2:00PM Water Cooler 11/22/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Darker clouds are gathering over North American trade talks. President Donald Trump’s chief trade negotiator issued a downbeat assessment after the latest negotiations over a new North American Free Trade Agreement… while Canada and Mexico added their own grim outlooks for the effort to rewrite the 23-year-old trade deal. The negative statements after the fifth round of negotiations concluded this week in Mexico City cast fresh doubts over the ability of the countries to reach any sort of accord by the March deadline that they’ve set” [Wall Street Journal]. “Canada and Mexico officials say wide gaps remain but blame the U.S. for digging in on proposals they said would weaken the pact. One Mexican official said the country won’t offer ‘a counterproposal on something that is unacceptable.'”

“In October 2015, as President Barack Obama was hoping to rush the newly signed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal through Congress, he invited leaders of the pharmaceutical industry to the White House. The industry had emerged as a key obstacle to the largest free trade agreement in history, insisting that TPP didn’t provide enough protection for an expensive class of nature-based drugs called biologics” [Politico]. “In the Roosevelt Room meeting, Obama made the case for pharma’s leaders to accept half a loaf: The eight years they’d get under TPP were way better than the zero years they’d get without it, and his administration would have no way to extract a better deal if it tried to reopen negotiations. The industry reps did not dispute either point. But they said they would still oppose the trade deal, even though it beat their status quo…. Ultimately, Congress punted on TPP, and President Donald Trump formally withdrew from the pact in January. But now the deal is moving forward—just without the United States, and without 20 provisions originally included at the behest of the United States. One of the provisions the remaining 11 TPP nations deleted was the eight years of exclusivity for biologics. What the drug industry got, in the end, was zero.” And the downside here would be?



“Democratic Wave Begins Forming Off Political Coast” [Charles Cook, Cook Political Report]. “Either 48, 49, or 50 percent of Americans strongly disapprove of him, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, and NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls. Generally speaking, when voters get to the point of strong disapproval, they never make it back to approval…. According to the national polls, the generic congressional ballot test points to a wave as well… The off-year election results also point to a wave….. It is certainly true that Democrats lack both a single leader and a message, but midterm elections are never about a party out of power. Those are problems that Democrats must face in 2019 and 2020. The more immediate problem next year is whether this hyper-motivated Democratic base nominates too many “exotic” candidates who might not fare well in general elections. It will be interesting to see if any Republicans try their version of what Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri did in 2012, effectively steering the GOP nomination to Rep. Todd Akin, who ended up being unelectable.” That’s the Pied Piper strategy, isn’t it? Which has had decidedly mixed results.


Alabama Senate Special Election – Moore vs. Jones [Real Clear Politics]. Jones +0.8 (previous: Jones +0.2).

“Editorial: U.S Rep. John Conyers must resign” [Detroit Free Press]. “After the alleged victim made a formal complaint through the U.S. Congress Office of Compliance, Conyers’ office endorsed an alternative route. If the woman dropped her complaint and signed a legal document attesting that Conyers had done no wrong, and if she agreed never to disparage him or make subsequent claims, she’d be re-hired as a temporary “no-show” employee and paid $27,111.75 over the course of three months. She accepted the terms…. But the House’s ethics rules are clear: A House member can’t retain an employee who isn’t performing work commensurate with the pay, and regardless, can’t give back pay for work that stretches further than a month…. It looks an awful lot like hush money.” Not the crime but the coverup, for the Detroit Free Press….

“State Sen. Dan Schoen, Rep. Tony Cornish both to resign after harassment claims” [Star-Tribune]. “A pair of Minnesota state lawmakers — one a DFL senator, the other a Republican representative — announced Tuesday that they will resign from office in the wake of sexual harassment allegations…. The resignations end — for now — a jarring period in Minnesota politics, with the Capitol beset by highly charged harassment allegations similar to those sweeping the country.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Ba®a©k Obama: The First Bank President™” [Ghion Journal]. There is little here that will be new to NC readers (see Stoller here), but the piece is written with verve and for a younger audience. Also, I love “the First Bank President.” More: “Alas there are narratives and then there are back stories. Consider this missive page one of Obama’s back story. You see, it takes a truly wicked and malicious mind to take the pains of an oft injured and maligned people and use their struggles to impose yet more harm upon them. I know this article will induce agita upon the legions of Obama’s loyalists and some will try to discount what I write as some “right wing hit piece”; which overlooks the fact that I ran to be Obama’s delegate and was once one of his biggest supporters [read My Political Awakening]. The truth is that none of us really knew Obama when he launched his campaign; to this day, very few know his past and even fewer know what he stands for. Obama is a billboard who morphs into whatever personality is needed at the time—he is a political actor unlike any we have ever witnessed.”

“Pritzker: ‘There really is no Illinois Democratic Party'” [Crain’s Chicago Business]. “‘There really is no Illinois Democratic Party,’ Pritzker said, referring in part to the lack of a unified field organization, but also to the fact that the party’s central committee doesn’t even bother to meet to consider endorsing candidates anymore. ‘The Democratic Party doesn’t exist. . . .I believe we need to build a real Democratic Party in Illinois when it comes to field.'” Holy moley. And Illinois is Obama’s home state! Surely he didn’t nuke the Democrats as an institution so his good buddies from the squillionaire Pritzker clan can buy up the pieces?

“FIRE Republicans Aim to Save the Republican Party” [Independent Voter Network] (from August, still germane). “The Republican Party needs to be saved, according to a handful of budding politicians in New Jersey, who label themselves FIRE Republicans. They aim to pull the party away from entrenched candidates and extremism, and back to the people’s party of Lincoln and Roosevelt…. ‘If a house is on fire, and you run away from it, it burns down the whole neighborhood,” said founder, Dana Wefer. ‘Republicans are on fire, and we need to put it out so it doesn’t take down our whole democracy. We need to run toward the fire.’ … FIRE is an acronym for Fighting the Institutional Republican Establishment…. ‘It will only take 10-15 FIRE Republicans to change the dialogue,’ she said. ‘New discourse stops the spin.'”

