite German proverbs” [Open Culture]. “Did you know that there are about 250,000 proverbs in the German language, and that each proverb averages seven words?”

“How the Plastic Pink Flamingo Became an Icon” [JSTOR Daily]

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allegic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! 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. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (CC):

CC writes: “Picture of a flower on the side of a mountain carved by glaciers in Kenai Fjords national park outside of Seward, Alaska. I’m taking a break from Internet and news to enjoy an adventure with my family. Keep up the great work!”

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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. roxy

    “A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages” What a way with words. Reminds me of the HRC quote about seeing “Hamilton”; “I was dancing hard in my seat.” Cracks me up every time.

    1. Louis Fyne

      ‘Better Skills’

      Oh silly people. The reason why you might be struggling to make ends meet is because you didn’t become a programmer who works on puppy-dog photo filters.

      1. Roger Smith

        Hey, you have to learn more to earn more. That is classic neoliberal bologna. I know a recess they can use as a sounding space for their new slogan…

      2. nothing but the truth

        insider secret:

        as a programmer all your life you will be learning (for interviews and because) new ways of doing the same old thing, and in fact you will be doing the same thing the same way as you were in the 90s.

    2. Tom_Doak

      I got a fundraiser letter yesterday for the kind of candidate the Democrats are going to run for Congress in 2018 [in the 8th District in MI – not my district]: Elissa Slotkin. Her resume:

      served three tours in Iraq with the CIA
      held several positions in the State Dept. and Dept. of Defense, for both Bush and Obama [bipartisan!]
      family money to help with campaign

      My favorite two quotes [in inverse order from the news story, to highlight the irony]:

      “You can’t just criticize your way into an electoral victory, you have to have an affirmative, concrete plan.” – in regard to not mentioning Donald Trump as a campaign strategy. But then, on health care:

      “If elected, she said she’d support the creation of an independent commission of experts to assist Congress in finding a bipartisan fix to health care issues.” Sounds concrete to me!

      1. Richard

        Haven’t you ever kicked yourself around on a wheely chair to some Roxy Music? It actually is a thing, I think.

          1. Richard

            Thanks Roxy! That’s a favorite on the CDC (chair dancing circuit), especially for those attracted to slower, ballroom type numbers. I also like Mother of Pearl for sustained exhilaration and terrific opportunities for Brian Ferry style “posing”!

      1. c_heale

        Good article. Other factors that may be causing problems is that the companies don’t treat their workers with respect. A lot of people will work for a bit less money if the environment and other workers are pleasant, and that the managers do their best to help them (for example if they need a certain day as a vacation). It makes a big difference in many jobs.

    3. Livius Drusus

      It looks like the Democrats might be dropping the “better skills” part of the slogan.

      The party’s slogan, according to numerous sources, is set to be “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future” and not, as previously reported, “A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages.” (Capitol Hill sources noted that this could, however, change before next week.)

      Source: http://www.thedailybeast.com/the-democratic-party-will-not-have-a-slogan-that-sounds-like-papa-johns

      Just “better deal” would probably be enough. Maybe the Better Deal vs. the Raw Deal to highlight the claim that Trump’s populism is phony. Anyway, it will take more than just slogans to improve the Democratic Party’s chances in 2018. The Dems were caught flatfooted at the state level which allowed the GOP to win the majority of governor’s mansions and state legislatures. Now the Democratic Party has almost no presence in a number of states. I guess that is what happens when you are too busy cavorting with Silicon Valley magnates and Wall Street tycoons and don’t pay attention to what is happening at the ground level.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        So now the new, new slogan is longer. Its 33% than the last new slogan!

        Is it Medicare for All?
        Is it end the fossil fuel industry?
        Is it dismantle the police state?
        Is it a Living Wage?
        Is it an infrastructure program that isn’t a tax subsidy to the rich?

        Besides their obvious corrupt nature, its quite apparent Democrats who get their news from the NYT/Wash Post and cable news sources have little if any understanding of how the internet works.

        Also, is “deal” part of the vernacular anymore? FDR died 70 years ago. No one cares about his slogans. FDR did of course have legislative proposals to go with his “branding” and of course wasn’t a well established crook.

