2:00PM Water Cooler 10/25/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Once again, I struggled to complete a post in time. Please check back in an hour or so, since I want to do a pantry clear-out on politics, which continue as volatile as ever (predictable and predicted). –lambert. UPDATE 4:00PM And here we go.

In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves and be excellent to each other!


“‘Army’ of Lobbyists Hits Capitol Hill to Preserve Nafta” [New York Times]. “Automakers, retailers and other business leaders stormed Capitol Hill on Tuesday in an extraordinary show of force against a Republican president they fear will cripple or kill the North American Free Trade Agreement, an outcome business leaders said could devastate their profits and harm the United States’ ability to compete in a global market.” And then there’s this curious statement on a sunset clause:

“Any proposals that would risk a crisis every five years on Nafta wouldn’t provide the certainty our members need to bring these investments forward,” said Greg Skelton, who heads the global affairs division at the American Chemistry Council, a lobbying group. “We are going to have a huge increase in domestic production, and there is no way we can consume that domestically.”

Huh? (If only there were some way to increase aggregate demand….)

“[A] late September ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission could raise the price of solar modules and threaten [Tesla’s] SolarCity’s installation business” [247 Wall Street]. And see below at The Bezzle.


Get out the brain bleach! From Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead (Hat tip, DK):

Never forget that Bill and Hillary Clinton crossed a picket line on their first date.


“After crying foul for weeks over the severity of Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie’s attack ads, Virginia Democrats have responded with a harsh mailer of their own that connects Gillespie and President Donald Trump to the string of white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville” [Richmond Times-Dispatch]. “The back of the mailer — which features a photo of the entire Democratic ticket, made up of gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam, lieutenant governor nominee Justin Fairfax and incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring — says that on Nov. 7, voters can ‘stand up to Trump, Gillespie and hate.'”

“The Obsession With White Voters Could Cost Democrats the Virginia Governor’s Race” [The Nation]. But see above.


“Arizona Senate: Flake Retires, Race Remains in Toss Up for Now” [Cook Political Report]. “Part of what made Flake vulnerable was a primary challenge to his right from former state Senator Kelli Ward, who has gotten former White House aide Steve Bannon’s endorsement. If Ward is the nominee, the GOP’s fight to hold the seat becomes much more difficult, especially since Democrats have recruited a solid candidate in U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. Democrats would like nothing more than a Sinema-Ward general election.”

Flake was, of course, immediately hailed as a Hero of the Republic by The Resistance. But sadly:


“[H]ere in the U.S., we might want to pay attention to Abe’s victory for another reason: The circumstances that enabled it could easily be replicated here in 2020 and help carry Donald Trump to a second term in the White House” [New York Magazine]. “For one thing, neither Abe nor his policies are particularly popular. Just a few months ago, Abe’s approval rating was in the gutter, dipping as low as 20 percent in the wake of a series of corruption scandals… North Korea’s nuclear brinkmanship changed all that, however: After the regime in Pyongyang overshot Japan with a ballistic missile and tested an apparent hydrogen bomb in early September, Abe’s popularity surged as he was seen handling the situation proactively. In addition to his North Korean poll bump, Abe’s main weapon going into Sunday was the total disarray of his opposition…. In case they didn’t learn this last year, Democrats need to be acutely cognizant of the fact that under the right set of (fairly likely) circumstances, Trump, like Abe, can win even with relatively bad fundamentals.”

Democrats in Disarray

“Democrats need political power, and they can only get it if they win more votes. That needs to be the goal relentlessly, ruthlessly, and fearlessly pursued by every Democrat in every district of every state from now until it becomes a reality. All the rest is fantasy” [The Week]. But in an environment where the Democrats have resolutely refused to expand their base by making voter registration a core party function, where they refuse to challenge Korbach purging the rolls for legitimate voters through CrossCheck, where the main assault on gerrymandering is a Supreme Court case of uncertain outcome, and where the Clintonian “This is why you can’t have nice things” remains the mantra on policy, where are those votes to be won? I’d argue wealthy/professionalsuburban Republicans, who are already registered and who vote. Hence the rehabilitation of Bush, for example, and the excoriation of Trump on personal and rhetorical grounds. Never mind that this strategy has been tried twice, and failed twice: First, in Clinton’s post-Convention 2016 run, and second, in the Ossoff race. I’ll see how this theory pans out, but right now I’m rather taken with it. (It jibes with moving up the California primary to March to help Harris, simultaneously bypassing the “Southern Firewall.” For example—

“Bush and Obama get the giggles during Clinton speech” [USA Today]. No worse than Clinton sucking up to war criminal Kissinger, I suppose. And then there’s this straw in the wind–

“Black Executives Join Forces, Forming a PAC to Back Them Up” [New York Times]. “By early 2018, the group hopes to start a political action committee, creating a new fund-raising model for corporate executives of color. The group would support candidates of any political party who fit the PAC’s agenda.” So they’re worried about losing influence, presumably with Democrats. Eh?

“Zogby and other commission members claim that without a mechanism to force the DNC to follow its own bylaws, it essentially operates however the chair sees fit, which has repercussions for everything from how the party selects its nominee to how it distributes funding” [Mic]. Fun fact: “Zogby, told Mic that in his 25 years on the DNC he has never once seen a budget, despite bylaws that he claimed mandate that DNC and executive committee members access the budget and evaluate its effectiveness. Zogby had served on the executive committee since 2001, before being demoted ahead of the DNC meeting in Las Vegas” in Obama hatchet man Perez’s purge of Sanders supporters.

The purpose of superdelegates, explained. Listen to the whole thing:

So the purpose of superdelegates is to veto a popular choice, if they decide the popular choice “can’t govern.” But this is circular. Do you think for a moment that the Clintonites would have tried to make sure President Sanders couldn’t have governed? You bet they would have, and from Day One.

Puerto Rico

“The government needs to get its act together in Puerto Rico” [Editoral Board, WaPo]. WIth not the slightest hint of what that woud mean, operationaliy.

