2:00PM Water Cooler 10/13/2017

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“Black carbon in shipping and aviation: A G20 imperative on trade and climate emissions” [International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development]. “Black carbon [BC] is a major component of “soot,” including in transportation sector emissions. Unless there are significant changes in policies at many levels of governance, total global BC emissions are expected to rise for decades. Although BC transportation emissions are reported to be decreasing in some countries, they are increasing in most of the world, and transportation is still the dominant sectoral source of BC in ‘developed’ countries…. Since G20 countries account for about three-fourths of international trade, they have a major stake in trade-related BC emissions, and they have an opportunity as well as a responsibility to control the BC emissions of shipping and aviation.”

“Doubts are increasing about whether the three sides can reach a deal: Negotiators are more or less halfway through their allotted schedule, with only two chapters closed and many make-or-break issues still undecided — including whether the pact will include a controversial “sunset review” provision pushed by the United States that would terminate it after five years unless the three countries agree to extend it” [Politico]. “United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard welcomed a sunset review for NAFTA, telling reporters Thursday at an AFL-CIO-hosted briefing that had the original deal included such a clause, the trade pact would not be in effect today. The NAFTA renegotiation ‘needs to have a sunset review because if it doesn’t meet the commitments, it ought to go back to the drawing board or it ought to die,’ Gerard said.”

“In one sign of [NAFTA] civil society activity, there are signs that say “NAFTA Fix It Or Nix It” in the yards of several houses in a working-class neighborhood near the [Pentagon City Sheraton Hotel]. We asked Public Citizen if they knew how the signs got there and got this response: ‘The mighty coalition that helped build a majority in Congress against the TPP is now pushing for a NAFTA deal we could support, which means canvassing neighborhoods nationwide where folks like those living across the street from the negotiating venue are demanding a NAFTA replacement that works for people and the planet'” [Politico]. That signage: Cheeky!

“But as soon as NAFTA has been repackaged, the spotlight is expected to be pointed at the U.S. trade agreement with Central America” [California Apparel News]. “Central America, with its hundreds of clothing factories, is a big player in the apparel industry, exporting most of its production to the United States…. The region is a top manufacturer of basic T-shirts, underwear, sweatshirts, pants, synthetic activewear and socks. In the Dominican Republic, a member of the Central American free-trade agreement, which also includes the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica, the HanesBrands employs some 8,000 people.”

“A trade battle between the U.S. and several African countries is forming over an unlikely commodity: used clothing. Several nations—including Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania—are moving to restrict the imports of secondhand goods that are the primary source of clothing across much of Africa, saying the cheap items undermine their efforts to nurture domestic textile production” [Wall Street Journal]. “Apparel provides the kind of light manufacturing that would help East African countries compete with Bangladesh, Vietnam and other low-cost producers, but for now the competition is coming from donated clothes.”


Puerto Rico

A new day, a new tweet:

New Cold War

“What Facebook Did to American Democracy” [The Atlantic]. This is a very interesting, and non-hysterical article full of linky goodness. That said, I’m somewhat skeptical, for two reasons: First, it’s written from inside the creative class bubble. And the second is related: I have yet to see anecdotal, on-the-ground — outside the bubble — reports that Facebook ads influenced a single vote, and I keep track. Perhaps that’s because reporters didn’t ask the question. Perhaps voters weren’t even conscious of Facebook’s influence. But I would have expected interview panels, like those Stanley Greenberg runs, to have overcome both those obstacles. I expected the article to provide a theory of the case for “Russian meddling,” and in fact it does not. On that topic, as I keep saying, granting the narrative, if $100K in Facebook ads can defeat Clinton’s billions and the entire Democrat donor class, then there’s a lot more causation to look for than Facebook ad buys. Oh, and I don’t use Facebook hardly at all any more. I haven’t seen anybody change their mind about anything because of it.

Obama Legacy

“CTU, SEIU join push for community benefits agreement with Obama Center” [Chicago Tribune (DB)]. “We cannot trust Rahm Emanuel to keep his word and we cannot trust him with this project unless agreements are codified into law.” And then there’s this:

For months, organizers have been pushing for a community benefits agreement that would lock in certain amenities as the Obama Presidential Center is built. Recently, former President Barack Obama said he doesn’t agree that a community benefits agreement is the right tool for this project and instead asked the community to trust his vision, which would be inclusive.

Uh huh.

2016 Post Mortem

“Hillary Clinton in talks with Columbia University to take on professor role” [New York Daily News]. “The former U.S. Secretary of State and presidential nominee is in talks with Columbia University to take on a formal role at the Ivy League — and potentially house her archives there, multiple sources told the Daily News.”


“With 25 Democratic Senate seats up next year, ten in states Trump carried, five in states the former real estate developer won by 19 points or more, this should be a year for the GOP to expand its current narrow 52-48 majority. Under different circumstances, the GOP could hope to boost their Senate numbers by four to seven seats, perhaps even reaching the magic 60-seat Senate super-majority level that could break filibusters on party line votes. But given their current disarray, Republicans will need to fight hard to gain any new seats, and losing one or two of their own seats would put their majority in jeopardy” [Cook Political Report].

“What’s driven down the approval ratings for both McConnell and Ryan is a drop in approval among GOP voters. Ryan’s favorable rating among Republicans dropped 26 points from February to September of 2017 (+49 to +23). McConnell’s dropped 23 points (from +15 to -8). Meanwhile. Trump remains popular among Republican voters with a favorable rating of 77 percent. In other words, Republicans have soured on their party leaders but not on the president. This gives Democrats room to attack Republican leaders and the “establishment” without risk of turning off or turning out GOP voters who are supportive of Trump” [Cook Political Report]. And so, because Democrats are still chasing wealthy Republican suburbanites rather than expanding their base, their first ad buy of the season attacks Paul Ryan and the “Washington Establishment.”

“For the first time in a decade, a plurality of people see the economy as moving in the right direction and 64 percent see the economy as growing. The voters give Trump significant credit for the economic upswing, and any read on his approval ratings have to take into account that moving the economy forward these days is seen as Job No. 1 for the president” [Mark Penn, The Hill]. Yes, that Mark Penn, but it’s hard to read those consumer sentiment figures any other way, and I’m a Maine bear.