        1. Rob

          Is “deal” part of the vernacular anymore? Are you serious? It’s one of Trump’s most used words.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            For potential Democratic voters.

            Republicans are a different breed, and like “Love Trump’s hate”, why would you want to tout your opponent?

            Trump is like 70. His language isn’t relevant unless he captures young voters.

  2. Enquiring Mind

    Spicey, we hardly knew ye!

    Re Amazon and appliances – the latest market disruption is an opportunity to short other big appliance sellers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s. Given the frothy home prices, how much longer can the home improvement business prosper?

    1. John S

      “Sears is expecting more foot traffic as a result of the deal with Amazon”…

      Couple of thoughts:

      * Best Buy is getting foot traffic because they are providing both knowledgeable Customer Service people AND a variety of products ….. Sears is not known for the quality of their CS people and, if they expect people to come to a Sears Store to “touch/evaluate a Kenmore appliance” then I think that Sears is expecting that Amazon will begin putting other products into Sears stores for customers to check out/touch/experience, and then have the purchase completed On-Line through Amazon and then delivered to the customer through Amazon’s Distribution System….

      * Amazon gets access to a lot of Sears’ Warehouses should they need them in the future

      * Sears has a fleet of trucks for local delivery a

      1. John S

        Oops…pressed send too soon

        * Sears has a national fleet of trucks, installers and drivers that can take care of the last step in delivering the product.

        * I think Amazon looks at Whole Foods and Sears as a massive RE play in the long run. One for food, the other for consumer goods.

        * 40 years ago, Allied Van Lines showed that Sears could save oodles of money by letting Allied’s local agents deliver Kenmore Appliances. At the last minute, Sears said “No.” they wanted their trucks in the neighborhoods as a traveling bill board. Today, it just might be the Sears delivery system that is giving Sears one last leg to stand on as they desperately try to remain in business.

        * Sears is a place I haven’t gone to in years. What about you?

        * If you can find a copy of THE BIG STORE by Donald Katz, you will learn how Sears tried to reinvent themselves for the first time after their decades of unparalleled success. Sadly, within 5-8 years after this massive reorganization and attempt to change the culture, Sears slipped badly and has now gone through several iterations of change.

        1. Arizona Slim

          I can remember people making jokes about Sears (boring stores with generic stuff) when I was a college kiddie. And that was back during the disco era of the late 1970s.

        2. marieann

          In the 70’s I was a stay at home Mom with 2 little boys and no car….and I lived out in the sticks.
          I bought 90% of my sons clothes from Sears, delivery was in a couple of days and was free.

          I also bought all their Christmas toys from Sears (the Wish Book) and so did my neighbours.

          Sears had a head start on home delivery…a big head start and they blew it…I have no sympathy for them at all.

        3. Richard

          I go to the Sears up the street from me all the time, conveniently located next to my grocery store. The customer service is fine in general. They are often hiring. You definitely won’t get the level of assistance with electronic equipment there as at Best Buy. The quality of some of their merchandise is low (vaccuums, for instance).
          I mostly go there for linens, clothing items, and various little household items.

      2. Annotherone

        Our local Sears (appliances only) store has had us cursing roundly this week. We bought a new dishwasher (old one pensioned off after almost 20 yrs’ service)- ordered it 20 June, to be delivered on Tuesday 18 July. That part was alright, I guess, needed a black model so had to be hauled in from who knows where. Waited in all day, Tuesday, 3 calls to the store, very unhelpful responses, until the last one at around 6pm when I got really annoyed. Within 10 mins we were told they’d engaged someone (a non-employee) to deliver and install the appliance, he was on his way. He arrived – decent chap who works for a neighbouring city. Said he’d been called in to help as they were overloaded with jobs. He uninstalled our old appliance. All was well, until he took the new dishwasher from its box and…it was white- and not the model we’d ordered. He then had to re-box it, put it back on his truck, go back to Sears. In the meantime we had a call from the manager apologising “You got the wrong box!” Hmmm. Yes, we noticed. The right one is on its way back to you. After a couple of other problems – forgotten “kit” and a joint screw thingie being the wrong size, the poor guy had to leave (now around 9pm). He promised to be back as soon as he could the next day (depending on his boss). He returned around 5pm the next day and finished the job. Oh my! That was our first experience of Sears, and possibly our last.