I lift my lamp beside the golden door:

And of course:

New Cold War

“Russian ‘troll farm’ created fake Instagram account rallying followers against Dakota Access Pipeline” [New York Daily News]. So, liberal Democrats are on to blaming the Russkis for creating “division” over DAPL, after blaming them for Black Lives Matter…

Trump Transition

“Trump goes to Capitol Hill to set tax strategy, but feuds with his own party dominate the day” [USA Today]. In most of the coverage, the press presents Trump’s adversaries (Corker, Flake) as moral exemplars, as the winners of the exchange, and as harbingers of Trump’s inevitable defeat in the party, But Trump’s detractors (Corker, Flake) are the ones leaving politics!

“Trump’s latest big interview is both funny and terrifying” [Matt Yglesias, Vox]. Generally, I filter for stories whose editors use the gaslighting vocabulary for the headline (“terrifying”) but this is interesting, from a legitimacy crisis standpoint or, more precisely, from the standpoint of what Yglesais considers legitimacy.

“Wackadoodles, Establishment Hacks, And The Big, Ugly, Local Battle For The Heart Of The GOP” [BuzzFeed(UserFriendly)].

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Political Typology Reveals Deep Fissures on the Right and Left” [Pew Reseach]. “The political typology reveals that even in a political landscape increasingly fractured by partisanship, the divisions within the Republican and Democratic coalitions may be as important a factor in American politics as the divisions between them.” I think the typology has issues. Take this chart — please!

Do you see anything there about economics? No?

“SOMERVILLE, Mass. (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders brought his strategy of trying to reenergize the Democratic Party by lending his star power to lower-level races to a small city just outside Boston on Monday, with a stop to endorse candidates for alderman and city council.” [Reuters]. Somerville, the compost heap behind Harvard Yard!

“Listen to what socialist women are saying about misogyny on the left” [Vox]. On Chapo. I read it, and I don’t see Marcotte’s name in there, so I guess it’s a serious, i.e. not Clintonite, piece. That said, this seems a lot more like a survey of “the left,” the DSA, and some podcasts, as opposed to a tracing of causal connections.

Stats Watch

Durable Goods Orders, September 2017: “Business investment is picking up sharply based on capital goods orders” (important to maintain your stock of fixed capital, whether you be a capitalist or the other thing) [Econoday]. “Durable orders jumped 2.2 percent in September which is right at Econoday’s high estimate. A second straight strong month for commercial aircraft, up 64 percent following a 52 percent gain in August, skewed the headline higher but when excluding transportation equipment, orders still managed a strong 0.7 percent gain. But its core capital goods orders (nondefense ex-aircraft) that show the most important strength, up 1.3 percent with the two prior months also at 1.3 percent. Shipments for this series, which are direct inputs into the business investment component of the GDP report, are building momentum… One soft spot is vehicle orders which rose only fractionally.” But: “Our analysis is more negative than the headlines as the rolling averages declined. Civilian aircraft were the main tailwind this month.This series has wide swings monthly so our primary metric is the unadjusted three month rolling average” [Econintersect].

New Home Sales, September 2017: “Volatility tied to low sample sizes is what the new home sales report is known for, proving its reputation again as September surged ” [Econoday]. “The volatility that this report is subject to makes today’s results feel uneasy. The 3-month average tells a less dramatic story, at 603,000 which is roughly where the trend line has been much of the year.” And: “This month the backward revisions were upward, but the rolling averages modestly improved” [Econintersect].

FHFA House Price Index, August 2017: “Home prices remain very firm” [Econoday].

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of October 20, 2017: “After several weeks of strength, purchase applications for home mortgages took a tumble” [Econoday]. “strength here has translated poorly into strength of government housing data, which has been disappointing and shows a gradual slowing on most fronts.” The scandal of the divergence between survey and data emerges here, now, as well.

Coincident Indices: “The reality is that most of the economic indicators have moderate to significant backward revision – and this month most are showing moderate and stable growth” [Econintersect].

Retail: “Amazon’s New Plan for Home Deliveries: Hand Over the Keys” [Wall Street Journal]. Just like Walmart. What could go wrong? I’d let a neighbor I trusted — and that’s not all neighbors — have the key to my house. Not an app. Is this something kids these days take for granted, and I’m not getting?

Retail: “Sears has been scrambling to keep suppliers from abandoning the retailer as its financial position has deteriorated as the retailer has closed hundreds of stores amid the growth of big competitors and new online sales. The company this year sued two makers of Craftsman tools to keep goods flowing, and those lawsuits were resolved with the manufacturers continuing to ship to Sears. Whirlpool told Sears in May that it won’t ship any more dishwashers, refrigerators and other appliances, leaving Sears only to deplete the inventory that’s in its stores” [Wall Street Journal]. Eesh. Sears without Craftsman wouldn’t be Sears. And Whirlpool isn’t what it used to be, but still.

Retail: “Southeast Asian convenience chains leading a retail revolution” [Nikkei Asian Review]. “The most distinctive feature of VinMart Plus stores, including the one on Le Duan street, is the product display, which changes according to the time of day.” Amazingly, the article doesn’t mention 7/11 in Thailand, which is amazingly successful. You can actually refill your contract phone at the register, for example — and pay cash! A technological miracle the convenience store in my home town, Circl-K, can only dream of.

Shipping: “Industry research group the American Transportation Research Institute says its annual survey of trucking executives ranked the supply of drivers as the top concern for the first time since 2006, and several big companies say they expect the problem to grow in a tight U.S. labor market” [Wall Street Journal].

Supply Chain: “Inside Apple’s Struggle to Get the iPhone X to Market on Time” [Bloomberg]. “The 3-D sensor has three key elements: a dot projector, flood illuminator and infrared camera. The flood illuminator beams infrared light, which the camera uses to establish the presence of a face. The projector then flashes 30,000 dots onto the face which the phone uses to decide whether to unlock the home screen…. The dot projector is at the heart of Apple’s production problems…. To boost the number of usable dot projectors and accelerate production, Apple relaxed some of the specifications for Face ID, …. The 3-D sensor shortage is expected to end in early 2018. Even so, signs of weakness in iPhone 8 sales means Apple could sell fewer handsets than last year—despite all the fanfare surrounding the iPhone X.”

