2:00PM Water Cooler 4/17/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Trade

“Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to arrive at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida today for a two-day visit that the White House says is expected to focus primarily on trade relations and North Korea. Indicative of the trade emphasis, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will also be in attendance” [Politico]. “The meeting, the two leaders’ third bilateral and second at Mar-a-Lago, comes as Japan is working to get an exemption from Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, which went into effect last month…. Abe could seize the opportunity to engage Trump over his more favorable comments toward the Pacific Rim trade agreement, as Japanese officials have expressed support for the United States’ re-entry.”

“After Removing US From Negotiating Process, Now Trump Suddenly Wants US Back In TPP” [TechDIrt]. “Claiming he’d only rejoin the TPP if the deal is better than what Obama negotiated is a reasonable enough claim to make, but if that was the case… why did Trump completely drop out of the negotiations and let the other countries conclude all of the negotiations without any US influence at all?…. Chances are nothing significant comes of this — certainly not a wholescale renegotiation of the TPP. Instead, we’ve just got yet another political mess.”

“On Reports That President Trump Is Open to Rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership” [Lori Wallach, Public Citizen]. “Given the central role TPP opposition played in the election and Trump widely touting withdrawal from it, despite it already being dead in Congress, to declare he had delivered on a major trade promise, his reversing course could bring short term joy to Democratic campaign operatives but for the rest of the country it would signal that Trump does not give a crap about working people and cannot be trusted on anything.”

“Small businesses caught up in dueling U.S.-China tariff threats are already scrambling to reset their supply chains. From a Pacific Northwest trucker paying $1,500 more for trailers to firms stocking up on raw materials, companies are looking for ways to cut their costs and stock up on inventories to avoid possible disruption” [Wall Street Journal]. “A recent survey found more than one-third of small-business owners believe tariffs will hurt their businesses, while just 5% said they would benefit. Some hope to pass their higher costs up through the supply chain, while others see a different solution in expanding their push for exports.”

Politics

2020

“America’s economy is back and roaring and its people are winning” [Donald Trump, USA Today]. “I want every American to have good jobs, rising paychecks and the opportunity to live a life of meaning, purpose and joy. That is why I insisted that the tax law also create “Opportunity Zones” that target investments in distressed communities. These Opportunity Zones will create more jobs in areas of our country that need them the most and benefit those whom Washington has too often left behind.” OMG. Didn’t we used to call them Enterprise Zones“? Anyhow: “On this Tax Day, America is strong and roaring back. Paychecks are climbing. Tax rates are going down. Businesses are investing in our great country. And most important, the American people are winning.” Well, I always try to have a winning smile…

“Clinton to fundraise alongside possible 2020 contenders” [The Hill].

“Bernie Sanders Slams Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince, Says Israel ‘Overreacted’ to Gaza Protests” [Haaretz]. “Overreacted” is a love tap, one that will no doubt provoke a new round of frothing and stamping from liberals and conservatives.

“Biden: I’m not ruling out 2020 run” [Politics]. This is a story?

2018 Midterms

“Poll: Support slips for Democratic-controlled Congress” [The Hill]. Polls come and go. But Clinton headlining a DNC fundraiser should totally help.

“The Republican National Committee has committed $250 million to a midterm election strategy that has one goal above all else: Preserve the party’s House majority for the rest of President Donald Trump’s first term” [RealClearPolitics]. “Facing the prospect of a blue wave this fall, the White House’s political arm is devoting unprecedented resources to building an army of paid staff and trained volunteers across more than two dozen states. … ‘Our No. 1 priority is keeping the House. We have to win the House,’ RNC political director Juston Johnson said. ‘That is the approach we took to put the budget together.'”

NY: “Cuomo campaign spokeswoman Abbey Fousher said “The governor and Sen. Sanders are in lock-step: Our focus is on passing progressive policies and 100% on beating Republicans to take back the House, and the state Senate here in New York” [New York Daily News]. Nah:

MI: But what are their demands?

MO: “Claire McCaskill roasted by Mizzou fans after tweeting mistake about Memorial Stadium” [Kansas City Star]. Oops.

2016 Post Mortem

“Ed Schultz: MSNBC Fired Me for Supporting Bernie Sanders, ‘They Were in the Tank for Hillary Clinton'” [Free Beacon]. And “Quelle surprise” going viral?

Rather like the good ship Vasa, the S.S. Clinton had too little ballast on the bottom, and too much rigging on the top….

New Cold War

“10 Questions That ABC Didn’t Ask Comey” [RealClearPolitics]. Worth noting, though notbody seems to be noting it, that this stage of Comey’s book tour is being conducted on ABC by “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos, a Clinton operative. It’s like all these people know each other.

American exceptionalism for the win:

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Debunking the myth that ‘identity politics’ is bad for the Democratic Party” [Vox]. “As the Democratic Party struggles to regain its once-solid national majority, journalists, academics, commentators, and politicos keep reverting to an irresistible narrative: that the party’s commitment to racial equality has alienated it from the white working and middle classes — perhaps irreversibly. As a result of this misstep, Democrats now seem to be the “party of minorities, the marginalized, and their young and elite liberal patrons.” It’s not clear who the people doing the “reverting” really are, but for anybody thinking seriously about the future of the party, that’s not the narrative at all. Adolph Reed:

So, if we have to choose between those two [parties], obviously for most of us who are committed to the ideals of justice and equality, the one that’s committed to multiculturalism and diversity is less bad than the one that’s opposed to them. But the deeper problem is that they’re both actively committed to maintaining and intensifying economic inequality, and as I and my friend and colleague Walter Benn Michaels have pointed out tirelessly over the last decade or so, that that ideal of a just society is one in which one percent of the population can control ninety percent of the stuff, but it would be just if twelve percent of the one percent were black, fourteen percent Latino, and half of them were women, and whatever percentage were gay, and what that means, then, is that most Black people, and most Latinos, and most white people, and most Asian Americans would would be stuck holding like the end of the stick with the stuff on it that I assume I can’t call by its right name.

That is the real critique of identity politics, the alternative narrative that Vox carefully airbrushes away.