        1. Carl

          The company is a smoldering bunch of ruins at this point. It may exist in the future as a brand name or something, but the physical stores are toast.

    1. montag

      You gotta admit, though, with a finance guy nicknamed, “The Mooch,” in the White House, the jokes write themselves.

      When the new press secretary starts slinging lies left and right, will the press corps be humming, “Scaramoochie, Scaramoochie, do you do the fandango?”

  3. dcblogger

    ” one that prioritizes the votes of working-class people of color over those of suburban Republicans losing their stomach for the antics of the Trump administration. “

    you don’t have to choose. you can go after both. Medicare for All appeals to both.

    1. Marbles

      Not if the suburban Republicans continue to respond to Nixon’s Southern Strategy as they have for the past 4 decades. Just like their less affluent and country cousins.

      1. ambrit

        Out here in the Near Sticks, (South Mississippi,) the ground game is paltry at best. There is a large cohort of poor anything and everythings who are ripe for organizing. (As the song goes: “Black, White, Yellow or Red, without some Green, you’re better off dead.”) The churches are doing that job well with their congregations, but, and it’s a significant but, the church “shepherds” are a pro status quo bunch, and quite socially conservative. To that extent, the remaining Southern Dems are more of a Sub Consciously Conservative group than their illustrious forebears. Now the top layers of the formerly oppressed, (as they see themselves,) have something to lose and so exhibit all the classic signs of Banal Evility.
        Benign Neglect is a theory and a policy. It is also Equal Opportunity.

  4. Jim Haygood

    Jane Crow … it’s a world away from Jane Austen:

    Lawyers and others who represent families [describe] a troubling and longstanding phenomenon: the power of Children’s Services to take children from their parents on the grounds that the child’s safety is at risk, even with scant evidence.

    The agency’s requests for removals filed in family court rose in the first quarter of 2017 to 730 from 519 in the same period last year, according to figures obtained by The New York Times.

    In interviews, dozens of lawyers working on these cases say the removals punish parents who have few resources. Their clients are predominantly poor black and Hispanic women, they say, and the criminalization of their parenting choices has led some to nickname the practice: Jane Crow.


    The anecdotes are horrific. One woman complained about a landlord who wouldn’t fix leaky pipes and mold in the bathroom. The landlord retaliated by calling Child Services, who took her kids away because of the unsanitary conditions. Gotcha.

  5. Elizabeth Burton

    The Vermont senator lost all 11 states that made up the Confederacy to his opponent, Hillary Clinton—and most of them by huge margins…

    Bernie explains in his latest book, which covers the campaign, that the consensus was there were better places to spend their money, given Clinton’s well-established name recognition in the Southern bloc. One has to remember that was one of her biggest strengths—people already knew her and had been hearing about how big a victim of right-wind nastiness she was, so she could play the victim card. And did. Bernie’s creds, on the other hand, were fifty years old, and were based in the North. Whether it was a wise choice or not is find for Monday-morning quarterbacking, but it’s a given the Democrat establishment is going to hammer on how hugely she beat him there while carefully avoiding the above context.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      The Southern Bloc as you call it wasn’t enamored with Hillary. The biggest swing down here in Alabama was when John Lewis rhetorically asked of Bernie, “Where is he? I never saw him.” If Rep. Lewis has supported Bernie, the primary results may have been different. It surely seems that his position had to do with money, years of money, from the DNC and the Clintonistas.

      FWIW, he still walks on water. Just has a few water spots.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Of course, those same Southern states gave Donald a commanding victory, so perhaps, the Dems in the South shouldn’t make decisions.

        1. John k

          Never ever. The south is the wall against progressives. Always better to lose than win with a progressive because donors.

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        Neither should superdelegates, who shouldn’t exist.

        All of this operates under a faulty premise – that is, that the Democratic party is interested in being democratic.

    3. Mike

      To me, the main troubling aspect of the “Southern primary vote” was the Super-Tuesday setup. Guaranteed to affirm the well-known NAME without a debate or possible input from any cash-strapped campaign. Bernie knew this going in, and his dismissal of the South was not only defeatist, but a clue as to how serious he was to remake the Democrats into a “people’s party” – i.e., not. Subscribing to the primaries as they were only reaffirms and reinforces the inherent anti-democratic nature of them. Clinton’s “name recognition” could be beaten wherever time was given to Bernie-exposure. Super-Tuesday gave no time, and the corrupted Black Caucus leadership in the South (“follow the money”) made sure there was no space.