“Turn the Republican Base Against the Republican Party: Part Two” [Progressive Army]. “The immediate goal is to move everyone left one space [on the spectrum active alliesBillings Gazette].

Stats Watch

Durable Goods Orders, October 2017: “Durable goods orders, down 1.2 percent in October, couldn’t post three straight gains but there are positives in the report” [Econoday]. “[T]he negatives.. include a 33 percent reversal for commercial aircraft orders and a 0.5 percent decline for core capital goods orders (nondefense ex-aircraft).” Aircraft are sporty, but a capitalist economy needs capital investment, no? Not just in unicorns? More: “This report isn’t a step forward but the factory sector, nevertheless, still looks to be a positive contributor to fourth-quarter growth.” And: “There is a core capital goods reading that came in with a month-over-month decline of 0.5%, well below the consensus estimate for a gain of 0.5%. Year over year, the core reading rose 8.1%, below the revised September year-to-date gain of 8.7%” [247 Wall Street].

State Coincident Indexes: “Here is a map of the three month change in the Philly Fed state coincident indicators. This map was all red during the worst of the recession, and all or mostly green during most of the recent expansion. Recently several states have turned red” (from the Philly Fed) [Calculated Risk]. “The downturn in 2015 and 2016, in the number of states increasing, was mostly related to the decline in oil prices. The reason for the mid-2017 sharp decrease in the number of states with increasing activity is unclear.”

Consumer Sentiment, November 2017 (Final): “Consumer sentiment edged higher from mid-month but down slightly from October” [Econoday]. “This report, like other confidence readings, has been holding steady at expansion highs all year.”

Jobless Claims, week of November 18, 2017: “Demand for labor remains unusually strong with initial jobless claims remaining near historic lows, down” [Econoday].

Retail: “Amazon.com Inc. isn’t playing around with the toy market this holiday season. A surge in holiday shopping online has made Amazon something of kingmaker in the retail arena, and … the e-commerce company is bulking up its role in seller supply chains with a program called Launchpad that helps companies forecast demand and plan for the critical shopping period” [Wall Street Journal]. “Companies are using Amazon’s online reviews and marketing on the site as an alternative to persuading traditional retailers to add a new item to store shelves, and Amazon is even buying inventory from the startups [which? Not mentioned] to sell directly on its site.” Hmm. Not sure how companies can be “using” the online reviews without, well, faking them. But I’m sure Amazon controls for that…

Supply Chain: “[H]igh school students say some 3,000 students were sent to a factory in Zhengzhou, China, where they routinely worked 11-hour days assembling the iPhone X, which is against Chinese law. Apple and Foxconn both say the students were working voluntarily and that they are halting the overtime work” [Wall Street Journal]. Hell, yeah. What ambitious Chinese high school student would’nt want to go work on the line in a corporate hellscape?

The Bezzle: “New Uber CEO Keeps Finding Horrors at Every Turn” [Bloomberg]. “Khosrowshahi’s role so far looks less like a turnaround artist and more like chief apology officer on behalf of his predecessor, Travis Kalanick.” Could it be that Uber is simply a criminal enterprise, with no model for making money other than looting it, and scamming the stupid money that supports it?

The Bezzle: “Elon Musk says his Boring Company has raised $300,000 with hat sales alone” [MarketWatch]. Now he’s just toying with us.

The Bezzle; “NextGen Supply Chain: Time to pay attention to autonomous vehicles” [Logistics Management]. Despite leading with puffery, the author gets to the SAE levels in paragraph ten, writing: “As you can see, only at the top level is the vehicle completely autonomous. How quickly we get to that top level is anybody’s guess. And the timelines vary greatly depending on the source.”

Tech: “Stop Using Excel, Finance Chiefs Tell Staffs” [Wall Street Journal]. “Errors can bloom because data in Excel is separated from other systems and isn’t automatically updated.” Hmm. I seem to recall a major California agency that still uses Excel….

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 55 Neutral (previous close: 54, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 36 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed. Last updated Nov 22 at 1:22pm.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

“According to new research from Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CTIP), at least 482 of the world’s top 50,000 websites use a technology called “session replay scripts” to track every keystroke, mouse movement, and scroll that users make when visiting the website. The scripts and their frameworks are provided to the websites by third-party developers” [247 Wall Street] (original study). “Some scripts collect personally identifiable information that is not stripped from the behavior data they provide to publishers’ sites.”

Our Famously Free Press

“‘CBS This Morning,’ Dead Last in Ratings, Faces More Problems as Rose Departs” [247 Wall Street]. “The three morning TV shows are estimated to be the largest profit centers at the three networks. Each brings in hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising a year. Their ratings are critical to the financial health of each network…. Rose has left CBS flat footed, desperate to replace him with a TV household name… ‘They are begging Oprah to fill in,’ said a TV insider.”

“Modern Media Is a DoS Attack on Your Free Will” [Nautil.us]. “How do the Internet and social media apps threaten democracy? Democracy assumes a set of capacities: the capacity for deliberation, understanding different ideas, reasoned discourse. This grounds government authority, the will of the people. So one way to talk about the effects of these technologies is that they are a kind of a denial-of-service (DoS) attack on the human will. Our phones are the operating system for our life. They keep us looking and clicking. I think this wears down certain capacities, like willpower, by having us make more decisions. A study showed that repeated distractions lower people’s effective IQ by up to 10 points. It was over twice the IQ drop that you get from long-term marijuana usage. There are certainly epistemic issues as well. Fake news is part of this, but it’s more about people having a totally different sense of reality, even within the same society or on the same street. It really makes it hard to achieve that common sense of what’s at stake that is necessary for an effective democracy.”

“BuzzFeed’s Conyers Scoop Shows That, Unfortunately, Mike Cernovich Isn’t Going Away” [New York Magazine]. Interesting look at the food chain….

Health Care

“Alaskan senator supports free choice for health care” [Lisa Murkowski, Daily News-Miner]. “I believe that the federal government should not force anyone to buy something they do not wish to buy in order to avoid being taxed.”