“Power to the party: Why political reforms can be bad for democracy” [Jon Ward, Yahoo News]. “Democrats are resisting empowering their own party officials as they head into the 2018 midterms and toward a 2020 showdown with President Trump. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has made moves to help congressional candidates in Democratic primaries who it felt had the best chance of beating a Republican opponent. This has sparked howls of outrage.” As it should. In the most charitable interpretation possible, the party operatives who lost 1000 seats over eight years and all three branches of government were totally “empowered”; just not accountable in any way. The writer seems to have a very odd idea of how parties work.

Stats Watch

Industrial Production, March 2018: [Econoday]. “Industrial production rose a very solid 0.5 percent in March for a 4.3 percent year-on-year rate with mining once again leading the report… Now the not-so-impressive news. Manufacturing production managed only a 0.1 percent gain which is just short of Econoday’s already modest consensus…. Tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum during the month don’t appear to have had any measurable effect in this report though they probably didn’t help construction supplies.” And: “Industrial production increased in March to 107.2. This is 23% above the recession low, and 2% above the pre-recession peak” [Calculated Risk].

Housing Starts, March 2018: “The residential construction business had a very strong March” [Econoday]. “Multi-family units are the standout in the March report…. One clear negative, perhaps tied to weather, is a slowing in completions which fell 5.1 percent to 1.217 million. This is not good news for a housing market starved of supply.” But: “Multi-family is volatile month-to-month, and has been mostly moving sideways the last few years (although moving up over the last few months)” [Calculated Risk]. And but: “The Commerce Department’s construction reports are based on small samples and data are often heavily revised. Still, activity is churning higher, even though it’s slow and uneven” [MarketWatch]. “Builders aren’t just keeping buyers hungry with low supply. They’re constrained by higher-priced materials, and less-available labor and land.”

Employment Situation: “Labor Market Survey Reveals Greater Job Stability and that Fewer Labor Market Participants Searched for Jobs” [Federal Reserve Bank of New York]. “The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data today released the March 2018 SCE Labor Market Survey, which shows a decline in the proportion of individuals who searched for a job, and in the average full-time offer wage. Satisfaction with nonwage benefits and promotion opportunities both improved slightly. Regarding expectations, the average expected wage offer (conditional on receiving one) increased while expectations about the likelihood of receiving job offers continued to decline. The average reservation wage—the lowest wage at which respondents would be willing to accept a new job—jumped up, reaching its highest level since November 2016.” From the original: “The average reservation wage—the lowest wage at which respondents would be willing to accept a new job—jumped to $60,274.” Holy moly!

Commodities: “All inventory may not be created equal, even a basic commodity like iron ore. There’s enough iron ore sitting at Chinese ports right now to produce more than 100 million automobiles…., casting a shadow over iron ore prices that have tumbled nearly 15% this year” [Wall Street Journal]. “The rising mountain of iron ore at China’s docks has surged by more than a third over the past year, to some 161 million tons, with stocks growing as the country’s steel industry recalibrates to reduce capacity and cut pollution. High-quality iron ore has become a hot commodity as mills try to produce steel more efficiently.”

Shipping: “Tighter capacity and more freight to move are among the highlights of the latest Morgan Stanley Freight Pulse 49 survey. Shippers, though, are retreating from their rosy view of the economy, dropping to a survey reading of 7.3 on the state of the economy. The last reading, in June 2017, was 7.4. Morgan Stanley notes that the reading is still the second-highest on record, though” [FreightWaves]. “The survey found that shippers remain bullish on truckload volume and pricing with expectations of volume and pricing increases continuing. The survey believes truckload pricing will rise about 7%, up from 5.2% in the last survey, and intermodal pricing will also increase about 4.5%, up from 3.3% in the last survey. Shippers, though, remain concerned about service levels.”

Shipping: “U.S. freight operators appear to be on the cusp of one of their most profitable periods in years. J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. JBHT -0.79% reported a 15% boost in first-quarter net profit and the a 20% gain in revenue, …. a sign in the first logistics earnings report of the season that operators are seeing strong shipping demand drive growth to the bottom line” [Wall Sreet Journal]. “The demand seen in various weekly and monthly measures has defied the usual lull at the start of the year.”

Shipping: “A monthly index of trucking conditions published since 1992 by consultancy FTR hit an all-time high in February, adding further evidence to what some believe is a one-for-the-ages economic scenario for the industry” [DC Velocity]. “FTR said the current conditions are likely to last at least through the second quarter, which is seasonally a strong period for trucking as warmer weather leads to more construction activity and, by extension, shipping. The first-quarter figures are remarkable in that the period is historically soft for freight demand.”

Shipping: “Volga-Dnepr to pull out of NATO airlift contract for AN-124 capacity” [The Loadstar]. “Volga-Dnepr is to cease providing AN-124 capacity for EU and NATO states under the Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (Salis) contract it shares with Antonov Airlines. The move comes just over a year after the Russian freighter operator announced the end of the near-decade-long Ruslan collaboration to market AN-124 capacity with Ukraine’s Antonov. Citing French media, Kommersant reports that the cessation of operations will take effect on 1 January 2019, a move thought to be in response to western sanctions on Russian companies.”

Shipping: “South Carolina officially opens inland port facility in Dillon” [DC Velocity]. “The inland port concept, which is used by states like Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina, is based upon direct rail service connecting each state’s ports with customers in interior markets, rather than relying on trucks to move goods to and from port facilities.”

Transportation: “FAA Limits Boeing 787 Operations” [MarketWatch]. “The FAA ruling, published in the Federal Register on Monday, notes that a total of 14 U.S.-registered 787s are covered by the [Airtworthiness Directive (AD)] and the total cost to inspect the engines on all 14 planes is $1,190. That is not the big issue…. The bigger issue for Rolls-Royce and Boeing is how to replace engines that fail the inspections with a minimum of disruption to their airline customers’ routes and schedules. According to a report in The Seattle Times, repairing a faulty engine takes between 10 and 40 days, not including the time needed to transport the engine to the repair facility.”