Tech: “[A]fter 21 quarters with falling year-on-year revenues (see chart), doubts had been growing about whether IBM would manage the latest big shifts: the move into the cloud, meaning computing delivered as an online service; and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), which is a label for all kinds of digital offerings based on insights extracted from reams of data” [Economist]. “According to some estimates, although mainframe sales generate only 2% of the firm’s revenues, related software and services account for a quarter of its revenues and more than two-fifths of its profit.”

The Bezzle: “Tesla: Firings to Continue Until Morale Improves” [247 Wall Street]. Why the heck didn’t I think of that headline?

The Bezzle: “Tesla’s mass firings spread to SolarCity as employees say they were blindsided” [CNBC]. “The total number of dismissals could not be determined. However, former employees estimate around 1,200 people have been fired in the company’s wave of dismissals at Tesla including SolarCity. That figure does not include previously announced layoffs…. Three recently fired SolarCity employees (who worked in disparate city offices, and were contacted separately by CNBC) said they asked HR at Tesla for a copy of their performance reviews. But those never materialized. In some cases, HR never acknowledged their requests but went ahead and sent them separation agreements. These agreements force ex-employees of Tesla into arbitration if they want severance pay. In other words, they have to sign away the rights to sue the company for two weeks’ worth of salary.” Looks like Tesla, just like Uber, is wrong to the core.

The Bezzle: “[Apple co-founder Steve] Wozniak says Tesla’s promotions about its cars’ self-driving capabilities are overblown and lead people to trust the ‘autopilot; feature more than they should” [CNBC]. “”Tesla has in people’s mind that they have cars that will just drive themselves totally, and it is so far from the truth, so they have deceived us,’ says Wozniak.” If Woz says Level 5 isn’t happening, it’s not happening.

The Bezzle: “Artificial intelligence: Silicon Valley’s new deity” [Financial Times]. Literally. “The founder of [the religion called] Way of the Future is Anthony Levandowski, the notorious engineer at the centre of a lawsuit between Alphabet’s autonomous car unit, Waymo, and Uber. In the case, which has riveted Silicon Valley, Waymo accuses Levandowski, a former employee, of stealing trade secrets related to self-driving sensors and taking them to Uber. (He has asserted his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination in the case.)… Levandowski’s quirky religion is only putting a name to something that is already practised here. Plenty of people in tech are working on creating a god, through artificial intelligence, or becoming a god (by living for ever).” It makes a lot of sense that the engineer behind robot cars is crazy pants (or a fraudster (or, like Kalanick, both)).

Fodder for the Bulls: “The industrial world may be taking a bigger role in the global economic rebound. Construction and mining bellwether Caterpillar Inc. is forecasting stronger sales and profits this year” [Wall Street Journal].

Five Horsemen: “Microsoft pips Facebook in late morning trade to claim the lead for the first time” [Hat tip, Jim Haygood].

Five Horsemen Oct 25

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 74 Greed (previous close: 86, Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 82 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed. Last updated Oct 25 at 1:51pm. Hoo boy. Huge drop to mere greed.

Health Care

“MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT: BE A SMART SHOPPER” [Medicare.gov]. *.gov, mind you. Medicare’s neoliberal infestation is far gone, indeed.

“Neurologists’ Role in Nazi ‘Racial Hygiene’ Only Now Comes to Light” [Scientfic American].

Class Warfare

“Expelling Immigrant Workers May Also Send Away the Work They Do” [New York Times]. “[F]armers are very unlikely to raise wages and improve working conditions to attract American workers instead.”

News of the Wired

“Rebel Rock: The story of Harlan County, Kentucky’s Civil War legend and the KKK” [Medium]. Fascinating family history. I had no idea Harlan County was a Union hotbed. And that’s just for starters:

The crackdown on the KKK was led by Deputy Sheriff “Devil” John Wright (1844–1931) — a Democrat, polygamist, brothel punter, moonshiner, circus performer and serial killer in his own right — who served in both armies during the Civil War but made a small fortune by repeatedly joining and deserting the Union Army as a paid substitute for wealthier drafted men.

I long for the days when American politics was marked by comity.

“The Neuroscience of Bass: New Study Explains Why Bass Instruments Are Fundamental to Music” [Open Culture]. From 2015, but still germane to this Phil Lesh fan.

* * *

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 (MF):

Here is another lovely portrait of a poppy from MF; I have had this color of poppy in my wildflower mix, and it’s very difficult to avoid blowing out the red, for some reason.

Also, it would be nice to have some pictures of people’s gardens buttoned up for the winter, for those of you for whom winter is coming. And fall foliage, ditto.

* * *

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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. dcrane

    OK, I’ll bite, how about this. Hasn’t everything in the first several paragraphs of this article been known for more than half a year at least? “Clinton campaign, DNC helped pay for work on dossier about Russia and Trump”


    dodgy dossier paid for by DNC people who hired Fusion GPS
    Fusion GPS connects to Steele
    Dossier research originally paid for by Republicans

    What is the new part of this? If none of it is new, what is going on here?

    (Haven’t been to Links yet, apologies if already covered there.)

    1. Sid Finster

      Nothing is new but the MSM finally copping to the fact.

      Until now, this was the stuff of fringe conspiracy nuts.

      1. barefoot charley

        Now congressional committees are muttering about it, soon there will be hearings. So the old news is becoming news.

      2. polecat

        Something about a maggot (I care not to use ‘worm’, as I hold them in very high regard !) in the process of rolling over, me thinks !

      1. dcrane

        OK, thanks for the clarification. I guess I was confused by having earlier learned about connections between democrats (generally speaking, not the Clinton campaign or the DNC specifically) and Fusion GPS.

        The story is still oddly written, in that so much of the content of the first few paragraphs is already known.