  6. Altandmain

    Meet Your New Landlord: Wall Street

    The consequences of war abroad ….

    Verizon accused of throttling Netflix and YouTube, admits “video optimization”

    A New Deal for Wall Street: Trump’s Plans for Mass Privatization Are a Colossal Giveaway to the 1% — and Democrats helped pave the way.

    The cold logic of Iceland’s personal data breakthrough

    Iceland has become the first country in the world to give its citizens full control over their medical records – with financial data next on the list. MEF Minute examines this landmark launch, and what it means for the personal data economy movement…

    Somehow, I doubt the US will be next.

    Trump’s EPA Chemical Safety Nominee Was in the “Business of Blessing” Pollution


    1. Vatch

      Re: Trump’s nominee for Assistant EPA Administrator for Toxic Substances:


      Call your Senators’ offices to oppose the nomination:


      The nomination will probably be confirmed by the Senate, yet there’s value in contacting one’s Senators about this. Normally, nominees for Assistant EPA Administrator (or assistant anything) don’t get a lot of attention from people. It would be nice to send a message to the Senate that people are paying attention.

    2. crittermom

      I enjoyed the links, but take issue with the article “Meet Your New Landlord: Wall St”
      The part I’m most bothered by is this:
      “Swaths of suburbia were sold on courthouse steps after millions of Americans defaulted on mortgages“.
      To this, I cry “foul”, “BS” & much more that’s too nasty to use here.
      Hell, homes that were PAID OFF were stolen through illegal foreclosures, yet they’re still blaming the homeowners? Foul!!!

      I also take exception to it saying they put a lot of money into the homes they’ve kicked homeowners out of & are now renting.
      Other articles have contradicted that very statement (but as usual, I’m unable to find the link to that article).

      I was unable to access the Iceland story (even after trying various links and avenues), but it doesn’t surprise me to learn of such a thing coming from them.
      They were also the ONLY country to throw their banksters in jail for their crimes.
      That tiny country has earned some admiration from me.

      The Icelandic horses are gorgeous, as well, but from what I’ve researched the country is not very dog-friendly.
      Guess ya can’t have it all.

      Regarding A New Deal: Trump’s plans for privatization infuriate me.
      In every instance I’ve read where that’s taken place, the people get screwed by paying more for crappier ‘service’, while the govt boasts of the immediate money infused.
      Privatization? Such garbage!

      We’re in such deep doo-doo…

      1. knowbuddhau

        Hi crittermom, good to see you! You’re so right. Try as they might, though, they can’t hide the Wasteland from those of us living in it.

        Been thinking about you. Hope everything is going your way. Your resilience is an inspiration.

        I bow a deep bow of compassion in your virtual direction.

  7. WobblyTelomeres

    re: Export-Import Bank

    Would the Ex-Im bank be able to function if the US dollar was not the world reserve currency?

    1. Grebo

      It’s funny to see right-wingers attack the Exim Bank. Like foreign ‘aid’ its purpose is to indebt poor countries and render them subservient to Washington, with the side-effect of subsidising US corporations. If the dumbasses understood it they would be all for it.
      If the dollar was not the reserve currency it would reduce the bank’s effectiveness somewhat as the victims would feel less need to invite in the vampires, but the loans are structured to allow the recipient regimes to carve off a slice for themselves so there will always be takers.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Need more money to be printed for them to spend.

      And we have no budget related excuse to refuse them platinum coins that will help keep barbarians away.

      1. Altandmain

        Sad thing is, that the rich neoliberals and neocons are the biggest barbarian threat to us right now.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Once they sacked Rome, they did as Romans did and became barbarians no more.