Fodder for the Bulls: “IMF lifts U.S. growth outlook on tax-cut view” [MarketWatch]. “In its world economic outlook, the IMF lifted its U.S. growth estimate for 2018 to 2.9% and its 2019 estimate to 2.7%, both increases of two-tenths of a percentage point. It kept unchanged its world economic output estimate from January at 3.9% for both this year and next year. The IMF pointed out the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the $1.5 trillion tax cut law, gives a temporary allowance for companies to fully expense investment. This is a strong incentive, the IMF finds, for companies to push along investment projects. That, in turn, should lift employment, which should increase consumption and also prices — which means the Federal Reserve will also lift interest rates more aggressively. However, momentum will be reduced starting in 2020…” Hmm. 2020…. 2020…

Five Horsemen: “Microsoft is not far from a record high in late morning trading” [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood].

Five Horsemen Apr 17 2018

NakedCap Mania-Panic Index: “The mania-panic index improved to 49 (worry) after yesterday’s market advance” [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood]. (The NakedCap mania-panic index is an equally-weighted average of seven technical indicators derived from stock indexes, volatility (VIX), Treasuries, junk bonds, equity options, and internal measures of new highs vs new lows and up volume vs down volume … each converted to a scale of 0 to 100 before averaging, using thirty years of history for five of the seven series.)

Mania panic index Apr 16 2018

Facebook Fracas

“I was one of the first people on Facebook. I shouldn’t have trusted Mark Zuckerberg [Guardian]. “No, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t give me herpes. But in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica revelations, I have been thinking back to my decision to sign up for thefacebook.com on the site’s fifth day in existence, and I am struck by the parallels between Zuckerberg’s creation and a pesky (if generally benign) virus. Facebook isn’t going to kill me, but it has wormed its way into all of my relationships, caused me to infect other people, and I will never, ever be fully rid of it.” Oh, but it gets better. “Watching him dissemble in front of Congress, I couldn’t help but see him as one of those fresh-faced boys at Harvard who transitioned seamlessly from their New England prep schools to the Ivy League, and excelled at maintaining steady eye contact with the professor while they opined about books they hadn’t read.” Ouch.

Gaia

“First Nations and cities double down on pipeline opposition” [BOE Report]. “Several First Nations and the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby have joined together to redouble their opposition to the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan says the expansion project “short circuits” the legal process and civil disobedience against the pipeline it will only continue to grow. Corrigan says he’s embarrassed that Canada’s prime minister and a premier of our country are kowtowing to an American multinational oil company that isn’t playing by the rules in its effort to push through the pipeline.” Looks like the bloom is off the rose for Justin…

Water

“Drought Returns to Huge Swaths of U.S., Raising Fears of Shortages” [Governing]. “Nearly a third of the continental United States was in drought as of April 10, more than three times the coverage of a year ago. And the specter of a drought-ridden summer has focused renewed urgency on state and local conservation efforts, some of which would fundamentally alter Americans’ behavior in how they use water…. One critical water resource threatened by shortages is the Colorado River System, which includes parts of seven states and provides water for up to 40 million people. In the absence of ‘timely action to ensure sustainability,’ the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said in a 2012 assessment of the river basin, ‘there exists a strong potential for significant imbalances between water supply and demand in coming decades.'”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“7 Former Racists Share Their Stories Of What Changed Their Minds” [All That TV]. So essentialism is wrong. Who knew?

“Beyoncé Unveils New Merch at Coachella” [Teen Vogue]. Queens. What a good idea. Looks like a great show, though….

Data:

Police State Watch

“Sheriff of America’s Deadliest Police Force Caught on Camera Admitting Killing Suspects Is ‘Better Financially'” [The Root]. “‘When a deputy shoots someone in the streets, which way do you think is better financially—to cripple them or kill them—for the county?’ [Kern County Sherif Donny Youngblood asked. When someone replied, ‘Kill them,’ Youngblood responded, Absolutely. Because if they’re crippled, we get to take care of them for life. And that cost goes way up.'”

Book Nook

“Dissecting the madness of economic reason” [ROAR]. “The key contribution of The Madness of Economic Reason revolves around an attempt to visualize this dynamic logic of capital by means of an analogy from the natural sciences: the hydrological cycle. Like water, Harvey observes, capital constantly moves around. Moreover, as it circulates, it continuously changes form — without ever losing its essence. At the starting point of the circulation process, capital appears as money. It then reappears the next moment as means of production and labor power, which are in turn mobilized to produce a commodity for sale on the market, after which capital returns to its original form as money. This money is subsequently redistributed to different claimants (as wages, taxes, profit, rent and interest), only to be thrown back into circulation through consumption, state spending and productive investment…. This visualization allows Harvey to reconstruct the analytical framework presented in Capital as a coherent and integrated whole.” With handy diagram. Although the “hydrological cycle” does remind me of “The Glooper” in Terry Pratchett’s Making Money

Our Famously Free Press

“We wanted answers about Pulse. Instead, we were fed lies about Noor Salman” [The Orlando Weekly]. Bad narrative, bad.

A photograph thread on the Los Angeles Times building, saddening for anybody who’s ever worked at a newspaper:

Class Warfare

“The Special Status of Union Stewards” [Labor Notes], “A widely accepted labor relations canon allows employers to discipline workers who fail to act respectfully toward management. Some legal treatises call this the “master-servant rule.” But if stewards were subject to this rule while engaging in union activity, they would face an intolerable risk: speaking up for a member could put their own jobs in jeopardy. To resolve this dilemma, labor law accords a special status to union representatives.”

“On the Distribution of Wealth” [Money and Banking]. “Wealth affects welfare in at least two key ways. First, in the presence of borrowing constraints, it provides a buffer against fluctuations of income, allowing households to smooth consumption in the face of temporary bouts of illness or unemployment. Second, it provides the basis for household spending in retirement. With populations aging in many advanced economies (and soon in China), the role of wealth as a retirement buffer is becoming increasingly important. As we will see, the distribution of wealth is far less equal than that of income. Moreover, recent research shows that, following the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2007-2009, the U.S. wealth distribution has become decidedly more unequal.” Third… Power? Even dynastic power?