        1. Darthbobber

          Leaving aside the sourcing: “people familiar with the matter” , no idea how many, or who says each specific thing, my key takeaway is that both the GOP people who had first bite, and the Democrats who had the second bite, decided there was nothing there they felt comfortable using. The new, to me, part if confirmed would be that the FBI agreed to pay for continuing “research” of this sort. If so, why so, other than being unable to pursue alleged contacts in Russia? And Steele becoming known hardly seems a plausible reason to have stopped, if indeed they ever started.

      2. Oregoncharles

        I think it was reported here. Am I right, Moderators? Credit where it’s due. I knew about it, but can’t remember exactly where I saw it.

  2. Wukchumni

    Goooood Afternoooooon Fiatnam!

    The helos were gassed up and on the ready at a minute’s notice on the roof of the embassy that we really shouldn’t have spent so many lives & money on, but how else would we have shown the locals how important we were in the scheme of things?

    1. Jim Haygood

      From “Macro Tourist” Kevin Muir via email:

      Every effort has been made to keep financial markets bid until after the Communist Party Congress. And guess what? It ended this morning. Yup – that’s it. All done. Pink [sell] tickets are once again allowed.

      He first made this claim — that the Chinese would keep all the plates spinning until the party congress ended — more than a week ago. Well done!

      If we set paper bags with candles in them around the landing pad, will the Chinese helos come back?

      1. Wukchumni

        If we set paper bags with candles in them around the landing pad, will the Chinese helos come back?

        I think that only works in New Mexico…

      2. Byron the Light Bulb

        Cargo cult metaphor? There is a curious authoritarian subversion of the cargo cult phenomenon used for political gain. “Reverse cargo cult-ism”, whereas a facsimile “landing strip” cobbled out of false liberal institutions. The mimesis is not designed to bring about actualization for a community, but rather so that an authoritarian can point to it and say, “not only does our system not work, their system [the actual functioning landing strip, B-17’s and all] does not work either”. This Potempkin Village of failure undermines dissent, as the people living in the “Reverse cargo cult” can support neither the status quo nor participate in reform, which in this closed system, appears revanchist and backwards.–Wait, what? Sorta sounds familiar, can’t put my finger on it…

    2. Jim Haygood

      From “Macro Tourist” Kevin Muir via email:

      Every effort has been made to keep financial markets bid until after the Communist Party Congress. And guess what? It ended this morning. Yup – that’s it. All done. Pink [sell] tickets are once again allowed.

      He first made this claim — that the Chinese would keep all the plates spinning until the party congress ended — more than a week ago. Well done!

      If we set paper bags with candles inside around the landing pad, will the Chinese helos return with the recycled dollars we crave?

  3. savedbyirony

    I have been wanting to thank NC for occasionally adding a “sports desk” to the links. I enjoy seeing the business and social aspects of sports occasionally discussed here.

    And for all the “healthcare” coverage, analysis and anecdotes – this has become for sometime the go to site i constantly recommend others to read. Thanks to all the contributors, but especially Lambert.

  4. clarky90

    “The wind wafted a glowing husk from the bonfire. To that flame and to you, girl, I promise: the whole wide world will read about you.”

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

    “Fire, fire! The branches crackle and the night wind of late autumn blows the flame of the bonfire back and forth. The compound is dark; I am alone at the bonfire, and I can bring it still some more carpenters’ shavings. The compound here is a privileged one, so privileged that it is almost as if I were out in freedom — this is an island of paradise; this is the Marfino “sharashka” — a scientific institute staffed with prisoners — in its most privileged period. No one is overseeing me, calling me to a cell, chasing me away from the bonfire, and even then it is chilly in the penetrating wind.

    But she — who has already been standing in the wind for hours, her arms straight down, her head drooping, weeping, then growing numb and still. And then again she begs piteously “Citizen Chief! Please forgive me! I won’t do it again.”

    The wind carries her moan to me, just as if she were moaning next to my ear. The citizen chief at the gatehouse fires up his stove and does not answer.

    This was the gatehouse of the camp next door to us, from which workers came into our compound to lay water pipes and to repair the old ramshackle seminary building.

    Across from me, beyond the artfully intertwined, many-stranded barbed-wire barricade and two steps away from the gatehouse, beneath a bright lantern, stood the punished girl, head hanging, the wind tugging at her grey work skirt, her feet growing numb from the cold, a thin scarf over her head.
    It had been warm during the day, when they had been digging a ditch on our territory. And another girl, slipping down into a ravine, had crawled her way to the Vladykino Highway and escaped.

    The guard had bungled. And Moscow city buses ran right along the highway. When they caught on, it was too late to catch her. They raised the alarm.

    A mean, dark major arrived and shouted that if they failed to catch the girl, the entire camp would be deprived of visits and parcels for whole month, because of her escape.

    And the women brigadiers went into a rage, and they were all shouting, one of them in particular, who kept viciously rolling her eyes: “Oh, I hope they catch her, the bitch! I hope they take scissors and — clip, clip, clip — take off all her hair in front of the line-up!”

    But the girl who was now standing outside the gatehouse in the cold had sighed and said instead: “At least she can have a good time out in freedom for all of us!

    The jailer had overheard what she said, and now she was being punished; everyone else had been taken off to the camp, but she had been set outside there to stand “at attention” in front of the gatehouse. This had been at 6 PM, and it was now 11 PM.

    She tried to shift from one foot to another, but the guard stuck out his head and shouted: “Stand at attention, whore, or else it will be worse for you!” And now she was not moving, only weeping: “Forgive me, Citizen Chief! Let me into the camp, I won’t do it any more!”

    But even in the camp no one was about to say to her: “All right, idiot! Come on it!” The reason they were keeping her out there so long was that the next day was Sunday, and she would not be needed for work.

    Such a straw-blond, naive, uneducated slip of a girl! She had been imprisoned for some spool of thread. What a dangerous thought you expressed there, little sister! They want to teach you a lesson for the rest of your life!

    Fire, fire! We fought the war — and we looked into the bonfires to see what kind of victory it would be. The wind wafted a glowing husk from the bonfire. To that flame and to you, girl, I promise: the whole wide world will read about you.”