          1. ambrit

            Au contraire mon ami. After sacking Rome, most barbarian hordes either went home to Barbaristan, where what they had experienced in Rome might have encouraged some de-barbaricization or settled in the ex-Roman domains and mainly brought Rome down to the Barbarian level of existence.
            As you know, it was the “barbarian” Mongols’ experiences in their incursions into China where the resiliency and strength of the “civilized” peoples exerted major influences on the invaders. At the beginning, the intruders did their sacking and then retired back to the steppes and forests whence they came. Later, the insidious enticements of the “degenerate” southern lands did their jobs and the nomad bands settled in the “conquered” lands. China continued as China. With the incursions of the Avars, Lombards and the rest, Rome became Europe. The Eastern Roman Empire became, well, the less said about it, the better.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Media and public care about different issues:

    If on purpose, you would have to say they are liars.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have planted trees around the house.

      Pay people, and they would plant even more. My neighbors would, probably.

    2. bob

      The only large trees I know of have someone, a person, normally, who takes ownership and defends it. There are lots of threats over the 80+ years that trees can live for.

      Forests are another story, but within cites/burbs it’s very rare to find trees older than about 50-60 years. Most are less than 30.

      “All those leaves! And the danger! Those are HUGE limbs!”

      Yup, and it would probably be fine for another 100 if a clenched asshole “safety” cop weren’t always at the bottom trying to kill them.

      “it’s leaning!”

      Yup, they do that.

      1. John Zelnicker

        @bob – Here in Mobile, we have hundreds of live oaks and other trees over 100 years old. But, the people and the city leaders have always considered them part of the charm and legacy of the city, so they have been protected somewhat. Sadly, there are still people who don’t understand the benefits of living in tree-heavy neighborhoods and are put off by the leaves and limbs, so they cut down all or most of the trees in their yard. There is recent research showing that people who live in neighborhoods with more trees and other greenery are less stressed and more content than those who live in treeless areas. My personal experience matches this.

      2. Anonymous

        Here in Los Angeles, we have numerous Coast Live Oak trees, many of which are at least 100 years old. They are protected by the city (those with trunks over a certain diameter cannot be legally cut down w/o penalty). There are also many giant (and very old) native Western Sycamores, Walnut, etc.

        On the benefits of trees in urban areas:


        1. polecat

          The stands of mixed Doug Fir both on the city blocks behind, and across the street from us were completely logged off the begging of this year ! What is left is ugly, scraped earth, ready and waiting for ‘developement’. 60+ year old trees gone … and all the atributes that they once retained ! But, but GWOAF !

          FUCKING CITY GOV. MORONS … (who mostly live ‘outside’ the city limits) for allowing a land trust to be sold and clear-cut.

          1. ambrit

            Something similar happened twenty or so years ago in Mandeville, Louisiana. To “facilitate” a proposed shopping mall, the developers published their intentions to cut down a small stand of two to three hundred year old Southern Oaks. Said oaks were reputed to be the site of where the Sieur de Bienville had set up his tent to divvy up the lands of the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain. (The local indians weren’t consulted about it. Hah!) Local preservationists were in the process of filing suit to save the grove when some “enterprising” person girdled the biggest oak tree on a Friday or Saturday night. “Historic” tree dies, grove is razed, shopping mall adds new blight to Mandeville, La. (The site of the mall had originally belonged to the Archdiocese. The local Church did not come out of this at all well.)
            Since no prosecutions were ever made in the matter, several instances of sabotage of heavy equipment at the job site subsequently happened. Eco/Historio Terrorists strike again! Nation quivers in fear!
            Apropos of Gulf Coast trees, something new about the Great Drowned Forest in the Gulf, south of Mobile. See: http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2017/06/underwater_forest_discovered_alabama.html#incart_highlight

      3. HotFlash

        Here in Toronto we are pretty fierce about our trees. It’s an uphill battle, but we have stiff bylaws and even (gasp!) funding for planting replacement trees! My neighbourhood was developed in 1869-79 and our shade trees are getting up there — 125yrs is considered the life-span of a silver maple, and we have lots of silvers here which are simply dying of old age. In addition, we have a chestnut blight which, despite the ‘harmless’ label, has claimed many big trees on our street. The whole province is being attacked by the emerald ash borer, which our city arborists are working hard to contain. But, the treatment is not very successful, and we will most likely lose thousands and thousands of ash trees. Thank you free trade and dollar stores!

        Meantime, we are planting more trees, esp native varieties and fruiting trees.

  9. WobblyTelomeres

    Re: Mike Huckabee takes out a Communist Party card

    Anyone know if Mike has been to Mar-a-lago?