“Trump’s overall net approval rating is far below where we would expect it to be if the usual relationship between economic and overall approval ratings held for him” [FiveThirtyEight]. Fair enough, but it’s not a question of whether Trump’s rating is usual, but whether it’s enough.

“Collins to remain in Senate, bypass run for Maine governor” [CNN].

Health Care

“Trump scraps Obamacare subsidies in surprise late-night announcement” [Guardian]. “In California, the state attorney general Xavier Becerra said he was prepared to sue the Trump administration to protect the [cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSRs)]. Eric Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York state, followed suit.” In the same way that Trump’s Executive Order must go through the rule-making process, the subsidies policy will undergo court challenge. Nevertheless, what was done with “a pen and a phone” can be undone with a pen and a phone.

“Loren Adler, the associate director of the University of Southern California–Brookings Schaeffer Initiative on Health Policy, pointed out that the pain for insurers might be only temporary. ‘Insurers will likely win an injunction to continue CSR funding, in which case this is about temporary uncertainty and one-year premium hikes'” [The Atlantic]. So, a second set of court challenges.

“The Daily 202: Throwing a bomb into the insurance markets, Trump now owns the broken health-care system” [WaPo]. Two bombs, on the same day. First, the association plans. Then, late at night, ending “$7 billion in annual subsidies to health insurers allow around 7 million low-income Americans to afford coverage.” Maybe Trump owns it, maybe not. We keep hearing that the Republicans will “pay a political price,” but they haven’t had to pay it yet. You can’t beat something with nothing, as the old adage goes, and if the Democrats think they’ll win 2018 or 2020 with some minor tweaks, they’re mistaken.

“President Donald Trump has privately told at least one lawmaker that the payments may continue if a bipartisan deal is reached on heath care, according to people familiar with the matter on Capitol Hill and in the health-care industry” [Wall Street Journal].

“Single Payer Is Not a Principle” [Harold Pollack, Democracy]. “Building on Romneycare and the Heritage Foundation’s individual mandate, Democrats also hoped their plan’s considerable Republican DNA would gain some Republican support, or at least calm the white-hot partisan opposition President Clinton encountered 15 years before.” Indeed. So it’s absolutely critical that we allow the strategists and pundits who hoped that would be true in 2009 dominate discussion today, and structure the policy alternatives.

Trump Transition

“The “mom and pop” business owner who loves Trump’s tax plan is a lobbyist for Oracle who will save billions” [Boing Boing (Re Silc)].

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Democracy is like fun: you can’t set your mind to having it” [Aeon].

“Establishment Republicans mystified by their base should look at Ed Gillespie’s campaign” [Vox]. “Establishment Republicans mystified by the party’s grassroots activists and rank-and-file members, in short, should consider taking a look at their own campaigns and policy rhetoric.”

Stats Watch

Consumer Price Index, September 2017: “Moderation in both housing [!] and medical costs [!!] is the dovish story behind September’s consumer price report” [Econoday]. “Medical care actually went into reverse at minus 0.1 percent. Prescription drugs were very soft here, down 0.6 percent with nonprescription drugs down 1.4 percent. Apparel is also in the negative column at minus 0.1 percent to end a positive run of gains while both new and used vehicles fell, down 0.4 and 0.2 percent respectively.” And: “Using these measures, inflation was soft year-over-year again in September (although inflation picked up month-to-month, with gasoline prices up sharply due to Hurricane Harvey). Overall these measures are mostly below the Fed’s 2% target (Median CPI is slightly above)” [Calculated Risk].

Consumer Sentiment, October 2017 (preliminary): “Consumer sentiment is surging this month, to a 101.1 preliminary index for October which is up a very sharp 6 points from September and the highest reading in 13 years” [Econoday]. “Full employment is a big plus for consumers amid early indications that wages may finally be moving higher. The expectation that inflation will remain low is another factor boosting confidence in income.” And: “Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin, makes the following comments: “The October gain was broadly shared, occurring among all age and income subgroups and across all partisan viewpoints. The data indicate a robust outlook for consumer spending that extends the current expansion to at least mid 2018.'” Musical interlude

Business Inventories, August 2017: “Business inventories rose 0.7 percent as expected in August, matching the 0.7 percent rise in business sales and keeping the inventory-to-sales ratio at a steady and lean 1.38 for the 3rd month in a row” [Econoday]. “This is a balanced and very favorable report, indicating that inventory growth, which is a positive for GDP, is rising strongly and in line with underlying demand.”

Retail Sales, September 2017: “Hurricane effects inflated the headline gain for the September retail sales report which nevertheless does show fundamental strength” [Econoday]. “Yet after stripping out autos and gas, retail sales still managed a very strong 0.5 percent gain. Restaurants are a key positive, jumping 0.8 percent in the month to reverse a run of weakness in prior months. Two possible hurricane-related gains are grocery stores, up a rare 1.0 percent in the month, and building materials which spiked 2.1 percent. But the Commerce Department, which compiles this report, made no comment on any direct effects from the hurricanes.” And: “The increase in September was slightly below expectations, however sales in July and August were revised up” [Calculated Risk]. And: “The relationship between year-over-year growth in inflation adjusted retail sales and retail employment are now correlating” [Econintersect].

Retail: “Black Friday remains the top shopping day of the season, according to RetailMeNot. The other top 10 predicted shopping days are: November 27 (Cyber Monday), December 16, December 9, December 2, December 15, November 25 (Black Saturday), November 26 (Cyber Sunday), December 17 and December 10” [247 Wall Street]. I don’t see December 24 on that list; that’s when I do all my shopping.

Retail: “Holiday hiring growth in distribution centers appears to be leveling off, but that may be because the payrolls are growing throughout the year. Amazon.com Inc. is adding 120,000 seasonal workers to help fill holiday orders this year, topping the hiring plans of other major retailers. The total is the same number of temporary workers that Amazon brought in a year ago” [Wall Street Journal].