  5. dcblogger

    The public option is back, the idea is to heard all the unwanted into medicaid, which trust, is second rate


    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) introduced the State Public Option Act, bicameral legislation to create a Medicaid-based public health care option on the insurance marketplace, which will provide Americans with a new high-quality, low-cost choice when purchasing health insurance.


    1. Kokuanani

      Schatz, I”m so disappointed. He started out well and had to overcome a lot of opposition [including the evil Emily’s List backing an unqualified primary opponent].

      I’ll have to contact my sources on the ground there to figure out what happened. In the meantime, insert sad face emoji here.

        1. audrey jr

          Lambert you should definitely do a piece on the public option. It would be well received here and we need the info to inform others, point by point, why a public option is not the answer. The most glaring reason that I can see, not knowing much about the subject yet, is that it still involves the ‘health’ insurance industry and takes a ‘consumer-centric’ view of the issue.
          I learned everything I know, pretty much, about Obamacare from Lamberts excellent coverage of and explanation(s) for what was being foisted onto us, yet again, by our friends at .gov.

          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            Jacobin published a Margaret Flowers piece–yeah, can’t sleep for the pain lying here in my hospital bed.

            Against incrementalism.

    2. tooearly

      So compared to Medicare for All, Medicaid for Sale is now being pushed?

      If the premiums came in low, and if the benefit package was full including drug, vision, etc , then what is most problematic seems to be poor networks of providers (largely owing to the fact that Medicaid pays so poorly). However, if you live near an FQHC, that would help.
      Curious to see others thoughts on this

      1. flora

        Medicare is administered by US gov. Medicaid is administered by the States. Once you’re on US gov administered Medicare, your on Medicare no matter what state you live in or if you move from state A to state B. No need to re-apply. If you’re on State gov administered Medicaid in state A and move to state B, you must apply for Medicaid in state B. The wait can be long and there’s no guarantee you’ll be accepted in state B as a new enrollee. Some states have privatized Medicaid, more are considering privatizing Medicaid, and that adds another wrinkle.

        Medicare medical reimbursement rates and coverage are consistent state to state. Medicaid medical reimbursement rates are set by each state according to their budgets and spending priorities. Some states offer good coverage packages and reimbursements. Some states are very stingy with both. States that have privatized Medicaid have the stingiest packages and reimbursements and longest waits. Private companies administering the state administered Medicaid in a public/private partnership get their middleman fees. Finding Medicaid providers in stingy states is getting harder and harder.

        Medicare does not have a claw-back clause that lets the state recover its expenses from an enrollee’s estate. Medicaid does. And the look-back rules about what can be taken in recovery look back several years before an enrollee started on Medicaid. Even looking for gifts to grandchildren you might have made. No one should think Medicaid is a great solution. It’s a band-aid.

        Medicaid is far inferior to Medicare for all in administration, reimbursements, and accountability, imo.

    1. Detroit Dan

      The point, as I see it, is that Russian-US relations are more complicated than portrayed these days by Clinton supporters and the mainstream media. The Obama Administration, including Hillary Clinton, was working with Russia, and Russia was investing in the U.S., and Russians were giving money to U.S. groups such as the Clinton Foundation.

      Lots going on, and the players have switched sides. Let’s calm down with regard to Russia.

    2. David

      Which fact are we talking about?
      What you need to know about Hillary Clinton, Russia, and uranium

      So while Trump was within his right to question links between foundation donors and their ties to Uranium one, his specific charge was exaggerated…But for now, there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that Clinton’s actions — ill-advised as they might have been — were any more problematic than it seemed they were a year ago.

      Clinton and il-advised actions, like peanut butter and jelly.

    3. JohnnyGL

      Interesting. My biggest issue would be that the poster is arguing the Trump-Russia story is a serious matter while arguing that Nunes and Bannon are the string-pullers in a Mercer funded campaign to recycle old news.

      She might well be onto something, but if we’re okay with a year-long investigation of alleged Trump-Russia ties, then what the heck? Why not let the House Repubs have fun for a year and do the same back to the Clintons regarding Uranium One?

      At this point, the cynic in me sees little more than a probable fake-news dog fight. I don’t think Trump allies want to haul HRC away in handcuffs, but I do think it’s time to start considering the concept of: IMPEACHMENT INSURANCE for Trump.

      If the Dems take the House, Trump wants to make sure he can do real damage if they try to throw him out of office.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      The debunker cites thinkprogress reporting which is part of the Center for American progress whose head is Clinton’s poodle Neera Tanden and was formerly John Podesta. Clintonites circling the wagons…..

  6. diptherio

    How Equal Exchange Avoided the “Exit Strategy Trap”

    One of the first questions investors ask of a company is, “What’s your Exit Strategy?”

    In other words, when are you going to go public or sell your company to a larger company so I can cash out with 10 times my original investment?

    With a conventional profit-driven company, this might not be a big deal for consumers, workers, or suppliers. For companies primarily with a social mission, however, it means the end of the mission. But you can’t get that investment money without having a plan to sell out – call it the Exit Strategy Trap.

    We’ve seen it over and over among companies that were once our peers in driving change in food and consumer products. (Dr. Phil Howard has put together an excellent graphic of the consolidation of the organics industry. Join us on Oct. 24 for a webinar on this topic with Dr. Howard.) Despite the rosy statements when big piles of cash are being exchanged, once the mission-driven company becomes a cog in the machine, it ceases to be an agent of change.

    How did Equal Exchange avoid this Exit Strategy trap? It’s not because we don’t get offers.


  7. Jim Haygood

    Grenfell USA:

    The International Code Council had required that metal-composite panels for high-rise exteriors pass a stringent fire test. Panels that failed, which included those with polyethylene cores, were limited to a height of 50 feet.

    But in 2009, at the request of a panel manufacturer, the ICC’s 14-member fire-safety committee unanimously recommended loosening the code to allow panels that failed the fire test to be used at any height. Some conditions applied, including interior sprinklers and at least 20 feet of clearance from other buildings. And the panels couldn’t cover more than half of a building’s exterior, the WSJ reported.

    Some committee members now say they question their decision, which was later ratified by the ICC and added to the 2012 edition of the code.