  10. Byron the Light Bulb

    This above all: to thine own self be true, // And it must follow, as the night the day, // Thou canst not then be false to any man. // Farewell, my blessing season this in thee! //
    Polonius, the long-winded intellectual twit, speaking in an oblique manner for comedic emphasis throughout the play, gives this advice to Laertes. To a low Elizabethan, “to thine own self be true”, is less about veracity, and more about getting your sterling first, then you won’t have to pander to your betters. Polonius is a stand-in for Shakespeare himself, an effete nerd, too smart for his own good, stuck putting on shows for the noble simps he despises. Hence, when Polonius is impaled whilst behind the curtain, it’s milked for laughs. The audience is hip to the shtick.
    Sometimes you have to grow-up, feign rabies, and burn the muh-ver down. Lizzie the First would agree; she and her centrist cult got England to start punching above its weight class.

  11. Edward E

    Six months of non-stop lying to the people through the press should earn Sean Spicer a lucrative new commentator gig at CNN or somewhere.

  12. Louis Fyne

    in less than two weeks that unionized workers at a location of FedEx Corp.’s less-than-truckload (LTL) unit have voted out the Teamsters.

    In theory unions are good. Then when you see the Teamsters run underfunded pension plan after underfunded pension plan, voting out the Teamsters sounds not unreasonable.

        1. sierra7

          Remember that labor traitor Lane Kirkland (head honcho) and Reagan raising their arms together in election victory?? Shortly thereafter Reagan crushed the Air Traffic Controller’s union. Our international labor leadership has been in bed with the “deep state” in foreign policies that have arrested, tortured and outright murdered labor activists in other countries…..Labor was promised a seat at the table along with more progress in foreign countries if they went along with the US Cold War foreign policies….we all know where this all ended up….the betrayal by the international leadership of the rank and file and the horrendous decline in union membership over the decades…..there is no leveling of the power playing field between the common workers and the enormous power of global capital….Americans should be learning that lesson……alas too many are brain dead of labor history and the struggle to build a middle class to truly breath air that is free of oppression!

            1. Mike

              Bravo, well said. Where does that leave us regarding demands for unions ranking right up there with universal healthcare ala Jimmy Dore? Another clue as to the need for total overhaul of all institutions before any “progressive” agenda can be instituted. The call for unions and healthcare must be clear that all existing neo-liberal frontmen be removed and isolated from any influence. Can that possible be called “reform”?

  13. Jess

    The In These Time story about funding single payer at the state level urges a campaign to repeal Prop 13 in CA.

    Not. Gonna. Happen.

    You think that with CalPers shady practices and public employee pensions underfunded by somewhere between $200 and $500 billion that CA homeowners are going to give our ridiculous legislature a blank check on property taxes? I say again:

    Not. Gonna. Happen.

    And don’t think the public isn’t wise to the generally dismal state of state and local pensions. For example, my humble city: $108 mil annual budget. CalPers assessment in 2010: $10 mil. Projected for 2020: $20 mil. And that’s based on CalPers own delusional projections. We got hit for a $1.7 mil increase this year, and CalPers is advising that the next four years will be $1.5 mil each. (So, with more boomers retiring and price inflation COLA’s rising, our assessments in coming years are going to be less than this year’s? Yeah, riiight.

    Recent city council meeting to approve annual budget: Refused to hire some new employees simply because of the downstream pension funding load.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The alternative is to classify a doctor’s visit as educational…and get a share of that 40%.

    2. Jim Haygood

      This is happening nationwide.

      The apparent culprits are accounting standards GASB 67 and 68, which force employers (e.g. local governments) to report their proportionate share of net pension liability in their financial statements.

      At the same time, pension sponsors such as Calpers have to discount unfunded liabilities at their state’s bond yield, which is about half the delusional generous 7.5% return assumed for the funded portion. Thus, underfunding grows when the liability is represented [somewhat] more realistically.

      We can’t handle the truth, as the rug is lifted to reveal a mountain of IOUs concealed underneath it.This is happening in the ninth year of an economic expansion, mind you. Local governments will die like flies when the next recession hits, slashing the value of already insufficient pension assets.