Retail: “U.S. auto makers are shifting production into an even lower gear as they cope with weaker demand and growing inventories. General Motors Co. is temporarily closing one Detroit factory that produces slow-selling sedans…, and will pare back the assembly line by some 20% even when the plant resumes operations” [Wall Street Journal]. “It’s one of the steepest moves yet by a U.S. auto manufacturer as they cope both with lagging sales and demand that’s shifting from sedans to sport-utility vehicles. A more-than 21% slide in sales of the Buick LaCrosse, for instance, has left left dealers with a roughly 10-month supply of the car in a field where a two-month supply is considered healthy.” The LaCrosse is Buick’s “flagship sedan.” I assumed the problem was that it’s a terrible car, but Consumer Reports says it isn’t (although the 2017 model is greatly improved).

Commodities: “China’s impact on global commodities is expanding into a new, significant area: trading in metals futures and the critical information that goes along with it. Shanghai is encroaching on London as the hub of the metals trading world, the WSJ’s Amrith Ramkumar reports, a shift that investors say threatens to erode the reliability of copper, zinc and aluminum prices as a read on the global economy” [Wall Street Journal].

The Bezzle: “Bitcoin Is Now Bigger Than Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley” [Fortune]. “[B]itcoin’s rally has driven the value of all tokens currently in circulation up to $97 billion, according to Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations. That’s higher than even the market capitalizations of Wall Street giants Morgan Stanley($89 billion) and Goldman Sachs ($93 billion)…. The market capitalization of all 1,165 cryptocurrencies currently being tracked by Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations, including bitcoin, has reached $179 billion.”

Mr. Market: [Analysts Viktor Shvets and Chetan Seth write:] “[W]e believe that an ongoing financialization is the only politically and socially acceptable answer” [MarketWatch]. “This implies that liquidity must continue to grow, volatilities must be controlled and neither demand nor supply can yield higher cost of capital. Thus, risks facing investors are that either [central banks] and/or China misjudge extent to which reflation is dependent on inflating asset values and China’s fixed investment. We remain constructive on financial assets, not because we believe in a sustainable recovery, but because we back the perpetual leveraging ‘doomsday’ machine.” Readers, thoughts? Does this boil down to “Don’t fight the Fed”?

The Fed: “Warsh Might Be Just The Asset Wheeler Dealer That Trump Wants At The Fed” [DealBreaker]. “Because Yellen and other officials have no idea, really, what sort of impact asset sales would have on markets and the economy, and because the bank has never attempted anything like large-scale asset sales, they have attempted to make the process of balance sheet reduction as conservative as possible. Warsh mostly waved those concerns aside in 2010, suggesting instead that the bank should proactively look to push assets out of its door in a controlled but nevertheless far more aggressive fashion.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 75 Extreme Greed (previous close: 77, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 92 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 13 at 11:49am.

Class Warfare

“Meta-analysis of field experiments shows no change in racial discrimination in hiring over time” [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]. From the abstract: “Since 1989, whites receive on average 36% more callbacks than African Americans, and 24% more callbacks than Latinos. We observe no change in the level of hiring discrimination against African Americans over the past 25 years, although we find modest evidence of a decline in discrimination against Latinos. Accounting for applicant education, applicant gender, study method, occupational groups, and local labor market conditions does little to alter this result. Contrary to claims of declining discrimination in American society, our estimates suggest that levels of discrimination remain largely unchanged, at least at the point of hire.”

“Amazon Studios chief Roy Price suspended following harassment allegation” [Reuters].

News of the Wired

“These two studies found that correcting misperceptions works. But it’s not magic” [Poynter Institute].

“Same Data, Different Stories” [Glenna Shaw].

“Some advice for survivors and those writing about them” [Hypatia.ca].

“An estimated 14 million couples date from far away, and even more are open to it, with 58% of singles saying they’d date long distance, according to data from StatisticBrain. The average pair lives 125 miles apart and sees each other once a month” [Moneyish].

“Human relationships will never go out of style. But as robotics technology and artificial intelligence (AI) advance, and robots gain greater ‘social’ abilities, we humans will form relationships with our robot helpers. We may even come to feel as though they are our friends” [MarketWatch]. “We treat Robbie the Robot as one of the family!” For robot, read “slave.” After all, your friends don’t have “Off” switches, right?

* * *

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 allergic 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 (Katy):

Katy writes: “A 6 lb., 14 oz. cabbage that I grew in a flower pot on my back deck. I turned it into a gallon of kimchi.”

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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. Synoia

    Could (I believe Twitter quotes), be adjusted slightly? For example:

    Trump on Puerto Rico: "We'll be there, we're gonna be there. It's not even a question of a choice and we don't want a choice."

    — Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus)

    Should be:

    Trump on Puerto Rico: “We’ll be there, we’re gonna be there. It’s not even a question of a choice and we don’t want a choice.”

    – Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus)

    There are global change commands in LibreOffice writer, or Microsoft wordpad to make this easy.

    Time is precious, I agree, and there are deadlines to meet. Please consider this a polite request.

    When posting this the browser automatically translated the “#039;” thingy to '


    1. Wukchumni

      Ever notice how the spoils of the Spanish American war have turned into spoiled goods?

      The Philippines is the laughingstock of Asia, Guam might start WW3, and if Puerto Rico was still Spanish property, it’d be their problem.

      1. Huey Long

        Ever notice how the spoils of the Spanish American war have turned into spoiled goods?


        Let us not forget Cuba!

        They were a de facto US colony and spoil of the Spanish-American War until Fidel & co. took over in 1959. Cuba may have it’s issues, but it ranks higher than the Philippines on the UN Human development index in spite of the decades long US embargo.

        1. Wukchumni

          Well, aside from that little Cuban missile crisis thing, ha!

          My mom told me that in the midst of the crisis she and most other housewife in LA bought out supermarkets of every morsel of food that could be stored for awhile, and then when it was over returned it all for a refund…

        2. Wukchumni


          Many thanks for that reddit page from the structural engineer yesterday, I learned so much!

        3. Darius

          Cuba dodged the bullet of US dependency that has afflicted Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. I’m thinking Trump’s withdrawal of US diplomats from Havana is a blessing for Cuba. This way, they won’t follow us as we swirl the drain.

          1. Huey Long

            While we’re discussing defacto colonial states in the western hemisphere let’s not forget the Dominican Republic and Haiti too!

            Both of these states have been subject to occupation by the United States at several points during the last century, and for Haiti during the present century as well under the guise of the UN.