Sports Desk

“Long Live The Butt Fumble” [ESPN]. “I referred to it in my copy the next day as the butt fumble with lowercase ‘b’ and lowercase ‘f.’ I don’t know when it became Butt Fumble with a capital ‘B’ and capital ‘F, but the next time I wrote about it, on Nov. 28, it was “Butt Fumble.”” Life comes at you fast.

Class Warfare

“Democrats May Deny It, But This Bill Is A Handout To Payday Lenders” [HuffPo]. “Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) has a payday lending problem…. [I]n 2015, [consumer advocates] got some help from a federal judge, who ruled that debt collectors and other opportunists who purchase debts from national banks couldn’t enjoy the same freedom from state rules that national banks do… This gave state predatory lending laws new bite. And Moore ― along with Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) ― is working to reverse that decision nationwide, enshrining partnerships between banks and payday lenders in federal law and undermining state rules. ‘The bill blesses rent-a-bank arrangements where banks launder debt for usury purposes,’ notes Georgetown University Law professor Adam Levitin.”

News of the Wired

“Calling Net Neutrality Rules ‘Heavy-Handed’ and a ‘Mistake,’ FCC Chairman Proposes Changes” [247 Wall Street]. “Treating the internet as another utility essentially forbade internet service providers (ISPs) from differential pricing of packets transmitted over the internet backbone provided by carriers like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), and Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA), among others. In other words, under current net neutrality rules, the 10 readers of your blog are entitled to the same level of transmission speed at the same price as the millions of Netflix subscribers.” Yes. As it should be.

“Those opposed to the reversal [Obama-era internet regulations] say getting rid of the [net neutrality] protections will allow internet service providers (ISPs) to throttle the connection of some sites, giving preferential treatment to others at a price. FCC officials say ISPs will have to disclose any such actions, which will then be reviewed, most likely by the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission” [MarketWatch]. “While throwing their support behind the FCC’s proposed approach to internet regulation, Comcast; Verizon and Charter have vowed to uphold open internet ideals.”

“Why Americans should brace for an internet where not all websites are treated equally” [MarketWatch]. “If net neutrality ended, cable companies could charge Netflix, Hulu and YouTube to prioritize their services and speed.” Isn’t that great? The Internet is turning into cable. But we have cable.

“Repair Cafés Aim to Save Broken Items, Enhance Community” [Seven Days]. “On a recent Saturday, small groups of people huddled inside the Charlotte Town Hall to collectively troubleshoot their neighbors’ problems. But, unlike the questions that typically arise in this building about zoning, property taxes and building permits, these residents were tackling more mundane issues. Among them: Why doesn’t this lamp switch work? Can this old sewing machine be fixed? How do you replace the zipper on a winter coat?” This is even better than our thrift shop (which is the only place I can still buy a decent man’s dress shirt). And it never occurred to me that the “right to repair” (see, e.g., J-LS here) could help build communities.

“Meet the Man Who Has Lived Alone on This Island for 28 Years” [National Geographic]. Carrying the INTJ thing a bit far?

* * *

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 (Ed):

Ed writes: “This photo was taken on Saturday afternoon 10/21/17 from the ‘turnout’ on Bee Hill Road just south of Williams College, towering over Route 7 below and looking out to the east.

Foliage in the Northeast, of which I am a big fan, was delayed by an extended warm spell, funky rain and droughts, etc. Peak in the northern Berkshires area has traditionally been Columbus Day weekend, generally a tourist bonanza. Not so this year due to poor foliage and dilapidated economy.

I lived ages 9-18 in the valley in this picture. The county has become a ward of the state, still touts supreme arts attractions, but has no jobs (unless you work for Williams College). The area has been economically suppressed for decades. On the distant horizon, looking upslope on the Hossacs, the white specks are the HairPin Turn and Whitcomb summits. A known reason for increasingly-poor foliage is the devastation caused by acid rain.

Two years ago at at about this same time of year, I struck out early in the AM so as to have the sun rising at my back as I came up out of Greenfield headed west on Route 2. What I was met with was fog. I drove for hours looking for good foliage. I found none. But I got a rather dramatic shot of an acid-turned-and-killed tree standing (barely) on the edge of a reservoir with the sun glinting through the fog over the waters.

Best estimate of location from which this was shot is latitude 42.7055 Longitude -73.2251.”

* * *

Water Cooler will be off for Thanksgiving, and on very light duty the day following.

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the NC fundraiser. So do feel free to use the dropdown and click the hat to make a contribution today or any day. Here is why: Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of small donations helps me with expenses, and I factor that trickle in when setting fundraising goals. So if you see something you especially appreciate, do feel free to click the hat!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Water Cooler on by .

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. Big River Bandido

    “FIRE Republicans”? Jeez…don’t they know that acronym is already taken? And the optics of it are terrible.

    P.S. The Star-Tribune link seems to be broken.

    1. Vatch

      A lot of Republicans probably think that the FIRE sector of the economy is benevolent; hence, the acronym is positive.

    2. Mel

      (“Finance, Insurance, Real Estate” for those who’ve just found the site — the core of financialized power.) Maybe they did notice, and just want to be able to change direction 180 degrees after the election, without buying new stationery.

  2. grayslady

    As of 1:34pm CST, the plant picture is missing. From the description, it sounds like a fascinating photo.

      1. Hana M

        I’m hoping to see the plantidote too as I have fond memories of winter weekend at
        Amherst. The acid rain comment prompted me to do a few searches (non-google and google)

        Researchers found that sulfate concentration in rain and snow declined by more than 40 percent in the 2000s, and sulfate concentration in lakes declined at a greater rate from 2002 to 2010 than during the 1980s or 1990s. During the 2000s, nitrate concentration in rain and snow declined by more than 50 percent and nitrate concentration declined in lakes.

        “This is really good news for New England. Lakes are accelerating in their recovery from the past effects of acid rain. Our data clearly demonstrate that cleaning up air pollution continues to have the desired effect of improving water quality for our region’s lakes,” said NHAES researcher William McDowell, professor of environmental science and director of the NH Water Resources Research Center.

        Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2014-06-england-lakes-recovering-rapidly-acid.html#jCp

        But also this:

        The effect has been remarkable. Doug Burns, a scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Troy, New York, who directs the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program, says the rain falling in the Northeast today is about half as acidic as it was in the early 1980s. Consequently, surface waters have become less acidic and fragile ecosystems are beginning to recover.

        In many places, however, recovery has been painfully slow. Scientists now know that acid rain not only acidified lakes and streams, it also leached calcium from forest soils. That calcium depletion has had devastating effects on trees, especially sugar maples and red spruce. Acid rain leaches calcium from the needles of red spruce, making them more susceptible to cold. It also leaches calcium and magnesium from the soil, which can stress sugar maples. In addition, acid rain allows aluminum to accumulate in the soil. When trees take up aluminum, their roots can become brittle.

        Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/acid-rain-and-our-ecosystem-20824120/#ihhXw4qDtuCzFUHx.99

  3. David, by the lake

    As a certified (-able) INTJ, I must object :) Extremism in the quest for place is no vice!

  4. justsayknow

    The loss of net neutrality is disturbing on many levels. Not sure if I’ll even be able to view NC in a few weeks. Seriously. If the handful of cable companies can demand payment to deliver content they can also accept money to not deliver. It’s just business, right? And I can think of several entities run by a few billionaires that would love to silence this site and many others.
    Just another example of how the majority of American people don’t want something but are going to get it right up their… @$$ because markets.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is it ‘demand payment to deliver content faster’ (which is bad enough), or ‘demand payment to deliver content, period?’

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          May as well go down to the corner newsstand and get the hard copy instead with the second speed.

      1. ABasLesAristocrates

        There’s no prohibition on the blocking of content. So while it will start with the former, it will get to the latter soon enough.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think more people will be alarmed if we make that clear.

          Speed now, but eventually availability.

          Unfortunately, not many journalists nor commentators have pointed to the future further down the line, from just suffering slower speeds.

          That’s the reason the question was asked….to connect those dots.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        ‘demand content to deliver content from the list of approved sources our our outsourced censorship Mental Hygiene™ vendors have approved, and we’re tracking everything, so don’t even think of looking for it elsewhere, exclamation point.’

    2. HopeLB

      Was Google manipulating their search algo to be pro-Hillary as SourceFed asserts? (The algo oddly changed after the story broke. )






      Hmmm…Who to believe?

    3. readerOfTeaLeaves

      FCC Chairman Proposes Changes” [247 Wall Street]. “Treating the internet as another utility essentially forbade internet service providers (ISPs) from differential pricing of packets transmitted over the internet backbone provided by carriers like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), and Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA), among others. In other words, under current net neutrality rules, the 10 readers of your blog are entitled to the same level of transmission speed at the same price as the millions of Netflix subscribers.”

      The Internet is one gigantic utility. That’s the point — at least, for anyone who is not an ideologue shaped by years working in Verizon’s legal department.

      The blowback on the GOP and the Trump admin for breaking the Internet by privatizing it is going to be amazing. Once people start asking who screwed with their Netflix and Hulu feeds, to say nothing of their fishing videos and photos of their babies, there will be political hell to pay.
      Popcorn ;-)))))

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        LOL I’m eagerly awaiting any blowback for any of the corporo mega crimes against the people of the world, trillions laughing offshore, flinging bombs on Yemeni children, police state brutality, health care bankruptcies, civil liberty destruction. You’re saying that slower cat videos will be the last straw, that an utterly supine populace will magically rise and demand representative government for once?

        1. RWood

          W/link to call-yer-dogs…

          Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) will have to publish any blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization arrangements so that consumers will know about them and have the ability to “shop around” (though we know how little competition there is in practice for internet service providers).
          …If an ISP violates its own commitments, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or Department of Justice (DOJ) would have to investigate and call them to account….

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The blowback on the GOP and the Trump admin for breaking the Internet by privatizing it is going to be amazing.

        Hopefully. Of course, one might ask in what venue the blowback will take place…

  5. IanB

    Re: “FIRE Republicans” – the first thing that popped into my mind was FIRE standing for Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (job categorization for the census? GDP breakout?). Makes sense, but it would also apply to the Democrats equally ;)

  6. anonn

    Another retailer, J.Crew, is on death’s door and has announced it’s closing stores and, of course, laying off lots and lots of workers. The commentariat immediately blamed Amazon, but it took all of 5 seconds to find out that, surprise surprise, it was assaulted by private equity vultures a few years ago.

    TPG and Leonard Green took J. Crew private in 2011 in a $3 billion leveraged buyout. They subsequently added to the company’s debt pile by having it borrow more to fund $787 million in dividends to them, according to Moody‘s.

    I wonder how these people can sleep at night. Tens of thousands of families’ lives ruined, all so these masters of the universe can upgrade their 3rd vacation home.

      1. Cynthia

        “he clothes”? Is that a Freudian slip?

        BTW, I’ve heard Freud is starting to make somewhat of comeback. It’s probably because doping people up on antidepressants and antipsychotics doesn’t work all that well and they certainly don’t do much to fix the underlying psychological problem. And even though it’s not well documented, there is a tendency for people on psych meds to develop cardiac dysrhythmias that can be quite lethal. I’ve seen it enough times in the clinical setting to say with a fairly high degree of confidence that they are strongly correlated, if not causally linked. So if Freudian psychology can cut down on the number of cardiac problems among psych patients, I’m all for it.

    1. Hana M

      On the other hand, J. Crewe had the most boring line of clothes ever–‘you can have any color as long as it’s beige or maybe black’. I seriously doubt Michelle Obama bought much more than a T-shirt there.