    Officials at the U.S. National Fire Protection Association, which helped devise the building code’s burn-test standards for exterior walls, were surprised to learn this year that height limits on combustible-core panels had been lifted, they said.


    Nothing is stopping states from mandating building owners to disclose the presence of flammable cladding on high-rise buildings. Except for the same corruption appearance of impropriety that convinced the ICC to allow them in the first place.

    1. Huey Long

      Yikes, so much for progress! Thankfully, I spend my workdays in a high-rise relic from the early 1970’s that was constructed prior to the crapification of building codes.

      As a building engineer and fire safety director by trade, it looks like I’ll have to start asking questions about the building’s cladding on all future job interviews. Good country America, meh.

      1. Octopii

        I’ve refrained from asking our building enclosures group about this… might not be a great way to make friends.

    2. nippersmom

      There is also nothing stopping states from adopting amendments to the IBC with stricter standards than those contained in the ICC’s codes.

      1. Huey Long


        The NYC building and fire codes follow this model. For example, this is why the use of PVC drainage pipe is strictly verboten in the city, as is the use of romex wiring.

        1. jsn

          Big city Fire Marshals are wonderful a**holes to whom many, many people owe their lives!

          Their preferred “building” is a vacant lot: if someone died there, its’ a police problem.

          But if you’re going to build on their turf, you’re a threat to their fire fighters and their people. I’ve dealt with a half dozen all cut from more or less the same cloth. The best kid of tough guys.

          1. Huey Long

            Their preferred “building” is a vacant lot: if someone died there, its’ a police problem.


            I laughed so hard my belly hurt when I read this because it is so true.

            Thanks for this.

  8. John Zelnicker

    @Lambert – You are correct, it is quite difficult to keep the red from blowing out in color photographs. It’s related to the fact that infra-red wavelengths, although mostly invisible to the human eye, have an effect on color film and on the RGB color space used on the CMOS chips in digital cameras. It’s very difficult to make the film or chip blind to all infra-red wavelengths without making the visible reds flat, dull, or washed out. It’s a balancing act that the human visual cortex can handle with ease, but technology not so much.

  9. Wukchumni

    About 25 years ago, a buddy in Auckland took me to where there were cannons set up on the waterfront in case of a Russian invasion sometime around the turn of the 19th century…

    We just exchanged e-mails, and he asked me what I thought of him selling his overvalued home and buying up a huge swath of Detroit with the proceeds?

    What else could I say other than:

    Only In America!

  10. allan

    Tax cuts for me, austerity for thee:

    White House seeks spending offsets for next disaster relief bill
    [The Hill]

    The White House wants Congress to cut spending in order to offset disaster relief funding in its next aid package.

    “As we move toward the longer-term issues of rebuilding the impacted areas of our Nation, we believe that it is appropriate that the Congress consider reducing spending elsewhere in order to offset what will, again, be a significant amount of unbudgeted spending,” White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney wrote in a Tuesday letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). …

    1. Jen

      Howzabout that extra what was it – 70B? 80B? – they just handed over to the DoD?

      Call you congresscritter!

  11. Huey Long

    RE: Hillary Children’s Book

    In my best Inspector Renault voice

    “Lambert, I am shocked, shocked that Bill and Hillary crossed a picket line on their first date.”

    On a side note, it appears that Hillary hired the same artist that did the creepy Denver Airport mural artwork to do the illustrations for her book.


    Commenteriat, am I wrong?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Oh, well. She missed out on having her own Presidential Library (I doubt that she would have wanted to share Bill’s Library) so I guess now she has a children’s book to help establish how wonderful she was with a younger generation. You know – create the legend and at the same time eclipse every other woman in her generation that was a born leader as well. i.e. “It’s all about me!”

  12. Huey Long

    RE: Superdelegate Video

    Sooooooo, according to the lady in the video, we the serfs don’t know how the nobles really are, so we need to cede our political power to the nobles because they’ll look after our best interests. Riiiiiiiiiiight….

    Some democracy we live in, eh?

    My take on super delegates is that is a mechanism for the powerful to keep the real life Huey Longs of the world out of power so that they don’t have to assassinate them after the fact. It is as simple as that.

    Assassination is a messy business. Assassination makes people ask questions. The superdelegate system almost functions like an abortion politically; you get to take out a problem candidate before he has the chance to make trouble.

    At any rate, that video almost made me barf in my mouth. As an antidote, I highly recommend watching my namesake tell it like is a rousing speech from over 70 years ago:


    Trust me, it will brighten your day!

    1. Huey Long

      Ugh damn typos! I meant:

      As an antidote, I highly recommend watching my namesake tell it like is in a rousing speech from over 70 years ago:

  13. WobblyTelomeres

    Part of what made Flake vulnerable was a primary challenge to his right

    Considering that Flake was director of the Goldwater Institute, saying that he’s not sufficiently right is akin to declaring that Kissinger deserved a second Nobel Peace Prize.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Slim checking in from Tucson.

      So far, my skunks haven’t turned up any possible candidates for Flake’s seat. But the skunks are very determined. They’ll keep looking.

      Now, here’s the thing about AZ politics: We Independents outnumber both the Republicans and the Democrats. The breakdown is something like 40% Indie, with the rest split between the Donks and the Elephones.

      So, while it’s tempting to just look to the Duopoly to produce a successor to Flake, don’t count the AZ Indies out.

    2. Huey Long

      Shoot, in this day and age Richard Millhouse Nixon, father of both the EPA and OSHA, would be too far to the left to run on the Democrat ticket.

      These are strange times folks, strange times indeed.

      1. John k

        He also eventually ended Vietnam vs the dem endless war, opened up china (for better or worse, though if not opened might be more likeNK), did wage and price controls, and proposed nearly uni health care, rejected by dems. Maybe to the left of Bernie.
        But he’s not the only one… Reagan couldn’t get the nom in the rep party cuz he raised taxes, and maybe not the neolib dems, either.