            And who can forget the invasion of tiny Grenada depicted in the feel-good war movie Heartbreak Ridge?

            Or the US financial and military backing of the brutal Nicaraguan Contras?

            The bottom line is if you’re in the western hemisphere and the US gov’t doesn’t approve of your country’s government prepare to be invaded or subverted by the CIA. This is the Monroe Doctrine in action folks!

        4. Mo's Bike Shop

          I have always been boggled by how our establishment thinks that the tactic of, ‘None of our corporations are allowed into your country and we will cut you off from international credit’ is going to bring a nation to its knees. It’s like forcing the Whig ‘American Way’ on a county’s infrastructure development. See Russian sanctions, where they failed to crap their pants about the next quarterly returns. Libya for what happens to you if you do convince us to let you back into the fold.

          Oh noes, no more capital investment from United Fruit [Chiquita]! How will the peasants feed themselves?!

          1. Yves Smith

            Um, where were you during the Greece-Trokia negotiations in 2015?

            Why do you think Tsirpas capitulated after he won a referendum (admittedly one we criticized because citizens were asked to vote on something that was moot, and the referendum violated legal procedures as well, like having official “For” and “Against” committees presenting the case for each position)? Because the ECB shut the banking system down. Fish were rotting on docks because Greece is dependent on imported fuel and couldn’t procure it. Food shortages had started in the wholesale supply chain and were starting to hit retail when he cut a deal. Greece also imports drugs and the Troika did facilitate imports of a few essential drugs like insulin, but not many.

            1. Oregoncharles

              Apparently self-sufficiency is a good idea. I think that’s what Russia promoted in response to the sanctions, which proved ineffectual.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                If true, that won’t work for either Greece or Catalonia (except in the sense that after a drastic fall in living standards, those left aside would grow their own food, thatch their own huts, etc.)

                And Russia isn’t dependent on a banking system that we (or the EU) control, either.

                So I don’t think the analogy applies.

            2. Chris

              Greece was hampered by being a junior partner within the Euro zone, rather than a sovereign nation issuing its own fiat currency. That makes a big difference.

          2. PlutoniumKun

            There is an enormous difference between a small country with a specialist economy (i.e. focusing primarily on a limited range of products), and a big, diverse country with a wide base. Ireland tried self sufficiency in the 1930’s and it mired the country in low growth and poverty for decades. Its really a matter of scale, industrial base, natural resources and (preferably) no reliance on a product or material or service provided by an enemy or competitor. Russia (and to a lesser extent Iran) can try autarky and succeed, a Greece or Venezuela can’t.

    1. ratefink

      Oh, PA-18 is more than that, includes a large chunk of gerrymandered Allegheny county (Pittsburgh), along with more than enough coal country / solid R suburbs to make sure it’s “safe”, but lots of possibility for someone singing in the universal, concrete benefits choir to make a surprise appearance. If you guessed that the D’s candidate was a nobody last election you’d be right. 2016 congressional results

  2. willf

    In other words, Republicans have soured on their party leaders but not on the president. This gives Democrats room to attack Republican leaders and the “establishment” without risk of turning off or turning out GOP voters who are supportive of Trump”

    In marked contrast to 2016, when Democrats ran as the establishment — and attacked Trump for being anti-establishment, hoping to peel off “moderate” Republicans who supposedly would find Trump’s anti-establishmentism off-putting.

    Remember Schumer’s genius prediction?

    For every blue-collar Democrat we will lose in western P-A, we will pick up two or three moderate Republicans in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.

    Now they are apparently trying the opposite. It will probably work just as well.

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      Am I out of line for wondering, as I read these poll results, exactly which “Republicans” were polled? I know a lot of them have gone off the Tea Party deep end, but those figures strike me as odd unless “Republicans” should be interpreted as “Republicans who are avid Trump fans.”

      1. kareninca

        “In other words, Republicans have soured on their party leaders but not on the president. This gives Democrats room to attack Republican leaders and the “establishment” without risk of turning off or turning out GOP voters who are supportive of Trump””

        There is a group of Republicans who hate Trump. The Democrats are hoping to grab those Republicans. Those Republicans are well-off suburbanites, who still like Ryan and McConnell. The Democrats think that they will succeed by attacking Ryan and McConnell.

        I’m still consuming my first caffeine of the day, but I don’t understand this reasoning.

    1. Huey Long

      Does anyone have a good Kimchi (or other cabbage) recipe?

      My wife and I have seen these giant cabbages for sale at the local farmer’s market but neither of us have any idea what to do with cabbage, never mind a giant head of cabbage.

        1. HotFlash

          Oh, Maangchi is the best! And once you have your kimchi, this guy, Kevin Lynch (who claims he cooks in a closet) has lots of ideas for what to do with it, plus a couple of recipes for kimchi as well. He’s how I found out about Maangchi, and I am forever grateful.

        2. Wukchumni

          I’d mentioned in the am thread about the hunter-gatherers here
          that were acorn eaters, and it’s typically primitive cultures that do so, and looking on Amazon, you can buy a couple pound bag of South Korean acorn flour for $18.

          Not so long ago, they were hunter-gatherers, themselves.

      1. Louis Fyne

        cabbage soup, pick a tradition. There’s everything from Eastern Europe to East Asia.

        And if you do make kimchi (pickled cabbage), experiment with different recipes and different fermentation/pickling durations to find one that suits your palette.

      2. Daryl

        Sauerkraut. Shred the cabbage, put some salt on it, maybe put some spices in it, there really isn’t too much more to it.

    2. Katy

      Thanks! I live in Minnesota. I wasn’t sure when to pick the cabbage. I kept watering it, and it got bigger and bigger until it started crowding out my other plants.

      The kimchi recipe I used was just something I found on the Internet. I love having it for breakfast. A bowl of white rice, two poached eggs, topped with a healthy portion of kimchi is a delicious start to the day.

    3. Brian L.

      I’ve grown napa that big in the Southern Appalachians. It’s actually pretty easy to grow, (easier than traditional head cabbage, in my experience) the only issue I ever encounter is insect damage on the outer sets of leaves which go to the chickens anyway.

  3. Huey Long

    RE: Racial Discrimination

    RE: Puerto Rico

    Quick anecdote:

    I came in to work today in my blue collar shop staffed by the infamous “White Working Class” and I walked into a conversation regarding the Puerto Rico hurricane recovery effort.