      1. Mel

        The problem would be that they couldn’t afford more colors and also service the debt.
        Wolf Street comments say these things a lot, too. You’ve got to spend money to fund a wide selection and maintain an attractive store, and if money is tight …

      2. nycTerrierist

        With all due respect, this doesn’t ring true.
        J. Crew was my go-to for many years — they had a sweet spot in the early
        mid aughts – probably when the vultures were enticed. Then soon after the crash (2008ish)
        the quality went down and the prices went up. They overreached and lost touch
        with their customers.
        I still wear my old J. Crew but the recent stuff is terrible.
        Seems they were trying to trade on the ‘brand’ and no longer providing value.

    2. Rates

      “I wonder how these people can sleep at night”. Same reason as the following:
      1. People buying stuff made by “slave” labor. See the article on Apple’s factory using students? And that’s probably the not so bad case.
      2. People buying stuff produced in ways that contribute to global warming.
      3. etc, etc.

      Wait, that’s probably almost everyone. Quite a few of them probably don’t sleep well, but not for the reasons above.

      Yeah human beings are scum.

      As Neil Gaiman correctly observed: every man IS an island, otherwise we will be drowned by each other’s tragedies. But nah, we go on.

      1. ABasLesAristocrates

        The options for avoiding your 1 and 2 are essentially die, join some uncontacted tribe in a rainforest somewhere and hope they’re amenable to outsiders, or head out to the woods and make your clothing out of bark. The entire supply chain is a series of crimes, but there’s a vast difference between being on the consuming end and the perpetrating end.

        1. Rates

          Nobody said doing the right thing is EASY. I maintain that doing the right thing in a corrupt world is the hardest thing to do in this world.

          And no I have no problem admitting that I am also a scum by participating in the same cycle. Did I lose any sleep over it? Nah. Zero. If there’s such a thing called karma though, I don’t have the delusion of “I don’t deserve it”. Everyone who participates has it coming.

      2. readerOfTeaLeaves

        I’m pretty sure that Apple figured out the problem because they have a reputation for digging into the weeds with respect to their supply chains.

        FWIW, I do not see supply chains as ‘a series of crimes’. With Trump as US president, thank God for supply chains — right now, they may be our best links to other nations (!).

      1. ambrit

        “Private equity weakened J. Crews’ immune system, and then it was attacked by (more) parasites.” There, fixed it for you.

  7. Phillip Allen

    “Carrying the INTJ thing a bit far?” I accept it’s theoretically possible to overindulge one’s INTJ-ness. In my heart of hearts I reject this as spurious, but I grant the potential exists.

  8. Summer

    “If net neutrality ended, cable companies could charge Netflix, Hulu and YouTube to prioritize their services and speed.” Isn’t that great? The Internet is turning into cable. But we have cable.

    I don’t know why anyone expected the new boss to be different from the old boss when they are both slaves to the same financial system and its priorities.

    1. Vatch

      The new boss is worse than the old boss, even though both bosses are slaves to the same financial system.. The old boss reluctantly supported net neutrality, because there was so much popular demand for it. The new boss doesn’t care what people think or what they want.

  9. Jonathan Holland Becnel


    This year im thankful for the Mississippian Tribe. From 1200BCE, they populated the New Orleans area until the greedy LeMoyne Bros akak Bienville and Iberville discovered the “Crescent City”

  10. Vatch

    “Democrats May Deny It, But This Bill Is A Handout To Payday Lenders” [HuffPo]

    Here’s the official information about the bill. House of Representatives:

    H.R.3299 – Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017

    Sponsor and co-sponsors:

    Rep. McHenry, Patrick T. [R-NC-10]
    Rep. Meeks, Gregory W. [D-NY-5]
    Rep. Moore, Gwen [D-WI-4]
    Rep. Hollingsworth, Trey


    S.1642 – Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017

    Sponsor and co-sponsors:

    Sen. Warner, Mark R. [D-VA]
    Sen. Toomey, Pat [R-PA]
    Sen. Peters, Gary C. [D-MI]
    Sen. Daines, Steve [R-MT]

    1. Pat

      Hollingsworth is a Republican from Indiana’s Ninth district. Oh, and wikipedia has him as a businessman first and a politician second. Sometimes the honesty is…

    2. Tom_Doak

      It’s bipartisan ! That’s how you know it’s really bad, when there is enough money to buy off both sides of the debate.

  11. Watt4Bob

    About Net Neutrality;

    “Why Americans should brace for an internet where not all websites are treated equally”

    Actually, Americans should brace for an internet that doesn’t work at all.

    A couple weeks ago, on a Monday afternoon I got a call from one of the stores I support, they told me that they could not reach a number of web-sites necessary to do business. This is a grave situation which put a stop to the flow of money, and had the potential to cost thousands of dollars per hour.

    When I dug into the issue it turned out to be a major DNS failure linked to a misconfiguration on the part of CenturyLink, the new owners of internet back-bone company Level3.

    The problem impacted DNS services for Comcast, resulting in the problem at our store.

    This outage affected major portions of the country, spreading west from the east coast to Minnesota, and the west coast, west of the Rocky Mountains.

    The issue was what’s called a “route leak”.

    From Wired magazine’s article on this event;

    Route leaks can be malicious, sometimes called “route hijacks” or “BGP hijacks,” but Monday’s incident seems to have been caused by a simple mistake that ballooned to have national impact. Large outages caused by accidental route leaks have cropped up before.

    “Folks are looking to tweak routing policies, and make mistakes,” Arbor Networks’ Dobbins says. The problem could have come as CenturyLink works to integrate the Level 3 network, or could have stemmed from typical traffic engineering and efficiency work.

    So, the new owners just had to jump in and start messing with the innards?

    In our ‘market’ CenturyLink and Comcast are the only ISPs available, and thus competitors.

    It used to be that the people who own the major back-bone infrastructure could be relied upon to do everything in their power to keep the internet working for everyone. I wonder how long it will take for ‘business interests’ to decide it’s ok to wage war on the competition by owning up-stream services?

    Will the end of net neutrality mean wild-west application of “typical traffic engineering and efficiency work”?

    1. steelhead

      That is not good news. I am tethered to Century Link for another year without a major termination fee and the new post merger website is a mess. I empathize with your situation. My only alternative is Cable One and I terminated service with them over six years ago.