News of The Wired

“A Casino Was Hacked Thanks To The Internet Of Broken Things & A Fish Tank Thermometer” [TechDIrt]. “[Nicole Eagan, the CEO of cybersecurity firm Darktrace] gave one memorable anecdote about a case Darktrace worked on in which a casino was hacked via a thermometer in an aquarium in the lobby. ‘The attackers used that to get a foothold in the network,’ she said. ‘They then found the high-roller database and then pulled that back across the network, out the thermostat, and up to the cloud.'”

“More than half your body is not human” [BBC]. Well, “human” is just a word…

Moar memage:

* * *

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 place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (local to oakland):

local to oakland writes: “I used gardens to organize my tourism in Japan.” Sounds like a good plan!

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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.

91 comments

  1. blennylips

    I avoided the granfalloons[1] and found my karass[2]. The best wampeters[3] too!

    Thanks to all the NC commentariat.

    Cat’s Cradle. Is there anything it can’t do?

    Man created the checkerboard; God created the karass.

    If you find your life tangled up with somebody else’s life for no very logical reasons that person may be a member of your karass.

    Likes and dislikes have nothing to do with it.

    Some titles: (unique enough – don’t need no stinkin’ linkn’)

    The Books of Bokonon

    Harvey Taylor: Kurt Vonnegut’s “War Preparers Anonymous”

    Sing Along With Vonnegut, At The End Of The World

    On the Brink of Destruction, Singing to the Beat of a New Religion

    53rd Calypso 1973

    Calypsos of Bokonon

    more from the book…

    On “the heartbreaking necessity of lying about reality,
    and the heartbreaking impossibility of lying about it:”

    Midget, midget, midget, how he struts and winks,
    For he knows a man’s as big as what he hopes and thinks!

    The Final Sentence

    If I were a younger man, I would write a history of human stupidity; and I would climb to the top of Mount McCabe and lie down on my back with my history for a pillow; and I would take from the ground some of the blue-white poison that makes statues of men; and I would make a statue of myself, lying on my back, grinning horribly, and thumbing my nose at You Know Who.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [1] If you wish to study a granfalloon,
    Just remove the skin of a toy balloon

    [2] A karass is a “team [of people] that do[es] God’s Will without ever discovering what they are doing”. [ 1 ] Humanity is organized into many such teams. One can try to discover “the limits of [one’s] karass and the nature of the work God Almighty has had it do … but such investigations are bound to be incomplete.”

    [3] A wampeter is “the pivot of a karass, around which the souls of the members of the karass revolve.” A karass has two wampeters at any time, one waxing and one waning. (emphasis mine)

    Reply
        1. clinical wasteman

          Three conclusions (mutually reinforcing)
          1. I must re-read Vonnegut wholesale. Was once my absolute favourite writer (since when, no less esteem for him, but others added on same plane); had barely noticed that 30 years have elapsed since then.
          2. This poetic KV digest is perfect (& doesn’t depend on knowledge of every allusion, because I’ve forgotten half of them). Midnight Breakfast of Champions.
          3. Thanks, blennylips

          Reply
          1. sporble

            “Yes, yes!”
            (says Lyman Elders Knowles, while grabbing his own behind in elevator #5 of the “re-search” laboratory)

            Reply
          2. blennylips

            You are welcome and kind, clinical wasteman.

            I mean come on! A page full of matches for

            “granfalloon” OR “karass” site:nakedcapitalism.com

            but (until now) not a one for

            “wampeter” site:nakedcapitalism.com?

            Reply
  2. MichaelSF

    Comey told him “we’re not that kind of killers”

    No, we’ve got “a kinder, gentler, machine-gun hand”. People should feel honored to be killed by our exceptional killers.

    I guess that goes along with the difference between the usual brutal authoritarian dictator and OUR brutal authoritarian dictators. Our’s have extra added Exceptionalism (TM).

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      I have only two questions question on the Comey interview:

      1, Why did you believe the task of resolving Loretta Lynch’s conflict of interest not belong to Obama?

      2. Mr Comey, Who died and put you in charge?

      Follow procedure and wait (The bureaucrat’s creed).

      Reply
    2. Sid Finster

      Well, as long as our killers have the proper representation by women, minorities, and LBGTQwhatever, why, people ought to feel honored to be tortured and murdered by us!

      Reply
      1. diptherio

        I’ve recently decided that I no longer approve of allowing LGBTQI individuals into the military. However, for the record, I do not approve of allowing hetero individuals to join the military either. I’ll change my mind when the Department of Defense starts living up to its name and focuses on defending our country rather than attacking others.

        Reply
        1. Carla

          Remember former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s proposed Department of Peace? He was ridiculed for that, but now it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. Meanwhile, Kucinich is running for the Democrat nomination for Governor of Ohio. To the amazement of any Clevelander over about 30, he received the endorsement of the local paper, the Plain Dealer, once among his greatest detractors:
          http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/04/dennis_kucinich_in_the_democra.html

          Reply
          1. grayslady

            Thanks so much for the link to the CPD interview of candidates. Many of the issues faced by Ohio are faced by other states as well, so I appreciated hearing different suggestions, a number of which were well thought out, innovative and had real numbers attached. Other than Cordray and Kucinich, I don’t really know anything about the other two candidates, but it sounds as though this race has some individuals truly committed to improving conditions for the citizens of Ohio–unlike Illinois, where the choice is between two corrupt and incompetent billionaires.

            Reply
      2. clinical wasteman

        “We’re not that kind of killers”!
        So the Comey-Trump split comes when Comey objects to the slander that the FBI might be merely Putin-level assassins.

        Reply
    3. John k

      He’s not talking about the quality of the kill, which may be subject to dispute, but the quantity, which is not.
      We kill far and away more than anybody else. And not just in far off foreign wars but right here.
      33k gun deaths. And pols want to arm teachers and maybe students.
      100k? opioid deaths.
      Granted, if you think we should count the far off foreigners that few here think count (unless somebody claims the worse than death dreaded chemicals) we’re talking exceptional. Russians, Chinese, even Saudis and Israel are just pikers.