    The general gist of the conversation, which was sparked by a story in the NY Daily News, was that the “lazy Puerto Ricans” are culpable for the aid trucks that aren’t able to get through due to blocked roads. It was stated that they “need to be more like the Texans” and “help themselves” and that Trump is right to advocate withdrawing DoD support from the relief effort.

    I bit my tongue as I have enough trouble getting along with this crew of grumpy old fox news rage addicts as it is.

    I find it sad that such stereotypes still persist and how much blame gets heaped on our fellow citizens out in to colonies for their present predicament.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “The Teamsters disagree” might have been one way to go?

      Adding, finally, a number:

      Only 392 miles of Puerto Rico’s 5,073 miles of roads are open

      So that’s the answer to why the containers are on the docks (and why the truckers can’t get to work). And you’d also think that quickly making Puerto Rican roads passable is exactly the sort of logistical effort our military could be asked to do. Why haven’t they been?

      I’m looking at the other numbers, on gas, stores, water, hospitals, and clearly heroic efforts are being made.

  4. Bill

    She just can’t shut up

    I am just as confused by all this blather as I was when she was “campaigning”.

    ‘There has to be a recognition that we must stand against this kind of action that is so sexist and misogynistic.’

    And asked about allegations of sexual misconduct levelled at her husband and former president, Bill Clinton, she said: ‘That has all been litigated.

    ‘That was subject of a huge investigation in the late 90s and there were conclusions drawn. That was clearly in the past.

    …In a CNN interview on Wednesday she said it (returning Weinstein’s contributions) would be part of her personal giving – which would have given her a tax break.

    But on Channel 4, asked if she had returned money from Weinstein, Clinton said it amounted to ’12, $16,000 dollars, something like that’ and asked if she would give it back said: ‘We’re going to, yes, we’re going to.

    ‘Well it has to come out of our campaign funds, so there’s a little more, but it will be done.’

    That would mean that Clinton would receive no benefit from the donation.

    However it leaves unanswered the other vast amounts of money she and her family have received from and through Weinstein.

    As well as personal donations to her campaign, he gave to political action committees linked to the Democratic Party’s campaign for her, donated up to $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, and brought in huge amounts of money from his celebrity circle.

    Clinton does not appear to be suggesting she will return a cent of that.

    uh huh.

    1. Huey Long

      And asked about allegations of sexual misconduct levelled at her husband and former president, Bill Clinton, she said: ‘That has all been litigated.

      ‘That was subject of a huge investigation in the late 90s and there were conclusions drawn. That was clearly in the past.

      Let us not forget that Mrs. Clinton’s husband was a frequent flier on Jeff Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’ jet, sometimes without his secret service detail present.

      I highly doubt that Bill has changed his ways since the 1990’s when all of his alleged sexual transgressions were ‘litigated’ as Mrs. Clinton puts it.


      (I know it’s a FoxNews link but WTF, why not?)

    2. Tvc15

      As the old saying goes, the new definition for shameless in Webster’s will say, see HRC. She’s become a political caricature with unlimited boundaries for hypocrisy. Maybe she’ll be teaching a doctorate level grifting class at Columbia I can audit.

      1. Wukchumni

        To give you an idea of the antipathy towards anything Clinton…

        My mom remarked on facebook that a picture of my 18 year old niece that my sister had posted, bore a lot of resemblance to Chelsea (and she does-a dead ringer for the 18 year old CC) and my sister had a conniption fit and demanded my mom retract it.

      2. cyclist

        When Columbia hires a political hack like HRC it must really piss of some poor assistant professor who has worked like a dog to get tenure, but just misses because they didn’t bring in quite enough grant money or are just a few publications short.

      3. Bugs Bunny

        Will she even show up? I’ve never understood these “stunt” lecturers. Reflects very badly on the school administration.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Thanks, cm.

        So, all that extra stuff means tracking. That’ll be useful. How do you get rid of it? Just delete by hand?

        1. Daryl

          If you block Google Analytics, the stuff in the query shouldn’t do anything unless they’re using a first-party tracking solution like Piwik that supports those parameters and isn’t also blocked by whatever blocking solution you’re using. (unlikely). In which case there’s not much you can do.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          Most URLs with tracking tags have the offending parts after the “?” in the URL. Delete the “?” and everything after from the URL when sharing or using them. This may theoretically break a URL, but I do it all the time and it never once has. The latest Chrome and Opera releases (and no doubt others) now *hide* this information from you in the address bar when you are at a site, and you need to select the entire URL before it becomes visible. All of this chipping away at neutrality and transparency.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I was thinking about burning all my Weinstein produced movie DVDs, except I don’t have any.

      Perhaps I will boycott all Hollywood movies.

      But I wouldn’t be surprised to see some DVD burning parties on campuses across the nation, and would be disappointed to not see any at all.

      1. Massinissa

        You know, maybe its because I don’t watch movies much, or maybe its because I’m in my 20s, but I had never heard of this Weinstein fellow before this scandal broke out.

          1. Oregoncharles

            He was a producer, not an actor or director, so known only to afficionados.

            Sadly, the Weinsteins were brilliant, responsible for really a lot of the best movies in a long era. It’s one of the things that protected him: anyone who was passionate about movies would be very reluctant to bring them down. And of course, that’s who his victims were.

      2. clarky90

        Re, “Culture Wars”

        Ronan Farrow (The estranged son of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow) was born and grew up in the heart of The Media Mafia. He has broken Omertà, (the code of silence).

        Lies (webs) that take decades to carefully concoct, can be destroyed in an instant when the whirlwinds begin to blow.

        The New Yorker

        Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories
        Multiple women share harrowing accounts of sexual assault and harassment by the film executive.
        By Ronan Farrow


        “Satchel Ronan O’Sullivan Farrow” (born December 19, 1987) is an American activist, journalist, lawyer, and former U.S. government advisor. He is the son of actress Mia Farrow and filmmaker Woody Allen. He and Allen are estranged.”


        I realized this morning, the identity of the hero who has broken this story of depravity, Depravity that had been repressed for 30 odd years. Hidden right in front of us.

        Ronan Farrow! 29 years old!