    2. flora

      Thanks for this comment.

      This also means no one could access their my-SS accounts, or my-Medicare accounts, or other US fed. govt entity accounts.

      “typical traffic engineering and efficiency work”…not an IEEE standard, to say the least.

      1. Watt4Bob

        Thank you.

        Keep in mind that CenturyLink’s history is in residential service.

        They started in residential service in Louisiana, when Qwest’s CEO was sent to prison for insider trading, (maybe for refusing to share our info with the NSA?) their stock tanked and CenturyLink bought them for cents on the dollar.

        They went from a residential carrier to owning two major metropolitan systems, Denver and Minneapolis/St. Paul and metro areas.

        They immediately trashed Qwest’s three-tier engineer system, consisting of residential/commercial/cable engineers so that when you requested service, you didn’t know what level of engineer showed up, you order new residential service and the guy who shows up has been working under ground on massive cable jobs, you order new business services and a rookie shows up who never did anything but install how home phone service.

        Of course this was to drive the pay for engineers lower, many senior engineers quit.

        When they came to town, I/we were paying them $6500/mon, for a variety of services, I tried for nearly two years to renegotiate our services, not to achieve cost savings, but to re-arrange the services we paid for, they refused to change our services, instead they kept proposing additional services and more expense, even after I explained that we would be happy continue to pay the same dollars, we just wanted less inter-connectivity, and more bandwidth.

        After fighting with them for 18 months I left them for a vendor that paid off the last of our contracts, and said good riddance.

        So now CenturyLink has saved up enough money to buy a major back-bone infrastructure vendor, Level3, now they have the ability to cripple their competitors by “traffic engineering and efficiency work”?

        (Comcast is vulnerable in the Twin Cities because they don’t own any local back-bone, their nearest major link is in Chicago I think.)

        We have three installations, two connected with Comcast, one with CenturyLink, my only options, I don’t need outages rooted in ‘cyber-competition’.

        The internet would, in a sane and rational world be designated a strategic national utility, and closely regulated, not left to hicks to manipulate for maximum profits.

    3. kiers

      Coming Soon: “PAY FOR YOUR ENTRY INTO THE LOCAL DNS BOOK” or be left out! (remember how the yellow pages courted local biz! LOL only not so funny!)

      Imagine if Graham Bell decided what sorts of things could be discussed on HIS “Telephony Equipments”: not to be used for discussion of….{fake news from Russia….criticisms of gov….etc etc)…..

      ahh progress! We are SO lucky.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      I saw a tweet fly by the other day that I’m too lazy to dig out, but the substance was:

      1) Nationalize the backbones

      2) Municipalize the ISPs

      3) Cooperativize the platforms

      They’re talkin’ sense, Merle

      1. Watt4Bob

        Painfully obvious, and tragically improbable.

        I have the most wonderful support from a couple of cyber security professionals/geniuses who never disagree when I mention my fear that the whole digital realm seems doomed to inevitable catastrophe.

        I, they, work diligently to protect our various enterprises from the unrelenting, and ever more destructive machinations of anonymous predators, friends, enemies, vendors, even customers.

        I’ve started to suspect that my job is most similar to the head engineer on the Titanic, diligently watching the pressure gauges on the ships boilers and doing everything in my power to keep the lights on, long past the moment passes when it becomes certain that the ship is sinking.

        Personal computers became capable of doing all the things that We the Peole could and did dream of, some ten or more years ago, since then, virtually all ‘improvements’ have been at the behest of those who spy, cheat, and lie to us in the quest for profit and control.

        During the first twelve years of my career, computers, all the hardware in fact, was spontaneously attractive, the last twelve years or so, the ‘stuff’ has been hijacked and turned against us by the sociopathic MOTU, purchasing new equipment used to be exciting, now I find myself resenting the gradual loss of control implicit in every deployment.

        So now, ‘personal’ computers spend more time spying, herding, and controlling us than they do helping us achieve our dreams, if you can stand to consider the truth, it seems that no small part of the efforts in which our ‘betters’ are engaged, is trying to convince us that dreaming is foolish, and resistance is futile.

        I take no comfort in the sure knowledge that the very same vectors that allow the MOTU to do their worst are also being leveraged by those who consider themselves in opposition, because the various factions efforts amount to nothing more than a sort of deluded, manic vandalism of something that was once splendid.

  12. Marco

    Declassified JFK docs show false flag scheming by USA to start a war with the Soviets. Looks like Zuckerberg needs to rejigger the Facebook-fake-news-discombobulator to include Newsweek.

  13. DJG

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. And I doubt that I’m addicted enough to Naked Capitalism to check in tomorrow, given that I am cooking for sixteen.

    And I wanted to confess that I am the one who bought the Leonardo. I had some money lying around the house, and I thought to myself, “Why not overpay on a piece of art that is in terrible shape, because what is more fulfilling than being applauded at the end of an auction?”

    And despite this fascinating take on the whole fandango (note the reference to Leonardo is a figment of the fevered imagination of Dan Brown):

  14. DJG

    Oh nooooo: Black Friday is being ruined by the Italians. Giorni nerissimi!

    The workers with the backing of their unions (you remember unions–fossick a bit in the recesses of your memories) are going on strike. Enjoy the paragraph in which Amazon snivels about having to give them health insurance. Imagine that. Those darn Italian commies.


  15. Pat

    I find it really really insulting that the FCC does not understand that they are not there to protect the businesses, but the people. And that the people are the ones who are picking the obscure blog or Netflix or even both and since they are paying the ISPs for service they should get the same speeds regardless of what site they choose. Throttling any non child porn site should be a crime as it is fraud and theft of service.

    If the FCC were really doing their job, ISPs would be shaking in their boots as their largely monopolistic business would be being required to actually meet first world standards.