      1. Richard

        Hi Jim,
        As a public employee in the state of Washington (an elementary school teacher) I have been reading your comments about state pension systems with some alarm! Could you direct me to a resource where I can learn about the solvency of the WA state system? Or if you have any information of your own to share, I’d love to hear that too.

      2. Yves Smith

        That’s not correct.

        Do governments have to use a municipal bond rate for discounting as punishment for not fully funding their pensions?

        No. The selection of an appropriate interest rate for discounting projected future benefit payments to their present value is based on what resources are projected to be used to make those payments: (1) assets of the plan that have been invested using an investment strategy to achieve the assumed long-term expected rate of return and their earnings; or (2) the general resources of the government employer. As long as the projected plan net position related to current employees and inactive employees exceeds the projected benefit payments for those employees, the long-term expected rate of return on investments will serve as the basis for discounting. This asset-based rate is appropriate because the earnings on the plan’s investments reduce the amount an employer will need to contribute to the plan.

        GASB 68 paragraphs 26-31 and 64-69 deal with the issues.

    3. Yves Smith

      CalPERS merely manages your city’s pension. The underfunding is your city’s responsibility. Believe it or not, there are pensions in CA (like San Francisco’s) that are fully funded. CalPERS is just messenger.

  14. Bugs Bunny

    Sorry for the loss of your friend Lambert. Seems he was a very decent and interesting man.

    1. Edward E

      Scaramucci has a high mental capacity and is a loyalist. Mooch is the kind of guy you need in place when folks have to begin cutting deals with the FBI to stay out of prison.

  15. Carla

    Lambert comments: ‘We saw TPP rise from the dead at least once before Trump killed in, and even so, The Trade Blob is using TPP body parts for other deals.”

    Yeah, and TISA was always worse than TPP, and it seems to be alive and well.

    1. polecat

      1st rule of Zombie Warfare : Always aim for the H•E•A•D !! **

      ** Heinous Economic Avatars of Destruction

  16. roadrider

    Re; “Authenticity Is Key to Democratic Chances”

    If you can fake authenticity you’ve got it made

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The basic problem is trust. Once broken, there is no easy way to restore trust. The only way for the Democratic Party to regain its footing is a massive purge. The Democrats will never have “authenticity” for a generation without a generational leader from outside the DC establishment who unites the other outside groups, similar to FDR. When he came into office, the Democrats were out of power for 20 years except for that crazy racist Wilson and had the pressing concerns of the World War. Obama had a similar opportunity. Obama’s failure to embrace the moment regardless of his intent (a great President wouldn’t need a dime) will tarnish Team Blue for 20 years especially after Team Blue doubled down on Hillary.

      The Democratic “operative” quoted in the article mentions the guy down in South Carolina who exceeded expectations. He was the candidate who couldn’t get the time of day from Democratic elites. This probably helped his candidacy. He certainly needed upfront money, but with more reliable funding assurances and a promise to keep guys like Schumer, far, far away, that race could have been won.

      Her hypothetical state senator with a career of accomplishment would be nice too if there were any.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        My abiding hope is that the Obama Myth is utterly and completely demolished as people of all kinds wake up to the reality of what the man did as compared to what he could have done, very few politicians are handed a moment as ripe for fundamental reform and change as Obama was. And not only did he act instead to simply further entrench the status quo, he lied most mellifluously about doing it. From No Banker Left Behind to expanded Permanent War to his entrenched War on Civil Liberties and Privacy, the man merits a historical legacy as the president who did absolutely nothing of note except supply vapid photo ops as he pantomimed his way through his impression of how a president should look in a selfie. If I was African-American I would be particularly ashamed and disgusted.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Given the “OMG Russia” crisis, its telling there is a noticeable lack of discussion about the Obama era by the “liberal” press. Digging up Bush war criminals is a sign the Obama Administration didn’t leave behind much of a legacy, and I think long term people will go, “what would Obama say? Oh…not much.”

          The history of Obama will be in text, not on television. Even last year, who was the Obama candidate? Since Obama largely ran against the personality of Hillary, it can’t be Hillary by definition. One would think after eight years of a “popular” President there would be a demand for an Obama successor.