      3. The Rev

        There has been a lot of coverage of Weinstein’s crimes the past few days and a lot of women have come out now that it is possible to do so and give their testimony. Hollywood now has a severe credibility problem, though I suppose it always had, but here is a thought.
        If this was all going on in Hollywood, what about the music industry? Is this the other shoe that has not yet dropped? Both industries are part of the entertainment industries and they mix a lot together.

        1. Yves Smith

          Yes, you can be sure it happens there. I recall just after a McKinsey director (the tenured level of partner, title structure at McKinsey differs from Wall Street) went to Time Warner in the late dot-com era, he came back and gave a talk to an alumni group.

          It must be said that this director had far more character than you see at McKinsey now. He was Italian (as in played his ethnicity up rather than down), short, with a gravelly voice.

          Someone asked him whether Time Warner was threatened by the Internet, since musicians could now cut out the middleman and market and sell directly to the public.

          He straightened himself up, put on his best Mafia don voice, and said:

          There are lots of pretty girls that can sing. It takes millions to make a star.

          I don’t know many women signers, but one who takes pride in having been a professional singer for over 20 years was the long-standing lover of the man who got more Emmys for music than anyone else, and also made it clear even to me (and I wasn’t seeking this level of personal disclosure) that she was as they like to say, sex positive and had many other lovers. She admittedly has a great voice with lots of control over her instrument.

          So this raises a complicated issue no one wants to discuss: as we’ve seen from Roger Ailes and Weinstein, lots of men abuse their power, particularly when they are in an industry that selects for pretty women. But there are also some women with very high sex drives, and/or who seek out patrons, who have a competitive advantage by virtue of that. This happens all across society (women who are desirable and calculated about how they use their sexual favors can be assumed to do better in material terms), but we like to think that doesn’t happen in professional settings. That isn’t to justify Ailes and Weinstein’s behavior but to say very horny and/or not well housebroken men will give preference to women who satisfy their needs, and there is a subset of women who don’t have a problem with doing that.

          One of my friends (who is a funny mix of very left wing on some topics and right wing on others) is adamant that men should always pay for sex. That is a solution but it is hardly workable across society.

          1. Kim Kaufman

            I’ve also seen some very successful c**k teasing in Hollywood but you have to have something going for you to do that. The internet/youtube is kind of leveling the playing field in music somewhat. You either have fans because of your music or you don’t.

        2. Oregoncharles

          It’s just one story, but I can confirm that. Way back in the mid-60s, a college friend’s sister explained to the whole table that she wasn’t pursuing a singing career because she didn’t want to sleep with all the producers (or words to that effect – I remember the shock, not the exact words). This was in a very matter-of-fact tone. I think she was in high school – younger than her brother, anyway.

        3. BoycottAmazon

          HP, Enron, Boeing, …

          Hard to find an industry where it doesn’t happen, because humans. Bill Clinton was one of a long line of psychopath politicians in The White House though perhaps unique in his timing and place. There was Jefferson and his slave Sally, or Ike & Nixon both(what a team) and who can forget reading “Ma Ma, where’s my pa, Gone to the White House, ha ha ha” .

  5. Wukchumni

    Sure hope it isn’t ‘Fryday’ the 13th for any human beans on the receiving end of a nuclear device…

    Curse you Leo Szilárd!

  6. Anonymized

    Also, weird pro-Apple and pro-Google security advice on a link in the survivor article:

    – Don’t use an Android phone, use an iPhone instead.
    – Use an iPhone SE, 6, or 7. Don’t use an Android phone.
    – Use Gmail[…]
    – Do as much of your work as possible on an iPhone or iPad rather than on a laptop.
    – Consider using a Chromebook
    – Use Chrome as your browser.

    1. Anon

      That advice is sound. Android security is poor largely due to the fragmented nature of the market and manufacturers’ tendency to do what’s best for short-term profits: sell the phone and move on. Security updates are often delayed or never released at all, and integration between hardware security features and software is poor. Also, manufacturers have a tendency to add their own bloatware and modifications to Android, and the quality of that code is often poor. iPhone models receive contemporaneous updates for several years after release, and the platform security features are second to none. See https://www.apple.com/business/docs/iOS_Security_Guide.pdf for more details on that.

      IMO, Apple has the best hardware security team around and Google has the best software security team around. That advice plays to the strengths of both.

  7. Wukchumni

    So, when the cream of the crop of Nazi scientists were under arrest in a safe house in the UK that was bugged nine ways to sunday, they were told that an atomic device had been used on Japan and nothing more…

    They started talking to one another and I think it was Heisenberg that said something to the effect “how is that possible, it would have to be the size of a house?”

    In other words, the scare that prompted Leo Szilárd to convince Einstein to send a letter to FDR and got the ball rolling on things atomic, was simply chasing a dragon that didn’t exist.

    Could a nuclear weapon have been developed in a peacetime economy w/o a surfeit of exiled European geniuses with a gigantic grudge to bear and a war to win?

    I rather doubt it.

    The thing about weaponry that has held constant through the ages, is whatever you come up, the other side is going to get it also and toot suite!

    Now we have one of the most backwards countries possessing one poised to start a war in which there can be no defined winners or losers, just scorched cogs that used to be human beings.

    And don’t get me started on nuclear energy…

    1. Kurtismayfield

      I have to disagree with you about the Einstein letter… In 1939 the Germans were probably as close to building the bomb as the UK or US was.. which was very far away. The UK and US had many breakthroughs on reaching criticality for a number of reasons (Fermi bring one of them, the man was a great theoretical and practical physicist). The Germans on the other hand had many things against them.

      -The politics in Germany were awful, research what Heisenberg went through for just teaching Einstein. -Once the Germans realized that the bomb was still years away they downgraded the importance of the project.
      -The Germans had some failures at criticality that set them back in 41-42. All of this was unknown in ’39.

      Heisenberg probably did think that it would take a massive bomb to deliver it. Fat Man weighed 5 tons, only two types of war planes that the Allies had in ’45 could carry it. And Einstein couldn’t have known about all the failures in ’39.