  16. Googoogajoob

    Even though I can take some comfort in that net neutrality is here for the forseeable future in Canada, I cannot help but think that the worm will begin to turn up here should the FCC pull such a gutless move

  17. Pat

    Small bit of back ground on the CBS Morning Show. CBS has been last in that lucrative morning show race for pretty much the entire time the genre has existed. They have gone through multiple versions over the years. They even tried a Today clone building a studio on Fifth Avenue to interact with the public and starred Bryant Gumble, didn’t work. This latest version came in to replace a rather staid but watchable version with Harry Smith, Erica Hill (who replaced Gretchen Carlson before she went to Fox and Ailes) and Jose Diaz called The Early Show. They kept only Hill and got rid of weather, brought in Rose and Gayle King and a new set design where guests wait for their segment in view. The producer wanted to do “Morning Joe” on network. Loved Morning Joe so much they failed to recognize that IT was third in the cable morning show time slot. I do have to give them credit as the ratings increased slightly, but during the same period GMA not only surged finally ended Today’s almost fifty year continuous first place run.

    No one at CBS has ever really known what to do with it, much less how to handle a disaster.

    1. Carolinian

      Don’t forget one of the early anchors was the late Ben Bradlee’s annoying paramour, Sally Quinn.

      In August 1973, Quinn tried her hand at television, joining CBS News reporter Hughes Rudd as co-anchor of the CBS Morning News.[13] The show’s anchoring team was its first disaster since debuting in 1963. Quinn was given no training, a huge buildup and ninety minutes before her television debut on August 6, 1973, Quinn, who had never reported for television before, collapsed while trying to fight the flu. Quinn’s ad libs during the show’s first week tended toward the inappropriate—in one episode, following a report on the children of California migrant farm workers, she quipped that child labor “was how I felt when my mother and father made me clean up my room.” Quinn left the CBS Morning News after the February 1, 1974, telecast. She chronicled her short, disastrous television career in the bestselling book We’re Going to Make You a Star.


  18. Lee

    “Repair Cafés Aim to Save Broken Items, Enhance Community” [Seven Days].

    A very handy friend of mine decided to fix his ceiling fan. He diagnosed the problem, a common electrical component, which he then set out to purchase. The part cost more than a new ceiling fan. Ain’t crapification, cheap labor and transport grand?

  19. Anonymized

    I volunteer for my local Repair Cafe and it’s been a great experience. I’ve saved a lot of money getting stuff fixed (rice cooker, digital camera, tons of clothes, trued bike wheel) and learned a lot from the fixers. (Also, free lunch for volunteers and transit tokens). At first I was just helping register people and setting up tables but now I’m trying to help fix bikes and laptops.

    If you’re near Toronto, the monthly Repair Cafe is happening this Saturday: http://repaircafetoronto.ca/event/repair-cafe-at-albert-campbell-library-2/

      1. Anonymized

        That’s a good idea, definitely a concrete material benefit. Also, Really Really Free Markets, where people bring stuff they don’t need anymore and other people take it if they want.

        If I had the time and energy I would try and organize a local Repair Cafe in my neighbourhood. The people who started it in Toronto always planned to have local cafes but it hasn’t panned out yet. For now, the big monthly event moves around the city and there’s smaller ones in the downtown area, all organized by the same people.

  20. Alex Morfesis

    Happy turkeyday my fellow
    nc-pians…forget and ignore the minor indignities and disrespections which may transpire tomorrow…

    they are only human…
    and the moment will pass…

  21. The Rev Kev

    On the pharmaceutical industry’s refusal to negotiate and compromise in the TPP
    I have a quote by John Kenneth Galbraith that might, in part, explain this mindset-

    “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “…a solemn, basic, God-given right.”

      For atheistic readers and for privileged atheists, it’s more likely due to the human tendency to cling to where one is, hoping to get better (more money, more power, etc), and never experiencing the horror of regressing, that they would never ‘surrender any material part of their advantage.’

      And not have anything to do with God (for these atheists, readers and privileged).

      So, if one’s bitcoin gain up-to-date is 500%, one hopes to keep it at that, while hoping for more, and hopes that one never would have to give up any of that 500%. Sometimes, or perhaps often, one risks destruction, when the bubble bursts.

      Then, those gains or privileges are gone as well.

      With God nowhere involved at all, for these atheists.

      1. witters

        I think that irrelevant nitpicking of JKG’s masterful prose and analysis. (For instance, one may sell one’s soul for money. Don’t tell me this isn’t true for atheists too.)

    2. knowbuddhau

      Oy. While I agree with the sentiment, I can’t agree with the analysis. To me, it shows exactly what’s wrong with our ever so modern world view.

      We’re entirely too reductionistic. Galbraith’s reduction of the problem to an ad hominem (first with superfluous syllables, like the witty academic he was, then in plain language: they’re stupid) deprives him of the chance to see that he himself gives the answer. They’re just stupid, nothing to see in their belief that they have a “God-given right” to lord over the rest of us.

      FFS, it’s the mythology! Where did they get the belief that they have a divine right to lord over the rest of us? What might that tell us about what to expect from them? Might that not be a fruitful line of inquiry? Mais non! We’re modern. We’ve done away with mythology. That’s a thing of the past. We use science.

      Oh do we? Ok then, I suggest that people’s beliefs motivate their actions. I suggest that said beliefs are intelligible: We can learn where they come from, what they imply about the proper human role in the world as they see it, what to expect from them, and much more.

      Or we can look down our noses at those bad thinkers over there, with their stupid and impossible beliefs, get a quick fix of spurious superiority, dismissing their beliefs as meaningful in any way, thus implying we’re the good thinkers without having to be so gauche as to say so, and call it good. Yet, like Galbraith, as accomplished as he indisputably was, simultaneously deprive our selves of a chance to learn something quite valuable about our others.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that an intensive study of wealthy families from a sociological view would be very instructive to understand their belief systems. I read once a girl talking about an ex-boyfriend who came from a very wealthy family. In their conversations, he told her that he was raised never to do anything for anyone unless there was direct material benefit for himself. I have wondered sometimes whether this was the attitude of one particular family or whether it was more indicative of the class that that family was part of.