      Reply
    4. WheresOurTeddy

      We’re the kind of killers who have sheriffs who admit it’s cheaper to just kill people than merely maim them for life, that’s the kind we are

      Reply
    5. Aumua

      We’re not that kind of killers

      Wouldn’t it be “those kind of killers” or else “that kind of killer“?

      Perhaps Trump’s grammar sensibilities were offended by the awkward phrasing.

      Reply
  3. Roger Smith

    “a concerned #millenial of color”

    This is why I don’t have faith that El-Sayed is viable in the state. Not because he is Middle Eastern (Egyptian–Also, technically, isn’t Middle Eastern considered Caucasian?) or young, but because this nonsense is part of his messaging.

    Personally I was concerned by the photos of him and Bill Clinton rubbing elbows on his Facebook account.

    Reply
    1. taunger

      Huh. I took it as welcome notice that someone that fits nicely into the Dem identity politics focused more on policy (it did come before his self-identification) to enact broad-based justice than intersectionalism.

      I read it as – walk the walk, or it doesn’t matter how young or brown I am.

      Reply
    2. Procopius

      Well, Middle Eastern would be considered Semitic, the same as Jews, so I presume they would not be considered “white.” On the other hand I recall Hitler wanted to ally with Arabs, probably both to get at the oil in their countries and also to help kill Jews. I seem to recall the Mufti of Jerusalem was one of the more prominent celebrities he courted. I think the Aga Khan, as well. On the other hand, before Nasser, Egyptians regarded themselves as Copts, not Arabs, and the majority of Egyptians regarded Arabs with contempt. I haven’t the faintest idea what “racial” designation would apply to Copts, but I’m quite sure they are/were not Aryan.

      Reply
      1. John D.

        It’s bizarre. She’s had two bites at the apple already, and bombed out both times. As unscrupulous as the rest of the Dem party “leadership” are, they must also have their own personal, selfish ambitions to meet. Why are they allowing her to keep hogging the spotlight like this? She’s doing them no good at all…and if she is planning to launch yet another attempt at the White House…

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          She and Bill literally own the Democrat Party Apparat, through the Clinton Foundation. It’s the Mel Brooks version of the ‘Golden Rule’: “He who has the gold makes the rules.”
          I can imagine Hilz’ mantra: “It’s good to be the queen. It’s good to be the queen….”

          Reply
        2. Procopius

          Could it have anything to do with the “five highly-paid consultants” who are also executives of the DNC? Whatever happened to that story, anyway? The MSM just quietly disappeared it?

          Reply
    1. Kurt Sperry

      Knowing the alternative was Hillary Clinton is the only thing that has made the Trump presidency bearable.

      Reply
  4. Allegorio

    “On Reports That President Trump Is Open to Rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership” [Lori Wallach, Public Citizen].”

    Amazing the results a simple raid on the President’s lawyer’s office brought! We also have a different Congress from the one that wouldn’t pass the TPP. Massive tax cuts, Investor Dispute Settlement. Boy O Boy President “The” Donald sure has delivered for his constituency!Oh Wait.

    Reply
    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      The six states where international trade as a share of each state’s GDP is highest all voted “Red” in the 2016 presidential election.

      https://howmuch.net/articles/international-trade-as-a-share-of-state-GDP

      Unfortunate that U.S. negotiators are simply unable to do anything about that Investor-State Dispute Settlement feature that transfers national sovereignty to corporate-dominated arbitration panels in the TPP and other trade agreements. Seems their hands are tied. One would think this could be rectified through “The Art of the Deal”, but evidently that’s not the case.

      Reply
  5. Summer

    “Dissecting the madness of economic reason” [ROAR]

    See the “free gifts of nature” input at the bottom?
    People can be included in that too.
    The reproduction of the system is valued more than people.

    Reply
  6. MRLost

    Dear Democrats – Your future is progressive. That means …

    Not one word about ending the stupid wars. Not one word about cutting the defense budget. What is it with these millenial types?

    Reply
    1. diptherio

      Oh Puh-lease! Like no Gen-Xer or Boomer “progressive” ever failed to call for an end to our stupid wars. Really now? Being all in for overseas militarism is something that cuts across generational boundries (like literally everything else…apart from age).

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If he failed to call for an end to our wars, he failed that as a human being.

        And a human being he is. I think here, we get distracted when he bought into that marketing category, and identified himself as a millennial.

        Reply
        1. clinical wasteman

          yes, the omission of the war industry and the necessity of its one-off, terminal downsizing is abysmal, but so is any assumption that this person represents what anthropologists would call his “age cohort”.
          Who here of any “generation” would want to be represented by the noisy niche that openly embraces “boomer”/”x”/”y” stereotypes?

          Reply
      2. Wukchumni

        Sometimes i’ll X-dress to try and fit into another generation, so as to not take the heat for being a boomer. It’s tiring draping your body in temporary henna tats and complaining about the 2.7 jobs you’re working at to make 1 income, but I think I pass in public.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          I’ll go out on a rotten limb and suppose that class considerations trump all generational flim flam.
          Come on down to the Nortenyo Deep South. “Passing” has lost its’ stigma here.
          Boy howdy y’all!

          Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If reminded, I’m hopefully he will amend it to Free Single Payer, and, instead of Free College, Free Uncreditialled Lifetime Learning*, and maybe adding Universal Basic Income.

      *That could mean, for example, quitting school and learning from organic farmers or shepherds.

      Reply
      1. Summer

        If they need to pump money into anything it’s K thru 12 – piblic schools.
        The class divisions start there. People are supposed to subsidize the ones that can afford the better K thru 12 schools thus pay for better outcomes?

        Lets get the competition up on those pricing others out in the K thru 12.

        Then talk about college.

        Reply
    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      He’s running for DemParty nominee for the Governor of Michigan election. The questions you raise are not something a governor can do anything about. So why expect a wannabe governor to talk about the DoD budget or the National Federal wars?