      1. Wukchumni

        Fermi and the first chain reaction was far far away from 1939, it happened 3 years later, just a few days before Pearl Harbor…

        …as I mentioned

        ‘Chasing the dragon’

        1. justanotherprogressive

          Errr….the first sustained chain reaction happened Dec 2, 1942, one year AFTER Pearl Harbor…….it only took 2 1/2 years after that to have a workable bomb…..

    2. justanotherprogressive

      In the late 30’s and early 40’s we did have reason to be afraid of Germany building a nuclear bomb. After all, most of the early research in nuclear physics was done in Germany or regions they captured.

      Hitler could have built an atomic bomb but he did two things wrong:
      1. Hitler ran those very scientists who could have built it for them out of the country.
      2. Hitler did not understand nuclear physics and so wasn’t willing to commit the resources necessary towards building the bomb.

      A great and easily readable book on the subject by Richard Rhodes: “The Making of the Atomic Bomb”

  8. WobblyTelomeres

    Re: Collins staying in Senate.

    Ah, just the thought of Rebekah Mercer grinding her teeth and stamping her feet over that warms my heart.

  9. willf

    I was struck by the conclusion of that Vox article on Ed Gillespie:

    Long story short, if party leaders say ridiculous things, your party’s rank and file will believe ridiculous things. If they say that news outlets that try to puncture the bubble of ridiculousness are exhibiting “liberal bias,” your party’s rank and file will learn to dismiss credible sources of information.

    And last but by no means least, if they lie about what their policy agenda will do, your rank and file will develop an accurate sense that they are being repeatedly betrayed by their leaders.

    One could replace the words “liberal bias” with “Russian influence” and the passage would still work just as well.

  10. Livius Drusus

    Re: robots, I am not sure why you would treat a robot as anything other than an appliance. The attempt to humanize robots strikes me as a weird and unnecessary. My vacuum is not my friend. Even if you put a cute human-like face on it and give it a human name it is still a machine.

    But maybe modern people will humanize inanimate objects because their human relationships are so weak and shallow. We can’t seek to improve human relationships because that would put the techno-industrial system into question, particularly the myth of progress. We can’t ask people to take care of their elderly relatives because that would crimp their style. So we suggest that people make their appliances their friends. “I wish I could take you in Mom, but each kid has to have their own bedroom for maximum individual development so they can score high marks on their kindergarten entrance exams. But don’t worry you can talk to the toaster when you get lonely.”

    Stories like this make me pray for environmental catastrophe to put an end to the inhuman madness. If environmental catastrophe can slow down or stop some of these insane tech developments maybe it will be worth whatever other damage occurs.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not just modern people.

      Meet painting, poet and calligraphy Master Mi Fu, courtesy of Wikipedia:

      As a personality Mi Fu was noted as an eccentric. At times they even deemed him “Madman Mi” because he was obsessed with collecting stones and even declared one stone to be his brother. Hence he would bow to his “brother” rock in a display of the filial devotion given to older brothers.

    2. Daryl

      There is also a built-in and potentially wrong assumption that our appliances will want to be friends with us once they develop that capacity…

      1. Wukchumni

        I feel pretty certain that my fridge is plotting to fatten me up, and then sell me to a rendering plant, so it can support it’s electricity habit.

        1. Daryl

          With how much the poor appliances in my kitchen get slammed, they might have a legit self-defense claim.

    3. Angie Neer

      “The attempt to humanize robots strikes me as a weird and unnecessary.”
      Agreed, but I would go further and say it’s dangerous. Humans deserve respect and have emotions, while robots do not. Robots that imitate humans further the profit-driven mission of their creators by blurring the distinction, and claiming respect they don’t deserve. When you put a cute face on the vacuum, people naturally start attributing a little humanity to it. It’s bad enough when actual humans with ulterior motives abuse our emotional nature. Now machines are doing it too (I’m talking to you, Alexa, Siri, etc.).

    4. justanotherprogressive

      Don’t tell me …… you’ve never talked to your car?

      Well, you may not like it, but one of my professors who is very involved in machine learning, has a paper undergoing peer review right now about how when people assign childhood characteristics to a robot, they are more willing to spend time training that robot…..so expect a lot more “cute” robots…..

  11. sleepy

    “The former U.S. Secretary of State and presidential nominee is in talks with Columbia University to take on a formal role at the Ivy League — and potentially house her archives there, multiple sources told the Daily News.”

    She will no doubt need some massive fundraising to build this popular vote presidential library, if nothing else to store the crates of “What Happened” remainders.

      1. Alex Morfesis

        That best seller is “what’s happenind/the ghost of rerun”…

        soon to be a major motion picture…

    1. HotFlash

      Lordy. Which way, do you suppose, will the $$$ flow, and what will be the amount? Remittance Woman? I still think that the (Old) Big Dog will prove to be a liability, a la Weinstein. Oh, and Weiner.

      OTOH, bus tours to the Almost, Shoulda-been, A Presidential Library might prove popular in some quarters. Free pussy hat included!

      Oops, been moderated, hope I haven’t crossed any lines..

  12. Wukchumni

    Commodities: “China’s impact on global commodities is expanding into a new, significant area: trading in metals futures and the critical information that goes along with it. Shanghai is encroaching on London as the hub of the metals trading world, the WSJ’s Amrith Ramkumar reports, a shift that investors say threatens to erode the reliability of copper, zinc and aluminum prices as a read on the global economy” [Wall Street Journal].

    I can’t read Citizen Rupert’s rag as the great paywall prevents me from doing so, but is this related just to base metals, or pm’s as well?

  13. Wukchumni

    “An estimated 14 million couples date from far away, and even more are open to it, with 58% of singles saying they’d date long distance, according to data from StatisticBrain. The average pair lives 125 miles apart and sees each other once a month” [Moneyish].

    A Maine to Dorchester romance?

  14. Wukchumni

    Presumably somebody had to initially turn on the internet…

    …could somebody turn it off in total?

    1. hunkerdown

      The Internet is just a community based around specific technical protocols and some dedication to the value of connectivity. It would require an effort on par with extinguishing the passenger pigeon to reduce the value of internetworking enough to discourage it completely.

  15. ewmayer

    Tourniquets, once out of favor, helped save lives in Vegas shootings | Reuters

    Consider the following guffaw-worthy ‘new medical consensus’ – based on all the latest clinical trials data, no doubt! – described in the article: ‘Although it has been around since the Middle Ages, the tourniquet fell out of favor in recent decades because of concerns that it increased the risk of amputation. Now, that notion has given way to a new medical consensus that it is better to save a life than a limb.’