        1. knowbuddhau

          As long as we get to actually look into the actual beliefs, and not just note them and move on. Is there nothing more to being human, does it stop at the sociological, or can we look up another level? Swear to god (ha!) sometimes I feel sorta like living in the era before it was understood that the brain has anything to do with behavior. We get to sociology and can’t imagine there being any more levels?

          There’s a whole field of comparative mythology. I’m a woefully underread amateur, sadly. Does seem, though, that the hypersecular, scientistic way of looking at things lobotomizes us.

          One thing I most like about NC is its treatment of economics as a religion. But is that it? Does that dismiss it, is there nothing to learn from that?

          A religion, as you may know, RevKev, is only the third of the four major functions of a mythology. A religion’s main goal is the furtherance of its interests and those of its members. It seeks to reshape society in its image. But by all means, yes, let’s do away with “religion.”

          IMNSHO, that’s not even a sensible proposition. Secular society sidelined religion in favor of making money, and what happened? Now we make money religiously.

          It’s not a thing, it’s a function. It’s a way human societies work. If one removes the modern scientistic lenses, and sees the world over hundreds and thousands of millenia, you see some obvious patterns in human behavior.

          Just as the ocean has been waving for a long, long, time, the earth has been peopling. We’ve been being people for a long, long time. You can see our environments in the shapes of our bodies.

          We’ve been experiencing the same grave and constant events all along: birth, development, maturation, marriage and procreation, conflicts over resources of all kinds, old age, and death, to name but a few. These, too, have left their imprint on us, in our psychophysiology.

          If you draw a silhouette of a hawk over a coop of chicks, just hatchlings who’ve never been outdoors, they run for cover. If you draw it backwards, they don’t. If you use an over-sized stimulus for some of these types of responses, you get an out-sized response.

          What makes us humans think we’re different? And what about those other three functions? ;)

  22. Edward E

    Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

    Hope your happy holidays message from the boss is better than ours. “Another event this year was our IPO (after 80 years in business) I couldn’t be more pleased, hope I’m not delusional about this, but this transaction freed us up to…”
    Dude has been holding a fire hose that sprays tons of money at stupid shyt that doesn’t work. Free, doesn’t feel like FREE, feels like we’re being run to death by a bunch of Wall Street wolves!

  23. Jen

    Happy Thanksgiving to all you family bloggers. I am ever grateful for your wit, wisdom and humor. And special thanks to our hosts for making this community possible.

  24. knowbuddhau

    [Segue into Laugh-In’s closing number set, the one with the mulit-level doors and windows for people to pop out of…]

    Hey Edward E, let’s all give thanks to money for our freedom! Wait…

  25. David Carl Grimes

    I don’t know if this has been featured in previous links, but Felix Zulauf thinks that Trump will fail in his purported quest for change – “to drain the swamp” because his administration has been coopted by the establishment Republicans. What’s new is that he thinks this failure will lead to a replacement who will be to the left of Bernie Sanders! Nina Turner, anyone?


  26. ambrit

    We have internet because we cannot afford cable. Now, if internet becomes as expensive as cable, we will become one with the millions of true ‘deplorables.’ Do not underestimate the power of cute cat videos. Something has to assuage the self destructive memes of todays’ social milieu! Without the anodyne of ‘cute’ internet subjects, the masses will revert to their previous discontented sullenness!
    I’m going long on guillotines if the internet goes ‘proprietary.’
    ambrit the lesser

  27. habenicht

    After briefly reading the autonomous vehicle link today, I wanted to point out a possible contradiction of sorts. Recently in Harper’s, there was a story “Bumpy Ride” about “Why America’s Roads are in Tatters” by Dale Maharidge.

    That story gives some perspective on the poor condition of (especially rural) roads and a trend of moving away from asphalt and moving towards gravel to save money..

    Its not clear to me if gravel roads or dis-repaired roads create problems for autonomous cars or not, but this “crapification” trend of roads appears totally absent from the autonomous vehicle discussions. Maybe its a non-issue, but I would be surprised if road conditions don’t impact the operation of autonomous vehicles.

    Here is a link to the story if anyone is interested:


    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Perhaps we will indeed have “autonomous vehicles” (for some definition of “autonomous”) but running on a greatly reduced network of paved roads.

      Reminds me of a situation in my home town: There’s a stretch of road on our local bus route — to be fair, kudos to the town for that — that’s so deteriorated the bus lurches and jerks and bangs going over it, no matter how slowly it goes. However, the front of the Town Offices was recently landscaped, and the sidewalks repaired (for about twenty feet in either direction). Priorities!

    2. Jen

      Gravel roads are not much fun if you live in an area that is prone to freezing and thawing (aka “mud season”) and or frequent hard rain storms. Our road crew is on the go pretty much 24/7 during the spring thaw, trying to keep the roads passable. Ditto after the couple of “100 year” storms we had this summer.

      @ Lambert – maybe you should live closer to the capital. I was quite astounded at the number of paving projects going on in the Augusta area when I was over there this summer. Then again, these were all state roads.

      I don’t even need the state line markers to tell me when I’ve crossed in to the granite state. My car bounces; the suspension groans and I know I’m home.

  28. Craig H.

    “Pritzker: ‘There really is no Illinois Democratic Party’”

    I was under the impression that one huge problem for the I. D. P. is that Pritzkers are such a huge influence and the family is going through inheritance fights. Here is a 2013 Forbes article about a billion dollar Pritzker v. Pritzker lawsuit:

    Liesel Pritzker Simmons Sued Her Family And Got $500 Million, But She’s No Trust Fund Baby

    In the latest edition of Damhoff Who Rules America he has a few pages on Pritzker grooming of Barack Obama.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      On the Pritzkers grooming Obama, this comment from Rev Kev seems germane:

      I read once a girl talking about an ex-boyfriend who came from a very wealthy family. In their conversations, he told her that he was raised never to do anything for anyone unless there was direct material benefit for himself. I have wondered sometimes whether this was the attitude of one particular family or whether it was more indicative of the class that that family was part of.

Comments are closed.