  17. ewmayer

    Re. German proverbs – as a quick fun memory game, before diving into the article I let various such float to the top of my memory heap:

    “Das passt wie die Faust auf’s Auge” – 7 words

    “Er hat sich Hals über Kopf verliebt” – 7 words

    “Nach dem Essen sollst Du ruh’n, oder tausend Schritte tun” – 10 words, but note this is a particular rhyming-couplet form of proverb

    [For a truly classic example of illustrated rhyming-couple literature, cf. Wilhelm Busch’s immortal Max und Moritz – the Beavis and Butthead of their day!]

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Don’t the charts/stats used to defend the premise illustrate, rather, baby boomers moving through and out of the work force?

    2. Kokuanani

      Note also that at least one of their “answers” is “get rid of those damn regulations.”

      Same crap as usual from the “business community.”

  18. ewmayer

    For the code geeks: Microsoft adds Linux Bash Shell and Ubuntu Binaries to Windows 10 (Original article linked there is from The Hacker News.)

    I only run Linux and MacOS on my hardware, but a friend just tried a build of a distributed-computing software package I author (link also in that thread), and a Linux-style multithreaded build worked right outta the box, as it were, so I updated the README page suitably:

    While I hate to find myself in the business of promoting Windows in any way, the fact is that while pre-Win10 users can build the code by installing the proper Linux emulation environment as detailed in the following section, none of those emulators supports multithreaded builds and the standard Posix thread/core affinity-setting mechanisms which are crucial to getting the most out of a modern multicore CPU. So if you run Windows and you want to play with the code, you might as well upgrade to Win10 if you’ve not already done so, because it makes it trivial to do a Linux-style build.

  19. ratefink

    Re: Greer’s new website and old defunct one (the archdruid report), he gathered the years of essays into a set of books for sale though Founders House publishing. Keeping the lights on by selling physical books of thoughtful original content (initially given away for free), supporting a small publishing house, and extending the dialog with his readership, all excellent directions for integrating the online world with the physical, I’d say.

    1. lambert strether

      I agree. I’m not sure that breaking existing links is a good sales pitch for a compilation of what used to be at those links, but again, it’s not my blog. That said, my duty is to NC and NC readers, not Greer, and having turned out to have sent them to broken links doesn’t really comport with that. In fact, I feel like I’ve inadvertantly contributed to a bait and switch operation.

  20. Barni

    The only solution is to revert to the Constitution and have the Treasury create money for the government to spend debt and interest free into the economy. As all money is currently based on debt and the interest money is never created, this means that when government borrows or taxes to spend, a great deal more money is taken out of the consumer economy (otherwise available for consumer debt and interest payments) which already is in a serious deficit position as regards repayment of consumer loans (debt money PLUS never created debt interest money). If inflation becomes a problem interest rates never need to be raised; the excess money can be taxed out of the economy (destroying the excess money as government never needs to tax to spend treasury created debt and interest free money). Boom and bust cycles which grossly favour mortgage holders/bankers who can repossess property and sell it at ‘distressed sale’ prices to associates who can then split the profits from selling the property at market prices or renting it out – either way consumers get screwed into poverty and bankers and their buds make hundreds of millions of dollars by manipulating interest rates, first increasing the money supply (mega loans for everyone) through low interest rates and easy lending policies and when everyone is loaded with debt then raising interest rates and confiscating the property of the defaulters. As currently all money is created through private financial institutions creating deposits (out of thin air by simply moving a bank balance up) based on debt, this system takes wealth away from those families who need credit and give it to wealthy families – this is euphemistically called capitalism, a system which allows the wealthy and bank owners to literally feed off of the middle and working class families. The literal effect of this faux system is to create mass poverty and provide a small group of financial elites with enormous wealth.
    Return the U.S. Treasury to creating money for government to spend debt and interest free into the economy, tax out excess or inflationary money and allow the middle/working classes to create stable families and thrive economically. Currently working families and democratic governments are being squeezed into poverty by private corporations creating debt money (by simply moving a bank balance up!) which impoverishes governments and middle class families and allows financial elites to confiscate middle class assets and creates a growing pool of generational “working poor” families. In addition to this very serious social damage, democratic governments are being crippled and bankrupted by the system of debt created money which allows those with money to lend (like commercial/consumer/corporate banks) to fleece working families into poverty..

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