        1. Darthbobber

          He and Henry had little choice but to end the Vietnam War, since after the withdrawal of ground troops reescalation was not going to be politically possible and the air war wasn’t going to get the job done. Then there were the Cambodian and Laotian interventions, and support of the general’s coup against Sihanouk. And the Chilean coup. And the disastrous pro-Pakistan stance in the Indo-Pakistani dispute over Bangladesh. I do recall the wage and price controls unsympathetically, because they turned out to be wage controls and price very loose guidelines.

          Both editions of Nixoncare were better than the ACA, less than single payer. They failed largely because Democrats still had hopes for a more sweeping system at the time.

          The political environment in which Nixon operated was vastly different than today’s. A direct state role in the economy was not yet taboo among Republicans and half the Democrats, and the donkies held substantial margins in both houses, coming very near a veto-proof margin in both at one point.

          There was also an overlap then between sophisticated conservatism and establishment liberalism. I recall that Nixon adopted, via Moynihan, nearly the same guaranteed income plan that the hapless McGovern had touted during the 72 campaign, though with the sting in the tail that it would also supplant federal minimum wage law, effectively giving it the potential to move a certain portion of precariat worker’s income from wages to taxpayer subsidies.

  14. Knifecatcher

    I’m going to miss Sears when it’s gone. Most of my auto tools are Craftsman brand. It’s awfully nice walking into Sears with a broken ratchet and walking out with a brand new one, no questions asked. Betcha whatever corporate monstrosity walks off with the Sears assets changes the “Lifetime Guarantee” policy into a “30% discount on replacement” or some such nonsense.

    1. Huey Long

      I already miss what Sears used to be. The current incarnation resembles a Russian Glávnyj Universáĺnyj Magazín circa 1993.

    2. Wukchumni

      Sears was ok and they had the best popcorn in those little square tubs, but my family saw the light and we mostly shopped elsewhere, under the flashing blue light for the next 10 minutes, we have mens’ briefs half off.

      K-Mart had a mad selection of all kinds of goods, including a groovy pet section with birds & reptiles, and you could get the car serviced while you shop!

      It’s kismet that both establishments are worth more dead than alive, in terms of land value.

  15. Huey Long

    “Expelling Immigrant Workers May Also Send Away the Work They Do” [New York Times]. “[F]armers are very unlikely to raise wages and improve working conditions to attract American workers instead.”

    Then perhaps “we the people” should dispossess the farmers of their farms comrades…

  16. Wukchumni

    “Expelling Immigrant Workers May Also Send Away the Work They Do” [New York Times]. “[F]armers are very unlikely to raise wages and improve working conditions to attract American workers instead.”

    I’ve never seen a non-Hispanic working the orchards & fields in the CVBB…

    The only way you could replace their expertise, would be via mechanical robot, and crops aren’t a one size fits all gig, they’re all different in scope and handling. The only thing that relies on something along those lines would be a hydraulic tree shaker that shakes the nuts down off the branches. Other than that it’s all human labor with mechanical assist.

    When the orange trees are ready for picking, each one shimmers with several hundred golden orbs, and pickers come at the tree on 12 foot high ladders with a sack yoked to their shoulders to put the bounty in carefully (the most perfect blemish free fruit goes to the far east) into the bag, and then spill it into larger rectangular boxes before climbing that ladder again, repeating the procedure maybe 50 times in a day’s work.

  17. allan

    “misogyny on the left”

    It was not long ago that the entire Democratic establishment, with an assist from the WaPo,
    came out for white, male centrist Chris Van Hollen over black, female progressive Donna Edwards
    in the MD primary for the Senate (which, MD being MD, is tantamount to the general).

    Edwards had even endorsed Clinton over Sanders, but in DNC-land loyalty is a one-way street.
    There was plenty of racial and gender dog-whistling going on,
    implying not so subtly that Edwards was in over her head:

    … One of his strongest endorsements, from Maryland Democrat Heather Mizeur (who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2014), made this point. “Job No. 1 in politics isn’t about passing the most bills, appearing on the local TV stations, carving out and advancing an ideology, or even voting the right way (though all of these things matter),” she wrote for the Baltimore Sun. “No, the most important job is first taking care of the people. … By showing a sincere regard for the people he serves, Chris Van Hollen is the only one in this race ready to step into them.” …

    The Dems have well and truly dug themselves into a hole.

  18. hemeantwell

    “Trump’s latest big interview is both funny and terrifying” [Matt Yglesias, Vox].

    I don’t have the time or tolerance, but it would be interesting to compare Trump’s interview goofyness with Reagan’s. My guess is that Reagan, to the extent he was allowed to give interviews, would try to keep floating along in abstractions, trying to make it from one half-remembered reality nugget to the next that his staff drilled into his noggin. Trump seems to just blunder along like a gushy teenager.

    1. JTMcPhee

      And those hearing aids, were they really hearing aids, or little Audiprompters? Anyone else ever wonder about those little pauses in his performances by Uncle Duhhtchh??? When it seemed like he cocked up his head as if listening? Distinguish that from the so-sincere little twist of the head that went along with “There you go again” and all those bald-faced lies he suckered so many of us into buying…

  19. taunger

    Lambert, you beat the drum on Dem voter registration, which I will admit they do not do. However, they have outsourced this to other groups, which can be effective. State PIRGs New Voter Project signs up college students (mostly dems, at least historically), League of Women Voters, unions, etc.

    I will concede that some of these groups may not be as effective for Dem voter registration as they have in the past, but by ignoring their role in the recent Dem voter registration strategy, we fail to recognize the proper criticism – they consider it done by others. Is that working? Is it not?

    Are outside groups effective? That is the analysis is see as necessary to get TPTB attention. That is where they are looking for voter registration. You say the party does not do it, they say of course, we have XYZ do it. But if you can demonstrate XYZ isn’t doing it anymore, then maybe they start to care.

    1. JohnnyGL

      If they were serious, they would be out there trying to make a show of how serious they are about voter registration. This means more money on capacity building and less money for consultants to blow on the TV ad budget.

      In general, you outsource the stuff that you’d really rather not deal with.

  20. Wukchumni

    That montage of Clinton leading the way as a strikebreaker was a little reminiscent of some Kim Hil image you’d see on the walls of Pyongyang.