    (Article goes on to mention that the loss-of-limb risks are actually quite low, since the aim is only †o keep the victim alive until proper medical treatment can be brought to bear, i.e. the tourniquet typically does not need to stay on for hours as in days of yore.)

    1. Huey Long

      From the Reuters Article:

      The new view entered the medical mainstream after the 2012 mass slayings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Under a directive from then-President Barack Obama to find ways to improve survival in such attacks, a group of doctors published the “Hartford Consensus,” a compendium of best practices and guidelines headlined by a call to revive the tourniquet.

      Meh, this is such a crock!

      The tourniquet come-back was initiated by our imperial wars of conquest in Afghanistan and Iraq when the Army rolled out the Combat Application Tourniquet in 2005:

      The Combat Application Tourniquet was tested along with eight other tourniquets in 2004 at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research in San Antonio, Texas. The evaluation was prompted because many deploying Soldiers and units were purchasing tourniquets off the Internet, but the tourniquets’ effectiveness had not been determined. Once testing was complete, the institute’s researchers recommended the Combat Application Tourniquet be pushed to deployed troops to stop otherwise lethal blood loss.

      “If USAISR (U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research) hadn’t done the work, there still wouldn’t have been an effective tourniquet out there,” said Dr. Tom Walters of the institute that studies how to save the lives of Soldiers who are wounded in combat.

      Up until that point, he added, the tourniquets that were available through the military’s supply system included a cravat-and-stick tourniquet that Soldiers were taught how to use in basic training and the strap-and-buckle tourniquet that dated back to the American Civil War. The latter “had always been known to be ineffective,” Walters said.


      The mentioning of Sandy Hook and Barack Obama is pure Bernays Sauce IMNSHO. Shame on you Reuters!

      1. ewmayer

        Indeed – the Reuters piece itself mentions the Israeli military ‘discovered’ the utility of not bleeding to death back in the 1980s, and – this was the really rich part for me – a retrospective study of Vietnam casualties indicated the same thing. IOW, somehow we had the ’emergence of a medical consensus’ among our esteemed medical elites that tourniquets = bad, apparently without any of said elites having ACTUALLY LOOKED AT THE BLOODY DATA (pun unintended, but I’ll take it), whether prospective or retrospective. This shows the danger of deferring to credentialed elites merely due to their pronouncements about a ‘consensus’ from on high, without asking them to show-us-the-evidence. Rather like the Intel community and the Russian democracy-hackers, come to think of it.

      2. Stephen Gardner

        I love that expression: Bernays sauce. I’m going to borrow it if you don’t mind. It really sums up the way things get sauced up for PR value. And the play on words with béarnaise makes it memorable.

  16. Wukchumni

    “CTU, SEIU join push for community benefits agreement with Obama Center” [Chicago Tribune (DB)]. “We cannot trust Rahm Emanuel to keep his word and we cannot trust him with this project unless agreements are codified into law.”

    He’s earnest, Rahm.

    1. Eureka Springs

      And just how long, how much money spent, time wasted, did the likes of SEIU tell everyone the exact opposite – promoting both Rahm, Obama and their party for oh so many years? Is there ever a moment of institutional self reflection anywhere? Will the SEIU ever be ashamed of demanding another flogging for a mere seat at the table? The SEIU should buy one robotic vertebrae and leave that party once and for all.

  17. Kokuanani

    File under “oh, please” or “kill me now”:

    Obama said he doesn’t agree that a community benefits agreement is the right tool for this project and instead asked the community to trust his vision, which would be inclusive.

    Perhaps the “community” could ask all the folks who benefited from Obama’s support of Card Check. Oh, wait . . .

    Barrie, how are those “comfy shoes” feeling these days?

  18. Carey

    Why, in the articles which mention ‘Alexa’, ‘Siri’, and the like, do the authors consistently refer to these devices
    as “speakers”? Are they not more accurately referred to as spying devices? Seems so to me.

  19. marym

    Tulane University

    Shelter from the Storm

    A few weeks ago we published a blog letting students in Puerto Rico know that Tulane and New Orleans would stand with them as they began their journey toward recovery. Today, we’re making good on our offer of help by offering a tuition-free guest semester program for students from universities and colleges in Puerto Rico. Tulane will open our doors to students whose lives have been upended by Hurricane Maria for the spring 2018 semester provided that they pay their home institution’s spring tuition. After Katrina, universities and colleges around the world took in our students with open arms; it’s now our turn to pay it forward and assist students in need. This program is also open to students in other areas affected by recent storms in the USVI and St. Maarten/St. Martin.

  20. Tomonthebeach

    NEW COLD WAR. I do not think that the issue with the Russian Facebook ads has as much to do with Clinton’s fall as it does demonstrating that our social fabric tears as easily from within as it does from without. We either create a stronger social fabric, or our militarily weaker enemies will goad us into tearing apart our own fabric without firing a single shot or even setting foot on US soil.

  21. Ruben

    ““Meta-analysis of field experiments shows no change in racial discrimination in hiring over time”


    One problem with studies like this one, is that when they say “accounting for … [other factors apart from race]” they usually, as in this case, account for the other factors using one of the many types of linear regression, approximations aimed to replace deep theoretical work. There is a big leap of faith there, in believing that the possibly very complex (non-linear) interactions of the many factors affecting the outcome have been captured by the transformation of the outcome (in this case logarithmic). I read the article and the authors do not discuss this methodological caveat of their approach. They make strong policy recommendations but I feel more theoretical work is needed to validate these results. The construction of the database though is a very good contribution.

  22. Procopius

    I don’t know what caused him to do so, but 70 years ago my father warned me to never mess with the women in the workplace. I have always presumed some guy in his office got into a bunch of trouble for getting one of the secretaries pregnant, but even in those days (I was only ten and not much aware of it) there was a lot of disapproval of sexual harassment. It was “unbusinesslike.”

    1. Yves Smith

      If you think that is bad, someone I know figured out 20 years ago when he was promoted to manager never to be alone at work with a woman, that it could be used against him.

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