      Reply
    1. Alejandro

      Interesting that “Comments are disabled for this video.”

      maps are not the terrain…restraints on users are not restraints on the issuer…”natural rate” v. 5 more bones…

      Reply
  7. djrichard

    Fodder for the Bulls … which means the Federal Reserve will also lift interest rates more aggressively. However, momentum will be reduced starting in 2020…” Hmm. 2020…. 2020…

    So I’m seeing that the 13 week treasury seems to be recovering its momentum again. Until recently it was in a lull since the March rate hike by the Fed Reserve. If it gets back to trend (25 basis points every 2 months), we’ll eclipse the 10Y yield toot suite. Say 8 to 10 months down the road. But then it could take up to a year for the shot to the heart to actually reach the brain (to cop from what Edgar Rice Burroughs said about what happens when shooting dinosaurs). So who knows, 2020 sounds good.

    If the Fed Reserve stage manages this right, they should be able to hide their finger prints, so that everybody is pointing at trade as a culprit.

    I’m thinking though that the bigger issue for the Fed Reserve though is that they haven’t lined up enough bag holders (muppets), to be left holding the bag when the big money exits. Like they did when they removed the punch bowl (inverted the yield curve) that was fueling the dot com bubble and the housing bubble. There were plenty of bag holders then. This time, it might be some important people that end up holding the bag. Not good if you’re the Federal Reserve. Which might actually cause the “brain of the dinosaur” to react much more quickly than one year.

    Reply
    1. Jim Haygood

      In the past week, the 2-year Treasury yield has been thundering skyward like a Saturn V rocket. It’s now just 42 basis points from exceeding the 10-year yield which has been declining since Feb 21st.

      St Louis Fed president Bullard gets it — the flattening yield curve is flashing POLICY ERROR like a red neon sign. “Tears of a dove,” mock Bullard’s colleagues. They actually lied in the FOMC minutes, claiming a total consensus for hiking rates again and again. Bullard publicly protested.

      Recession 2020 is almost baked in the cake. Once again purblind central planners are sailing the Titanic into an easily visible iceberg, as the band strikes up “Nearer My Gold To Thee” on the tilting deck.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        I’m guessing that certain characters have locked in options on the few lifeboats available. Meanwhile, the Cryptos Kidz will be singing “We’re In The Money” as they slip beneath the waves. Will China be able to rebalance their balance of trade before the West defaults on everything? Tune in May 1-2 for the next exciting installment!

        Reply
  8. Bugs Bunny

    “Sheriff of America’s Deadliest Police Force Caught on Camera Admitting Killing Suspects Is ‘Better Financially’”

    Isn’t this the “because markets” tenet of neoliberalism taken to its end point?

    And also evil.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      One of my friends was wrongfully arrested and incarcerated in Kern County. Middle-aged white woman in a rural area of the county.

      Her crime: Setting off fireworks at a 4th of July party. And she acted in a “threatening” matter to the firefighters and sheriff’s deputies who showed up.

      Turned out that the guy who identified her as the “culprit” was a problematic member of the fire department who made up the whole story. Eventually, my friend heard that he died of alcoholism.

      She had to spend something like $40k on a defense attorney to get her name cleared.

      Reply
    2. JBird

      It was informative when the Sheriff also said killing the suspect also made the family “go away.” Well yes, grief can make someone go away as it is hard to do anything when part of your heart is just gone; I just find using grief as part of damage control unseemly somehow.

      Despite the possibility of unfairly dehumanizing the man, I wonder, and ask, if the man is even capable of feeling grief.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        What if that Sheriff and/or its Deputies bereave the sort of family who waits for a while and then “reaches out and touches” the Sheriff and/or its Deputies in return?

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          Amazingly, there’s been very little of that, that I’m aware of – though it does happen, not usually the family but random attacks by the deranged (because you have to be, to take on the police).

          I assume it’s coming, though. “No justice, no peace.” The sort of thing that could lead to a civil war.

          Reply
    3. Darthbobber

      This point was reached long ago. My (now late) mom worked in the early 50s as the linotype operator/truck dispatcher for a small town newspaper/independent oil company. She said the owners gave a little blurb about the lower liability associated with fatal accidents in the event of- God forbid- an accident.

      Reply
    4. WheresOurTeddy

      the scene in Fight Club about the auto recall ratio comes to mind…if the wrongful death payouts are cheaper than the recall, buckle up…

      Reply
  9. Wukchumni

    I cut my eye teeth growing up reading the LA Times, and it taught me the most important story was probably on page 9, but you had to read between the lines and a patchwork quilt of advertisements interspersed betwixt. The newspaper had far flung correspondents and bureau desks all over the globe, and while it wasn’t the best newspaper in the world, wasn’t too shabby either.

    I cringe when I open their webpage as of late, there’s the occasional decent story, with about 88% fluff making up the remainder.

    All throughout my life, downtown L.A. was a place to be avoided, there really was no there, there. Especially after dark.

    Now that it’s finally hep, the LAT is saying hasta L.A. vista to it’s downtown roots, bay-bee.

    …funny that

    Reply
    1. Elizabeth Burton

      The LAT became suspect when I learned it had accepted a big chunk of change from a huge charter-school pushing billionaire to launch an “education department” that, to no surprise, ran glowing articles about how charter schools would save the city.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        I thought he worked somewhere else – Sacramento?
        Edit: From Wikip: Cleveland Plain Dealer
        San Jose Mercury News

        Reply
  10. Lee

    Water

    “Drought Returns to Huge Swaths of U.S., Raising Fears of Shortages” [Governing]….

    Talking to an undergraduate college student friend of mine who decided to write a paper on the relationship between water use and availability of the resource, focusing on a particularly parched California county. After weeks of digging, he can find very little data. Having dipped my own toe into these shallow waters, I have the impression that, particularly where ground water is concerned, woefully little has been done to gather this crucial information either at state or local jurisdictions.

    If I’m mistaken in this impression, please advise and provide sources for said data.

    Reply
    1. Jim Haygood

      This 497-page study of the Verde River watershed by the Arizona Dept of Water Resources is incredibly detailed, down to plotting well locations and mapping irrigation systems.

      https://tinyurl.com/y87s8uyh

      But it’s from the bubble year 2000, when states felt flush and Greenspan forecasted federal budget surpluses forevermore. Doubtful that ADWR has the funding to even update it now.

      Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      The murkiest thing about groundwater in California, is it is to be regulated by law in 2020, the only little detail being that nobody knows the actual details of what’s going down. The original bill was passed in 2015.

      I think it’s the main reason that oh so many new fruit and nut trees went into the ground right in the middle of the drought in the CVBB, as the farmers thinking was that anything pre-existing planted, will be grandfathered in under the new H20 aegis.

      Reply
      1. Ed Miller

        Water: As one who once followed oil and gas a bit I have recently wondered about whether horizontal drilling, as is done to extract hydrocarbons using a single well head, is being done for ground water pumping in the central valley of California. To me this would likely amount to theft of your neighbor’s water, and since this could only be financed by the wealthier landowners the impact on smaller operations could be fatal. A new high tech water war? Having once lived in LA and somewhat familiar with the theft of the Owens Valley water for the city I am always suspicious of the handling of water issues in the state.

        Does anyone have insight on this? I have no self-interest in this fight but I am interested. In particular I am thinking of one couple living large in BH who have been mentioned before at NC. Don’t recall their names off hand.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          It’s more of a race to the bottom, say farmer Ed has 3,000 pistachio trees, and next door farmer Fred has 4,000 pomelo trees, and both had 600 foot wells, but Ed’s was getting a little cranky as far as output goes, so he spent $200k to sink a new well to 1,500 feet, and what can Fred do, aside from retaliate in a like fashion.

          This happened all over the Central Valley during the drought.

          Reply
          1. JBird

            There have been examples of small communities that have used just well water until a new mega farm or a farm that went with pistachio trees dug those 1,500 foot wells. If you are some really poor community, you won’t have the money for deeper wells. Then it’s bottle water time. The farmers/investors are effectively using the water of all their neighbors as well as their own.

            Reply
      2. JBird

        Water politics here often use (barely) metaphorical shivs especially when the water distribution system was constructed, and money, not the needs of the plebs is the deciding factor; with water slightly less necessary than air, sometimes it goes the other way.

        During the last several droughts the various water departments reduced or just flat out cut the water to some wealthy and/or connected people’s mega mansions, water parks, palatial gardens, and hobby farms. The caterwauling and outrage of some was entertaining as well as disturbing. “I paid my taxes and I want my water!”

        Anyways, even the homeless and wandering van owners need water, never mind the other 35,000,000 Californians. I think those recent tree planters might be disappointed especially when, not if, another multi year arrives. It might be a few years in, but if Los Angeles, San Jose, or even San Francisco goes dry, those orchard owners are toast.

        Cue “I paid my taxes. Give me my water!”

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          In any normal year, well water accounts for around 50% of the farmer’s needs as far as irrigation goes, it was closer to 100% in the heat of the drought, as they were allocated bupkis in terms of state allotment.

          Very few orchards went toes up during the drought, only in a few places where groundwater isn’t there-such as Terra Bella, which lost a ton of citrus trees on account of.

          Other farmers took advantage of owning aged orchards, and pulled them out and replanted new trees, greatly lessening their water use in the process.

          It’s quite something to see a mature 2,000 navel orange tree orchard, with every tree about 15 feet tall and about 15 feet wide, and then over the course of a few days, every tree is mechanically pulled out and piled up with others in a series of burn piles, followed by 2,000 new trees going in, all in the space of about a week.

          Reply
  11. Jim Haygood

    A couple of weeks ago when Tesla Model 3 production first exceeded 2,000 a week, some of us cynical old curmudgeons scoffed that it was just an end-of-period push to buff up first quarter results. Confirmed:

    Tesla Inc. is temporarily suspending production of the Model 3 sedan. The company informed employees that the pause will last four to five days to improve automation and address bottlenecks.

    Tesla employees are expected to use vacation days or stay home without pay during the Model 3 downtime. The shutdown is taking place a week after Musk gave CBS This Morning a tour of Tesla’s assembly plant and confabulated said the company should be able to sustain producing 2,000 Model 3 sedans a week.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-17/tesla-temporarily-pauses-production-of-the-model-3-sedan-again

    Reality is closing in fast on Musk’s long-running scam. Tesla is using close to a billion dollars of customer deposits, and several billion of accounts payable to vendors, to finance its negative working capital.

    Looks like Tesla may the first post-Bubble III automotive victim. Approaching recessions are notorious for cleansing the auto industry of weak players.

    One hundred dollars buys this Stutz Bearcat — lost everything on Wall Street (hand-lettered sign, Nov 1929)

    Reply
    1. Elizabeth Burton

      This debacle is particularly outraging to me because a close friend and spouse scraped their pennies to put a deposit on one of these vehicles. They could be making extremely good use of that money right now.

      Reply
      1. Jim Haygood

        Oh wait, this just in:

        Starting today at Giga and tomorrow at Fremont, we will be stopping for three to five days to do a comprehensive set of upgrades. This should set us up for Model 3 production of 3000 to 4000 per week next month.

        Another set of upgrades starting in late May should be enough to unlock production capacity of 6000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of June.

        As part of the drive towards 6k, all Model 3 production at Fremont will move to 24/7 operations. This means that we will be adding another shift to general assembly, body and paint. Please refer anyone you know who you think meets the Tesla bar for talent, drive and trust. Between Fremont and Giga, Tesla will be adding about 400 people per week for several weeks.

        — Elon Mush [sic]

        https://tinyurl.com/ybve9g8a

        When the going gets tough, the tough escalate their hyperbole to the outer solar system … and beyond. “Six sigma, six k,” the engineers solemnly intone, casting aside subversive thoughts of 3:30 a.m. quality screw-ups.

        Gonna be some sweet sounds
        Coming down on the night shift

        — Commodores, Night Shift

        Reply
        1. ewmayer

          That delusional (the Germans have a great term here, Schnappsidee, literally a “Schnapps idea”) statement from Mushmouth including the reference to the “Tesla bar” has me wondering about whether Elon was tipsy at the time. Perhaps the more apt bromide would be

          “When the load gets tough, the tough get loaded.” So let’s meet at the Tesla bar, all!