  21. audrey jr

    Great Water Cooler today, Lambert. The DNC#Unity post was a hoot. It reminded me immediately of Danny Elfman’s great 80’s band, Oingo Boingo, song, “Grey Matter:”
    They say you’re stupid, that you’re too young to vote
    They say you’ll swallow anything that they shove down your throat
    They say that you can’t think, that you haven’t got a brain
    That you’re just there to listen
    That you’re just being trained
    There’s something inside your head, there’s something inside your head
    There’s something inside your head, there’s something inside your head
    They say you’ve lost the ability to even think
    That your tiny little brain slipped down the kitchen sink
    They say that you’ll buy anything that they turn your way
    That you’ll listen to anything that they decide to play
    Grey Matter, grey matter, oh, oh, oh, oh
    I think you like it – to be told what to do
    Ain’t that true?
    I think you’re better, better off stone cold dead
    Without your head.
    If they say – lie down – don’t do it
    If they say – buy it now – don’t do it
    If they say – turn around – don’t do it
    If they say – hit the ground – don’t do it
    If they say – bite the big weenie – don’t do it
    If they say – wasn’t that good? – don’t do it
    If they say – bend over, baby! – don’t do it
    If they say – take it and like it!
    There’s something inside your head.
    Also Oingo Boingo – I’ve always thought that the theme song for the Republican Party, or maybe both Republican parties, should be “Nothing Bad Ever Happens to Me.”

  22. diptherio

    “[F]armers are very unlikely to raise wages and improve working conditions to attract American workers instead.”

    Keep in mind that the majority of those “farmers” are, in fact, ginormous corporations.

  23. dcblogger

    lambert, you haven’t seen Harlan County USA, the iconic documentary on an UMW organzing drive? You really should see it. You can stream it, or your local library probably has the DVD. Or search for Florence Reese on YouTube. Harlan County is legendary.

  24. audrey jr

    On Artificial Intelligence: “Because the old school form of intelligence just isn’t working out for us…” The former is my own idea of what must be going on in the minds of AI folk.

  25. The Rev Kev

    Re Do you think for a moment that the Clintonites would have tried to make sure President Sanders couldn’t have governed? You bet they would have, and from Day One.
    You know, I never considered what a Sanders presidency would have looked like but yeah, that is exactly what would have happened. The Clintonites would have sabotaged him and sided with the Republicans from Day One to make sure that he never got anything done as far as legislation was concerned.
    I will go further. The Clintonites would have been talking all the time about that constitutional section to oust Sanders due to being ‘unable to fulfill the duties of President’ due to his obvious old age and try to force him to stand down for Vice-President Hillary Clinton. And can you imagine the Trump voters protests?

    1. John k

      I hope Bernie is too smart to have her as veep, the deep state might find a way to get the pres they always wanted… talk about suicidal…
      He needs a veep to his left, and one really anti war. Maybe the HI woman… Trudi?

  26. Summer

    “Political Typology Reveals Deep Fissures on the Right and Left” [Pew Reseach].

    They call it “deep fissures”, I call it lack of legitimate representation for the majority – especially if they were to include economics questions.

  27. Daryl

    > Democrats would like nothing more than a Sinema-Ward general election.

    The Democrats also wanted to face the “unelectable” Donald Trump so…

  28. BoycottAmazon


    …. seems oracle / prognosticator would be the first requirement. I may know that I’m going to be hungry in 12 hours, but it’s pretty hard to predict “all” the ills and accidents that will befall the individual me. or did I some how miss out on a crystal ball training class in school?

    On the other hand, big data / stochastic analysis should be right up government’s area of expertise, and exactly why they should be deciding.

  29. Livius Drusus

    @Democrats in Denial story in The Week, I think this article is spot on. I know I sound like a broken record on this issue lately, but the Democrats really do believe that changing demographics will do the job for them and that they don’t need to change anything in their message or platform to appeal to some of the white voters they have lost in the South and Midwest. The theory is that these white voters are irredeemable racists and sexists and cannot be won over. But according to Democratic Party dogma, it doesn’t matter because working-class whites are a dying demographic and will be replaced in the Democratic coalition by non-white voters and college-educated social liberals. So basically the Democrats are ceding these people over to the Republicans. How are you going to have a 50-state strategy when you are ceding large portions of the country to the Republicans?

    As for doing groundwork, the Democrats think Big Data will do the job for them. The strategy is to pinpoint the demographic profile of a certain area then find some candidate who they think will appeal to these voters based on their demographic profile. That is how you get these boring, uninspiring candidates like Jon Ossoff who seem like they were created in a lab.

    Keith Ellison wanted to get back to the traditional strategy of getting to know people in your district and helping them with their problems.But I guess that would mean having to look at and talk to the proles so Obama and friends had to axe Ellison’s campaign to become DNC chair. The Democrats can now go back to their winning strategy of parachuting unknown and unlikable technocrats into districts and running a campaign based on “Trump bad” while offering no viable alternative to what the Republicans are selling.

  30. ChrisPacific

    Gah. The recent news about NK considering atmospheric nuclear tests in the Pacific got me to thinking about similar US tests in the Marshall Islands in the 50s, and from there to wondering what happened to the local inhabitants, and what life has been like for them since. So I Googled it. Now I need a shower.

  31. D

    That poppy is an “Oriental Poppy” (papaver orientalis), it’s a perennial which likes frost. It has huge scarlet blossoms with beautiful purple markings, stamen, and ovary.

  32. Moby

    From socialist women on mysogeny

    “It comes out through harassment, abuse, mansplaining, or ignoring women.”

    Like they’re all the same?

    mansplaining. I’m guesssing this term was invented at the same time that the fake news Berniebros meme. and ignoring. OMG, how horrible! And that is put In the same category as harrassment and abuse, which Weinstein got away with for decades?

    Some people need to grow up

  33. TheManWhoWasThursday

    “Artificial intelligence: Silicon Valley’s new deity” —>

    Deus Ex was rather prophetic in the light of these things. Hopefully JC Denton chooses the dark age ending in our world.

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