          Reply
    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      Tesla employees are expected to use vacation days or stay home without pay during the Model 3 downtime.

      Does Elon think these guys are teachers?

      Then come back and volunteer in other divisions!11! Have I missed something and he’s been trying to staff a plant with unskilled, interchangeable drones?

      Reply
  12. Freda Miller

    Attention webmaster: The persistent offer of a Samsung Galaxy phone is back when using my Android phone to access NC.

    Reply
    1. Elizabeth Burton

      Do you have a malware app on your phone to get rid of the uglies that seem to get into Android on a regular basis?

      Reply
  13. jaypee

    [Nicole Eagan, the CEO of cybersecurity firm Darktrace] gave one memorable anecdote about a case Darktrace worked on in which a casino was hacked via a thermometer in an aquarium in the lobby

    Perhaps better filed under The Bezzle…. Let me relate this little story…. Back in ’99 I was a technologist at San Mateo’s E-Stamp. We invented a way to print postage directly to the envelope. It’s like printing money, how could you fail? Well….E-Stamp raised $85 million in an IPO (we’re all gonna be RICH!), and promptly blew HALF of that on….. a superbowl ad. And about 6 months later, IIRC, the company was gone with the wind. The genius behind this? None other than Nicole Eagan, VP of Marketing for E-Stamp.com. Drew a 1999 salary of $173K and a bonus of $182K, plus a long-term award of $62.5K. Genius. Grifters gonna grift.

    salary info

    superbowl ad

    Reply
  14. diptherio

    Clarke’s Third Law when modified is the perfect compliment to Hanlon’s Razor:

    “Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by ignorance, however, any sufficiently advanced ignorance is indistinguishable from malice.”

    https://mastodon.xyz/@douginamug/99876599803969174

    If you’re looking for a better social network than FBook or Tweeter, I highly recommend Mastodon. I’m on the social.coop instance.

    Reply
    1. Jim Haygood

      any sufficiently advanced ignorance is indistinguishable from malice

      e.g. Nikki Haley, a/k/a Colin Powell in drag

      Reply
    2. blennylips

      Holy moly diptherio, Mastodon displays that page just fine under strictest noscript and referPolicy settings. AND supplies an RSS feed.

      I wish them huge success.

      Reply
  15. DJG

    “I want every American to have good jobs, rising paychecks and the opportunity to live a life of meaning, purpose and joy. That is why I insisted that the tax law also create “Opportunity Zones” that target investments in distressed communities. These Opportunity Zones will create more jobs in areas of our country that need them the most and benefit those whom Washington has too often left behind.”

    Here in Chicago, these tax-increment financing districts have turned into slush funds for the alderpeople. Which is what Trump plans for these opportunity zones.

    Only a real jobs policy and real fiscal policy can produce prosperity. Bribing Bain Capital to exploit people in Cleveland is too clever by half, which is why it will fail, except for increasing Bain’s bottom line. But that’s the point, isn’t it?

    Reply
  16. allan

    GOP maneuver could roll back decades of regulation [Politico]

    Republicans are preparing to open a new front in their push to roll back regulations across the government, using a maneuver that could enable them to strike down decisions by federal agencies that reach back decades.

    As soon as Tuesday, GOP senators, backed by President Donald Trump, will use the Congressional Review Act to topple safeguards issued by the CFPB in 2013 that were intended to discourage discrimination in auto lending.

    While Republicans in the Trump era have already taken advantage of the 1996 law to remove more than a dozen recently issued rules, this would be the first time that Congress will have used it to kill a regulatory policy that is several years old.

    Now, actions going back to President Bill Clinton’s administration could be in play under the procedure GOP lawmakers are undertaking, forcing numerous agencies to reconsider how they roll out new regulations. …

    But surely there’s a bipartisan compromise, if only Bernie Bros would stop saying mean things.

    File under Dems Play to Fundraise and Listbuild, GOPers Play for Keeps.

    Reply
  17. ewmayer

    Re. “Sheriff of America’s Deadliest Police Force Caught on Camera Admitting Killing Suspects Is ‘Better Financially’” [The Root] — Sheriff Donny Youngblood … as Lambert noted w.r.to Team D neocon Anne-Marie Slaughter the other day (4/15 Links), how very aptronymic.

    Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “After Removing US From Negotiating Process, Now Trump Suddenly Wants US Back In TPP”

    Not sure how this is going to happen or if it can. All the countries have sorted the years-long process of negotiating the terms of the treaty and everything is done and dusted. Trump will only go in if he can re-write them all to favour America and nobody has a taste to start from square one again, especially there is a good chance that they will lose out of any re-negotiation. I’m not faulting Trump here.
    Remember it was Obama that said that the purpose of the treaty was to keep China out and to have America write the rules of any Pacific treaty so as to use American law. That was what caused many of the many stalling points with the treaty, especially the bit about where corporations would sue countries for “loss” of profits. After the US left, things became much easier to negotiate.
    I imagine that this must be galling for Clinton as Obama was banging on for the TPP while she was campaigning which would have undermined her efforts. She actually had to come out and pretend that she was against it, not that anyone believed her. And now for Trump to say that he might do it anyhow after her second failed Presidential attempt?
    In passing, I might be wicked and suggest that if her first Presidential attempt ended up like the Vasa, then her second attempt went down like the Mary Rose.

    Reply
  19. VietnamVet

    This was quite the week. The dust is settling. The USA will negotiate to rejoin TPP. Oligarchs are still in charge. We, the little people. will just have to get use to the profitable world war for the top 10% until a fiscal crisis or a terrible mistake puts an end to it. If the 2016 election of Donald J. Trump didn’t change anything, the coming elections won’t. The USA is the North American colony of the global elite which will be fracked till there is nothing of value left.

    Reply
  20. RWood

    A nearly competent AI simulacrum of a failed anarchist and an incorrect political position. The original cinematography/audio is by a fly in the wall, with the interesting modifications of apparent context illustrating the queasy statements of the orange-faced persona. A good behvmod attempt.
    John Pilger World War III Is Already Under Way
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz-D78rfkUw

    Reply

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